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Class 4 Loksound Micro


Lady_Ava_Hay

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I have been struggling all day with my Class 4 project. I have succeeded in mounting and addressing a Loksound Micro. The sounds work well when stationary but the little blighter won't run. If I wick up the throttle, it sometimes moves a cm or two, stops, cuts out and then restarts. this goes on as a loop. The thing ran OK on DC and it seems as though not enough power is getting to the motor.

 

I have cleaned the wheels, track and the pick up slots to no avail. It is worse on virtual cab than on track power.

 

I am wondering about the CV settings. I have selected 30KHz instead of 15. I have a high reading (79) in the relationship to BEMF. Am I asking too much of this little motor? It seems to stall easily on decoder power. I cannot even run the little machine on my Trix wheel cleaner.

 

Has anybody fitted a top decoder in this little mite? What settings are you using for BEMF and motor Hz?

 

I can say that the sound is magnificent.

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  • RMweb Gold

Sorry David, I think you are p***ing in the wind with the Micro in 4mm. The current is simply more than it is designed for, and that's that - overload shutdown, reset, shutdown, reset. Tantalisingly small, but only fit for smaller scales with lighter locos and lower current. I bought one when they first appeared, and ended up piggybacking it with a DH123 - in an HO diesel where space was available.

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  • RMweb Gold

I can't agree with this as a general statement. I have four Loksound micro decoders running 4mm models. I have a Bachmann Ivatt 2mt mogul, a Bachmann Crab, an Airfix/Kemilway kit built standard 4mt mogul which has a large can motor in the tender driving the rear wheels through a shaft to a Sharman gearbox and a K's cast white metal kit GW 0-4-2 tank. All of these perform faultlessly and have done for a considerable time. My layout is a 16ft x 10ft continuous run with 1:60 gradients and there has been no incident of decoder shutdown.

 

Now if David would give a little more information about the loco perhaps we could get to the bottom of this. The fact that the loco runs, stops, restarts and repeats this is typical of poor current collection and is an indicator to me that I need to clean the wheels and check the pickups. There is also a cv setting which tells the decoder to pickup from where it was when the current was interrupted rather than go through a complete restart of the sound scheme. I would have to look that up to be sure of the cv and the required value. But I am sure you know about this David. Also, if cv3 has a high value the loco may not get going fast enough to gain enough momentum to travel over small spots of poor contact area.

All my locos have the PWM frequency set at 30k.

The back emf settings are: Ref=72,K=6,I=30 for the Ivatt 2mt, Ref=48,K=16,I=48 for the standard 4mt, Ref=40,K=45,I=30 for the Crab and Ref=65,K=32 I=24 for the K's 0-4-2tank.

 

One thing I would say is that the speed table may bear some examination as I find the Lokprogrammer poor in this area compared with Decoderpro and there may be some odd settings which David did not expect. Also it may be worth further examining closely the pickup arrangements to make sure they are always in contact with the wheels and also that there are no intermittent short circuits from moving parts.

 

Geoff

 

Sorry David, I think you are p***ing in the wind with the Micro in 4mm. The current is simply more than it is designed for, and that's that - overload shutdown, reset, shutdown, reset. Tantalisingly small, but only fit for smaller scales with lighter locos and lower current. I bought one when they first appeared, and ended up piggybacking it with a DH123 - in an HO diesel where space was available.

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Hello

 

does it work okay on DC now that its wired up for DCC ? it should do so if it doesnt then that gives you another area for exploration. ie do you have a broken joint in the wiring etc thats making sporadic contact

 

apologies if this of no help -

 

Chris

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Another hour or two playing. First it's a diesel. It is a split chassis. I have a Micro in my dock tank, no problems. I am using the decoder test facility in my Lokprogrammer and a bench test supply set at 12 volts and variable current. I see 0.8 amps occasionally but mostly 0.5 or less. I think all the motor circuits on Loksounds give the same power to the motor. I think the power circuit to the speaker is only 1/4 watt but on V3.5 I think it is 0.5 watt

 

Today I split the chassis and wired up the Lokprogrammer to the chassis halves. The motor is reluctant to spin even the intermediate gearing. It is a brand new motor. It stalls with even the lightest touch so it is little wonder that the wheelset is too much for it. I actually think this is a mechanical problem as the sound keeps running when the motor is stalling or stalled.

 

i think a visit to my model shop for a dop of conductive grease. If that doesn't work, I will bin the project and use the decoder elsewhere on another shunter, perhaps an 08 or another steamer.

 

I have heard in the past that the 04 motor is a bit reluctant to take DCC hence my thoughts on back EMF. I have disabled the DC running in the decoder. I always do this as a matter of habit.

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  • RMweb Gold

David, is this the Mainline/Bachmann 04 shunter? If it is I had a tussle with one of these sometime ago. It finished off a Lenz decoder in no time but after a lot of bullying on DC I managed to get it running with an old DN121. The chassis ran smoothly and reasonably freely but the motor was so reluctant to go. As far as I know it is still going, it is a friends loco, but it was a so and so to get it to work reliably. I could find no obvious reason for the poor performance but the symptoms suggested a motor problem, rather like an old Hornby Dublo motor with a tired magnet. Mechanically the chassis seemed ok. Does your chassis roll freely with out the motor in place? I know it is a pain to break it down to remove the motor and then reassemble it to test it but it may just be worth it if there is a problem. Even though the motor is new it could still be faulty. Is it a Bachmann replacement motor?

 

Geoff

 

 

Another hour or two playing. First it's a diesel. It is a split chassis. I have a Micro in my dock tank, no problems. I am using the decoder test facility in my Lokprogrammer and a bench test supply set at 12 volts and variable current. I see 0.8 amps occasionally but mostly 0.5 or less. I think all the motor circuits on Loksounds give the same power to the motor. I think the power circuit to the speaker is only 1/4 watt but on V3.5 I think it is 0.5 watt

 

Today I split the chassis and wired up the Lokprogrammer to the chassis halves. The motor is reluctant to spin even the intermediate gearing. It is a brand new motor. It stalls with even the lightest touch so it is little wonder that the wheelset is too much for it. I actually think this is a mechanical problem as the sound keeps running when the motor is stalling or stalled.

 

i think a visit to my model shop for a dop of conductive grease. If that doesn't work, I will bin the project and use the decoder elsewhere on another shunter, perhaps an 08 or another steamer.

 

I have heard in the past that the 04 motor is a bit reluctant to take DCC hence my thoughts on back EMF. I have disabled the DC running in the decoder. I always do this as a matter of habit.

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David, is this the Mainline/Bachmann 04 shunter? If it is I had a tussle with one of these sometime ago. It finished off a Lenz decoder in no time but after a lot of bullying on DC I managed to get it running with an old DN121. The chassis ran smoothly and reasonably freely but the motor was so reluctant to go. As far as I know it is still going, it is a friends loco, but it was a so and so to get it to work reliably. I could find no obvious reason for the poor performance but the symptoms suggested a motor problem, rather like an old Hornby Dublo motor with a tired magnet. Mechanically the chassis seemed ok. Does your chassis roll freely with out the motor in place? I know it is a pain to break it down to remove the motor and then reassemble it to test it but it may just be worth it if there is a problem. Even though the motor is new it could still be faulty. Is it a Bachmann replacement motor?

 

Geoff

 

Thanks Geoff. I did manage to get some real power out of this motor on a bench test by changing a lot of the BEMF CV's so that BEMF and in particular the 'I' value for momentum wicked down to a minimum value actually gave a good result. So I reassembled the little blighter, put it on the programming track, resoldered a poor joint on the pick up wire and was going well when I seemed to lose control of the decoder. Nothing daunted, i seemed to have got some control when poof....blue smoke.

 

I gave up at this point.

 

The project is absolutely fine so if Bachmann upgrade this chassis for the new Class 3 and make it decoder friendly, I might try again. I rewired the little beast for DC but it is ano go. Spares and repairs on E Bay I think.

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  • RMweb Gold

After all that time and effort to see it go up in smoke after apparently working must be very disappointing. Was it the motor, the decoder or both which gave up the magic smoke?

I suppose there is some consolation in knowing the sound project is good and I guess the decoder can be repaired under warranty.

As you say let's hope the new version from Bachmann is more user friendly. It would be nice to get to the bottom of the problem though.

 

Geoff

 

Thanks Geoff. I did manage to get some real power out of this motor on a bench test by changing a lot of the BEMF CV's so that BEMF and in particular the 'I' value for momentum wicked down to a minimum value actually gave a good result. So I reassembled the little blighter, put it on the programming track, resoldered a poor joint on the pick up wire and was going well when I seemed to lose control of the decoder. Nothing daunted, i seemed to have got some control when poof....blue smoke.

 

I gave up at this point.

 

The project is absolutely fine so if Bachmann upgrade this chassis for the new Class 3 and make it decoder friendly, I might try again. I rewired the little beast for DC but it is ano go. Spares and repairs on E Bay I think.

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After all that time and effort to see it go up in smoke after apparently working must be very disappointing. Was it the motor, the decoder or both which gave up the magic smoke?

I suppose there is some consolation in knowing the sound project is good and I guess the decoder can be repaired under warranty.

As you say let's hope the new version from Bachmann is more user friendly. It would be nice to get to the bottom of the problem though.

 

Geoff

 

 

 

I think mechanical. The motor was stalling and overloading the motor circuits but, at the same time, there was considerable heat transfer by soldering the decoder pickups to the chassis. I think the wheels were none too well on the nylon axles.

 

Nevertheless I think this was a combination of a number of factors and basically, I was seeing a combination of problems and didn't see the solutions until three expensive decoders had been fried.

 

Undoubtedly, I will never contemplate a live chassis again but I have learnt that the CV's 53, 54 and 55 definitely need attention to get good solid power to a non flywheel motor.

 

I insisted that my Dock Tank didn't have a live chassis. I have contemplated making a chassis but life is too short and I need to lay some track.

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  • RMweb Gold

Ah, I avoid live chassis like the plague. Too much hassle if double heading or running multiple locos. It is far too easy to forget and create a nice short circuit in my opinion. Even in my DC days I avoided them and I usually come a cropper on a friends layout because I forget he has live chassis locos. I always seem to want to couple them face to face, so to speak. Even with plastic bodies it is too easy to fit a metal coupling, whichever kind you use, and compromise the insulation afforded by the plastic body.

Do you mean you have fried three Loksounds? That is painful. Will the warranty cover the repairs?

 

Geoff

 

I think mechanical. The motor was stalling and overloading the motor circuits but, at the same time, there was considerable heat transfer by soldering the decoder pickups to the chassis. I think the wheels were none too well on the nylon axles.

 

Nevertheless I think this was a combination of a number of factors and basically, I was seeing a combination of problems and didn't see the solutions until three expensive decoders had been fried.

 

Undoubtedly, I will never contemplate a live chassis again but I have learnt that the CV's 53, 54 and 55 definitely need attention to get good solid power to a non flywheel motor.

 

I insisted that my Dock Tank didn't have a live chassis. I have contemplated making a chassis but life is too short and I need to lay some track.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ah, I avoid live chassis like the plague. Too much hassle if double heading or running multiple locos. It is far too easy to forget and create a nice short circuit in my opinion. Even in my DC days I avoided them and I usually come a cropper on a friends layout because I forget he has live chassis locos. I always seem to want to couple them face to face, so to speak. Even with plastic bodies it is too easy to fit a metal coupling, whichever kind you use, and compromise the insulation afforded by the plastic body.

Do you mean you have fried three Loksounds? That is painful. Will the warranty cover the repairs?

 

Geoff

 

 

 

After some time in sound one forgets where the stock decoders came from. In this case, I had two decoders back from ESU repair. I still have one Micro and a V3.5 plus a few Digitrax ones in stock.

 

There is a Hornby 08 on its way from E Bay. I might give the 04 to a pal of mine to fix and decoderise. It will keep him out of mischief!!

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I might give the 04 to a pal of mine to fix and decoderise. It will keep him out of mischief!!

 

No thanks - I have already got one :D :D :D :D

 

Anyway, bad luck with the project - you remember the brand new one I bought that let the smoke out when running in on DC?

 

Mended by Bachmann and then fitted with a Lenz Gold and Power1 - now runs like a dream, but agree the split chassis is poop by modern standards.

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No thanks - I have already got one :D :D :D :D

 

Anyway, bad luck with the project - you remember the brand new one I bought that let the smoke out when running in on DC?

 

Mended by Bachmann and then fitted with a Lenz Gold and Power1 - now runs like a dream, but agree the split chassis is poop by modern standards.

 

Not you Nigel, I was talking about Alan who (re)built (finished, really...well OK completely built) my Dock Tank.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • RMweb Gold

Hi David and all,

 

i have just seen this one and thought i would offer my thoughts on it.

 

After doing a few of the 03/04 chassis i have lernt a few things and thought i would pas them on,

 

When the chassis is apart you need to remove parts of the chassis that from a stepped block and hole that the motor bush holders sit in and touch when the motor is in place. Just using heat shrink and insulation tape won't work (from experince) as when you place the motor back in to the chassis it will cut the heat shrink and tape so it can cuase an intermitant short that some times just switches the decoder off or in this case blow it up.

 

Also i use small metal washers and solder the pick up wires to them and then hold them in place with the chassis screws/plugs. Easier than soldering them (my opinon) you just need to file a couple of grooves to get the wires to run so you don't trap them.

 

hope this possibly helps

cheers

Simon

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