Good afternoon all:
This afternoon I was running (2) E44s on a relatively short coal drag at 15smph, largely to break one of them in. All worked well for almost 2hrs, then there was a sudden rash of arcing somewhere right around where the motor meets the frame on the aft truck of the lead locomotive. The layout protection circuitry did its job and I popped the hood on the E44 for a look around. There were no visible signs of arcing around where I saw it, nor was anything more then lukewarm. However, there was a bit of an ozone smell around that DC motor area that was not on the other one.
I tested the DC motor in question by itself on the bench, and it apparently ran fine. Seeing nothing else obviously amiss (or any pinched/frayed wires anywhere), I tried to run the unit again with the shell partially opened so I could watch the entire truck area closely at a very low speed. It ran fine that way, but after the shell was shut by hand, (not screwed back together), some arcing returned. Note the arcing was not internal, but right where the motor/truck meet the frame, or as best as I could see. Regretfully, after the last arc, the unit no longer starts or draws any current. The issue is not systemic, as all other locomotives work fine everywhere on the system. So, the questions are as follows:
1. Has anyone seen this kind of behavior, (arcing around where the truck meets the shell)? I thought everything in that vicinity was the same potential, unless the motor itself is failing, which doesn't seem to be the case as it ran when bench-tested with no arcs or ozone odors, up to 10VDC. There are no signs of arcing or burning anywhere on the offending truck, the surrounding frame, or the motor casing.
2. Is there any protection circuitry on the PS3 module that could b e reset, or can I assume it is toast and/or needs board level repair? There was no burning smell on the board, nor was any smoke observed anywhere.
(NOTE: the pantograph feeds the PS3 module directly, and no rollers are used. As such, the red wire on the truck is not connected to anything, and can't short anything out).
Any direction would be helpful, thanks.