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16  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: HO Frog Juicers on: May 20, 2018, 09:21:07 PM
The fix is easy. Simply solder a short jumper wire between the dead rail and the adjacent stock rail. or, as an alternative, you can solder a slide a short brass strip under both rails and solder it to each.
17  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Scarm on: May 20, 2018, 05:13:57 PM
ON anyrail, the tutorial is under the help button. There is also a tutorial on their web site.

18  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Scarm on: May 19, 2018, 07:55:53 PM
I have used scarm and found anyrail meets my needs much better. One of the flaws in scarm is the inability to place switches on a grade. which throws off the gradient calculations if you are planning a mountain railroad. anyrail doesn't have that flaw
19  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 100 Ton Hopper PRR Yellow Dot HO on: May 19, 2018, 09:15:47 AM
Those would be the PRR class H43 and sub classes. Sorry, I have no info on how many runs Bachmann made.

On the real ones, there was a variant of the yellow ball that I have never seen modelled. I called it "yellow donut" because the yellow ball had a black dot in the center. These were pretty common in the 1970s. I have no idea what the yellow donut signified if anything.
20  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: how can i convert a HO BNSF from DC to DCC? on: May 01, 2018, 09:32:57 PM
Adding to what Yardmaster said. I've used a Z scale decoder. It has enough current capacity for an HO locomotive, and it is small enough to fit in the cavity where the smoke unit was.
21  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Metal wheel swap? on: April 29, 2018, 08:03:40 PM
Not all of us have the room for larger radii, or even the inclination to use them. I'd much rather have a mountain railroad with 24r curves than straight track along the walls.
22  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Metal wheel swap? on: April 28, 2018, 07:29:53 AM
What Roger said generally holds true fro prototype freight cars. On models you may find most using 33" wheels, even those where the real ones used 36. On these cars, using the larger wheels will interfere with the underframe, possibly causing derailments. MDC ore gondolas and McKean 100 ton hoppers are notable examples. Where this is a problem, I generally use 33" wheels. Good operations to me are far more important than strict prototype accuracy.
23  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: DCC train set on: April 24, 2018, 09:46:48 PM
The switch motors will work on either AC or DC. Traditionally, they are wired to the AC terminals of a power pack, but if you have one with constant DC terminals you can use them as well. The important thing is to NOT use the variable DC terminals.
24  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Bachman HO DCC onboard locomotive on: April 16, 2018, 08:39:48 PM
most likely whoever owned it before turned off analog conversion. If you have a dcc system you can turn off the ability to run on straight dc. I often do this with mine because sometimes a momentary short on DCC will trick the decoder into thinking it is running on DC track. Since DCC has full power on the rails at all times, this results in the locomotive taking off at full speed with no ability to control it. Disabling analog conversion will prevent this from happening.

If this is the case, you have two options.

1. find somebody who has a DCC system and ask them to enable the analog feature. You will be able to run on DC, but it will take about half throttle before the locomotive begins to move.

2. remove the decoder altogether. If the decoder is a plug in type, there should be a dummy plug in the box that you can plug into the receptacle in place of the decoder. If the decoder is hard wired, you'll have to rewire the locomotive.
25  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Movie train production on: April 15, 2018, 06:16:06 PM
What about this one, Unstoppable.....


Locomotives were borrowed from several sources. The runaway used two AC4400CWs from Canadian Pacific. There were two sets of these, painted identically down to the road numbers. The blue SD40-2 Denzell Washington ran was one of three borrowed from Wheeling and Lake Erie. The two grey locomotives that rolled over and caught fire are the last SD40-2s built, in 1986, for Mexico. At the time of the filming, they were owned by W&LE but not yet repainted from the grey paint they wore in Mexico. Last, the locomotive that pulled the excursion train full of school children was a GP11 borrowed from Allegheny Valley that they bought from Illinois Central. Most of the scenes in the movie are locations within 150 miles of Pittsburgh, including the bridge at Stanton (Bellaire, OH) the site of the rollover accident (Emporium, PA) the main yard at Brewster (Rook, PA though W&LE has a yard in Brewster, OH) and the location where they finally stopped the runaway (Martins Ferry, OH)
26  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: My Engine can only pull 2 car up hill? on: March 31, 2018, 01:19:32 PM
The Bachmann FT hasn't used traction tires in many years. As a matter of fact, traction tires on one of these is a good sign there is a cheap pancake motor drive inside that only powers one truck. I stay away from those. What you have is a much, much better engine.

I agree with the others, your grade is way too steep. The Bachmann trestle set has been calculated to give a grade of between 5 and 6 percent. I don't have figures for those grades, but I do know that on a 4 percent grade your locomotive will pull about 1/6 what it will on level track. Your grade is steeper, so your pulling power is even less.
27  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Buchmann EMD GP 7 on: March 21, 2018, 09:04:04 PM
Don't know much about the n scale gp7s, but when I got my HO gp7 a few years back, it would pull 12 cars up a 4% grade through 18r curves. The only problems I had with it were derailments due to the bolster screws being too tight. After I loosened them, it ran fine.
28  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: 2 EZ Commands? on: March 17, 2018, 09:38:33 PM
Maletrain is mostly right about EZ app. But the description of EZ App vs other "Bluetooth" control is a little confusing.

On DCC the command signals to the locomotives pass through the rails and are thus susceptable to dirty track. The "bluetooth" control  these systems use merely passes a control signal from your cell phone to a command station which then puts that signal on the rails for your locomotive to read. Thus, it is not REALLY bluetooth control at all.

EZ App sends those control signals directly to the locomotive via bluetooth. The control signals do not pass through the rails and are thus less susceptable to corruption and degradation due to dirty track or loss of contact. An EZ APp locomotive will still draw its power from the rails, but since  the control signal is not passed through the track it should be more tolerant of dirty track.

EZ App was developed in a partnership with Blue Rail Trains, who offer bluetooth boards that can be added to any locomotive that is DCC ready. They also sell conversion kits to run locomotives off battery power, which could have some really interesting applications.
29  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Insulated joint and gaps on: March 17, 2018, 09:25:46 PM
Most switches come with the frogs already insulated. On some, the frogs are plastic which itself acts as an insulator. Others use a metal frog which is insulated from the surrounding rails. There is often a provision for metal frogs to be powered in some way if you desire. This is accomplished by a set of contacts that throw at the same time as the switch itself. the contacts may be built into the switch itself, or use an external relay that is wired in parallel with the switch motor.

The advantage of a powered frog is that the locomotives  with short wheelbases that tend to stall on plastic frogs will run smoothly through a powered frog.

I know some of the HO EZ track switches have frogs that are powered internally, but don't know which ones off hand. Likewise all HO Atlas custom line switches have a metal frog that can be powered by an external relay.

30  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: recommended 8 pin decoder for s2/s4 dcc ready locomotives on: March 17, 2018, 06:02:15 PM
Almost any decoder manufacturer offers them with 8 pin plugs. I've had good luck with Digitrax DH153/165 series decoders. They are reasonable priced, and have back EMF which acts as a sort of cruise control and enhances low speed operation. The real S2/S4 locomotives were speed restricted to about 40 mph due to their trucks, so good low speed operation is what you want.
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