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1981  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Installing front couplers on: August 22, 2007, 10:04:03 AM
Use a dummy coupler on the front of the IHC. It doesn't need as big a hole in the pilot as a Kadee, and will mate with a Kadee or clone and look better when running the 'Mike' on it's own.

1982  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Ho Couplers on: August 18, 2007, 02:44:03 PM
Many of Tyco car bodies are no worse than the old Athean 'blue box' kits, so why waste them?

Get a pack of Kadee #212 Talgo Adapters and a pack of IHC "Magic-Mate" couplers. Use them to do make a few quick-and-dirty transition cars using the existing Tyco trucks. By putting a "Magic-Mate" on both ends you don't have to worry about which way the car is facing when coupling to knuckles or horn-hooks.

This will give you some breathing room while you convert your cars to better trucks and body mounted couplers.

To change the trucks just pop the Tyco trucks out. The hole in the body is too large for a small screw, so there are three options:

1. Fill the hole with '4-minute' epoxy, and when it sets up drill and tap it for a 2-56 screw.

2. Glue a piece of styrene plastic rod of the same diameter into the hole, cut it flush, and drill and tap for a 2-56 screw.

3. Easiest - glue some 5/32" OD styrene tubing into the truck hole, cut it flush, and tap for a 2-56 screw. No drilling required. I use Evergreen #225 styrene tubing, which has an inside diameter about half way between a close and loose fit for a 2-56 screw.

If you want to use a smaller screw for some reason, just glue a 3/32" OD tube inside the 5/32" tube.

1983  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: How About a Spectrum Level 2-6-2 'Prairie'? on: August 18, 2007, 02:03:47 PM
Before a 2-6-2, which was not a popular prototype loco, we need a Spectrum 2-6-0, a much more useful loco. 

2-6-2 Not popular? Huh? Bite 'yer tongue and check out the Wabash Class G-1 Prairies at:

Then there are the CB&Q Class R1 - R5 Prairies, NYC Class J40 & J41, Milw K-1's, and don't forget those Santa Fe units mentioned by others earlier in this thread.

At least IHC has been doing a reasonable 2-6-0 for a while. There hasn't been a decent 2-6-2 made in years.

1984  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: How About a Spectrum Level 2-6-2 'Prairie'? on: August 16, 2007, 08:25:25 AM
Hi Len,

Did know if you meant to actually have those engines made or if you thought they were Prarie's, but Frisco 1050 is a home built 4-6-2, and the 1060 is also a home built 4-6-4. Frisco did not own any Prarie's.

Frisco 1060 is a stream liner used in passenger service. That's why she has the skirts. Her colors were blue and silver.

Just an FYI....nice to be here.

Yes, Mr. would be EXTREMELY nice to see a Spectrum Prarie roll off the lines.



The 'Fallen Flags' web page labels both as 2-6-2's, which is why I included them. The pilot truck is in shadow on the pic of 1050 and behind a steam cloud on the pic of 1060, so I just went with the picture labels.

And they have the look of the 2-6-2's I remember from my youth.

1985  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: How About a Spectrum Level 2-6-2 'Prairie'? on: August 15, 2007, 06:58:08 PM
Who would have thought of a semi-streamlined Prarie?

The 'Frisco' had class!  Wink

1986  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: How About a Spectrum Level 2-6-2 'Prairie'? on: August 15, 2007, 03:06:36 PM
Wabash 2005 would be nice:

Or Frisco 1050:

And for a small loco, Frisco 1060 is kind of pretty:

There's even NYC 4658:

I'd even settle for an 'Undec' at this point.


1987  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: loco lengths on: August 15, 2007, 02:22:34 PM
The 9" length is the rails. It was designed to replace a 9" straight section of Snap-Track.

1988  Discussion Boards / HO / How About a Spectrum Level 2-6-2 'Prairie'? on: August 15, 2007, 02:40:33 AM
Enough already with those big locos! Sad

They're nice, but isn't it about time for a Spectrum level 2-6-2 "Prairie" for us folks with smaller layouts? The IHC 2-6-0 "Moguls" are okay, but they just don't have that 'hauling the freight' look "Prairie's"  have.

The prototypes had a ton of them. But, without getting into brass, the only HO 'Prairie' out there any more seems to be Bachmann's 20 year old technology "lights and smokes" toy in the white box. And the 'smoker' usually ends up melting the boiler after a while. Undecided

What does it take to get Bachmann interested in these smaller steamers?

Or Model Power for that matter. If Bachmann won't do a decent "Prairie" maybe MP can be convinced to bring out an updated version of the old Mantua 'Prairie'. I wish somebody would.
1989  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Older cars and couplers on: March 29, 2007, 01:52:56 PM

You're right. IHC calls them "Magic-Mates". They look clunky, but they do what them claim to do. I used them on a couple of 'transition cars' when I first started switching from horn-hook to Kadee's. They also work okay with the Kadee #212 Talgo Adaptors for truck mounted coupler boxes.

1990  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Older cars and couplers on: March 29, 2007, 09:37:56 AM

I agree totally that body mounting the couplers is best. But the talgo conversion works for those in a hurry, or that don't feel up to the body mount conversion.

Even with the talgo conversion, backing and switching moves are much more reliable than with horn-hook couplers.

One caveat I forgot to mention in my original answer. DO NOT couple longer cars with body mounted couplers to cars with truck mounted couplers. Even after the conversion, when the end of the long car swings out on curves the body mount coupler will pull the talgo mounted one with it. Result = derailment.

1991  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: How was sand moved in the 1950s? on: March 28, 2007, 08:25:00 PM
As others have said, it partially depended on the type of sand and the industry it was used for.

The bottling plant near where I grew up received a very fine sand in covered hoppers. They'd hook up a compressed air hose and pressurize the car some to get it out easier. They didn't want it wet, period.

On the flip side, the sand, gravel, and concrete company received what I called "beach sand" in open hoppers, regular gondolas, and drop side gondolas.

So I believe the answer depends in part on what you're trying to model. If it's for through trains, use them all! Grin
1992  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Older cars and couplers on: March 28, 2007, 07:34:06 PM
Converting those cars to knuckle couplers is very simple, and the only tool actually required is a sharp X-Acto knife. A small needle file and Kadee Talgo Adaptor Pic tool can be handy if your doing a bunch of them.

I like Kadee couplers, but don't like messing with the bronze springs for these truck mounted talgo conversions. So I normally use the medium length center shank Bachmann EZ-Mate Mk-II couplers with the built in centering springs. If you don't mind messing with the springs, Kadee's are fine for this also.

What you will need:

1. A pack of Kadee #28 couplers, even if you will be using the EZ-Mate MK-II's. You can always use the Kadee couplers in a car with body mounted coupler pockets.

You need a pack of these to get the instruction sheet. It explains how to install the #212 Talgo Adaptors, and which bits need to be trimmer off different vendors coupler boxes in order to install knuckls couplers. Most of these coupler boxes have stops/blocks in them to make the horn-hooks work correctly. They aren't needed for, and get in the way of, knuckle couplers.

2. However many 12- packs of Kadee #212 Talgo Truck Adaptors you need to convert your cars.

3. A #1 X-Acto knife (or equivelant) with a sharp #11 blade for trimming those bits out of the coupler boxes.

The process:

1. The pin that holds the horn-hook coupler in place is usually on a short tab extending back from the front of the coupler box. Use a fingernail to pull it down slightly while twisting the coupler towards the side with the plastic spring on it. It should pop off the pin, and with a bit more twisting, slide out the front of the coupler box. Or you can take the direct approach, and once the coupler is off the pin just snip it in half with a pair of nippers. The pieces will just fall out.

2. Using the information and diagrams provided by the Kadee #28 instruction sheet, trim the unneeded bits off the coupler pocket with the X-Acto knife.

3. Take an EZ-Mate MK-II (or Kadee #5 and spring) and use one hand to insert the shank into the coupler pocket until the hole is centered on the pivot pin.

4. Use the other hand to press a #212 Talgo Adaptor through the hole in the coupler shank, and down over the pivot pin. Those Kadee #28 instructions show the correct position of the adaptor for this. You may have to rotate the adaptor just a bit to get it through the coupler shank hole.

5. Place the bottom of the coupler box against a firm surface, e.g., table or work bench top. Rotate the #212 Adaptor 90 degrees and press down firmly until the adaptor snaps in place. It should now fill the H-shaped opening in the top of the coupler box.

6. Verify the coupler recenters when pushed to either side, then do the other end.

7. Adjust the trip pin height so it doesn't snag on switches, etc.

8. On to the next car.

On paper it looks a lot more complicated than it really is to do. And once you've done a couple, if it takes more than 2 minutes per car your paying too much attention to the TV instead of your railroad.

1993  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Mr Bach-man: How about a seperate "DCC" Forum? on: March 28, 2007, 01:02:33 PM

I think you're on to something. I never looked in the Plasticville Forum, as I didn't think there'd by anything on DCC there. I also think there's a major disparity in interest between Plasticville and DCC.

So why does Plasticville have a Forum, and EZC/DCC doesn't? Huh?

It makes no sense at all.

1994  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Mr Bach-man: How about a seperate "DCC" Forum? on: March 28, 2007, 11:25:18 AM
This issue has been covered in a couple of topics.

Bach-man’s decision to date has been to leave DCC at the Topic level. So unless there is an epiphany; you will need to use the Bachmann Board Search feature to group (or find) the DCC posts.

I'm not that energetic! Wink

The way it's growing, it doesn't make sense to me that DCC doesn't have it's own Forum. Oh, well. Sad

1995  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Mr Bach-man: How about a seperate "DCC" Forum? on: March 26, 2007, 06:30:58 PM

In a word, both!

The majority of the DCC questions I found related to installing decoders in specific locomotives and programming them. And in many cases the answer will not be an EZC decoder. There were also questions specific to the EZC system, and a few related to other systems.

Since the questions are already being asked, just spread out all over the place, I don't see any reason they can't coexist in the same forum.

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