I completed and ERR install (commander and GS4 sound unit) in an older Williams brass Daylight.  Everything went well.  It ran the layout for about 2 days.  Last night I needed to move it to a siding.  It ran about 20 feet on a straight away, stalled, ran a few feet more then stopped cold.  The Z4000 went red on a short.  I thought it might have been one of the passenger cars is was pulling.

I pulled each car, still in shorted.

I pulled the loco, not shorted (so not a track issue).

I pulled the tether from between the loco and placed only the loco on the tracks.  Headlight came on and No short.

I placed the tender only on the tracks.  No short

I placed them both on the tracks and reconnected the.  The short returned.

I pulled the tender shell.  Still shorted.

I pulled the sound board only.  Still shorted.

Seems like I have an issue within the commander board... if so, WHY?

Other than providing additional cuss words that I may not have covered last evening, Any ideas here???


Original Post

First of all, points for actually analyzing the problem.

I have only one thought. I have done a couple of dozen ERR (including a couple of old Train America) upgrades, so I am not an expert, but I'm familiar. On some occasions I had to be careful to not mount the board in such a way that the "backside" solder joints could not ease into the brass (or steel or zinc) frame of the tender during use and vibration.

I don't know if this is relevant at all. Typically I will cement a piece of card stock or the like between the board's underside and the metal frame/body if clearance seems close. If the board needs support to reduce jiggle, I'll glue a bit of balsa under it as a support leg.

Time to disconnect the Cruise Commander and bench test it.  You really only need four wires, power and motor.  If you want to program, just jumper ground to the program switch.  You need to start eliminating possibilities.

Had a newer bachmann reverse unit laying around.  Hooked it up.  Locomotive ran fine forward and back.  No sign of any issues.  That would eliminate not only the loco itself, but the tether solder points and the tether.  The board is the only thing left yes???



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