It shouldn't be doing this.


John White
 

I have to apologize cause this is a bit long, but here goes.

So, here is my multi attempt frustration. I just recently purchased a used Proto 2000 GP30 DC locomotive. Nothing wrong with it running. It ran fine. With me converting to DCC a few years ago, I was definitely converting this one. I'm not a newby to converting DC over to DCC. I've got roughly 100 conversions (give or take) to my credit. So it's not like I don't know how to do this. So I converted it and the problems started. I've used Digitrax and NCE basic decoders, so I think that eliminates decoder problems. I soldered the red and black wires to the trucks, as I've done many times before for good contact. The gray to the bottom connection of the motor and the orange to the top. Everything wired like I've done many, many times with no issues. No wires pinched or anything to make it have a problem down the road. I did have to replace two axle gears making sure no contact between the axles. With all that said, here is what I've been dealing with for the last month. Yea, I said month. Mostly to get away from it and the frustration and dive back in.

 

So here is what I'm dealing with. When I run it on my layout from right to left, it wants to stop or at least pause in or out of the curves, but not always. But that is only once in awhile, cause most of the tie it will stop. So, I just touch it as in nugging it very very lightly. I don't hardly even touch it and it resumes running until the next spot it decides to do it again. It did do this four or five times in one complete run. I kept messing, trying to figure it out and with each try, it did get better to the point of only hesitating two or three times but keeps going. I filed, lightly, the frame so the trucks didn't touch the inside of the opening for the trucks. I also added tape on the same area, but it don't seem to have helped. I made some of the changes to the frame tonight with minor improvements. I also put another exact type of drive powered locomotive and it runs very well, with no issues. So I am totally lost as to what could be causing this problem. I'm not stupid, but this one makes me feel that way and I know better. I just can't figure it out. Also, my track is fine as nothing else does this.

 

Think this one over and see if you can help me solve this problem, that shouldn't be this complicated.

Thanks for reading,

JT


Andrew Wood
 

Beating bad/warped wheel to wiper contact or a weird bit of junk in there. 
Andrew Wood
Australia 

Sent from Andrew's iPhone

On 8 Apr 2021, at 19:20, John White <jtw37@...> wrote:



I have to apologize cause this is a bit long, but here goes.

So, here is my multi attempt frustration. I just recently purchased a used Proto 2000 GP30 DC locomotive. Nothing wrong with it running. It ran fine. With me converting to DCC a few years ago, I was definitely converting this one. I'm not a newby to converting DC over to DCC. I've got roughly 100 conversions (give or take) to my credit. So it's not like I don't know how to do this. So I converted it and the problems started. I've used Digitrax and NCE basic decoders, so I think that eliminates decoder problems. I soldered the red and black wires to the trucks, as I've done many times before for good contact. The gray to the bottom connection of the motor and the orange to the top. Everything wired like I've done many, many times with no issues. No wires pinched or anything to make it have a problem down the road. I did have to replace two axle gears making sure no contact between the axles. With all that said, here is what I've been dealing with for the last month. Yea, I said month. Mostly to get away from it and the frustration and dive back in.

 

So here is what I'm dealing with. When I run it on my layout from right to left, it wants to stop or at least pause in or out of the curves, but not always. But that is only once in awhile, cause most of the tie it will stop. So, I just touch it as in nugging it very very lightly. I don't hardly even touch it and it resumes running until the next spot it decides to do it again. It did do this four or five times in one complete run. I kept messing, trying to figure it out and with each try, it did get better to the point of only hesitating two or three times but keeps going. I filed, lightly, the frame so the trucks didn't touch the inside of the opening for the trucks. I also added tape on the same area, but it don't seem to have helped. I made some of the changes to the frame tonight with minor improvements. I also put another exact type of drive powered locomotive and it runs very well, with no issues. So I am totally lost as to what could be causing this problem. I'm not stupid, but this one makes me feel that way and I know better. I just can't figure it out. Also, my track is fine as nothing else does this.

 

Think this one over and see if you can help me solve this problem, that shouldn't be this complicated.

Thanks for reading,

JT


Blair
 

John

Two thoughts on this.

1) I have a p2K SW8 that was giving me fits with stop-start issues.  Turned out one lead from one truck was broken, so it was running on only one truck's connections on the left side.  That made it sensitive to track dirt, etc.  Could you have a bad truck connection, whether it be a cold solder joint, or a bad/dirty wiper?  The fact that it's unidirectional doesn't really fit this possibility, though.

2) Your unidirectional symptom reminds me of a P2K GP7 loco I finally tore down last month.  Not absolutely sure what fixed it, but complete disassembly of the power train to both trucks, disassembly of both trucks, cleaning all parts, and reassembly seems to have pushed the troll back under the bridge.  Oh, and I shimmed the motor-shaft-to-truck worm gear (both ends) so it didn't slop back and forth on direction change.  I had initially presumed I had a cracked axle gear, as that problem exhibits this way some times, but unless it was microscopic all gears were good, and I took a chance and re-used them and it runs fine now.  Your unidirectional problem, linked with the problem appearing at turns, makes me think mechanical binding, so this could be it.

Hope this helps

Blair


I have to apologize cause this is a bit long, but here goes.

So, here is my multi attempt frustration. I just recently purchased a used Proto 2000 GP30 DC locomotive. Nothing wrong with it running. It ran fine. With me converting to DCC a few years ago, I was definitely converting this one. I'm not a newby to converting DC over to DCC. I've got roughly 100 conversions (give or take) to my credit. So it's not like I don't know how to do this. So I converted it and the problems started. I've used Digitrax and NCE basic decoders, so I think that eliminates decoder problems. I soldered the red and black wires to the trucks, as I've done many times before for good contact. The gray to the bottom connection of the motor and the orange to the top. Everything wired like I've done many, many times with no issues. No wires pinched or anything to make it have a problem down the road. I did have to replace two axle gears making sure no contact between the axles. With all that said, here is what I've been dealing with for the last month. Yea, I said month. Mostly to get away from it and the frustration and dive back in.

 

So here is what I'm dealing with. When I run it on my layout from right to left, it wants to stop or at least pause in or out of the curves, but not always. But that is only once in awhile, cause most of the tie it will stop. So, I just touch it as in nugging it very very lightly. I don't hardly even touch it and it resumes running until the next spot it decides to do it again. It did do this four or five times in one complete run. I kept messing, trying to figure it out and with each try, it did get better to the point of only hesitating two or three times but keeps going. I filed, lightly, the frame so the trucks didn't touch the inside of the opening for the trucks. I also added tape on the same area, but it don't seem to have helped. I made some of the changes to the frame tonight with minor improvements. I also put another exact type of drive powered locomotive and it runs very well, with no issues. So I am totally lost as to what could be causing this problem. I'm not stupid, but this one makes me feel that way and I know better. I just can't figure it out. Also, my track is fine as nothing else does this.

 



Don Vollrath
 

JT, it is indeed a puzzle. if the headlight also blinks when the loco hesitates or stalls the problem
is definitely a loss of rail power getting to the decoder. Make sure you have continuity from both front and rear trucks on each of the red and black power pickup wires. Look for broken wire strands or replace with new flexible #22 - 24 wires. Disassemble the trucks and clean the bearings and power pickup saddles. Lube the bearings lightly with conductive oil. Solder the red and black wires to the decoder. Do NOT use the plastic saddle clips. (Or if you must... be sure to scrape the copper pads clean)

Also be sure the trucks can swivel without causing the wheels to lift. Particularly important if this model uses a hot chassis for one side of the power pickup. Remove any grease buildup at the truck-chassis swivel joints.

DonV


John Bauchiero
 

JT, 

I don’t know if your issue could be related to what I am experiencing. I have a Walthers PA-1 that has developed a left side wiper problem on the front truck and depending on how the wheels bias side to side in the truck on a curve or turnout will cause the locomotive stop. I found that only one wheel was making contact most of the time and if it shifted side to side it could lose contact momentarily. I really don’t want to get into a total teardown of the drive system so I am avoiding it for now. 

John 

On Apr 7, 2021, at 10:01 PM, John White <jtw37@...> wrote:

I have to apologize cause this is a bit long, but here goes.

So, here is my multi attempt frustration. I just recently purchased a used Proto 2000 GP30 DC locomotive. Nothing wrong with it running. It ran fine. With me converting to DCC a few years ago, I was definitely converting this one. I'm not a newby to converting DC over to DCC. I've got roughly 100 conversions (give or take) to my credit. So it's not like I don't know how to do this. So I converted it and the problems started. I've used Digitrax and NCE basic decoders, so I think that eliminates decoder problems. I soldered the red and black wires to the trucks, as I've done many times before for good contact. The gray to the bottom connection of the motor and the orange to the top. Everything wired like I've done many, many times with no issues. No wires pinched or anything to make it have a problem down the road. I did have to replace two axle gears making sure no contact between the axles. With all that said, here is what I've been dealing with for the last month. Yea, I said month. Mostly to get away from it and the frustration and dive back in.

 

So here is what I'm dealing with. When I run it on my layout from right to left, it wants to stop or at least pause in or out of the curves, but not always. But that is only once in awhile, cause most of the tie it will stop. So, I just touch it as in nugging it very very lightly. I don't hardly even touch it and it resumes running until the next spot it decides to do it again. It did do this four or five times in one complete run. I kept messing, trying to figure it out and with each try, it did get better to the point of only hesitating two or three times but keeps going. I filed, lightly, the frame so the trucks didn't touch the inside of the opening for the trucks. I also added tape on the same area, but it don't seem to have helped. I made some of the changes to the frame tonight with minor improvements. I also put another exact type of drive powered locomotive and it runs very well, with no issues. So I am totally lost as to what could be causing this problem. I'm not stupid, but this one makes me feel that way and I know better. I just can't figure it out. Also, my track is fine as nothing else does this.

 

Think this one over and see if you can help me solve this problem, that shouldn't be this complicated.

Thanks for reading,

JT



Jim Betz
 

John,
  You don't mention it so I have to ask ... have you determined if the problem is
an Open or a Short?
  P2K locos are notorious for 2 problems.

  1) Split axle gears - will usually "thump, thump, thump" going down the track. 
      Sometimes will stop and start.
  2) Incorrectly shimmed worm gears.  Pull that plastic "clip thingey" that holds
      the worm gear in the top of the truck.  Shim one end until it smooths out.
      Most often will show up going down grade with a load behind it - often
      will not show up without a train behind it or on level track (but sometimes).
      This problem is often referred to as "surging" because the train may or
      may not fully stop going downhill.

  Power pickup - perhaps a wire is broken inside the insulation and is making
and not making contact.  Try running the loco with it's progress blocked and
see if you can measure the power to the motor from the decoder.

  I've had P2K locos that ran very poorly - until I cleaned out all of the old
grease in the trucks with isopropyl and re-lubed with Labelle (plastic
compatible - 104?)
  The backs of the wheels can get crud build up on them - clean with isopropyl.

                            - Keep us informed ... JIm


john
 

John,
I have found in the past that some engines will not tolerate a rise and some not a dip in the rails. It isn't uncommon were road bed pieces are joined. The other thing that is not uncommon is electrical pickup. Solder a wire to every piece of rail within three feet of the problem area, be it an inch or a meter, and connect them to the feed. Rail Joiners are notorious for bad connections.
John

On Thursday, April 8, 2021, 10:29:05 AM EDT, Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote:


John,
  You don't mention it so I have to ask ... have you determined if the problem is
an Open or a Short?
  P2K locos are notorious for 2 problems.

  1) Split axle gears - will usually "thump, thump, thump" going down the track. 
      Sometimes will stop and start.
  2) Incorrectly shimmed worm gears.  Pull that plastic "clip thingey" that holds
      the worm gear in the top of the truck.  Shim one end until it smooths out.
      Most often will show up going down grade with a load behind it - often
      will not show up without a train behind it or on level track (but sometimes).
      This problem is often referred to as "surging" because the train may or
      may not fully stop going downhill.

  Power pickup - perhaps a wire is broken inside the insulation and is making
and not making contact.  Try running the loco with it's progress blocked and
see if you can measure the power to the motor from the decoder.

  I've had P2K locos that ran very poorly - until I cleaned out all of the old
grease in the trucks with isopropyl and re-lubed with Labelle (plastic
compatible - 104?)
  The backs of the wheels can get crud build up on them - clean with isopropyl.

                            - Keep us informed ... JIm


thomasmclae
 

A couple of things our club has found over the years, now standard practice for all club members to do to their Loks.
1. set CV11 = 0. This is the timeout timer, depending on your system, how many addresses are in the refresh list, etc. Just set to 0.
2. turn off DC. Bit flag in CV29, lets your Lok run on DC layout power. Some systems will trick your Lok into thinking power is DC, then revert to DCC, then dc. Random pauses. Only enable this before going to a DC layout, Otherwise, turn off.
This eliminates most decoder issues.

Check that your solder joints are not cold joints. Always use flux when soldering, even if the solder says it has flux. (NOT ACID FLUX!!!)


Puckdropper
 

Tricky! I think I'd just replace all the axle gears to be sure they're OK. I've seen them slide sideways after the gear cracked. You may be able to confirm this with the NMRA gauge, gauge too narrow is probably the one causing the problem.

These GP30s disassemble pretty nicely, so if I didn't see anything else, I'd take it apart and clean and resolder everything.

Are you seeing a stall or a short?

Puckdropper


Michael Munley
 

I had identical symptoms.  Turned out to be the decoder plug was not seated in the decoder.  Digitrax in particular shrink-wrap the decoder.  The blue wrap can sometimes block the proper function of plugging into the socket.  As the loco goes around the curve, the truck wires "tug" lightly on the decoder and pull out the plug slightly.  Give it a check.  Easy to do without a tear-down.


. So, I just touch it as in nugging it very very lightly. I don't hardly even touch it and it resumes running until the next spot it decides to do it again. It did do this four or five times in one complete run. I kept messing, trying to figure it out and with each try, it did get better to the point of only hesitating two or three times but keeps going. I filed, lightly, the frame so the trucks didn't touch the inside of the opening for the trucks. I also added tape on the same area, but it don't seem to have helped. I made some of the changes to the frame tonight with minor improvements. I also put another exact type of drive powered locomotive and it runs very well, with no issues. So I am totally lost as to what could be causing this problem. I'm not stupid, but this one makes me feel that way an



-----Original Message-----
From: John Bauchiero <john@...>
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Sent: Thu, Apr 8, 2021 10:03 am
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] It shouldn't be doing this.

JT, 

I don’t know if your issue could be related to what I am experiencing. I have a Walthers PA-1 that has developed a left side wiper problem on the front truck and depending on how the wheels bias side to side in the truck on a curve or turnout will cause the locomotive stop. I found that only one wheel was making contact most of the time and if it shifted side to side it could lose contact momentarily. I really don’t want to get into a total teardown of the drive system so I am avoiding it for now. 

John 

On Apr 7, 2021, at 10:01 PM, John White <jtw37@...> wrote:

I have to apologize cause this is a bit long, but here goes.
So, here is my multi attempt frustration. I just recently purchased a used Proto 2000 GP30 DC locomotive. Nothing wrong with it running. It ran fine. With me converting to DCC a few years ago, I was definitely converting this one. I'm not a newby to converting DC over to DCC. I've got roughly 100 conversions (give or take) to my credit. So it's not like I don't know how to do this. So I converted it and the problems started. I've used Digitrax and NCE basic decoders, so I think that eliminates decoder problems. I soldered the red and black wires to the trucks, as I've done many times before for good contact. The gray to the bottom connection of the motor and the orange to the top. Everything wired like I've done many, many times with no issues. No wires pinched or anything to make it have a problem down the road. I did have to replace two axle gears making sure no contact between the axles. With all that said, here is what I've been dealing with for the last month. Yea, I said month. Mostly to get away from it and the frustration and dive back in.
 
So here is what I'm dealing with. When I run it on my layout from right to left, it wants to stop or at least pause in or out of the curves, but not always. But that is only once in awhile, cause most of the tie it will stop. So, I just touch it as in nugging it very very lightly. I don't hardly even touch it and it resumes running until the next spot it decides to do it again. It did do this four or five times in one complete run. I kept messing, trying to figure it out and with each try, it did get better to the point of only hesitating two or three times but keeps going. I filed, lightly, the frame so the trucks didn't touch the inside of the opening for the trucks. I also added tape on the same area, but it don't seem to have helped. I made some of the changes to the frame tonight with minor improvements. I also put another exact type of drive powered locomotive and it runs very well, with no issues. So I am totally lost as to what could be causing this problem. I'm not stupid, but this one makes me feel that way and I know better. I just can't figure it out. Also, my track is fine as nothing else does this.
 
Think this one over and see if you can help me solve this problem, that shouldn't be this complicated.
Thanks for reading,
JT


Paul O <pomilian@...>
 

John, to diagnose wheel pick up problems, take a piece of tissue paper, make it wide enough to isolate one whole truck, place it across the tracks and run your local over it. See if you can determine which of the trucks or axles may be causing a problem.

Paul O


John White
 

Didn't think about including this. The trucks are like the Athearn Blue Box trucks that has the frame pin and the tab that sticks up by the drive shaft. So it don't have the wheel wipers. That's the reason I soldered the wires to the trucks. It also has the same motor as the Blue Box and it is isolated the same way as Athearn. The frame may be the very same, but I haven't compared it with the Blue Box, but I will.
Thanks Andrew.
JT


John White
 

I forgot to put this in the last post, It acts like it just is not picking up power from the track and a slight nudge, not even moving it and it takes off, but not always. How dumb, right. I'm just going to have to do like in my last post and stick with it. Thanks.
JT


John White
 

Well guys, I have read everything that you have given me and most of it, I have tried and will keep trying. Those of you who have the Proto 2000 locomotives know about the heavy weight in them, know how much room there isn't to run wires. So my next step is to totally remove it from the equation and wire it again and see what the results will be. But first I'm going to wire it totally for DC, which I didn't have that problem with and see how it acts and that will be with the weight in place. If it works fine like it did originally I will wire it for DCC without the weight and see what the outcome will be. Never have I ever had this issue with any locomotive, be it Proto, Athearn, Atlas, AHM, Bachmann, Mehano, Model Power or Kato. Even the old clunky pancake motors that I experimented with just for fun. I've been in the hobby since 1974 off & on, so I'm just a bit frustrated about it. And then I have six acres to tend to, with trees down this past winter and attempting to get rid of things not needed anymore. So right now my Model Railroad time, unfortunately is a bit limited, but I will continue with this post till I either solve the problem or solve the problem, because I'm not letting it win.
Thanks for all your input as it keeps me focused on the issue at hand. Until next post.
JT


whmvd
 

John,

If I were you, I'd add one intermediate testing stage between weighted/DC and non-weighted/DCC, as that changes two big variables at one time. I'd do non-weighted/DC in between to cut one of those out.

Wouter


On Wed, 14 Apr 2021 at 14:32, John White <jtw37@...> wrote:
Well guys, I have read everything that you have given me and most of it, I have tried and will keep trying. Those of you who have the Proto 2000 locomotives know about the heavy weight in them, know how much room there isn't to run wires. So my next step is to totally remove it from the equation and wire it again and see what the results will be. But first I'm going to wire it totally for DC, which I didn't have that problem with and see how it acts and that will be with the weight in place. If it works fine like it did originally I will wire it for DCC without the weight and see what the outcome will be. Never have I ever had this issue with any locomotive, be it Proto, Athearn, Atlas, AHM, Bachmann, Mehano, Model Power or Kato. Even the old clunky pancake motors that I experimented with just for fun. I've been in the hobby since 1974 off & on, so I'm just a bit frustrated about it. And then I have six acres to tend to, with trees down this past winter and attempting to get rid of things not needed anymore. So right now my Model Railroad time, unfortunately is a bit limited, but I will continue with this post till I either solve the problem or solve the problem, because I'm not letting it win.
Thanks for all your input as it keeps me focused on the issue at hand. Until next post.
JT


Jim Betz
 

John,
  The P2K trucks were loaded up with a low quality grease.  It gets 
everywhere - such as on the backs of the wheels where it interferes
with the power pickup.  Eventually it gets hard and will actually
cause the drive to slow down/not work right.
  The fix is to take the shell and bottom cover off of the truck and
flood the truck with isopropyl until -all- of the old grease is gone.
You can see it and it will be a dark yellow if it has solidified and a
less dark yellow before that.  Relube with Labelle plastic compatible
and conductive oil (104?) and you will be surprised how well the
loco runs after removing all of the factory grease.  
  This problem is present in every P2K loco I've ever opened up.
And it doesn't make any difference if the loco has been run 
frequently or not since it was built.  In fact the worst ones are
usually the ones that have never been run and are just now
being put into service.
                                                                             - Jim 


John White
 

Ok, so today I totally dismantled my Proto GP30 and put it back to DC. It operated just like it's supposed to. Now I will again convert it to DCC and see what this will bring to me. Hopefully I'll be done with this frustrating Gremlin infested locomotive. Will post my findings, although it may not include the evasive answer as to what was plaguing this install.
Thanks for all your suggestions.
JT


John White
 

And so here we go again. Like I said, I put everything back to DC and what a real nice running engine this thing is. So dismantled DC and put back to DCC. It started out nice for about 16 feet and then the dirty little @#$%^&* just quit. And believe me everything works as it should, except when it is converted to DCC. The only thing left that I haven't totally ignored, is the trucks. So, I will change them out for a different set and see what the outcome is from there. If it does the same thing again I will sell it with the added note, DO NOT CONVERT TO DCC BECAUSE IT DON"T LIKE it! I have done everything that has been suggested and more. I've never had this much trouble with any conversion I've done, including the Athearn Blue Box engines, as that is exactly what this is. The same frame, trucks, drive shaft and motor with the tape in the bottom, which someone before me got rid of all the attachments that came from the manufacture and hard wired it with the wire from the tabs on the trucks to the top of the motor and the bottom brush holder appears to have been changed for one like on top to a screw on the weight for that to complete the circuit. IT RUS GREAT! in DC configuration, but not DCC. I hang my head in disappointment. :-(
JT.


John White
 


 Well went to the basement to fiddle with the engine. I GOT IT!!!

I changed out the front truck, which I thought it was the culprit for sometime, but couldn't figure how that could be a problem. After I changed it I ran it for roughly 15 or 20 minutes with no pauses or stopping. So now I have to figure out what is going on with it. Thanks for all the support.

JT


Dale Muir
 

Hi John. I'm glad you finally found a solution. Here is another issue that no one mentioned so far:

A few years ago I acquired several Athearn Genesis F3 and F7 units. As I converted them to DCC I programmed in momentum. I hard-wired the decoders so there was no issue with plugs or connectors. I also soldered the decoder leads directly to the trucks. They kept momentarily cutting out, and cycling through the startup sequence. Athearn sent replacement trucks, but they didn't help. The problem was with the truck design. The "wipers" that rest on the axles were not making good contact even after cleaning. I added tiny phosphor bronze wires that contact the wheel treads, and that solved the problem. The phosphor bronze wires were soldered to the brass truck parts meant to pick up current from the axles. This was tricky, and I used a resistance soldering unit and the resistance tweezers to hold the parts together while soldering.

Dale Muir
Geneva, IL