Fixing electrical pickup on GE 44 Ton...

Sumner Jun 11, 2019

  1. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I bought a Bchmann GE 44 Ton used on ebay and was having problems programming it with DecoderPro and it wasn't running very well. Would stall a lot. I cleaned the trucks and changed the 12 volt power supply on my Arduino/DCC++ to a 14 volt and that helped some but still the loco would stall at times until i touched it and it didn't really want to run at slow speeds. I thought it was dirty trucks but found out that it was really the electrical pickup contacts that rub on the sides of the trucks and the point where they then transfer the current to the sides of the main frame.

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    Trying to get the body off one set of trucks came off and I found out that I could take them off and on with some care by pushing them gently to one side and at the same time lifting up on the other side.

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    With the truck and associated gear assembly off the frame I could get to where the contact strips that rub on the trucks are. I took tweezers and a knife blade and bent them so that they made better contact with the inside of each wheel. Use the tweezers to hold them tight to the inner truck assembly and just bend the tip of them with the knife blade. Span across the width of the truck with the tweezers in a manner that you are holding the contacts on both sides tight against the truck assembly and just bending the tips outward with the knife blade.

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    I also cleaned and bent the contacts that contact the bottom of the frame on each side up slightly. Also took a very small brush and cleaned the inside of the wheels and contacts off with some electrical contact cleaner that I sprayed on the brush.

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    The last set was to clean the pads on the bottom of the frame sides where the electrical contact is made with the trucks. This was an older model and it seemed that a lot of these surfaces were slightly corroded.

    The loco now runs at very slow speeds and starts and stops without me having to physically touch it and I can now read and write all the CV's with no problem using DecoderPro.. Hope this might help someone else,

    Sumner
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    hoyden, FStop8 and BNSF FAN like this.
  2. Keith Ledbetter

    Keith Ledbetter TrainBoard Member

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    Nice write up and super good pictures and documentation. Helpful!
     
  3. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Keith, I forgot to mention that I used an ohm meter before, during and after the fix to see if the wipers on the sides of the wheels were contacting the wheels. Most of the time they weren't making good contact and the contact was intermittent. Touching or pushing the loco would make contact happen and as long as it was running fast it usually would keep running.

    Sumner
     

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