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Author Topic: NGS Helpline questions, and a request for an article  (Read 332 times)

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Online Bob G

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NGS Helpline questions, and a request for an article
« on: April 19, 2020, 12:25:55 PM »
I have had a couple of questions come to the Helpline in recent days that I cannot answer personally.


The first is from a lovely old chap (he's 83 and does not have the internet). He often writes to me with questions and the like, and I do love having to write my replies, rather than email them.
He has a number of diesels whose lights have failed in one direction or another and he would like someone to write a journal article on how to troubleshoot and how to resolve the problems that you get when lights fail on current design diesels.

So is there anyone who is able to do that for Neale, and my non-internet NGS member, please?


The second question is about DCC, and as a DCC non-user, I simply cannot help the chap. It's to do with how many chips and how to programme them for a Farish Desiro EMU.

If someone in the Society knows what to do could they PM me please, and I will send you the details.

Best regards
Bob
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 02:46:00 PM by Bob G »

Online njee20

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Re: NGS Helpline questions, and a request for an article
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2020, 03:04:24 PM »
Sent you a PM Bob. Think Iíve conveyed at least 10 Desiros to DCC  :worried:

Online Bob G

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Re: NGS Helpline Article on Troubleshooting Failed Lights on Locos etc
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2020, 02:47:53 PM »
I'm going to try this once again.

A while ago I received a lovely letter from one of my older (83 year old) NGS Helpline correspondents who doesn't have the web or email, and only has the Journal and letters to me to help him out.

"Dear Bob, In the last year or so I've noticed a lot of my N gauge diesels and DMUs having trouble with lights not working as they should."
He goes on to describe the classic failed LEDs that we all seem to have suffered from, and finishes with "at £100+ a time it puts you off buying new models".

Hear hear, I say.

Now I'm not an electrical whiz. I have been OK fixing Minitrix and Poole Farish, but as soon as PCBs came in and DCC chips, I was lost.

Is there anyone in the NGS who would volunteer to write such an article and be able to keep it both objective and useful for trouble shooting Dapol, Farish and perhaps some of the European and Japanese manufacturer's products?

I think this would be a very useful article for the NGS to produce.

Best regards
Bob
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 02:49:18 PM by Bob G »

Offline Steven B

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Re: NGS Helpline questions, and a request for an article
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2020, 04:05:44 PM »
Hi Bob,

Do you know what models the Society Member is having trouble with? There are a number of potential problems depending on the model.

Many Dapol models (particularly HST, class 26/27 & 86) suffer with a diode going pop which prevents lights working in one direction. Due to the nature of how Dapol fit their lights, it's also common for wires to come loose from the lighting module (hard/impossible to fix) or from the plug/socket.

I've only had Farish lights fail when I messed up a hard-wired decoder installation and forgot to increase resistor values when using the blue decoder wire as the lighting common rather than red or black track feeds as per the 6-pin standard. Any other problems with Farish lights have been down to the spring contacts at the ends of the chassis not making contact with the lighting module fitted in the body of the loco. Gently bending them out (and giving them a quick clean) is usually enough to get them working again.

In both cases there is also the possibility that the decoder/blanking plug isn't making contact with the pins used for the lighting.

Steven B.

Online Bealman

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Re: NGS Helpline questions, and a request for an article
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2020, 04:12:20 PM »
I think an article on fixing failed lights on late model locomotives would be great - unfortunately, I can't help, as I have the same problem on a Farish Class 55 - that's why I think it would be a great idea!  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline jpendle

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Re: NGS Helpline questions, and a request for an article
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2020, 04:22:31 PM »
Hi,

I'm with @Steven B on this.
I don't have any Farish products with lighting issues and the 3 Dapol products where the LED's don't work are all down to broken/loose wires (2 x CL86 & 1 Voyager). The new Dapol CL66's with the Next18 socket AND spring contacts to the loco body are a big improvement over the older ones with a wiring harness that is too easily broken when removing the bodyshell.

It does occur to me that blown diodes et al on loco PCB's MIGHT be a result of overvoltages on DC layouts. After a run in on my DC test track all my locos are converted to DCC and I think it is reasonable to assume that the DCC decoder will then protect the lighting circuits in the loco from any spurious spikes in track voltage caused by short circuits or forgetfulness  :D

As a result I'm not sure a generic troubleshooting article makes sense as there are so many factors in play.

And, with respect to your correspondent, would he still have the manual dexterity to perform any necessary repairs needed. I for one can't get the wires soldered back on to the lighting PCB on my CL86's and I'm only 58  :)

Perhaps if you could provide more details, loco types, DC or DCC, etc, then a more specific article could be created.

Regards,

John P
Check out my layout thread.

Contemporary NW (Wigan Wallgate and North Western)

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

Online Bob G

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Re: NGS Helpline questions, and a request for an article
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2020, 04:32:32 PM »
Hi Bob,

Do you know what models the Society Member is having trouble with? There are a number of potential problems depending on the model.

Steven B.

Dont we all know that :)

And indeed I have an N class mogul that needs its PCB looked at as it doesn't run, and I suspect something on that PCB has failed (because the motor is fine when detached from the PCB), and as far as I can see there are only diodes on that PCB, and certainly no lights to worry about. So the issue could easily be extended to PBC issues generally.

The NGS member has not said, but he has suggested that there are a number of his diesel locos and DMUs at fault. Now while I'd imagine his issues are with one manufacturer more than the other, I do know that modellers have reported faults from both main UK manufacturers so an article would need to cover all bases and certainly not show any bias as (1) that would not be professional or appropriate for the Society to take that stance, and (2) anyone can have a loco that for some reason has had a failure somewhere along the line, irrespective of who the manufacturer was.

Bob

Online Bob G

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Re: NGS Helpline questions, and a request for an article
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2020, 04:42:13 PM »
And, with respect to your correspondent, would he still have the manual dexterity to perform any necessary repairs needed.

There are many dextrous modellers in the Society who only have four digit (or less) membership numbers!
For me it's not the dexterity that is the issue, but the ability to focus on the said wire and get it soldered that is my challenge :) and I'm only 59  :laugh3:

Bob

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Re: NGS Helpline questions, and a request for an article
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2020, 04:42:32 PM »
The other variable that John mentions about overvoltage can also be an issue with controller.

Even some well-known/respected brands pump out more than 12V and in some cases Iíve seen evidence of significantly higher spikes. Some of the time the controller might be old and failing but other times the controller is just an old design that doesnít play nicely with electronic components with lower voltage tolerances. Iím afraid the solution there is buy a better/more modern controller (in fact that would be my first thought if I was getting multiple light/pcb failures across more than manufacturer.

Cheers Mike



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Re: NGS Helpline questions, and a request for an article
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2020, 05:15:24 PM »
Bob, with regard to your N if itís not running DCC are you sure the blanking piece is in the right way round. I struggled to get a 4MT to run until I was told about this..... Again, another thing you have to find out thatís rarely covered in articles.

Dave

 

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