Author Topic: FVM GP60 contact strips  (Read 955 times)

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wmcbride

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FVM GP60 contact strips
« on: March 13, 2014, 12:08:59 AM »
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I've supported Fox Valley from the get-go and have quite a number of GEVOs and, for the early runs with the dim lights, replaced the yellow factory LEDs with bright white ones for and aft (as may of us did) and have been happy with the results and these engines in general.

I have three GP60Ms and two GP60Bs and I am wondering if I am hitting a streak of bad luck.

Has anyone else has had a problem with warped/twisted brass contact strips out of the box. Three of my five have this problem and, even with an Optivisor, it took me a few minutes to figure out why there was no juice.

It's fixable but left me shaking my head and wondering what's going on -- first shift production on Monday for these units ... or was I just a victim of the law of averages this time around.


Bill McBride

jereising

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Re: FVM GP60 contact strips
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2014, 08:30:53 AM »
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Never had a problem with their contact strips on any FVM - my five 60s were good. 

Did note a lack of Kapton tape on a couple though, one of which blew a decoder or two before I caught it.  If you're going to offer a loco with a DCC socket, you should make very certain it is properly insulated...
Jim Reising
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davefoxx

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Re: FVM GP60 contact strips
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2014, 09:48:29 AM »
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I didn't have the contact strip problem on my GP60M, either.  The installation of the DCC decoder was the easiest that I've ever done.  The mechanism on mine, however, was loud out of the box.  Apparently, my locomotive left the factory dry (or significantly underlubricated), but a light touch of some lubrication took care of that issue.  Even though the GP60M is an anachronism on my layout, I still do not regret the purchase and love this locomotive.

DFF

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Philip H

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Re: FVM GP60 contact strips
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2014, 10:18:33 AM »
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Considering the issues I still have with the decoder on my  thinking theres a short when I can't visually find one . . .  maybe there's kinked contacts strip I"m just not seeing. :facepalm:
Philip H.
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Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

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davefoxx

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Re: FVM GP60 contact strips
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2014, 10:43:02 AM »
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Considering the issues I still have with the decoder on my  thinking theres a short when I can't visually find one . . .  maybe there's kinked contacts strip I"m just not seeing. :facepalm:

If it were me, Philip, I would consider one of two things:
1) Tear the locomotive completely down and slowly put it back together, double checking the connections and watching for shorts; or
2) Send it back for repair or replacement while under warranty.  Watch your limited warranty expiration!

DFF

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
A Proud HOer

wmcbride

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Re: FVM GP60 contact strips
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2014, 11:04:44 AM »
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@Jim: I was really surprised since I've never come across that before. I've been lucky not to blow any decoders and have my roll of Kapton tape standing by.

@Dave: I really have not had a noisy one (well, maybe one was a bit) but they quieted down after a drop of lube and some running.

The only thing that irks me (besides the contact strips which were fixable) is the lighting. It was really noticeable last night when I had a Kato SD90 with NCE decoder on an adjacent track. An observer on the moon could probably see the Kato headlights and ditchlights. Sadly, the GP60M ditchlights were almost invisible and most of the light went to one headlight and the left number board. This has been discussed before so nothing new there.

I hope the SD70ACe's don't have any lighting issues like this.



Bill McBride

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Re: FVM GP60 contact strips
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2014, 12:40:54 PM »
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At risk of thread drift, I couldn't stand the dim ditchlights on the GP60M so I ripped out all of the "light tubing" and stuffed a 0603 into each light socket and hooked up the magnet wires to the headlight leads on the circuit board without much noticeable dimming. I do have to fix the light leaking out of the sides of the ditch light housings with some paint though.
Alvin
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C855B

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Re: FVM GP60 contact strips
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2014, 12:44:00 PM »
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Two of my four GP60s had the contact strip issue. Easy enough to fix. :shouldershrug:
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wmcbride

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Re: FVM GP60 contact strips
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2014, 03:38:04 PM »
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At risk of thread drift, I couldn't stand the dim ditchlights on the GP60M so I ripped out all of the "light tubing" and stuffed a 0603 into each light socket and hooked up the magnet wires to the headlight leads on the circuit board without much noticeable dimming. I do have to fix the light leaking out of the sides of the ditch light housings with some paint though.


I had looked (briefly) into fiber optics but info in the older GP60M thread by Mike Fifer and others indicated that might be fruitless.

Your solution is the way to go and easy enough to do for one unit (which will always be in the lead).
Bill McBride

fifer

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Re: FVM GP60 contact strips
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2014, 05:42:33 PM »
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I've supported Fox Valley from the get-go and have quite a number of GEVOs and, for the early runs with the dim lights, replaced the yellow factory LEDs with bright white ones for and aft (as may of us did) and have been happy with the results and these engines in general.

I have three GP60Ms and two GP60Bs and I am wondering if I am hitting a streak of bad luck.

Has anyone else has had a problem with warped/twisted brass contact strips out of the box. Three of my five have this problem and, even with an Optivisor, it took me a few minutes to figure out why there was no juice.

It's fixable but left me shaking my head and wondering what's going on -- first shift production on Monday for these units ... or was I just a victim of the law of averages this time around.
This has been a common problem I see when folks take the fuel tank off and the strips move and the fuel tank replaced without seeing the strips out of place. What I started doing is when I remove the tank I put a piece of Kapton tape all the way under and up over the two strips.
Mike
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.
 When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
 I wrote ‘happy’.
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
 -- John Lennon

wmcbride

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Re: FVM GP60 contact strips
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 06:23:45 PM »
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Mike,

I thought I may have bent one (and maybe I did) but then I looked at my remaining two fresh from the store and they were bent already.

I have learned over the years how to bend most anything - usually not in a good way...  :facepalm:

Bill McBride

Philip H

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Re: FVM GP60 contact strips
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2014, 08:55:34 AM »
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Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B