Author Topic: Is it just me?  (Read 255 times)

Traylor

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Is it just me?
« on: September 17, 2020, 07:29:17 PM »
Greetings all,
Iíve been on the forum now for awhile now but have never posted.
I didnít want my first one to sound negative but Iím about at my wits end here!
Iíve had my Railpro system for over three years now but have yet to successfully run two locos together, which was the main reason for the purchase.
Right out of the box there were issues with the handheld controller which went out to Ring for warranty repairs the first year.

About a year later I got one loco going but had problems with a second. Thinking it was the loco I reinstalled the module (both LM-3S) in another loco which promptly blew the lights out. Tried a third loco, nothing at all but pretty much destroyed the loco during installation and removal. (My bad)
I sent the module to a friend who tried everything he could to revive it but couldnít even detect it if I recall correctly.
I attempted to send it back to Ring but was told to try several things of which none were successful.
That module is now gone, perhaps recycled into a nice cellphone by now.  :)

So fast forward now to the zombie apocalypse going on, I decided to dig out the one loco with a module in it and give it a run to show some friends via the iPad.
I hit the start engine button and got more static than engine sounds. Thinking the speaker was pooched or had picked up debris I replaced it with another. No help.
I then tried a brand new out of the package speaker to no avail.
Before I put everything away one more time I thought maybe Iíd appeal to the masses here for some insight?

Iíd really like to give this one more try as Iím into this for well over a G note, which buys a heck of a lot of Loksound decoders as my friends like to point out. LOL
Sorry for being long winded and somewhat gloomy here.
Traylor


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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2020, 02:28:46 AM »
Welcome Traylor,

I don't think it's just you but there could have been things you did or didn't do that's made RailPro life not a very sweet experience for you. We'll see if we can work any of them out. I'm taking from your post that you only have one loco with an LM in it.

About a year later I got one loco going but had problems with a second. Thinking it was the loco I reinstalled the module (both LM-3S) in another loco which promptly blew the lights out. Tried a third loco, nothing at all but pretty much destroyed the loco during installation and removal. (My bad)

So I read from this you've tried 4 loco's in total:

You had a successful install in one loco (we'll call it Loco A). You did a second install (Loco B) but had problems which you thought were the model so tried the LM from Loco B in third loco Loco C which blew the lights. You then tried that same LM in a forth loco (Loco D which you call the third above) which you got no response at all. Is that correct?

Do you remember what Loco's B, C and D were and how you wired the LM up to them?

What was the problem that you thought was the model for Loco B?

With Loco C, What type of lighting did it have? The LM puts out near track voltage (about 14.6v for the RailPro PWR-56) to the light outputs so grain of wheat / grain of rice type globes and LED's need resistors to prevent them burning out.


Quote
I sent the module to a friend who tried everything he could to revive it but couldnít even detect it if I recall correctly.
I attempted to send it back to Ring but was told to try several things of which none were successful.

You didn't mention if your friend has any RailPro equipment so how did he try to revive / detect it?

It is possible that there was a short when you used it on Loco C and blew the lights that fried the LM but we'll never know now.

Quote
So fast forward now to the zombie apocalypse going on, I decided to dig out the one loco with a module in it and give it a run to show some friends via the iPad.

Not sure why your mentioning the iPad. Were you trying to control the loco in DCC mode using the iPad or were your friends watching remotely through your iPad?

Quote
I hit the start engine button and got more static than engine sounds. Thinking the speaker was pooched or had picked up debris I replaced it with another. No help.
I then tried a brand new out of the package speaker to no avail.

This sounds like the speaker is being over-driven, which can damage it and/or the LM though if it's just a single speaker install it's hard to imagine this is the reason. You can try reducing the volume and seeing if the "static" goes away. Also check that the connections between the LM and the speaker are good and solid.

Quote
Iíd really like to give this one more try as Iím into this for well over a G note, which buys a heck of a lot of Loksound decoders as my friends like to point out. LOL
Sorry for being long winded and somewhat gloomy here.

You can have a lot of problems with a heck of a lot of Loksound decoders too if things don't go your way! I'm not trying to sound smug or anything like that but if you had posted way back when you had these issues we may have been able to spare you some of the pain or steer you in the correct direction if we had identified a wrong direction being taken. Of course we may not have been able to either (and may not be able to now) but I'm sure that would still have been better than sitting on it for as long as you have.

We might be able to get a better idea of what's going on if you tell us:

- Whats your power and control setup
- What make and model this one working loco is
- How you installed and hooked up the LM to the loco.

- Tim

Traylor

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2020, 08:17:58 AM »
Hey Tim!
Yes I could have elaborated a wee bit more.

Iím running a Digitrax system with a power supply putting out the recommended Railpro voltage.
Loco A (LM1) was in a newer Kato SD40-2 with a speaker mount on the bottom, loco B (LM2) was a mid production Kato SD40-2, both had the pin connectors.
Loco B never ran right so I chalked it up to pickup issues. I reinstalled a DCC decoder in it and had no issues however.
Loco C was a proto 2000 SD60 with pin connectors and yes, grain of wheat bulbs (D'oh!) It ran ok with DCC but not the LM. Yes it is quite possible I killed it there...
Come to think of it I also had LM2 in a newer Atlas GP38-2 (loco D?) afterwards that never ran.  Hmmm...

It was at that point I sent LM2 to my friend who runs Railpro for diagnoses but it was un detectable.
I contacted Ring to see if there was a possible reset and if I could send it in but was told to try all the things my friend had done.
That would be about when it hit the recycling bucket. ;)

So having just one LM now it made no sense to keep it in loco A since I wanted to run it with its kin so I pulled it out and mounted it into loco E, a new Kato -9 with a bottom speaker mount. Ran and sounded fine for a little while but when I recently put it back on the rails the new issue (static) showed up.
I also tried a couple different harnesses to eliminate that as a possible defect.
Oh, I guess I mentioned the iPad to say Iím social distancing, no one was with me., didnít think about that.
Also Iím not a Microsoft fan but I did buy a laptop to download Railpro stuff. Guess thatíll be hitting Kijiji before long. LOL

Youíre absolutely right about DCC decoders going wonky too, I have a few dead ones here from over the years.
Well yeah my friend did suggest I post here some time back but as I mentioned I didnít want to start off like this.
Ok better get going with my day, thanx for the welcome and checking this out!

CPRail

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2020, 08:31:00 AM »
If Traylor is who I think it is, then I'm the friend with RP that he mentions. I plugged the suspect LM into one of my known working installs and my HC could not detect it. I'm pretty sure I posted to RPUG on it, but I can't recall.
Ian Lisakowski
Modelling CP Rail & VIA in the early 80's
Rabid Winnipeg Jets Fan - Go Jets Go!!

CPRail

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2020, 08:32:41 AM »
Ian Lisakowski
Modelling CP Rail & VIA in the early 80's
Rabid Winnipeg Jets Fan - Go Jets Go!!

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2020, 09:55:15 AM »
Ian,

Just re-read that thread. Your effort earned you a gold star in the department of friendship.

Traylor,

I know you didn't want your first post to be starting off with woes but I wouldn't have worried about that, we have more than a few first posts that are just a woe and asking for help to solve it, and we certainly don't have any rules that state that first posts must be warm and fuzzy and going on about "how much fun" RailPro is.

Anyway, analysing your extra info:

DigiTrax DCC as the track power. This should be ok in principal; they've been around a long time and their stuff is solid but there is a chance, though very remote, that it could kill an LM. The longer the electrical path (either rail or wire bus with feeders) from the track output on the booster to the end of the electrical path the more susceptible DCC is to voltage overshoot. There is info and oscilloscope traces on the net showing this over shoot to nearly 30v from memory. That can and does / has killed decoders and would probably kill an LM as well. Again, I say it's likely a very remote chance as the case, you usually need a very long electrical path for it to happen.

I've only got one Kato, but I've never opened it up (and it's packed away in storage at the moment though easily accessible) nor do I own any P2K or Atlas so I can't give much info on them but keep in mind what I'm about to say for all of them.

Depending on how recent the P2K loco is it might have RF suppression built onto the motherboard. LM's absolutely hate RF suppression and it causes very erratic and lousy performance. Many DCC decoders don't have this problem with RF suppression and perform flawlessly so I'd be checking all the loco's you had trouble with for RF suppression on the motherboards.

As for Loco E and the static, is the static like white noise or more like crackling/distortion? and it is a single speaker install isn't it?

I'd still try turning the volume down and see if it clears up and also checking that the connections are solid. If possible I'd also try it on pure DC as well to see if that makes any difference.

It's not a overly helpful suggestion I know but when this virus disaster is behind us sufficiently that you could visit, if your close to Ian perhaps you can get together and do an RP install together, Then you can have two sets of eyes on the install and make sure it works on yours and his HC etc.

- Tim

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2020, 11:07:18 AM »
Traylor, I sent you an email. I'm sorry that this hasn't worked out well for you.

The most common cause of an unresponsive LM is a short in the installation that fries a component on the power input. Ring generally charges $25 to repair this. He say's it's easy to spot when this has happened when he opens it up.

Contact me and I'll be happy to do what I can to get you going or take the product back.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


Traylor

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2020, 07:45:45 PM »
Hi Guys,
Yup Ian you are correct and I just read the thread you linked to, thanx to all for the input!
Tim and Bill, Iíll try some of the things youíve mentioned.
Itís getting cooler out so Iíll be spending more time in the train room before long, I guess we all will?
Cheers