Hornby Eurostar overheating

Hi All,
I bought my son the Hornby Eurostar set (2 ends (one being the engine) with 2 carriages). I use the standard Hornby conrtoller that came with
the set.
If I run the engine by itself, it seems quiet happy and runs without stopping.
When I add the carriages and the other end, it might run for 2-3 minutes then stop. Waiting 30 secs, I can then run it for another minute or so then it stops again.
At first, I thought it was overheating and didn't worry about it too much at that time. I email Hornby who said the motor would not be overheating and are not interested in looking/fixing the engine.
Recently (6 months after I got the set), I decided to take the cover off the engine, run it until it stopped. Sure enough, it stopped and I felt the motor.. It was that hot, any given length of time touching it would have caused a burn on my finger.
The carriages run freely, and there doesnt feel any drag when pushing/pulling them on the track.
Has anyone come across this before.. I mean with the Hornby Eurostar Engine (I know there are others that seem to do so) ?
Is it just a dud motor?
I feel the best solution is to replace the motor (probably cheap rubbish) with a more reliable motor and if so, any recommendations of a good motor make.
Thanks, Robert
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"RB0135" wrote

That sounds like the 'thermal cut out' in the controller is tripping either because it's faulty or because the train is drawing too much current, probably the former. It's a regular issue with these cheap & nasty transformer/ controllers.
You can check out my theory if you know someone who has a decent quality controller with say a 1amp output. If the problem doesn't arise when using that, then you know the trainset controller is faulty.
John.
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Thanks for the fast reply..
Just to note, I run a Hornby Flying Scotsman (I think 5 pole) and probably a 15-20 year old Patriot-Duke of Sutherland (with one of those older upright motors.. name escapes me at the moment) and they run fine for hours using the same controller... I would have thought the older train would draw a lot more current.
I do have an older transformer lying about (which I know has a high amp output) so I will give that ago and see what happens. What I might do also (as you have given me a thought) is to monitor the voltage (with a multimeter) as the train is running. When it stops, I can see if there is voltage to the track or not.. That way, I can also test your theory.
I just cant believe Hornby would use a cheap and nasty controller (for the price you pay) but then everthing seems to be made in Chine where there is NO quality control.... That might answer the question as to why Horby did ask me what controller I was using, then couldnt be bothered following up on my issue.
Thanks again, Robert
John Turner wrote:

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Robert,

Might be more useful to put an ammeter in series to see what the current draw of the motor is. The problem you have looks as though it might be caused by the current being drawn by the motor and it would be helpful to have a value that could be compared with other users. Your stating that the motor gets much too hot to handle is an indicator that something is wrong with the motor causing it to draw too much current. When running light, the current is probably at a level that your controller can just cope with. With the added load of the coaches, the current draw will be a bit higher and it looks as though it is causing the overload protection in the controller to operate.
Jim.
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JimG wrote:

Personally I'd take the set back from whence it came, as it is clearly not fit for purpose. The retailer can then establish whether it is the controller or the loco at fault and repair / replace as appropriate.
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RB0135 wrote:

[...]
Sure, no question. Probably a short in the windings somewhere, which allows way too much current to flow.

The Hornby motors are generally OK, so IMO you were just unlucky and got one with a fault which wouldn't show up in the short test run they do at the factory. But I doubt that Hornby will replace the motor for you, since it looks like you've passed the warranty expiry date. But it's worth a try. Tell them you'll never recommend Hornby to anyone ever again if don't get no satisfaction. And that you'll offer to tell your sorry tale to anyone who'll stand still long enough to listen. Then stick to it. Hornby has had a free ride on its past (and well-deserved) reputation for reliability for too long IMO. It's time to call them on it.

You're welcome.
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"Wolf" wrote

The motors in the Eurostar (same as the Networker) are not fit for purpose [1] in my opinion, and do have a tendency to overheat when put under any sort of load. It's a shame that with these models Hornby have spoiled the job for the traditional small tar application.
I still wouldn't rule out the controller being at fault, but it could be the motor. I think on reflection the advice to return it from where it came might be the best course of action.
[1] apologies for using the latest trendy phrase, but if it's good enough for referring to the Home Office's inadequacies, then it seems highly appropriate in this instance too.
John.
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John Turner wrote:

Sorry John ;-), from memory that's the exact phrase used in the Sale of Goods Act. Pity us end customers and you retailers end up doing the manufacturer's QC for them.:-/
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Everyone..
Thankyou for much insight into my issue. They are very much appreciated.
After I posted the question, I ran the engine by itself.. It actually did stop, but after 40 minutes continuous running at a reasonable "realistic" speed.
I will run the amp test and volt check first and see how it goes. Then, if that is OK, I will replace the motor myself.
I will all let you know the outcome (probably in a few days)..
I quick question... Am I right to think that the motor should draw between .2 and .6 amps? I cant (of course) find any specs on it....
Thanks all, Robert
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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"RB0135" wrote

I would have thought towards the very bottom of that range. Isn't the trainset controller just 1/3rd amp?
John.
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Just another suggestion, you say the coaches are free running, but what about the loco. Have you checked theres nothing rubbing against the wheels ? Try turning it upside down, apply power (couple of wires from the track) move the wheels/axles side to side whilst under power and see if theres any obstruction. Otherwise remove the motor so wheels are free to revolve and check again.
Cheers, Simon
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John... I'm not sure about the controller output. It has the voltage on it but not amperage.. Something to check.
Simon.. Thanks for the suggestion, but I have done that.. They are running fine (the whole unit probably has only run for 1 hour over 6 months) so there is no evident wear on the boogies..
But, thanks again for all suggestions.
Robert
simon wrote:

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The mains adapter says 5VA at 15V which equates to a third of one amp or 333mA.
(kim)
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Kim.. When I got home today, I checked my mains adapter.... Its ouput is 800mA, so I have more than enough.
Ok... well here is the news of testing:
1) Tested the amps while train in motion.. Measured average 400mA pulling the other carriages (bit high I thought), 320mA when by itself. When the train stopped, about .5mA drawn (showing some resistance somewhere)
Let the train cool for 30 minutes
2) Tested the voltage while train in motion (voltage fluctuated approx 1.5 volt as it went around the circuit) until stopped... Only about .3 volts being draw when did.
3) I decided to take the train off the tracks when it stopped without touching the controller... Voltage came back up to 8 volts (where I had my throttle originally)..
So, this proves no doubt that the motor is shorting when it heats up. An open circuit in the motor would not produce the voltage issues explained above.
To add to the test, I tested the train with another controller. This controller lights up when there is a short. Sure enough, when the train stopped, the light came on for the short. Took the train off the tracks, light went off.
I then ran another test. I took the stopped train off the tracks, and put on another engine. Straight away the train ran. Also, when the other engine was running (15-20 year old) it only drew 210mA (average).
I also put 3 engines on the same circuit and ran them off the controller for 30 minutes. They drew total of about 730mA and didn't miss a beat, definetly ruling out the controller...
Now, I have to find a good replacement motor (in Australia that is)...
Thanks to all, Robert
kim wrote:

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"RB0135" wrote

If the set is under three months old then Hornby should provide you one free of charge. You could also reasonably argue that it should have been of saleable quality for longer than that, so I would have thought that a free replacement motor for up to twelve months would be reasonable.
John.
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RB0135 wrote:

So where in Australia did you buy it? Did you buy it in Australia? Is there a proper retailer near you?
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Kevin Martin
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Hi Kevin.
I bought it from Hobbyco... They said they cant do anything about it and go direct to Hornby...
I bought it back in July, 06 so it is just over 6 months old..
I have been told by Hornby to ring SouthernModels, the Australian distributor/repairer for Hornby, but I am not getting a good reception from them..
Robert
Kevin Martin wrote:

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And you won't. It's what they call an "intermittent fault". They'll run it for five minutes on its own, then send it back saying it looks okay to them. Your word against their's, nothing you can do. I cancelled all my domestic insurance policies for the same reason.
(kim)
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Same thing happens on full-scale trains, believe me....Most technicians and mechanics have some sort of 'field' which causes intermittent faults to disappear in their presence- a similar effect is to be observed in the dentist's waiting room. Brian
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On Wed, 17 Jan 2007 10:20:20 -0000, "BH Williams"
Brian,

We used to call it the Membury effect. We ran a complex bit of digital sound equipment in Bristol some years ago and the service engineer had to come from west London. When he was called out for a fault, the equipment usually fixed itself as he was driving past Membury service station, halfway to Bristol. :-)
Jim.
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