Important DC Advisory
Do NOT use MRC 1300-series DC controllers with any of your Rapido locomotives. The RailPower 1300 is notorious for voltage spikes and it WILL destroy your locomotive. There is no “if” about it. We will try to help you if we have the parts, but we are not responsible for locomotive damage due to voltage spikes in your power supply. As well, we will not repair any locomotive damaged by an MRC 1300-series controller (or any other "train set" DC controller) unless you have retired the controller. Otherwise the damage will soon reoccur. “Train set” DC controllers should not be used with any modern model locomotives.
General Problems and Inquiries
If your model arrives with damage or there is any other issue, the best thing to do is to call our support team. They take care of all of our warranty repairs and they are all swell guys. The toll-free number is 1-855-LRC-6917 (1-855-572-6917) (outside North America, + 1 905-474-3314 or 905-474-3324).
Set 2 (210002 Block CP) Locomotive grilles
During production of set 210002 The factory had replaced the C-channel grills on the F9B locomotives with flat grills that use tabs to hold them in place. They assured us that these would not warp and that they would look much better than the C-channels. They even tested a sample while Jason was in China by putting the locomotive in the freezer for three days and then out in the sun for three days and the grills did not warp at all.
When the shipment arrived we inspected the locos and discovered that the F9B grills have a slight bow in them on one side. Apparently a month spent in a 40-degree Celsius container took these to more extremes than a 6-day test!
We have e-mailed the factory and asked them to send us enough C-channel grills to replace all of the grills on the 210002 F9Bs. We have instructed the factory to the shipment of 210003 until all of the grills are fixed.
If your F9B grills do not straighten themselves out within a couple of weeks on your layout, please let us know and we'll send you replacements at no charge.
Here are instructions from Dan on how best to swap out the grills:
- Remove the four retaining screws holding the body onto the chassis. They are located just above the inboard ends of the trucks.
- Pull the shell off of the chassis. You may need to spread the shell apart slightly to clear any obstructions.
- Locate the four sets of tabs holding the grilles on on each side of the shell.
- With a small slot jeweller’s screwdriver, carefully bend the tabs so that they are straight out (rather than folded into the body).
- Push the tabs out of the body with the same screwdriver. You may also need to carefully pull (or pry) the grille off of the body from the outside – take care not to damage the paint.
- With the grille now off, carefully run the same screwdriver (or even a finer one) along the grooves on the outside of the body that the C-shaped grille will slide into. What you are trying to do is make sure that there isn’t excess paint or plastic in there that will prevent the C-shaped grille from sitting flush in there.
- Working from one end to the other, place the grille into the channels, taking care to ensure that they are fully seated. If there is something that interferes, check to make sure that you didn’t leave anything behind from the previous step.
- Once you are happy that the grille is in place, hold it in place while bending the tabs over on the inside of the shell with your slot screwdriver.
You have now installed one grille!
Repeat the process on the other side of the model.
You have now installed both grilles!
Locomotive Replacement Steps
We have received some e-mails regarding shipping damage on some of the first Canadian sets shipped. These problems seem to be mostly limited to the FP9-A locomotives, although some passenger car steps have also been affected.
As you know, Rapido stands firmly behind our products, and in response to these problems we are taking the following immediate actions:
- 1) Our packaging is being redesigned to better protect the locomotives to prevent future damage. This change will go into effect before the next sets are shipped.
- 2) We have instructed the factory to produce pre-painted replacement steps that can be attached directly to the FP9 shells. These will be available at no charge to those who have purchased Canadian or FP9 models that exhibit damage.
- 3) The factory is also producing pre-painted etched metal steps to replace any passenger car corner steps that might have been damaged.
The etched metal passenger car steps are available now. Simply contact us, telling us which set you have and how many steps you need.The FP9 stirrup steps will be available shortly. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience and support.
Locomotive Intermittent Pick Up
In all the jostling that occurs as we ship our samples from show to show we noticed that a wire came loose where it connects to the decoder of one of our FP9A locomotives. This caused intermittent electrical connectivity on that loco which resulted in rough running and the sound cutting in and out.
If one of the engines on any train seems to have very bad pickup then it is probably due to the same thing. Just give Dan a call at the office and we'll arrange to fix it for you.
Adjusting Locomotive Decoder Functions
Our FP9 locomotives feature a Soundtraxx Tsunami decoder that has been custom made to our requirements. one of the features that we have incorporated into the decoders is what we are terming the "Straight to 8" function. By pressing F3 when you start accelerating the sounds will automatically ramp up through the notches until they reach Run 8 - full throttle. This feature allows you to duplicate either a hard accelerating passenger train or a hard lugging freight train.
On page 11 of the FP9 manual (download link below) we mention that the sounds will throttle down to idle as soon as you start to decelerate. Unfortunately, the final programming did not quite work out as we intended! When throttling down from full speed the sound setting will remain at full throttle until speed step 0 is reached if F3 is active. Turning F3 off while running will return the the decoder to normal sound operation and the prime mover sounds will notch down normally with a reduction in throttle setting.
If you would like to have the motor sound go directly to idle as soon as the throttle is reduced then simply program in a little deceleration momentum (CV4) (We suggest trying a value of 50 to start - see the manual for your DCC system on how to do this. Higher values will increase the distance that the train coasts). Once you have added the momentum then just shut the throttle off and allow the train to coast into the station - just like the real thing! Of course, this may take a little practice to get the distances correct, but real engineers have exactly the same issue!
Function Mapping and CV Settings
Soundtraxx has provided a function mapping chart for those who would like to have this information for their own programming. Unfortunately it came too late to be included in our manual, but you can download the PDF file here.
A reasonably complete listing of CV settings used in our decoders is available from Soundtraxx's site or can be downloaded directly by clicking here.
To view the files, you will need Adobe Reader. Click below to get it.
Passenger Car Handbrake Chains
Each passenger car on The Canadian has a brake chain hanging at the end of the car. We tried to glue this to the moulded pulley on the car end, but we found that it was breaking loose in transit.
We recommend that you glue the chain to the pulley casting and then trim the excess. Use medium viscosity CA (Super Glue) and give it a squirt of hardener to fix it in place. You can trim it with a small pair of nippers. If this step isn't done, there is a chance that the chain can get caught in the coupler head during a derailment.
To view the files, you will need Adobe Reader. Click below to get it.
Click links below to view an exploded parts diagram for each locomotive or car in the set. Please refer to these part numbers when requesting replacement parts.