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Thread: TCS CN-GP troubleshooting

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    Default TCS CN-GP troubleshooting

    Having trouble with a TCS CN-GP in an old Atlas GP7 that had worked just fine for a few years until tonight... I had the shell off to add a couple drops of lubricant, and now I can only get a headlight to respond, no motor control at all, and the headlight does not reverse. My NCE Power Cab recognizes it on the programing track, I've tried a reset (tried both CV8=8, as well as CV8=2 that I found on a TCS website). I disassembled the thing when I started having problems and all the wires still appear attached, and I didn't see any places where the insulation is worn through or pinched to create a short. The decoder seems seated in the tabs in the frame just like always. Same problem whether the shell is on or off, and the trucks were free rolling when I took them out of the frame and I can spin the flywheels and motor by hand.

    It's probably something silly that I'll realize when I look at it again in the morning, but maybe not, and thought I'd seek some advice here.

    Oh, and @Moose2013, I know, I know, the problem is that it's a diseasel, but the GN paint is so purdy.

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    @OTFan
    Here's a long shot.
    Awhile back as we were sitting up for an OP's my buddy inadvertently shorted out the yard while cleaning some loco wheels. Not only did the yard PSX's go off, but the my Digitrax command station got set off.
    It was a hard short that lasted a while as he didn't know his watch was shorting across the rails.

    After we figured out what happened, NONE of my TCS equipped loco wanted to respond, Drop-ins or any of CN/CN-GP's. They all acted just as you described.
    With the OP's planned for first thing in the morning, I gave up, shut the layout down and was ready to cancel the session.

    As we headed upstairs, something crossed my mind about a certain TCS equipped loco that was just running earlier that day. So I went back and fired up the layout and
    called up that loco, it worked fine! Then to our amazement, ALL of the TCS equipped locos were now working?

    Did you encounter any shorts?
    Have you tried shutting down the layout and then turning it back on?

    Just a thought
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    Thanks Allen. Unfortunately when I turned it on this morning, I don't even have control of the headlight. I did notice however, that when I bumped one of the boards the LED momentarily glowed very faintly... I'm thinking maybe I do have a connectivity problem in there somewhere that I need to trace. No shorts that I noticed, and the other GP7 that I had running with this one also has a CN-GP decoder in it and is behaving normally. Darn gremlins...

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    I hear ya OT, it was just a shot in the dark. Could very well be a bad connection.
    I've come to not be a fan of TCS anymore, they just seem to be so sensitive to anything.
    I like the motor control and light options, but everyone I have seems to have issues.
    Digitrax may not be the best, but they work.

    Good luck finding the issue, let us know what you come up with.
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    I would bet good money that the motor wires are being pinched between the frame and motor. I've installed 6 or 7 of these and you REALLY have to do a good filing job for those wires to pass through. Enough so that if it was insufficient, even taking the shell off and back on again could cause a problem that wasn't there previously. If you disassemble the frame COMPLETELY and temp wire it to track power does the motor turn then?
    Daniel Dawson

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    Thanks guys. I ran out of time for it today, but I think it's time to take a harder look at those motor wires.

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    I have installed 50 or more of these. One thing I do is wire up the motor decoder wires first. I unsolder the gray and orange wires from the decoder. This lets me hook up the motor to these wires with out mounting the decoder halves.
    I then put the frames back together and then test for a short between the motor and the frame halves. If OK I then mount the decoder, cut my orange and gray wires to the correct length and solder them to the decoder. I also apply some solder to the decoder tabs where they slide into the frame slots to make a good contact. Both ends of the decoder MUST make contact with the frame. If you can pinch the wires by removing the shell and installing the shell there is a real problem. The spacers between the two frame halves should keep the frame VERY solid.

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    Thanks guys, got it working again. I never did spot the exact problem, but it had to have been the wires to the motor. I noticed the motor wasn't sitting quite square in the plastic motor saddle either, so I disassembled the thing including de-soldering the wires from the motor, re-soldered the wires to the motor (also taking the opportunity to flip the motor, which I had installed upside down the first time and had been using CVs to correct), and now it works fine. It's back to running in consist with another GP7 with another CN-GP decoder. I appreciate the help.

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    Good deal....thanks for keeping us informed.
    always good to know that things turned out well.
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    Another Nscale.net success story!
    Daniel Dawson

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