My layout is heavy on accessories, and I like for them to be operational even if not used frequently. My Balloon Ride accessory (6-24177) recently quit reversing the balloons when the base station balloon reached its limit, and instead made a loud ratcheting sound. (I think this sound is due to a safety clutch in the gear train.) From past forum posts, this is a common problem with this accessory. The trigger mechanism that reverses the motor when either balloon reaches its limit has several adjusting screws, but I could find no combination of adjustment that would permanently cure the problem. The trigger mechanism was apparently worn out, and a replacement is not available from Lionel.

Rather than retire the accessory, I found a way to manually control the rise and fall of the two balloons. This $15 DC motor speed controller from Amazon (see picture) has a reversing switch and a potentiometer to control motor speed. I installed it inside the little house on the base station, as follows:

1. On the built-in PC board in the base station, unplug the two 2-wire  (yellow and green) connectors leading to the two micro switches inside the gear box. This disables the original motor control mechanism.

2. Disconnect the red and black wires from the built-in PC board to the motor terminals and instead connect them to the Power input of the new controller PC board. Check the plus and minus polarity of this connection; probably the red wire will be plus.

3. Connect two wires from the output terminal on the controller PC board to the terminals of the accessory motor. Polarity does not matter here as it will be controlled by the reversing switch.

4. Jumper across the two switch input terminals on the base station.

After the base station is reassembled, the balloons reconnected, and power is restored to the accessory, the new PC board will control the motor direction. Rise and fall of the balloons is controlled using the reversing switch, and in addition there is limited control of the balloon speed using the potentiometer.

An important restriction is that the operator must be alert and manually stop or reverse the balloon travel when either balloon reaches its limit (base station or ceiling).

TCA member since 1974.

Attachments

Photos (1)
Original Post

Read your problem and manual cure for the balloon ride I also have the accessory and it has now started to malfunction. It does not reverse when the balloon reaches the station. However, I can get it to reverse by regulating the power from the transformer. If I play with the  power ,lower to higher, the balloon will reverse and move up. Any idea what the problem might be??

hearncl posted:
An important restriction is that the operator must be alert and manually stop or reverse the balloon travel when either balloon reaches its limit (base station or ceiling).

Is there some reason you can't just add reversing switches at the limits so it turns it around?

Jolodo posted:

Read your problem and manual cure for the balloon ride I also have the accessory and it has now started to malfunction. It does not reverse when the balloon reaches the station. However, I can get it to reverse by regulating the power from the transformer. If I play with the  power ,lower to higher, the balloon will reverse and move up. Any idea what the problem might be??

Two micro switches inside the gear box control the motor direction. It appears that one or the other is triggered by changes in the tension of the ballon support line (not sure about this). Cycling the power may have the same effect in your case.

The micro switches have adjustment screws which I was never able to adjust properly. (This requires opening the gear box, which is tricky.)

gunrunnerjohn posted:
hearncl posted:
An important restriction is that the operator must be alert and manually stop or reverse the balloon travel when either balloon reaches its limit (base station or ceiling).

Is there some reason you can't just add reversing switches at the limits so it turns it around?

If you mean external to the gear box, I think this would require wiring a reverse switch at each limit of balloon travel.

TCA member since 1974.

Well, since I can't find a picture, that doesn't help me much.

FWIW, one of them is apparently available from NLTW

6204177501     MICRO SWITCH,HARN & BRKT/UPPER         $7.50         Available from North Lima Trainworks

Jolodo posted:

Thanks for the reply.... I have a general concept on how the switches work and I am assuming one is defective. Does anyone know where you can find a replacement switch. Naturally, Lionel doesn"t stock them any longer.

In my case, both switches tested good. The problem was in several adjustments to the mechanism that tripped a switch based on a balloon reaching its limit of travel. I could get it working for one or two cycles, then it would always fail. I think the mechanism was worn out, or possibly I damaged something in the gear box.

Good luck, and let us know the outcome.

TCA member since 1974.

I suspect most anything that's capable of being mounted in the same spot can probably be made to work.  I recently had to go looking for a funny looking microswitch for a garage door opener, I just looked to match up the switch in pictures and found one that fit and worked.

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×