I have a 20-5567-1, GG 1.  It has the directional pantographs which work correctly but do not respond to the soft keys to raise or lower the pans.  I did both a factory reset and a feature reset but still no success.  I am using DCS 5.0.  Does anyone have any ideas?

One other GG 1 related issue: I use the MTH catenary and have noticed that the pan on the 4909 rocks back significantly when running, to the point that it looks wrong.  I also have an old PS GG 1 upgraded to PS2.  It has manual pans and stays up straight.  The manual versions has  with 2 sliders while the auto pan has the single slider.  I sense that the issue may be related to the strength of the springs used on the automatic pan version.  Does anyone know of a possible fix for this?

Thank.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all.

Dan

Original Post

I don't know the answer to your first question, but I have an idea why the pantograph is leaning backward under the catenary.  The MTH catenary contact wire has a rough surface.  If you run your finger along the bottom of the catenary you will fell the roughness I am speaking of.  Also, if the catenary is set too low, it may cause the pan to lean back.  

A solution to the rough surface would be to take some very fine emery cloth and hand sand the underside of the catenary.  With a bit of fiddling, you can also wrap the contact shoe of the pantograph with emery cloth or get a track cleaner eraser and attach it to the pantograph shoe.  Now just let you locomotive do the work.  It will take quite a few passes for the catenary metal to smooth out.

Dan Padova

 

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Thanks, Dan.  I took a couple of pieces down and polished them with a stone - smooth as a baby's butt.  Unfornately, it didn't make any really difference.

I'm still leaning toward the springs but wondering if MTH replacements might be weak to work with the automatic raising and lowering.

Dan

On the display do you get Auto to show under softkey 3 and have arrows on the other soft key spots?  When auto is shown, the unit is in manual.  G

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Yes, George, the softkey 3 comes up AUTO flanked by front up and down and rear up and down.  Pressing the associated button under the up or down has no effect.  Pressing the button changes AUTO to MANUAL and the up and down keys disappear.

Dan

Danr posted:

Thanks, Dan.  I took a couple of pieces down and polished them with a stone - smooth as a baby's butt.  Unfornately, it didn't make any really difference.

I'm still leaning toward the springs but wondering if MTH replacements might be weak to work with the automatic raising and lowering.

What about the height of the catenary ?  Did you check it for being too low ?   Years ago I tried operating my Lionel GG1 and my Lionel rectifier under the same catenary.  I had built the catenary system for the GG1 but the height of the pantograph on the rectifier made it impossible to run the rectifier do to the pantograph not being able to stay up on it's own.  The contact wire was too low and the rectifier's pantograph spring just kept releasing.  I couldn't find a happy medium to run them both.  The GG1 won out of course.

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

So they work in auto but won't raise or lower in manual?  Can you try a conventional reset?   Also, does the engine play shutdown sounds when power turned off (good battery) to ensure the resets were set in memory.  G

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Good morning, George.

First, the battery is about 2 years old; sounds continue for 5-10 seconds after shutdown.

I did a conventional reset using the Z4000.  The engine responded as it should.

I added the engine back to the DCS remote.  When I press the pan menu softkey the display showed MANUAL (only).  Pressing the S3 button changed the display to AUTO with the pan up and down keys.  Pressing the S buttons got the associated message (pan up or down) but nothing happens.

Two things:

First, am I correct in assuming that, running under DCS, I can override the automatic pan instructions?  For example, run with both pans up or down.

Second, the main board in this locomotive is one you repaired for me about a year ago (one of the diodes was destroyed).  You had mentioned that this loco had flash code for the pans.  Is it possible that the code was damaged?  Will reloading the locomotive sound file help anything?

Lastly, I don't think I ever used the pan up and down feature in the past.  I only tried using it now because I have a partially completed catenary system and didn't want the pan to snag.

I appreciate all your help.

Thanks

Dan

I do not think it is the PS-2 boards if the panto work up and down in automatic.  No, the flash code would not be damaged.  Sound file probably will not help on this because it was board flash.  Certainly can try a reload though.  Wont hurt.  What I do not know is if the panto board (separate board) can have a defect where auto mode works, but manual control doesn't.  It is possible.  The board uses a combined signal from lighting plus data from MARS to control.  Would take a call to MTH to get more detail on how the circuitry works.   G

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Senior tech at MTH has not seen this before.  So your in new territory.  I would make sure all the wires are connected to the Panto board.  At that point I would try swapping panto board.  G

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Thanks, George.

In the scheme of things this is not that important.  I'll just keep this GG 1 off this track until I finish the catenary.

I solved the problem of the rocking pantograph - there is a small wire at the bottom linking the lower extensions which helps keep the pan even.  It was broken and now replaced with a piece of piano wire.

Again, thanks for all your help.

Dan

When the recent MTH pans lean, it is because MTH left out a very important arm that connects the pan arms to the pan base so the pan will not lean.  I have had to put these rods in many engines that were missing them.  All the MU cars are missing them.  On later MTH products, the earlier double contact shoes needed to be installed.

pans66pans88

The holes are in both ends of the pan.  You just need to make up a piece of wire to connect both ends.  Your pan will now stand up straight.  It does not need to be fancy.

 

 

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Thanks, Marty, that was broken on my pantograph.  It wasn't apparent because the lower part broke.  When I took both pans off I saw the difference and made a replacement from piano wire.

The only problem remaining is why the pans work automatically but do not respond to the soft key.  Since they do work, I'm not too concerned.

Dan

Dan, try plugging your remote into the TIU.  Do you have another remote  you could try?

Pull your pans in the open position and then look inside the slot to see if your mechanism is moving.  Let us know.  I will watch  for you on this post.  

 

 

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Marty,  they work fine in auto, so the panto mechanism is fine.  Question still is why they do not respond manually.  Dan is using the remote correctly for panto operations.  Interesting quirk and not seen by Senior tech at MTH.  G

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George, that pan board will act funky.   I agree with you to change it out and see what he has.  I can remember changing two of them some years ago.  Early on doing the Wi-Fi beta testing I had a situation where the manual pans would work with the remote but not the Wi-Fi.  I reloaded 5.0 and the issue went away.   No reason for that.

 

Dan, I would love to see your catenary work.

 

 

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Marty Fitzhenry posted:

When the recent MTH pans lean, it is because MTH left out a very important arm that connects the pan arms to the pan base so the pan will not lean.  I have had to put these rods in many engines that were missing them.  All the MU cars are missing them.  On later MTH products, the earlier double contact shoes needed to be installed.

pans66pans88

The holes are in both ends of the pan.  You just need to make up a piece of wire to connect both ends.  Your pan will now stand up straight.  It does not need to be fancy.

Marty, can you go into more detail.  I'm trying to understand the photos.  In the second picture, which looks like it was shot from below the pantograph, the wire you speak of appears to be looped over the wide flat bar, then attached to what ?

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Those were from my phone.  I will try to get you some better pix next day.  All MTH pans have the holes but later issue does not have that rod to keep the pan sitting proper.  My PRR MU cars was a set with no rods.  Easy to make as stated before.  A must if running off the wire.

 

 

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On a real pantograph the part that keeps the pan from leaning is known as the "equalizer bar". There are two of them, one on each side. On the same shaft one crank clevis goes up and the other down.  They are made of 1/4 X 2" flat bar. On the pans I worked on the equalizer bar, hole to hole, was 36" long. They are intended to bend and let the pan lean back to try to avoid additional damage if it snags anything in the overhead.  Without the equalizer the pan would be useless. 

Thanks everyone.  I am on the road for the holidays so I won't be home until next week.

Marty - As George said, the pans do function but not with soft keys.  I will try reloading 5.0 and I can reload the loco sound file - it can't hurt.  My catenary is MTH and just being installed.  I had it setup before we moved and didn't like the bright aluminum poles so I sprayed them flat black.  I have also started painting the catenary wire green (Krylon sea glass) to simulate copper oxide on the real thing.  Riding the train into NYC the other day I was looking at the original PRR poles which are a dark, dirty brown so I think I'll experiment and repaint the poles.

David - I would certainly call this little rod an equalizer since it functions the way you described for the real thing.

George - if reloading software doesn't work, I'll contact you about repairing or replacing the board.

Thanks everyone for you input.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Dan

Dan, great choice of color.  That is the one thing I wish I did.

Merry Christmas.

 

 

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Marty Fitzhenry posted:

George, that pan board will act funky.   I agree with you to change it out and see what he has.  I can remember changing two of them some years ago.  Early on doing the Wi-Fi beta testing I had a situation where the manual pans would work with the remote but not the Wi-Fi.  I reloaded 5.0 and the issue went away.   No reason for that.

 

Dan, I would love to see your catenary work.

I have actually changed components to fix a Panto board, but don't have any documentation on how it works in the different modes.  I know the ditch light circuit is there and a data line.  Maybe manual requires a different signal while auto uses plain logic of the light changing.

I think Dan has the plan with reloading the software.  I assume he checked the wiring to make sure one did not break.  I have a GG-1 for repair, I may experiment with the beacon/ditch wiring to the board to see if the auto an manual are totally separate functions.  G

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Back at it again.  I reloaded DCS 5.0 on the base and the remote.  After that I got a new copy of the sound file for this loco from MTH and loaded it.  Unfortunately, no joy.  Everything seems to work fine except for using the soft keys to raise or lower the pans.

George, I opened it up and all the wires appear undamaged and connected.  If you sort out how the pans work let me know otherwise, I'm not going to worry about it.

Happy New Year All.

Dan

Dan, 2 things here.  One are you using Wifi also?  If so turn off wifi and try manual control with Remote.  Also, try using App to control manual.

If not using Wifi and just the remote, try cycling between auto and manual 2 times, landing back in manual mode and try it.  Let me know if any of the above work?  G

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George,  I do not have the MTH wifi module.  I tried cycling between AUTO and MANUAL a few times but no luck.  One, perhaps dumb, question: when AUTO is displayed as softkey 3, softkeys 1, 2, 4 and 5 show pans up or down; when MANUAL is displayed as softkey 3, there are no icon for softkeys 1, 2, 4 and 5.  That sounds backwards to me.

Thanks for your help.

Dan

At first it does, but the soft key is what you get when you press it.  So when in manual you have the arrows in spot 1,2, 4, 5 and the ability to select auto mode in 3.  That is why auto shows with arrows.

Do you want to go back to 4.20 or 30 and try it.  I have another customer who says he is seeing the same thing.  May be a glitch in 5.0.  G

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rplst8 posted:
GGG posted:

You have switched from auto to manual properly with DCS? G

Yes.  All other DCS functions work great from the remote. 

I guess I should ask what you mean by "properly" though?  I hit the soft key that said MOP which opened another menu that had F^ Fv AUTO R^ Rv.  When I press any of the F or R buttons, it displays the option but nothing happens.  Pressing AUTO changes the display to say MANUAL above the soft keys. Pressing it again switches back, but the F and R buttons still do nothing. 

It has been a while since I posted this.  If I recall correctly I had a problem trying to load the older version of DCS, as George had suggested.  Instead I reloaded the then current version on both the TIU and the remote.  I also did a factory reset of the locomotive.  After that, the pans worked correctly.  Today I use DCS 6.1 with both the remote and the app and pans still work as advertised.

Dan

I would do what Dan says.  When you open menu an Auto displays as an option you are in manual, so pressing the up or down should work.  When your in auto, manual is a softkey option.  G

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Must have a good battery for the factory reset to take in memory.  Make sure engine plays good long shutdown sounds when power killed.  G

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