I just got an Athearn RTR AMD 103 (P42 Genesis) locomotive -- brand new.
I notice that it doesn't stop immediately if the power is cut -- it rolls a bit
then stops. The faster it goes the longer it takes to stop unless I switch to
reverse. Is this normal? Is it defective?
It's the first loco that I own that does this (it's my sixth one.)
I have an older AMD103 (not RTR), and the flywheels do let it move a bit
after power is cut, the more the faster the motor is turning. It helps the
engine run smoothly with varying power which somewhat dirty track might
provide. It is not the same as "momentum" which some analog power packs, and
DCC can provide. At scale 60mph, it should take about 15 to 30 feet top do
an emergency stop.
in article email@example.com, Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org wrote on 9/28/03 3:24
Um I believe the answer is yes this is by design. The product
description says "dual brass flywheels".
flywheels add mass to the motor shafts and create a momentum effect.
With DC power this is highly desirable to get the locomotive over
minor electrical glitches in the track to prevent stalls and make the
locomotive run smoother. With command control it is a mixed blessing
because when power is cut the spinning fly wheels turn the motor into a
generator that pumps current backward into the decoder.
What other locomotives do you own? I thought almost everything but the
base Lifelike & Tyco type stuff had flywheels these days.
Thanks for the answer. I thought it might be by design because it didn't look
like it was slipping. It does look proper when it slows down when compared to
scale. I do use analogue right now, but I haven't had any stalls on my layout.
I'm waiting for a stall though (I must be lucky.) DCC is coming soon.
I have two F7a locos from the late '80s when I started model railroading -- both
are by Bachmann and are very weak (I haven't bought Bachmann since.) Each uses
rubber bands on the last two wheels. I hate bands.
I have a F40 by Lifelike. Lifelike might as well be called Bachmann. Again, it
uses rubber bands. It's also weak.
I have two F40s by Walthers that I bought about six months ago. They are really
good value for the money. I can't complain. They are working almost every day
without any problems, other than the couplers, which I've replaced with Kadees.
Those locos definitely aren't weak, but they aren't powerhouses either. Each
pushes and pulls five Athearn Bombardier coaches, but could easily do ten. They
have all wheel electric pickup and drive. I'm not sure if it has a flywheel,
but it doesn't slide like the P42.
When compared to the Lifelike F40, the ones by Walthers look so much better. I
try not to run the Lifelike while the Walthers are running because the
difference is noticeable.
When I convert to DCC, the Bachmanns and Lifelike are gone.
Maybe you finally got one with decent flywheels and bearings. They
are supposed to coast when the power is cut. Many times, things
aren't quite lined up, bearings are tight, etc., causing the coasting
to not happen as much.
I'd suggest keeping the LifeLike F40 and converting it into a
non-powerd "cabbage"unit as Amtrak did.....they are non-powered
control baggage units now. Just cut a roll-up baggage door into each
side, and repaint it.
Yes, this was back in the Bachmann toy train days. Bachmann now has
three lines. Just normal Bachmann is like you've discovered, cheap toy
train stuff. Then they have the "Plus" line, and the "Spectrum" line.
Supposedly each is better than the next. I've found some of the
Spectrums to be very good especially the passenger cars and steam
locomotives. I have several of the 2-8-0s that I really like. However
some friends have had some that were lemons. In general, they say it is
a good product but the quality assurance isn't there to make it
Lifelike also continues to make toy train cheap stuff, but they also
have two other lines the Proto 1000, and Proto 2000. I've had excellent
luck with both and highly recommend them.
Walthers locomotives generally have a single fly wheel and should have
some momentum effect. It is just probably consumed by internal friction.