Poor quality control?

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andruec
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Poor quality control?

#1

Post by andruec »

I'm a novice and my track has only recently reached the point where I can run locos on DCC. I have three new DCC fitted diesels, bought November, finally got to use them and have found:

* One had a bent chassis pickup.
* Another had oil smeared on one of the pickups.
* The third has some kind of stain (looks like soot?) all over the pickups.

I've fixed the first two but the third is proving difficult.

Question one: Is this typical of Dapol quality?
Question two: How should I clean the dirty pickups. Isopropyl alcohol?

Not terribly impressed. The other Dapol I have is an HST and I know it runs fine on DC but I haven't fitted a decoder yet so don't know if it'll be fine on DCC. They were all bought through Hattons so I'm not sure whether Dapol fitted the decoders or if that was Hattons.
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darkscot
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Re: Poor quality control?

#2

Post by darkscot »

I know that Dapol did not have a good reputation 4-5 years ago, but I think it is much improved now.
Many times the wrong train took me to the right place.
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andruec
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Re: Poor quality control?

#3

Post by andruec »

Well I can't say whether it was them or maybe Hattons install decoders in-house. The good news is that I've been able to clean all the pickups so now the locos are running fine.

The bad news is that as I've tested my rolling stock I've discovered two sets of wagons with coupler problems. One set has droopy couplings, the other just seems like a bad design that guaranteed to cause problems. So that's a 50% failure rate. Of the two that do work reliably one is a hopper so doesn't have bogies. The other is a silver bullet with bogies but the couplings appear to be far better built. They have a large and obvious spring behind the coupler.

The bad wagons either have a hair spring (the ones that droop) or possibly no spring at all (the ones that just don't work at all). It's disappointing this early in the hobby to discover such an abysmal failure rate.
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Walkingthedog
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Re: Poor quality control?

#4

Post by Walkingthedog »

Drooping couplings can usually be remedied one way or the other. Have had similar problems with OO tension lock couplings, just takes a bit of ingenuity. Pictures of the problems would help. Tight curves can cause problems.
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Walkingthedog
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Re: Poor quality control?

#5

Post by Walkingthedog »

Good idea to test the layout as you lay the track. It could be track that is exacerbating the problem.

On my new layout all seemed fine then one loco sailed off the track on a bend. Badly laid track was the problem, looked alright to me. Thing is to start small and build it up as you go along. Hope you get it sorted.
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andruec
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Re: Poor quality control?

#6

Post by andruec »

I'll take another look tomorrow and get some pictures.

Droopy couplers: The cause seems to be the hair springs. On the wagon that doesn't droop the coupler appears to push against the hair while the others are pulling it. I did disassemble one of the wagons and possibly fixed one of the couplers but the hair spring fell out of the other side and I couldn't face re-installing it. Hopefully tomorrow night when I'm fresh I can re-install it and see if that's helped.

The yellow wagons: I have no idea how to fix those. There might also be a hair spring hidden but for sure if you pull the couplers out and sideways (simulating dragging the wagon around a curve) the couplers are reluctant to return to neutral. No wonder they derail soon after.

The couplers on both of these wagon types feel flimsy and weak. Nothing like those on the coaches and one bogied wagon that is reliable. I'm wondering if these are old designs that Dapol has got around to updating yet. It's putting me off buying any more Dapol stock that's for sure.
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andruec
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Re: Poor quality control?

#7

Post by andruec »

My track certainly isn't perfect so I wouldn't rule that out completely.

There is one spot on my layout where the green wagons will always uncouple. But other than that one spot they can uncouple just about anywhere and their couplings are definitely hanging low (most of them).

The yellow wagons...they just flat out don't work other than on straight track. They aren't bothered by the same place that the green wagons are but they uncouple on the exit of any curve and sometimes derail the loco on turnouts.

As I've posted in another thread the couplings on these two items feel weak. The rest of my stock feels better and I've run them for half an hour without any issues. These two types of wagons have never made it more than half way round my layout.
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andruec
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Re: Poor quality control?

#8

Post by andruec »

Okay so some pictures :)

First the diabolic wagons that cannot be towed out of a curve (they must be Roman):

Image

If you look under the bogey you can see one arm of the 'V' shaped notch that the end of the coupling armature moves along. And it's pretty obvious that when swung outward for a curve (as it is now, but in the opposite direction) the coupling will not return to neutral unless something pulls it back. Maybe there's supposed to be a spring? It's impossible to know because it seems impossible to disassemble this wagon although it looks like you can remove the coupling armature.

Now 'droopy drawers'

Image

Sadly not much to see here but this wagon can be disassembled. In this case the back of the coupling armature contacts with a hair spring. I think it is supposed to push against the spring since the one coupling where it does is not drooping. However the other couplings all have the armature pulling against the hair spring and they droop. The small screw you can see is holding the chassis onto the body. The coupling itself is free to move around its housing constrained only by part of the chassis and the hair spring.

These wagons come in pairs connected by tie rods. I think I might have enough tie roads to link all the wagons together then perhaps the one working coupler will allow me to tow them.

And now for something better:

Image

This is Mr Reliable. Behind the bogey you can see a quite substantial spring.
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Re: Poor quality control?

#9

Post by brian1951 »

All you have to do is remove the bogie to get to the coupling spring.
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andruec
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Re: Poor quality control?

#10

Post by andruec »

For the diabolical wagon? I can't currently see how to do that. Unlike the other wagons there is no visible screwhead for the bogies. However it would make sense if these had a spring to pull the armature back. I don't think it can be a large spring like Mr Reliable but perhaps it's another hair spring.

For the green 'droopy', yes. I tried to do that last night so maybe I can reseat the hair spring on those. Then again I don't know how well that's going to go. I have a set of tweezers but it's going to be 'interesting'.
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