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31  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
32  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
33  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
34  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
35  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
36  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
37  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
38  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
39  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
40  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Help Thread on: February 08, 2016, 09:35:45 PM
Hey guys, I didn't want to start a new thread to ask this question, so I found this one to repost.

Anyway... I recently bought a Hornby Flying Scotsman on eBay. There is a problem with the engine / tender in that the engine will work on curves, but it will not work on straight pieces of track. Once it gets to a straight section, the engine stops.

Has anyone had the same problem / know how to fix it?

Probably the wheel contact wipers need to be tweaked, so that they touch the wheels at all times. They are usually strips of copper (hopefully phosphor-bronze, which is "springier" than just copper) located between the wheels and the chassis frame. As these contacts get older, they lose touch with the wheels. Usually, tweaking will require removal of the lower frame cover plate so that you can remove the drivers in order to get the clearance needed to bend the contacts out towards the wheels. They must make contact with the wheels at all times through the limits of the axles lateral play. I've seen several Hornby locos with similar problems.

Also, watch out for metal pinion gears that start slipping on the motor shaft, eventually leading the loco to slip and stall while the motor spins free. This can be fixed by thoroughly cleaning all oil & grease from the gear and motor shaft, and then carefully applying a bit of ACC-gel to the hole in the gear using a toothpick, and then quickly pressing the gear onto the shaft so that it aligns properly with the spur gear. You possibly could also use a tiny drop of locktite instead of the ACC gel, which might allow more time to work, but in either case, be sure none of the adhesive can migrate to between the motor shaft and bearing, or your loco will will be suitable for static display only!

Bill in FtL

41  Discussion Boards / Williams by Bachmann / Re: EZ App for WBB? on: January 14, 2016, 12:06:15 AM
We need to see how it does in HO before looking at other scales....

I'd like to see what H.O. people think of it as well. Seems like most H.O. people I have talked to in the past are stuck on the DCC system. Time will tell.

Lee F.

I bought my first DCC system (Digitrax) while at the NMRA National Trainshow in Valley Forge, PA during the summer of 1993. While I like DCC, and would prefer it over DCS or TMCC, I recently bought a couple of the E-Z App locos in HO, and I am more enthusiastic about it than I was about DCC way back when. I think it has a much greater potential, and I really hope it takes off like I think it will. I really like it! I'm anxiously awaiting the user installed boards to put into some of my favorite locos, in On30 as well as a couple of O 3-rail engines from Williams.

Bill in FtL
42  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Re: Retrofit? on: January 09, 2016, 09:55:42 AM
Can locos be retrofitted to E-Z App? All mine are the "DCC On Board" type.

BlueRailTrains (Bachmann's  E-Z App development partner) has announced that user-installed Bluetooth boards should become available in early 2016. The first board to be released should fit inside a steam loco tender, but is probably too large for a hood unit diesel (it might fit an EMD F unit or an Alco FA, though). If your loco already has a DCC-Ready socket, the installation should be made easier, but the board can also be hard-wired. For more info, check the website.

Bill in FtL
43  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Re: E-Z App First Impressions on: December 07, 2015, 08:49:26 AM
I'm looking forward to possibly using BlueTooth Control in O scale too. I have a LionChief Plus Mikado, which was my first O 3-rail loco, purchased last summer. Even though it's not to scale, I like it a lot, and have since purchased a couple of Williams diesels in O 3-rail as well, and would like to convert them to either R/C or BT. The operation of BlueTooth Control should have the same advantages as the LionChief system, and the two should work together, since the power requirements are similar. I'm not that interested in battery power at the moment, because of having to deal with the charging process (low battery levels on my iPad are trouble enough!).

Bill in FtL
44  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / E-Z App First Impressions on: December 04, 2015, 10:15:21 PM
I just got my first E-Z App loco (a PRR Alco RS3) today and set it up on a test track on the dining room table for a trial run. I used an old MRC Tech II 2400 with the throttle knob set at about 3/4 power for the test. The first thing I noticed is that the loco would sit for a short time on powered track, but would eventually start moving if there is no BlueTooth signal. This effect seemed to be polarity sensitive, but I didn't take the time to fully test it out. Once the Bluetooth was powered up, the loco didn't show any further tendency to creep. For a controller, I was using an iPad Air, since my cell phone is too old (Apple 3GS) to be compatible. The app loaded onto my iPad with no drama in just a few minutes time. Turning the iPad on, it took me a second or two to initiate the start, and the loco began running as expected, with all controls functional. There were a few times when the unit seemed to get " confused" during a slow start with the bell on, where it would start to roll, then stall with the headlights flashing. This may have been a low voltage issue, since even at full throttle, the power pack is supposed to only put out 14 volts. I don't think it was caused by dirty track, because recovery was simple, just return the throttle to stop and try again, maybe with a bit more throttle this time. I tried operating at about half DC throttle power for just a few seconds, and the operation seemed to be the same, so the system seems pretty tolerant of voltage input

I only have the one loco to run at the moment, and the system recognizes it only as "Bachmann Loco", although I see there is an option to change it's name. I'm curious to see how it works with multiple locos, and wonder whether multi-unit loco sets will be possible, but if they're not, it's not a major issue, since my layout is fairly small, and large lash-ups would probably look out of place.

This coming Monday, I will take the loco and the iPad to a local library where our club is displaying modules in several scales for the Holidays, for a real system test, and will check out the range as well. So far, though, I like it, and I think this method of control has great potential. I may even have to get a newer phone now, since the iPad is a bit too big to hold and operate with just one hand. I'm also anxiously awaiting the release of the plug & play boards to convert existing DCC-Ready locos, since I have a few candidates in mind. Smiley Smiley Smiley

Bill in FtL
45  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Arch bar truck vs coupler height on: September 17, 2015, 08:23:26 PM
I am purchasing a set of Bachmann under frames c/w couplers which type of arch bar trucks will be best to keep coupler height correct without major modification pn- 29901,29903 or 29904.

I'm sorry to see that after two months and 488 views to this thread that no one has replied. The under frames should work easiest with the 29901 trucks, the 29904 low frame arch bars will require you to change the coupler to the medium length under shank version to achieve proper coupler height. It's been a while since I looked at one of the under frames but as I recall, it comes with a medium center shank coupler. You may need to also fine tune the coupler height with washers between the truck and under frame.

Have Fun!
Bill in FtL
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