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Old 02-27-2008, 07:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 1,976
Default RE: Looking for protype LNER Teak info


I hate intermitten problems.¬* I like it when I can pinpoint a reason for a failure.¬* This is not happening with my Mallard.¬*¬*

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this system,¬* the locomotive contains the controls, throttle, cylinders and lubricator. The tender contains the boiler.¬* A high pressure hose carries steam from the boiler to the throttle/ reverser¬*header.¬* There are two electrical boxes, a transformer that plugs in to the wall and a controller that is fed from the transformer by a 4 wire heavy duty cable.¬* Two wires go to the tracks.¬* When power is switched on at the transformer box,¬* the voltage applied to the tracks is set by moving a wheel to one of 4 positions.¬*¬*The highest position is called Super Heat and is used to bring the boiler temperature up¬*quickly.¬* The lowest is not actually a setting, but kind of like another off switch.¬* There are two intermediate settings that are used when running.¬* The throttle and reverser are combined in¬*a momentary three position spring switch.¬* The center position is the normal one and springs keep it there.¬* Getting the loco to run one way or the other is accomplished by holding the switch for short periods of time against one side or the other.¬* A small servo motor in the locomotive adjusts throttle position and reverser position.¬* To stop, you must throw the switch to the opposite side and hold it there until your loco comes to a halt.¬* Of course, I am simplifying, as there are may ways to get the engine to slow down.¬*¬*

Alarms sound when:
The loco is off the track and there is no load on the electrical circuit.
Water is gone from the boiler (a sensor )

When the alarm sounds, power is also cut from the throttle control box to the track.¬*¬* I have been having an issue where the alarm sounds when the loco is sitting on the termianl (power) track with water in the boiler.¬* The voltmeter on the throttle box shows there is a load.¬*

Last night, Luke obliged after I read him some stories and rocked him to sleep (and that is way more rewarding than anything I've ever done with a train by the way!).¬* I went down to the basement and starting to tinker.¬* FIrst, I replaced the seal on the boiler water fill plug.¬* The old one didn't look too bad, but it was a little beat up, so it was probably good I replaced it.¬*¬*

Then, I tried steaming up.¬* First was super heat.¬* After 7 seconds,¬* the alarm sounded.¬* I tried a few other throttle settings and then, for an unknown reason, the alarm did not sound, and water was boiled.¬* Once we reached operating pressure, as indicated by the safety release popping a few times,¬* I slowly started running her.¬* At first, she ran a little rough.¬* Once the cylinders were warmed up and clear, she ran very well forward and backward.¬* I was able to operate her with superheat settings, and almost no throttle, but¬*I stopped after a short time because I feel this is hard on the engine.¬* She ran for about 20 mintues, and I decided to go to bed, so I backed her carefully in to her siding and shut her down.¬*¬*

No idea as to why the loco will steam some times and not others.¬*¬*

The voltmeter showed me that maybe I need to do some more track work.¬* Sitting on the terminal track, she drew 14 volts.¬* Moving down the line a little bit, she was drawing 16-17 volts.¬* No difference in throttle settings, either.¬* The loop she runs on has 3 switches, two #6's back to back with the frogs on the same side and a #4 with the frog on the opposite side.¬* It could very well be that I need to run a jumper around the switches.¬* I did burn up Atals terminal tracks when I first tried running this engine.¬* I can't imagine how many amps she pulls.¬*¬*

Any ideas welcome!! Direct combustion of coal, gas or alcohol is not an option! This is a plastic train!¬* We use only the finest Nuclear or Dirty Coal (from Brunner's Island) generated electricity for this basement railroad!! Alcohol is reserved for the driver as this railroad operates on a bar.¬* Besides, its a waste to burn good bourbon or single malt scotch.¬* I geuss I should only be allowed to consume Single Malt scotch when running the likes of Mallard...

Thanks for letting this discussion of a smaller live steamer happen here.¬* The horby live steam site is not as much fun.¬*


Mark Oles
Millersvillanova Railroad, Lancaster, PA
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