Skip to main content

I took a risk and purchased a Weaver New Haven I-5 that was advertised as untested. The box was marked for an engine with TMCC and railsounds, but the exterior of the shipping carton was modified to read "3 rail w/o sound" instead of "3 rail w/ sound" by writing in the 'o' with a pen. When I powered the engine the lights came on, no movement in either TMCC (with universal address #) or conventional, so I decided to open the tender up and here is what I found:

TAS Motherboard 2

C08 Board

C08 Board 2

1. The R2LC08 board was loose inside the tender shell. Nothing shorted when I had the engine powered on the track, so I don't think it was damaged.

2. Two other boards are missing from the tender - I'm not familiar with Train America Studios electronics, but I think I'm missing a sound power board and the board the contains the programed sound set chip, based on what I've seen with stock Lionel boards.

3. Obviously missing a speaker.

4. The headlight and marker light came on when power was applied to the track, and all other wires in the tender appear undisturbed.

At this point, I have no idea what the previous owner was doing.

So here are my questions for the TMCC and TAS experts out there:

1. Is an R2LC08 the appropriate radio receiver for this electronics package?

2. Where does each board get attached to on the TAS motherboard? To start with, I'd like to attach the R2LC08 and see if I can get motor functionality.

3. Are the sound power and programming boards actually the ones I am missing?

4. I have some extra speakers taken from TMCC/ERR upgrades and one speaker from a Legacy engine - are these OK to use with the TAS boards? Which port on the motherboard is for the speaker?

5. I have not opened the engine itself - I know a few people on this forum have performed upgrades on these engines, are there any PCBs in the engine I should be looking at as well? Up to this point I have been assuming all that is in the engine is the motor, smoke unit, lights, and whatever provides the chuff input back to the sound board.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can provide input - this looks like it will be a fun project on my end.

~Chris

Box

Attachments

Images (5)
  • Box
  • C08 Board 2
  • C08 Board
  • TAS Motherboard 2
  • TAS Motherboard
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Chris, I bought one from the first run. You are correct as to everything being in the tender. I believe this is from the first run. The second run featured EOB. I didn’t see that mentioned on the box as a feature. The first run featured a mechanical chuff switch and a puffer style smoke unit.

One thing to look out for. The tender shell is the antenna. The pin that’s on the tender that fits into the drawbar is part of the shell. There is a small loose fitting plastic grommet that keeps the pin isolated from grounding the antenna. Mine was running erratically and at times not powering up. I had removed the tender a few times dealing with at first a loose board and then a bad soundboard. Always removed it in the same spot. Took a few days to figure out the erratic running issue. Made up a plastic drawbar and all was well. Found the grommet between the ties and glued it in.

These are really nice engines. A must have if your a New Haven fan. Not the greatest of pullers. Just don’t believe it weighs enough. As nice as this one is. The Holy Grail is the I4 Pacific. You never see those for sale.

Last edited by Dave_C

Chris, mine was converted to EOB shortly after I bought it. After watching a Great Railroad at Work numerous times. I had to have that steamboat whistle. It came with just your basic generic Railsounds. I purchased a Railsounds 4 SP Daylight board. Pretty close as far as sound to the prototype. If your going to stick with the TAS board. Lionel is having their 1/2 price sale soon. I’m not sure if you can use a Railsounds 5 board with this application or which specific board I bought. I just don’t do a lot of upgrades to know what works with what.

While the cruise is a great feature. Used in passenger service. This engine ran pretty good without it. I was more interested in getting the 4 chuffs and eliminating the puffer smoke unit.

Dave,

I am a big New Haven fan, so just getting this in good cosmetic condition is already a win for me. Thanks for warning me about that plastic grommet - I found it hanging onto the tender pin, so I temporarily taped it in place on the engine drawbar. I'm still debating if I should gut it and install an ERR upgrade (which I've done a couple of before), I want to run it with the TAS electronics for a little bit first to see if I can live without the cruise control. Smoke units are a low priority for me.

John,

Thanks a ton for the TAS installation manual - that essentially answered all my electrical questions. I'm debating what to do with the electronics, I might reach out to you privately regarding the Railsounds Audio and Power boards once I've made a decision.



Now, what I did tonight:

Now that I know which connection it goes to, I installed the R2LC08 board and set everything up. Engine accepted its programming, and directional lighting, electrocoupler, and motor all work. I didn't test the smoke unit, and obviously still no sound. Overall a win so far there.

I do have a few problems with the running gear on one side. It's pretty clear at this point that this engine has been in an accident, or something jammed in the running gear at one point. The main rod, eccentric crank, eccentric rod, and expansion link (also seen it called the reverse gear) all have slight bows in them in different directions. Now the engine runs forward OK, but the valve gear on this side jams in reverse. Here are some videos of what each side looked like before I opened the engine up (engine moving forward in both).

Bad side:

Good side:

First problem I identified was the jumping radius rod - it looked like the bent expansion link (reverse gear) was jamming itself into the yoke of the radius rod, causing it to pop up periodically. I spread the yoke out slightly and largely fixed that problem.

Second issue was, while in reverse, the eccentric rod jamming. As far as I can figure out, the friction of the expansion link in the radius rod put strain on the eccentric rod, which slowly loosened the press fit of eccentric crank on its pin. When moving forward, the eccentric crank is being pushed into its properly quartered position. In reverse, the drag on the expansion link would pull the eccentric rod, which pulls the eccentric crank, and the crank begins to rotate out of alignment on its pin. This allows the rod to flip into a position where it jams itself against the reverse yoke. Freeing the expansion link from the radius rod reduced the issue from every rotation of the drivers to every few feet, but the damage was already done and the crank is loose.

Valve gear on the bad side, showing the eccentric rod jammed and the crank spun about 30 degrees clockwise out of place:

Eccentric crank wrong

Valve gear on the good side, showing the crank in the proper position for the same driver position:

Eccentric crank right



So, anyone have any ideas on how I can prevent the crank from rotating on its pin? I don't even see an easy way to disassemble the valve gear.

~Chris

Attachments

Images (2)
  • Eccentric crank right
  • Eccentric crank wrong
Videos (2)
Bad Side
Good Side
@C.Vigs posted:
So, anyone have any ideas on how I can prevent the crank from rotating on its pin? I don't even see an easy way to disassemble the valve gear.

Actually, it looks like the eccentric crank is 90 degrees out, loosen that screw and rotate it.  There should be teeth on the crank itself that engage the matching teeth on the wheel, if you put it in the right orientation, that might be all you need.

Are you saying the eccentric is loose? I believe on that type of eccentric arrangement, the forward angle is set by the screw in the center and detents/notches in the crankpin/eccentric assembly and the driver. You should be able to index it by loosening the screw in the center and backing out the eccentric/main pin assembly enough to rotate it. The fireman side looks correct, the eccentric should be tilted forward/leading around 10-25 degrees or so with the main crankpin sitting at 6 o'clock (rods down). You should feel the crankpin notch into place. Looks like Weaver built your drivers with about 25 degree forward lean on the eccentrics.

More photos might be good!

Last edited by Norm Charbonneau
@C.Vigs posted:

Dave,

I am a big New Haven fan, so just getting this in good cosmetic condition is already a win for me. Thanks for warning me about that plastic grommet - I found it hanging onto the tender pin, so I temporarily taped it in place on the engine drawbar. I'm still debating if I should gut it and install an ERR upgrade (which I've done a couple of before), I want to run it with the TAS electronics for a little bit first to see if I can live without the cruise control. Smoke units are a low priority for me.

John,

Thanks a ton for the TAS installation manual - that essentially answered all my electrical questions. I'm debating what to do with the electronics, I might reach out to you privately regarding the Railsounds Audio and Power boards once I've made a decision.



Now, what I did tonight:

Now that I know which connection it goes to, I installed the R2LC08 board and set everything up. Engine accepted its programming, and directional lighting, electrocoupler, and motor all work. I didn't test the smoke unit, and obviously still no sound. Overall a win so far there.

I do have a few problems with the running gear on one side. It's pretty clear at this point that this engine has been in an accident, or something jammed in the running gear at one point. The main rod, eccentric crank, eccentric rod, and expansion link (also seen it called the reverse gear) all have slight bows in them in different directions. Now the engine runs forward OK, but the valve gear on this side jams in reverse. Here are some videos of what each side looked like before I opened the engine up (engine moving forward in both).

Bad side:

Good side:

First problem I identified was the jumping radius rod - it looked like the bent expansion link (reverse gear) was jamming itself into the yoke of the radius rod, causing it to pop up periodically. I spread the yoke out slightly and largely fixed that problem.

Second issue was, while in reverse, the eccentric rod jamming. As far as I can figure out, the friction of the expansion link in the radius rod put strain on the eccentric rod, which slowly loosened the press fit of eccentric crank on its pin. When moving forward, the eccentric crank is being pushed into its properly quartered position. In reverse, the drag on the expansion link would pull the eccentric rod, which pulls the eccentric crank, and the crank begins to rotate out of alignment on its pin. This allows the rod to flip into a position where it jams itself against the reverse yoke. Freeing the expansion link from the radius rod reduced the issue from every rotation of the drivers to every few feet, but the damage was already done and the crank is loose.

Valve gear on the bad side, showing the eccentric rod jammed and the crank spun about 30 degrees clockwise out of place:

Eccentric crank wrong

Valve gear on the good side, showing the crank in the proper position for the same driver position:

Eccentric crank right



So, anyone have any ideas on how I can prevent the crank from rotating on its pin? I don't even see an easy way to disassemble the valve gear.

~Chris

Can you provide a picture of the yoke you adjusted to deal with the jumping radius rod? Mine does the same thing on the same side.

Last edited by biscuitag97

Biscuit,

See the photos below. First photo shows the expansion link in the center, with the radius rod extending to the right - the radius rod is forked to surround the expansion link (this is what I was calling the yoke). As the expansion rod rocks back and forth, it was hitting the bottom of the radius rod causing it to jump. I just inserted a flathead screwdriver and gently spread the yoke apart until the expansion link moved freely. It only needed a fraction of a mm more room.

Radius Rod Yoke

Spread Yoke w Screwdriver

John,

Thanks for the common sense - I feel a little stupid not realizing that was just a screw. Thought the slot was part of the side rod detailing, lol. Screw came right off.

Norm,

Yes, the eccentric crank was loose - it had about 30 degrees of rotational movement. Some photos below before I removed the screw.

Proper position of the crank (give or take):

Rotation 1

At this point in the rotation, when the engine is moving backwards, is when the crank begins rotating out of alignment. This makes sense - at this point when the engine is moving backwards, the eccentric rod is putting a clockwise moment on the crank, and that is direction in which it is loose. If you compare this photo to the one above, looking at the notches in the crank vs the pin, you'll see it has moved slightly already:

Rotation 2

This is where the valve gear jams - the eccentric crank has dropped to a point where, as the wheel continues to rotate counter-clockwise, it forces the eccentric rod up into the bottom of the reverser detail.

Rotation 3



So, here is the situation after I removed the screw. The eccentric pin looks mostly OK - a little wear on the edges of the flats, but not bad.

Keyed Eccentric Pin

The eccentric crank on the other hand is bad - a bit of damage. The keyed slot is now hourglass shaped, which explains the limited radial movement it has.

Keyed Eccentric Crank Worn

Here is the position the crank is supposed to be in:

Eccentric Crank held in proper position

And what happens when I remove my fingers:

Eccentric Crank fallen out of position



I think I have limited options here.

1. Try and find a replacement eccentric crank assembly (odds are probably slim to none, unless someone has a junked beyond repair I-5 out there).

2. Add a very small lockwasher under the screw to hold the crank in place radially (don't think it'll work even if I could find one small enough).

3. Hold the crank in the proper position and apply a thread locker, or some similar adhesive.

4. Create a thin plate with a good keyway, and glue it to the back of the crank. Could be machined out of brass stock, maybe 3D printed in a metal material. Based on the other bent valve gear pieces I'm assuming a single big shock did all of this damage, and the forces this would see normally are very small.

I'm open to any other ideas as well.

~Chris

Attachments

Images (9)
  • Eccentric Crank fallen out of position
  • Eccentric Crank held in proper position
  • Keyed Eccentric Crank Worn
  • Keyed Eccentric Pin
  • Radius Rod Yoke
  • Rotation 1
  • Rotation 2
  • Rotation 3
  • Spread Yoke w Screwdriver

Chris, do you know what your dealing with as far as the crank and screw in regards to what kind of metal ? Is it possible to position the crank in it’s exact spot. Tighten the screw. Then silver solder the crank to the screw. You shouldn’t need much. Seeing you can probably reverse the process by reheating if you ever had to remove it. There’s not a lot of strain on these pieces as they are pretty delicate as long as nothing goes wrong. I watched an Allen Keller video years ago. Howard Zane’s HO layout. They had a segment on steam engine repairs. They soldered that very same part together.

  You may find someone to 3D print a new one. Just a matter of re riveting the rod back on. The crank looks fairly thick and maybe even resin would hold up. You could set it up for a press on snug fit. Being a brass engine. You should be able to remove the driver if needed.

Loctite Red is advertised to hold bearing races in place. I’ve seen it work on an old pickup. Judging by the fact that yours flops down. I don’t think it’s thick enough to do the job.

I’d try contacting Norton on the forum. He does machine work and is a pretty clever guy. He may have some ideas.

I always thought the I-5 Hudson was a great looking locomotive. I don't follow the NH, but that doesn't prevent me from admiring the esthetics!

To the eccentric crank problem: I think the 3D printing idea may work. You will have to send out the good on as a template. Question: Do any of the other parts associated with the valve motion bind? If so, you want to free them before installing the 3D printed crank.

The other possibility is forcing a VERY small amount of JB weld into the worn joint, then tightening the crank in position while the JB sets. You will have to be spot on with the crank in the proper position. Be aware that going this route means you may never get the crank off again.

Best of luck to you with this fine looking engine!

Chris

LVHR

Bill - thanks, I appreciate it.

Dave - the crank is machined steel, and looks to be Nickel plated. For some background, I'm a design engineer for an electronics manufacturer where we turn and mill our own parts. Soldering to steel or nickel plated anything is a little rough, but not off the table in this case. I'm considering modeling the crank up in CAD to get quotes for it to be 3D printed in a metal, or machined. I need to remove the chain of parts its riveted to first, which ultimately requires a 3 mm socket (on the way). For loctites I'd be looking at a blue loctite - can be removed if necessary, and more importantly here it comes is more viscous varieties.

Chris - I freed up all the other parts already, including the one that I think caused this damage in the first place. As I wrote already, considering useing blue loctite, or have a new part printed. My only qualm with printing a new crank is needing to rivet it back to the eccentric pin.

Thanks everyone for the advice and options - bouncing ideas around helps a lot.

-Chris

I was wondering what that main crankpin stack-up looked like. It looks like the crankpin screw holds the eccentric tight against the shoulder of the main pin. I wonder if you could use some Lab Metal to rebuild the keyed eccentric. Maybe dope some in there and file it carefully?

https://www.alvinproducts.com/...roductID/3/Lab-metal

Last edited by Norm Charbonneau

Thanks John and Norm, I ended up trying both Lab Metal and JB Weld.

I tried the Lab Metal first - I've used JB Weld in the past and found it difficult to sand, and my hope was the Lab Metal would be easier. It's a thick putty, which I found easy to control, and on a test piece it was by far easier to sand. I then took a pin gauge just smaller than the diameter of the counterbore in the Eccentric Crank, covered the end in wax paper, and pressed it into the crank where the screw head would normally sit. This would keep the Lab Metal in the area of the flats, and out of the area of the counterbore to save sanding effort later. I the doped the Lab Metal in the areas needing to be built back up.

Eccentric Crank prep with pin and wax paper

That all worked, and after letting the Lab Metal cure I began sanding the flats back in. It all came out in small chunks, leaving me with the damaged crank profile again. I think the application area was just too small, and it didn't have enough area to adhere to properly. I then tried the same procedure with JB Weld, with success.

Eccentric Crank with JB weld filed

The crank is fixed, back on the engine and working properly. Back to fixing the electronics.

~Chris

Attachments

Images (2)
  • Eccentric Crank prep with pin and wax paper
  • Eccentric Crank with JB weld filed

JB-Weld is my go-to product, I'd be lost without it.

I can see that Lab Metal might be problematic in some situations.  JB-Weld is a 2-part epoxy, it hardens once it's mixed, air or no air.

Can Lab-metal be used to join two items?

No. Lab-metal is not intended to be used as an adhesive. Because it hardens by exposure to air, it will not dry when "sandwiched" between two parts.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

The I-5 has been running OK with the electronics it has, but I couldn't help feeling it would be so much better with an ERR Cruise package, so that's what I'm going to install instead of adding the missing sound boards.

Thanks again John for the TAS manual - every connection is pretty obvious except for this purple wire. I assume this goes to the chuff switch based on the general area of the motherboard its soldered to, and the other wires being accounted for, but it doesn't quite match the diagram in the manual. Sanity check please?

IMG_1254

Also, anyone care to identify these connectors? They're definitely JST series, but 2.5 mm between pins instead of the 2.0 mm of the JST-PH I normally see. Are these JST-EH?

IMG_1255

IMG_1256

Thanks in advance,

~Chris

Attachments

Images (3)
  • IMG_1256
  • IMG_1255
  • IMG_1254

Received the ERR components I ordered yesterday - Cruise Commander and the large steam Railsounds - and finished replacing the original boards. The cruise control makes all the difference; this engine went from OK performance to fantastic performance.

To everyone in the thread, thanks for the help!

~Chris

Finished I-5

Attachments

Images (1)
  • Finished I-5
Videos (3)
Finished I-5 video 1
Finished I-5 video 2
Finished I-5 video 3

Dave - there were a few dozen girder bridges painted with these advertising banners in the early 1950s, almost all in eastern Massachusetts. There were several different slogans, but the "Weather or No" is my favorite. All ended with "Go New Haven".

Bill - very glad I got this fixed up too. I appreciated the emails - I'll let you know the next time I'm up in your neck of the woods.

~Chris

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×