I have been doing quite a few decoder installs lately, with the decoder of choice being the Tsunami AT1000. These are great decoders and easy to install. However they can be a bit long and make the job harder when it comes to finding space for them in the loco. One problem I have now encountered on 3 different decoders is a power drop in and out. The symptoms are, during the loco running it will stop and start constantly as though you have dirty wheels. After a long process of fault finding and trying new things I finally sent the thing back to Soundtraxx. They repaired the first one under warranty, however there are terms and conditions to that. They informed me there was a soldering joint issue. 2 months later I helped a friend with an install to a 44 class. Again the same problem, so I tried another decoder I had to see if it was OK, again for a third time the same problem. So I contacted Soundtraxx to see what this soldering fix may be and if I could do this myself? After a detailed email explaining the solution I decided to send them both back for repair as I attempt it at my own peril. A friend sent me an email from rail page the other day with someone having what sounded like the same problem, so I thought I would give you all the solution as it seems to be a reoccurring problem.
The black arrow shows the resistor which is the issue. If this resistor is not sitting completely flat this is the cause. On mine one was sitting proud less than 1mm on one end, the second was completely vertical! Keep in mind Soundtraxx will repair free under warranty ($25 shipping!!) or you can have a go yourself, but unless you are extremely good at soldering and have a steady hand don't do it!
Another problem I had the other day was a short in the loco.... This loco had been working fault free for months then all of a sudden was creating a short circuit. Upon removal of the body this is what I faced. The front pickup wires had melted together! I'm not sure what caused this but it was an easy fix, just replace the pick ups and your away.
The melted wiring.