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Offline nicko.goncharoff@gma  
#1 Posted : 26 December 2020 14:25:20(UTC)
nicko.goncharoff@gma

United Kingdom   
Joined: 25/12/2020(UTC)
Posts: 7
Location: W4
Hi all, Merry Christmas and happy Boxing Day. My name is Nicko and I'm new to this user group. By way of introduction: I'm based in London but am originally from the US. So when I got back into model railways (as well as scale aircraft modelling) a few years back, I naturally gravitated toward HO and Marklin. Not the easiest choice living in the UK, but definitely worth it.

I have an unfortunate Christmas-time quandary. In 2018 I bought a used Marklin Br 94 digital locomotive as part of the 29721 starter set. This became the basis of a collapsible Christmas layout we set up (see photo). While the loco worked when I tested it, upon returning home it would occasionally fail to run. I had it repaired and it turned out there was a problem with the wheelset, which needed some maintenance and adjustment. After the repair the gentlemen who did the work said the wheelset seemed a bit worn and "could go out of alignment if the loco is pushed by hand or pulls a heavy load."

The loco worked well after that, through Christmas of 2018 and 2019, and was fine this year from December 13th up until December 24th (poor timing!). On the 24th I noticed that while the lights and sound effects all worked, the engine would either not run, or would run intermittently, at a limited top speed and with significantly delayed response to inputs on the mobile controller. At this point the engine basically does not run at all. The problem seems to be with the loco itself rather than the power supply to the track, as not only did the loco lights/effects work, but the lighting on three passenger carriages also illuminates.

Having read comments from the knowledgeable group on this forum, I'm wondering if the problem lies with either the decoder or the wheelset. But I confess I don't have the experience to diagnose this on my own. If anyone here has the time to help me figure out the problem I'd greatly appreciate it. Although this loco has caused some problems, my wife and I both really love it and don't want to give up on it. (Of course replacing it would also be quite expensive - €385 on the Marklin site!)

I've attached photos of the wheelset and the engine/circuit board, in case that is of any help. Of course I can take and upload additional photos as needed.

I'm not asking anyone to respond during their holiday break of course. Any guidance or advice will be welcome whenever it arrives.

Thank you.IMG_8134.JPGIMG_8132.JPGIMG_8133.JPGIMG_8130.JPGIMG_8131.JPGChristmas scence.jpeg
Offline Martti Mäntylä  
#2 Posted : 26 December 2020 17:53:56(UTC)
Martti Mäntylä

Finland   
Joined: 15/11/2018(UTC)
Posts: 238
Location: Uusimaa, Helsinki
I don't know if this is the source of the problem, but the power pickup shoe seems to be strongly bent out of shape. It should be as straight as possible. You can test this by bringing track power directly to the shoe with a cable.
- Martti M.
Era III analog & digital (Rocrail, CAN Digital Bahn, Gleisbox/MS2, K83/K84), C & M tracks, some Spur 1
Offline owidgie  
#3 Posted : 26 December 2020 20:50:22(UTC)
owidgie

United States   
Joined: 03/06/2007(UTC)
Posts: 101
Location: SoCal
Yes you need your slider as straight as possible. This will be the quietest it can get, but that isn't your problem. Most likely (in my experience), it is your motor that is failing. If you have another 21 pin loco that runs good, you can swap the decoders and see how it runs. If the decoder runs fine in another locomotive, then it is the most likely the motor in the troubled loco.

Rick
Offline Dave Banks  
#4 Posted : 26 December 2020 23:02:02(UTC)
Dave Banks

Australia   
Joined: 08/03/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,039
Location: Gold Coast, Australia.
Have a look at this thread. Over greasing at the factory may be the cause of the problem: https://www.marklin-users.net/fo...-94-713-running-problems
D.A.Banks
Offline nicko.goncharoff@gma  
#5 Posted : 26 December 2020 23:49:06(UTC)
nicko.goncharoff@gma

United Kingdom   
Joined: 25/12/2020(UTC)
Posts: 7
Location: W4
Just briefly, thanks for the helpful responses. Am celebrating Boxing Day, but tomorrow will try straightening the pickup (though its shape was borne of an effort two years ago to increase speed performance), review the thread on over-greasing. I have a sinking feeling that Rick may be correct about the motor, as this would also explain some of the problems I had in 2018. In addition to this post, I today ordered a new Marklin 21-pin loco which will be delivered Tuesday, so can carry out the test you suggested Rick. Will update this thread once I know more. And thanks again for responding so quickly, and during this holiday period as well.
Offline nicko.goncharoff@gma  
#6 Posted : 28 December 2020 13:17:24(UTC)
nicko.goncharoff@gma

United Kingdom   
Joined: 25/12/2020(UTC)
Posts: 7
Location: W4
Originally Posted by: Dave Banks Go to Quoted Post
Have a look at this thread. Over greasing at the factory may be the cause of the problem: https://www.marklin-users.net/fo...-94-713-running-problems


Thanks Dave. That was a most interesting thread, which I also followed to another thread on the BR 94 engine. The latter gave some credence to my suspicions that I may have purchased a "lemon" loco. I added a brief post with my recent experiences and linked back to this thread as well, just in case there are other forlorn BR 94 owners out there (which seems likely!).

If my decoder experiment indicates the motor is failing as Rick suggests, I may consider eventually buying a new one from Marklin, but only after contacting them to see if they can tell me whether newer versions of that model address some of the problems reported with it.

Thanks again!
Offline Dave Banks  
#7 Posted : 28 December 2020 20:30:56(UTC)
Dave Banks

Australia   
Joined: 08/03/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,039
Location: Gold Coast, Australia.
You are most welcome & good luck with the repair. I would just order a new slider if i were you. To get it perfectly straight again would be quite a performance. #17 Schleifer part No. E144 133

https://www.ebay.de/itm/202642331281

https://static.maerklin....9d2a2ae3401434541699.pdf
D.A.Banks
Offline nicko.goncharoff@gma  
#8 Posted : 29 December 2020 19:12:11(UTC)
nicko.goncharoff@gma

United Kingdom   
Joined: 25/12/2020(UTC)
Posts: 7
Location: W4
Hi all. Quick update. I ordered another locomotive which enabled me to test both the track and the decoder (the latter by placing a brand-new 21-pin decoder into my BR 94 and my BR94 decoder into the new loco). Both track and decoder worked fine, so I know can now be fairly certain the problem lies with the motor.

At least a replacement motor is not expensive (€25) but as I noted in my original post, my experience falls fairly short of what appears to be fairly precise soldering work required to switch out motors, and Marklin repairs are not the easiest to arrange. Also, I do wonder if the motor burned out due excess strain from previous problems with the wheelset coming out of alignment and whether that might be a risk again in future.

In any case, thanks to all of you, I know what the issue is and what my options are. My appreciation again for everyone's time and consideration in helping me with this issue.

Happy new year, and may be new year be an improvement on this one!
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