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31  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: finger flick switching. on: March 15, 2016, 10:02:43 AM
In order for the "finger flick" to work, the switches have to be spring loaded in order for them to stay in the direction they are placed. Peco switches are spring loaded to start with unless the spring has been removed so they operate with switch machines (manual or electric) as are Atlas "Snap Switches". If your switch is not spring loaded, here is a video on how to manufacture a spring to make them so. It is for N scale but should be easily adaptable for HO.

These springs are commonly referred to as "over-center" springs, and usually are set up to use the spring's compression to keep the points pressed against the stock rails. I've seen this done using either coil or hairpin type springs (but always with the spring in compression). Recently, I read of someone rigging his own over-center linkage that used rubber bands to provide the spring tension. Sounds like a great idea, but I don't know how he did it, since rubber bands only work in tension, not compression (still trying to figure it out). Anyone else have any ideas?

Bill in FtL
32  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Need professional advice update on: March 15, 2016, 09:33:08 AM
And I have to agree with James in FL. I would start by shimming the guard rail as well. The method he described is spot on correct in my books, and far easier than cutting into the rail.



In this case, shimming the guard rails would only pull the wheel closer to the opposite rail, thus increasing the chance of a short, while also creating potential derailment problems. The short is occurring because of the back of the wheel contacting the vertical surface of the opposite rail. Painting the inside surfaces of the rails with nail polish or insulting lacquer is the easiest solution. Pacific Fast Mail used to sell insulating lacquer for use in it's loco sound system installations, but they are long since out of business. It looked, smelled, and applied like nail polish, but it was black in color. It worked pretty well for painting the wheel backs of a loco to make an electrical cam for the "chuff" wiper.

Bill in FtL

33  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Looking forward to a USRA 4-6-2 Pacific on: March 11, 2016, 08:16:51 PM
Didn't the prototype Pennsylvania L1 mikado use the same boiler/cab/tender as the k4 Pacific? Seems like a Pennsy mikado would be a good candidate for a future release...

Bill in FtL
34  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: My Collection on: March 01, 2016, 02:53:11 PM
My locos

Hey Titanic5972,

Nice loco collection. I don't see any front couplers on any of your locos. Did you remove the couplers on some, or did they all come without them? I know Thomas, Percy, and James models come without their front couplers, but I thought Henry, Gordon, and Salty had them (I'll have to check).

I realize those big hooks & loops aren't true to the series illustrations and videos, but they are quite useful for operation. Didn't the original models made by Rev. Awdry have front couplers?

Bill in FtL
35  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Everything Thomas Thread on: February 25, 2016, 12:08:19 AM
^ Above 1 Reply - @Reply #544 By railtwister: ERTL and Take 'n' Play have produced The Fat Controller's Car, but these are not HO or OO Gauge.

I don't know about Take 'n' Play, but I read on the wikia that the ERTL blue car was a '36 Ford, nothing like the car in tha Thomas series. I'm guessing it was repurposed from the Dick Tracey series, which was reportedly 1/64, although I thought it looked too small to be that scale (in which case, it may actually have been closer to being 1/76 scale). To me, Bachmann's Bertie looks a bit too big for HO, though I'm not sure how it compares to OO. The Bachmann figures (STH, Conductor, and Farmer) are way too large, probably even for most of the many different scales used for G (anywhere from 1:20 all the way to 1:32). I've never measured them to check, since I think they are way too expensive for my budget.

I'm not sure using the term 'scale' in any serious discussion concerning any of the Thomas models makes much sense regardless, since it's all fantasy anyway.

Bill in FtL
36  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Everything Thomas Thread on: February 24, 2016, 08:13:37 PM
The car from the tv series is presented as a typical vehicle of the 1940s. It is either loosely based on a Jowett Javelin or a Rover. Depending on the season.

Thanks for that info. Has any manufacturer (such as Matchbox or similar) ever produced HO or OO models (or any scale) of either of those two vehicles? How about doing it using 3D printing?

Bill in FtL
37  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Everything Thomas Thread - the Blue Car on: February 24, 2016, 04:12:11 PM
What type of car does it represent (if any)? I'm not familiar enough with British sedans (especially if they were imported into the USA) to know if STH's car is at all based on a real prototype vehicle, or is simply fantasy. It does look vaguely familiar, but I just can't place it. Perhaps something with similar lines has been made by Hot Wheels or Matchbox?

I think as a model by itself, it is an unlikely production item, especially in HO/OO size. However, it could be made as a cast resin load on a flatcar, perhaps using a repurposed Chuggington series flat car.

Bill in FtL
38  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Photo issues every time on: February 15, 2016, 09:22:53 AM
I uploaded the images to photobucket and then on the right side of the screen there was 4 boxes with different url codes. I copied the bottom one with is labelled IMG and pasted it here. That brings the photo up.

Thanks, I'll have to try to remember that. My problem with third party photo sites and posting on groups like this is that the photo links do not stay active for very long, and within a short time, the photo simply disappears, leaving a lined box with just an empty white space contained within. This can happen in just a few days or weeks, and future viewers are left to wonder what the picture was.

Bill in FtL
39  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Photo issues every time on: February 14, 2016, 07:31:25 PM
Sorted now. Thanks guys

So how were you able to post the photo so that it didn't show up as a link?

Bill in FtL
40  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: OFFICIAL 2016 THOMAS & FRIENDS ANNOUNCEMENT on: February 14, 2016, 09:55:34 AM
So, the lobster refrigerator car looks like a repainted version of the mail car (a reefer with Windows in the sides?), the troublesome truck #5 and the Sodor salt wagons look like repaints of the old plain salt wagon, and the cattle wagon appears to be a repaint of the previous cattle car. Not that there's anything wrong with having more variety in paint schemes, but I had hoped the refrigerator car would have included some new tooling to be more plausible as a reefer. As it is, with it's windows, it seems more believable to believe it really represents a box car fitted out with tanks inside for the transport of live lobsters and fish, rather than an actual reefer. Such cars did exist in the USA for restocking fish in this countries lakes and streams. Ah well, no foul, since the Thomas line is really all fantasy anyway, and it's great for introducing kids (both young and old) to the hobby of model trains.

Bill in FtL
41  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: A sick Climax on: February 12, 2016, 09:26:29 PM
The Climax has a fragile and difficult drivetrain, which is unfortunate because it is a very aesthetically pleasing loco. My Climax gave up it's drive very quickly due to a combination of bad gear and bad universal joints. I'm not sure what you can do, especially if you can't get the repair parts you requested, maybe a new letter (not eMail) to the parts department will work. Does the motor still spin up while the loco just sits there?

The best advice I can give you at this point is to replace it on your roster with a Stearns Heisler, which seems to have the best drive of all of the Bachmann geared locomotives. That's what I did a couple of years ago, and my Heisler is still running sweet...

Bill in FtL
42  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: OFFICIAL 2016 THOMAS & FRIENDS ANNOUNCEMENT on: February 12, 2016, 09:07:47 PM
I suspect the lobster refrigerator wagon will likely look like the ice cream wagon with different graphics denoting lobsters. It could also be a repainted salt wagon, too. I would prefer it to be a newly tooled body with vertical planks and no visible external bracing, since a true refrigerator car would likely have insulation around the wall framing which would be covered by an additional layer of sheathing on the outside. In the USA, reefer doors are hinged rather than sliding, and are recessed flush into the sides. Also, both the doors and sides are quite thick due to their double sheathing and insulation. It should be interesting to see.

This brings to mind another question, if the current ice cream wagon isn't a refrigerator car, what keeps the ice cream from melting? Or, is it just used for shipping the empty ice cream cones to the ice cream factory?

Here in the USA, lobsters are frequently shipped live to better preserve freshness.

Bill in FtL
43  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Everything Thomas Thread on: February 11, 2016, 07:42:26 PM
^ Above 1 Reply - @Reply #478 By railtwister: mully did not weather those. Those are factory weathered, that Cattle Wagon and Vent Van. Those three wagons in that line are from a Hornby Thomas & Friends Triple Pack.

Oh, I see, Hornby trains are rather hard to find in the USA, thanks for the "heads up". However, it's even more interesting to hear of factory weathered items existing in Hornby's Thomas product line. Question: are the Hornby couplers compatible with the ones Bachmann uses for its Thomas line?

Bill in FtL
44  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Re: How best to gain phone control of a on30 layout? on: February 10, 2016, 07:20:25 PM
With E-Z App, you are using your phone to directly control a loco which has the E-Z App board installed. With the WiFi system, you are still controlling the loco with the DCC system, but the phone controls the system using the WiFi interface. For On30, you will be able to use E-Z App only after the user installed loco boards become available from BlueRail Trains (soon), or when Bachmann releases an On30 loco with an OEM E-Z App control board installed.

Running an E-Z App loco on a DC layout is easy, just pre-set your DC throttle to provide enough power to the rails to allow E-Z App to function (usually about 3/4 throttle) and you are ready to go, but beware that any DC locos also on the track will start to go, too. If you already have DCC installed on your layout, you can easily add an E-Z Loco at any time, without adding anything extra (other than the loco and your phone), and it will use the available DCC power already on the rails without interfering with any of your existing DCC locos. If all you have is E-Z App control on your layout, in order to add a DCC loco, you will still need to buy a DCC system in addition to the DCC loco itself.

E-Z App Rocks!!!

Bill in FtL
45  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Everything Thomas Thread on: February 10, 2016, 02:53:24 PM

I like the fact that some of your rolling stock is weathered, it breaks the monotony of the entire train being squeaky clean. I wonder how many other Thomas fans weather some of their equipment? Nice work...

Bill in FtL
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