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Emerald Night Wheel Fix


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#1 TheBrickster

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 04:40 AM

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Although some discussion has taken place in the fantastic review of the 10194 Emerald Night with pictures from both Captain Zuloo and Holodoc, as well as discussion in the Emerald Night thread, I thought it was important enough to create a new thread re. a fix to the wheel locking issue.  EB member and Lego Ambassador Mark Bellis has mentioned this problem and the correction HERE.  For whatever reason, his response didn't sink in until trying it today - thanks Mark.

I spoke with a Lego SAH Customer Service Rep today re. this issue with the train:

SCENERIO

I am running my Emerald Night with passenger car on 9V track (with no electric power) in a medium sized oval (18 straight track + 16 curves).  My layout contains no flexi-track or elevated track.  I am using the new Power Function system.

PROBLEM

My Emerald Night was running rather "choppy", esp. around curves, and when placing the train in reverse, the train would sputter, stop, and lock when it came to a curve.  How disappointing and frustrating after a few rebuilds of the wheels.  I thought the issue was the pistons and/or the technic beams sticking out of the wheels.

SOLUTION

Within the first book of instructions, on page 51, is step 49.  This is a CRITICAL step in making sure your Emerald Night runs smoothly.
Notice the separate picture of the two wheels in the red square.  One side of the wheels have to be placed in the 3:00 position whereas the other side needs to be set to the 12:00 position.  I missed this step completely trying to line up both sets of wheels at the 12:00 positions.  Also note: the middle wheels need to have the smooth/flat side out.

RESOLUTION

After correcting this issue, my Emerald Night runs much smoother and faster around curves and can go in reverse without locking or stopping, even along curves.

Mark: you tried to tell me this, and I missed it just like in the instructions.
I think this may help those of you with the same problem.  Good luck with running your Emerald Nights!

This topic has been added to Train Tech.

#2 SavaTheAggie

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:43 PM

To be technical, this is called "Quartering", and is essential in any steam engine.  In real life, not only does this prevent wheel lock, but allows for four evenly spaced piston strokes for every one full wheel rotation, increasing the engine's power and efficiency (that's why you hear so many chuffs on a steam engine even when it isn't moving very fast).  

--Tony, owner of "too many" Big Ben Bricks wheels
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#3 CopMike

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 03:06 PM

Good call Brickster to make a separate thread :thumbup:! Not all of us are "train-heads" :tongue:! And thanks Aggie, I´ve learnt the technical term also - ¼ing!

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#4 Mark Bellis

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:42 PM

View PostSavaTheAggie, on May 1 2009, 03:43 PM, said:

To be technical, this is called "Quartering", and is essential in any steam engine.  In real life, not only does this prevent wheel lock, but allows for four evenly spaced piston strokes for every one full wheel rotation, increasing the engine's power and efficiency (that's why you hear so many chuffs on a steam engine even when it isn't moving very fast).  

--Tony, owner of "too many" Big Ben Bricks wheels

When visiting a preserved railway it can be fun to work out how fast you're going by knowing what size the driving wheels are and how many chuffs there are per wheel revolution.  You would be able to tell if the train exceeded the UK preserved line speed limit of 25mph!

As I mentioned in the other thread, another factor in wheel locking is the alignment of the cylinders with the centre of crank rotation.
in this picture of 92220 Evening Star (a 2-cylinder quartered engine), notice how you can draw an imaginary line extending from the piston rods, straight through the centre of the middle set of driving wheels.

In this picture of 4472 Flying Scotsman, notice how the piston rod is horizontal but aligned with all three driving wheel centres.

The piston rods in Emerald Night are horizontal but are above the line of the driving wheel centres.  This is one reason why it jams.  Hopefully the level of jamming is tolerable as long as the quartering is done OK on Emerald Night.  If not, I suggest swapping the 5M half beam for a 7M half beam, fixed to the coupling rod 2M further back.

Flying Scotsman and Peppercorn Class A1 pacifics like Tornado have three cylinders, with the third cylinder being between the wheels.  This means that, in a LEGO model of such a loco complete with the third cylinder, the crank pin alignment should be at 120 degrees, not 90 degrees.  Setting the wheels at 120 degrees would be a challenge, though it is possible with wheels that have 6 holes, so I'm tempted to have a go sometime.  I believe this is still called quartering, even though the angle is no longer 90 degrees.

The use of 3 cylinders, and 6 power strokes per wheel revolution, is smoother.  It also helps the gear ratio when starting away with the larger 6'8" driving wheels compared to Evening Star's 5'0" wheels.  Of course Evening Star was designed for slower goods trains and has 1/3 more tractive effort than Flying Scotsman.  Evening Star's brother 92203 Black Prince started a train of 2162 tonnes, the heaviest train hauled by a steam loco in Britain (no doubt a US Big Boy has hauled a lot more).  Given the differences in design age (FS 1923 vs. ES 1954) further comparison may prove futile owing to the evolution of the technology.

One reason Evening Star is newer but has just 2 cylinders is ease of maintenance - you can get at them on the outside!

BTW Tony, how many BBB wheels is too many?  I keep thinking of buying some more! :classic:

Mark
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#5 prateek

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 03:23 AM

woah, hardcore LEGO train fans. eventhough im never getting this set, good solution :thumbup:

#6 Sinner

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 04:01 AM

Yeah, I messed up mine first too.  :blush: I was building in a hurry in a dark room and I missed the actual point of the allignment pictures. I noticed problems soon after motorising and (cos I think I'm smart) tried to put them 180 degrees out of phase. This made things worse.  :laugh: I ended up blaming the model and I then removed the bars when doing my power test.

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I then came to EB to post this photo and noticed that others we having the same trouble and I thought that maybe the axels were hitting the bar. During my attempted re-alignment I found the real cause of the problem and *poof* problem fixed.  :sweet: The really cool thing is the bar actually does help; it isn't just for decoration. When doing the above test I could only move that load forwards. With the bar on the engine moved smoother and could do backward as well, even thought the batteries were drained after substantial playing with!

I'm dying to know how much better the real batteries are...





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#7 SavaTheAggie

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 04:44 AM

View PostMark Bellis, on May 1 2009, 06:42 PM, said:

BTW Tony, how many BBB wheels is too many?  I keep thinking of buying some more! :classic:

Mark

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I am, presently, using 28 small wheels, 22 Medium drivers (Flanged and Blind), and 38 Large Drivers (Flanged and Blind), not counting the wheels currently on my yet to be public work in progress steamer, and the wheels bought and reserved for my other steamer I may never build.

I say "too many" because of my wife and how often she rolls her eyes when I say I need more.  So far there are $222 worth of wheels on my public steamers.

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#8 Mark Bellis

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 01:14 AM

View PostMark Bellis, on May 2 2009, 12:42 AM, said:

Flying Scotsman and Peppercorn Class A1 pacifics like Tornado have three cylinders, with the third cylinder being between the wheels.  This means that, in a LEGO model of such a loco complete with the third cylinder, the crank pin alignment should be at 120 degrees, not 90 degrees.  Setting the wheels at 120 degrees would be a challenge, though it is possible with wheels that have 6 holes, so I'm tempted to have a go sometime.  I believe this is still called quartering, even though the angle is no longer 90 degrees.

Having challenged myself earlier, here is the result:
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Brickshelf Folder when moderated.  I dare say this goes slightly beyond a wheel fix for Emerald Night!

In fact the 120 degrees is not exact for Flying Scotsman (or other Gresley 3-cylinder loco) because the middle cylinder is inclined at 1 in 8 in order to miss the front axle.  The three angles are more like 117, 120 and 123 degrees.  Thompson and Peppercorn 3-cylinder locos (e.g. Tornado) use divided drive, with the middle piston actuating the front axle, avoiding the need to incline the cylinder.

Tony> I currently have 20 large BBB drivers, 10 blind drivers and 20 small wheels, all in black.  With the large drivers I've done an 0-6-0 chassis, 0-10-0 chassis, Shay Chassis and Class 14 shunter.  I used some of the small wheels on my rail crane and more on a cardan shaft drive chassis concept.  I have a few others on a Class 02 chassis and a 2-6-2 mock-up chassis for evaluation as to which UK loco it might become - perhaps a Great Western 44xx class for the wheel size, though this is one of the rarer classes of prairie tank engine in the UK - other more numerous classes had larger wheels.  The Emerald Night banded wheels might improve traction for such a tank engine, using PF motors, since train motors would have to be under coaches otherwise (no tender to hide them in!).

I haven't yet investigated the medium sized BBB wheels.  Are they the same size as the old 12V red wheels from 7750?  If so, I could use them for 3'2" to 3'8" bogie wheels on a few engines.  Just wish I could get more colours of 32020 wheel hubs for the drivers!

Mark
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#9 SavaTheAggie

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 07:52 PM

View PostMark Bellis, on May 2 2009, 07:14 PM, said:

Tony> I currently have 20 large BBB drivers, 10 blind drivers and 20 small wheels, all in black.  With the large drivers I've done an 0-6-0 chassis, 0-10-0 chassis, Shay Chassis and Class 14 shunter.  I used some of the small wheels on my rail crane and more on a cardan shaft drive chassis concept.  I have a few others on a Class 02 chassis and a 2-6-2 mock-up chassis for evaluation as to which UK loco it might become - perhaps a Great Western 44xx class for the wheel size, though this is one of the rarer classes of prairie tank engine in the UK - other more numerous classes had larger wheels.  The Emerald Night banded wheels might improve traction for such a tank engine, using PF motors, since train motors would have to be under coaches otherwise (no tender to hide them in!).
That's one of the reasons I've never considered building a tank locomotive, at least up until now.  I have been considering building a Garratt class locomotive, which technically is a tank locomotive, which would use the PF elements.  Probably something in the 2-8-0+0-8-2 range.  However with my current build I'm not entirely sure how much I'll want to build a big articulated locomotive afterward.

View PostMark Bellis, on May 2 2009, 07:14 PM, said:

I haven't yet investigated the medium sized BBB wheels.  Are they the same size as the old 12V red wheels from 7750?  If so, I could use them for 3'2" to 3'8" bogie wheels on a few engines.  Just wish I could get more colours of 32020 wheel hubs for the drivers!

Mark
I'm afraid I can't tell you, I don't own 7750 nor any of the wheels therein.  They look like they'd be pretty close, though.

--Tony
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#10 DaCheese

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 11:52 PM

Is anyone finding 10194 is a bit jerky running at low speed? It's possibly to do with what Mark was saying about the loco's cylinders being out of line with the centre "axle". It might just be that my EN's LiPo is getting a bit low (damn you present lack of transformer!) but I was running mine today and it doesn't move at a smooth and consistent speed forwards until you open the regulator a bit more. What's strange is that other than the locking I experienced a week or two ago running tender first with the coach supplied it seems to run fine in reverse. Having gone through most of my life so far with what most people would call real model trains I appreciate a model with slow running capabilities. Any thoughts?

#11 soc399

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 02:51 AM

I'm pretty sure that my Emerald Night is properly quartered, but I still have occasional problems with locking on curves when running in reverse.  The problem is especially bad on the new flex track.  Is anyone else experiencing this?  I noticed Mark's suggestion to replace the 5 long half beams with 7 long beams, but I don't think I have any.  Before I order some, I'd like confirmation that the train runs better with them.

@DaCheese: Mine definitely runs a little jerky at low speed, although I may also need a recharge soon.

#12 DaCheese

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 08:15 PM

Hi soc399. Since I posted in this thread I've changed my EN's rods based on what Mark said, but using 1 x 8 tile pieces with those Technic connectors that have a stud on one end and a normal connector on the other to put together some replacement rods. You can see the result in this thread. I'll admit that I haven't used the engine since testing them out straight after fitting them but it seemed to run much more nicely at slow speeds. I'd say go for it.

#13 alex54

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 09:45 PM

View PostTheBrickster, on May 1 2009, 05:40 AM, said:

PROBLEM

My Emerald Night was running rather "choppy", esp. around curves, and when placing the train in reverse, the train would sputter, stop, and lock when it came to a curve.  How disappointing and frustrating after a few rebuilds of the wheels.  I thought the issue was the pistons and/or the technic beams sticking out of the wheels.

SOLUTION

Within the first book of instructions, on page 51, is step 49.  This is a CRITICAL step in making sure your Emerald Night runs smoothly.
Notice the separate picture of the two wheels in the red square.  One side of the wheels have to be placed in the 3:00 position whereas the other side needs to be set to the 12:00 position.  I missed this step completely trying to line up both sets of wheels at the 12:00 positions.  Also note: the middle wheels need to have the smooth/flat side out.

RESOLUTION

After correcting this issue, my Emerald Night runs much smoother and faster around curves and can go in reverse without locking or stopping, even along curves.

Well, I've got some trouble making my Emerald Night (EN) running on my layout.
Firstly, I have to specify that I don't miss the CRITICAL step: my wheels are offset by a quarter.
Secondly, I have to specify that I've used a classic 9V motor on the passenger car. I don't have any PF motor and I wanted to see my dark green baby moving. So I decided to put a 9V motor on the passenger car. After this modification, I put my EN on my 9V tracks and turn the yellow button of the speed regulator. Go on!
Because of the weigh, it started moving slowly on my straight portion. And became the first curve. And drama! My EN stopped without derailed! So I turn the yellow button back to make it moving back and nothing too!
After this, I've tried to make it pass a swith. And I've got the same disapointing result!
So, my last test was a high speed test. I've put all my straight tracks together and turn the yellow button at high power. And it only moved slowly. And the wheels of the 9V motor seemed to "spin".
So maybe EN can't be moved by an other power than its own (e-i using the Technic mechanism...)

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#14 welcomestranger

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 05:18 AM

I know it's been over a year since this thread was created, but I finally got around to PF'ing my Emerald Night and what do you know, my wheels were locking up. Thanks to this thread everything is now working very smoothly as like everyone else, missed the quartering of the wheels. You would think that such a critical step in the build would be highlighted in the manual a little more... Thanks EB!
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#15 TheBrickster

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 03:05 PM

Good to hear that you've got it working. :thumbup:

#16 sirrobin

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:15 AM

Many years later, I've been having this issue forever and randomly decided to google it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This thread is a lifesaver.
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#17 zephyr1934

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:38 AM

For more tips on making the EN run even better, see RailBricks #7.

#18 Gioppa

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:53 AM

Another solution is here!

Thanks Gioppa,and what a wonderful kitchen you have!!

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