Author Topic: New release Atlas C420  (Read 1860 times)

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drgw0579

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contacts
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2020, 08:40:16 AM »
+1
Friends that work at another vendor of N scale locomotives tell me that the #1 cause of warranty repairs was the misalignment of the truck contacts with the pickup strips.  The expert modelers here may never have this problem, as they know how to fix it, but perhaps its a source of frustration for the newer modelers who want the locomotive to run out of the box with no issues.

If you were in charge of the product line, what would you do?

Bill Kepner

kscessandriver

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Re: contacts
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2020, 09:11:26 AM »
0
Friends that work at another vendor of N scale locomotives tell me that the #1 cause of warranty repairs was the misalignment of the truck contacts with the pickup strips.  The expert modelers here may never have this problem, as they know how to fix it, but perhaps its a source of frustration for the newer modelers who want the locomotive to run out of the box with no issues.

If you were in charge of the product line, what would you do?

Bill Kepner

I would tend to think this is the line of thinking used to go to the wires for pickup. I just bought a used Rapido FL9, that was listed as a “poor runner”. After taking it apart, it was obvious that the brass pickup strips were not aligned properly, and as soon as I fixed that, the thing runs great.

I’ve not had any problems with the Atlas wire pickups yet.

Albert in N

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Re: New release Atlas C420
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2020, 09:20:17 AM »
0
 :?  Could the wires be related to a new Chinese factory producing current locomotives?  In the past per my elderly memory, Sanda Kan (in China) made Life Like and Atlas locomotives.  In 2008, Kader (Bachmann) bought Sanda Kan and later parted ways with Atlas and possibly other customers.  In fact, I am not sure that Kader still uses Sanda Kan to produce model railroad products. 
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 09:21:48 AM by Albert in N »

Cajonpassfan

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Re: New release Atlas C420
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2020, 08:47:17 PM »
0
Not to argue this one way or another, but I’ve *never* had a wire connection fail. Not once. Am I just lucky? Does that happen a lot, occasionally, sometimes? Is it about bad solder joints, or wire eventually twisting and breaking off? Is it actually a serious issue? Or a potential problem...?

I’m not being flip, this is straightforward question. I do know I’ve had connectivity problems on some wireless contacts, especially with sound. But I do like the freedom to pop the trucks off without worrying about dangling wires. On the other hand, my old sound equipped wireless Intermountain FT’s are giving me the connectivity fits and polishing the contacts is getting old....I’m thinking of hardwiring them....?
Otto K.

Steveruger45

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Re: New release Atlas C420
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2020, 09:40:17 PM »
0
Not to argue this one way or another, but I’ve *never* had a wire connection fail. Not once. Am I just lucky? Does that happen a lot, occasionally, sometimes? Is it about bad solder joints, or wire eventually twisting and breaking off? Is it actually a serious issue? Or a potential problem...?

I’m not being flip, this is straightforward question. I do know I’ve had connectivity problems on some wireless contacts, especially with sound. But I do like the freedom to pop the trucks off without worrying about dangling wires. On the other hand, my old sound equipped wireless Intermountain FT’s are giving me the connectivity fits and polishing the contacts is getting old....I’m thinking of hardwiring them....?
Otto K.

Hi Otto,
My experience is much the same as yours. The copper strip contacts are generally good and a well proven design but can often be the culprit and most noticeable on sound locos.  Especially if you dont run them often.  I have had success with coating the contact points, after polishing them, with NoOxId to prevent/slow down oxidation.  But I am now experimenting with wired trucks on a couple of the most bothersome locos that I have.  Namely old 90’s vintage atlas 4 axle units.  I use esu decoder wire, which is small and very flexible and run them to the tank area and connect them to the original slot for the original contact strip, being sure to leave enough slack for the trucks to turn. This makes the truck still easyish  to remove. It’s  too early for me to say if this is the way to go but so far it has worked for me.
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

Point353

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Re: New release Atlas C420
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2020, 09:46:56 PM »
0
Not to argue this one way or another, but I’ve *never* had a wire connection fail. Not once. Am I just lucky? Does that happen a lot, occasionally, sometimes? Is it about bad solder joints, or wire eventually twisting and breaking off? Is it actually a serious issue? Or a potential problem...?

I’m not being flip, this is straightforward question. I do know I’ve had connectivity problems on some wireless contacts, especially with sound. But I do like the freedom to pop the trucks off without worrying about dangling wires. On the other hand, my old sound equipped wireless Intermountain FT’s are giving me the connectivity fits and polishing the contacts is getting old....I’m thinking of hardwiring them....?
Otto K.
The locos Mehano made for Atlas and MRC that I had exhibited both bad solder joints and broken wires on a regular basis.
While trying to resolder a bad joint, you tried not to melt any of the adjacent plastic parts on the trucks.
If a wire broke, you hoped there would be enough slack remaining so that the trucks would still pivot properly. 

Both problems disappeared after (most) manufacturers adopted the wireless contact system.
Perhaps I don't have any trouble with it because I treat all of the contact points with DeoxIT.
Also, I keep the track and wheels clean.

Do the sound decoders in your Intermountain FT locos have keep-alive capacitors?

Joetrain59

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Re: New release Atlas C420
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2020, 12:47:52 AM »
0
Attached is a photo of the wire from trucks to frame. Looks like the wire going into frame is crimped/soldered to some type of pin.
 Looks like the truck pickup is still the same as with contact strips. Wires are not called out on parts diagram. This could be a nice fix for the LL/WKW SW's.
 It would be nice if we could buy them from Atlas, or if someone knows the "pin" used into the frame.
 Joe D

u18b

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Re: New release Atlas C420
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2020, 11:01:41 PM »
0
I have 3 non-sound GP39-2s.

I plan to add the old wipers "just because" to add reliability for the day when a wire breaks.

But then again, since I don't have my layout (yet), I won't be running them enough to break a wire anyway.



Ron Bearden
CSX N scale Archivist
http://u18b.com

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

Steveruger45

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Re: New release Atlas C420
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2020, 09:12:02 AM »
0
I have 3 non-sound GP39-2s.

I plan to add the old wipers "just because" to add reliability for the day when a wire breaks.

But then again, since I don't have my layout (yet), I won't be running them enough to break a wire anyway.

Ha.  Yes, wires under constant movement will eventually break at some point in time.
The biggest issue I have found with this design is being sure to position wires correctly When putting the shell back on.
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

squirrelhunter

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Re: New release Atlas C420
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2020, 11:06:49 AM »
+1
If you plan to work on the trucks, especially if it involves removing the sideframes be aware the wires may break. The wire are very flexible, but they also break easily.

I just think they add complexity and don't do a thing to solve the chief culprit of sound cut outs, dirty wheels/track. To take off the trucks now requires disassembling the entire locomotive versus loosening the screws and having the trucks drop out.

Steveruger45

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Re: New release Atlas C420
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2020, 11:40:46 AM »
0
If you plan to work on the trucks, especially if it involves removing the sideframes be aware the wires may break. The wire are very flexible, but they also break easily.

I just think they add complexity and don't do a thing to solve the chief culprit of sound cut outs, dirty wheels/track. To take off the trucks now requires disassembling the entire locomotive versus loosening the screws and having the trucks drop out.

I tend to agree with you, but dirty track and wheels is also not solved by the contact strip method of power transfer.  All in all It’s just another challenge to overcome.
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

cjm413

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Re: New release Atlas C420
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2020, 12:57:20 PM »
0
Attached is a photo of the wire from trucks to frame. Looks like the wire going into frame is crimped/soldered to some type of pin.
 Looks like the truck pickup is still the same as with contact strips. Wires are not called out on parts diagram. This could be a nice fix for the LL/WKW SW's.
 It would be nice if we could buy them from Atlas, or if someone knows the "pin" used into the frame.
 Joe D

The GP39-2 parts diagram shows a single part comprised of the truck contact, wire, and pin, which pretty much makes it useless for the shorter wheelbase of the AAR-A trucks on the LL/WKW SW.

In theory, that part should be compatible with the GP15-1 trucks.

In practice, the objective with the GP15-1 would be to supplement the direct (and somewhat unreliable) electrical contact between the truck contact and frame rather than to replace it.  Accordingly, adding the wire and pin (or its functional equivalent) to the existing contacts would be the better option.

Ngineer

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Re: contacts
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2020, 05:36:09 PM »
0
I’ve not had any problems with the Atlas wire pickups yet.

I have exactly one loco that is making problems, an SD35 with the new wires.

The trucks are uneven. It's hard to explain, but when you put the loco on an even surface, you can rock it from side to side. One side of the truck is in the air, while the rest is touching ground. (All other locos with wires are fine.)

The thing is: with contact strips you some kind of suspension that would overcome this problem.

I guess I should open the where the truck is inside the frame to see if there is anything odd inside that gives this effect.  :|

   Javier

ChristianJDavis1

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Re: contacts
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2020, 05:42:27 PM »
0
I have exactly one loco that is making problems, an SD35 with the new wires.

The trucks are uneven. It's hard to explain, but when you put the loco on an even surface, you can rock it from side to side. One side of the truck is in the air, while the rest is touching ground. (All other locos with wires are fine.)

The thing is: with contact strips you some kind of suspension that would overcome this problem.

I guess I should open the where the truck is inside the frame to see if there is anything odd inside that gives this effect.  :|

   Javier

I've seen a similar problem before, and it ended up being that the wires were so still they were pushing the locomotive up on one side, giving it a very visible lean. Try bending the wires down so they aren't pushing up on the locomotive.
- Christian J. Davis

rrjim1

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Re: contacts
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2020, 05:50:04 PM »
+1
I have exactly one loco that is making problems, an SD35 with the new wires.

The trucks are uneven. It's hard to explain, but when you put the loco on an even surface, you can rock it from side to side. One side of the truck is in the air, while the rest is touching ground. (All other locos with wires are fine.)

The thing is: with contact strips you some kind of suspension that would overcome this problem.

I guess I should open the where the truck is inside the frame to see if there is anything odd inside that gives this effect.  :|

   Javier
To fix the problem, disassemble the chassis and remove a little of the frame material were the truck fits into the frame. I used a small file and removed a little at a time until the truck would rock back and forth. Contact strips would not fix this problem, the SD35 is the only new loco with this problem all the others are fine.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 05:51:49 PM by rrjim1 »