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September 18, 2018, 09:41:19 PM
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1  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: bachmann big hauler motor spec's on: August 18, 2018, 10:14:38 PM
Most folks use 14.8v Li-Ion batteries in their locos--especially those running narrow gauge steam. That's all I run in my locos, and in most cases I program my decoders to limit the top speed to keep things from running too fast. (My top speed is usually around 20 scale mph).

Later,

K
2  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: pulling Power on: June 16, 2018, 12:46:38 AM
What are your grades and curves? My K-27 will pull 12 cars with room to spare on mild grades (1 - 2%). My C-19 pulls 8 cars on my 2.5% grades without breaking a sweat. Both locos slow down on my 5' radius curves (as do all my locos) with even short trains in tow (4 cars or so), so tight curves definitely introduce noticeable drag.

With respect to the prototype, steep grades really impacted how much a loco could pull. For example, a loco that could pull 20 cars on the flat would find that train cut in half on something as mild as 1% grade. A 2% grade would cut that to four or five cars if that. Grades on the D&RGW routinely hit between 3% and 4%. Looking at the chart linked above, a K-27 has a limit of 183 tons on the line from Chama to Cumbres, which has 4% grades. A single car might weigh between 30 - 40 tons. That's 4 to 6 cars for a single loco. A C-19 has a pulling capacity of 92 tons on that same stretch, which is 3 cars. Easy to see why trains were frequently double- and triple-headed.

See? If you were looking for an excuse to add more locos to your roster, there you go!

(Bach-man, you can thank me later.  Grin )

Later,

K
3  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: 2-6-0 OR&W on: May 30, 2018, 12:20:19 AM
The non-DCC version of the mogul is easy to convert to DCC. The hardest part is milling out the metal around the motor to give you room to run the wires to the tender for the decoder. Here's a link to a site which will get you going in the right direction.

http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/mogul_dcc/

I did mine for sound, using a Tsunami2 installed in the tender. There's plenty of room for the decoder and a good speaker. (And battery for deadrail operation, but that's a different can of worms.)

Later,

K
4  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Will Bachmann Big Haulers or Spectrum run on Peco code 200 track on: May 30, 2018, 12:03:56 AM
It's not the height of the rail that's the issue. It's the distance from the top of the railhead to the top of the spike detail that holds the rails to the ties. In many cases, there's actually more clearance on code 250 track than there is on code 332 because the spike detail on the code 250 track is much finer than on the code 332 rail, which is often over-engineered for durability, due to the vast majority of it being sectional track and needing to stand up to being assembled and disassembled.

Having said that, the deepest flange I've measured in large scale is just shy of 3/16", on an ancient LGB loco trailing wheel. I have yet to run that loco on any code 332 or code 250 track and have that flange bounce on the spike detail.

I can't speak to Peco's code 200 track.

Later,

K
5  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: G scale Climax locomotives on: May 18, 2018, 07:54:51 PM
Yes, the "DCC Ready" loco will run like your other traditional analog DC locos. What's happening with the DCC-equipped loco is that the decoder needs a certain voltage just to function. In many cases, this is in the neighborhood of 6 volts, but it may be more. Once the decoder gets this requisite voltage, it wakes up and creates a baseline zero voltage line to the motor. It does not all of a sudden feed that 6 volts to the motor. In the case of many decoders, once the decoder "wakes up," it feeds voltage to the motor in a more-or-less 1:1 relationship to the additional voltage going to the decoder. For instance, if you feed 7 volts to the decoder and the decoder needs 6 volts to function, it will feed 1 volt to the motor. 10 volts will send 4 volts to the motor, etc. The upshot is that with most decoders*, at any given track voltage, the DCC-equipped loco will run slower than a non-DCC-equipped loco.

The Climax has the plug-and-play socket in the tender, so if you want to run your loco on analog power, check to see if there's a "dummy plug" in the box that came with it. You can pull the decoder and replace it with the dummy plug to run your loco on regular DC. You will lose your sounds, though.

Later,

K
6  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Max Voltage on: April 30, 2018, 01:09:46 AM
You'll be perfectly fine using 14.8 volts. That having been said, I use 11.1 volts in all of my On30 stuff, and am not wanting for speed at all. If you need a bit more, but space is an issue, use a step-up voltage regulator. Pololu sells a variable one that will go up to 24 volts.

Later,

K
7  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Wire size? on: April 06, 2018, 01:18:05 AM
I probably wouldn't use anything smaller than 24-gauge wire for large scale installs for anything that's carrying power from batteries or to the motor. You can use smaller stuff for the lights and sound, down to 30-gauge. I use 24-gauge on the majority of my installs. My battery connector leads (the same ones used by Aristo, USA, etc.) are 22-gauge.

Later,

K
8  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: amperage draw for large scalle 2-8-0 outside frame on: March 17, 2018, 05:22:42 PM
If you're looking for something reliable and long term, I'd probably get something that will give you around 20 volts at 3 amps minimum, 5 amps would be better. You can get away with less (I ran my large scale stuff on an old HO power supply for our first few years) but a power supply is one of those things where it pays to spend the money to get a good one.

One thing you might want to consider--some flavor of wireless control. Revolution Train Engineer, Bridgewerks, and RailBoss (G Scale Graphics) all offer a trackside control unit which you can control remotely with a handheld controller. Prices and functionality vary, but all are rated for at least 5 amps.

Later,

K
9  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Spectrum Scale G new locomotives. on: March 15, 2018, 07:08:20 PM
That would be welcome news, but I wouldn't hold my breath. The Western Maryland was standard gauge, so a true WM Shay would have to be all new tooling in a scale (1:29?) that Bachmann has yet to do much in. From what I've heard from Bachmann reps at recent shows, something with new tooling is not in the cards anytime soon.

Having said that, can you imagine the excitement a 1:29 3-truck Western Maryland Shay would bring to the hobby? I'd bet it would have as much impact as the original 1:20 2-truck Shay had when it first came out. The 1:29 market is a lot bigger than the 1:20 market right now, and they're starved for new products.

Later,

K
10  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Adding decoders to G Big Haulers and Spectrum on: February 25, 2018, 03:16:46 AM
Depends on the loco and the loads it's going to pull. My suggestion - run the train on regular (analog) track power and use an ammeter to see how much current the loco is drawing while running under normal operating conditions. That'll give you an idea of what your loco draws. You're going to want a little extra headroom "just in case."

My usual large scale practice is to use a decoder rated at 4 amps or greater. Soundtraxx, TCS, ESU, Zimo, and Massoth all make sound decoders rated for at least 4 amps for large scale. Prices will range from $130 - $220 give or take. For small locos like 0-4-0s or locos which will not be pulling long trains, you can look to use boards rated for 2 amps and save a little space as well as money.

Later,

K
11  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: 3 Truck Shay to wireless (dead rail) on: February 22, 2018, 03:24:56 AM
The Bachmann DCC decoder that came with the Shay is a motor/sound decoder. It was manufactured by Soundtraxx specifically for the Bachmann Shay. It's based on the "Tsunami" sound system that Soundtraxx made, and you'll sometimes hear of the Shay's decoder referred to as the "Quasi-nami." It was a good (for its time) DCC decoder, though it could not handle track voltages north of 21 volts. Large scale DCC users tend to use track voltages between 20 - 24 volts, so the stock board was frequently removed and replaced by other boards. If you're running this decoder in a wireless environment, then you should be fine. The Shay runs quite well on 14.8 volts, so you'll be nowhere near pushing the decoder into over-voltage fault.

Here's a link to the list of CVs for the Shay decoder, from Soundtraxx's web site.

www.soundtraxx.com/factory/images/bachmann/pdf/fn3_3_truck_shay.pdf

Later,

K
12  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: What is the prototype for the 2-6-0? on: February 17, 2018, 09:14:28 PM
The Tsunami2 gives you something like 60 whistles and 9 or so different chuffs. You'll find one in there that sounds appropriate to your ears. I've read the mogul is based off of a Colorado & Southern mogul. Here's a link to a YouTube video of C&S #9 running on the Georgetown Loop RR.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfxmBEqMLRw

With the number of chuffs available, speaker selection, and EQ settings, you can tune the decoder to be pretty close to this prototype if you'd like, or you may find you like something completely different.

Later,

K
13  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Tie down chain for Skeleton Log car 98490 Large Scale on: February 17, 2018, 09:04:34 PM
Micro Mark has some:

https://www.micromark.com/Miniature-Chain-for-Model-Work

Later,

K
14  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: 45-ton engine truck wiring on: February 13, 2018, 11:22:52 PM
Look at the four pads as points on a compass. Wire North to East, South to West. Voila! If it runs backwards compared to your other trains, wire North to West, and South to East.

Later,

K
15  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: DCC in the DCC ready Porter and 2-4-2 on: December 28, 2017, 11:55:02 PM
I know the latest 0-4-0 Porter has mechanical chuff triggers on the axles. I don't know about the 2-4-2, but I'd think it would given both locos got similar drive upgrades when they were re-released.

Having said that, depending which DCC decoder you use, you may or may not have the option of using a chuff cam. The latest decoders from Soundtraxx (Econami and Tsunami2) rely on BEMF calibration to control the chuff rate. It's pretty darned accurate, too--much better than older generations of that technology.

Later,

K
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