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Our basement layout


scott

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Well, I didn't get around switching the wires and terminal unijoiners around, but I did try all three controllers, and they're all doing the same thing (which makes me wonder if I've done something wrong--it seems unlikely that I'd get three duds). BTW, the controllers are MRC Tech4 260s.

 

With the momentum switch off, everything is fine. (Of course, I bought them *because* they had the momentum function...)

 

With the switch on, the trains won't start at all from a dead stop. If I start them with the switch off, then turn it on, they run more slowly. And if I then turn the throttle to zero, they just keep going as they were without stopping. The brake button seems to work with the momentum switch on, but the trains don't speed back up once it's off.

 

I'm stumped.

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Okay, lets try the one transformer that was supposed to be defective on another track just to be sure. If it response on momentum then it's something on that other track. Check the wiring and make sure there isn't a loose connection or a faulty wire. You might have to also switch wires around to find where the problem is. (Sort of like finding the Xmas bulb that is out in a line... :o)

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But if all three controllers are doing the same thing, will switching the leads to different tracks make any difference?

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CaptOblivious

I think that if the issue were track wiring, the problem would be making the trains go. Since in at least some cases, the problem is making the trains stop, this suggests the problem is in the throttle.

 

There are others here who know more about MRC's throttles than I, but I would think it might be best to call the manufacturer and ask them what circumstances could lead to trains not stopping!

 

One thing I do know about MRC throttles is that the simulation of momentum can sometimes be a bit too realistic. I was just running some calculations on my DCC-equipped locos, and even at the most extreme setting that Digitrax decoders allow, the slowest possible acceleration of the model is still two to three times faster than the fastest possible acceleration of the prototype! MRC, errs in the other direction, allowing for incredibly slow---and hence realistic---starts and stops.

 

Bottom line: It might simply be that the momentum function is working too well. Try putting a train on the tracks, turning on momentum, and hitting full throttle. Wait for half an hour and come back and see if the train is moving. I bet it will be.

 

An easier test might be: Is there a way to adjust the momentum effect? To turn it down without turning it off?

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There doesn't seem to be any adjustment--there's just an on/off switch. I tried just closing the throttle and letting a train run, but by the time it had gone halfway around the long loop, I figured it wasn't planning to stop. Sort of like the bus service around here sometimes.  :-\

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CaptOblivious

There doesn't seem to be any adjustment--there's just an on/off switch. I tried just closing the throttle and letting a train run, but by the time it had gone halfway around the long loop, I figured it wasn't planning to stop. Sort of like the bus service around here sometimes.  :-\

 

Give it a little more time. Several times 'round the loop.

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Soooooo...we're simulating the momentum of....the moon?  ;)

 

I've called MB Klein and MRC--just waiting for calls back.

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CaptOblivious

Soooooo...we're simulating the momentum of....the moon?  ;)

 

I've called MB Klein and MRC--just waiting for calls back.

 

Er, no, more like a 100-car, mile-long freight train hauling 10,000 tons of coal…

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CaptOblivious

I don't think even JR can pack that much passenger mass into a 3-car EMU.  :)

 

You, my friend, have never been to Shinjuku Station during rush hour ;)

 

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I don't think even JR can pack that much passenger mass into a 3-car EMU.  :)

 

You, my friend, have never been to Shinjuku Station during rush hour ;)

 

 

Been there, done that.

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OK. We have an explanation: I'm an idiot. (What's more, I'm an idiot and I demonstrate it publicly on the internet.  ::) )  Strange how often this explanation turns out to be the correct one....

 

The problem was that I was being impatient and tentative. I wasn't turning the throttle up very much, or waiting long enough for things to start (or stop) happening. So actually the momentum function *does* work, and it's pretty cool. Sorry for all the questions and idiotic fuss.

 

The good news is that this means the only thing I need to worry about now is a bit of engine-cleaning. But fortunately the Tomix JNR 115 (notice how I subtly stay on-topic there) is running really well.

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serenityFan

cool, so you've got momentum working...

just to confirm, this is a DC throttle, isn't it? I wonder how slow the starting speed is from a full stop, would it be comparable to a DCC equipped train with BEMF?

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Yup - our setup is DC. From a few minutes' experimenting, it can be a pretty slow start, but I don't have any way to measure or compare it.

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The momentum feature is great, you can see the difference when you switch from momentum to full, it's more realistic. I'm glad you got this sorted out and believe me don't feel like a fool, there are times I've had power problems only to find out that I didn't have the power pack plugged in. ::)

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there are times I've had power problems only to find out that I didn't have the power pack plugged in. ::)

 

:)  Well, I still feel stupid, but that gave me a good laugh.

 

Tonight I'm hoping to try out the Microace Gakunan Railway "Akagaeru" emu that I got for our "local" line. It's like this one, but I didn't pay that much.  :)

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Thanks--I'm planning to. But since I had to work until after 9pm last night and came home all cheesed off, I didn't do anything more than figure out the momentum non-problem. I'll try to get some trains out and get some pictures in the next few days.

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Well, please ask him to not trash my layout. At least not until I finish the landscaping; I'd hate for him to waste his time.

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Motive power update:

 

Kato Arbeitwagen (used, not run recently): With a touch of grease, running much more smoothly.

Tomix JNR 115: Fine right out of the box.

Microace Akagaeru: Fine right out of the box, but the lights seem a bit dim.

Bachmann E60 #1 (The New One): Right out of the box, a truck fell out.  ::) The drive shaft went after it, although I didn't notice that at first. The gears in the other truck have lots of play, and the drive shaft tends to just spin.

Bachmann E60 #2 (The used one that doesn't match the kid's shiny Amtrak set): Ran very noisily. With some grease, runs...noisily. But will now at least leave the platform without a push from the Giant Finger.

 

I am soooooooo tempted to buy an ED7x, paint it silver, stick an Amtrak logo on it, and pretend it's an AEM-7.

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Personally I'm not a big fan of Bachmann. I had a few and they never lasted but people tell me good things about their Spectrum line.

But for me, their trains just don't hold a candle to the Japanese manufactures (Kato, Tomix (yes I said Tomix for DC) and MicroAce).

Are the Bachmann's now being made with 5 pole motors?

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