Atlas U25B CB&Q NCE DCC Purchase

in2tech Jan 4, 2019

  1. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Alright although I have been in the hobby off and on for over 40 years I just got into DCC a few years back thanks to some very kind Trainboard members here selling or giving me items to get started. Although I like Bachmann very much, and got started with a pair of Bachmann F7 A units and they served very well to learn DCC and get started. As a matter of fact they were/are great locomotives and the only reason one stopped working was my lack knowledge wiring DCC junctions, so I fried one :) And another very nice member actually gave me the Bachmann EZ Command Controller all I had to do was pay shipping. Man people can be really nice here.

    So, another nice member had the Atlas U25B CB&Q NCE DCC Equipped locomotives brand new and I just completed the transaction and they should be arriving in the near future. I did as much research and he gave me tons of info on them which I appreciate. I know nothing about the U25B, or Atlas DCC, and to be honest maintaining them as he said they are Brand NEW but might need oiling and breaking in. What exactly type of oil do I need, and what is the proper break in, ( got so excited not sure I did break in correct on Bachmann locomotives), but they still have lasted years, well one of them.

    As I officially retire very, very soon, I plan on branching out to all kinds of locomotives. Not in quantity exactly but maybe a few of different brands I couldn't afford before, or wanted to afford really, cause I was or am cheap :)

    Any information appreciated. Also, means probably that the layout will change again, can never decide. But want to do some things right in the future hopefully, although it is still just two small 2' x 4' layout bases. Which you can see on my Youtube channel in my signature link.

    Thanks so much to all the members that have helped me and sold or gave me model train items and just information, and brought joy to me and my hobby! I also apparently like RED, who knew, not me!

    Factory picture of what I am getting, and very happy! Like the look a lot. I am not a road name person, just what catches my eye and wallet.

    CB&Q.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  2. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    The locomotives are on the way and should be here Monday. Going by the hobby shop to look for some items and the lubrication oil. Any suggestions of what to look for or get? And the break in time should be how long? Haven't had a brand new locomotive in years so any help much appreciate on keeping these 3 in great running condition for years to come.

    Is this what I want?

    LAB-108.jpg

    Thank you!
     
  3. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

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    Congrats on the new engine!

    One thing to consider with a small layout is that large locomotives may not run well on your tight curves. My N-scale layout is 32 x 48 inches, and my largest locos are 4-axle diesels. They run fine, but anything larger will look odd and may not like my 9- and 10-inch curves. So I won't be getting any 6-axle diesels. For similar reasons, I'm limiting my freight cars to 40-footers.

    - Jeff
     
  4. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the info. Yeah I have an old DC locomotive a bit larger and it works fine so these should just make the 11" radius fine, I hope. Just got then in and can not get them programmed yet with the Bachmann EZ Command Controller. I thought there would be instructions telling me they were set to the default address 3 but nothing in the package but a broken down parts diagram and the factory warranty, which I will fill out, although I both them new from a member on Trainboard. I am also being overly cautious too as I don't want to harm them in any way as they are new. Looking for info as I type, well before an after I type. Man these things are beautiful as I have only had the Bachmann F7A unit's ( also bought from a member on Trainboard ) since I went basic DCC with the Bachmann EZ Command System which I have to say to this point love the simplicity of it. Might change with the frustration of getting the Atlas NCE DCC equipped locomotives working, but hope it is me, more than Bachmann and Atlas, I hope!

    20190109_195251.jpg
    Thanks again! And here they are. Now to get them actually running on my layout! Patience young Luke to whatever or who ever it was!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  5. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    First one up and running. Turned Bachmann EZ Command off than back on, and first one works, have to break it in. Any suggestions besides run time? A few hours, one hour forward and one hour reverse. First non Bachmann locomotive so any suggestions appreciated.

    Sent from my SM-G550T using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  6. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    Most of what I hear is to run them an hour in each direction and various the speeds.

    Enjoy your new trains!
    Dale
     
  7. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Many thanks, I do plan on enjoying them, and at the same time of my new “toys” arriving I had other errands to run and household things to do, so running the new trains was and is a temporary issue. You know we want to play, and forget other things, especially new shiny locomotives, or toys. Things are hopefully calming down so hope to sneak and play. Well not really sneak but get some quite time to program, run, break in the new locomotives.
     
  8. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Alright before purchase and after purchase checked Bachmann EZ Command NMRA standards, check. Completely removed everything from layout, vacuumed, cleaned track, check connections, etc... also temporarily removed switches for initial testing, breaking in, programming, yes only that locomotive on track by itself. Once I got it to respond ( Bachmann F7A always responded ) after a reset of the controller, ran it a bit on default address, and unlike suggestions, programmed to the #5. You can not program long addresses into a Bachmann EZ Command controller, not possible.

    Ran just under or over an hour at different speeds and in different directions, and than quit responding to direction. It responds to the address #5 as the front and rear lights come on, but nothing else, nada, no movement what so ever. As is recommended by Bachmann do not run some DCC locomotives on DC, and I will not. Bought them to run on DCC only. I don't even run the Bachmann locomotives on DC and they say you can, not gonna happen.

    I am stumped as to what to do, I love the look of these loco's and I am not gonna check the other two until I hopefully can figure out the problem with this one. Which there should not be one, they are new, well 2012 I am almost sure is when this one was initially released according to the Atlas website. I was and am so wanting to get them working, but I am disappointed at the moment. I took even more precautions than most people would, being very careful.

    Any suggestions. I am new to DCC in that I only have the Bachmann EZ Control 2-3 years, and only the Bachmann F7A's I bought from a member on trainboard a few years back when my DCC plunge began. I am one of the simpler model train enthusiasts, minor cleaning of locomotives and maintenance. I am not a member of the local club, I have model trains so I can run them in my house only when I want too. And the local hobby shop charges a fee of around $50.00 before they even do anything. Not gonna happen.

    Sorry, I was just so excited and I am frustrated. I was so looking forward to these 3 matching different brands than Bachmann locomotives as members talk highly about diversity and some like Atlas, some hate them, some swear by Kato, some dislike them, etc...

    Geez, as Chevy Chase said in Christmas Vacation, where's the Tylenol, among curse words! Time for a break, hooked up old DC system and locomotives, everything running like a champ so not the track. Ran the Bachmann F7A on DCC, working as expected, responds to address, direction, speed, etc...
     
  9. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    I run HO and not really up on N equipment and such. I hardy doubt that the decoders should act any differently.

    A couple of things to try, try lifting one side of the loco trucks off the track to allow the decoder to power down. 10 to 15 seconds. Then set it back and try again.

    Second, possibly the decoder is getting too warm in the body shell, take the loco off the track and let it cool for a while then try again. I have had locos do this when they got too warm. The fact that you can control the lights says the decoder shouldn’t be fried, so it may just need a cool down.

    I run Bachmann Dynamis on my home layout. It’s completely different from EZ but it performs well for me.

    I can say this, Atlas HO locos with QSI decoders can be quirky sometimes and have had to do factory resets more often on them than any other locos I own. But man when they run right they are great performers.

    Good luck!
     
  10. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    One other thought, have you cleaned the wheels on them? That could be causing issues.
     
  11. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, I did let it cool down, even the Bachmann EZ Command just for the heck of it. Cleaned the wheels also, but will try the lifting the one side up for 10-15 seconds too. I am also gonna try to reset to factory address 3 which is a suggestion I found in my research. As you may or may not know since you own the newer Bachmann control system, I can not do a factory reset with mine.

    Thanks, hope one of the suggestions works. They are so nice looking, I simply want them to work. As said before not gonna try the other 2 until I get this one figured out, one way or the other.
     
  12. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    You might go to the local club if they a NSacale and ask them there to do a factory reset of the locomotive. Most clubs are pretty friendly. You could always leave a small donation with them for f they get it running.

    Sometimes my Atlas Dash 8-40BWs will do what you are describing. I usually end up doing a factory reset. It’s unfortunate but has to be done. I’ve done it enough times I can do it pretty fast.

    Do you know what decoders are in them? Mine uses a QSI decoder. It also has a small reed switch under the shell so I can reset with a magnet if needed. You could look into that.
     
  13. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    According to what I’ve read on the Atlas website, it looks like this loco uses the Atlas LEO63XF decoder. There is a manual for it there. The decoder looks like it is discontinued. I wold say your best bet is to contact an N Scale club in your area and ask if someone there can do a factory reset on the decoder. Like I said, most clubs are pretty friendly to Railroaders. So you will probably get some help there. If you had a system that supports a Programming Track, you could do it at home. Sorry I don’t have a better suggestion.

    Let us know how you make out.
    Dale
     
  14. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    They are NCE decoders, on Atlas site, well Google search Atlas U25B DCC and it brings up the Atlas site and archive area too. Checked all of this before purchase, etc... I wanted to make sure everything was compatible and it is, or they are. Still urging away at it.

    Thanks for the info.

    Sent from my SM-G550T using Tapatalk
     
  15. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    As stated above purchased these in January of 2019, and when they intially arrived only one worked out of the box. Still ONLY one worknig correctly and the other 2 run rough, and sometimes don't run. I have taken apart this particular one many times as it did not run at all for a long period of time. I am trying to bacially learn maintenance for the first time, even though I have been in the hobby for a long time. Man these things are a bear to take apart and there is a little plastic piece to line up when putting them back together which causes many words to come out of my mouth :) I'l try to find the video of a gentleman trying to align such part, as well as one of my own, if I have to (when ) I have to take it apart again. I was expecting to take them all out of the box at time of purchase and eveything be smooth. That was not the case, so I am looking for help to learn how to deal with issue's on my own although, I am not crazy about it, but figure I have to learn the basic's at some point.

    Here is the video of Number 7, why, because I bought like 2 number 101's and a 102 or vice vera so I decided to number them with a small piece of painter's tape, that blue stuff, plus they match my Bachmann EZ Command Control, which everyone hates and I love :) Especially for the younger nieces and stuff, big knob for them to run trains :) It's simple and work's for my tiny 2' X 4" sections.

    Anyway here is the latest video. iPhone microphone is amazing, as I could barely hear the noise while taking the video. Is it, oil, grease, that dang Plastic part that is a pain in the $@%@ to put on? Any ideas much appreciated and I have picked you all as my teacher's to N-Scale locomotive maintenance. If you choose to accept this challenge, I appreciate it. This tape will self destruct in 5 second's. BTW, funny how the Mission Impossible movies are still using tape in 2018-2019 :) Sorry went off in another direction.

    Thank you in advance:



    Number 5 is waiting in the wing's if I can fix number 7 :) Number 6 run's like a champ since opening the box, please stay that way #6!

    It's that little plastic part at like time stamp 2:50 in his video. Man is this thing a bear to line up. And then you have to put the other half of the split frame on, arrggggg! He even say's he will put in together OFF camera to save us from all the swearing :)

     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  16. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    My experience with servicing N Scale stopped with Minitrix and Rapido, and I've just began to service the "new" stuff like your U-25B. Just getting the shell off most new locomotives is a challenge for me. However, I've found that with each new locomotive I service, it gets easier. The sound your U-25B makes is sometimes a result of lack of lubrication on the motor shaft. Try a pinkprick of oil on each end of the shaft where it exits the motor casing. You might not have to dismantle anything to do it.
     
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  17. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Please advise which oil to buy if you don't mind. Or are there a few to choose from? From the many video's I have watched about maintenance, it appears it only takes a TINY bit of oil to help in maintenance, but how do I know for sure it needs it? Apparently too much oil is as bad as not enough? These were supposedly NEW ( of course old manufactured around 2012 from my research ) locomotives. I got the information from here since mine are #101 and #102 and the Burlington color's, I think the CB&Q?

    http://archive.atlasrr.com/NLoco/arc-nu25b.htm

    Thanks for everyone's help!
     
  18. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    LaBelle 108 plastic-compatible fine oil is probably best for this application. I use I use LaBelle 102, a plastic-compatible gear oil for the powertrain, but only a tiny bit and only on the metal worm gears and the truck gears. In view of slick Delrin plastics commonly used in locomotives, some modelers reject the use of lubrication altogether, so applying too little won't invite disaster.

    Your locomotives were indeed introduced in late 2012/early 2013. These are of thoroughly modern design. You're right, that the Burlington was the CB&Q.
     

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