Lionel Oddessey Reviews

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Lionel Oddessey Reviews
Posted by Algonquin on Monday, January 15, 2001 12:04 PM
I would like to hear other Forum members opinions/experiences with the new Lionel Oddessey System.

I recieved my first oddessey locomoitive, the NYC Mikado, in mid-December. The engine ran very jerky at all speeds and had a tendency to start and stop abruptly. I also noticed that the front marker lights would go out after one or two minutes of operation. I had to completely power down the track and re-power to get the marker lights back on.

I called the Lionel Trainmaster Hotline and spoke with their technicians about the problems. The technician indicated that the speed controller alignment probably needed adjustment. He also indicated that this may be the cause of the problem with the marker lights. I took the engine to my local Service Station. He worked with Lionel and adjusted the controller and indicated that he had resolved the jerkyness.

When I tested the engine, the jerkyness was indeed gone. However, the locomotive now only has one speed in TMCC mode. As I start to turn the throttle of the CAB-1 the engine will quickly accelerate to maximum speed. No ajustment to speed can be made with the CAB-1 throttle until the CAB-1 throttle is turned back below the original start position. This causes the engine to coast to a stop.

The marker lights still go out after a minute or two of operation. Additionally, the locomotive will shutdown occasionally, and will not respond to the CAB-1 throttle until I change direction modes at which time it will again accelerate to maximum speed as I start to adjust the throttle. The locomotive will run forwards or backwards at maximum speed.

I will be returning the locomotive to the Service Station this week for further repairs. I will post the results of the repairs when I get it back.

Tim P.

A penny saved is a penny earned. But every once in a while it is good to treat yourself to a gum ball.

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, January 15, 2001 4:33 PM
Hi Tim,

I have the exact same problem with my Rio Grande Mikado (18080), except I don't have a problem with the lights. I have the same jerkiness. Please let us know what the service station does. I hope they fix it right this time. These are really nice locomotives and it's a shame they don't run well.

Ethan R.
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Posted by Algonquin on Tuesday, January 16, 2001 8:03 AM
Hello Ethan,

I will post a detailed review of the fixes once everything is repaired. It may take a few weeks. With this being a new technology, it takes even the best service startion repair people some time to get up to speed on how a new system like Oddessey works much less fix the problems that come up. The Owner of my Srevice Station in Morton Grove, Illinois has been repairing Lionel Trains for longer than I have been playing with them. He will ultimately find the solutions. I will post all the fix information in detail then.

Tim P.

A penny saved is a penny earned. But every once in a while it is good to treat yourself to a gum ball.

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Posted by JFermani on Tuesday, January 16, 2001 11:29 AM
Tim,

How does the odyssey system sense the speed of the engine. I had heard Lionel was using a magnetic sensor. Is this true? I have heard that MTH uses a barcode tape on the flywheel and am not thrilled with that at all since the tape can dry out and come off. Let us know. Thanks.

Joe
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Posted by Algonquin on Tuesday, January 16, 2001 12:03 PM
Hello Joe,

The sensor is mounted under the lower flywheel on the motor. I am not sure how it picks-up its signal. Norm Charboneau's January 13th review of the RS-11 (http://www.coilcoupler.com/hirail/hirail.shtml) states that it uses a magnetic sensor. I would assume it is the same type sensor as the Mikados have. From the discussions on the OGR forums it appears that MTH uses an optical sensor that reads a bar code off the flywheel. Some forum members indicated that some of the bar codes were peeling off.

Both optical and magnetic would seem to be just as effective a way of sensing motor speed. However, with both systems being newly introduced technologies, it is not yet clear if one method has been implemented better than the other.

It does appear that both systems have some problems, at least initially.

A penny saved is a penny earned. But every once in a while it is good to treat yourself to a gum ball.

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 17, 2001 4:45 PM
Hi Tim,

I emailed Lionel about the problem and they told me to contact their service department by phone. I haven't had time yet to do that.

Are you happy with your service station? I think I need to find someone that I can rely on.

Is there anyway to disconnect the Odyssey system? I'm wondering if it's worth the trouble.

Anyway, good luck with your train.

Ethan
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Posted by Algonquin on Thursday, January 18, 2001 10:02 AM
Hi Ethan,

The Lionel Techs generally prefer to talk to people directly on the phone so they are sure they fully understand the problem before they offer a solution. If it is straight forward, they generally e-mail back the answer.

Most Service Stations have people very qualified in repairing Lionel trains. Most of their expertise is learned from fixing trains over many years. New technology, like the Oddessy System, however, are new to them also. They have to come up to speed on how it work before they can fix it. They do have a much greater overall knowledge of trains and repairs than we typically do. So I give them a much better chance of fixing it than I can do myself. They also have regular contact with the Lionel Techs.

With new technologies, it also take the Lionel Techs a little time to figure out the problem and the fix.

The Techs can probably fix a problem faster than a Service Station since they are dealing with all the Service Stations and if another Service Station finds the answer they generally let the Lionel Techs know right away.

Saturday I will be taking mine back to my Service Station for more repairs (round two). A lot has probable occured over the last week from other repairs and either my Service Station or the Lionel Techs may already have the answer. Sometimes it takes a little time but this network always gets things fixed in the end.

If you decide to send it directly back to the Lionel Techs, make sure you provide all the details of the problem. I like talking to my Service Station repair man directly. I can make sure he fully understands the problem and he always ends up teaching me more about my trains.

I have heard you can turn off the oddessey speed control function, I have not tried it. It should be detailed in the manual. As for me, I will continue until mine works flawlessly. It may take a few more trips to the Service Station or Lionel, but I will get it there. I have heard great reviews from others on the Mikado and the new RS-11, so I believe it is ultimately fixable.

Tim P.

A penny saved is a penny earned. But every once in a while it is good to treat yourself to a gum ball.

  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 18, 2001 4:54 PM
Hi Tim,

I think what's so frustrating is that these engines are so nice, we want everything to work perfectly from the start. I'm very patient, so I'll just plod through it.

I have a Frisco Mikado (18030) that is conventionally controlled. On the outside, it looks almost exactly like the new Mikados. It is a beautiful engine and someday I'd like to convert it to TMCC if it's possible.

Keep me posted on your situation.

Ethan
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 440 posts
Posted by Algonquin on Thursday, January 18, 2001 10:20 PM
Hi Ethan,

I have the the Southern Mikado, also conventional control. Train Ameraica Studios makes a conversion kit to upgrade these older locomotives to TMCC. I have not tried it yet, but I have heard positive reviews on it. Their web address is: "www.tastudios.com".

Tim P.

A penny saved is a penny earned. But every once in a while it is good to treat yourself to a gum ball.

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 440 posts
Posted by Algonquin on Saturday, February 10, 2001 10:12 PM
Odyssey Perfection!

I just picked up my Odyssey NYC Mikado this morning after its second trip to my Service Station. All the problems I described earlier in this thread have been resolved. The slow speed this engine can run at is incredible. This is my only Odyssey engine so far and I am amazed at how slowly and smoothly it runs.

My Service Station said that after he set the gap on the speed sensor the initial time it was in for repair, the sensor was not correctly aligned to the flywheel. He also indicated that he had to track down a metric tool before he could make the adjustment (why Lionel is now using metric bolting; I have no idea). He had to move the sensor about 1/16" for it to operate properly. So, in the end, all that was causing all my Mikado problems was the setting of the speed sensor.

If anyone is still having these problems, you may want to bring along a copy of this thread to give the Service Station some initial direction on the fix.

Tim P.

A penny saved is a penny earned. But every once in a while it is good to treat yourself to a gum ball.

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