O Scale Premier 0-4-0 A-5 Switcher Steam Engine w/Proto-Sound 3.0 (Hi-Rail Wheels)

The engine will navigate my O-72, #4 and #6 switches, but dies on my 22 degree crossover.  I have tried  positioning the pickup rollers in three configurations.

Both facing forward

One forward, one backward

Both backward

In all configurations it's just enough to catch plastic on both sides.  The only way I can get through is at  high speed.  Then the flywheel does it's job and just barely gets me through with a lurch.

Has anyone installed double pickup rollers or a pickup on the engine?  It would seem like adding one to the engine would work, but then I would have another wire to worry about back to the tender.

Thoughts or ideas?

Thanks!

Ron

IMG_20200119_223448164

 

"I'd rather be lucky than good"

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Original Post

I run all Scaletrax and one of the biggest issues with MTH is the lack of pickup rollers on the tender.  It seems really odd to me that they never did and Lionel does which makes Lionel units run better on Scaletrax than MTH.  Especially, back to back switches like my setup.

Plenty here have installed additional pickup on the tender which seems to alleviate the issue.

Rob (Sparky)

Sparky74 posted:

I run all Scaletrax and one of the biggest issues with MTH is the lack of pickup rollers on the tender.  It seems really odd to me that they never did and Lionel does which makes Lionel units run better on Scaletrax than MTH.  Especially, back to back switches like my setup.

Plenty here have installed additional pickup on the tender which seems to alleviate the issue.

There are two pickup rollers on the tender now.  Do you mean make the rollers on the tender, double rollers?

Ron

 

"I'd rather be lucky than good"

Thanks GRJ.  I might do that.  In the short term I added some "length" to the center rail on the 2 degree cross.  I had to be careful to get it just right so the wheels would not short.

I can make it through at 16 SMPH on the straight sections and 26 SMPH on the diagonal section.  Any slower and she stalls.  At least that's better than 40.

I might try a pair of double pickup rollers on the tender first at that is an easy fix without having to open anything up and work from the inside.

If that does not work, then I might just try the PU on the engine.

Thanks.

Ron

PS - John, the home made BCR2's work great.  Thanks!

Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 1.10.59 PM

"I'd rather be lucky than good"

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Ron045 posted:
Has anyone installed double pickup rollers or a pickup on the engine?  It would seem like adding one to the engine would work, but then I would have another wire to worry about back to the tender.

The wire was no big deal, and it totally solved the problem as the spacing between rollers now will conquer any switch or crossover.   If you can plug the 6-pin drawbar in, the single pin wire for power should be a piece of cake.   Fooling with the rollers on something as small as that tender is likely to be marginal at solving the problem.  The fact that there's already a provision for a roller on the locomotive assures you that you'll have a trouble-free installation.

Good question!  GRJ is one of the most talented engineers in this hobby; this mod is beyond what most folks could have come up with on their own.  Just knowing which roller was the best fit is a key piece of information that would have taken a lot of trial and error. 

It certainly wouldn't have cost the factory very much to incorporate these improvements in the original design.  And this loco has been reissued multiple times! 

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

RSJB18 posted:

So if this is such a common sense solution, why doesn't MTH do it in the factory

You could expand that to dozens of design decisions that are mode on these products. 

I'm sure it all boils down to the lowest cost solution they think they can get away with.  IOne of the factors for the decision is with the switcher steamers, they used up the wire in the drawbar that would carry track power to run the front coupler.  Thus, they don't have an extra conductor to bring track power to the locomotive without adding conductors to the drawbar design.  If you have a steamer without a front electrocoupler, you have track power already bused between the two units.

Why is there a conductor in the draw bar for a large steam engine and not a small one?  Don't they try to use as many common parts as possible?

I understand sacrifices based on financial decisions, but shouldn't you design engines so they run on your own brand of track???

Ron

 

"I'd rather be lucky than good"

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