Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Intermittant Running. Rivarossi Dockside.

900 views
14 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Franconia, NH
  • 3,108 posts
Intermittant Running. Rivarossi Dockside.
Posted by dstarr on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 2:35 PM

   I have an old Rivarossi plastic Dockside.  It runs intermittantly on my shop test track.  Nudge it and it will run for a few seconds, maybe a minute and then it stops. I have replaced the original Alnico magnet with neodyium super magets, cleaned the wheels (all four of 'em) with Goo Gone, cleaned the power wipers with a pipecleaner soaked in GooGone, cleaned the communtator with GooGone, oiled both motor bearings, oiled all two axles.  After some running in on my shop test track, it runs better.  Is there anything else I ought to do?  It still is not fully dependable yet.  I'm going to do some more running in, in both directions.

  Any suggestions are welcome.

I have some photos of the Rivarossi but they broke the photo uploader again so I cannot show them to you.

 

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 12,890 posts
Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 2:58 PM

Small engines like that will always have electrical pick-up problems. About the only real solution is adding a DCC decoder with some version of "keep alive" technology. For most decoders the keep alive is a separate attachment to the decoder, but TCS makes a decoder with the keep alive technology installed internally so it doesn't take up too much room.

Stix
  • Member since
    August 2007
  • 1,838 posts
Posted by CNCharlie on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 4:03 PM

I have one of those engines I have owned since 1959.

Mine still runs well but I would check those wire pick ups that rub the wheel flanges for power pickup. If they are not pressing against the flange tightly you will have a power problem. I clean mine with alcohol.

I assume this is a still DC engine. I have never tried to convert mine to DCC.

CN Charlie

  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 11,166 posts
Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 4:16 PM

Some of the Rivarossi, or Rivarossi "clone" locomotives that AHM offered had unusual motor brushes, which in a Pittman or similar open frame motor were a material with a curve built in to match the commutator's size, but with some AHM engines the brushes were literally a small bundle of wire brushes.  Of course back then AHM happily sold spare parts including replacement brushes for their proprietary looking motors.  There might be a buildup of gunk in those brushes.  Avoid the temptation to oil them.  Sometimes the little gaps in the commutators get filled up with gunk too.

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Franconia, NH
  • 3,108 posts
Posted by dstarr on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 6:32 PM

I did clean the power pickup wipers.  I ran a pipecleaner soaked in Goo Gone under both wipers.  It helped.  And no, I am planning to run straight DC, no DCC.

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 7,122 posts
Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 7:27 PM

Goo gone leaves a residue, reclean, no wonder it is not making good contact.

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Franconia, NH
  • 3,108 posts
Posted by dstarr on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 9:13 PM

This one has ordinary carbon brushes.

 

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 2,259 posts
Posted by snjroy on Thursday, July 28, 2022 7:05 AM

Given what you have done so far, I only see two solutions : change the motor or shelf queen.

Simon

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 625 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Thursday, July 28, 2022 8:11 AM

  I too have had issues with Goo Gone leaving a residue behind. Especially on nickel silver rails and plated wheels. The 90 percent alcohol works so much better.

  The advice about adding more pressure to the wheel pickups is a good one. The addition of the magnet replacement is also good. Cleaning the armature and brushes will help. Check the spring pressure on the brushes. Too much pressure is not good and leads to over heating the brushes. Also check the two motor plates are parallel to each other over the armature windings. You may have to shim the magnets with a steel shim for the plates to be parallel.

     Pete.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 9,174 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Thursday, July 28, 2022 8:16 AM

Well, myou have looked at the electrical.

Now look at the mechanical.

Is there a burr or some dented gear tooth?

This is a little four wheeler, sooo... Is it mechanically heavy enough to make firm contact with the rails? Place something HEAVY on top of the locomotive, if this solves the problem you must decide how you can put as much weight as you can inside of the locomotive.

It may be that a goblin has taken up residence inside of your locomotiver.

 

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 15,950 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, July 28, 2022 8:49 AM

Do you have the ability to feed DC directly to the motor with test leads and/or alligator clips?

-Photographs by Kevin Parson

That would be my first step, to see if it had the problem independent of the locomotives own electrical pick-up.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Franconia, NH
  • 3,108 posts
Posted by dstarr on Friday, July 29, 2022 1:24 PM

Victory!  I found a cold solder joint in the motor wiring.  Reheated same and it runs good.

 

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 625 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Friday, July 29, 2022 3:10 PM

 Yay. Very nice. Thanks for the update.

     Pete.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 15,950 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, July 30, 2022 1:41 PM

dstarr
Victory!  I found a cold solder joint in the motor wiring.  Reheated same and it runs good.

Yes Big Smile

Great News!

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 9,174 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Friday, August 5, 2022 8:59 AM

dstarr

Victory!  I found a cold solder joint in the motor wiring.  Reheated same and it runs good.

 

 

Some things like that are very hard to find. Great job beating that gremlin at his own game.

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!