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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,
So i purchased a 494 rotary beacon off the bay. Light works but it wasn’t spinning so I purchased a new drive washer and used some graphite lubricant and it’s still not working. It doesn’t hum, but it does light up. Fingers of drive washer are pointing down. Not sure if I just need to take this thing completely apart and mess with the motor. Any thoughts? I have the Greenberg manual but still stumped
 

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You replaced the mechanical parts but complete lack of any buzz indicates the coil may not be working.
First test I would do is remove the bulb and then with a meter across the terminals check for continuity of the coil. The coil is simply in parallel to the bulb socket. If the bulb is removed, that only leaves the coil in the circuit.

Also, you are powering this with AC current not DC right? Just checking as this is one of those AC required accessories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I’m sorta new to this. I think I’m using AC. I have two LW transformers. One is for most of my accessories and the LW is for my track and lights. This beacon is coming off track power.
 

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As Jet says you should hear a hum. 494s work well as long as the rubber fingers are in good shape. Its the heat operated 394s that are problematic. I have found air circulation or vibration say from a train running on plywood will help get a 394 spinning.
You don’t need a lot of current. A single 25 watt transformer is more than enough.

Pete
 

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This beacon is coming off track power.
Well if you are running in conventional, many older trains run at relatively low voltages so you might need to wire that instead to a higher fixed voltage accessory output.

Again no buzz could be a couple of things:
#1 too low voltage
#2 possible open circuit (bad solder joint or connection or even just burned open circuit).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I took the train off the track and went up to 20 on the transformer and still no hum. I’ll check the coil with the meter, and see if there any connections that need to be soldered. Thanks for the advice!
Bill
 

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I found that my 494 beacon has been very reliable and worked great from the first time I used it. The only thing I had to do was replace the drive washer after years of use. If you got it off Ebay and it did not work on arrival, why keep it? Did the seller state it does not work and needs repair? If not you can probably get to return and get a refund including all shipping costs. A number of times I have had bad items from Ebay and in just about all cases I was able to get a full refund even when the seller said "no way will I give a refund".
 

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I found that my 494 beacon has been very reliable and worked great from the first time I used it. The only thing I had to do was replace the drive washer after years of use. If you got it off Ebay and it did not work on arrival, why keep it? Did the seller state it does not work and needs repair? If not you can probably get to return and get a refund including all shipping costs. A number of times I have had bad items from Ebay and in just about all cases I was able to get a full refund even when the seller said "no way will I give a refund".
+1. Even with a "No Refund" seller, if you didn't get what was advertised, eBay will step in a get you a refund every time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I like fixing these things haha. I don’t think the coil is wired properly. One end is soldered to the central bar but I’m not sure where the ground wire on the coil needs to be soldered
 

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If you look under the base, you'll see the two wire clips. One is insulated from the metal structure and attaches to the central bar up to the "motor". This would be the "hot" lead from the transformer for one coil lead. The other wire clip is simply attached to the metal base. The entire structure becomes the "ground" for the motor's other coil lead.

On another note, my 394 came missing the rotor's pin. I tried a quick fix, no joy. And, I decided, the red-green rotary beacon wasn't a match for my prewar layout (since disassembled for a house move). So I scratch built a simple wood shack for the platform and it became a fire watch tower. The original dimple bulb lights the interior of the shack deriving power exactly the same way a 494 motor does - central pole and metal structure providing the hot and ground connections. I should replace the special dimple bulb with an ordinary bulb. Someone may need it in the future.
 
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