Frequently Asked Questions and Troubleshooting


  1. Poor Low Speed Performance
  2. Noisy Operation
  3. The Mounting Bolster is too tight
  4. My BullAnt runs the wrong direction
  5. My BullAnt runs at the wrong speed
  6. Is the BullAnt OK on DCC?


1. My BullAnt has poor low speed performance, it starts off running at fast speed

This is a question that crops up quite frequently. The Mashima motors draw very low current and if you are using them with a DC controller, it may be that your controller was designed for the older high current motors. This means that the controller may be applying a fairly high starting voltage to the track at its lowest throttle setting. The Mashima motors begin to run at 2.5 volts DC, so if your controller's lowest voltage is above 2.5 volts, then this is likely to be your problem.

SOLUTION: There is little to do except either replace your controller with a more modern solid state regulated controller, or use a DCC decoder in it's DC mode between the track and the motor. This technique will provide you with a lower speed start as the DCC decoder kicks off at a higher voltage.


2. My BullAnt seems noisy, is there anything I can do about the noise?

The BullAnt design employs a gear tower that translates the motor drive down to a layshaft under the main spine section. This design allows us to provide a drive system where the wheelbase can be easily set to any desired length. A consequence of this is that the gears in the tower are running at motor speed and will be noisier than a drive system where there is a reduction between the motor and the lay shaft. To minimise the noise, we have used a mixture of brass and delrin gears and the gears are helical cut gears that further reduce the noise.

We would therefore have to be honest and say that the BullAnt is not therefore the quietest of mechanisms, but steps can be taken to minimise the noise.

As the BullAnt beds in, the noise factor will usually reduce, but one of the main causes of excessive noise is by transmission to the body. Enclosing the BullAnt by the body will help, as will placing weight in the body.


3. The bolster mounting on my BullAnt is too rigid. Can anything be done about it?

We have recently made a change to the way the nickel silver mounting bolster is attached that allows more freedom for the BullAnt to tilt in all axis. The change involves exchanging one washer with another.

The additional washer is provided free-of-charge to those wishing to perform the modification. Full instructions are provided here


4. My BullAnt runs the wrong way compared to my other models.

It is important to have a standard for wiring, so we have adopted the NMRA standard S-9, which states "Positive potential applied to the right hand rail shall produce forward motion. The term "right hand rail" as used herein means the rail to the right of the observer standing between the rails with their back to the front of the locomotive."

From time to time we may receive a motor from Mashima that runs in the wrong direction. If that happens, you can either reverse the wires connected to the motor to correct the problem, or return to us for exchange.

However there are some models that do not conform to the standard S-9, and Triang TT is a common one. All Triang TT scale powered models run in the opposite direction to the standard. If you are ordering a BullAnt for TT use among older models, please advise us by note at the bottom of the order and we will wire the motor the opposite way.


5. My BullAnt runs at the wrong speed.

The speed of a BullAnt can be chosen to be close to that of other models by the choice of gear ratio. However, we try to set our products to run at close to scale speeds. There are many factors in determining the scale speed, such as gear ratio, wheel size and motor type.

If you have any doubts about what speed you will get, try our Scale Speed Calculator downloaded from here.

Some of the older model rail products are also notoriously fast, and we cannot match these excessive speeds.


6. Will the BullAnt run OK under DCC control?

The BullAnt, and all our products with Mashima motors, run excellently under DCC control. In fact, they have much better low speed performance under DCC than normal DC. Some trimming of CVs may be required when setting them up with Back-EMF features in some decoders.

All the 10 and 16 series Mashima motors can be controlled by decoders with a 1 Ampere motor rating, as their current consumption is under 1 amp. in all circumstances. This means they can be used with tiny N gauge decoders. All our power drives are designed such that the motor and pickups are isolated from each other to simplify wiring to a decoder.