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Bad Power Supply?

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Hi,

 

I have a Bachmann Blue Comet (Atlantic City Express) set that I bought 18ish years ago.  We use it each year at Christmas time (so it has relatively low use), but this year, after it runs for maybe one to two minutes, I can hear the breaker tripping inside the controller.  After a minute or so, it resets and shuts back down, etc.  I tested the locomotive, and free-wheeling it uses about 0.8 amps.  When on the track, it averages 1.2 amps, peaking at 1.5.  My question is, is that too high an amp draw for a 4-6-0 engine, or does it sound like my controller is bad?  If it's the controller, can you recommend a somewhat decent replacement for a very casual user?

 

Thanks!

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Hi there and welcome.

 

What power supply are you using now?  Do you have any specs on it?   I would say the amperage draw as you describe sounds ok.  My first thoughts are that maybe there is some sort of intermittent short that is happening or the motor is burned up and drawing high amps as the motor warms up (latter seems less likely than the first).

 

 

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Thanks for the reply.

 

Sorry, I should have supplied the transformer specs.  It's the model 6609 that came with the set.  Rated at an out put of 17 volts and 11 VA.  I am getting between 12 and 13 volts at the track while the train is running.

 

One other thing, I have never opened up the locomotive to add any grease.  Is that something that should be done periodically?

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The power supply is a bare minimum in total watts it can output and could be too that the engine binding enough in the curves to trip the power supply.   If this was me I would get power supply with greater total amp/watt output.  I don't have a specific model to recommend because normally I look at big supplies for outdoors, but in this case what you may want to get is a power supply for HO scale trains.  I'd get 3amps at least (or 60va / watts), 18volts max output. That should give you enough total power to have it handle any normal situation and eliminate the power supply as the culprit. 

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Thanks so much for your help.  Last night I decided to open up the locomotive to see if I could see anything.  Turns out the pickups were only functioning on one axle.  The other two weren't working.  I cleaned it all up, got the other two axles working, and greased and oiled everything.  Now it's averaging .8 amps and peaking at 1.05 amps with the tender and three cars.  Nice to have it working again!

 

I can't thank you enough for your willingness to help.  Cheers!

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