Upset with Dallee tech service - need answers 1991 MP Alcos

So the gentleman at Dallee is irritated with me because I've called 3 times with questions - I've got $500 wrapped up in these 2 engines and boards and want to make sure of the connections before I smoke them by accident. Only on the 3rd call did he understand I don't have "O" gauge but have "S", and on the second call I believe he played some sort of "cuckoo cuckoo" tone when he thought I'd hung up.  "These units have been around for 40 years"  "if you don't understand simple electric ciruit"  "I can't be expected to know every kind of engine" etc.  I don't want this idiot fired, I want him to understand he's not very good at his job - interacting with the public - and improve. 

So rather than be insulted once again, I've come to the wise folks here. 

I didn't understand that both motors run at the same time.  I don't have series motors, I have 2 DC motors.  There are 4 wires going off to each truck plus on the front truck 2 wires for the old Christmas style bulb headlight.  Of the two sets of 4 wires, one red and one black go to the motor, once black goes to the rail pickup, and one black wire seems to be chassis ground, being connected to the truck ahead of the coupler.

The Dallee has 6 pins   1&2 motor brush      3&4 track power    5&6 field

Since I have DC motors I just jumper 5&6 together.   It would seem that I can connect the two motor leads from the two trucks to pins 1&2 either in

parallel (two wires on each pin) or in series ( one wire each pin, twist one wire from each motor together:  either way, check for wheel direction by

 putting engine one side and running with a jumper wire on the rail pickups, there is one rail pickup for each rail - one goes to pin 3 and one to pin 4.  I should use these two leads -track power-  to power the headlight ... ?

WHAT I DON'T GET          

So what are the two remaining grounded wires that  are connected to the truck ahead of the coupler for?

Original Post

If I am understanding your question correctly you now have one wire from each power truck for which you question the reason for them being there. These are additional power pickup wires and each can be attached to the wire coming from the pickup shoe on the same truck. Yes you can use these leads to the reverse unit to power your headlights.

Ray

Thanks Gentlemen -

Here is a picture showing the new headlight and also that wire to the frame.  Yes, as someone suggested, it's connected to the wheels, meaning, I guess, one truck has two connections to "It's" rail - the wheels come up to these "frame" wires and also the track pickup.  I WONDER WHY?  Because of poor contact - at least there are two routes?  You can see the headlight in the shot, - the Dallee guy said to try using a brass tube as a holder, I did that - I'm a little afraid that since things aren't super tight I could accidentally push the LED back into the engine meaning I'd have to take the thing apart which I loathe because these things screws strip so easily - I seem to have a stripped truck screw on this, despite it being brand new and just taking it apart ONCE.  Anyway, I guess I'll twist each pair of pickup wires together, then put them into the Dallee board and also run them to the LED at this junction.  Note RADIO SHACK is kaput, so I went to a craft store, bought some small crochet20171014_154319[1] patterns of wood with holes drilled (like a breadboard) and made my own little circuit board - eat you heart out Dallee guy!

Tom   (PS I am an EE - I wonder about current loops with these two different pickups - the spring loaded skid and the wheels - but I don't know why it was designed this way.                                   Regards

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 " Yes, as someone suggested, it's connected to the wheels, meaning, I guess, one truck has two connections to "It's" rail - the wheels come up to these "frame" wires and also the track pickup.  I WONDER WHY? " 

The power pickup on the trucks have been done this way even back to the AC Gilbert days, I believe in part to preserve electrical contact over the turnouts or switches.

As far as the LED headlights I filed the LED flat on the front and super glued them right to the lens, but I did use the Evans Design leds that have the circuit in a very small package. Good to see that you are getting these worked out to your satisfaction.

Ray

I would say your first problem with the Dallee unit is it's designed for the old Open frame AC/DC motor, which swapts field connections to reverse the motor The can motors are DC. Quite possibly there is a different board for DC motors--or you do have the correct "work-around" I'm not that familiar with them. As to the separate wire from the slider shoe; this is a change Lionel made to provide a more reliable electrical connection from the shoe to the engine, the other (normal) path for electrical pick up is from the one non-pullmore wheel through the axle and bearing to the truck chassis (which is electrically isolated from the engine frame). The problem with this design is electrical arcing which happens between the axle and the truck chassis, causing wear (premature wear?) eventually to the point where the gears don't mesh well, causing the motor to overheat, and a whole failure cascade mode. The shoe is needed to provide a second track power pickup point to allow the engine to run over short insulated track sections, like switch frogs and the infamous track crossing sections. BTW, I've always thought that forming a piece of Phosphor bronze wire to wipe the back side of the pickup wheel would help solve the wear problem.

S'incerely,

David "two rails" Dewey

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