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Hello everyone maybe someone can help, my beacon stopped turning so I checked the rubber ring with the dimples and they were worn, Put a new one on and spinning like crazy for about 20 minutes till it stopped. This morning after it was off for 8 hours I turned it on and spinning like crazy, didn’t have time to leave it to see if it wound stop again but I’m wondering if I’m running it on too high of voltage and the heat is in a way making the rubber ring stick to the beacon, so basically it’s too hot and melting the ring to a degree, is this even a thing? The fact I want to put a new ring on last night it worked great for about 20 minutes and stopped and this morning after being cooled off it ran great again is making believe it’s getting to hot.

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The concerning heat may be more from the bulb than the coil.  If you switch to a higher voltage rated bulb (e.g., 18v instead of 14v) it should run cooler with the accessory at the same voltage.  Of course, reducing the voltage is a logical way to go, but if it slows the beacon rotation too much, the bulb rating may be something to try.

Also, are you applying any graphite to the finger washer?  That seems to help with the rotation, perhaps at a lower voltage setting.

I recall another source said they had better success attaching the finger washer to the inside of the beacon instead of to the top surface of the solenoid.  Haven't done this myself, but maybe worth a try.

Lastly, I notice that 1:1 beacons of this type aren't "spinning like crazy".  I know that's good for toy trains...lots of fast action...but it might indicate too much heat-generating power.  Just a thought.

It's a great accessory for the season, though, with its red and green lenses flashing by in rotation.

My beacon is of the old dimpled bulb type.  Not very reliable as is well known.  But the sentiment is there, and when the furnace kicks in a nearby vent gives the top a few boosted turns.  Other than that, I long ago got past the aggravation.  Life's too short...as is this season for trains!

FWIW, always...

KD

Last edited by dkdkrd

@dkdkrd wrote:

I recall another source said they had better success attaching the finger washer to the inside of the beacon instead of to the top surface of the solenoid.  Haven't done this myself, but maybe worth a try.

Per Olsen's Train Repair Database CD, for the 494 beacon, an adhesive washer is first installed in the Lens Bracket, followed by a driving washer with the nibs facing outward from the Lens Bracket, and these nibs sit on the base's coil.

494 Beacon

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  • 494 Beacon
@dkdkrd posted:

The concerning heat may be more from the bulb than the coil.  If you switch to a higher voltage rated bulb (e.g., 18v instead of 14v) it should run cooler with the accessory at the same voltage.  Of course, reducing the voltage is a logical way to go, but if it slows the beacon rotation too much, the bulb rating may be something to try.

Also, are you applying any graphite to the finger washer?  That seems to help with the rotation, perhaps at a lower voltage setting.

I recall another source said they had better success attaching the finger washer to the inside of the beacon instead of to the top surface of the solenoid.  Haven't done this myself, but maybe worth a try.

Lastly, I notice that 1:1 beacons of this type aren't "spinning like crazy".  I know that's good for toy trains...lots of fast action...but it might indicate too much heat-generating power.  Just a thought.

It's a great accessory for the season, though, with its red and green lenses flashing by in rotation.

My beacon is of the hold dimpled bulb type.  Not very reliable as is well known.  But the sentiment is there, and when the furnace kicks in a nearby vent gives the top a few boosted turns.  Other than that, I long ago got past the aggravation.  Life's too short...as is this season for trains!

FWIW, always...

KD

If I apply graphite where do I apply it on the side of the rubber ring with the dimples?

@MED posted:

@dkdkrd wrote:

I recall another source said they had better success attaching the finger washer to the inside of the beacon instead of to the top surface of the solenoid.  Haven't done this myself, but maybe worth a try.

Per Olsen's Train Repair Database CD, for the 494 beacon, an adhesive washer is first installed in the Lens Bracket, followed by a driving washer with the nibs facing outward from the Lens Bracket, and these nibs sit on the base's coil.



Interesting, and noted. 

However, whereas my own personal beacon accessory is the 394 dimpled bulb version, I've had more of the 494 beacons, and their 'vibramotored' ilk, cross my workbench for repair requests where the old finger washer was attached to the top of the solenoid.  It must have worked for the customers...the fingers were worn down in that mode.  So, I attached the replacement washer to the same location.  And it all worked fine from the git-go, happy customers.

Two of the reasons I never tried the apparently recommended arrangement shown in your response are:

1) Getting the adhesive washer and finger washer inserted properly, concentrically into the lens bracket cup seemed more challenging that simply applying it to the unobstructed solenoid surface, and...

2) Giving graphite powder a chance to stay on the rubber fingers seemed more probable (gravity) with that washer on the solenoid, rather than hanging upside-down inside the lens bracket.  Again, an intuitive judgment...no personal experience.

But thanks for sharing the mfrs recommendation. 

Whatever.  TEHO, I guess.

KD

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