Lights But No Movement on On30 Switcher Locomotive

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BayHighRY

Member
Hi all,

As the title says, I have a On30 Bachmann 0-4-0 Diesel Switcher Engine that has had some problems lately with HO trackrail-powered movement. At the current time the headlights will come on indicating it has power but it doesn't want to budge anymore. Finally gave up after some weeks of shifty running. Does this look like a total gutting of the insides and replacement? Would it be recommended to clean the wheels with a particular substance to see if that works? I already gave them a cleaning with just soft cloth and no major gunk came out. Any help is appreciated, thanks!

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Rico

BN Modeller
I had something similar happen, a reset on the old cv’s fixed the problem.
Think I dodged a bullet with that one.
Hope it’s an easy fix for you!
 

BayHighRY

Member
I had something similar happen, a reset on the old cv’s fixed the problem.
Think I dodged a bullet with that one.
Hope it’s an easy fix for you!
How does one go about that? Unscrewing the bottom and working the electronics? I'm not familiar hah!
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
How does one go about that? Unscrewing the bottom and working the electronics? I'm not familiar hah!
Does it have a DCC decoder?
If it's only DC, check the motor contacts, and see if you can get to the brushes. Bachmanns are known for losing contact to the motor brushes.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I see by the picture of the underside that it does have DCC on board, so it will have a decoder for that purpose. Having said that, modern DCC decoders are dual function and will run on DC (direct current). Which system are you using for controlling it? Have you cleaned the rails? They might look clean but a film of dirt will lessen contact and power transfer. Running on carpet is also not a good idea as fibers will get picked up and tangled around moving parts within. If there are instructions on how to remove the body shell, take it off and have a look.
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
Configuration Variable. You probably need to determine the manufacturer of the decoder, if possible, and download the list of cv's, although some are pretty much standard throughout the industry. To change the values of a cv you need a controller with programming capability, which most of them have. Might have to put it on a separate coding track, or "on the main" can usually be done.
 

BayHighRY

Member
I see by the picture of the underside that it does have DCC on board, so it will have a decoder for that purpose. Having said that, modern DCC decoders are dual function and will run on DC (direct current). Which system are you using for controlling it? Have you cleaned the rails? They might look clean but a film of dirt will lessen contact and power transfer. Running on carpet is also not a good idea as fibers will get picked up and tangled around moving parts within. If there are instructions on how to remove the body shell, take it off and have a look.
I'm just getting started, so I have the simple wire connector going to a track plug for testing right now. Images show more below. That's going to a speed controller and then right into the wall plug. The rails have been cleaned and another Mogul 2-6-0 works well on the track today, so it's probably the Switcher that's having issues. I'll follow your advice and take the shell off to see what's going on under the hood.

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