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Model Railroading > Mountain Models ON30/ON3 Engines

Date: 09/19/15 09:00
Mountain Models ON30/ON3 Engines
Author: BAB

Ok have given up to some degree with not asking hoping that someone would post on here about them.  I have a dozzen of them ranging from C series to all of the K series all have DCC by Sound Traxx. My layout is using Micro Engineering ON30 track and switches.
Now about the problems and all have one or more of those that I have DCC in.  One on occasion will short out the whole layout mostly in a curve on other occasions it just goes silent and stops. The others just seem to stop, a wiggle or push will get them back moving.
Ok so dirty track? bad jumpers? bad wiring on the engines?  Now I also have several Bachmann engines that have no problem running anywhere on the track at any time. Case in point, one that had not been run in months pulled without any problems around the same track
as the MMI engines ran non stop at any speed. My engine I had counted on came back from GME who had done the other ones and didnt stay on the track. It has two decoders and a stay alive in it but will not track thru the number 5 switches its the K37.
  Any ideas as have checked the tender pickups, turned the lights out looking for that spark shorting out on that one like PSC suggested. Thanks Boyd in Chiloquin Or

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/15 09:17 by BAB.

Date: 09/19/15 14:26
Re: Mountain Models ON30/ON3 Engines
Author: herronpeter

I think the biggest of K series, the K 37, needs about 28" radius or higher curves, even in On30.  I have read the On3 versions need at least 32".  A # 5 switch is closer to 24" radius.  I have a K-27 and it will handle a #5. The C series are fine with tight radii due to the blind middle drivers, but for the K37 you need to keep it away from the tight stuff.

As to your electrical issues there are so many possible causes it's hard to know where to start.  One idea is to run a problem engine in the dark and you will have a better chance of finding if there is a body to track short as you might see a spark.

Good luck,


Date: 09/19/15 19:20
Re: Mountain Models ON30/ON3 Engines
Author: engine3420

Temporarily remove the brake rigging and see if the intermitten short goes away.  Had several K's with brake rigging problems.

Date: 09/19/15 19:27
Re: Mountain Models ON30/ON3 Engines
Author: BAB

The one which is shorting out I finally removed the brake rigging as it was broken when I bought it new and didnt see that along with a dent from being dropped. As for night running have sat and watched as do not have anything around my trackwork just the base under the cork can get a good view. There was a spark around the pilot truck area but after grinding a little here and there took care of it at least cannot see the spark. Keep the ideas coming as someone about a year ago said there was trouble with tender pickup and checked into that again nothing. Thanks Boyd Oh about the radius and switches all curves are above 34" and I agree about the number 5 switches and a K37 but was unable to find anything about minimum on any of the engines. One fellow who writes the ON30 annual said that the San Juan ON30 cars were good for something less than 34" and know for a fact he is wrong wrote him only to have him basicly reply I was wrong.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/15 19:30 by BAB.

Date: 09/19/15 20:20
Re: Mountain Models ON30/ON3 Engines
Author: BAB

http://www.hobby-tronics.com/1940DRGW/    This is an older not updated of the layout so far, more work but no new pictures yet. Boyd

Date: 09/19/15 23:00
Re: Mountain Models ON30/ON3 Engines
Author: Cosmo

K's need space to stretch out. Give them LOTS of it, and that cold help a lot.

Date: 09/20/15 06:45
Re: Mountain Models ON30/ON3 Engines
Author: BAB

Dont know what you are saying here other than possibly radius on curves which I have as its above 34 inches. If its running room there is plenty of it in length beyond that I am out of answers here and looking for someone that has somewhat the same problems.  On a straight streach or a curve without switches they should all run the same. They do not all exibit the same problems in the same places on the layout. One am sure has a wiring problem somewhere. The fellow who modified all of those sent the first one back with a problem and it wouldnt move very far before shorting out. Sent it back now it runs better but still problems. I have another fellow who now is going to install decoders in two engines along with stay alive and will see how that goes. Boyd ps keep the thoughs coming as hair is getting thinner
> K's need space to stretch out. Give them LOTS of
> it, and that cold help a lot.

Date: 09/20/15 18:55
Re: Mountain Models ON30/ON3 Engines
Author: Finderskeepers

if you want to isolate the problem to the wiring system, disconnect everything other than the drivers...i.e. take off the brake rigging, the pilot truck and the trailing truck (basically now an 0-8-0). Try running it as an 0-8-0, did the problems disappear? if so add the trailing truck back on, run it again. Still good? Add the pilot truck. In order to isolate the issue, first you have to remove all the other variables. If it won't run as an 0-8-0, chances are you either have a decoder issue or a wiring issue inside the engine. How do I know all this? I own 4 of them, the C-19 runs like a dream, the K-27 was a top to bottom rebuild, the k-36 was a beautiful runner but did not like the slightest track kink or uneven road bed. Turns out my 36 was shorting out between the pilot wheels and the inside of the cylinder chest, which was only discovered by running the engine in the dark until the spark was seen and identified. After a wee piece of black electrical tape was applied on the inside of the cylinders, everything was non-conductive and no problems since.

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