Author Topic: Whatsit?  (Read 2617 times)

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CBQ Fan

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2019, 12:43:59 PM »
0
Some folks replaced the traction tired wheels with regular wheels and saw improvement.

This is what I did on my fleet of e units. It was worth the effort.
Brian

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diezmon

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2019, 01:24:33 PM »
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Good ideas.  What about simply pulling the rubber tread off?

C855B

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2019, 01:49:04 PM »
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Wheels are grooved for the tire. I never tried running without the tires, but if I wanted to do that I would swap the wheelset with the center pair, but that still wouldn't be any assurance that it wouldn't be snag-city on turnouts.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I never really had much of a problem with poor operation. Two reasons, the first being that I always ran them ABBBA, semi-modeling the City of Everywhere of the late '60s. So if one dropped contact for a fraction of a second, between the flywheels and four other units pushing it along, it went unnoticed.

The second is they are non-sound. That generation of BLI's sound board was notorious for shutting down and repeating the whole restart sequence on every track contact glitch. I would guess that particular characteristic was why you hid yours away in a box/closet/whatever and forgot you had it.
...mike

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skytop35

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2019, 01:56:43 PM »
+3
Replacing the traction tire wheelsets works like a charm. So does replacing the Paragon decoder and speaker. I used a LokSound V5 and added two 11X15 mm speakers in parallel. This puppy is VERY loud indeed. There is also room for a true Keep Alive Power Pack from ESU but I had to shave a bit of the frame with a Dremel cut-off disc to get it to fit on its side. Now the motor and sound runs for several seconds after I take it off the tracks!

Bill Denton

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diezmon

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2019, 02:10:44 PM »
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Ok, next question!   I popped the sideframes off and replaced the traction wheels from another unit. Now, for the life of me, I can't snap the sideframes back on.  I get one set of groups to snap, not not the other. So now I have two units and can't get the sideframes snapped back on.

Something terribly obvious I'm missing here?

I don't even see how they can snap back into these tiny notches


diezmon

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2019, 02:12:19 PM »
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...notorious for shutting down and repeating the whole restart sequence on every track contact glitch.

This is exactly what happens.  It's pretty frustrating.  Good track and clean wheels even

wazzou

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2019, 02:33:56 PM »
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This is exactly what happens.  It's pretty frustrating.  Good track and clean wheels even


Man, if the sound just stuttered and picked up where it left off is one thing but to go through the engine start all over again is a pretty inexplicably bad deal.
Bryan

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C855B

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2019, 02:56:52 PM »
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Man, if the sound just stuttered and picked up where it left off is one thing but to go through the engine start all over again is a pretty inexplicably bad deal.

Yeah, it was really bad. It was also indicative of HO-think in the design. Another recent thread here commented about N models are somewhat cursed with wheel-track contact issues because of a lot less weight relative to their bigger brothers. That weight is what breaks through the molecule-thin oxidation layer on both contact surfaces that's going to be there regardless of thoroughness of cleaning. So I can understand where BLI's (and others') long experience with something that shows-up rarely in HO such as the sound board reboot would be (and was) a major product issue in N. Doesn't make it right, but they did eventually learn the hard lesson.

... Now the motor and sound runs for several seconds after I take it off the tracks!

Which is my cringe with too much keep-alive - loss of control. Ride-through is one thing, riding off the rails into the sunset is another.  ;)
...mike

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skytop35

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2019, 04:11:45 PM »
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Which is my cringe with too much keep-alive - loss of control. Ride-through is one thing, riding off the rails into the sunset is another.  ;)

Yes, it's overkill but it's adjustable. There is a CV to set the max to however many seconds one desires.
Bill Denton

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atsf_arizona

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2019, 10:34:37 AM »
+2
Ok, next question!   I popped the sideframes off and replaced the traction wheels from another unit. Now, for the life of me, I can't snap the sideframes back on.  I get one set of groups to snap, not not the other. So now I have two units and can't get the sideframes snapped back on.

Something terribly obvious I'm missing here?

I don't even see how they can snap back into these tiny notches

Hi, I have some photos of replacing the BLI/PCM E unit wheelsets here, as well as my experience with improving the electrical pickup on these. 

Yes, putting in the replacement wheelsets helped.  Didn't make it perfect, but made it noticeably better, to the point where it "almost always runs w/o cutting out":

https://pbase.com/atsf_arizona/bli_n_pa1_wheelset_replace

Some samples, I have about 15 photos there, couple of them that may help:





Hope this helps.   :)

Happy Holidays, all.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 10:39:02 AM by atsf_arizona »
John Sing
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randgust

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2019, 10:55:23 AM »
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John, great to see you posting again!

And if anybody knows how to document, it's you.

But I'll admit my enduring distrust of all things BLI started when we test-ran your PA1 on my layout.  Yeesh.  Between the stalling and the derailments, that was enough for me.  So if you've figured out how to beat any of the kind of things I saw, everybody should pay attention.

DeltaBravo

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2019, 09:56:21 PM »
0
This thread inspired me to go and look at my two BLIs that haven't seen a rail in over a year because of this issue. I had sent one back for a failed board several years ago. And guess what I just found in the bottom the box tonight? You guessed it a new set of wheels without traction tires. Makes me wonder why, if they had the engine splayed out on the workbench, they wouldn't just go ahead and swap out the wheelset? Or why they never told me the included the new wheelset in the first place.
I just sent them an email asking about a wheelset for my PA. Let's hope they still have some in stock.
David B.
 
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atsf_arizona

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2019, 07:21:29 AM »
+1
John, great to see you posting again!

And if anybody knows how to document, it's you.

But I'll admit my enduring distrust of all things BLI started when we test-ran your PA1 on my layout.  Yeesh.  Between the stalling and the derailments, that was enough for me.  So if you've figured out how to beat any of the kind of things I saw, everybody should pay attention.

Thx, Randy, nice to hear from you too.

I'm glad my pictures can be of help. I've learned that if I don't document with pictures for my own sake.... someday I'll need to do the operation over again and for sure I won't remember what I did the first time :( .

Regarding the BLI electrical pickup problems.... after multiple BLI N scale locomotives, I share your dis-trust of their electrical pickup.  Their electrical pickup shortcomings on my BLI PA1s, E units, Centipedes convinced me to not even consider buying their:

  • F7
  • More PA1s
  • More E8 ATSF units
  • 2-8-2 Mikado
  • GE AC6000CW
  • More Centipedes (SAL)

So if they wonder why they're not selling more N scale locomotives.... if they knew how many more locomotives they would sell if they only had electrical pickup on par with Athearn, Atlas, Fox Valley, Kato, etc (or capacitors even).....   they unsold me on a ton of revenue due to their electrical pickup.  :( for them.   Good for my wallet saving money to spend on their competitors.

That having been said, the wheelset replacement helps in majority of cases.  Like I said, from "not acceptable" to "almost good enough".  But "almost good enough" is still too hit-miss for me to spend any more on BLI. 

I went for the PRR T1 just because it's so iconic.  Haven't had too many problems with it.  But I see that others have.....   

Too bad, BLI brings out some great loco selections.  Their implementation of electrical pickup is a deal-killer for me.

If they or someone ever comes up with decent retro-fit way to resolve these issues, I'd consider a "retro-fit" kit purchase and maybe change my mind.  Until then....

(Hmmm, I wonder if there's a market for a retro-fit kit for fixing BLI electrical pickup....  I remember the old retro-fit kits to solve the late 1980's Kato GP7 ugly truck spacing issue.....)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2019, 01:51:40 PM by atsf_arizona »
John Sing
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Modeling the Santa Fe's Peavine Line (Ash Fork -> Phoenix, Arizona) during the 50s and 60s

diezmon

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2019, 08:46:13 AM »
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Hi, I have some photos of replacing the BLI/PCM E unit wheelsets here, as well as my experience with improving the electrical pickup on these. 

Yes, putting in the replacement wheelsets helped.  Didn't make it perfect, but made it noticeably better, to the point where it "almost always runs w/o cutting out":

Cool.  I'll give this a shot today.  I did manage to get it on the tracks with the replaced wheels, and man what a difference that made. 

rrjim1

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Re: Whatsit?
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2019, 11:26:43 AM »
+1
I purchased two of the newest run Atlas SD35 sound equipped locos. They ran terrible, stalling over every switch. I found that the trucks were way to tight in the frame and wheels would lift up going over a switch. I disassembled the loco and put the 2 frame pieces back together and filed a little off the bottom were the trucks go into the frame. That did the trick, they run perfect now!   I also checked out my BLI locos and I see the same problem with there trucks. I haven't had time to work on them yet but plan to some day.