K-line k1245 barrel loader shoots barrels over the gondola

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K-line k1245 barrel loader shoots barrels over the gondola
Posted by richardm47 on Thursday, November 02, 2017 2:14 PM

I have a K-line K124 barrel loader.  It is on a seperate electrical line, that I can vary the voltage.  The solinoid just hums until the voltage is up enough, but then it shoots the barrels over the gondola.  It then returns with such force that some of the  barrels bounce off and on to the track.  I have a raised "backstop" on the car, but it looks tacky. And it does nothng to soften  the return.  I have added extra lead weight (in the form of barrels), so the whole thing doesn't jerk around.  I have tried finding the "sweet spot" where the forklift will just barely move, but no luck.  Is there some way to "oil" the mechanism so it might move easily at lower voltage? or a better solution...? Thanks.   As always I find this forum very informative and enjoyable.   Richard.

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Posted by phrankenstign on Friday, November 03, 2017 2:36 PM

Wow....I've never had that problem with mine.  The problem I had was getting all the barrels to fall into the gondola.  Most would fall in, but a lot of times they'd fall off the side.  I'm curious to find out what advice others will offer here.  It's been awhile since I used it, but I think I just wired it to the D.C. terminals on the same transformer the train was running on.  Perhaps that reduced the amount of eletricity going to the train enough to prevent it from having the same force as yours.

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Posted by richardm47 on Friday, November 03, 2017 5:09 PM
I'm not sure I got the model # correct.  But this is an O-scale accessory, so the trains.. Lionel 027 .. are AC an so is the accessory power.  I use a "starter set" transformer, so I can adjust the voltage depending on which accessory I run.  As I mentioned, there seems to be a threshold of power before anything happens.  The mechanism just hums below that, then the forklift shoots quickly , sending the barrel flying when the forklift hits the stop.  My question is about slowing the motion of the solenoid down, or maybe I have to replace it so I get one that works properly?
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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, November 03, 2017 5:31 PM

Wish I knew the answer, if there is one, but if it was up to me and that barrel car launches the barrels with that much energy what I'd do is build a model factory with a lot of broken windows, set it next to the track, and use it as a "target" for the barrel car.  Try to send the barrels through the busted windows!  Lots of laughs for all!

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Posted by rrswede on Friday, November 03, 2017 5:43 PM

If you have access to a volt meter, connect it to the leads of your transformer with the transformer lever at the off position. Slowly turn the lever and obtain the minimum voltage the transformer is putting out. It sounds to me that the transformer is providing zero or maximum output and no variability.


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Posted by rtraincollector on Friday, November 03, 2017 5:49 PM

I know this doesn't solve your problem but a video of it doing it would be cool to see. 

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne


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Posted by richardm47 on Saturday, November 04, 2017 11:42 AM
Ha Ha.  I love the humor... I do have a building on the other side of the tracks, but no window... hmm a future project.  as for the video... I'll think about that, but today is sunny and need to get some yard work done.... tomorrow is rain here in Oregon..  However the voltage meter (which I have) is a great idea.  My ancient transformer is fine for the other accessories.... Coal loader, cattle loader, crane, log loader,  Am Flyr drum loader and even the milk car.... I just have marks where the power makes each work.  But there may not be as smooth a transition for this fork lift solenoid... Thanks for that and the chuckles.  A video may be in the making... but yard work, riding horses, and making apple juice calls first.  Always in training..... Richard. 
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Posted by arkady on Sunday, November 05, 2017 4:18 PM

I've had one of those K-line barrel loaders on my Marx layout for a couple of months now, but I've never gotten around to hooking it up.  Piqued by Richard's problem, I wired it up, using an old Lionel 25w transformer at its lowest power setting.

I tested it over and over.  Once in a while, a barrel would fall off the ramp without being picked up by the little forklift, but I never had any overenthusiastic launches of barrels past the waiting gondola.

So I have nothing new to add in the way of suggestions, beyond what's alread been said.  Except to confirm that what Richard is seeing isn't normal behavior for this accessory.

UPDATE: Out of curiosity, I swapped out the Lionel 25w transformer for an old Marx vertical 25w transformer.  I didn't expect any real difference, but much to my surprise, I found that the Marx transformer gave me a much greater range of control over the barrel loader's action. 

My guess is that the Lionel transformer has a much higher starting voltage than the one from Marx.  So if you haven't tried it already, I suggest using a Marx 25w unit in place of whatever you've got now.

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