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Discussion Starter #1
I have the Lionel postwar set #463W from 1945, the one set they offered in the year-end 4 page catalog.

The 224 steam engine seems to run OK. It'll keep a nice, smooth, even, moderate speed. Except that it needs around 16 volts (the amps are steady at .5). Makes no difference whether its pulling a train or running alone. It doesn't heat up or anything. And the wheels and rollers turn nice and easy. Nothing feels like its binding. Of course, it doesn't leave much extra throttle for an incline.

Is this normal for a 224? Thanks for any info.
 

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It's been awhile since I ran my 224 locomotives, but I don't recall them needing that much throttle to get moving. They're some of the smoothest and best running locomotives I own by far.

A couple of questions. What type of transformer are you using? Has the locomotive been completely serviced as far as dismantling the mechanism to clean the commutator surface, check brushes and lube?
 

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Can you turn up the throttle (e.g., speed) to have the loco running too fast - derail? What transformer and what type of meter (make-model, pic) are you using?

Based on your description, I'd think the Loco is running fine. Perhaps it has a very low gear ratio. That's usually a good thing.

I ask about the transformer and meter because the modern transformers vary throttle by varying the duty cycle of the power sine wave. Not by varying it's amplitude. And many budget meters will not display the correct equivalent AC voltage - always displaying the AC equivalent of the peak voltage. You would need a "true rms" meter for an accurate reading of the equivalent AC voltage. You usually don't find those at Home Depot or the local hardware store.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm using a ZW-C with Lionel's add-on meter, and three 180 bricks.

Yes, when I got the engine, I took it all apart. Cleaned brushes, commutator, wheels, etc. Lubricated gears, axles, etc. But it made no difference.

If any other of my engines showed this symptom, I'd suspect the transformer. But the others use much lower voltage. (I have a fairly even mix of modern, postwar, and pre.)

Yes, there's enough throttle left to go too fast. Not by much, since its already at 16v.

BTW, it does indeed run very smooth. It just needs a lot of throttle.
 

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A quandary for sure.

Some SWAG ...

Previous owner put a diode in line with the field winding thus cancelling half of the power from the transformer. Perhaps to slow the engine for more prototypical operation (and less derailing from over zealous operators). Or a unique poor connection with corrosion acting like a semiconductor -diode.

Armature was cleaned with a solvent removing some enamel thus shorting some windings. That would require a higher voltage on the field windings to attain speed. That could be measured - the impedance between armature windings. A quick search turned up 0.5 to 2.0 ohms as a baseline impedance between armature windings. At the least, the three measurements should be consistent.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A quandary for sure.

Some SWAG ...

Previous owner put a diode in line with the field winding thus cancelling half of the power from the transformer. Perhaps to slow the engine for more prototypical operation (and less derailing from over zealous operators). Or a unique poor connection with corrosion acting like a semiconductor -diode.

Armature was cleaned with a solvent removing some enamel thus shorting some windings. That would require a higher voltage on the field windings to attain speed. That could be measured - the impedance between armature windings. A quick search turned up 0.5 to 2.0 ohms as a baseline impedance between armature windings. At the least, the three measurements should be consistent.
Mike,

Interesting ideas. OK, I'll take it back apart and have a look. Thank you.
 

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Yes thats a lot of voltage for a 224 as i have the 224e several 2025s several 675s all baldwin wheel types which were a little earlier than the spoke wheels and they all have the same type of motor at 16 v they may derail or run way to fast .Something in the wiring may be grabbing the voltage being applied try running it without shell on for a llittle bit then without power on try seeing if any wire or armature or e-unit is hot to the touch.
 

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... Makes no difference whether its pulling a train or running alone. .
This statement throws me off track (no pun intended). I took it as the loco's speed is the same at 16 V with or without towing a train.

If there was a poor connection it would add impedance in-line with the motor's field windings. As the loco's load increases (i.e. more cars) the current also increase. The increase in current would translate to an increase in voltage drop across the poor connection. Like a double whammy, heavier load and less voltage to the motor.

Of course if the "train" is a few featherweight plastic cars, that may not be much of a load to notice.


Am I reading that statement wrong?
 

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Thinking power does go thru the e-unit it could be robbing the current somehow especially if after running for a while its hot to the touch. Just one of many things to check but that would be someting to check first along with the motor getting hot which the e-unit may or may not make happen .
As mentioned earlier in thread 16 volts is high and it should run real fast at that voltage.something is stealing your voltage as i have these .
Now my 2343 f3 diesels and twin motor 2330 GG1 with twin motors will suck up some voltage but not my 224e and others similar, 16 volts is not to norm .for a 224e.
Let us know what you find please.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This statement throws me off track (no pun intended). I took it as the loco's speed is the same at 16 V with or without towing a train.

If there was a poor connection it would add impedance in-line with the motor's field windings. As the loco's load increases (i.e. more cars) the current also increase. The increase in current would translate to an increase in voltage drop across the poor connection. Like a double whammy, heavier load and less voltage to the motor.

Of course if the "train" is a few featherweight plastic cars, that may not be much of a load to notice.


Am I reading that statement wrong?
Mike,

Yes, the 224 uses the same 16v whether its running alone, or if its pulling 8 cars (not featherweights). The amps do not change either. Same performance either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Maybe in it's past it did overheat and windings were burnt and removed. My theory is that what caused the voltage change.

I tried to rewind an armature once. It takes practice.
You're a better man than me. I won't try a rewind. I would probably wind up in one of those jackets with the long sleeves that tie behind your back.
 

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Farquard previously mentioned

Yes, the 224 uses the same 16v whether its running alone, or if its pulling 8 cars (not featherweights). The amps do not change either. Same performance either way.



Thats unusual never had an engine use same amount of volt running by itself then adding as you mentioned (not featherweights) cars .
So if you ever find the problem please post back here as very curious what was making it do that if nothing is hot or unusually warm.


Wonder how it performs running backwards same way ?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Farquard previously mentioned

Yes, the 224 uses the same 16v whether its running alone, or if its pulling 8 cars (not featherweights). The amps do not change either. Same performance either way.



Thats unusual never had an engine use same amount of volt running by itself then adding as you mentioned (not featherweights) cars .
So if you ever find the problem please post back here as very curious what was making it do that if nothing is hot or unusually warm.


Wonder how it performs running backwards same way ?
Dieseler,

Tried it backwards. No diff.

Also, running today, I noticed that running alone it was more like 15v/.4amp. Pulling its train, 16v/.5amp. Not a lot of difference. So I don't know whether that's a change or not.

I still have a suggestion from Millstonemike to try, re: possible diode added by someone, or maybe problem with windings. I'll post findings when I get in there.

Thanks.
 

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Have you verified the reading of the meter on your transformer with an external multimeter? Is it possible that that channel isn't putting out as much voltage as you think it is? Do other locomotives run OK on that same power channel?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I took the engine apart again. There was no diode added. Commutator looked normal.

My original question was: Is this normal behavior for a 224. I gather from forum members that it is not. But since I can't find anything wrong, and since it does run smooth, I'll just go with it like it is.

At least I learned something from discussing the problem. Thanks for all your help.
 
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