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February 21, 2018, 05:01:46 AM
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1  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Installing buildings on: February 08, 2018, 10:00:51 PM
Is it a permanent layout?

What I did, was added scenery to my layout, some Durhams Water Putty for ground work, and ballast, and once the buildings were in place, everything looked perfect.

The road bed on EZ track may look a bit tall, but for a main line, it's pretty close to the right height... I really only needed to build up the ground around stations, and some switch tracks... adding static grass to the EZ track in a few areas also gave a nice "lower profile" look to the track.
2  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: DC on a DCC Layout on: February 08, 2018, 09:57:01 PM
All of this is great advice... I too have a few DC engines I run on my layout, and yes, I pull the engines off the track when not in use.

Lately, I've been making an effort, to put a decoder in each engine I can (obviously, it's not happening with the Gandy Dancers, or the DeWitt Clinton, or the John Bull, but the Norris engines have space in the tender, and the motors are already isolated, and it's just two wires to solder)

If your engine has an 8 pin plug (or if you're feeling squirrely enough to hard wire) I would suggest a simple (cheap) decoder for it... if you can.

Otherwise, if all you're doing is using it every so often, and taking it off the track, or putting it on an isolated track, you're still fine with it.
3  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: what dcc systems allow running analog locomotives on: November 04, 2017, 01:27:09 AM
Myself, I use EZ Command, because I DO like running a DC on my DCC layout, because Bachmann says I can! (I'll run a Norris, or my Gandy Dancer... or if I get something new that isnb't DCC yet, I'll toss it up on the layout)

As for programming... I found a Digitrax PR3Xtra to be very useful, and it was only $40. I have a small bit of programming track on my desk that doubles as a display track. If I need to program something, I just toss it on the program track, fire up the PR3Xtra, and open up JMRI.

I plan to use that until Bachmann comes up with something better.
4  Discussion Boards / Plasticville U.S.A. / Re: Looking for parts. on: November 04, 2017, 01:22:49 AM
w00t! It took three months, but... I finally found the parts I needed!

eBay. It's a magical place.
5  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Understanding the power spec on the EZ Command on: November 04, 2017, 01:10:58 AM
I'm not using any power boost, just the EZ Command, and two "Walk Around Companion" controllers (three controllers all together, all powered by the one)

On my layout, I am running seven DCC sound engines (two Digitrax, one MRC, and the rest Factory Bachmann Tsunami "Sound Value") I am also running a DCC sound car (Broadway Limited cattle car) a DCC engine (usually either the Gandy Dancer, or the Norris, until I convert it to DCC and sound) plus, two end of track LEDs.

All are running just fine at the same time with no power booster, using the EZ Commander, plugged into EZ track, all engine lights and sound on.

Don't know if that's helpful or not.
6  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: why would you need dcc on a small railroad? on: October 19, 2017, 11:34:05 PM
I too am using EZ Command. In fact, I have an EZ Commander, two walk around companions, and the plugs for the walk around companions in my fascia.

I'm having a blast with it. Yes, EZ Command is a bit limited, but, I also have a Digitrax PR3Xtra, and a small programming track on my desk, so, I'm not noticing any limitations to my setup at all. The programming track is for programming a loco, and the layout is for running them!

I like simple, and that's a very simplified way to do it.

Now, you will hear people (usually who don't have EZ Command) tell you that EZ Command will only run two engines with sound, and not much more, but, my layout is running seven DCC Sound engines, and one DCC Sound car. Plus, I have a single LED on a track bumper running off of track power on each end of the layout so when the EZ Commander is on, I know that power is getting to both ends of the layout. So the myth that EZ Commander doesn't have the power to handle multiple DCC Sound engines is busted.
7  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: EZ track on: October 18, 2017, 06:57:56 PM
You will also find a larger variety of Nickle Silver EZ track than you will the steel track. Steel track is good for a cheap train set... just not ideal for the long run.
8  Discussion Boards / HO / DeWitt Clinton on: October 18, 2017, 06:45:53 PM
Okay, so... I got a DeWitt Clinton engine from eBay a few days ago (single boxed engine and tender) and it ran when I got it... but due to it's age, was a bit loud. So I bought some oil for it... "Liberty Oil" that, according to the sales page, was specially formulated for "Bachmann engines", plastic safe... all of that. I put a drop on each axle gear (on the tender, that's where the motor is) and then attempted to run it. Now, all it does is short out the track.

Any ideas here? This is my second DeWitt Clinton with issues now (the first one, one of the drive wheels likes to fly off on the track, and if you put it back on too tight, it shorts everything out) so if it's something I can fix at home, I'd prefer it.
9  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Ballasting EZ Track... on: August 31, 2017, 06:32:03 PM
I always wanted to do ride alongs with my dad... other kids got to with their dads, but, my dad worked for Safeway, and Safeway was never really all that family friendly...

Fun story... when i was working for Vons years ago, and Safeway took them over, the first thing they eliminated was the "Employee Appreciation Day", and the second thing was "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" (unless you were management. of course... it helped to breed an "us vs them" attitude between management, and the workers)

Fun times though...
10  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Ballasting EZ Track... on: August 30, 2017, 07:39:55 PM
Was your dad a truck driver?

Yep... he went from the Navy (Korean vet) to truck driving... he was a driver for many years... hell, even I was a truck driver for about ten years.
11  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Ballasting EZ Track... on: August 30, 2017, 06:02:08 PM
See? I loved trains my whole life, but my dad was NOT fond of them... he felt that trains took jobs away from hard working truck drivers. (he seemed to forget how many more truck drivers are needed to take product from the trains, to the market, and product from the field to the trains, etc)
12  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Ballasting EZ Track... on: August 29, 2017, 02:27:56 PM
One thing I've realized.  Almost all our layouts have something to do with our youth.

Quite right, indeed.
13  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Ballasting EZ Track... on: August 28, 2017, 04:49:16 PM
Nice scenery work.  Those spruce trees always look peculiar to those of us that live Down South, we just don't have them much,they look like Christmas trees.

Yeah, I did a combination of spruce and pine... in my reckless youth, I lived in some high desert area that had this look, with a lot of pine, and spruce (Alpine, Big Bear, Independence) and it kinda reminded me of my youth just a bit.
14  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Ballasting EZ Track... on: August 27, 2017, 01:10:16 AM
Okay, so... EZ track ballasts quite well!

Oh, and in answer to a question I asked MONTHS ago... yes, the Bachmann ballasting took made it even easier! (bit of tacky glue on the sides of the roadbed, speared with my finger, then the ballast spreader run down the track... I could ballast about six feet of track per minute with the spreader)

The ballast gluing tool however... just... make your scenic glue in an Elmers bottle, and use that... way easier!

So... here's some shots of the ballasting so far:









There are a few sections where the grey is showing through (mostly in the middle) but I plan to fix that by making a wash with alcohol, and some black poster paint (it dries VERY chalky) and a bit of white glue, and drizzle it along the middle of the rails... this will give the illusion of soot, and spilt oil in the middle, and hopefully, will spill over a bit along the sides, to give the illusion of oil drippings from the drive rods.



Oh, and I did NOT paint the rails... no need... in some areas where they seem to shine a bit, I will be going over the sides with a brown marker, however (the markers they sell for repairing scratched furniture? Those work BEAUTIFULLY if you want small metal to look rusty!) Due to the colour of the ballast (I'm using a mauve) the reflections already look nice and weathered.

Anyway... cheers! (and yeah... EZ Track was the best decision I ever made!)
15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Ballasting EZ Track... on: August 22, 2017, 07:24:59 PM
Welp... there goes MY Autumn months!
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