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Lord_Woody

H&M Clipper, any good still?

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On ‎16‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 12:20, Lord_Woody said:

Mine is nothing like that, controls my Hornby J15 at a very slow crawl, did the same with my Bachmann Spectrum narrow gauge stuff.

 

Mine too. I use my H&M Duette (the doubled up version of the Clipper) for all my DC testing ahead of DCC decoder fitting, and have had no trouble at all, whether used for hours of running of mechanisms that needed this treatment to become stable performers, or testing mechanisms among which have been some that happen to have coreless motors. The 'vanilla' unsmoothed DC output is useful to assess how the motor and mechanism perform with no feedback assistance, enables quick identification of any problems in the mechanism for rectification .

 

Helpfully,  I know what's in this specific unit. It was fitted with the optional high impedance resistance mats, which combined with the resistance switch set on high when starting testing, acts to limit the current. (Most motors then start with the knob turned 15% of the travel from the off position.) I long ago disconnected the 'half wave' switches as irrelevant to better motors.

 

And I know how electric motors work, and don't regard 'coreless' with suspicion or in need of especially different treatment to iron core types. Provided the motor turns it will limit the current by nature of its design. But then I am only qualified in physics, rather then model railway superstition...

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

 

 

Mine too. I use my H&M Duette (the doubled up version of the Clipper) for all my DC testing ahead of DCC decoder fitting, and have had no trouble at all, whether used for hours of running of mechanisms that needed this treatment to become stable performers, or testing mechanisms among which have been some that happen to have coreless motors. The 'vanilla' unsmoothed DC output is useful to assess how the motor and mechanism perform with no feedback assistance, enables quick identification of any problems in the mechanism for rectification .

 

Helpfully,  I know what's in this specific unit. It was fitted with the optional high impedance resistance mats, which combined with the resistance switch set on high when starting testing, acts to limit the current. (Most motors then start with the knob turned 15% of the travel from the off position.) I long ago disconnected the 'half wave' switches as irrelevant to better motors.

 

And I know how electric motors work, and don't regard 'coreless' with suspicion or in need of especially different treatment to iron core types. Provided the motor turns it will limit the current by nature of its design. But then I am only qualified in physics, rather then model railway superstition...

 

 

 

At last, we have someone who knows that he has a high resistance mat! I'm not surprised it works better than other versions.

 

Is it marked in some way?

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Nothing to distinguish it externally from any other Duette I have seen. The poop sheet in the box was lost long ago, so I have no detail that might have been on that.
 

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On 20/04/2019 at 14:19, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

Nothing to distinguish it externally from any other Duette I have seen. The poop sheet in the box was lost long ago, so I have no detail that might have been on that.
 

 

It should be possible to find out what resistance mat is used if you have a multimeter.

 

Make sure the unit is unplugged and connect the meter between the two track terminals and set it to the resistance range (if you can select ranges on the meter 0-1000 ohms or something similar). Switch the 'resistance' switch to 'high resistance' and wind the control knob to full speed - the multimeter should now show the resistance between the wiper position which should be at one end of its travel, and the opposite end of the mat. You may have to go full forwards and full reverse to get the proper resistance - you need the bridge rectifier reverse biased so it is high impedance and doesn't appear in the overall circuit impedance - choose the forwards/reverse measurement with the higher value.

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The easier way of course is when one is poking around inside it to check the double insulation is safe, and to take the 'half wave' switch out of circuit. My recollection is that the path through the wiper and mat assembly maxxed at 65 ohm.

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On 20/04/2019 at 12:58, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

 

.......    I long ago disconnected the 'half wave' switches as irrelevant to better motors.

 

And I know how electric motors work, and don't regard 'coreless' with suspicion or in need of especially different treatment to iron core types. Provided the motor turns it will limit the current by nature of its design. But then I am only qualified in physics, rather then model railway superstition...

 

 

 

The half wave is essential for getting locos like X04 equipped Hornby down gradients. On full wave the gears wind up and they surge horribly. The Clipper/ Duette is superior to Gaugemaster/ Morley etc under these conditions. Still rubbish though unless you just use it for bringing X04 locos down hlll. 

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Works well for testing/refurbing old HD 3-rail stuff as well as being a doorstop, drill controller, 12-18v AC/DC transformer etc. 

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I've just obtained the Dave Jones Class 71 loco, the instructions specifically state do not use a resistance controller with is loco, which the Clipper and Duette are!  So be aware if the loco has a coreless motor fitted.
But then what a piece of rubbish the DJ Cl71 locos motor is!  

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On 10/04/2019 at 19:39, steve1 said:

Another vote here for Gaugemaster. Have used them for years without any problems on everything from Lima to the latest Bachmann/Hornby. And if it ever does go wrong, they'll fix it for free. (Unless it's your fault of course.)

 

steve

Is that correct?  Even after several years?  One of mine suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason and now has a rattle inside it as if something has come adrift.  I'll have to 'phone them to ask.

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Posted (edited)

I've been using my H&M Duette until very recently, bought new in about 1966! It's given stirling service over the years and still works. The only reason I stopped using it was because the front had a hole drilled in for a lamp many years ago and I bought a couple of more modern Duettes a couple of years ago. They work fine with all my modern stock, everything from the Triang X04 through to the Met electric loco, the Oxford Adams Radial, Brighton Belle and everything in between. Slow running not a problem, and no sign of modern motors overheating. There's a couple of locos with Kean Portescap motors (K's Black 5s) that also run well on the Duettes.

 

For shunting I use a couple of Gaugemaster hand-help units. I also have a late 1950s Powermaster which still runs the ac supply for the track cleaning gizmos. That came out of loco service when the wiper fell off the transformer winding many years ago.

 

No digital here, I find the wiring too complicated.

Edited by roythebus
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8 hours ago, 5050 said:

Is that correct?  Even after several years?  One of mine suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason and now has a rattle inside it as if something has come adrift.  I'll have to 'phone them to ask.

 

See here --> http://www.gaugemaster.com/controls.html

 

steve

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Posted (edited)
On 18/05/2019 at 01:47, DavidCBroad said:

The half wave is essential for getting locos like X04 equipped Hornby down gradients. On full wave the gears wind up and they surge horribly. The Clipper/ Duette is superior to Gaugemaster/ Morley etc under these conditions. Still rubbish though unless you just use it for bringing X04 locos down hlll. 

Very interested in this as I have gradients. Do you mean that the loco behaves as if the gears keep jamming, and so as if doing as series of hard brake applications?

 

I've struggled with this on both Bachmann and Hornby modern production items. Taking out excess grease in the gears helps a bit, as does reducing endplay in the motor shaft, but isn't a total answer. My many Heljan locos don't do it at all which is a further puzzle. I've been using Gaugemaster controllers for some years, perhaps I'd fare better by plugging in my old Duette?

 

Any advice would be very welcome.

 

John.

Edited by John Tomlinson
correction

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1 minute ago, John Tomlinson said:

Very interested in this as I have gradients. Do you mean that the loco behaves as if the gears keep jamming, and so as if doing as series of hard brake applications?

 

I've struggled with this on both Bachmann and Hornby modern production items. Taking out excess grease in the gears helps a bit, but isn't a total answer. My many Heljan locos don't do it at all which is a further puzzle. I've been using Gaugemaster controllers for some years, perhaps I'd fare better by plugging in my old Duette?

 

Any advice would be very welcome.

 

John.

Yes it affects my X04 powered locos mainly, I have around a dozen based on Triang Hall / B12 chassis.  Its like someone slams the brakes on on full wave at anything like a reasonable speed.  Give it half wave and a lot of power and the locos growl but run smoothly . Plug the Duette in and try it, though checking the internal wiring first might not be a bad idea.

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13 hours ago, 5050 said:

Is that correct?  Even after several years?  One of mine suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason and now has a rattle inside it as if something has come adrift.  I'll have to 'phone them to ask.

You should have no problem with Gaugemaster.  I've got an Model D controller that I purchased around 1987/88.  The direction switch on one of the track controllers stopped working in one direction so I emailed Gaugemaster and they said to send it to them and they would look into it. I posted off to Gaugemaster and I had the controller back within two weeks of posting from Ireland. They replaced the switch free of charge and the only thing that I had to pay for was to post the controller to Gaugemaster. This was December 2018 so my controller is approx. 30 years old.

 

Regards  John

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I’ve got a Gaugemaster D with simulation (I think that might mean a DS) . It’s now 25+ years old and it controls all my locos , Triang , Wrenn , Airfix, Mainline, Bachmann, Dapol , Hattons  and Hornby extremely well . What I notice if on Simulation mode is that the top speed of models is lower . Don’t know what’s going on there i’m not electronically minded, but as I seldom run locos at full speed it’s not an issue . Thoroughly recommend Gaugemaster , great controllability and never an issue in all this time . However I also have An H&M Clipper and an old Hornby R910 , both date from mid 70s and I don’t have any issue with these either , from my 1965 Triang “Brush Type 2” through to my latest Hornby J36 or Dapol 68 . They do both have half wave switches , but I never use them.  I think the only time you are going to have issues is if you have models with Coreless motors in them , aside from that everything else seems fine .  I keep on hearing oh you need to replace these old controllers to get the best from the latest models, but I think the issue is coreless motors not really controllers. 

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I read somewhere that transformers deteriorate with age so the output voltage from, say, a Clipper might change over time.

 

Having (many years ago!) taken my H&M and Rovex controllers to bits (for educational purposes, you understand) it looked as if the resistance mat is wound on an asbestos former. (FYI, when I put the controllers back together, they not only worked but there were no spare parts left over!)

 

Having gained C&G in PAT Certification, I don't think I could pass many of the older controllers!

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23 hours ago, JohnDMJ said:

I read somewhere that transformers deteriorate with age so the output voltage from, say, a Clipper might change over time.

 

 

The greater concern is degradation of the dielectric (insulation) resulting in significant leakage current. There are also potential safety issues with selenium rectifiers.

 

I would not use them. They don't work that well anyway but they do have nice cases.

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