Heljan Class 47......Not running

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bobby
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Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby bobby » Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:42 pm

Hello,
I have a Heljan Class 47, which looks pretty unused and newish. It will not run on my oo gauge set up, but when I removed the body from the chassis I was faced with an electronic motherboard, which has left me confused. I have no experience with Heljan, so can someone tell me if I am able to use this loco on my present lay out or is there a "switch" which requires regulating like some of the new Marklin 1 guage, to put it into DC mode.
Any help you can give would be appreciated, the unit is Mint condition so I do not think the loco is faulty, its probrably just me, suffering lockdown Syndrome. Serial number on the motherboard is 85436007.
Hopefully I can attach a photo, but think I need an alternate "Ology" to even use NRM's attachment facility.

regards,
Bobby
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Bigmet
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Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby Bigmet » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:02 pm

There's no switches, it's a a regular 12V DC mechanism, with a decoder socket for DCC fitting.

Is the blanking plug fitted in the decoder socket?

Do you have flying leads from your 12V DC controller that you can connect directly to the motor leads to test if the motor runs when power is applied?

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Mountain
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Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby Mountain » Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:07 am

Often it is these blanking plugs which can cause issues if they don't quite make an elwetrical connection. The idea of them is to make the model easy to convert to DCC as one takes out the blanking plug from the socket, and replaces it with the decoder plug part. However, some of these blanking plugs have caused issues on occasions.
It might not be that which is faulty. There are quite a few things that can make a model act up.
DC is quite a lot easier to work out what is happening. The idea is to check if the current is passing through the wheels and to the motor. Some faults are a short somewhere. Other faults are that the current is not getting through, and there are then the mechanical faults like something has ceased, or something has jammed or is rubbing.

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Peterm
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Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby Peterm » Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:06 am

Back to basics to start with. Ensure wheels, pickup strips and the backs of wheels are clean. Also the track. Next stop is to check the connections to the pcb on top. You'll find that they are all held by the wire going through a hole in the pcb and then a small black plastic keeper is pushed over the top to secure it. The one's for the motor (prime suspects in your case) are either side midway along the pcb. There are two at each end from the track, these are alongside the light connectors, you can see where they are heading down to the lower part of each bogie. It's less likely to be these as this loco picks up current from both ends. I solder these connections and do away with the plastic keepers. This ensures you always have a good connection. Check these things and let us know how you get on.
A quick edit: As Bigmet says, check that the motor isn't dead by disconnecting those two wires midway along the pcb and use you controller or a 9v battery to see if it runs. All this assumes you're on DC supply.
Pete.

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SRman
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Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby SRman » Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:01 am

One other suggestion that you could try in conjunction with the above suggestions: Lift the circuit board out gently (it is only held in by the rubber wedges along each side) and see if you can manually turn the motor and drive shafts. If anything has seized, you'll feel it there first. That will also allow you to check those brush wires more easily or connect to them with the battery or controller wires.

Heljan's basic construction is simple and robust, so it is easy to get at most things to check them.

bobby
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Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby bobby » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:36 am

Thank you for your very informative replies. As I have said Heljan's are a completly new breed for me, so please bare with me.
The good news is that I have released the pcb from the chassis, checked, checked the main red/black power wires to the motor with my controller and all work fine, including drive shafts, and wheels. I am sorry to admit I do not know which item on the pcb is the blanking plug. There are no wires actually going through the pcb just 3 connecting plugs each end of the pcb each taking the red/black wiring from the wheels to the motor.Checking the wheels via the controller, power is not being transmitted to the motor, whilst all the pickup brushes are connecting, wheels are clean and there is nothing intruding the drive wheel pattern.
OK, reading all your comments I feel it may well be the blanking plug ?? Your help is certainly appreciated,

Best regards,

Bobby
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Bigmet
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Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby Bigmet » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:51 am

The DCC socket blanking plug is in place, it's the pale brown item with two L shaped solder blobs on, an 8 pin type.

Good news, the model is a runner when the motor gets power.

My suspicion would be that someone swapped around the plug connectors on the board ends and got it wrong. Track the pick up wires to the plugs that connect to the board sockets each end. It should connect to 'L and R' - so long since I looked at a Heljan 47 that I don't recall if they are labelled. Whatever, a little trial and error with the pick up wire plugs into the available sockets should get you there.

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SRman
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Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby SRman » Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:20 pm

As Bignet has said, the blanking plug is there. It's the pale brown rectangle sticking out in the lower photo. It doesn't look like it is fully pushed home, so you could try giving it a good firm press with a finger.

Dad-1
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Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby Dad-1 » Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:00 pm

A long shot.
My Heljan class 33 wouldn't work - dead.
However the previous time I'd had it out it worked fine - it was a very hot day and in a museum
where it ran continuously for many hours.
The answer was that a white grease used by Heljan had melted and left a thick enough film
over the wheel backs for the wiper pickups to just slide over it, fully insulated !!

A thorough clean and de-greasing of the wheel backs and pickups solved it.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

bobby
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:03 pm

Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby bobby » Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:13 pm

Hello again,

Well......all of your process of elimination and input has worked, and I have a very nice running Class 47. Having pressed all the 6 end and top connectors firmly into the pcb, she showed signs of life. With a couple of slow runs round the track she is now fully operational.

Thanks again for all your input, without which I could not have cured the situation,

Very best regards to all, and keep safe,

Bobby

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby Bigmet » Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:46 pm

File that away in 'simple fixes', because if you buy s/h you will find all sorts of minor trouble like this. (You can save real money this way: lots of 'non-runners', unreliable, 'slow running' and 'spares and repairs' all performing beautifully on the layout after relatively small adjustments, wires reconnected, solidified grease cleaned out, parts removed and loose in the box restored, and look at that it works properly!)

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Peterm
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Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby Peterm » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:39 am

As usual my memory let me down. I should have opened mine up to double check on the connections. Not little bits of plastic holding wires in... that's Bachmann. Sorry.
Pete.

56133
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Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:43 pm

Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby 56133 » Wed Dec 02, 2020 3:41 pm

Hi Im having the same problem with a 47 not running .Ive checked power to the motor ,through the circuit board ,and the pickups ,all working OK however when I put power to the wheels nothing .Ive not tried using IPA on them yet ,but at a loss as to how its not picking up .Any answers please .

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby Bigmet » Wed Dec 02, 2020 4:04 pm

Two things to check first on the loco.

Is there any oily deposit on the wheel backs, as mentioned above? If so wipe clean.

Are the wheels a brown colour? Heljan started out with brass wheels in their locos, and the 47 was their launch product in OO. If the model has been out of use for a while the wheel surface oxidises and becomes less conductive, and that affects both the tyre contact with the rail and the wiper contact on the wheelback. A little running polishes off the oxide. Put the loco on track and 'jump start it' with flying leads to the motor, that usually does enough to begin the process, then run the loco normally on track power for a half hour or so.

And of course, check there is actually power on track if you haven't done so already...

HTH, and welcome to this site too!

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Mountain
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Re: Heljan Class 47......Not running

Postby Mountain » Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:13 pm

Just a quick warning. Do not put power direct to the motor if the loco has a DCC decoder fitted as it could potentially fry the decoder. Only do this to locos that are DC only.

DC is easier in this way as one can simply check the motor in situ, but for DCC one has to isolate the motor supply from the decoder to test the motor from a DC supply.


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