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Author Topic: Exploring the Spectrum EM-1, 2-8-8-4  (Read 38608 times)
jonathan


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« on: December 11, 2011, 08:11:48 PM »

Having just brought my first EM-1 home,  plan to do a bit of exploring and inspecting before running my loco.

This is the B&O #7600, 2-8-8-4.  I will be installing sound whenever the sound units show up.

I put this beasty next to my next largest locomotive; the Spectrum 4-8-2 Mountain with Vandy Tender:



You can see the tenders are the same length.  Of course, the articulated is much longer than the Mountain.  I measure the EM-1 at 17.5" from coupler face to coupler face (draw bar in the long hole):



There are some extra parts included in the box.  The dual headlight option (never installed on #7600 I think), optional ventilation plate, coal, and the overfire jets mounted on the side of the firebox.  There are a couple of other parts that I haven't identified yet, but we'll get there.





The instructions/diagrams are much more detailed than previous locomotives:







However, there are still no instructions on how to remove the loco shell.  Guess I'm going to have to study the diagrams and make some educated guesses.  This is one thing Bachmann should really add to their paperwork, HOW TO TAKE OFF THE SHELL.  Oh well, I'll figure it out.

That's all for now,  Just wanted to make a quicky start.  I intend to take lots of close ups, both inside and out.  And describe what I find as best as possible.  Hope this will be helpful.  

BTW The loco feels nice and heavy.  The tender rolls unbelievably free.  So far so good.

Regards,

Jonathan

« Last Edit: December 11, 2011, 08:36:34 PM by jonathan » Logged
Jerrys HO
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2011, 08:29:56 PM »

jonathan-

Guess you could not wait, and I quote you- "Won't have time to start tinkering 'til tomorrow.  Will start a thread when I get her opened up."

Glad to see you are impatient as the rest of us. It is a thing of beauty. Can not wait to get mine.

Jerry
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jonathan


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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2011, 08:37:40 PM »

Today, we'll get in a little closer to check out some details and electrons. Let's start with the tender.  Nearly all the prototype details seem to be represented...  some are molded on, instead of separately applied:  


Will be adding marker lamps to the upper corners.

There's a small door missing in the corner here:




There should be a bracket on the tender deck, one for each water hatch.  The lids would rest upon these brackets, when open.  I intend to add these:


Very nice detail underneath.  The picture doesn't show it, but the speaker is, in fact, mounted and ready to go:


I filed down the shank on a pair of #158 couplers and installed them:


Just a touch of conductalube for the pick up brushes and axles:


OK.  Let's open up the tender and see what's what...




The light bending trick is used on the reverse light, in order to separate the shell from the underframe:


Here is where the LED sits:


The electronics of the locomotive, but where is the decoder?


I think this is it.  Tiny, n'est pas?

I think those bare pins, sticking up, is where the sound decoder goes...

Before we finish for today, let's look at the locomotive clearance issues I'm going to have:

There are three tunnel portals on my layout.  I pushed the loco through each portal (on the outside loop; 24"R curves).

The first portal, the loco barely clears the side.  In fact, just to be safe, I'll file the portal side down about 1/16".





The cab won't clear the second portal.  I will have to remove about 1/8" to clear this portal:


No problems on the last portal.  I finally wised up and used a straight piece of track coming out of this tunnel.


Here's shot of the tender draw bar.  See how it travels over the trailing trucks and attaches to the frame.  This is why this locomotive can handle tight curves:



Finally, a few detail shots.  Notice the B&O logo is 3D, and not a decal.  Good for you Bachmann.  I am a glass-half-full person.  I think, for the money, the Good folks at Bachmann outdid themselves on details and engineering.  I need to inspect a little further, before actually running this baby.  But we're getting closer:






Another filed down #158 coupler.  This one was hard to put in, but I got'er done.


Regards,

Jonathan
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 06:33:42 AM by jonathan » Logged
jonathan


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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2011, 07:32:48 AM »

See post above.  Regards, JV
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blwfish

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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2011, 07:41:36 AM »

It looks terrific!

What part of those 158's are you filing down and why?  (I take it that some other couplers were what was supplied?)

The details are excellent, but I have to say that the Worthington SA hot water pump under the B&O plate looks pretty crude in these photos, seemingly out of place compared to many of the other details. It probably doesn't attract attention but given your closeup pictures it was hard to miss...
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jonathan


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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2011, 08:07:55 AM »

blwfish,

The Kadee, metal couplers are thicker than the EZmate couplers.  One must file the metal shanks down, just a touch, for them to move freely in the coupler boxes.

There is a fellow, on another forum, who has already replaced nearly all the plastic details with after-market brass detail.  He posted pictures of his work, prior to painting.  He did some amazing work.  I can live with most of the stock details.  You really have to get in close to notice the discrepancies.  I do plan to replace the marker lamps with brass and jewels.  Just happen to really like the sparkle effect of jewels in the markers.

Also, the whistle linkage is missing on the Spectrum EM-1.  I plan to add that detail as well.  Gonna be a toughy. In Bachmann's defense, even the bra$$ EM-1s never had the linkage detail. 

Regards,

Jonathan
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 08:13:33 AM by jonathan » Logged
GN.2-6-8-0


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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2011, 12:19:11 PM »

On inspecting the front coupler noticed what look like a air tank blocking access to the coupler mounting screw is that removable? assume thats what you meant saying it was a bit difficult replacement.
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Rocky Lives
jonathan


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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2011, 12:31:40 PM »

GN,

There is a groove in the tank, that allows you to access the coupler cover with a small jeweller's screwdriver.  The 'trick' is to leave the coupler box cover over the tank when you remove the EZmate coupler.  It will take a minute or two to manipulate the metal coupler (whisker spring) in place.  Fortunately the tiny mounting screw is magnetic, so it's not too hard to get the screw back in place.

Regards,

Jonathan
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GN.2-6-8-0


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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2011, 12:34:47 PM »

got'cha!
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Rocky Lives
richg
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2011, 01:56:37 PM »

Looks like one speaker. Any idea on what brand speaker? Someone in another forum installed  21 pin QSI decoder.

Rich
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jonathan


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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 02:19:58 PM »

Rich,

Can't see any markings or logos in/around the speaker.  It is covered by a baffle on the inside.  Can barely make out the silvery face of the speaker through the ports.  It appears to be the same size (1") that I installed on my Berk.  That was a Soundtraxx speaker for the TSU-1000 heavy steam decoder.  The markings on the curcuit board are so small, I can't read them, even with a magnifying glass.

Regards,

Jonathan
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richg
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 10:22:57 PM »

Hi Jonathan

Can we see a closer view of the loco connections with the tender.

Looking at the close up of the PC board, I see what looks like a micro processor IC with the diodes and resistors.
Is this loco a non sound DCC controlled type right now?

“Usually the PC boards have some diodes, resistors, capacitors, a couple inductors.”

Any PC board I have seen similar to these components has been a non sound decoder.
I am wondering if the sound decoder will be only sound. I know there has been a few messages about the electronics.

Rich
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JoeSantora

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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2011, 01:53:37 AM »

It doesn't look like you can plug  a regular Tsunami in there?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 01:57:58 AM by JoeSantora » Logged
jonathan


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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2011, 06:14:36 AM »

Running out of time this morning, but I will get some more shots of the PC board.  Look for them tomorrow morning, or late tonight if I get time.

It is my understanding the sound module connection is unique.  It will only accept the sound unit being sold by Bachmann.  However, if you wish to use your own decoders and sound equipment, it looks pretty easy to remove everything and insert your desired electronics.

Warning:  those of you who are not use to seeing perfectly good locomotives tinkered with, don't look down.


I decided I couldn't live with the molded on details. So I shaved them off and added some steel grab irons and a stand for the reverse light.  At this point you can still see scratches, dirt and assorted orts.  I will get it cleaned up a bit, prior to weathering.


Man, you looked down, didn't you? Roll Eyes


Regards,

Jonathan









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jonathan


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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2011, 12:41:49 PM »

Ask and ye shall receive:



The components are tiny, and I can't make out any markings that are helpful to me.  Perhaps it will make sense to the electrically savvy.

Regards,

Jonathan

Addendum:

1. My not-so LHS dealer has informed me the plug-in sound units are to be delivered on, or about, 31 December.  Not holding my breath, but 'sounds' like there is progress.

2. Just got my second, and final, EM-1 (#7627).  That one will take a bit more tinkering to get to the prototype (sand domes).
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 02:37:31 PM by jonathan » Logged
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