Just purchased New Acela and 3 Car Add-On (Now make that 2). What to do before power Up? - after you get up from laughing

The “tilt” function on curves must be pretty imperceptible; I can’t detect it (by sight or sound) when my set is running but it works perfectly in “demo” mode and the cars always return to center properly. I mention this because I can’t see the effect in Acela Fella’s videos.

HANCOCK52:

The "tilt" feature was on in the video, but it only works when the consist is above 25 scale miles per hour.

Since Lionel does not have a speed readout on the CAB-2, it is anyone's guess as to speed.

After many hours of testing, because the way the sensors on the cars work, the set works best on 72 curves, and does not need or work on the 108 outside curves.

ChooChooPaul

 

Acela Fella at your service.

 

choochoopaul posted:

HANCOCK52:

The "tilt" feature was on in the video, but it only works when the consist is above 25 scale miles per hour.

Since Lionel does not have a speed readout on the CAB-2, it is anyone's guess as to speed.

After many hours of testing, because the way the sensors on the cars work, the set works best on 72 curves, and does not need or work on the 108 outside curves.

All very interesting - thanks for the insight! 👍

Bryant: "I am looking forward to it being in my collection, especially to join my another standard must have "Veranda Turbine"  ..."

Oh, by the way, I am blessed with one of these (the original die cast TMCC Lionel version), too. The addition of a Veranda to your roster is a moral imperative. 

Bob

Bob Bubeck posted:

Bryant: "I am looking forward to it being in my collection, especially to join my another standard must have "Veranda Turbine"  ..."

Oh, by the way, I am blessed with one of these (the original die cast TMCC Lionel version), too. The addition of a Veranda to your roster is a moral imperative. 

Bob

As long as we are talking about the good ol' days let me add that the Veranda is a must have, several orders of magnitude better than any MTH version and my main wish list candidate for Vision Line treatment. Some hope of that (like a Legacy Acela), however:  it was manufactured in Korea so I expect the excellent body tooling is tied up there somewhere. 

Fortunately they come up at auction fairly regularly, which is how/where I got mine. 

Hancock52 posted:
Bob Bubeck posted:

Bryant: "I am looking forward to it being in my collection, especially to join my another standard must have "Veranda Turbine"  ..."

Oh, by the way, I am blessed with one of these (the original die cast TMCC Lionel version), too. The addition of a Veranda to your roster is a moral imperative. 

Bob

As long as we are talking about the good ol' days let me add that the Veranda is a must have, several orders of magnitude better than any MTH version and my main wish list candidate for Vision Line treatment. Some hope of that (like a Legacy Acela), however:  it was manufactured in Korea so I expect the excellent body tooling is tied up there somewhere. 

Fortunately they come up at auction fairly regularly, which is how/where I got mine. 

The original Veranda Turbine and the Acela may be imitated down the road, too much cost to be duplicated.  I will have to put a post asking for members choices  of 1 or 2 iconic MTH pieces.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

choochoopaul posted:

Acella Fella Here:

Back to the Thread Posting.

Acela's can operate on curves.

Must have tool for Acela Operators.IMG_0218IMG_0219IMG_0220

As a proud owner of 2 Acela's with 3 car add-ons, how does one obtain such a valuable too for themselves?  The wood works better than my finger under the drawbar.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

I've seen reference to this tool before but never inquired whether any copies are available as it appears to be handmade.

In any case, I wonder if the alternative of wired connections between the locos and cars in place of the infrared transmitters/receivers is a better solution for those of us who can't leave the set on the tracks all the the time? I have read elsewhere on this Forum that the connection is basically two wires but have never gone into it in detail - in particular whether there is anyone who offers the service of doing the conversion.

I've had a couple of really very odd problems with the stock couplers, which I won't go into detail about here. A wired connection would be of interest to me.

Hancock52 posted:

I've seen reference to this tool before but never inquired whether any copies are available as it appears to be handmade.

In any case, I wonder if the alternative of wired connections between the locos and cars in place of the infrared transmitters/receivers is a better solution for those of us who can't leave the set on the tracks all the the time? I have read elsewhere on this Forum that the connection is basically two wires but have never gone into it in detail - in particular whether there is anyone who offers the service of doing the conversion.

I've had a couple of really very odd problems with the stock couplers, which I won't go into detail about here. A wired connection would be of interest to me.

Your right about the 2 wire fix.  I was going there, and even bought the Molex Micro-fit connectors.  When I received the set and coupled them properly, worked perfectly.  Paul mentioned the tool during a phone conversation.  I was not sure by his description.  This is the tool.  It is a tool for more convenience.

The IR sensors work flawlessly if properly connected together.  They got a "bad rap".

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

Bryant Dunivan 111417 posted:
Hancock52 posted:

I've seen reference to this tool before but never inquired whether any copies are available as it appears to be handmade.

In any case, I wonder if the alternative of wired connections between the locos and cars in place of the infrared transmitters/receivers is a better solution for those of us who can't leave the set on the tracks all the the time? I have read elsewhere on this Forum that the connection is basically two wires but have never gone into it in detail - in particular whether there is anyone who offers the service of doing the conversion.

I've had a couple of really very odd problems with the stock couplers, which I won't go into detail about here. A wired connection would be of interest to me.

Your right about the 2 wire fix.  I was going there, and even bought the Molex Micro-fit connectors.  When I received the set and coupled them properly, worked perfectly.  Paul mentioned the tool during a phone conversation.  I was not sure by his description.  This is the tool.  It is a tool for more convenience.

The IR sensors work flawlessly if properly connected together.  They got a "bad rap".

Modifying the linkages with two-wire connections would be a help in running ACELA on less than great track work (say, such as one might find on a modular layout). As built, the 3-pack add-ons were assembled with a alternative "improved" IR sensor coupler clip. I personally prefer the original design and had the modified couplers switched out for those of the first design. I have always used the side of an appropriately size screw driver or stick in a fashion similar to Paul's to lock the IR couplers together. I agree that the IR sensor couplers function just fine if one's track work is true and if the entire outfit is left assembled on the layout until it is intended to re-box the train. Contained on this thread are enough information, testimony, and new video of ACELA running flawlessly to firmly lay to rest the snarky comments that have generally passed as 'wisdom' on this subject.

Have fun!

Bob

Bob Bubeck posted:

Modifying the linkages with two-wire connections would be a help in running ACELA on less than great track work (say, such as one might find on a modular layout).

As built, the 3-pack add-ons were assembled with a alternative "improved" IR sensor coupler clip. I personally prefer the original design and had the modified couplers switched out for those of the first design.

I have always used the side of an appropriately size screw driver or stick in a fashion similar to Paul's to lock the IR couplers together. I agree that the IR sensor couplers function just fine if one's track work is true and if the entire outfit is left assembled on the layout until it is intended to re-box the train. Contained on this thread are enough information, testimony, and new video of ACELA running flawlessly to firmly lay to rest the snarky comments that have generally passed as 'wisdom' on this subject.

Have fun!

Bob

Well, I’d like to agree with the last comment and hopefully will when I next put this set on the rails.

I never heard before about an improved IR coupler being issued for the add on set. Am learning something new every day .  .  .

What exactly does the tool do? Support the bottom coupler because it drops too easy when the tab gets hit by the slot side while railing? Or to simply shift it into alignment because the car spacing is so close.

 I'm sorry but the pro vs con of the units are even spelled out by this thread. IR issues, couplings, and the track/IR alignments. Others too. From leaning and sticking there, to doors that wouldn't open, others that wouldn't shut. I.e. there were an awful lot of folks that simply didn't care for it's peculiarities.  It doesn't mean it is awul; just that some folk didn't want to be dependent on sticks or doing things differently than from other locos.

  My old hobby was air cooled VWs.  Not for everyone; they require more regular maintance and oil changes. Americans didn't really like those VW "POSs"... but I found them to be the most reliable vehicles I ever owned... always starting when too cold for the EFI to even go rich/ retard timing enough to start.

It worked for me because I was willing to put in that bit of extra effort others were not. I can't fault folks for not wanting to do these little things I saw as "nothing". Now, how many times have you lashed the valves on your car this centrury to make sure you get to work?

  Same thing. I see it as "nothing" you see it as a pita

It's one of the all time neatest model trains made, but it's not for the light hearted and takes a little more care and effort to really enjoy it.  Be glad your abilities come easy

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Adriatic posted:

What exactly does the tool do? Support the bottom coupler because it drops too easy when the tab gets hit by the slot side while railing? Or to simply shift it into alignment because the car spacing is so close.

 I'm sorry but the pro vs con of the units are even spelled out by this thread. IR issues, couplings, and the track/IR alignments. Others too. From leaning and sticking there, to doors that wouldn't open, others that wouldn't shut. I.e. there were an awful lot of folks that simply didn't care for it's peculiarities.  It doesn't mean it is awul; just that some folk didn't want to be dependent on sticks or doing things differently than from other locos.

  My old hobby was air cooled VWs.  Not for everyone; they require more regular maintance and oil changes. Americans didn't really like those VW "POSs"... but I found them to be the most reliable vehicles I ever owned... always starting when too cold for the EFI to even go rich/ retard timing enough to start.

It worked for me because I was willing to put in that bit of extra effort others were not. I can't fault folks for not wanting to do these little things I saw as "nothing". Now, how many times have you lashed the valves on your car this centrury to make sure you get to work?

  Same thing. I see it as "nothing" you see it as a pita

It's one of the all time neatest model trains made, but it's not for the light hearted and takes a little more care and effort to really enjoy it.  Be glad your abilities come easy

I think you stated it perfectly.  Made room last night to bring the 2nd of my Acela adventures to life.  Dummy on #1 lost catenary action.  Will pull the shell.  I suspect I will need to replace the Catenary PCB with the upgraded one they released after rollout back in the day.  Ran 1 hour last night with no IR loss.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

c.sam posted:

Let's see some photos of your traversing the gentle curves you have please?

I too would love to have this set but the future layout space is quite limited to 084 and less. Have not seen one run in person but hoping to someday...

A couple of videos.  You can see the tilt as the passenger cars traverse curves.  Very subtle

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

Attachments

Videos (2)
IMG_2458
IMG_2459

Wow, that is subtle. The "demo" feature isn't and I have watched it many times, but I really cannot say that I have detected any tilt when my set is on the rails. 

Funny, but I can't for the life of me recall whether the locos themselves tilt or whether it's only the cars! It's not obvious from the video.

I think it was just the cars.  Passenger comfort before Engineer comfort.  Lionel would have been out of the room if they tried to do that with the engines also.  You can see the tilt better as the car is coming out of the curve when it is righting itself.  Pretty cool, huh?

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

Bryant Dunivan 111417 posted:

I think it was just the cars.  Passenger comfort before Engineer comfort.  Lionel would have been out of the room if they tried to do that with the engines also.  You can see the tilt better as the car is coming out of the curve when it is righting itself.  Pretty cool, huh?

You are correct about the complexity of enabling tilt in the locomotives. There are limits. As one having input into the design of the Lionel ACELA, Neil Young wanted to (even!) have operating windshield wipers on the engine units, but one just has to stop somewhere. The tilt is somewhat more obvious on 0-72 curves and is actuated by sensors with the front (nose) truck of each end unit. Please remember that both the real ACELA and the model which it closely mimics tilt ~3 degrees. The design team at Lionel was attempting to go all out for realism on ACELA and the resulting complexity is why the outfit requires a bit more patience (and skill) on the part of its owner. 

Neat stuff.

Bob

Bryant Dunivan 111417 posted:

I could not help but enter into the fun everyone has or is enjoying with the marvelous set.  Before we get into how dumb I was, I need your help to avoid being really dumb, please.   In my defense, my layout has 2 loops (80+ and 90+ Atlas)  with a good 3 feet as the shortest between 90 degree curves on the depth and about 9 feet on the width.  Pretty much Oval within and oval.   Layout is about 12.5 x 15.  

I will say, my friend and Lionel dealer will inspect and test run it with his 2 high tech gurus (probably millennials) prior to shipping.  My thoughts are as follows to expect upon unboxing:

1)  Doors and other moving parts will need to be lubricated.

2)  Something to do with a worm gear having lube that has dried out or is hardening.

3)  Wheels and rollers obviously will need to be lubed.

4)  Am I repacking any gear boxes?  Didn't look at the drive specs yet.

This is the perfect thing for me to tinker with, as I tend to enjoy these types of challenges.

 

Thanks for looking and more thanks if you respond.

Fully finished testing #1 last night.  Not bad on what needs to be done:

1)  4 of the doors on the add on set or not operating.  Flashing lights indicate fault.  Motors probably on a dead spot or need of fresh lube.  Will apply 9 vdc directly to motor (with wires disconnected from control board) to verify motor status.  Then clean and lube all gear assemblies.  Should not be too tough.  Most work should be in removing the shells. 

2)  Dummy catenary arms not working at all.  No motor noise either.  When out of the box, one worked and I fiddled with the other and it started to function also.  Lubed pivot points, and both now dead.  I will do the motor test, and confirm suspicion that I need to swap out the catenary control board with the updated (fix) one.

I will unbox number 2 and do the inspection procedure.  When I determine what parts are needed for both I will place my order with Lionel parts to take advantage of the $10.00 flat rate shipping.  After that, pure enjoyment.  I am looking forward to running both in opposite directions on my 2 outer loops.  Video to follow.

When this is all done, I will be writing a bit of a tips and tricks page with the draft going to Choochoopaul for his experienced sage additions and notes.  I think if there was a procedure available, it would help everyone who owns this "much too maligned" set.  One thing for sure is: "when joining couplers the plastic IR connectors and draw bars must be aligned on top of each other".  If one is off a little bit, it will drive one nuts.  More to follow.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

Bryant Dunivan 111417 posted:

Fully finished testing #1 last night.  Not bad on what needs to be done:

1)  4 of the doors on the add on set or not operating.  Flashing lights indicate fault.  Motors probably on a dead spot or need of fresh lube.  Will apply 9 vdc directly to motor (with wires disconnected from control board) to verify motor status.  Then clean and lube all gear assemblies.  Should not be too tough.  Most work should be in removing the shells. 

2)  Dummy catenary arms not working at all.  No motor noise either.  When out of the box, one worked and I fiddled with the other and it started to function also.  Lubed pivot points, and both now dead.  I will do the motor test, and confirm suspicion that I need to swap out the catenary control board with the updated (fix) one . . .

This sounds exactly like my own experience. I'll be interested to know what you find on making the battery/motor test on doors as well as pantographs. As reported in my earlier post, my own pantograph issue was accidentally resolved by an unintentional high voltage jolt from the transformer I was using (then a Z-4000). Obviously I can't recommend that as a repair technique but after so many years in the box it would not be surprising if the motor/gear assembly was a little sticky. 

FWIW, I had some correspondence with Jon Z. back in the day after I had got these sets (X-mas 2010) and on digging it out I see that I reported to him that the pantograph operation was more consistent using a CAB1 and its base station than my CAB2 setup. I've always wondered exactly how Lionel"ported" the Acela settings that are built into Legacy/CAB2 setup and whether using a pure TMCC control was better.

Bryant Dunivan 111417 posted:
Bryant Dunivan 111417 posted:

I could not help but enter into the fun everyone has or is enjoying with the marvelous set.  Before we get into how dumb I was, I need your help to avoid being really dumb, please.   In my defense, my layout has 2 loops (80+ and 90+ Atlas)  with a good 3 feet as the shortest between 90 degree curves on the depth and about 9 feet on the width.  Pretty much Oval within and oval.   Layout is about 12.5 x 15.  

I will say, my friend and Lionel dealer will inspect and test run it with his 2 high tech gurus (probably millennials) prior to shipping.  My thoughts are as follows to expect upon unboxing:

1)  Doors and other moving parts will need to be lubricated.

2)  Something to do with a worm gear having lube that has dried out or is hardening.

3)  Wheels and rollers obviously will need to be lubed.

4)  Am I repacking any gear boxes?  Didn't look at the drive specs yet.

This is the perfect thing for me to tinker with, as I tend to enjoy these types of challenges.

 

Thanks for looking and more thanks if you respond.

Fully finished testing #1 last night.  Not bad on what needs to be done:

1)  4 of the doors on the add on set or not operating.  Flashing lights indicate fault.  Motors probably on a dead spot or need of fresh lube.  Will apply 9 vdc directly to motor (with wires disconnected from control board) to verify motor status.  Then clean and lube all gear assemblies.  Should not be too tough.  Most work should be in removing the shells. 

2)  Dummy catenary arms not working at all.  No motor noise either.  When out of the box, one worked and I fiddled with the other and it started to function also.  Lubed pivot points, and both now dead.  I will do the motor test, and confirm suspicion that I need to swap out the catenary control board with the updated (fix) one.

I will unbox number 2 and do the inspection procedure.  When I determine what parts are needed for both I will place my order with Lionel parts to take advantage of the $10.00 flat rate shipping.  After that, pure enjoyment.  I am looking forward to running both in opposite directions on my 2 outer loops.  Video to follow.

When this is all done, I will be writing a bit of a tips and tricks page with the draft going to Choochoopaul for his experienced sage additions and notes.  I think if there was a procedure available, it would help everyone who owns this "much too maligned" set.  One thing for sure is: "when joining couplers the plastic IR connectors and draw bars must be aligned on top of each other".  If one is off a little bit, it will drive one nuts.  More to follow.

Number 2, Catanary arms perfect.  All doors on Cafe don't open.  1 door on 2 cars not opening.  Not bad for 15 years in a box.  No rush.  Fun project to do in the kitchen after dinners.  Really neat to run 2 at the same time.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

Bryant Dunivan 111417 posted:

Number 2, Catanary arms perfect.  All doors on Cafe don't open.  1 door on 2 cars not opening.  Not bad for 15 years in a box.  No rush.  Fun project to do in the kitchen after dinners.  Really neat to run 2 at the same time.

That's great, you have discovered that it functions just as bad at 15 years old as it did when they were brand new.

Scott Smith

scott.smith posted:

That's great, you have discovered that it functions just as bad at 15 years old as it did when they were brand new.

Scott Smith

OK, pretty hard to resist that conclusion! But let’s rise to the challenge - or those of us who are exceptionally stubborn will. 

I found that with a couple of cars it was necessary to lock out the opening door function on one side to prevent it or the other side from tiggering the blinking lights. Not a solution of course but allowed the car to be run. 

I don’t think that anyone ever established that this was a software problem as opposed to an IR signal or mechanical one. 

We will know after I tune these problems out.  Some of the doors grunted during movement.  Oil on the worm took care of it.  Also a door or 2 started working.  Struggling without fresh lube.  Oiled, viola, perfect.  Only bummer is that shells need to come off when door is closed.  I will summarize and detail procedures for people who want to give it one more try.

Bryant

TCA 18-73717

Bryant Dunivan 111417 posted:

We will know after I tune these problems out.  Some of the doors grunted during movement.  Oil on the worm took care of it.  Also a door or 2 started working.  Struggling without fresh lube.  Oiled, viola, perfect.  Only bummer is that shells need to come off when door is closed.  I will summarize and detail procedures for people who want to give it one more try.

I'm sure you'll do this anyway but knowing exactly which cars show problems, and how many out of the total you have actually have been made to work without replacing original components (especially the electronics),  would probably help the likes of me. 

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