Author Topic: The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.  (Read 340 times)

Zephyrus52246

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The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.
« on: January 01, 2018, 04:01:51 PM »
I have six Intermountain FT units.  I purchased them all off ebay over the last year or so.  The CB&Q split up their FT A-B-B-A units to an FT A-B and ran them with F2s.  I want to substitute an F3 for the F2.  The first set of Intermountain units had Soundtraxx Sound decoders in them.  I ran them a short while, they both went different speeds, so I tried using Decoder Pro to speed match them.  They never worked again.  My last two sets had no sound decoders.  I put TCS sound decoders in them.  Again, when trying to use Decoder Pro on them, they don't work either.  I can get them to run on short address 3, but no sound.  I've tried resetting them, but to no avail.  As I have several units with ESU decoders, I have the decoder tester and the LokProgrammer, so I thought I'd give ESU a shot at them.  Did the B unit, and it ran fine.  Just finished the A unit today, and even the lights work correctly.  I usually haven't bothered much with lights except for headlights.  As they're going to run together, I set them to the same long address.  Yesterday they ran fine together (except backwards for the A unit).  They will run permanently in reverse with the F3, so I brought in the B unit to reset the direction.  It no longer runs.  No sound, nothing.  The Lokprogrammer recognizes it, but the loco doesn't work and there is no sound.  The A unit is now completing it's sixth "circuit" of the Empire, running fine.  I'm going to take the B unit apart and check all the connections, but I just don't understand why it suddenly no longer works.  I don't know why the other's no longer work as well.  They were all "new in the box" as far as I could tell.  Anyone else have problems with these?  These were not easy board swaps.  I wired a eight pin socket into them so I could plug in the LokSound V4.0. 


Jeff

Zephyrus52246

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Re: The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 05:09:15 PM »
Okay, now I'm really spooked.  The SOB is working again.   :o


Jeff

Zephyrus52246

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Re: The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 08:17:34 PM »
Curiouser and curiouser.  Tried again to change the direction of the B unit.  Again didn't work.  An hour later it's fine--even running in the right direction.  A note about the ESU decoders, their "Keep Alive"  (called Power Paks) aren't really very good.  The Streamlined back shop site showed a way to hook a TCS Keep Alive to the ESU decoders and they worked fine.  He notes that he's had trouble programming them with the Keep Alives.  The capacitor is apparently sucking up the power used for programming.  I've disconnected the wire to the keep alive, but now the Lokprogrammer won't even recognize the decoder in the A unit, though it works perfectly.  I've sent an email to the Streamlined Backshop to see if he can explain this.


Jeff

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Re: The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 09:02:17 PM »
Jeff


All I can say is - I also hate electrical problems. Good luck!
John Siekirk
Superior & Seattle Railroad

Zephyrus52246

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Re: The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 09:29:07 PM »
Part of the mystery is solved.  One of the wires from the Lokprogrammer to the track was loose.  That's why it didn't recognize the loco.  After cutting one of the wires to the keep alive, tomorrow I'll see if I can program it to change the lights and delete the horn/bell.  I don't want both units honking and dinging.  :D


Jeff

bparrish

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Re: The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 03:48:10 AM »
Jeff............

I wish I could be more help.

Sound is not my thing as I don't hear well out of one ear and the other is easily overloaded. So I don't do much with sound.

My suggestion is to make each unit work individually. THEN...... try to consist them. Those consist instructions should not collide with the previously established sound stuff.

Try it in that order.  Given that you have done so much....... reset to factory and start from scratch.

That's the best I can do.

Let me know what works.

see ya
Bob
I didn't realize people my age were so old ! !

Zephyrus52246

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Re: The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 02:39:35 PM »
Thanks, Bob.  Since they will always run together, I'm using the same address for both.  The problem apparently is with the addition of the Keep Alive.  After cutting one of the wires to it, everything now works.  I've reprogrammed them, and now they are even speed matched.  Now to hook up the Keep Alive again and see if everything stays the same. 


Jeff

bparrish

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Re: The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 03:05:08 PM »
Jeff..........

Thanx for the response.  I have no idea why the keep alive would affect that but.......

If you are putting them together, find a micro plug in and tie the red and black track pick up wires in each loco and tie the two locos together.  You will have 16 wheel pick up and a REALLY long wheel base.

You will never need the keep alive ! ! !

See ya
Bob
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Zephyrus52246

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Re: The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 03:37:49 PM »
Bob, I wish I'd thought of wiring them together before.   :)  Anyway, six units, several sound decoders/speakers, frustration, and words I wouldn't use in front of a sailor, the little SOBs are ready to haul freight on the Empire. 

Zephyrus52246

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Re: The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 03:40:48 PM »
Here's the F3 they will be matched with.  It's an Athearn unit and has an old Soundtraxx decoder.  I'll probably swap it out for another ESU one so I can speed match them more easily, though I may give the Decoder Pro a shot at this unit.  We'll see.  I think I'll start something that doesn't involve electronics next.   ;D


Jeff

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Re: The Curse of the Intermountain FT units.
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 12:49:49 PM »
Glad they're finally running.  I believe that the only way you can tell an F-2 from a Phase I F-3 is by road number, or by looking inside.  So once you've re-lettered it, it's effectively an F-2...
James

 

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