07 Apr APT-E Support
APT-E: Troubleshooting Problems
You can download the 16-page manual for the APT-E below.
APT-E Manual (English only)
Please check that the connector pins are correctly aligned and securely connected between the cars. Misaligned or loose pins can cause short circuits and/or unreliable operation.
Are the intermediate bogie pick-up wires the right way around? They should run straight down from the bogies to the wheels. If the wires are crossed, the APT-E will cause a short circuit.
If these items are correct and you still have an issue, please try running the power cars without the intermediate cars and changing the order of the cars. This will help isolate any issues as much as possible because, since PC1 sends commands throughout the length of the train, wiring issues could be in any one of the cars or in one of the intermediate bogies.
Because of the power required to operate the sound in a sound-equipped unit, a sound-equipped model will always run more slowly on DC than on DCC.
PC2 does not operate/PC2 lights do not work properly
PC1 provides the “brains” to the train, PC2 is simply a slave. As a result, PC2 will always be dead unless it is coupled to PC1. If PC2 does not operate or the lights do not work properly please check the connections between each car in the train and ensure that they are properly and tightly connected.
We haven’t tested the APT-E with every brand of decoder. We recommend ESU Loksound/LokPilot decoders.
If the unit derails, have you checked the gauge of the wheelsets? There should be no gap between the back of the wheels and the plastic axle. You can adjust the gauge by twisting the wheels. While there is no official standard for OO Gauge back-to-back dimensions, the OO Gauge Association recommends 14.4 mm.
The bogies are designed so EM and 18.83mm/P4 wheels can be fitted with no modification.
Connecting your APT-E
Power Car 1 (PC-1) of your APT-E model is the “brain” behind the train. All electrical functions originate here, especially on the DCC models. The model relies on the 10-pin plugs between the units to carry electrical power to the trailing cars and to PC-2 for both light and motor functions. These plugs must be completely seated in order to make good contact for the model to operate properly. Note that this also means that while PC-1 is self-sufficient and will run on its own, PC-2 is strictly a “slave” and will not operate unless plugged into PC-1.
1. Connecting the units is actually not that difficult, (as witnessed by the fact that even Bill can do it…) and with a little practice can be done quite quickly.
2. Here we see the ends of the power car and the trailing car.
3. Note the male pins on the plug and the plastic tab above them.
4. These pins go into the female end of the plug and the plastic tab into the slot above the plug.
5. Below the plug is a large plastic tab.
6. This tab goes into the slot between the chassis and frame.
Also note the two pins on the side of the male plug that will engage the two notches in the side of the female plug.
7. To connect the components insert the large plastic tab into the corresponding slot.
8. Now tip the intermediate car up about 10 degrees.
9. Slide the two units together inserting the smaller tab into its corresponding slot. The plastic pins on the side of the plug should engage into the slots with an audible click.
Bring the model back down to level and verify that the plugs have completely seated.
Repeat between each unit.
Should you have issues with headlights or motor functions not working on PC-2 please double check all the connections. Remember, the power has to travel through the entire train so the culprit could be any of the plugs.
Once the model has been assembled and disassembled a few times the clips will polish in a bit and the process will go a bit smoother.