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Model Railroading > Rivarossi electrical pick up question


Date: 04/09/01 22:51
Rivarossi electrical pick up question
Author: mb3

I havent done a thing to the engine besides upgrading the traction tires,since I took it out of the box.Its the HO scale cab forward.it seems to need a push from time to time to keep going,I cleaned the wheels but still having pick problems.None of my other engines have this problem so im sure its not my track. what are the other tips on making it run better.should I hard wire it like the Athearns or what else can I do to improve performance.Like I said I havent had the shell off or anything else, so I dont know what the pick up system is or even if it can be improved. What are you all doing with them any tips would be great



Date: 04/09/01 22:58
RE: Rivarossi electrical pick up question
Author: ferro_equine

Is this one of the new Rivarossis, or is it an older model?



Date: 04/09/01 23:11
version
Author: mb3

this is the newest one out on the market, with the upgrades and improvements



Date: 04/09/01 23:47
RE: Rivarossi electrical pick up question
Author: u.p.modeler

What do you mean by upgrading the traction tires? The stock tires on the new Riv's like to come off on their own or when oil is present. Did you replace the tires with new red rubber tires from Rivarossi or did you replace the drivers with ones that don't have the groove?Thanks for your time.



Date: 04/10/01 00:44
RE electrical pick up on all wheels
Author: shamus

Hello friend
I had the same problem with a loco, found out that it picked up current on front left wheels and rear right wheels only which meant that some pairs of wheels where not in use for power pickup so I made further contacts for those wheels sets, and now it runs perfect.



Date: 04/10/01 05:51
RE: Rivarossi electrical pick up question
Author: DWC

I don't know if this would apply to the cab forward you have but I had a big boy and a northern from Rivarossi and they were beautiful engines detail wise. For the price they are hands down a better choice than $$brass$$. Mine were the newer style with low profile wheel flanges. The only problem was electrical pickup problems.
I have since sold them since I am all diesel now but as I remember like an earlier reply noted, pickup was from one set of drivers on each side (and for some reason I think I checked with an ohm-meter and not all drivers in the set picked up power, for sure the rear driver on the rear set doesn't because it has the rubber traction tire,,,however,,, it looked like there was a small spring loaded pin sticking out and rubbing against the back of one of the drivers. I think this is what picked up power from the whole wheel set. So if the back of that one driver was dirty where the pin made contact it could in effect make it look like the entire set of drivers were not getting any power
Check and see if this is the case.
Also I did replace one set of rubber traction bands and I really think they were a little thicker (they were not Rivarossi, just a pack of generic bands from the hobby shop) which made the rear set of drivers ride a little high. That could cause pickup problems also.

Good luck.

David Cullinane



Date: 04/10/01 17:10
RE: Rivarossi electrical pick up question
Author: splco696

I did a Lenz DCC decoder job on a new model Rivarossi 2-8-8-2 Y6 and adding lots of electrical wipers was the first step. The engine has only 3 drivers on the left side picking up current with those spring-loaded pins rubbing against the back side of the driver tires. That's ridiculous for a loco this large. The tender, which has terrific-quality metal wheelsets, has no electrical pickup so is just along for the ride, as in the Athearn 2-8-2, the Life-Like 0-8-0 and other locos. (The Rivarossi engineers still have not figured out how to read and use an NMRA gauge so all the wheelsets were way too narrow, buit that's another matter...).

First was installing wheel-wiper pickups on the tender. I used .003-inch phosphor-bronze, from Clover House, and installed wipers on four of each of the six wheels on each tender truck, for a total of four wheels on each side picking up current. Email me off list (SPLCO696@aol.com) and I'll see if I can scrounge up a scanned photo of the finished product and send it your way.

I also installed extra driver wipers on both the left and right sides of the engine, for a total of about six wheels per side picking up current. I did a story in Model Railroader, back in about 1995 or so, titled "Contact!" that was all about installing this kind of wipers. A magazine database search will turn up the specific issue. The article explains this process in detail.

Electrical pickup problems are probably the #1 reason people get frustrated with otherwise very good quality locos that simply won't run smoothly. Add as many extra wipers as you feel so inclined to install, and your stalling and hesitation problems will be mostly gone.

Regards,
Jeff Johnston



Date: 04/11/01 14:39
RE: Rivarossi electrical pick up question
Author: stivmac

I'm surprised that Riv. tenders on the Big boy et al don't have pick ups as their older ones do, picking up from oneside of the drivers and one side of the tenders, musch like brass locos do. Were these always this way or is this a change?



Date: 04/11/01 15:52
RE: Rivarossi electrical pick up question
Author: splco696

Re: the (new?) lack of tender pickups on Rivarossi articulated locos ...

My only past experience was with an early-generation, pizza-cutter-flange Rivarossi Berkshire, and it had tender pickup wipers per the usual steam loco practice. I never dealt with an older articulated, so can't say if this is a new thing or not. Any comments available from owners of older Rivarossi articulateds? Do they have electrical pickups on the tender, or not?

It's relatively easy for the factory to isolate the front and rear driver sets on an articulated loco, which may be why they eliminated the tender as an electrical pickup spot. It could also be simple cost cutting, saving a buck at the risk of lousy performance.

In either case, since the truck frames are plastic and have nice flat mounting spots with plenty of clearance for the new wipers, adding the pickups is a painless operation that helps a great deal.

Jeff Johnston



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