Do Train motors burnout faster on slow speed?

SleeperN06 Dec 18, 2019

  1. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    I’ve had my Lionel trains for 15 years, but only run them at Christmas. I’m running 4 trains now and they are quite loud so I want to run them as slow as I can. I’m worried that running them on such a low voltage will burn out the motors.

    I’ve spent 40 years as an electrician and have replaced many motors from low voltage burn out although I understand that there are motors that can run on low voltage. I’m assuming that since the variable speed is achieved by lowering the voltage that these motors are designed to be able to run slow, but I want to be sure.

    So has anyone burned up a motor from running it slow?
     
  2. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    They'll certainly burn out if they stall while under power. But I've never had one burn out while the armiture was still rotating under the brushes.
     
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  3. wvgca

    wvgca TrainBoard Member

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    nope, they will not burn out from running slow ... but they do burn out from being overloaded [ read stalled or too much rolling stock], or being over heated [same symptoms]
     
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  4. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    I wounder if I can get a correct temperature reading with Infrared Thermometer while it running. I'm pulling 16 cars with one loco and it's not the top of line loco more like the lowest end.
     
  5. wvgca

    wvgca TrainBoard Member

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    just feel it with your hand ..
     
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  6. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    LOL, I guess I'm having one of those OCD days Ha Ha Ha
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Although it has been many years ago, none of my Lionel, Marx or American Flyer ever gave a hint of trouble, at any speed of operation.
     
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  8. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks
     
  9. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    If you do determine that your loco is running unusually hot, one thing to investigate would be the waveform that your power pack produces at relatively low output voltage settings.
    Certain packs produce some form of pulse power at lower throttle settings to help get the loco started and then transition to a smoother output at higher speeds.
    Operating a loco continuously (and with a high load) on pulsed power might have a tendency to cause it to run hot.
     
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  10. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting, I'll have hook up my scope to check that out. I'm just using the CW80 power controller and I'm not sure how sophisticated that is. I've had a lot of problems with them in the past and ended up with extras from the replacements.
     
  11. wvgca

    wvgca TrainBoard Member

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    as far as i know, the cw80 and others like that are AC transformers, so PWM is not possible ..
     
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