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Thread: New Loco Up In Smoke

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    Default New Loco Up In Smoke

    Not sure if this is the correct category, but...
    I purchased a new Arnold U25C via Amazon and received it today. Right off the bat, it didn't want to run, although the lights would come on full. I checked my wiring, and confirmed voltage wasn't exceeding ~12v. Ran another loco on the track (a Kato F3) just fine. I placed the Arnold back on the track, and after manually moving forward & backward, it started to stutter a bit. Pulled it off and wiped the wheels down to make sure there was good contact. Finally started to run, although somewhat slow. Then it stopped and released what I refer to as the 'magic smoke', melting the top plastic shell directly above the motor. My concern is that the power is PWM and not plain DC. I thought I had researched enough regarding PWM to conclude it as safe for vanilla locomotives (non-DCC equipped). I seeking opinions on whether I just got a dud unit, or if my home-brew PWM power may have been responsible for the damage.

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    It sounds as if something in the U25C was binding and preventing the motor from turning freely. The same thing probably would have happened on any DC power supply. Being able to run the F3 without trouble seems to vindicate your power supply.

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    Regardless, I would assume a faulty unit and send it back for warranty. Don't mention your P/S is home made, just tell them other units ran fine.
    Daniel Dawson

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    As I had purchased through Amazon, the exchange for replacement option is available. I think when the replacement arrives, I'll start with plain DC power and then move on to the PWM power supply. I just wasn't sure if I had missed something before concluding that it was OK to run DC locomotives on PWM'd DC power. It was a spectacular fail though, what with all of the smoke and melted plastic.

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    I highly recommend that you remove the shell when you get the replacement and have it off when trying to run it.
    That way you can get an idea of any thing that is not correct.
    Did you remove the shell on the other one to look for m any problems when it would not work correctly? :chocho:
    Ken Price
    http://s567.photobucket.com/albums/s...ice/?start=all

    It's around 1996-1999. UP, MP, SP. South Valley Railroad. Some where in the west of Texas. Near San Angelo.
    Started in 2007, Super Empire Builder with radio throttles.

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    No, I did not think to remove the shell. Everything happened fairly quick. Third time on the track and poof. I'll add that to my test run on the replacement when I go to the pulsed power. I'll report back on this thread with the results either way (hopefully with good news). Should have the replacement by Friday if all goes well.

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    Reporting back as promised on the replacement unit. All seems well! I started with plain DC, shell off. Ran it for a few minutes with no issue. I switched over to my pulsed DC, and it ran consistently and smoothly as well.

    Now for a few gripes, which were pointed out in the spookshow review (http://www.spookshow.net/loco/arnoldu25c.html). As I had to remove both couplers to get the shell off, I did not realize that these couplers are not one piece. One of the two flew apart. Good lord, what sort of Chinese hell is this trying to get the thing back together with the little microscopic spring that wants to go airborne as you try to get it back into position? Well, my CB&Q #561 is currently running without a front-end coupler until I can get better magnification on the subject.

    Next gripe is the handrail. Definitely need to handle this unit with kid gloves, and probably will get a little glue to keep them in place. On the other hand, this is remarkably detailed, so I guess the handrail issue is the price to be paid. I just got back into N scale (and MRR) a month ago after 30+ years, so I'm blown away by the finer details compared to way back then. I just wish my eyesight was as good as back then!

    All in all, most pleased with it. A few 'repairs' and it will make a good addition to the collection.

    Edit: forgot to say thanks to the replies earlier!
    Last edited by andyst4545; 23rd Sep 2016 at 06:46 PM. Reason: thanks

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    Sorry to hear about your trouble with the engine, both the first one and about the coupler.

    I'm into old tractors too. What us old timers who have been around machinery for some time have figured out is that electrical things actually run on smoke. When, as you did with the first loco, let the smoke escape it will no longer function!

    Rick

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    I got a pair of Arnold U-boats when they had the Black buy-one-and-get-one-free sale. Both turned on their lights and grrrr'd under DC power, but would not move. When I took off the shells, I noticed that the power clips coming up to the board were sprung outboard. The engines ran when I put enough pressure on the board to keep the power clips in contact. A strip of Kapton tape held them in place and has worked since. I also had a coupler explode and couldn't find all the parts, so I substituted a MicroTrains Z-scale 905. A little bit of filing got it to fit. The other three OEM couplers got a touch with the soldering iron to keep them closed.

    Did I mention my two are Northern Pacific? Of course, getting engines whose prototypes are 10 years newer than the latest period I was modeling meant I had to start acquiring some newer cars.
    - Rob
    Interests in Northern Pacific, Missouri Pacific and predecessors
    Going in direction of FreemoN (and Freemo for leftover HO gear)

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