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gavino200

E5 Hyabusa motor problem

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My E5 has been off line for a while. It's five years old, But it was my second ever N-scale model so it's seen a LOT of run-time. It ran great for years, but began to get slowly less impressive about a year ago. I never fully took it apart, but I did try to adjust the contacts at the motor before. 

 

Anyway, I'm at the point of either fixing it or buying a new starter set, so I had nothing to lose by opening it up. I checked the decoder using an ESU decoder tester and a 'Sumida Crossing' type rig. The EM13 works fine. I also checked the motor with a 9V battery. It's as good as ever.

 

So I think the problem must be the contacts. The curved copper piece seen below, is not perfect. It's close but is slightly distorted. That must have happened when I tried to adjust it without complete disassembly

 

There's also a bit of discoloration and tarnish on the long copper rail.

 

I think the wisest thing would be to clean the long rail and replace the curved short copper pieces. However, they're not listed in the Assy parts list from the package insert.

 

Are these contacts available from Kato? If so does anyone have a part no.?

If not, anyone have any good ideas about how to fix the existing ones? I could use an cylinder of equal diameter to the motor pickups as an "anvil" of sorts. Any tips or pointers would be welcome.

 

mNDZ5Ni.jpg

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I worked on this a bit more and I made progress. I have the 10 car set running again. 

 

I cleaned the copper strip. It was surprisingly dirty. Visible dirt on the applicator.

I also was able to improve the contact between  the round contact and the motor contact.

 

Perhaps this helped but it turns out this wasn't the main problem. The main issue was that the long copper rails had become badly bent over time at the point where they contact the power bogie copper contacts. It was so bent that I thought it was meant to be that way. I bend these back a bit passed neutral and that fixed the problem.

 

If anyone remembers I posted before about using elastic over night to "tighten up" an EMU shell that had become loose over time. This was it. As the unit became sluggish and stalled, I thought it must have been related to the whole body being loose. I know I "gently" pressed down on it to try to bring it together better. That did actually work for a while and would get it going normally for a while. But It was probably exacerbating the problem - further bending the copper rails - until eventually it just stopped working altogether.

 

It's working well now. But I'd still like to replace those copper strips and contacts as they're far beyond their best.

 

Anyone know if these can be acquired?

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7 minutes ago, HantuBlauLOL said:

i think i missed something.. what went wrong actually?

 

Look at the copper strip in the red circles in the picture below. The strips are bent away from the bogie contacts. I just had to bend the kink out.

 

SG54bBb.jpg

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I use rubbing alcohol on a q tip to clean the wheels and the the copper strip.  Kato doesn't sell replacements, but as they only make two power chasises for EMUs, I bought a replacement chassis for a different model using the same design and replaced parts.  See if a another chassis of a model that can take an em13 is the same length, and then you can usually fine spares for sale on buyee or occasionally on hobby search.  I have one spare copper strip left over, but it's partner is broken. Let me know if you would still like the one.

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1 minute ago, Kiha66 said:

I use rubbing alcohol on a q tip to clean the wheels and the the copper strip.  Kato doesn't sell replacements, but as they only make two power chasises for EMUs, I bought a replacement chassis for a different model using the same design and replaced parts.  See if a another chassis of a model that can take an em13 is the same length, and then you can usually fine spares for sale on buyee or occasionally on hobby search.  I have one spare copper strip left over, but it's partner is broken. Let me know if you would still like the one.

 

Thanks. That's a great idea. I was also thinking of getting a second EMU anyway for the E5. It slows a bit going up the gradient with all 10 cars. It sort of detracts from the effect. I thought I'd have to buy a new starter set, but I'd much rather get just the motor unit.

 

I wonder if the Doctor yellow would be a fit.

 

Thank you for the kind offer of the copper strip. But mine works now. And I'd like to switch both out anyway. But it's appreciated :)

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Yes, the Doctor Yellow EMU is exactly the same length so that will work as a copper strip & contact donor. But the casing is different so it won't work to power the dummy EMU.

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The cast frame, truck clips, and motor tend to be the same for all dcc ready Kato multiple units, but the floor that clips on, and the shell and wheel sets are different, as is the legenth of the propshafts to the trucks.  I didnt realize the Doctor yellow set was dcc ready, are you planing to use one for this?  

Edited by Kiha66
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Wow! I just realized I have the same problem on almost all of my passenger cars. It's the reason why I could never get the Kato or even TORM interior lights to reliably work. They tend to flicker and need to be tapped to work. They almost always light up when light downward pressure is applied to the coaches. 

 

I'm also sure I know the reason for this. We started the N-scale train endeavor when my son was very young. To my mild irritation he always used to get the units railed by running them over and back over the Kato crossover/rerailer track. Years ago I frequently had to tell him not to push down on the cars. The cars that date back to this earliest period are the worst effected. 

 

I always assumed it was my installation. Frequently, (as recent as this week) people here mentioned that they never had this problem. I've always, taken that with a mixture of near-disbelief and shame for not being able to master such a simple installation!!

 

I'm sooooo freakin' releaved to have found the cause of this five year nightmare. 

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The pressing down on the cars probably made the issue worse.

 

I have found this issue a little difficult on the tilting Kato cars though.  As too much pressure from the copper strips stop the tilting motion.  Which then normally derails the adjacent car.  It is a fine balancing act on tilting cars, (no pun intended). 

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5 hours ago, katoftw said:

The pressing down on the cars probably made the issue worse.

 

I have found this issue a little difficult on the tilting Kato cars though.  As too much pressure from the copper strips stop the tilting motion.  Which then normally derails the adjacent car.  It is a fine balancing act on tilting cars, (no pun intended). 

 

I agree there are a few other issues. The stock Kato diffusers are difficult to master. Most of those problems can be avoided by using TORMs. I think they look better than the most expertly installed Kato lights anyway. But this bogie pickup problem was completely off my radar. 

 

Maybe the E5 needed a while to warm up after being an ornament for almost a year. It's climbing the gradient now with no change of speed, with all 10 cars. Too bad I ordered a second EMU for it last night from Nariichi.

 

I overhauled the coppers on my E6 since the last post. All except 2 of the TORMs are shining perfectly now with no flicker. Two still flicker. I'll take out the coppers and work them a bit more. Maybe tomorrow. 

 

Getting the kinks out isn't super easy btw. But I've come up with a kind of method. I originally tried to overcompensate with a downward curve but, I discovered that, like you say it affects the bogie motion. It's really a very fine balance. The best result is when the coppers are perfectly straight, or with the tiniest, almost imperceptible downward curve.

 

It's hard to get the kink out without creating a new kink. 

 

Here's what works:

 

1. Run the copper between the thumb tip and the pad of the index finger tip. It smooths the copper out, but it also curves it like a ribbon to an almost comical degree. It did it unintentionally at first and nearly soiled myself. 

 

2. Then turn the copper over and 'ribbon' it in the opposite direction. This gets the last trace of kink out. 

 

3. Then turn it over again and ribbon it back the other way with much less pinch force. 

 

4. Keep doing this with less and less force until the copper is completely even and straight. The tiniest curve bowing downward is ok, maybe beneficial, but makes it more difficult to close the casing.

 

I tried to find a way to fix the copper without completely removing them from the shell. As far as I can tell, it can't be done.

 

 

Edited by gavino200

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FWIW I did notice recently when re-wheeling some Kato EMUs that the copper pickup strips in the bogies were quite tarnished; in particular there seemed the  "cones" the axle tips rest in looked like they needed a good clean; after cleaning these the end lights flickered a lot less and even seemed a little brighter.

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5 hours ago, railsquid said:

FWIW I did notice recently when re-wheeling some Kato EMUs that the copper pickup strips in the bogies were quite tarnished; in particular there seemed the  "cones" the axle tips rest in looked like they needed a good clean; after cleaning these the end lights flickered a lot less and even seemed a little brighter.

 

Thanks. I cleaned out the cones and cleaned the wheels. They work great now. No flickers. Constant light. No need to mess with the copper strips again. :)

 

gKrPq7a.jpg

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Great to come to a solution on this. Good work and good reference for the future.

 

thanks,

 

jeff

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When it comes to dirty contacts the higher percentage (91 or 93) rubbing alcohol is your best bet. This stuff claws through gunk with no problem. Just keep it away from traction tires...

 

I've found that for most of my cars I've have to adjust pickups. Tomix lighted kokis are the worst offenders, always have to bend the pickups inside the trucks a bit for consistent light. Unfortunately there is no real way to adjust the long copper pickups without taking the car apart on any model, kind of a pain but it does let you get them much straighter. 

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When it comes to dirty contacts the higher percentage (91 or 93) rubbing alcohol is your best bet. This stuff claws through gunk with no problem. Just keep it away from traction tires...
 
I've found that for most of my cars I've have to adjust pickups. Tomix lighted kokis are the worst offenders, always have to bend the pickups inside the trucks a bit for consistent light. Unfortunately there is no real way to adjust the long copper pickups without taking the car apart on any model, kind of a pain but it does let you get them much straighter. 
A can of contact cleaner for electric/electronic parts also works well for this kind of issue.

Sent from my ASUS_T00Q using Tapatalk

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Just make sure the contact cleaner is plastic friendly, some are not. Also careful about getting it on paint or decals as they may have some solvents in there that can go at them. Contact cleaners can clean faster and easier than isopropanol but isopropanol is pretty safe on most paints and decals with some casual contact (i.e. No heavy rubbing or soaking.) just the usual tradeoffs to be wary of!

 

jeff

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