Author Topic: Burned out board?  (Read 956 times)

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Bob

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Burned out board?
« on: November 19, 2018, 07:16:07 AM »
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Hi everyone - I'm still relatively new to this.  In the evenings, I often run several trains on the layout (all ESU equipped, most with sound), but sometimes I wander off back to the workshop.  One of the locos derailed at a crossover, and shorted things out.  It is now dead as a doorknob, and if I place it on the track everything shuts down, so it must be shorted out.  Before I open the loco up (one of the nice ScaleTrains ES44s), can anyone tell me what to expect?  I'm guessing I need to replace the board, but might there be something else to look for? Thanks!

Billg

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 09:02:30 AM »
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Hi Bob,

Do you have a "Program Track"?
Bill W.

Steveruger45

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 09:14:15 AM »
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Hi everyone - I'm still relatively new to this.  In the evenings, I often run several trains on the layout (all ESU equipped, most with sound), but sometimes I wander off back to the workshop.  One of the locos derailed at a crossover, and shorted things out.  It is now dead as a doorknob, and if I place it on the track everything shuts down, so it must be shorted out.  Before I open the loco up (one of the nice ScaleTrains ES44s), can anyone tell me what to expect?  I'm guessing I need to replace the board, but might there be something else to look for? Thanks!

You may be ok with the decoder.  I would take off the shell and inspect closely for any shorts first.  If or when clear then place on programming track or use the lokprogrammer, if it is an ESU decoder, to see if it’s still alive. 
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 09:16:33 AM by Steveruger45 »
Steve
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peteski

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2018, 03:21:15 PM »
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If you place that loco on a DCC-powered track it shorts it out and shuts down the booster then yes, there is an internal short in it betwenn the left and right rail pickups. Guaranteed!

Need to open it up and start looking around for melted together wires. Hopefully that will be the problem and not the decoder itself.
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Bob

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 08:07:40 PM »
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Thanks everyone - I will open up one of the locos tonight and look carefully for something obvious.  Hopefully, as you all suggest, the ESU decoder will be OK!

nscaler711

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 09:26:55 PM »
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Take pictures!!
Have yet to see the innards of the Scale Trains ET44.

Please? :)
Science isn't about why, it's about why not. Why is so much of our science dangerous? Why not marry safe science if you love it so much? In fact, why not invent a special safety door that won't hit you in the butt on the way out, because you are fired! Not you, test subject, you're doing fine.

Steveruger45

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 10:05:58 PM »
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Take pictures!!
Have yet to see the innards of the Scale Trains ET44.

Please? :)

Spookshow has them well described with an internal photo
Steve
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peteski

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 10:48:51 PM »
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--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
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-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

Bob

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 11:24:59 PM »
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Wow!  The Spookshow photos are great.  So, you all are right - the boards are probably fine.  Taking the shell off is a piece of cake.  Remove two small screws from the coupler boxes, front and rear (see photo).  Push the coupler boxes out (I pushed from the rear of each box with tweezers).  Once this is done, the shell comes off easily.  The first photo shows the screws that must be removed, and then two images of the engine without the shell.  The culprit leading to the short was obvious - there are two pickup wires from the front truck, one red and one black - for some reason I can't post this photo in this particular post, so I will attach it in a second post to follow immediately.  These were fused together, and in parts the insulation was detached from the cooper wire, leading to the short.  So, I will need to splice in new wire.  Not such a fun job, but should be manageable.  Thanks to everyone for their replies and advice.
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Bob

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2018, 11:25:38 PM »
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Here is the other photo.
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peteski

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 04:12:58 AM »
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Thanks for the follow-up. Judging by the symptoms, that is what I expected to see.
This type of damage usually occurs when a loco partially crosses into a block with opposite polarity, so the front truck and rear truck are at opposite polarity. Or at least on one side (like the wheels on the left side of the front truck are at a opposite polarity than the wheels on the rear truck's left side.  The truck's thin hookup wires passing high current act like heaters, melting insulation and shorting against other wires touching them.  The decoder might also have scrambled internal memory (CVs) which will require a full decoder reset. Or if you are lucky, it might work just fine after you fix the wiring.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 07:50:55 AM by peteski »
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

Bob

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2018, 06:57:30 AM »
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Thanks for all of the advice - it is great how experienced modelers on this forum help out others as we learn the ins- and outs- of this hobby!

nscaler711

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2018, 10:37:38 AM »
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Looks like they took a lot from Athearn HO frame designs, at least judging from these pics anyhow, as far as how the trucks are mounted, and the fact you have to remove the couplers to remove the shell.
Thanks guys.
Science isn't about why, it's about why not. Why is so much of our science dangerous? Why not marry safe science if you love it so much? In fact, why not invent a special safety door that won't hit you in the butt on the way out, because you are fired! Not you, test subject, you're doing fine.

Steveruger45

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2018, 02:47:22 PM »
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The frame design also looks similar to the Arnold-Hornby U25/28C, including the need to remove the couplers to get the shell off.  Glad you found the culprit and yes, what Peteski said, if the decoder is ok, and I believe it should be, you still may need to do a decoder reset.  Oh BTW, as you have the shell off could you measure and let us know the internal width and length of the shell and the external width and length of the frame please.  Interested in what other shells would fit this frame and vice versa.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 03:02:00 PM by Steveruger45 »
Steve
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peteski

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Re: Burned out board?
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2018, 03:13:19 PM »
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Looks like they took a lot from Athearn HO frame designs, at least judging from these pics anyhow, as far as how the trucks are mounted, and the fact you have to remove the couplers to remove the shell.
Thanks guys.

Not surprising as IIRC, the Scale Trains guys are ex-Athearn employees with experience in H0 trains.  I still prefer designs which minimize the rat's nests of wires inside.  Yes, like Kato, or some of the recent IM locos.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
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-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"