Model Train Forum banner

Simple How to's

25017 Views 70 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  T-Man
Engine Shell Draw bar Rests.

Here, I have three old runners. The center is original, however that piece tends to broken over time. To fix the other two, I drilled into the shell and epoxied a wire into place. Added a little extra for shaping and style. It worked.

See less See more
1 - 20 of 71 Posts
LED Lamp Socket

I dressed up a 5mm LED witha Xmas light socket. I used a tungsten carbide bit to drill out the socket. The plastic cover from 8 strand telephone wire fits right in. If you place stiff wire in the plastic you can shape it like a lampost, but the plastic is thick. Or you can hang the bulb from a ceiling of a workshed. It looks a lot like a mercury vapor lamp you see in large buildings.:cool:

Lettering on the wire coating is removed using a fine sand paper 400 grit. If you prefer not to paint. Sand paper is so much easier than paint thinner or finger nail polish(acetone).I used coat hanger wire, maybe overkill, but it works.

See less See more
Word Associaton

I like your style

Light Tip, Helpful Tip, Thanks, T-man

It gave me a chuckle.:)
3 Rail Signal

A simple detection circuit using an isolated track of 3 rail AC power.
The example is an early warning signal when approaching a stop.
The rail must be isolated from the stop.

Use a second track section and have a yellow indicator.

When the first car rolls to the isolated section the circuit lights up.:cool:

See less See more
Me and my gradpa put something together like this for an isolated track section for use with railking crossing gates. It works fairily well. its hard to figure out what to do with the wires ,but we figured it out.:D
You have got some helpful tips.
I like that "3 Rail Signal" post that you made, that is a very good idea... I may actually use that into my layout when I can finally make one :smilie_daumenpos:
Trial and Error

its hard to figure out what to do with the wires ,but we figured it out.:D
The important thing is that you tried to do something. Succeeding is the reward, but remember in failure you learn too. I am sure your granpa enjoys working with you.;)
Lampost Mockup

I made it 9 inches tall (23cm), but I can't decide on how much to bend it. I have two others in the making. I used a metal coat hangar in the tubing. Bending would be the last step, the wire is unforgiving. I haven't fed the wire through or soldered the LED. The base isn't complete either but it stands up.

See less See more
Refrigerator Magnets

The craft stores have them. Depending on your tastes they have a selection. I think I got the idea from a magazine to use them as O scale signs. Here are two.

See less See more
Winding up

I recently got interested in armature windings. This was possible with a Radio Shack product that contains 3 rolls of the wire and es inexpensive too boot. The green roll contains enough wire to do 4-5 windings of 97 turns.

Yes I counted them as I unwound.:p The red will actually renew an automatic uncoupler. The gold is the same for the outer motor field winding.

I dismantled the brush plate by unsoldering the connections and removing the plate. Then unwound the wire.

I wound each of the three fields first, then I soldered the three together under the plate area on top. Placed the plate on and soldered the three to the plate.Each winding was wrapped around the top of the shaft,counter clockwise and finished on the bottom shaft. The bottom connections were bought up to the plate when soldered.

Before soldering, you have to remove the shelac finish. I used an xacto knife.

I could only hand wind 50 turns, more than that and the brush plate won't fit on. I know I will loose power but I won't know till I assemble it and run it.

If I find another bad armature I could try it with the thin red.Theoretically more turns more power.

Not exactly simple, but fun.:)

As a replacement part they sell around $35. A cost of a good used motor.
See less See more
It sounds like you have a good approach to that... Now how exactly does the armature "go bad"? I do not think I have had any problems with my old Lionel trains, but maybe I just did not know :rolleyes:
Simple It won't spin. You look for continuity between the three plates and a short to the shaft using a volt meter. I had the drum on the e unit break and short it out(SMOKING). You can also check resistance between the plates for comparison.

When I started with 97 turns the brush plate was propted up with 3 washers. I'd run the motor and the windings were so thick they rubbed against the motor plate support and sparked (FUN). I'd remove 10 to 15 turns at a time and repeated. 50 turns gave me the clearance to get rid of the washers and the rubbing. I want to fix the drum first.

The takes practice. I just wanted to know if I could do it. The power will tell. Some of my older engines have very little. I need to change brushes and springs on them first.

I thought I lost this post? :eek:Whew
I have stepped into new turf - servicing my Lionel Trains. THey have been in the attic for 20 + yrs.
I have one motor where the armature does not turn/rotate - it only vibrates. Does this indicate that I need have it re-wound? I changed the bushes and check all my wires.
Please help a frustrated novice.
Good Good Good Vibrations ( Beach Boys)

Welcome to the forum.
Something is amiss. Some motors are peculiar so I need to know what kind it is.
A can motor needs DC but AC/DC if it has an electronic e unit. An old motor runs on AC. This might be your problem.

The AC ,armature has to be centered if it touches it will vibrate.
First try to loosen the top two screws and twist the top clockwise.With pressure retighten and try again. I can't find the post I talked about before. This is just a guess.
Do you have a voltmeter?
You REALLY need to tell me the engine type and number. 20 years isn't that old in my collection. A variety of motors existed.
Usually smoke indicates a short, Vibrate might be the DC motor with AC. It could be one bad winding.
See less See more
I have dis-connected it from everything and I have the same results as when it was connected. I even removed the wheel frame.
THis is a lionel Santa Fe 2032 AA unit. I have new bushes and cleaned up everything, Does the armature need to be re-wired? :confused:
It's 52/54 era. Try the twist trick. Run a jumper from the brush to the coil. Then power to the other brush and ground to the frame to see if it works. The plastic top could just be loose.

It should look like this.

part number 622-109 for the armature. 2023 - 100 is the complete motor.
See less See more
Bad Armature

Trouble shooting is a step by step process. I am not convinced it is bad.So let us go to basics.
Does the transformer run another engine?
Does the armature spin freely? No binding?
Is the wiring correct?
Is the e unit Broken? The drum must spin. Usually the end breaks.
Visual inspection of the armature The three wires connected to the plates. Any worn areas on the windings. How does the copper surface look?
Do the sides have scuff marks?
I would prefer you used a used pair of old brushes because they worked. New ones may be tight and not broken in.
Observation is everthing in troubleshooting.
It could be something simple.
Arm a ture Wrestling

Options exist.
Locate a new one for 35 bucks plus shipping.
Total rewind is not easy. You will only replace 50 % of the wire removed.
Winding is an art, I did a pole a day and still couldn't match the original.
If it is bad then you have nothing to lose.
I would remove 5 turns from each pole and resolder in hopes of removing the short and retest. This can be done ten times and you will lose half of the wire.
The result is a loss of pulling power. With an AA unit you do want to pull rolling stock on that long layout so I would buy a replacement.
Any pictures would help.

25 bucks
3/4 of the page down
He has it stocked 3 other suppliers didn't .
See less See more
I d not know if this applies to trains or not. I race RC cars. When there motors get worn you need to cut the comm. To do this you place it on a lath made specifically for this task. In the end the comm is like new. Also replacing the brushes help tremendously. There is a product RC racers use called motor spray. It is for cleaning out all the junk that builds up when running an electric motor. There is allot of it to. I tried the motor spray an an HO that would not start without a push. Freed it up and it now runs well. The spray also lubricates the com and brushes. You do need to remove the motor to use it as it gets everywhere and is difficult to clean properly.
1 - 20 of 71 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.