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ControlMaster X not showing

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  • Member since
    November 2023
  • 1 posts
ControlMaster X not showing
Posted by Ben Braun on Sunday, November 26, 2023 8:43 PM

Hey Im trying to get my Grandfather's model trains running for Christmas and Im having an issue with my controler. I have a Controlmaster X and everytime I try to run a train on the track the volts drops to below 5 and doesn't come back up. The amp meter doesn't even light up. Is there a way to fix this and/or do I need to take this apart?

 

P.S. I retried the track with just a simple circle with no result.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Southeast Texas
  • 5,423 posts
Posted by mobilman44 on Saturday, December 2, 2023 3:59 PM

Hi,

I've had a controlmaster 10 along with a number of other MRC power packs.  The older ones (IMO) were bullet proof.  But when they died, the best thing to do is bury them.  They really shouldn't be opened up unless you are really knowledgeable of electronics.  But even more so, used ones are pretty reasonable on Ebay and I would just replace it.  There are a number of them out there now in the $40 range.

Good luck getting those trains running, and if you have problems, the folks here are always willing to help out!

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, formerly modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

  • Member since
    September 2014
  • From: 10,430’ (3,179 m)
  • 2,262 posts
Posted by jjdamnit on Sunday, December 3, 2023 2:54 PM

Hello All,

Welcome to the Forums!

Your first few posts will be reviewed by the moderator, which will cause a delay in them being seen. This will pass in time.

How old are your grandfather's model trains (approximately)?

What scale; N, HO, O (AKA, "Lionel")?

The problem might not be with the controller but with the locomotive- -which is a common problem, even with newer locomotives.

Controllers (rheostats) are pretty robust units unless they were damaged- -short-circuited- -at some point.

Do you have a multimeter to test the controller?

An inexpensive digital multimeter from your local or big box hardware store will suffice. (Approximately $20.00-$25.00.) Analog meters might be cheaper but are more difficult to use.

A set of alligator clips helps.

Set the meter to DC Volts.

Put the test leads into the alligator clips and clip them to the "Variable DC" posts. You might need to unscrew the posts to get the clips to bite.

Turn on the controller.

Don't worry about the "Direction" switch at this point.

Turn off the "Momentum" switch.

When you noch up the controller you should see the DC Voltage rise to the maximum specified on the back of the controller. EG: "Output 20 VDC."

You will see a "+" or a "-" symbol next to the DCV on the LCD screen (polarity).

Switch the "Direction" switch to the other side.

The "+" or "-" symbol should change to the opposite symbol (polarity).

If you don't get a reading or only a reading when the "Direction" switch is flipped to one side or the other, it's the controller.

If you do get a reading it's most likely the locomotive...

Which is another "can of worms."

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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