JFC454 posted:
Hot Water posted:

I remember quite some years ago, a manager from Lionel, when questioned about operation on Atlas Track, responded, "We design, and test, our products on Lionel Track!". In other words, they don't care about operation on "competitors" track systems. 

I can understand why they made that comment.  It would be costly to test products on all other track systems.  However, if they design products that won't run on other types of track systems they cut themselves out of a significant portion of potential customers.  I purchased the 844 from Lionel and it works fine on Atlas switches.  The tender on that engine looks like the same tender on the Challenger so I had no reason to doubt that the Challenger would run perfectly through the Atlas switches also.  I suppose there was some reason to shorten the roller spacing by 2".   Maybe the problem I am having is unique to my tender sample, but I sure won't be ordering a Big Boy from the next catalog until I see the underside of its tender.

I disagree. How costly? How many track systems other than Lionel are out there? MTH? Atlas? Ross? Gargraves? It would be awfully expensive to buy all that track. IMO, what they don't want to do is spend the time and/or effort testing the engines. 

And I'm not sure they really cut themselves out of customers. There's this new, neat shiny toy, and we just GOTTA have it. BTO solves the let's see the test results question.

Gerry

  Home of the BRATS RR  

 

 

 

John C., 

Were you able to get the sound working again?  It has been four days since your last post.  I hope you were able to restore the sound.  I purchased the Lionel 1931250 Greyhound Challenger #3977.  If the sound cuts off on my Atlas O #5 switches, I plan to add the YLB (Your Last Battery) that Gunrunner John sells.  When the engine arrives, I will check the tender for a battery clip.  Lionel did not include them in recent engines.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

No battery clip needed John, there is a version just for you.   Plugs directly into the RS-Lite battery connector.

10510 - Your Last Battery, Railsounds Lite Batt. Replacement

 

 

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When Lionel does the new Boy Tenders, they may want to move the IR board to the center of the tender to allow greater spacing between the pick-up rollers.  

Does anyone have the  new sound Water Tenders to tell if the pick-up rollers are spaced further apart.

OR …   Lionel could easily put female plugs in the rear of the engine and the front of the tender connected to the center pick-up rollers.  These would allow buyers to run at wire from both female plugs to connect all rollers.  The plugs would not be visible unless they were used with the wire tether.  This optional connection would "bullet-proof" the steam engines and avoid different manufacturers' track issues.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

John, I agree with your solutions above but why should lionel add cost their product when it’s Atlas that has the engineering problem with the switch. It is your choice though, and I respect that. I just think Atlas should step up to the plate and correct their switch.  With the trains getting more and more complex it’s inevitable that compatibility will continue to be an issue. 

Rod Miller

Rod,  A wise businessman would prepare for all possibilities within their market.  Various track footprints is one of those possibilities.  The cost for Lionel to issue a call tag, service, then pay to ship the engine back to the buyer for a sound issue is definitely more than installing female pick-up roller plugs in the end of the steam engines and the front of the tender. Lionel could then sell the male-male tether wires as a parts item to recoup some cost.  They don't have to give the tether away free, but like good Boy Scouts, "they are prepared" for potential issues customers will face.

Rod, I appreciate your inputs.  I am encouraging Lionel to act "Proactively".  Customers don't want to know whose fault it is.  They want to know what the solution is.  I am a strong Lionel supporter.  My Lionel purchases prove it.  There is always room for improvement on their products.  Lionel should be anticipating the potential difficulties and make owning Lionel products easy to do.  They do a good job, but is there room for improvement?

Sincerely, John Rowlen

Gunrunner John,

I purchased two 10510 YLB Rechargeable Batteries from Hennings on line today.  I called Hennings to see if the batteries could ship today.  They were only able to find one 10510 battery in the box.  The computer said they had six.  Perhaps they sent out the 10510 for the 10500 by mistake.  The person looking was not aware that there were two different styles available. 

My Vision Line 1931250 Greyhound Challenger #3977 arrives this weekend.  I was hoping to have the battery ready to install if/when sound issues occur going over my Atlas O #5 switches.

Thank you.  John Rowlen

To be fair, and this is not a criticism of any company:

I've had issues with larger locomotives from Lionel and MTH on Atlas switches regarding power drops.

They all work fine on all other track; even Atlas smaller switches.

Music, trains, boneless chicken farming
David

romiller49 posted:

John, I agree with your solutions above but why should lionel add cost their product when it’s Atlas that has the engineering problem with the switch. It is your choice though, and I respect that. I just think Atlas should step up to the plate and correct their switch.  With the trains getting more and more complex it’s inevitable that compatibility will continue to be an issue. 

Rod, agree with your above comments.  Atlas has known they have various switch problems with various engines, but ignores the problems.  Most of their switch problems, roller spacing, rollers getting stuck in rail gaps, etc appears to me can be easily corrected. One would think when ATLAS recently redesigned their switches, they would have made the minor required changes.  I love my ATLAS track, but am somewhat disappointed in their switches.

Craig

Member TCA, LCCA, LOTS, TTOS

Owner "South Fork Railroad"

romiller49 posted:

John, I agree with your solutions above but why should lionel add cost their product when it’s Atlas that has the engineering problem with the switch. It is your choice though, and I respect that. I just think Atlas should step up to the plate and correct their switch.  With the trains getting more and more complex it’s inevitable that compatibility will continue to be an issue. 

My tender sample would lose power going through the diverging route of my Lionel LH FasTrack O72 switches unless I reversed the front pickup to increase the spacing.  However, in that position the roller was directly over an axle.

John Rowlen posted:

John C., 

Were you able to get the sound working again?  It has been four days since your last post.  I hope you were able to restore the sound.  

 

The tender ran completely dead for 2 days despite trying resets.  Then one night while running it suddenly came to life.  Since my sample would not go through Lionel's O72 LH switches without loss of power I have returned the engine to Lionel to look at the issue as well as a couple of other problems I had.

John C,    Thank you for the update on your 1931260 Challenger #3985.  I am glad the sound came back on to indicate that there is life in the sound board.

Since it is back at Lionel, Dean and the technicians will be able to make sure all pick-up rollers are getting power.  It should also give the design team a chance to see if a mounting plate with two rollers pointing to the rear of the tender is a possible solution, giving the tender three rollers total.  It could get power from the current rear roller feed screw.

I hope this is a case where the customer feedback and Lionel make the product better.  The new Big Boys can benefit from this solution finding process. Their tenders are similar.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

You can power route dead rail sections of switches using DZ 1008 or any latching relays.   At one time Atlas provided a relay board that did the same thing.      6924 relay boards.  

From the Ross website.  Note dead rail one (1) and two (2)  and the relay diagram below. 

The same can be done with Atlas switches. Automatic non-derail wiring is also required.   Best wishes  Mike CT.  

Here is another very good thread.     Click on the underlined phrase.  

John Rowlen posted:

Gunrunner John,

I purchased two 10510 YLB Rechargeable Batteries from Hennings on line today.  I called Hennings to see if the batteries could ship today.  They were only able to find one 10510 battery in the box.  The computer said they had six.  Perhaps they sent out the 10510 for the 10500 by mistake.  The person looking was not aware that there were two different styles available. 

My Vision Line 1931250 Greyhound Challenger #3977 arrives this weekend.  I was hoping to have the battery ready to install if/when sound issues occur going over my Atlas O #5 switches.

Thank you.  John Rowlen

John,

I just found out today that Henning's was out of the Legacy variety of the batteries, they'll have them in a couple of days.  I go by their inventory, and they were lying to me on the website.   FWIW, the locomotive has four pickups I believe, and the likelihood of it having audio cutout is fairly remote, so the one battery in the tender is probably a good move as it's more likely to experience power outages.

romiller49 posted:

John, I agree with your solutions above but why should lionel add cost their product when it’s Atlas that has the engineering problem with the switch. It is your choice though, and I respect that. I just think Atlas should step up to the plate and correct their switch.  With the trains getting more and more complex it’s inevitable that compatibility will continue to be an issue. 

Well, while that might be the "correct" thing to do, I wouldn't hold my breath for Atlas to redesign the switch.

John Rowlen posted:

Since it is back at Lionel, Dean and the technicians will be able to make sure all pick-up rollers are getting power.  It should also give the design team a chance to see if a mounting plate with two rollers pointing to the rear of the tender is a possible solution, giving the tender three rollers total.  It could get power from the current rear roller feed screw.

 

Both pick up rollers were getting power because I removed them one at a time and the tender worked when placed on track other than a switch.  If you look at the picture of the FEF and Challenger tenders I posted earlier you can see the problem of trying to put a 3rd roller on.  The simplest solution would have been to have swapped positions of that LCS track sensor and the rear roller as they did on the FEF tender.  At this point the easiest solution seems to be to install one of GUNRUNNERJOHN's devices.

I have several atlas 0-72 switches.  I was having  a drop problem.  The tender had about 3.5 inches between rollers.  Should be enough.  Tested the point of the switch and the tip has a disconnect from the rest of the point, kind of a joint there about an inch from the tip.  There was no power in the tip.  So I just cleaned the point of the power rail, and then no more drop.  Maybe these rail tips should be soldered to the rest of the power rail?

I looked at my recently acquired Vision Line Niagara, and sure enough, two closely spaced rollers!  I'll be using my own product to fix that it appears.

Nuts to that, I come first!   Actually, I'll deliver some to Henning's tomorrow to restock them.  They made a mistake on inventory or they'd already have them.

wb47 posted:

I have several atlas 0-72 switches.  I was having  a drop problem.  The tender had about 3.5 inches between rollers.  Should be enough.  Tested the point of the switch and the tip has a disconnect from the rest of the point, kind of a joint there about an inch from the tip.  There was no power in the tip.  So I just cleaned the point of the power rail, and then no more drop.  Maybe these rail tips should be soldered to the rest of the power rail?

DSC_4967

 When traveling L to R going straight through the switch, when the rear tender roller leaves the point of the hot rail (start of ruler) the front roller is on the beveled plastic tip that is seen on the center rail between 2.25" and about 3.25"  There is a hot connection underneath the ruler that you can see sloping downward at just before 3".  When the front roller comes to that sloped section its only contact seems to be with the plastic tip.  The rear roller isn't in contact with a center rail so the tender loses power.   With the front roller reversed, the roller spacing is 8.5 cm which is just at the point where the plastic starts to meet the center rail.   Close, but not close enough to maintain power to the tender when the engine is run a low speed.  The tender on the recent FEF has a roller spacing of just over 4.5" so it transverses my new run Atlas #5 switches just fine.   I think that beveled piece needs to be plastic to avoid the wheel flanges from shorting as they go through the switch.  Things are probably even worse with Atlas #7.5 switches.  For me, GUNRUNNERJOHN's YLB is probably the easiest fix.

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Gunrunner John,  The first of two 10510 YLB Batteries arrived today.  Unfortunately my Challenger that was to arrive yesterday (Thursday) is drifting in USPS for a day and a half since the last scan.  USPS thinks I might get it Monday, four days later.

I will put this YLB in my Niagara this weekend.  I have a second 10510 Battery that shipped from Henning;s when you re-stocked them the next day. Thanks.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

Yep, I dropped a bunch of the RS-Lite versions off to fill the supply pipeline again.

I also recently acquired the VL Niagara, and I note the closely spaced rollers.  Clearly, this one will also benefit from a YLB to keep the sounds from dropping out.

I don't think these locomotives would need one for the locomotive sound board, they have more pickups there, and sound drops are not really an issue with those.

Gunrunner John,  I had not planned on using them in the engine, just the tender.  With many steam engines, I will keep you busy making #10510  YLB Batteries with the sound board plug.

Any idea what would make my Allegheny 1604 jerk down the track after reaching speed step 22 ?  It runs smoothly at speeds below "22".  I know you a repairing one now and are waiting for parts.  At the current rate that new items need Lionel Service, I doubt they will ever be able to bring my engine in for non-warranty service.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

Hard to say John, my sense would be either some mechanical issue or perhaps something silly like the flywheel is loose.  I wouldn't think it would be electronic with those symptoms.

Gunrunner John's YLB (Your Last Battery) #10510 with the sound board plug fixed the sound drop-out problem with my Atlas O O-72 and #5 switches.  The battery quickly charges and provides enough power to the sound system to ride over interrupted center rails.

Below are pictures of the simple process of installing the YLB 10510 Battery.  Power for the YLB comes from the screw for the center pick-up roller. No soldier needed, but tighten screw,

Please note that the bundle of wires inside the tender are so tightly bundled with little slack that my tender arrived with the power plug loose and out of its board socket.  I had to pull extra gray wire from the bundle to re-connect the plug.

The video shows the sound drop out over an O-72 switch.

My engine still needs service because the Engineer's side rear drivers Ground Light LED does not light.  It's always something.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

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Well, obviously they saved a few pennies removing the cable/connector and the battery holder.  For whatever reason, they thought they didn't need the battery for these models, obviously the guy that made that decision was wrong.   I think all the Legacy stuff no longer has the battery harness or holder.

John Rowlen posted:

Gunrunner John's YLB (Your Last Battery) #10510 with the sound board plug fixed the sound drop-out problem with my Atlas O O-72 and #5 switches.  The battery quickly charges and provides enough power to the sound system to ride over interrupted center rails.

Below are pictures of the simple process of installing the YLB 10510 Battery.

Please note that the bundle of wires inside the tender are so tightly bundled with little slack that my tender arrived with the power plug loose and out of its board socket.  I had to pull extra gray wire from the bundle to re-connect the plug.

The video shows the sound drop out over an O-72 switch.

My engine still needs service because the Engineer's side rear drivers Ground Light LED does not light.  It's always something.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

Thank you for posting the installation photos.  Can you clarify where you attached the single red wire that is to be connected to the center rail power.  In the picture it looks like it is soldered to a screw that has a black wire attached.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Nice to fix that issue.  I have to take my Niagara apart and put one in it as well.

John,

How long will the YLB power the tender electronics once it loses track power?  Also, when you shut down the engine using the Cab2, but leave power to the track on, will the tender sound and lights remain on or will they turn off immediately when the shut down sequence completes?

Thanks.

John Cullen

John Cullen,  My Greyhound Challenger powers down and the sound goes off even though the track power is still on.  I can also shut my transformer off with the engine sound on and the sound shut down in about 5 or 6 seconds with appropriate shut down sounds.  This is probably what the battery would do in conventional transformer operation.

Gunrunner John can give you more information.  This is how the new Challenger acted with the YLB 10510  battery in the tender.

You mentioned that you lost power to the tender. I found the power plug was out of the sound board socket because the wires were bundled and pulled on the power plug/socket connection.  I pulled a little more slack from the bundle and plugged the cable back into the socket.  It works fine now.  The tender lights also stay on going over Atlas O switches.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

YLB Battery 10510 Power Connection to the Screw for the center Pick-up Roller.

Lionel used a black wire off-center (to the side: Do Not use) and a confusing red and black wire to a center pick-up roller.  I fastened the power feed for the YLB 10510 to the Pick-up Roller screw.  Make sure no excess wire touches the black screw or tender metal chassis.  No soldier needs to be used.  The screw should hold it.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

John Rowlen posted:

John Cullen,  My Greyhound Challenger powers down and the sound goes off even though the track power is still on.  I can also shut my transformer off with the engine sound on and the sound shut down in about 5 or 6 seconds 

 

5 or 6 seconds would be long enough to get the tender through the switch dead spot at speed step 1.  Just have to be careful not to stop the engine with the tender on the dead spot.

Thanks for the info.

 

The IR tether is an antiquated holdover from the days when you ran your one chuff per rev postwar tooled toys 400mph all over the place. Why Lionel can't at least use the nice tethers they put on the second gen 0-8-0s with the copper spring contacts is beyond me. At least supply an optional jumper plug to tie all the rollers together.

I also hate to tell you guys, but all three rail turnouts have power gaps. If you are not feeding power to all sides of a turnout you're not even doing the bare minimum effort to make your layout right.

The YLB powers a RS board for anywhere between around 5 seconds to over 10 seconds when fully charged.  The time depends on the volume of the sounds and the 'density" of the sounds.  Obviously, a loud whistle blowing will deplete the battery faster as that consumes more power to generate the sound.  The intent of the product was to allow continuous sounds for brief track power interruptions, and also for conventional operation to have continuous sound for direction changes.  I've heard it complete shutdown sounds on some locomotives with power off, and cut them short on other locomotives when power was removed.  I can only guess the ones that get cut off are pulling more power from the YLB.

Gunrunner John, 

Henning's Trains only has four 10510 YLB Batteries left in stock.  They sold five since last night.  I plan on installing the 10510 YLB Battery in every steam engine in my collection.  I will be removing standard batteries that can leak, especially in the costly articulated engines.  Some of my display engines have been sitting with regular batteries in them for three years.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

Not to worry John, there's more where they came from.  I just have to do the packaging and get them ready, but we're not running out yet.

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