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16  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: New to HO. It's been 30 years on: December 18, 2016, 07:40:29 PM
I would highly recommend looking at some track plan books. There is one devoted to EZ track, and Atlas has a series of books. By following a published plan for sectional track, you can be sure the layout you are building will actually work. A common mistake most beginners make when designing a railroad is not allowing enough room for the track switches. Even the smallest ones take up about 9 inches each, the larger ones significantly more.
17  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: BACHMANN E-Z COMMAND CONTROL CENTER DCC ITEM 44902 on: December 07, 2016, 06:15:41 PM
Many thanks for the information.  It is a lot of trouble for a "plug and play" train set.
Where do you buy the extra spade connectors. The ones Bachmann sells are $ 10.00 and I have to destroy quite a few to achieve what I need.
why do you think Bachmann is not supporting the DCC program. It looks like a winner.

most serious model railroaders take the time to learn how to solder, and make their own connections to the track. It is cheaper in the long run to do this, and the tools needed for the initial setup are inexpensive as well.

Model railroading is not a plug n play hobby.
18  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: DCC power on: December 04, 2016, 04:34:55 PM
soldering feeder wires should be a more reliable way to get power to the rails. But to use this method you need to have nickel silver track. The steel rail used in some ez track (black roadbed) is very difficult to solder to, and in all honestly shouldn't be used with dcc anyway.

The problem with using plug in connectors such as used with ez track is that they can work their way loose over time. the connections can oxidize or corrode, resulting in erratic operation. Remember, dcc trains are much more sensitive to contact issues than a regular dc train would be.
19  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Diamond crossing and dcc on: November 26, 2016, 09:09:00 PM
no. both routes are insulated from each other. Electrically, they are two separate sections of track.
20  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: All-steam model railroads on: November 20, 2016, 07:06:13 PM
For me steam has always been a curiosity. The diesels have always done the heavy lifting. There is a reason they replaced steam. I think most of us want to model the things we remember. for me, steam was long gone but alcos were common. so, that is what I prefer. does this make modelling steam railroading wrong in my eyes? definitely not, if that's your thing go with it. But I personally want something I have experienced. I can't put things in proper perspective if I've never witnessed it.
21  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Lower cost alternative to the DCC booster? on: November 18, 2016, 10:09:16 PM
honestly, it sounds like you have outgrown your ez command. Why not take the money you would have spent on a booster and buy another, upgradeable dcc system. most manufacturers entry level systems feature 2.5-3 amps capacity plus full programming capability. plus, they can be used as part of an upgraded system later on.
22  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Custom crossing on: November 16, 2016, 10:04:47 PM
if you are going to handlay a crossing, you'd want to make it out of rail, and cut insulating gaps into it after it has already been put in place. you won't be able to run trains over it until it is insulated. if you are running dcc, you can use an autoreverser to control the polarity of the legs.

23  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EMD GP10...Possible Market Idea?? on: November 02, 2016, 04:41:10 PM
the gp7s were mostly built in small batches. during this time period, the railroads considered them to be local power, and bought them outfitted for specific services. by the time the gp9 supplanted the gp7, their superior reliability over other builders products, and their ease of maintainence compared to cab units like the f7 had endeared them to railroad management, and the gp9s were far more standardized than the gp7s were. on many railroads, it was the gp9. arriving in mass quantities, that finally killed the steam locomotive.

thus, the gp8 and gp10 rebuilds were varied because the core locomotives from which they were rebuilt were varied.
24  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EMD GP10...Possible Market Idea?? on: November 01, 2016, 07:38:12 PM
I personally would be interested in a low hood gp18 with dynamic brakes. I love those slope nosed EMDs like the gp18 and gp20.
25  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Model railroad season up north on: October 29, 2016, 10:08:07 AM
for me, winter is more model railroading season. summer is railfanning reason. I would much rather be trackside than cooped up indoors, but winter in the mountains, or along the rivers, can be quite brutal with the constant wind. it must be nice to live in a place where temps stay above freezing all year long.
26  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 2-6-2 model 80102 on: October 23, 2016, 12:10:19 PM
one thing I have often found to be a cause of binding is a piece of grit getting in the gearbox. if this is the case, the locomotive will bind in both directions. once you find it, the grit can usually be picked out of the gear teeth with a hobby knife or small screwdriver. but to find it you will probably have to disconnect the worm gear from the other gears, and turn the wheels by hand while observing the gears very carefully.
27  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 2-6-2 model 80102 on: October 23, 2016, 07:35:54 AM
I think what the others were asking was, does the locomotive stop in the same place every time? if you place it on the tracks at another location does it go to the same spot then stop? or does it still stop after a foot? does it run well in reverse?
28  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EMD GP10...Possible Market Idea?? on: October 23, 2016, 07:31:29 AM
the army unit is yet another version. nose headlight, oxyoke air filter, original cab. this one appears to be a Paducah rebuild as well.

29  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EMD GP10...Possible Market Idea?? on: October 22, 2016, 11:52:43 AM
another modification often made when rebuilding was the removal of dynamic brakes on units that originally had them. db was unnecessary as most gp10 rebuilds went into yard and local service where speed were low and dynamic brakes less effective. often the fan and air intakes were removed from the dynamic brake housing and the openings plated over.

as an example of how varied these rebuilds were, consider the 3 units on the Pittsburgh & ohio central. all were bought second hand. 706 has an ox yoke type air filter and a bug eye headlight that protrudes above the short hood. 1711 has undergone its second rebuild. in the first one it got a lowered short hood, an ox yoke air filter, but retained its dynamic brakes. the headlight was moved to the cab roof between the number boards, similar to the walthers gp9m. in its second rebuild, the entire db housing was removed, and the radiator fans were changed from the single large button top fans common to late production gp9s, and replaced with the fans from a gp40. the third gp10 was rebuilt as a "gp11" with a cab similar to a gp40, ox yoke filter and no dynamic brakes. the headlight was moved to the nose of the unit.  all 3 of these were done by Illinois central at their Paducah shops, though they were done for different onwers.
30  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Dcc Engines Shorting Out on: October 22, 2016, 11:34:53 AM
In the past, I have come across an excellent YouTube video of how to do just what Mr. Ward suggests with the turnout, on a traditional turnout/switch, but can imagine it would be a little more difficult to do with EZ track since the roadbed is already attached.

it wouldn't really be any harder than with any other switch. you'd simply drill down through the roadbed and loop your wires up to the rails from under the layout. just the same as you would with a soldered feeder wire.

or, as a precautionary measure, you could solder those jumpers in place before you lay the track, and only route them under the plastic roadbed. an ounce of prevention......
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