Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Little Critters, Pt.4

One of the problems I was now confronted with was how to solidly re-attach the cab to the deck, yet make it easily removable. (It had to be removable to allow access to the screw that holds the deck to the chassis.) I may have mentioned previously that I was also a wargamer, primarily WWII, and a recent trend in attaching things such as tank turrets involved the use of small, rare-earth magnets. I started by adding a pair on either side of the control cab. I thought I would need to add another pair at the front of the hood, but these four hold well enough. I can safely pick up the whole loco while just holding the cab.

After doing this I wanted to make sure these magnets didn't interfere with the motor's magnets, affecting its performance. I put it on the test track, and ramped up the volts. It took quite a bit of juice to finally start turning, and when it did, it produced a lot of smoke. I removed the cab and deck, and tried again. Same result. Looking inside, it seemed the commutator was pretty dirty. I tried cleaning it off with some swabs sprayed with tuner cleaner, but was finally forced to disassemble the motor. The commutator and brushes were completely covered in goopy carbon. I cleaned and polished them, then reassembled and lubed the motor. It smoked less, but still smoked too much, and it still took too much juice to turn it over.

Sad realization time.
I guess there is a reason old AHM locos were cheap, and I shouldn't expect top-notch, slow-speed performance out of them. Looks like I'm going to have to re-motor this one. I'll continue to work on the superstructure, but hope I'm not completing just a static model. Until next time. Don

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