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4291  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: sound for diesels on: April 12, 2009, 11:30:51 PM
one of the sound decoder manufacturers, i think it is QSI, offers downloadable sound files for their decoders. from the samples i heard, they are quite accurate.

soundtraxx offers an EMD 567 decoder that is dead on for any of the f series units, and gp7s and gp9s as well. they also have an EMD 645 decoder which is close but sounds a little off to me. it would be appropriate for gp40 and sd40-2.
4292  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: sound for diesels on: April 12, 2009, 12:09:23 PM
for reference, here are the sounds you are looking for:
gp40 & sd40-2 use the same engine block and thus sound the same. they both use an EMD 645, 16 cylinders, turbocharged.
the ft uses an EMD 567, 16 cylinder, non turbocharged, also sometimes called normally aspirated or roots blower.
4293  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Can this be done? on: April 12, 2009, 12:05:18 PM
rectifiers will only change ac to dc, not dc to ac. an inverter is needed to change dc to ac.
4294  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Locomotive problems on: April 12, 2009, 10:07:52 AM
it sounds like you may have a bind in the drive somewhere, to find it you must take the locomotive apart.
start by removing the body shell and turning the motor by hand. if it hangs up anywhere you have a bind. often this will be caused by something getting into the gears. remove the trucks from the frame, and remove the worm gear from the top of the truck. the truck should roll freely at this point, if it doesn't you've isolated the problem. completely disassemble the truck and check each gear for foreign material in the teeth. remove any you find, put it all back together and lightly lube the worm gears. running the locomotive will ensure that the lube is psread through all the gears.
4295  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Can this be done? on: April 12, 2009, 09:58:57 AM
your lighting should work on dc as well as ac. and you'd have the added advantage of being able to dim your lights.
4296  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Crossover Track for DCC and DC Runs Together on: April 12, 2009, 12:31:05 AM
the big problem here is not that the rails on the two routes through the crossing are not electrically seperate. they are i am 99% sure, as not having them seperate greatly complicates wiring the crossing. it wouldn't be EZ then would it?

the problem, which was common on earlier makes of switches, is that there may not be enough insulation where the rails cross to keep the wheels from bridging the gap. like i said, this causes a momentary short which is not noticable on dc but wreaks havoc on dcc. and dc and dcc do not play well together.

this problem is not one that an ohmmeter will detect. the only sure way to detect it is to carefully watch the wheels of your trains as they slowly run through the crossing. if the wheels even LOOK like they are touching the metal rails on the opposing route, do NOT use the crossing unless you are running either all dc or all dcc.
4297  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Crossover Track for DCC and DC Runs Together on: April 11, 2009, 09:18:12 AM
i think a much better solution would be to convert the entire layout to run either dc or dcc with the flip of a switch. remember, if the two systems accidentally are shorted together their power outputs add. if your dc pack puts out 3 amps and your dcc 5 amps, there is enough power to weld wheels to the track, not to mention the damage to both of your control systems. Play it safe, it is not that hard to wire a dpdt switch to flip back and forth between the two.

remember, tiny shorts you don't notice when running on dc will trip circuit breakers on dcc.....
4298  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Good Idea or No? on: April 11, 2009, 09:12:18 AM
yes the z scale decoders will work for HO locomotives.
notice, that the digitrax recommends a Z scale decoder for use in an Atlas HO AEM7......I don't know about other manufacturers, but the digitrax decoders have a high enough power rating to handle most HO locomotives.
So in theory, ANY HO locomotive regardless of size, could be equipped with DCC. That said, some of the older brass locos might draw too much current. Some of the motors used in the 1960s and 1970s were power hogs.

The best sound i have heard in MSTS is the GP38-2. I got to run a real one once. On MSTS, put the GP38-2 in full throttle and it is a truly realistic experience.

I do know some of the sound decoders are off quite a bit for the locomotives they are marketed for. Take the MRC decoder for an Alco S2/S4 for example. The manufacturer admits it is a @$$ engine block, and i have to admit it sounds pretty good FOR AN RS3.....The S2/4 however used an entirely different engine with an odd whistling chug to it. If somebody would release the proper sound decoder for one, i might bite.....
4299  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Securing track on: April 11, 2009, 08:53:16 AM
rusty, thanks for the compliment. i learned how to lay my own from my dad.
i have always been a bit short on money, and find that i can only lay about 3 feet a night. laying my own, in addition to looking more natural, allows me to lay track according to my budget. it is tedious and time consuming to do, but relaxing as well. kind of like building a kit without instructions.....
4300  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Good Idea or No? on: April 10, 2009, 08:38:39 AM
A couple of comments on the above posts:

To keep things in perspective, both the Plymouth and the 44ton are industrial locomotives. The real ones weren't designed for moving more than a couple of cars at a time. Locomotives like these are what Trackmobiles are designed to replace. By all accounts, the models outpull the real ones.....

As for sound decoders, does anybody even know what a Plymouth sounds like? I have been railfanning for 40 years and i don't recall ever seeing one in action. The only Plymouths I've seen are stuffed and mounted as displays......

You should be able to install a regular decoder in it. After all they DO make Z scale decoders which are VERY tiny.....
4301  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Securing track on: April 10, 2009, 08:24:27 AM
i am currenttly handlaying my track on pine subroadbed. that's a whole nuther ballgame. cork doesn't work that well with handlaid track. the methods i described before are how i laid track before.

i agree 100% with soldered joints. the trick iss to get everything perfect before it is permantently fastened down.
4302  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Amtrak - To strobe or not to strobe? on: April 08, 2009, 08:44:21 PM
i think part of the answer about the strobes also has to do with the fact that since the early 1990s all mainline locomotives are required to have ditch lights, which also flash but are much brighter than strobes. locomotives such as the hhp8 or acela were built after this requirement went into effect and thus do not need strobes. i believe that some of the amd103 genesis units also have strobes but i don't believe all of them do, they first hit the rails about 1993.
4303  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Securing track on: April 08, 2009, 08:38:52 PM
i am of the opinion that, regardless of what any magazine recommends, glueing your track is not a good idea. why? well, unless you are using a product like ez track where the sections lock together, you probably aren't going to lay good track the first time. track usually needs to have the bugs worked out, adjustments made. this is hard to do if it is already permanantly fastened down with glue....

if you nail the track down, you can pull the nails and make any adjustments before fastening the track down again....

that said, there are tricks to nailing track.
1. don't hammer the nail in. you could miss the nail and damage the rails, a sure way to get derailments.
2. if you must hammer, PLEASE use a nail set to avoid #1
3. be careful not to put the nail all the way in. leave the nail heads slightly above the tops of the ties. put them in too far and they bend the ties and cause the rails to go out of guage, causing derailments.
4. if you are laying your track on plywood, you can predrill the nail holes with a pin vise and a very small drill bit. i use a #62 bit, just slightly smaller than the nail shaft. this prevents bent nails, and also makes driving the nails with a pair of pliers easy.
5. if, after the track has been adjusted, you wish to remove the nails you can, after you ballast the track. glued ballast will hold the track in place. but make sure you have the bugs worked out before you do this.....

4304  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Mixing raidiai on: April 08, 2009, 07:47:19 PM
easements ease the transition of the cars into the curve. it is especially helpful if you are running longer cars with body mounted couplers. or mixing short and long cars with body mounts. without easements, the longer cars couplers tend to swing out abruptly as they enter the curve an can pull shorter cars off the track.
4305  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Couplers 101 on: April 08, 2009, 07:42:00 PM
no matter what style of kadee you use, it is a good idea to burnish the shank to knock down any mold parting lines or burrs that may be there.
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