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Buzzing and Nothing else

Allen writes:

“Hi! I am not necessarily new to model trains, I’ve used them for years. I recently have just got back into it, but when I’ve put my set back together, I’ve found that all I am getting is a buzzing sound, and nothing else. I’ve tested my old models and brand new ones, different track pieces for power sourcing, new controllers, but good lord nothing at all is working. All I am getting a buzzing sound, and when I press “stop” on my DCC controller, the models inch maybe less than a centimeter forward. Help!!”

5 Responses to Buzzing and Nothing else

  • Dale says:

    There are so many things that could be wrong, I’m not sure where to start. Are you testing on a simple length of track that has no possibility of a short? Did you check the actual voltage on the track to see if it is correct? Have you thoroughly cleaned and lubricated the locos and inspected them for any broken, misaligned or jammed parts? Have you disconnected and tested the motor itself, by itself? Have you followed the process (as defined in your DCC system’s documentation) to reset the DCC decoder? It is a situation where you need to eliminate the possible problems one at a time. Good luck.

  • Allan Tidswell says:

    Could this be that a DC motor is being fed AC? I saw (and heard!) this happen once decades ago.

  • David Stokes says:

    If you’ve got buzzing your loco is receiving power. If it moves Hooray!’, if not do the following.
    1. clean the track and wheels
    2. lift the body off, and wash out old lubricating grease and oil with WD40. Do not allw the WD40 near the plastic body of your loco. It can ruin the paint work.
    3. Using a cocktail stick (tooth pick) remove all the crud and carpet fibres from between the wheels and chassis.
    4. Clean the pick up wipers.
    5. Try to run the engine with the body off. If it moves “Hooray”, if not check the motor magent and brushes, clean out the grooves on the rotor.
    6 Try again, if it doesn’t run, chuck it.
    7. If it runs, replace the body and have fun.

  • Gerald R Hyink says:

    Make sure your locos are dcc. Sounds like you have older equipment. Dc locos will not work on dcc. The newer locos are dc and dcc, check the box info.

  • Frank B says:

    Where is the buzzing sound coming from ? The controller or the locos ? (Transformers always hum.) Get a cheap basic multimeter and take a free online course in basic electronics. (This is good advice for every railroad modeller !)

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