Sunday, February 17, 2019

I Wasn’t the Only Thing That Was Sick – and How to Overcome the Illness

Monday this week, the postie arrived with my Pay Railbus model.  However with an afternoon event at my son’s school followed by a Doctor’s appointment to get some drugs to make me better, I did not get to the Shed to test the model.  Tuesday was not much better, with an appointment to watch my daughter get sworn in at the School Captain at her school.  So It was later in the arvo that I could finally get down to the shed.  So the model came out of the packaging and I placed it on the track and applied power and hit F8.  The sound was very nice.  I can figure out that F0 is the headlight, F1 is the marker lights and F2 is the horn, and of course F8 turns the sound/on/off.  But that is the limit to my ability to decipher what function does what.  A few of the other functions produce a few clangs and bangs, but the model lacked a function list in the box.

So I gave the model some herbs and it just kept spluttering and stalling and re-starting after a bit of a push.  That did not look good.  After spending truck loads on a very nice model, to have it not run well, was a total disappointment.  I had this very sick feeling in the guts.  However, I just wondered if the model was just having a dry connection from the wheels to the wire pickups.  So I turned it up side down and gave it four drops of Wahl Oil to the four wheels to help with conductivity.  I then left the loco on the track and I went away even sicker.

On Wednesday while I was convalescing at home, I decided to go visit George at Aurora Trains.  He had some nice posts on his Facebook page about some new stuff arriving.  Hmmmm!  Turned to Mmmmm when I saw some of his new items.  I also picked up a bargain in his bargain bin.  A HO scale water truck for $5.  You could not get better value.  I was talking to George and he was already talking to many owners of the Auscision Rail Paybus and all were unhappy with its running properties.  He was suggesting than an ESU keep alive be fitted.  The small one of these is about $70 and the larger version is about $110 if my memory serves me, and most of the time it doesn’t.  Then if you were not going to fit it yourself, then you might need to pay someone another $50 or so dollar to do the dirty deed done dirt cheap.  Look at that – I’m a comedian.

Anyway, after coming home from work early on Thursday, I went down to the shed and turned the power on to the layout and ran the Rail Paybus from Acacia Ridge Yard to South Brisbane Interstate Platform.  From here, it ran back to Acacia Ridge yard and then all the way back to Cassino – to the back platform road or the carriage siding, where it will spend most of its time on the layout.  It then ran back to Grafton Yard, before I felt sorry for the little bugger and carried it back to Cassino’s back platform road for stable.  Well now I am impressed.  From being a very sick little puppy, it now is a reasonably good runner.  It is now almost categorised as a good runner.  All I did was oil the wheel assemblies on the model.  Sure the model had a few splutters, but that was on dead sections of track and points.  So I think it is just dry joints in the electrical pickup that gave me the first bad impression.  

I’m still not happy with the ‘out-of-the-box’ acceleration and deceleration rates.  Because of this slow speed running, and long time to get up speed, the model will stall on all my insulfrog points.  I had plans to put the model on the programming track and see what these figures are and adjust them to something reasonable, but time escaped me this weekend.

So the model has miraculously risen from the dead in my books.  More testing will be undertaken.

Yesterday I attended my first operating session at Anthony's place since late 2017.  It was great to be back.  Following re-accreditation I was the 2nd VR operator.  I had some great trains.  The layout ran very well, although Anthony was not happy with one of his new wagons, possibly causing a few shorts.  I had a great time.

Today I went to the shed again and decided that I was going to make some large concrete pipes for loads in my QR WHO wagons, and I may also put some in an NOCY or two.  So I cut up some 20mm conduit and then used my grinding wheel to put a lip on one end.  I then gave the first 8 an undercoat of grey, before they will get a concrete colour next weekend.  I've cut up another 8 sections of pipe, but 4 are slightly too long - but only on one end.  So they will be made load ready next weekend.


  1. I fitted a home-made keepalive to my Paybus (equivalent to a TCS KA), it has improved the running qualities dramatically. If people are interested I can make them for a good price.

    I also removed the acceleration and deceleration completely and found that speed step 1 is high (maybe it is the gearing), so a bit of acceleration and deceleration does help.

  2. That is great information.

  3. I have been a fan of Wahl oil for decades, and it seems to improve electrical contact - almost like it lubricates the dust off the rail contact area with the wheel. I am pleased to hear that a simple fix has done the trick. On the original Far North Hobbies railbus, I employed a rail wiper between the wheels as the third contact on each side, and this also improved running. Hope you get better soon

  4. I would recommend a keep alive or similar for the paybus. I have a pair of IDR X200 class with DCC and KAs and they are the most reliable locos on my layout. They never stall or miss a beat thanks to the KA.