Messages From digitrax

 


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#104126 Sep 13 2:23 AM

Hi - Has anybody out there experienced repeated

decoder failure in an Atlas S-4- first version. First

I installed a Digitrax decoder that worked fine for a

couple of years then failed. I then used 2 different

NCE replacement boards, each working for several

months to a couple of years and then failing. I have

no clue as to what is going on. I have forty or so

engines running with decoders so I have experience in

this field. I insulated the chassis according to

direction. The engine runs fine in analog mode. Any

ideas?

Bill Rooke

Amtrak - the ONLY way to fly!

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#104128 Sep 13 5:57 AM

I have lost 3 decoders in my S4. The first caught on fire and

nearly destroyed the cab. Second time it just started to run real

slowly while the third just this last weekend it stopped running.

When I opened it up the decoder was again charcoal. The unit will

run around for hours at a time with no problem but when used in an

Operation Session is when the problem comes up. The problem may

also occur when it runs through a double slip switch, but not real

sure of this as it has happened over several years. Now, the S4 is

parked in the back of the Roundhouse until I figure this one out.

All 3 decoders were DH123's.

Marty Quaas

Palmer, Alaska

--- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, Bill Rooke wwrooke39@...> wrote:

>

> Hi - Has anybody out there experienced repeated

> decoder failure in an Atlas S-4- first version. First

> I installed a Digitrax decoder that worked fine for a

> couple of years then failed. I then used 2 different

> NCE replacement boards, each working for several

> months to a couple of years and then failing. I have

> no clue as to what is going on. I have forty or so

> engines running with decoders so I have experience in

> this field. I insulated the chassis according to

> direction. The engine runs fine in analog mode. Any

> ideas?

>

> Bill Rooke

>

>

> Amtrak - the ONLY way to fly!

>

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> Do You Yahoo!?

> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

> ---Links-Are-Forbidden--- >







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#104134 Sep 13 12:45 PM

Bill and Marty,

Did you replace the screw in the bottom of the loco with a plastic screw?

Mike Gleaton

www.charlestondigitaltrains.com

Sales@...

> Hi - Has anybody out there experienced repeated

> decoder failure in an Atlas S-4- first version. First

> I installed a Digitrax decoder that worked fine for a

> couple of years then failed. I then used 2 different

> NCE replacement boards, each working for several

> months to a couple of years and then failing. I have

> no clue as to what is going on. I have forty or so

> engines running with decoders so I have experience in

> this field. I insulated the chassis according to

> direction. The engine runs fine in analog mode. Any

> ideas?

>

> Bill Rooke



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#104137 Sep 13 2:10 PM

Those S4's can be tricky. At the local club one of our first decoder installs was in my S4 switcher. We managed to get a DH-121 in it, programmed it and had it working the upper yard. I had gone on to checking a freight train that was working in town, when behind me I hear..oh s..t!!

I turned around quickly and saw the smoke, then a puff of flame that burned through the cowling of the engine.

TTX was then consulted to buy a decoder specifically built for this engine. That has been running flawlessly for years now=--with a new cowling installed of course. I think it is the relatively high amp draw, with a decoder that is stuffed into a very tight space. The TTX decoder spreads the functions out linearly, and gets a little air circulation around the decoder.

Bill Barger

bbarger@...

BRIGHT TRACK non-abrasive track cleaners

are available through trainnutbb@...



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#104138 Sep 13 2:47 PM

Here on the "J" we replaced the metal screw with the furnished plastic one along with installing the small piece of furnished tape to insulated the motor from the chassis.

John DePauw

Operating the EJ&E Railway in South East Michigan in 1973







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#104139 Sep 13 3:03 PM

The TTX decoder I used is ATLS4 made by NCE. Fits and

works very well. Comes with LED headlights both front

and rear.

Jack C.

--- John DePauw eje700@...> wrote: > Here on the "J" we replaced the metal screw with the

> furnished plastic one along with installing the

> small piece of furnished tape to insulated the motor

> from the chassis.

>

> John DePauw

> Operating the EJ&E Railway in South East Michigan in

> 1973

>

>

> [Non-text portions of this message have been

> removed]

>

>



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#104143 Sep 13 5:39 PM

Yes - I did replace the metal screw with a plastic

one. I have gone through 2 NCE decoders as well as

one old digitrax. - Bill

Amtrak - the ONLY way to fly!

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#104145 Sep 13 6:07 PM

Bill,

The rear of the ATLS4 decoder board is located very close to the frame of

this loco. Is it possible that a stray wire from the wheel power pickup

that is soldered to the board came in contact with the frame? This would

definitely let the smoke out of the decoder, but please don't ask me how I

know this;-)

Mike Gleaton

Charleston Digital Trains LLC ----- Original Message -----

> Yes - I did replace the metal screw with a plastic

> one. I have gone through 2 NCE decoders as well as

> one old digitrax. - Bill

>



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#104146 Sep 13 8:18 PM

I don't have my notes at hand so I'm going by memory. It seems to me the Atlas/Roco S-2 has one motor brush connected to the motor frame and via the motor frame to the locomotive frame. If you do not isolate the brush with an insulating washer, you can still install a decoder by isolating the locomotive frame and connecting the decoder motor output to that. This works until the day that the locomotive derails and twists a truck enough that one pickup wheel touches the isolated frame. This shorts the input of the decoder to its output and poof - out comes the smoke. I believe the S-4 is the same.

Jim Banner







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#104147 Sep 13 8:44 PM

I have had this happen when the plastic bracket for the wheel pick ups

broke and let the pickup short to some metal part of the frame. I

replaced the decoder and added 00-90 screws to keep the bracket in

place.

Reading your definitive description of the problem, I don't think my

solution addresses the real cause of the smoke being let of the decoder.

Thanks Jim for the great analysis.

Chuck

Chittenden, Pajaro and Coyote Railroad. --- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, Jim Banner the.trainman@...> wrote:

>

> I don't have my notes at hand so I'm going by memory. It seems to

me the Atlas/Roco S-2 has one motor brush connected to the motor frame

and via the motor frame to the locomotive frame. If you do not

isolate the brush with an insulating washer, you can still install a

decoder by isolating the locomotive frame and connecting the decoder

motor output to that. This works until the day that the locomotive

derails and twists a truck enough that one pickup wheel touches the

isolated frame. This shorts the input of the decoder to its output

and poof - out comes the smoke. I believe the S-4 is the same.

> Jim Banner



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#104148 Sep 13 8:49 PM

To: Jim

Your memory is 100% accurate.

I have completed a decoder install on several Atlas S2 locomotives and it is

an absolute 'must do' that the brass washer on the bottom brush mount be

replaced with an insulating washer. Also as someone has already mentioned,

it is essential that a non-conductive bolt (acetal, nylon) be used to mount

the couplers as the weight casting halves are electrically connected to the

their respective rail and using a metal bolt will cause a rail to rail

short.

Bob Young

Clinton, Ontario, Canada

Canada's Other West Coast

E'Mail: bob.young@...

Web: www.tcc.on.ca/~bobyoung ----- Original Message -----

From: "Jim Banner" the.trainman@...>

To: Digitrax@yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 4:18 PM

Subject: [Digitrax] Re: Atlas S-4 decoder burnout

>I don't have my notes at hand so I'm going by memory. It seems to me the

>Atlas/Roco S-2 has one motor brush connected to the motor frame and via the

>motor frame to the locomotive frame. If you do not isolate the brush with

>an insulating washer, you can still install a decoder by isolating the

>locomotive frame and connecting the decoder motor output to that. This

>works until the day that the locomotive derails and twists a truck enough

>that one pickup wheel touches the isolated frame. This shorts the input of

>the decoder to its output and poof - out comes the smoke. I believe the

>S-4 is the same.







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#104155 Sep 13 10:47 PM

Jim

Jim said

Also as someone has already mentioned, it is essential that a non-conductive

bolt (acetal, nylon) be used to mount the couplers as the weight casting

halves

are electrically connected to the their respective rail and using a metal

bolt will

cause a rail to rail short.

This would only be a short between the rails correct. Should not be a

problem with the decoder.

I believe the frame is a solid piece of metal???? On the S2/S4

John DePauw

Operating the EJ&E Railway in South East Michigan in 1973



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#104179 Sep 15 12:31 AM

Jim said

>Also as someone has already mentioned, it is essential that a non-conductive

>bolt (acetal, nylon) be used to mount the couplers as the weight casting

>halves are electrically connected to the their respective rail and using a metal

>bolt will cause a rail to rail short.

>This would only be a short between the rails correct. Should not be a

>problem with the decoder.

>I believe the frame is a solid piece of metal???? On the >S2/S4

John, to answer your questions in reverse order:

I too remember the farme of the Atlas/Roco being one piece. I believe it is the Kato NW-2 that likes to short out if you use a metal machine screw to mount the coupler.

With an NW-2, shorting the frame halves together shorts out the track but does not affect the decoder.

Someone mentioned a coupler screw problem on this thread but I don't think it was me. I was just glad to see that I am not the only one who gets mixed up about which locomotive has what quirks.

Jim Banner


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