Lionelzwl2012 posted:

Alex nice job, this answers alot of questions I had. I posted a thread about a week ago on the acela. You just made me want one more and more. Do you have the cars. If so while you have them could you do a video of the whole set in action. Also could you show an up close picture of the cars IR couplers and how they work. You say if this set is set up properly it works flawlessly. Am I hearing you correctly. Or as marty suggested do you need to install the wired tethers between the cars for the most reliable preformance? The IR issuse between the cars comes into play when the set atomaticaly tilts going around curves. Cant this feature be turned off via a switch on the top of the engine. Would this help in preventing the IR transmition issue between the cars? Thank for any info you could share with us as you have the set in your hands. 

I'm sorry I don't have the passenger cars, I wish I did this way I could have tested them. To my understanding the features that the passenger cars have, would perform much better if the tetheres are wired. 

If you like I can take a couple of close up pictures of the infrared tether between the engines. 

Thanks, Alex 

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Thanks alex, yes please do take pics of the engine couplings that would be great. They maybe the same design as the cars. Not sure. Maybe some one who knows could chime in. To bad about you not having the cars. You could have done an off the cuff eric segal type review of all the features and all the design flaws. You would know how to present this properly being a tech who works lionel products. Thanks again.

Roger g.

Hi Alex.

Is there a way to test the pantagraph motor unit to determine if the board is bad or the motor asm limit switches are not working?  I have one pantagraph that does not function.

Yes those IR tethers are the beast  of burden for the hole set not working. I have been able to run the 3 cars in the line up, however add the additional 3 pack and all h*ll breaks loose.

 

Alex,

Frankly, I'd love to send you my Acela passenger cars that I can't make work correctly but I fear that without complete access to the Lionel spare parts warehouse (they do seem to have a large stock for these cars) you'd be tied up working on them for months!

I don't think that the problem is only with the hook and eye couplers you've pictured and loss of the IR signal between them.  (These were clearly designed to allow for the train's tilt and close coupling features and so move sideways, up, down and diagonally, which is a lot to ask from any optical connector.) The door mechanisms are very complex and I can see that any number of things might go wrong with them, especially with the elaborate worm gear arrangement that is at the top of the door openings.

This train set was far ahead of its time, is not reliable but when it works, or to the extent that it does, it is a show stopper. 

J Daddy posted:

Hi Alex.

Is there a way to test the pantagraph motor unit to determine if the board is bad or the motor asm limit switches are not working?  I have one pantagraph that does not function. 

In case it helps the original pantograph assemblies were revised by Lionel because of operating issues and last time I looked the replacements were still available on Lionel's website. I don't think that the motors themselves fail but the switches and PCBs do.

J Daddy posted:

Hi Alex.

Is there a way to test the pantagraph motor unit to determine if the board is bad or the motor asm limit switches are not working?  I have one pantagraph that does not function.

Yes those IR tethers are the beast  of burden for the hole set not working. I have been able to run the 3 cars in the line up, however add the additional 3 pack and all h*ll breaks loose.

 

Hi john 

yes there is , use DC power 3 to 4 volts. Unplug the wires from the motor , and put power to the two pins on the motor and it will move up or down. See photos 

imageimage

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Thanks for the pics of the tethers alex. Now seeing them close up I see why they would cause problems. I Am sure the ones you took pics of are probably the same on thr cars. 

If we really want one of these models maybe it is best to wait for a new release from big L. When maybe jon z can get the design flaws ironed out.

Roger g.

Guys,

I stopped by Alex's today and picked up the Lionel Acela and GP30.

Alex did an excellent job with the repairs!  The Acela and GP30 run as smooth as silk!  

He is extremely through and checked everything out.

I also dropped off a Williams Genesis set he is going to upgrade to ERR TMCC and Railsounds for me.

If you need Lionel repairs or ERR upgrades Alex is the man!

  

President & Chief Operating Officer

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Serving The Basement.

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Alex, thanks for the videos and pics.  I have the same issue with the front pantograph  on 2029, non powered unit.  

Alex M posted:

Hi guys 

Thanks for all of your input and nice comments. 

As you noticed, one of the  pantographs  wasn't operating during the video I posted. I decieded to take a look inside, and what I found was the motor  Assembly wasn't lining up with the pantograph lift arm. So it was just a matter of taking the  Motor assembly off, and lining it up with the pantograph arm. 

 While I was at it  I figured I would show you all the inner workings of the pantograph motor assembly.  Very nice engineering here

Thanks, Alex 

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imageimage

Alex, I have the same issue with the front pantograph on the 2029, non-powered unit.  I've never taken the Acela apart.  is it a very difficult, complicated procedure to do so and when you say "it was not lining up with the pantograph lift-arm, I'm not sure I understand, looking at the pics.  What should I be looking for in your pics to understand this and what to do to fix it, or is it apparent when you open it up?...  thanks.

 

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

ToledoEd posted:

Alex, thanks for the videos and pics.  I have the same issue with the front pantograph  on 2029, non powered unit.  

Alex M posted:

Hi guys 

Thanks for all of your input and nice comments. 

As you noticed, one of the  pantographs  wasn't operating during the video I posted. I decieded to take a look inside, and what I found was the motor  Assembly wasn't lining up with the pantograph lift arm. So it was just a matter of taking the  Motor assembly off, and lining it up with the pantograph arm. 

 While I was at it  I figured I would show you all the inner workings of the pantograph motor assembly.  Very nice engineering here

Thanks, Alex 

image

imageimage

Alex, I have the same issue with the front pantograph on the 2029, non-powered unit.  I've never taken the Acela apart.  is it a very difficult, complicated procedure to do so and when you say "it was not lining up with the pantograph lift-arm, I'm not sure I understand, looking at the pics.  What should I be looking for in your pics to understand this and what to do to fix it, or is it apparent when you open it up?...  thanks.

 

Hi Ed

The   Pantograph and motor part of the Acela is a bit complicated, there's quite a few small parts. There's a red tab on the pantograph that slips into a channel on the pantograph motor     Assembly, if that red tab isn't in the right position it won't operate correctly.  It's kind of  tedious to get it in place. 

Alex 

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Lionelbill posted:

Alex your videos and descriptions of the Acela''s features make me want to have this set even more, however I'm going to wait for the MTH proto 4 version

Hi Bill 

it's a very nice train set. Sometimes I repair certain engines and I don't want to give them back to the customer. Lol!!!

Alex 

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Alex,

Before taking apart my 2026 which is a last resort. Give me a whole checklist of things to try before doing so. I have followed Lionel's suggestions and believe the lever is in the U-channel correctly. I see the front one move when the engine is turned on and it functions properly. FYI its just the back one. Also I am using a lionel 180 brick through the MTH DCS and TIU and WIU then to my Legacy 990 controller throught the SER2 plug. I doubt that matters but just in case.

Robert Cushman posted:

Alex,

Before taking apart my 2026 which is a last resort. Give me a whole checklist of things to try before doing so. I have followed Lionel's suggestions and believe the lever is in the U-channel correctly. I see the front one move when the engine is turned on and it functions properly. FYI its just the back one. Also I am using a lionel 180 brick through the MTH DCS and TIU and WIU then to my Legacy 990 controller throught the SER2 plug. I doubt that matters but just in case.

There is an updated board for the catenary system.  You will need 1 for 2026 and 1 for 2028.  Also, the screws holding the arms to the mounts are put in to where they just make contact, not tight.  Make sure they do not bind.

Best to use something like red and tacky for grease.  You don't want it to turn into wax.  Use a Teflon based lubricant on the worm screws for the doors if you ever take those apart.

That should help you.  I have 2 sets with add-on cars, and they work flawlessly.  Yes it is possible.  Cool set.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

Robert Cushman posted:

My back panto in 2026 is stuck up. How do I reset without taking apart? I have the panto seated in the u channel but it won’t move when I shuffle around with aux1 6 and changing directions.

If you power off the transformer you should get cycling when you turn it back on and power up the engine.

Hit reverse button and see if it cycles.  Make sure screws are not too tight.  I have always been OK after that.

Do you have the Rev. B PCBs for the Cat arms.  I did that on both sets when I cleaned and greased the worm gears.

I assume you did reset at some point.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

Has anyone substituted a wired tether for the IR?  One of my passenger cars loses connection after one loop around the layout. If so, would you mind showing how you did it? Thanks. 

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

I never switched out any internals or greased it. The traction tire haven’t even wore out yet.

I remember fixing it before by switching the sound in info but it’s not doing it this time. 

Should I pop a 9v battery in the compartment for the heck of it? I never even removed the bag or tie off of it.

Robert Cushman posted:

I never switched out any internals or greased it. The traction tire haven’t even wore out yet.

I remember fixing it before by switching the sound in info but it’s not doing it this time. 

Should I pop a 9v battery in the compartment for the heck of it? I never even removed the bag or tie off of it.

 1). Do put batteries in.  They do not charge, so use a good alkaline or better.

2). When you power down the engine, does the sound also turn off on 2028.  If not, you ir’s are not passing through the whole consist.

3). At this point if all is good, do the steps I listed above, when I first responded.

4). If not, there is documentation on disassembly on their website.  Disconnect the cat plug from PCB and run up to 9 volts to the cat motor.  You may have a bind or limit switch not making properly.  Red and Tacky along with 3in1 PTFEfor oil.  If you do the disassembly, strongly consider the REV B board at $30.00 for each engine.

Bob, this set is a consumer of time lubing and testing doors and motors, but if done with patience, your Acela can be the smoothest and coolest train with all the bells and windows.

Over a  year ago I did both my sets with add-on cars and have never touch one car since.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

Bryant Dunivan 111417 posted:
Robert Cushman posted:
Should I pop a 9v battery in the compartment for the heck of it? I never even removed the bag or tie off of it.

 1). Do put batteries in.  They do not charge, so use a good alkaline or better.

 You could also consider a once-and-done battery, and never have to think about this again: YLB - RailSounds Battery Replacement

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Robert Cushman posted:

All I did was re-program it and it fixed it apparently this thing just has a mind of its own exactly like my year old daughter.

I put the pantographs on lock and not to run and I’ll leave it at that.

I’m glad you got it going.  Another fully operating Acela.  It is our sworn duty as “Acela Misfits” to answer the call of those in need.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

I’m glad I’m on the island of misfits. The one cord that connects to the 9v is shorter than the 2029s so I had to stick the 9v upside down in there. I didn’t want to tug at it and create more problems. There should be a cheat sheet on how to take the shells off to operate on them and show what and where to grease and 3in1.

Robert Cushman posted:

I’m glad I’m on the island of misfits. The one cord that connects to the 9v is shorter than the 2029s so I had to stick the 9v upside down in there. I didn’t want to tug at it and create more problems. There should be a cheat sheet on how to take the shells off to operate on them and show what and where to grease and 3in1.

Go to the support section of Lionel.  Put in Acela in documents or manuals.  You will find a bunch of stuff including how to disassemble you cars.  Print them out and save them.  Even has a document on the Cat arms that caused issue for you.

if you can’t find them, let me know.  I’ll find a link for you.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

I’m sure that is the set of notes referred to.

Makes you think - that nothing as complicated as this would be produced today, and no manufacturer would undertake this level of explanation.

BTW, I think that you are right that the model has a mind of its own. My pantograph and sound/control issues with it have been resolved by random events - such as an unintended full throttle up with a Z-4000 on accidentally starting in conventional mode. Go figure.

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