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Author Topic: N scale radius  (Read 3480 times)
rlionel

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« on: May 28, 2017, 11:39:43 AM »

I just purchased Bachmann Acelela Express DCC. I am using 11.25 radius curve ez track. The café power car keeps derailing. Other shorter cars are ok. What radius should I use so it won't derail?
Thanks to anyone that can answer.
Rich
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kmcsjr


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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2017, 12:31:41 PM »

19" minimum radius required, for that set. There are extensive write ups, on modifying the set, using other wheels and such. I too have the set, and many of the parts, to affect the modifications. I'm just not there yet.
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brokemoto

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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 09:12:25 AM »

19" minimum radius required, for that set.

It requires that broad a curve?  I am not disputing what you state, I simply find it curious.  I would not buy an Acela nor would I run one, as it is far out of my era.  Still, the nineteen inch radius piques my curiosity.

I would concur that an 11,25 inch radius would be far too sharp for any passenger cars other than shorties.  An 11,25 inch radius curve works out to just shy of twenty-one inches in HO, which puts it near the mid-point of the "sharp" category.  Passenger cars seventy feet or more, especially if they have body mounted couplers, do not do well on "sharp" or even "conventional" (twenty-four to thirty inch radius in HO, thirteen inches to just over sixteen, in N).  I have gotten away with running full length passenger cars on Kato 13,75 inch UNITRACK (just over twenty-five inches in HO) which is toward the low end of "conventional".  They look pretty silly.

They will not run on a seventeen inch curve, -eh?  A nineteen inch curve works out to just under thirty five inches in HO, which puts it solidly in the "broad" category. 

When I learned this curve business, I was in HO.  At the time, those in the know were teaching us rookies that unless you wanted to run brass, almost anything would run on a thirty inch curve (just over sixteen inches, in N).  Brass was far beyond my means as a high school student, even though I did have jobs in high school.  When I saw how some of the brass locomotives of that era ran, anyhow, I was glad that I was not tempted to save my quarters for one.  In fact, when I see how some of the current N scale brass runs, I will not spend my  money on it.

To Original Poster:

B-mann does sell E-Z TRAK in nineteen inch radius.  Atlas sells SNAP-TRAK in nineteen and a half inch radius.  Kato has an equivalent, but I forget the exact radius, now.  If you use the Atlas, you must use some sort of roadbed.  If you are going to try to mate the Atlas and B-mann or Kato, you must shim the cork or the track, as the B-mann and Kato track do sit higher than does the Atlas on cork.  Mind you, I am not panning the B-mann or Kato track.  Both serviceable.  I use them on my pike, as I use Atlas SNAP-TRAK and FLEX-TRAK, Kato UNITRAM and PECO.
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kmcsjr


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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 06:49:40 PM »

Read Spookshow's writeup. Ron Bearden did an N Scale magazine write up on improving it. I once had the article and I'd purchased Kato wheels etc, to give it a shot. Never did. Can't find the stuff now. I' like to give it a try.
I'm not gonna beat it up here. Search "2 questions on bmann acela", over in Trainboard, for details (I did not do the updates, in the post. I copied them fronm another post, in the old Atlas forum)
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kmcsjr


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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2017, 09:49:52 PM »

I have 3 shelf queens.
1) The Acela set. I took it down, for this conversation. My main is Unitrack, and is all 28" and 19" radii, with double crossovers and #6 turnouts, along the way. It shorts my track, going through the double crossovers and some 6s (but, not every time). It pulls apart heading through a specific 6 but I can't see a flaw, in the 6. I run a ton of long passenger and long freight, behind Bmann steam and assorted other locos, without issue.
2) Arnold HN2000 - which is my favorite. It's a DB VT 08.5, celebrating the 1954 World Cup. It runs DC, but has a clicking sound, like the motor slips. Someday, I hope to find someone, that can open and remotor it. The directions mention a motor that will.. LOL, never need service. No instructions came on opening it. I should send it to a cousin In Germany, and see if he can find someone willing to take my money, to fix it.
3) An Athearn Challenger, with an MRC decoder. I have the repair set up, but the guy I like, for repairs, is busy with kids sports. (I can wait)

I see no solution, for the casual modeler, for the Acela. Bachmann won't touch them. And I've never read anyone, who wrote "pulled it out of the box, put it on Bachmann R19 track and run it, with no issues. I even asked a Bachmann rep, at a "Worlds Greatest Hobby" event "Why didn't you guys fix this? It's beautiful, but with a few mods, could run well? His response was "To get the rights, they couldn't vary from the prototype enough to get better turn radii" I thanked him, for his time.

I mention my other 2 shelf queens, as problems aren't unique to Bachmann. On the contrary, when there is a problem, Bachmann has come through in every other instance, so I shrug this one off.
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spookshow


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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2017, 09:32:40 AM »

It's definitely a frustrating set. I didn't personally experience any of the derailing problems that others have reported (which, I'm told, is due to QC problems with some of the parts). Rather, mine was annoyingly unable to maintain any sort of constant speed through curves (slowing way down through the curves and then launching like a rocket once said curves had been cleared). I've never actually read Ron's article, so I'm not sure if he addresses that particular issue or not.

I'm pretty sure that Bachmann has discontinued these models, so it's unlikely that we'll ever see an improved version.

-Mark
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kmcsjr


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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2017, 09:59:25 PM »

I just ordered the article. There is a thread about this, on another site, right now. From what ive read, he was able to get 10smph and 15" radii
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brokemoto

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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2017, 01:07:07 AM »

Read Spookshow's writeup.

I read it.  It appears that the mechanism is binding on those curves.  The cars are eighty-nine feet long, which is something of which I was not aware.  No wonder they need a nineteen inch radius curve and even that one ain't the best.
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kmcsjr


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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2017, 07:46:35 AM »

They are 89 feet long, but theydid themselves no favors, with truck design. The unpowered cars roll poorly on a tilted wood table, much less straight track. The wipers are the longest I've ever seen. They make direct contact with the light board at the top of the car. There is probably a torque issue there, that contibutes to derailing on curves. The trucks are stiff. The cars are poorly lit, despite the novel wiper design. Th diaphrams and nose catch. And on mine, something else catches on a truck, where no other train has an issue. They sold the set, with their own 19" track. So where is a Bachmann product to run, if not on its own track? If the cars rolled well and they had been marginally aprototypical, in the truck spacing, on the power car, these things would still be selling. As is, it's a really nice shelf queen, that you can make run better, if that's where the hobby takes you. That's the only real advice, we can give anyone that is coming into this disappointment.
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