Running Lion Chief FTs back-to-back

I'm getting a second Amtrak FT today, and wondered about running them back-to-back. I could just reverse wires to motor brushes on one engine and do that on conventional units, any problem doing so with Lion Chief?

 

 

B&O Bill

Original Post

I can't think of a reason that wouldn't work. if there are directional lights you may be able to swap some plugs on the board as well.  

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

Well, It is not going to be as easy as I first thought. One motor does have a yellow and white lead to each brush.

photo2

The other motor appears to have three white and three yellow to each brush.

IMG_4882

Here's another view:

 

photo3

So, now I'm stumped. I wonder if there is another way to make the unit "think" it is in forward when it actually is in reverse?

Any ideas?

 

B&O Bill

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Photos (3)

Here's three more photos: an overview of the board:

BoardView

Next, the antenna. Note 2 blue wires go to another connector, closer view next photo.

 

AntennaOne

From this connector, a red and black go to board. I wondered if I switched those the locomotive would think forward is reverse?

Connector to board

B&O Bill

Attachments

Photos (3)

I appreciate your looking into this, as I have considering doing the same thing.

The two motors are wired in parallel, so you should be able to follow the yellow and white wire from the motor with 2 wires, back to where they make a connection with a yellow and white from the other motor (though that connection might be sockets to the board, and the connection is on the traces on the board - hard to see).   That will identify the power wires for the confusing motor (which has the speed sensor on it).   The motor with all the wires has the speed sensor, all of those wires are wrapped together but they do not all go to the same location inside the motor case.

I find it interesting that (perhaps) there are four wires involved with the speed sensor: perhaps two for the emitter, and two for the detector.

Make sense?

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Thanks, Ken. I feel like I'm over my head now, though. But, if I can isolate the power wires for each motor, will reversing them (by cutting and splicing, not at the motor terminal) for each pair do what we want? Do the wires to the speed sensor make any difference?

 

B&O Bill

If you don't mind tinkering a little, see if you can cut away the heat shrink going to the motot leads, espically on the one with three wires.  looking at the photos, I can't see any connection to anything but the motor brushes, so I'm wondering if this engine is using a Back EMF type cruise.  if so, then reversing the wires on both motors should still work.  My guess is that one of the three is to the other motor, one is the power from the board to drive the motor, and the last is going to the speed sensor.

in any case, you may also be able to do this:  if you unmount the boards so you can see where the plugs are going, one will plug in near the four FETs tat drive the motot.  try just unplugging this to make sure it is the right plug then test the engine. motors should not turn and it should give some sort of warning with blinking lights or some such that there is a problem. 

Next, if you have some small gauge wire and some sort of test lead or plug that can be made to connect to either end of the plug you can do a test to see if you can just reverse the connection at the plug.  

Assuming it is a plug with just two connections you can also try this... At your own risk.  The plastic socket part of the connector can often be removed from the board leaving only the pins behind.  I've had this happen sever time on accident when pulling the plugs out.  Using small needle nose pliers, or maybe tweezers, carefully pull the plastic shield of the connector from the board, making sure the pins stay in place.  Alternatively you could cut the sides off the plastic part.  The goal here is to allow you to insert the plug for the motor backwards.  if the socket plastic can be removed, it can be kept for later if you ever want to return the engine to normal operation.

 

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

One last thought.  just for S&G, make sure one of those sets of wires isn't going to a plug that is not connected to anything.  it is remotely possible that the engineers at lionel thought of this use case and added an extra plug that is already wired backwards, so you can just unplug one and insert the other for backwards operation. 

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

Moonman posted:

it looks like the wires are just on quick disconnect terminal on the motor. Just swap the wires on both motors to opposite terminals and test direction.

Same wires to same motor - opposite terminals

item#2 is just a plain dc motor   no sensors

I believe only LionChief + has speed/cruise control.

100% swap the wires on the main board and not the engine side. You can usually slip a blade under the connectors tabs and slip the wire with metal prong off of the plug, do that to all of the wires and re-arrange them opposite of where you removed them. I would do this one motor at a time as to not confuse the leads. To be clear, one yellow and one white wire out of the plug for motor A and re-install yellow where white was and vice versa. Do that for the other two conductors and you are done. Just not sure if you will be stressing the engines since they aren't being "lashed up" or MU'ed like some AA sets are.

I hope this helps!

Daniel Gonzalez

BANDOB posted:

Well, It is not going to be as easy as I first thought. One motor does have a yellow and white lead to each brush.

photo2

The other motor appears to have three white and three yellow to each brush.

IMG_4882

So, now I'm stumped. I wonder if there is another way to make the unit "think" it is in forward when it actually is in reverse? 

Does one set of those white and yellow wires just go to the other motor? I may have missed this, how are they connected to the motor? Solder or connector?

If I rember correctly, my Lioncheif engine connected to the board with just two wires but Lionel would swap the poles on the actual motors themselves. This was usually done with solder and heat shrink. If you only see two wires on the main board then just swap those two wires position.

Hope this helps!

Daniel Gonzalez

When I built my A-A set a few years ago, Lionel had put different types of electronic reverse units in different FT locos. One reverse unit would start in forward after being off for a while. The other reverse unit would start in the next direction, regardless of how long it had been off. I had to put Dallee units in both locos.

Be sure to check that your reverse units operate the same way as each other. You can do that by running your locos elephant style and see how they play with each other.

I just noticed that yours are Lion Chief, so as Emily Latella would say "Never mind". 

RoyBoy

Thanks to all of you for the ideas and suggestions. I admit to being overwhelmed, and unsure of my skills and knowledge as to "what to cut."  So, when you don't know what to do, don't do anything. For now, they will pull long passenger trains "elephant style."

 

B&OB

B&O Bill

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