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Walthers Non-DCC 130' Turntable (933-2829) - No Power In Control Box

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Walthers Non-DCC 130' Turntable (933-2829) - No Power In Control Box
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 5:05 PM

I called Walthers this morning at 9 AM to discuss this issue. It is now 5 PM and no return call although I left a detailed description of the problem on a voice mail to Tech Support.

Here is the problem. The turntable has operated flawlessly for 14 years on my old layout. I recently tore down the layout, and I am in the process of building a new layout. Today, I re-installed the control box, But I have no power in the control box. I am powering the turntable with an MRC Railpower 1370 power pack. Power is reaching the control box, but the Power light does not come on and the control box is inoperable.  Any ideas or suggestions?

Rich

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 5:38 PM

That's too bad.  I am in a similar situation in that I haven't run my pre-DCC "built-up" Walthers turntable with indexing in about eight years.  I cut out the roundhouse and TT by removing a 24" X 48" slab of plywood before I dismantled the rest of the layout, and it has moved once, been set aside here and there,...dunno if it will ever work again. The wires are all there, nothing damaged that I can see, and the centeral well with its nested power rings have been covered with masking tape all this time.

The device might have a simple fix.  It is well past any warranty.  Can you remove the cover of the mechanism or controller and look for an obvious defect yourself?  A broken solder, broken wire, burnt/detached something or other on a board, board split or cracked for some reason.  If you can be sure power is getting to a board or to a motor, but nothing else happens, and there isn't a simpler problem like sticky or tarry lubes after all this time, or dirt, ground foam bits, and/or pet hairs in the mechanism (ask me how I learned about this...), then it's the board or the motor.  Or, a faulty button if there is a paddle or pad with buttons on it.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 5:42 PM

 When you say power is reaching the control box, is that based on measuring the voltage present at the connection? What about with everything connected - is the voltage still whatit is supposed to be? A short or a problem with the power supply may manifest as the voltage dropping, but only under load.

                                --Randy

 


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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 8:12 PM

rrinker

When you say power is reaching the control box, is that based on measuring the voltage present at the connection? What about with everything connected - is the voltage still whatit is supposed to be?

Yes, I used a voltmeter to measure the voltage present in the wires at the input connections on the control box.

Let me ask my question in another way. When I removed the turntable and control box back in March, I thought that I had marked the connections on a piece of paper, but if I did, I cannot find that piece of paper. Those wiring connections were in place for 14 years, so I can no longer rely on memory to re-establish the connections.

Here is what the instructions say. The drive operates best at 15 volts AC or DC, a minimum of 12 volts is required. Regarding wiring, B1 and B2 connect to the rail supply; powers the bridge rails. U and V connect to the AC terminals on the power pack; powers the drive mechanism.

This is a DCC layout. When the instructions say, B1 and B2 connect to the rail supply, does this mean to connect B1 and B2 to the DCC bus?

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 9:12 PM

selector

The device might have a simple fix.  It is well past any warranty.  Can you remove the cover of the mechanism or controller and look for an obvious defect yourself?  

Yes, the circuit board is inside a 4"x4" plastic box, and access to the circuit board can be accomplished by loosening four screws.

Rich

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, August 23, 2018 2:59 AM

richhotrain
When the instructions say, B1 and B2 connect to the rail supply, does this mean to connect B1 and B2 to the DCC bus?

I don't have one, but what else would supply the rails, if not the bus?

Henry

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, August 23, 2018 7:38 AM

 Yes, the bridge rail connections go to the DCC bus., They don't pass through the control circuit in any way, other than the split ring pickup that gets the power to the moving bridge tracks (with the dead spot gap in the split at the points where it is marked to not put any stall tracks). The other power leads are the one that actually run the circuit and power the motor.

 So if you've hooked it up that way, it is correct, and if the voltage at the power input with everything connected is still above the minimum, it should run. If it says AC or DC, then there is at least a dioode if not a bridge rectified immediately inside. If you are using DC power, perhaps try switching the order of the power wires, if the input protection is a simple single diode, it would mean that it does indeed matter which way a DC power supply is connected. If using AC, it would never matter.

                                        --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by selector on Thursday, August 23, 2018 11:17 AM

In my case, with the 90'er of the same 'built-up' Walthers turntable, the indexable one, The well's metal rings must be very clean and free of corrosion.  Same for the wipers under the bridge's central cylinder.  Electrical contact cleaner may help...IF that is part of the problem here.  Even a plain pencil eraser, if you can use it effectively, does a pretty good job on metal wipers for electrical contact.  (Worked for me for decades with the contacts on cordless phones.)

I have a suitable, in-voltage/amperage-range wall wart that powers the mechanism and indexing only...via the flat buttoned panel.  I seem to remember that both wires go to the mechanism's cover directly from the wall.  The paddle has its own bus for controlling the mechanism and is mounted on the fascia or whatever.

There are two wires that go from the mechanism cover up to the pit's well, but you should never need to deal with those...they are internal and hidden.  The only other wires come directly from your bus wires and also terminate at the side of the mechanism cover.  

Once you can operate the mechanism, you would want to do a reset and do your presets all over again...the indexing stops.  A good way to get it right if you have to clean the turntable, which I did about once a month, is to alway have the control 'shack' that the operator uses at the close end of the lead.  IOW, before you clean, or take an engine onto the TT to turn or to place into a roundhouse nearby, make sure the operator's booth is closest to the edge of the lead where it meets the pit.  Lift the bridge, fiddle, clean, detail, weather...you name it, and when you want to restore it already indexed correctly, line up the rails with the lead, but with the booth also at that end as before.  This always worked for me.

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, August 23, 2018 11:58 AM

OK, I got it working, but my explanation of what I did will seem ridiculous.

I followed the instructions to the letter, still nothing. I knew that I had power from the DCC bus to the two input ports on the control box, but no power in the control box, no red LED lit up. At that point, I touched the probes from the voltmeter on the screws that hold the wires securely down into the two input ports. The red LED Power light came on!

But I still could not operate the turntable. So, I moved the two bridge rail power wires from one bus to another bus, and now everything is working. The bus that I initiallly connected to was the bus for the power district in which the turntable is located. It is controlled by a PSX circuit breaker. The bus that I switched the two bridge rail power wires to is for a different power district, also controlled by a separate PSX circuit breaker, that contains my double main line.

I don't know what to say. I cannot explain how and why I got the turntable working, but I did.

Rich

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Posted by nealknows on Thursday, August 23, 2018 3:16 PM

I just wired in my Walther's 90' Ready Built tuntable. Since it was the first version and I run DCC, I added a DCC Specialties PSX-AR to the turntable track. My turntable runs just fine and I can now run my engines on and off the turntable with no issues. 

Walthers was selling an upgraded controller for $100 (I think), but for $55 this is great!

Neal

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Posted by floridaflyer on Thursday, August 23, 2018 4:45 PM

Rich, would be interesting to see the root cause of the original problem, but that may not be worthwhile pursuing. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, August 23, 2018 5:11 PM

floridaflyer

Rich, do you have output power from the original PSX-AR that would lead to the turntable ? 

No, my setup consists of three PSX circuit breakers and four PSX-ARs. The four  PSX-ARs each control a section of the double mainline on each side of a 4-double slip track complex in the middle of my layout. The three PSX units control the non-reversing portion of the double mainline, the engine servicing facility (which includes the turntable), and my large downtown passenger station. I am not using an auto-reverser on the turntable, no need for it.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, August 23, 2018 5:55 PM

By the way, good old Walthers never returned my phone call which I made to them yesterday morning at 9 AM. I got Tech Support's voicemail, so I left a detailed message explaining my problem. I wasn't looking for a free replacement control box or any warranty service, not after 14 years. But, I sure would have appreciated the courtesy of a return phone call and maybe some advice about the nature of the problem. I recall a time when Walthers seemed to care about its loyal long time customers.

Rich

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Posted by drgwcs on Thursday, August 23, 2018 8:17 PM

I am thankful you got yours to work. We have one at the club that will just spin and spin and spin- locked into the program mode. Walthers did have probems with these.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, August 25, 2018 11:31 AM

To put some closure on my issue with the turntable control box, I decided to take another look at the whole situation. 

Now recall that I could not get power into the control box, and the only way to do so was when I touched the probes of my voltmeter to the set screws that hold down the two power wires on the control box. Of course that is nonsense, and I am all but certain that it was mere coincidence that it lit up the Power light on the control box.

Even then, however, I could not get the motor drive to work on the turntable until I move the two bridge track wires to a different power district bus. So, this morning, I moved the two bridge track wires back to the original bus, and it worked.

So, I can only conclude that the control box circuitry initially malfunctioned, or else something else weird happened like the control box going into and out of sleep mode. LOL.

All very weird.

Rich

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, August 25, 2018 3:43 PM

Maybe Gary's poltergeist has traveled the intenet and infected your layout? Devil

Henry

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Posted by selector on Saturday, August 25, 2018 4:05 PM

Rich, my bet would be on a bad connection, and if I had to put my money down on one slot, it would be the one reading, "Bus end feeder connection."  Unless you can tell me that the other end was tight, didn't shift when probed, and that if you probed the wires only at that end they showed voltage?

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, August 25, 2018 4:21 PM

BigDaddy

Maybe Gary's poltergeist has traveled the intenet and infected your layout? Devil 

I didn't want to bring up my good buddy's name in this discussion, but that thought did cross my mind.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, August 25, 2018 4:24 PM

selector

Rich, my bet would be on a bad connection, and if I had to put my money down on one slot, it would be the one reading, "Bus end feeder connection."  Unless you can tell me that the other end was tight, didn't shift when probed, and that if you probed the wires only at that end they showed voltage? 

Crandell, I will concede that it is a possible explanation for my problem. Because I was testing the connections, I had not soldered them, so, yes, that is a distinct possibility.

Rich

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Posted by Baron987 on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 3:30 PM
Just found this thread - Same here with Walther's! - Emails and phone calls - no response! I only had the Turntable 6 months and my controller has gone dark. NOT looking for warranty, just info!
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Posted by Baron987 on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 3:43 PM

 My controller is dark - Everything worked for the last 6 months, lined up perfectly with the roundhouse - now nothing - if I play using my voltmeter probes touching the brushes, I was able to get an E6 message on the controller - that tells me my cable from the controller to the turntable is not bad.  The track power is fine. I am using DC for now, but if I can't figure this out, why upgrade?  Any ideas?

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 5:23 PM

Well, that sure sounds a lot like my problem back in 2018. Once I got the turntable working again, it was as if the control box had been in sleep mode. Give it another try and check that all connections are secure.

Rich

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Posted by BATMAN on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 6:47 PM

Baron987, Clean the prongs under the bridge and rings on the bottom of the bridge with alcohol and a Q-Tip. If that doesn't work, make sure the prongs did not get bent. 

The first few months I had mine I had to clean those items constantly which makes me wonder if some sort of film from the manufacturing process was involved. After cleaning it about four times in a short period of time it seems to be fine without the regular wipe.

Brent

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 10:38 PM

This brings up something else. If the box was to totally fail, could you remake the controls with a couple of momentary switches?

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 7:50 AM

 While most of the electronics are in the bridge, there has to be something int he control box besides the buttons and the LED display, as there are not enough wires coming out to directly address the number of controls present in the box - it's encoded somehow. I suspect whatever chip is int he control box is a bit more than just a logic chip, more like a small micro to endocde using some sort of serial protocol, meaning without that workign component, you would have a very hard time duplicating the box because the it's not likely the protocol used is freely available. 

 It may be possible to use the enhanced interface they sell to connect your own sort of a DIY control box though. But a replacement control box might be the cheaper solution.

                                    --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 9:39 AM

I have the pre-DCC version RTR and it is just two buttons for rotation, dont use the programing feature.

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 10:52 AM

.

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Posted by Baron987 on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 2:14 PM
Just got a call - in only 1 Day! Thanked them very much - turns out the telephone type wire was not inserted (jammed) into the underside of the turntable enough - every thing fine now!
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Posted by Baron987 on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 2:15 PM
See update above
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Posted by Baron987 on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 2:19 PM
Exactly! My "Telephone" wire was not inserted all the way into the underside of the turntable - now, all functions work properly. Even the 6 stops I had set up before this problem! Once I reset the home position, all the other stops came back!

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