Very frustrated. Got a very desirable Mollie a few years back (brand new from 3rd Rail). Put it on the track and the bell never stops ringing, the whistle does not work and the chuffs sounds compete with static. Sent it back to be fixed, got it back and nothing changed. I have silently put up with it for the last several years. I tried the TMCC reset and it did not change anything. Looks great, runs great but sounds like sh!t. Oh, I use Atlas track, a ZW-C, have Legacy and TMCC engines and all work wonderfully...except for this turkey. Not sending it back again. Anyone have any insight on this? I can't even figure out how to open the tender and I've already broken a detail from handling too much. First failure I've ever had and I am definitely not happy. BigRail
Were it mine, I'd reach out directly to Scott Mann. FWIW, it won't hurt to change batteries in the remote....
The combination you are using should work as that is what I have. ZW-C with 135 bricks, running TMCC then switched to Legacy.
You might ask the guys at 3rd rail under what conditions was the engine tested?
Do you have another layout near that you can test on?
If that fails, I suspect you may need to return the engine again... I know you said you would not want to do that, but you may not have any other choice if the above fails.
The first thing I would do is to remove the tender shell so you can get to the TMCC electronics. Try reseating any circuit boards and check to make sure all the wiring connectors are seated properly. Also while you're in the tender does the engine have a Train America or Electric Railroad electronics.
Thanks guys. I'll have to really examine the tender over the weekend. However it comes apart is not obvious. If I didn't have to get at the electronics I'd say that's a good thing. BigRail
3rd Rail and most other brass engine makers use smaller screws than what you you usually find in die cast tenders. The ones to look for for will be in the 4 corners of the underside. There may be more along the side in the middle depending if its a longer tender like a SF Northern. Maybe one pair or rarely two extra pairs of screws.
If you are still not sure then turn the tender over and take a picture and post it here.
Every 3rd Rail Steam loco tender I have seen has a 4 screws on the bottom frame of the tender. Each screw is near the corners of the tender.
You may want to carefully inspect the tender antenna arrangement. 3rd Rail isolates the whole shell, frame, and axles from the wheels on some of their engines. If it has been disassembled and put back together incorrectly, you may be intermittently shorting the antenna. Some of these tenders seem to be double insulated/isolated from the trucks too. The electrocoupler also has isolators and insulated bushings for the coupler screws. I have a few tenders like this I can think of (L3b Mohawk, Q1 off the top of my skull, both with OEM EOB) and had to be mindful when converting to Kadees. These tenders do not pick up ground because of this arrangement, and can cause all kinds of grief on dirty track.
Constant bell usually means it is seeing a DC offset which could be a pinched motor wire. It also matters which system is in it. Old TAS or newer ERR. SOunds like probably TAS. G
Thank you for all the replies. I will work on this over the weekend and let you know the results. BigRail
I see you are located in Pa. If your troubles persist I's recommend bringing the engine to Alex MAllie, He's is the best with the ERR products which is what 3rd Rail uses
Now I'm insulted.
Not all 3rd Rail trains use ERR, like George said, it may have TAS boards in it.
That engine should have ERR boards in it, didn't it come out in 2014?
I might bring it to York for a handoff to someone who knows what they are doing. I can't even figure out how to get the tender open. Took all the screws out and nothing seems to budge. BigRail
If you bring it to York, why not just stop by 3rd Rail's booth and get the scoop straight from them.
In my opinion, bringing your train to York expecting to have Sunset 3rd Rail “look” at it really a bad idea.
I know you did not specify Sunset as the place you might handoff the engine, but if you did mean Sunset, then I would think again.
First, York is a sales/marketing event. Expecting someone from 3rdrail to take time away from the real purpose and focus solely on a repair situation will only take time away from other members that might want to speak with the staff about future projects, sales, or problems like you are experiencing with this engine… not a place to actually do the work.
Second, as good as the lighting is in the orange hall, a table at York, or any tradeshow for that matter, is hardly a substitute for a proper workbench. Actually, a very high chance you drop or damage something that will end up frustrating you even more.
Third, do you really want to carry around “another” engine at York? If you carrying around a boxed engine, you will probably not enjoy the rest of the show.
The one thing you might be able to accomplish at York that will be worthwhile, is to test your engine on another layout. This might confirm that your engine does not work… or it might confirm that you have a problem with your layout.
All in all, by all means stop in the booth to express your issues with the staff, but don’t expect them to actually pull out a screwdriver and start wrenching on your engine.
I've been around long enough to know not to stop at a manufacturers booth with my broken engine. I meant hand it off to Alex or someone equally competent. I just don't want to have to put it in the mail. BigRail
Well, I did drop my F40PH locomotives off at the Lionel Booth a couple of York meets ago, but I didn't expect them to fix them on the spot. OTOH, I figured I might as well save the wear and tear, not to mention the money, of shipping them.