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4351  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Turtle Creek Decals on: March 03, 2009, 06:05:38 PM
would these be for the real turtle creek rr or the model railroader project layout?
4352  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: new haven red? orange? on: March 02, 2009, 09:01:02 AM
thanks dr emd. i yhought it was pretty close to cn red but wasn't sure.

btw, you might be interested in my web page: http://www.trainweb.org/emdloco
4353  Discussion Boards / HO / new haven red? orange? on: March 01, 2009, 10:22:42 PM
does anybody know who makes paint in the new haven reddish orange used on the "alpert" paint jobs of the 1960s? what is a match for the red/orange bachmann used on the new haven h16-44?
4354  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: body or truck mounted couplers on: March 01, 2009, 05:28:06 PM
i really don't see much of a difference in the cars out to-day. years ago, there were certain brands (tyco, AHM) that were pretty horrible out of the box. but even those could usually be reworked into something that tracked well. thankfully all the brands that were so bad years ago are either out of business or have upgraded their rolling stock to higher standards. if it comes out of the box with knuckle couplers, it is usually a good performer.
4355  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: body or truck mounted couplers on: March 01, 2009, 11:27:10 AM
after some thought on the subject of car length and curves it occurs to me that you should be able to use cars up to 1/2 the curve radius in length. for example, the average 4 axle diesel measures between 50 and 60 feet long, in HO scale that works out to about 8 or 9 inches. they work well. but most 6 axle diesels measure 67 feet or longer. 67 feet works out to about 10"  and those locomotives tend to pull cars off the track on 18" curves but work well on 22"........

does this hold true of larger radii as well?
4356  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: magentic uncouplers on: March 01, 2009, 11:20:56 AM
assuming that the coupler knuckle pivots freely and the knuckle spring is doing its job, you may have to adjust the metal trip pins beneath the coupler. to do this you will need a pair of needle nose pliers. to adjust the pin downward (which i assume is the adjustment you'd make as you haven't reported any problems with the trip pins derailing your cars at switches) place the curve of the trip pin between the jaws of the pliers and gently squeeze ubtil the pin starts to straighten. be careful not to use too much pressure or you'll damage the coupler. check to see if this solves the problem, and if not repeat the adjustment. the trip pins should be just a hair above the uncoupler surface.

to adjust the pin upward, CAREFULLY put one jaw on the head of the coupler, and the other on the end of the trip pin. gently squeeze until you see the pin start to bend. too much pressure here will snap the coupler head off so be VERY careful when you do this.

if you are unable to adjust the couplers to work right, or if they are damaged, replace them with kadees, which are much stronger than the other brands.
4357  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: body or truck mounted couplers on: February 28, 2009, 08:18:29 PM
some longer passenger cars, i believe bachman is one make, have a body mount coupler where the whole coupler box pivots instead of just the coupler itself. those would work better on sharp curves. but you'd want to avoid having short and long cars coupled together. the ends of longer cars can swing out and pull the car coupled to it off the track.

that said with 18: curves i would limit myself to small steamers, 4 axle diesels, and cars of 50 foot or less.
4358  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: body or truck mounted couplers on: February 28, 2009, 04:04:24 AM
body mounted couplers are definitely the way to go, especially if you want to back your trains. truck mounted couplers cause derailmanets when backing as they skew the trucks on your cars. with body mounted couplers, the trucks stay pretty much in alignment with the track.

as for uncouplers, kadee makes magnets that you install between the rails. you should be able to use these with any brand of track.
4359  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Returning to HO on: February 27, 2009, 12:00:27 PM
i find the comments on brass track to be interesting.......

i have found that on dcc the brass track actually ran cleaner than the nickel silver. perhaps dcc has an ultrasonic cleaning effect on brass but not nickel silver? at any rate, even if you decide to go with nickel silver, which i think is a good investment anyway, you can use your brass track for sidings and yard tracks where your locomotives most likely won't venture.

does your brass track have fiber ties? if so, you may run into problems with the rails staying in guage. definitely replace any fiber tie track.

there is a third option of steel track. this will rust on you, and is very hard to solder to, much worse than either brass or nickel silver.

depending on how old your brass locomotives are, they are probably marghinal runners at best, especially if they have the old open frame motors. those motors also have a high current draw. if you convert them to dcc you may have to use a higher current (O scalemaybe) decoder, in addition to whatever modifications you may have to do to the locomotives. you might want to consider replacing these motors with a can type with a low current draw, at the same time you are isolating the motor from the frame in your locomotive.

as for scale couplers, i don't like them. sure they look good, but they tend to come uncoupled easier on rough track. better to use a srandard size knuckle coupler such as a kadee #5 or #148. since most new rolling stock comes with knuckle couplers i usually retain these unless they fail. any replacements i do are kadee which are metal and alot stronger than the other plastic types.

as for dcc systems, after much research i am using the zephyr by digitrax. i was impressed by most of the entry level systems capabilities. nce in particular has customer support second to none in the model railroad industry. but the digitrax unit i am using has the unique ability to use your existing dc power packs as additional throttles. i wish other manufacturers woudl realize how much of a selling point that is. for under $200 you can convert your dc layout into a 3 cab dcc system. other systems need dcc throttles for additional cabs at about $100 a pop.


4360  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: DC controller runs full throttle on: February 26, 2009, 01:00:03 AM
the problem sounds like a short in the speed control. on the older rheostat type packs that usually meant replacing the rheostat, not something that i would recommend to a casual user. since the pack is under warranty i wouldn't even try to open it up to look. any check you do at home would probably void the warranty.
4361  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Extreme Fallen Flags Spotted while Railfanning on: February 24, 2009, 08:50:00 PM
not too long ago i saw a csx hopper with c&o reporting marks. while csx isn't a fallen flag, i mention this because of the rarity. csx used the component railroad's reporting marks for about a year or so in 1986-1987 until their csxt mark was approved. most cars were restenciled with the csxt mark and i was surprised that a fully painted csx car was still running around with the original mark.
4362  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: dcc layout on: February 24, 2009, 04:20:53 PM
does anybody know if there is track planning software for ez track layouts, similar to what atlas has on their website? if so i could redraw the plan to eliminate those s curves. i have noticed that many of the layouts on that site have the same flaw though with some minor rearrangement of track most could easily be cured.
4363  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: dcc layout on: February 24, 2009, 03:28:56 PM
i have 1 f40ph, 3 h16-44, 1 gp50. 2 gp40. 2 gp35. 1 gp30, 1 sd45 all bachmann. i love the dcc on board. in this day of $200 locomotives, it's nice to get one with dcc for $50 or so......the only problems i have ever had with them is getting my digitrax to program the bachmann/lenz decoders.

those who think these are toys do not remember the crap AHM and tyco were putting out in the 70s.
4364  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: dcc layout on: February 24, 2009, 11:33:46 AM
Marx made toys and for a while had a line of O27 trains, kind of a poor man's lionel.
4365  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: dcc layout on: February 24, 2009, 08:47:18 AM
i can see a couple of things on this layout that will give you grief. most of the layouts on this site also suffer from this problem. the man who posted these layouts must be into lionel or some other tinplate because the arrangement of the switches reflect this.....

what i am talking about specificly are the wicked s curves going through some of the switches. recommended practice in any scale which uses cars with body mounted (as opposed to truck mounted) couplers is to use a straight section of track at least as long as your longest car between curves of opposite directions. the layout shown has this in two locations, at the top centre where the spur lines come off the runaround track, and bottom right where the spur line comes off the inner loop.

fortunately, a couple of minor modifications to the plan will drasticly improve these situations. at the top centre, use a right hand switch in place of the curve at the right end of the runaround track, replace the left hand switch with a straight. run the two spurs off the new switch as shown in the plan...
for the spur at the bottom, use a right hand switch instead of the left hand one shown in the plan, and run the spur line off to the left instead of the right.

your trains will operate much better using these modifications as they won't be trying to derail when you back them into these spurs.....

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