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121  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Sound for the Doodlebug? on: February 17, 2012, 12:31:16 PM
Thanks for your replies. 

I wish to avoid buying the DCC Ma & Pa Doodlebug without sound if I just have to wait a while, even a year or two, for a version with approppriate sound to appear.  Maybe the Bach-Man can say or at least gaze into his crystal ball?

The Doodlebugs had petrol engines.  I have never heard one.  Would a diesel pass for one?

And I assume they had both horns and bells for different purposes, but were these similar to sounds available on the cards you mention or were they quite distinctive?  I think that several Doodlebugs have been preserved, so maybe someone here knows?

122  Discussion Boards / HO / Sound for the Doodlebug? on: February 17, 2012, 06:32:59 AM
The Doodlebug is in the Spectrum range but none appear to have sound.  Has there been or will there be a sound version?  Or is there a suitable sound kit for this model?  (Presumably the Doodlebug had a sound all its own!).

123  Discussion Boards / HO / Richmond 4-4-0 with and without sound - tender swaps? And Q for the Bachmann. on: February 17, 2012, 06:28:56 AM
Hi, the Ma & Pa 4-4-0 has sound with the steel cab version but not with the wood cab versions.   Can a wood cab be given sound just by swapping tenders, or is it more complicated than that?

And does this apply to any Bachmann locos of the same class which have both plain DCC and DCC sound versions?

And as the tenders look the same, is it just a matter of time before a wood cab Ma & Pa #4 or #5 appears with sound?

124  Discussion Boards / HO / Cable management between 4-6-0 and 2-8-0 loco and tender? on: February 11, 2012, 01:02:12 AM
Hi, sorry if this is a repeat, but I posted this question a few hours ago and then could not find it, so here goes again!

I have just ventured into HO steam, DCC and sound, I just received the low-boiler Baldwin 4-6-0 (84905) and the 2-8-0 (84509) by mail order so there is no easy way to ask the retailer. 

I opened the 4-6-0, looks fantastic, but when I plug the cables from the tender into the loco they seem too long and when I hook up the tender drawbar the cables loop back under the tender and foul the leading axle pickup, stop the bogie swivelling and derail the front bogie, whilst under the loco cab because the plug fit is vertical and the cable fairly stiff and springy the cable sticks down, rubs along the sleepers and fouls anything between the rails, e.g. pointwork, uncoupler magnets, etc.

I assumed this was just an assembly problem with this loco, but when I opened the 2-8-0 (also great, but not quite as beautiful as the 4-6-0), I found a similar problem.  Here the cables come from beneath the loco and plug horizontally into the tender.  Again they are so long that when the tender bar is coupled the excess lead lifts the front bogie of the tender clear off the rails.  The only way I could run the loco was by uncoupling the tender and having the loco pull it by the cable!

Different engines, different mail order house.  Am I just amazingly unlucky, or is this a common feature of loco to tender connections, with some simple solution?  I had been running an RS-1 and RS-3 on the layout, so never had this problem, as there is no external connection cable.  If this is normal, how do you do manage the excess cable?  There is no mention of the loco to tender connection in the documentation, or on the CD.  With the 4-6-0 should I dismantle the tender and pull some cable in?  But that still does not solve the problem of the springy lead sticking down from beneath the loco cab to between the rails, and I am wary of dismantling the tender, as the parts diagram looks frighteningly complex.  On the 2-8-0, should I cut off the plug and shorten the lead?  I am wary of that task, too.

I want to couple both engines to their tenders at the closest position.  What do you folks do?  Am I missing something simple? Please Help!

125  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Asking for Steaming Sound Advice on Bachmann Soundtraxx Tsunami?.. on: February 10, 2012, 06:08:33 PM
Thanks to all.  I got the 4-6-0 and the 2-8-0, and am learning all about them.  But now I have a whole new issue with the connection between the locos and tenders, the electric lead seems much too long, so I have asked a fresh question.

126  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Asking for Steaming Sound Advice on Bachmann Soundtraxx Tsunami?.. on: February 06, 2012, 10:45:32 AM
Apologies for question marks in the above text where there should be dashes or apostrophes.  I drafted it in Word and the forum system has changed some of the punctuation to question marks.  I hope you can still understand it.  Lesson learned.
127  Discussion Boards / HO / Asking for Steaming Sound Advice on Bachmann Soundtraxx Tsunami?.. on: February 06, 2012, 10:35:35 AM
Hi, I am looking for some advice.  I have a small 6-ft x 2-ft HO shunting puzzle type layout which is wired for digital (i.e. all tracks are live, and all points live frog), but it has an analogue controller and operates on DC at present.  It is currently inhabited by an Atlas DC RS-1 and RS-3, but only one can be on the layout at one time, as they both move ? there are no isolated sidings. 

I am thinking of fitting a DCC controller and backdating to steam.  The aim would be to run two contrasting engines, e.g. the Spectrum MEC 4-4-0 and 2-8-0, or Ma & Pa 4-4-0 and 4-6-0.   A main purpose of this transition is to introduce sound to mainly shunting operations ? lots of whistles, bells, clanks, hisses, and slow chuffs.  All these engines are available with the Bachmann sound onboard. 

However, I have read in other threads that the Bachmann version is a limited version of the full Tsunami system.  Also, that the Bachmann instructions are based on the spec for the full system and the system as fitted will not do many of the things the instructions suggest it will, and that to get the spec for the system that Soundtraxx have actually supplied to Bachmann you have to search the Soundtraxx website library (and I have not yet found it).

The questions I have are:

What does the full spec system have that the Bachmann implementation lacks (in the context of what I need as described above)?

Would I be better to get the plain DCC versions (which would be cheaper and widens the options to include the Richmond 4-4-0s with wood cabs), and fit the full spec sound ? and is that easy to do?

I saw on the Soundtraxx website that they make a SurroundTraxx system where you put up to six speakers around the layout and not on-board the engines, which only then need DCC on-board  ? Would this be a better choice on such a small layout?  (I have not yet fitted the backscenes, so there is scope).  This would also permit more engines.

What would be the best controller to get the full potential from the Bachmann system?

Is a sensible course to get the Bachmann system to learn on, and then upgrade the locos? Is that fairly easy, or are there limiting factors such as how many pins the plugs have?

I have a small Atlas Y point in the middle of the layout - will the 4-6-0 or 2-8-0 have problems with this?

You will gather that I don?t know a lot about DCC and sound, but some of you do!

128  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Kits for a small rural New England railroad depot? on: January 31, 2012, 07:28:21 AM
Hi, thanks to all for your advice.  Some very interesting info there:

I had not previously spotted the point about New England wood stations tending to have horizontal rather than vertical planking.

I was a bit worried that the roof shape of the Walnut Grove depot looked too specific to somewhere.  But on browsing a few New England station photos, I found a very similar roof shape on the Central Vermont at Northfield MA, which I think was built by the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad, later absorbed by the Central Vermont.

I had not considered wood kits before, but having done so I found that Branchlines make one of Cannondale station on the New Haven Danbury branch.  Still standing, and the barn red paint makes for a striking model.  Also, I think it is tab and slot construction, which may be a good introduction to wood kits.  However, I have also realised that most of the web retailers pics show the HO model, and the pic of the N-scale model on Branchlinesí own website has not been finished quite as neatly.  Maybe the small scale of N makes a good job in wood more difficult.  Still, I think that is where I will start.

Having found Branchlines I found they also do other prototypical New England structures, including the Crosby Coal and Grain kit from Danby, VT on the Rutland RR.

So, I shall have a go at wood kits, starting with the Cannondale station, knowing that if I fail I can fall back on the Atlas Maywood kit, which looks rather similar but has vertical planking, but would doubtless look good in Barn Red!

Finally, I was always less worried about the folks with webbed feet than about whatever was trying to get through the gabled window.  Nice to know that HPL is not forgotten.

129  Discussion Boards / N / Kits for a small rural New England railroad depot? on: January 24, 2012, 07:39:04 AM
Hi, I'm looking for a kit for a small depot which would not look out of place in New England?  Does anyone know whether the Walthers Cornerstone Clarkesville Depot was based on a real structure, and if so, where?  The official description is the somewhat non-specific "typical of wooden depots built throughout North America after 1900", and "The kit has alternate gable support brackets for "East" and "West".  Or does anyone have a better recommendation??  Something which would look at home in a land which expects snow in winter!!  It will be visited by New Haven, Maine Central, Boston and Maine, Bangor & Aroostook and Central Vermont engines, so as you can see the precise location changes from day to day!!!!!  But passenger services are provided by New Haven Budd RDCs, so it is for a "one RDC" sized passing station, perhaps with New Haven affiliations.

130  Discussion Boards / N / Are the tenders on the DCC 4-6-0 and 2-10-2 hard wired to the locos? on: January 02, 2012, 09:58:42 AM
I note that these two locos are DCC fitted, and I am wondering if the decoders are in the loco body and the tender has the usual Bachmann tender-loco electrical connection of a pair of sprung pickups, which would make it easy to swap tenders for either of these locos, or if the decoders are in the tenders, which would require a lot more work to change the tender.

TIA and
Happy New Year,
131  Discussion Boards / N / Minimum radius curves for N-scale USRA light 2-10-2, please? (and all steamers) on: December 27, 2011, 07:20:25 AM
Hi, the product announcement / details do not say what the minimum parameters are to run this loco.  I would be grateful to know the minimum radius recommended for the visible section of the layout, and the actual minimum it will negotiate in the "off stage" areas.  I don't just mean references to Bachmann pre-formed track, but an actual minimum to take account of flexitrack.

It would be helpful if Bachmann listed these criteria as standard in the product descriptions for all of their steamers.

132  Discussion Boards / N / N-Scale Website Product Information Question (for Webmaster?) on: December 16, 2011, 06:58:33 PM

Do I misunderstand the website navigation?  If I go to the Product Information page and put 2-10-2 in the search box, I get a list which includes 7 N scale USRA light 2-10-2 steam locos.  But if I go to the N-scale tab, then click on steam locos, none of the 2-10-2s are listed.  Are there more N-scale steam locos which are not in the list under the N-scale tab, and if so, how do I find them?

Grateful for clarification,
133  Discussion Boards / N / Fitting DCC with sound to Bachmann N scale steamers? (New Haven, Maine Central) on: December 13, 2011, 09:43:21 AM
Hi, folks,

Can DCC with sound be fitted into the Bachmann USRA tender which comes with the New Haven Light Mountain? (Bachmann N 81663).  I have seen old threads which say the tender is too small, but DCC equipment is also getting smaller??

And is this tender the same as the Bachmann USRA medium coal tender? (Bachmann N 89754 USRA Medium Coal Tender Maine Central), and which Maine Central loco did Bachmann intend this tender to run with??

And can DCC with sound be fitted into the Bachmann C&O Vanderbilt New Haven tender (Bachmann N 89454), and could this credibly run with the Light Mountain?  If not, what New Haven loco did Bachmann intend this tender for??

Grateful for any help!
134  Discussion Boards / N / Re: N-scale DCC decoder - what does "Dual-Mode" mean? on: December 05, 2011, 02:54:09 PM
Hi, Mathi, Thanks.  Looks like I have no excuse not to buy the beast!

135  Discussion Boards / N / N-scale DCC decoder - what does "Dual-Mode" mean? on: December 05, 2011, 08:36:54 AM
Hi, I'm considering the Baldwin 4-6-0, and the description says: "Features include- DCC-equipped for speed, direction, and lighting, dual-mode NMRA-compliant decoder".  Does dual-mode mean that it will run on either DC or DCC, or something else, e.g. it can have other features added?  My layout is at present DC, but I am thinking of converting it to DCC.

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