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1  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Signal controller on: November 18, 2017, 03:35:07 PM
you only have 1 amp's worth of power output. I'd use a different power supply for any accessories.
2  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Weights for tank cars on: November 18, 2017, 03:33:19 PM
Or, you could carefully disassemble the car itself. The tank fits over a bottom part that looks like a saddle. You could pour the glue and bb mixture into the saddle and let it dry. Or you could do like I did and glue about 5 pennies vertically at each end of the saddle. I had posted photos of how I did this several years back, but I can't seem to find the post.
3  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: HELP! DCC loco gone crazy! on: November 18, 2017, 02:37:40 PM
When a DCC locomotive does this, it is often caused by a dual mode decoder going into DC mode. The decoder thinks it is running on track controlled by an analog power supply, and thus will respond to changes in track voltage. DCC, however, uses a constant voltage on the tracks, at the upper end of what an analog power pack can deliver. Thus the locomotive takes off at full speed.

The good news is that this feature, called analog conversion, can be disabled by reprogramming cv29. The bad news is that cv29 also controls a lot of other things as well, such as normal direction of travel. Figuring out what value to program can be complicated.

There is a conversion table on the digitrax website that lets you enter the features you want, then calculates the value to program into cv29. Hope this helps.....

4  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: E-Z Track Over-Under Figure 8 Track Pack - HO Scale on: November 12, 2017, 03:54:25 PM
it's a mystery to me as well. According to anyrail it shouldn't work, even accounting for the wiggle room. That is a huge discrepancy.
5  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: E-Z Track Over-Under Figure 8 Track Pack - HO Scale on: November 12, 2017, 01:59:52 PM
ANyrail is a cad program. It is unfailingly exact, and does not account for the wiggle room between track sections we encounter in the real world. The problem you've encountered is something I've often seen when trying to duplicate published plans with anyrail.

I have no doubt that if you used the ten curves and 4 straights you'd be able to get them to connect.

It is worth noting that the 30degree 18r curves and the 9" straights are standard pieces among several manufacturers. So you can build the same plan in several different cad programs (scarm, anyrail, etc) using several different libraries (EZ track, atlas, power lock) with similar results.
6  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: E-Z Track Over-Under Figure 8 Track Pack - HO Scale on: November 12, 2017, 04:56:48 AM
No, I don't think there are six straights in the photo. The piers are not under the track joints, just like the OP had stated. If you notice, the seven piers on each side of the figure 8 are spread out over just five track sections, four curves and one straight. Therefore they cannot be under the joints.

What concerns me about the photo, though, is the steepness of the grade. 3.125" rise over 45" run (5 track sections of 9" apiece) is about a 6.8% grade, almost twice the recommended maximum. Spreading the piers to one per section will lower the grade to 4.9%, much better, but still steeper than the 4% recommended maximum. But at least 4.9% is workable, though it would cut your locomotive's pulling power down to about 10% of what it will pull on level track.
7  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: E-Z Track Over-Under Figure 8 Track Pack - HO Scale on: November 11, 2017, 08:23:18 PM
either that or you could place a 4 1/2 straight on either side of the bridge, which would move the bridge piers to where they can be of most use.
8  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: E-Z Track Over-Under Figure 8 Track Pack - HO Scale on: November 11, 2017, 07:05:40 PM
believe it or not, replacing the 2 straights with curves does not change the figure 8 pattern much. The only difference is that the upper track crosses the lower at a different angle.
9  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Help Needed in Wiring Simple HO Train Crossing !! on: November 11, 2017, 04:51:03 PM
Have you tried reversing the direction? LEDs are diodes and will only conduct electricity one way.

BTW, contrary to what guy is telling you, LEDs will work on AC. They are diodes, and will themselves rectify AC to DC. Just don't exceed their capabilities. All diodes have a peak inverse voltage rating (PIV) that must not be exceeded.
10  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: E-Z Track Over-Under Figure 8 Track Pack - HO Scale on: November 11, 2017, 04:34:45 PM
you have a couple of options here. The setup you describe is going to have the track joint right over top of the other track. You are doing nothing wrong.

Your first option is to find some way to support that track joint. You can try using a thin piece of wood or metal under the track for support. I'd try 1/8 inch plain moulding strips, available at lowes or home depot. You should be able to glue or otherwise fasten these to the bottom of your track if they're wide enough. But if the support structure is too thick it will interfere with the clearance over the track below, and some of your cars might not fit.

Another option would be to buy a bridge to slip under the upper track between the bridge piers.

The third and fourth options involve tweaking your track plan.

option three is to replace one of the 9" straights with two 4 1/2" ones, placed either side of the remaining 9" straight on the upper track. By splitting the difference, you can ensure that your track joints will be well away from the lower track.

Option 4 is to replace two straights with two 18" curves. Instead of having 1en curves on each side, with paired straights in the middle, you'll have eleven 18" curves on each side, with a single straight on each level connecting the curves.
11  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: signal control on: November 11, 2017, 04:09:46 PM
look into the Altas Snap Relay. It gets wired in parallel with your switch motor, and will work with the EZ track. You'll have to do some modifications to your wiring, the leads to the relay need to be spliced into your control circuit. But that's a simple modification any model railroader of reasonable skill should be able to tackle.

Intstructions on how to wire the snap relay to control signal lights are included with the relay.
12  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: why would you need dcc on a small railroad? on: November 05, 2017, 01:35:05 PM
My tower experiences were mostly on the B&O, which was a very friendly railroad. One of my friends worked second trick at Viaduct Jc in Cumberland, MD. This tower controlled the junction of two mainlines, and the entrance to the huge Cumberland yard. It probably handled at least 40 trains a day. It was a classic Armstrong plant, where the switches and signals were all controlled by massive levers set in the floor. There were no switch motors, every switch and derail was connected by pipes and cranks to the levers. My friend would let us line the switches and set the signals for the trains when we visited.

Another anachronism in the b&o towers was a working telegraph. By this time, it had been replaced by a party line telephone system, where everybody could listen in if they wanted. Each tower had a set number of rings. If you wanted to talk to a particular tower down the line you rang their code, say 5 rings for Sand Patch. The operator there would recognize his code and pick up the phone. Like I said, they still had working telegraphs, though by the late 70s not many knew morse code. As I recall, my friend and the operator at Sand Patch both knew morse, and sometimes used the telegraph to communicate things they didn't want the whole railroad to hear.

On my grandfather's railroad, he'd wired a signal system to the tracks, and had a model board suspended from the basement ceiling. ANybody running the railroad could tell at a glance how all switches were thrown, and where on the layout the trains actually were. You could watch the track occupancy lights  as the trains moved around the layout, just like on the real railroad.
13  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: why would you need dcc on a small railroad? on: November 04, 2017, 05:24:28 PM
The biggest advantage of dcc for me is the ability to tweak the running characteristics of my locomotives. But to do that, you need a dcc system capable of programming your decoders. Not all systems can do this, and not all decoders can be fully programmed. Do your research before you buy.

There is nothing like watching a properly programmed locomotive creeping its way through the sharp curves of a small layout.

As for the old dc control panels, you can make them resemble the real thing. I am old enough to have spent a lot of time in signal towers as a kid. So when I designed my control panels, they would have a track diagram that resembled the ones on the model boards in the towers I was familiar with.
14  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Fun topic - model railroading while on vacation on: November 04, 2017, 05:17:12 PM
I used to have a timesaver layout I built to take with me. It was on a 1x6 plank 6 feet lone, and I packed it, a half dozen cars and a locomotive. I could set it up on a table anywhere in a matter of minutes.

Mostly, though, my road trips involve the real thing. We often used to camp out along the tracks.

This past summer, I got married, and one of the things we did on the honeymoon is ride the northeast corridor to Baltimore, then the light rail to the inner harbor. It helps when your wife likes trains too.
15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Where to start with HO (premade sets, E-Z lock, compatibility) on: December 31, 2016, 11:09:17 AM
one thing to be aware of.

since your child has expressed an interest in Thomas, there are Thomas sets out there in ho scale, but their couplers are much different and incompatible with the standard ho train cars. In other words, Thomas series locomotives and cars will all work with each other, but will not couple to regular cars and locomotives, and vice versa. they all run on the same tracks with the same controllers, however.
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