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1  Discussion Boards / N / Re: 2-10-2 Shell on Light 4-8-2 Mechanism? on: November 16, 2017, 09:55:52 PM
Remember I am asking about a LIGHT Mountain shell on a Light 2-10-2 mechanism.

That said, I agree that it seems strange that Bachmann sometimes produces a winner like the Heavy Mountain and then doesn't do any more runs of it.  I will buy one if they ever make another.
2  Discussion Boards / N / Re: 2-10-2 Shell on Light 4-8-2 Mechanism? on: November 16, 2017, 05:55:51 PM
The question for both swaps is how well or poorly they fit the other mechanism.  Anybody with some actual experience?
3  Discussion Boards / N / 2-10-2 Shell on Light 4-8-2 Mechanism? on: November 16, 2017, 02:34:30 PM
Has anybody tried to put the shell from a USRA Light 2-10-2 onto the mechanism for the Light 4-8-2?
4  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Why not make various shells for same mechanism? on: October 30, 2017, 02:44:04 PM
It sounds so simple!  Cheesy

Well, making a good shell is not exactly simple.  But, it is obviously more simple than making a good shell and a good mechanism that is unique to it.  That is the point.  Others can make shells with 3D printing and sell them on Shapeways, but those are not going to be as good as shells made with injection molding and individually applied details like Bachmann is doing.  And, for pulling power, making the shells out of metal alloy, even if the added details are made of plastic, can greatly enhance the appeal of the loco.  Also, because Bachmann typically runs out of mechanisms, hobbists who want to use Bachmann mechanisms for Shapeways shells really need to buy a Bachmann locomtive and trash its shell.  That makes that approach more costly than neccessary and suppresses the market for the Shapeways shells.

Doing the research to make a new shell that is a good prototypical representation has sometimes been raised as an impediment to bringing out a new model.  But, if the vendors would tap into the various historical societies for the railroads with the prototype engines, they would find that there is a great wealth of information and a group of really dedicated hobbists who would be glad to dig it out and provide it in useful form, because they actually want those modeled and would buy the products.
5  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: replacing ez command on: October 30, 2017, 02:26:45 PM
The wiring on a layout can be powered by a DCC controller or a Dc controller, but not both at the same time.  For simple layouts, some people set them up so that there is a double-pole-double-throw electrical switch that connects the 2 layout feeder wires to either their DCC or DC controller, so that they can run one type of locomotive or the other at different times.  One down-side to that is that some DCC controllers can be damaged by plain DC power.  So, you need to be careful what is on your layout when you swap power/control systems - no matter whether you do it with a dpdt switch or by unplugging one and plugging in the other.

As you probably know, running a layout with DC means that you cannot independently control two or more locomotives on the same electrically connected pieces of track.  So, complex layouts designed for DC control typically have many isolated track areas with their own controllers so that more than one train can be run on the layout at the same time with independent control to each.  Layouts that are set-up for DC can be run with DCC, but there is a tendency to interconnect track segments that were isolated for use with DC.  If those segments are connected when you run DCC, then you would need to think carefully about what that would mean when switching back to multiple controllers for use with DC, again.  For one thing, the direction control switches used for DC, while unneccesary for DCC, can make short-circuits if two isolated segments are connected for DCC operation and the DC reversing switches are set to opposite directions across an insulated track gap.
6  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Why not make various shells for same mechanism? on: October 30, 2017, 10:07:44 AM
I understand that there are some differences that are noticeable and might be more difficult to switch than others, but really not very many. 

To me, the valve gear would be the most difficult, since it is a moving thing that must be made to work with the model mechanism.  Still, I would think that Walschaerts and Baker would cover most modern locos, and slide valves would do for most old locos.  Many folks can't tell the difference, especially on a model.  And, many real railroads switched between one and the other on the same model of locomotive.

Swapping trailing truck types is never a problem, and switching cylinder sizes by a bit of stroke or bore is not such a big deal, either, because the model piston rods simply slide in and out of a hole in the casting. Most of the other detail is on the shell, even the pilot, reverse mechanism, etc.  Just look at now different the variations of the K4s are.

I agree that the moderators on this forum are missing a good thing unless they take some poles about what the members here want and think would sell well.

And, I think that Bachmann is missing sales due to its well-known inability to repair most of the models they have issued in the recent past.  Especially when quality control from a foreign manufacturer is an issue, domestic repair capability and a parts supply to support it goes a long way toward creating brand loyalty and respect.
7  Discussion Boards / N / Why not make various shells for same mechanism? on: October 29, 2017, 10:05:14 AM
I am looking to Bachmann to provide the steam locomotives that I want in N scale.

But, I don't understand the logic of always making new mechanisms that then serves for only one model (maybe with some minor variations). 

Why not use the same mechanism to produce other engines that have similar wheel arrangements and driver sizes?  For example, a shell for a B&O P7 should be an easy switch for the recently released Pennsy K4 shell.  And, with the high headlight position and all-wheel pickup tender, it would make the competition for that model wither and die.  And, I am sure that there are other prototypes whose shells that would be suitable for that mechanism, too.

At the same time, a series of new shells on the same mechanism would provide the reason for having a continuing source of mechanism parts to actually repair the engines that have been previously produced with different shells.  That continuing part availability would greatly bolster the value of the Bachmann guarantee, which, at this time, really means only that you will get another locomotive type, probably not of your choice, when the one you wanted and bought somehow fails.

It just seems to me that that change in marketing strategy would bolster both our hobby and Bachmann's part in it.
8  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Curves on: August 10, 2017, 12:23:34 PM
TO make a full 180 degree turn, you need a shelf width of twice the radius of the curved track pieces, PLUS at LEAST one times the width of the track pieces.  That would put the edge of your track right at the edge of your table.  But, if you do that, a derailment could send your trains off the layoutand onto the floor, damaging them.  So, most people allow some space between the edge of the track and the edge of the layout.

You could put a piece of plexiglass along the edge of the layout to stop trains from falling to the floor, put you probably need a little space between the edge of the track pieces and the plexiglass near curves to allow clearance for the cars to overhang the rails as they go around the curves.

You did not say what scale you are working with.  For HO, 19" radius cruves are already tight.  But, for N scale, 19" radius curves are still pretty wide, and some track pieces in N scale go down to 9-1/2" radius.  A lot of N scale equipment is designed to go around 9-1/2" curves, but they don't really look good doing that.  Still, that would make it on a 24" wide shelf, with a couple of inches between the track and the edge.  There are also 11" radius pieces of sectional track, and that would work with plexiglass.

One final thought is that some layouts do not have ovals that let trains run continuously.  The track goes "point-to-point", with turnouts onto passing sidings and industry spurs that allow for interesting car switching activies between the two end points.  Those types of layouts can be made even thinner than 24" in most scales.  And, with your "L" shaped layout, you might be able to fit a wye into the corner to turn engines and maybe a few cars so that you can see both sides when you operate.
9  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Super elevated curves for open rainge fast freight on: July 16, 2017, 11:42:41 AM
Just a comment on your superelevation plans: 

Your post sounds like you will be increasing the amount of superelevation from the beginning to the midpoint of the curve, then starting to decrease from the midpoint.  That would not be prototypical looking.  The real railroads would have an easement to the curve, with the radius beginning at infinity and decreasing to the constant radius section in a smooth fashion.  In that same horizontal easement, the superelevation would start at zero and increase to its maximum value where the curve radius becomes constant.

The purpose of the easements on the real railroad is to make the centrifugal forces on the passengers and equipment increase at a comfortable and constant rate from zero to the constant value that occurs on the constant radius part of the curve , rather than by an almost instantaneous jerk to the side.  The superelevation likewise makes the curve more comfortable by making the force seem to go more "down" instead of "sideways".

On a model railroad, neither of these factors is really an issue, except for making the shape of the curves and the motion of the train seem realistic when we run our models.

There is quite a science to making easements to curves for real railroads and hhighways.  (Basically, the reciprocal of the radius, 1/R, increases linearly with distance around the curve, which makes centrifugal force build up linearly from zero to the maximum value for the curve.) 

On a model, it is just a matter of making it not look like a "train set" layout.  I am not going to try to explain easement layout here, but I will tell you that it does not have to be complicated.  There are several books that you can use to find methods for making easements for model railroads.  For instance "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" by Jack Armstrong (Model Railraoder Books) has an easy method using flex track.  If you do not want to use flex, you can get a similar-appearing effect by starting your curve with a piece of sectional track that is the largest made by your track manufacturer and then use sections of the available decreasing radii until you get to the desired radius for your curve.

Be advised that putting easements on curves needs to be planned well in advance of settling on your track plan, because it adds a lot of length and a bit of width to a curve, compared to just jumping from straight to your selected radius.  But, it really adds to the visual effect, as does superelevation when done right.
10  Discussion Boards / N / Re: 4-8-2 pilot truck on: June 21, 2017, 12:30:44 PM
I bought one of the later version Light Mountains, and had the same problem with the pilot truck derailing on 15" radius curves.

When I took a close look at it and the "exploded" drawing supplied by Bachmann, it looked to me like it was attached up-side-down.  So, I turned it over and it has not derailed, since.

Because it was a second-hand purchase, I don't know if that was an original Bachmann assembly goof or a previous owner goof.
11  Discussion Boards / N / Re: 2-8-0 Traction Tire Replacement on: January 31, 2017, 06:44:06 PM
It seem like the OP's original question is whether the screw will "break loose" before something else breaks.  So, maybe others could share their experiences?  Has anybody twisted the head off the screw or done other damage before the screw came loose?  Is some sort of penetrating lubricant like Liquid Wrench a good or bad idea?  I am probably gong to face the same issue, so I would like to see some good answers, too.
12  Discussion Boards / N / Re: looking for a EM 1 parts on: November 10, 2016, 08:59:56 PM
Check eBay.  There was a junked EM-1 on there for $49 about an hour ago.
13  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Beginning DCC layout on: October 08, 2016, 10:50:09 AM
I used the basic Bachmann DCC controller to start, with 2 Bachmann small steam locomotives.  Worked well as a basic system running 2 locos on 2 loops, with a wye and 4 sidings.

But, as I gained interest in more complex layouts and locomotives other than Bachmann, I realized 2 things:

1.  Controlling more than one locomotive with the simple Bachmann DCC system was clumsy when switching from one running loco to another because the speed knob would be set for one loco and not match the other when switched.  The second loco just continued running at the same speed until I moved the knob and sent it a speed command, at which time it jumped to whatever speed was on the knob.  This is called "potentiometer" control, and works just like an analog DC speed control knob.  Some of the more advanced DCC throttles us an "up-down" type of control, some with buttons and some with wheels, so that switching to another loco and moving the knob or wheel only changes the speed by one or more "steps" from whatever it is at that moment.

2.  The simple Bachmann controller that I started with was apparently designed to have enough voltage to run large scale locomotives, which was higher than N scale locomotives require, and higher than some OTHER manufacturers rate their electronics.  So, I was concerned that the Bachmann controller might damage, or at least void the warranty for locos made by other manufacturers.  (My Bachmann controller put out 18 volts on a special DCC volt meter, while some manufacturers rate their electronics for N scale at 16 volts and the NMRA suggests 14 volts for N scale.)

So, if you really want to start with simple and less expensive, Bachmann's basic DCC controller will get you started with Bachmann equipment.  But, keep in mind what I said if you (very probably) get the urge to get more complicated operations and locos of other makes.
14  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Need help please re connecting power to double track. on: October 05, 2016, 10:02:26 AM
It sounds like you are laying the track on a surface like a table or rug.  If so, then the normal approach of drilling holes in the surface and running the wires under the surface is not going to work for you.

I am guessing that you are using Bachmann track, which I don't use, so I am not familiar with the options that are available with Bachmann track.  Another member can speak to that.

You can help yourself get the best answer by posting what brand of track you are using and what surface you are putting it on.
15  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: modeling question on: September 26, 2016, 07:46:55 PM
John, Oops, that was in his first post, which I did not read again when I came back to read more recent posts.  $19.99 is a really good price for that many bits.  Assuming they are good quality.
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