A Volt Up

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  • Member since
    February, 2013
  • 412 posts
A Volt Up
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, October 08, 2018 2:33 AM

Aloha All!


Quick question...My ancient power supplies put out 14-16 V at the terminals, which powers along my 0-4-0Ts at the scale 728 mph my kids prefer.  Other than locomotives and a couple of lit cabooses, I don't draw on them for anything else.

I have observed, however, my "heavies" - a re-powered B'mann Big Hauler, an LGB Mogul, and an LGB 0-6-2T - seem a bit unhappy of late in a hairpin we call "Deadman's Curve" for its ability to stop locomotives, especially this trio.  The curve is 4' radius track, with three feet of track between each 90 degree arc.  Trains enter either side of the curve with a good 4' run of straight level track.  All three of the "heavies" slowed down, and the tender ones just stop (The 0-6-2T Gustav has other problems...separate post, I suppose...).  I / We have cleaned and / or clamped rail joiners, leveled and reballasted the curve, done the same for both approaches, and polished the tracks to a high gleam.  Other than a rail clap that had casued a pinch point by coming partially dislodged, trackwork seems sound.

Is this an issue of too little voltage getting to the tracks?  Is it time to retire my 1980-s vintage power supply?  Or is there additional troubleshooting I can do?  I have discussed with Chocho Willy / Bill the idea of broadening the curve to reduce friction, but I am pretty space constrained.

I welcome your thoughts.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!



  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: Ormond Beach, FL
  • 216 posts
Posted by chocho willy on Monday, October 08, 2018 10:47 AM

Eric, if the engines are just slowing down in the curve it is because there is drag on the wheels, even though most LGB engines are designed to operate on 1100 track the still bind in tight turns. I can't speak to the Bachmann but I imagine it is the same. You probably find that although the 0-6-2 slows down, it slows down less than the mogul and that is because the drivers wheels are of a smaller diameter. When Delton was in business and started producing their 2-8-0 the center wheels didn't have flanges, called blind drivers, for the same reason, curves too tight. Not sure which manufactures also use blind drivers but several do. Just like your car goes faster in a straight line than in a curve. Now this is being said with the understanding that you don't have a electrical problem. See if you can't at least get a piece of 1500 in the center. If you have a amp meter hook it up to you electrical feed line and I think you will find that the amps go up when the train slows down. Bill 

Tags: goodntight
  • Member since
    February, 2013
  • 412 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, October 08, 2018 8:00 PM


Thanks as always.  Leaving aside the 0-6-2T, the B'mann does have blind drivers, which is probably why it handles Deadman's Curve less poorly.  I used my multimeter with the Mogul Nuernberg on the tracks per your suggestion and found:

She draws:

  1. about .5 amps on the straightaways.
  2. about .75 amps on most curves.
  3. nearly and amp in Deadman's Curve.  You can watch  the current draw drop back down to ~.5 amps again on the short run between the curves in the hairpin.

I have one curgve wiht a 1500 section, and, sure as all, the current draw is ~.6 amps on that curve. 

Friction will cost me $$$ in track (What else should I order to make the postage worhtwhile Big Smile?), but that is LOTS less than a new power supply!



  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: North Coastal San Diego
  • 874 posts
Posted by Greg Elmassian on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 5:45 PM

You have figured it out yourself, it's not the voltage, it's the amps.


You did not indicated what manufacturer or specifications are for your power supplies, but if they are the Bachmann starter one, or the smaller LGB, you just need a better power supply.



Visit my site: http://www.elmassian.com - lots of tips on locos, rolling stock and more.

 Click here for Greg's web site


  • Member since
    February, 2013
  • 412 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 9:34 PM



My power supplies are museum pieces from MRC.  Both are Model 501 Throttlepacks.  I think we got them about 1985.  I have nothing to suggest either delivers other than a steady stream of power based upon the performance of the 0-4-0Ts.




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