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61  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: maintenance of way (MOW) models on: December 30, 2017, 07:33:57 AM

The current Mof W trains often use hand me down equipment, Many of the former Conrail rail trains used 40 or 50 foot flatcars from the steam era. A lot of them used the old Pennsylvania Railroad cars which were cast steel instead of fabricated like most other line's cars. Storage boxcars or tool cars are often 40 foot boxcars from the 1950s or earlier. In yards you can still find X29 boxcars from the 1920s used as storage sheds, and in Conway there is even an old NYC/MDT ice reefer used for this.

I've seen old SOuthern gongolas with build dates as early as 1031. And last summer, I saw a CSX ballast train composed almost entirely of 55 ton two bay hoppers that had disappeared from revenue service in the 1980s. Next time you see an Mof W train, pay close attention to the cars. They're a lot older than you think.
62  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: maintenance of way (MOW) models on: December 27, 2017, 08:04:27 PM
M of W trains haven't disappeared. They've become more specialized. Each train serves one particular function. For example, Norfolk Southern runs solid ballast trains, there are also trains dedicated to welded rail, with old flatcars equipped with racks to hold the rail sections, and a threader car on the end that pulls the rail strands off the racks and lays them on the ground beside the tracks. This same car can also be used to pick up used rail and load the racks. There is also the "jimbo" train, which consists of gondolas loaded with ties. The jimbo is a straddle crabe that walks over the tops of the gondolas, picking up or dropping off ties. The former conrail lines also have "CAMP" cars, which are an old flatcar equipped with a modular bunkhouse similar to an office trailer at a construction site.

privately owned rail grinder trains are also around. These are quipped with numerous stone grinders that are used to restore worn rail ro the proper contours. They are spectacular to see at night, with sparks flying off the grinders. This train usually has at least one tank car filled with water that is sprayed on the track to prevent fires.
63  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Re: Dimensions (space) available above EZ App board (in shell) on: December 24, 2017, 07:45:41 AM
I don't think you'll have a problem fitting in a Bluetooth decoder, dimensionally, they are similar in size to a dcc decoder. There should be enough room inside the shells of most diesels.
64  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: how to wire the lights on my old BM U36B spirt of 76 older diagram than PN?6405 on: December 24, 2017, 04:55:03 AM
I do not have a diagram but on most older locomotives, the lights were wired in parallel with the motor leads.
65  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Getting started and need some help on: December 24, 2017, 04:51:20 AM
If you already have dc sets, why not just build a dc layout to start? The wiring isn't that hard to do, and there are numerous plan books out there that show how to wire the plans within. There are also web pages that contain similar info. There isn't the steep learning curve you have with DCC, and dc trains are much less susceptible to dirty track.

Once you have things up and running, you can decide if dcc is worth the added expense.

66  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Unplug Controller? on: December 17, 2017, 04:34:11 PM
Loss of data hasn't been a problem with usb drives, and if it were a major problem with decoders, don't you think people would give up on DCC? Nobody wants to reprogram decoders every time they want to run trains.

67  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Unplug Controller? on: December 17, 2017, 07:25:51 AM
FLare, don't give inaccurate info. Addresses, CVs and the like are stored in the decoder, not the controller. There is no danger of losing them if the controller is unplugged. If this info was stored in the controller, you'd have to reprogram the decoder every time you took your locomotives to a train club, a friend's layout, etc. The fact that you don't is proof this info is in the decoder.
68  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Steel on DCC on: December 16, 2017, 11:54:59 AM
if you only have a few pieces of steel, you can use them on spur and yard tracks where your locomotives won't be running.

The "keep alive" technology railaplitter refers to uses capacitors to get your locomotive over the occasional dead or dirty spot. It is not meant as a substitute for cleaning your track. Once the capacitors fully discharge, usually several seconds, the train stops. You need clean track with good connectivity to recharge them. So they are NOT a way around the major conductivity issues you would incur with DCC and steel track.

EZ App/ Bluetooth control may solve a lot of the conductivity issues that are present with DCC, as the Bluetooth control signal is transmitted through the air rather than through the rails. I haven't had the opportunity to experiment with it yet. Perhaps somebody else could tell us about their experience with EZ App and steel rail?
69  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Unplug Controller? on: December 16, 2017, 11:43:12 AM
you could, and should, plug it into a surge protector. That way, you can flip the on off switch on the surge protector to kill power to the layout. I've done this for years with no problems.
70  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Your childhood Christmas electric train on: December 16, 2017, 11:38:45 AM
In the late 1960s, my dad built a 4x6 n scale layout that we put up every Christmas in the living room. He got me my own locomotive to run on this layout, an Erie FA2 made by Rapido. It had a cast metal body. ran at warp speed, and would pull whatever you put behind it even on the mountain grades of this layout. It was indestrucatable, perfect for a 6 year old's first locomotive. To this day, I am partial to Erie's black and yellow paint.
71  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: More power? on: November 23, 2017, 09:41:26 AM
I will second what JOnathan says. I have several of the 0-6-0 locomotives. They pull well enough, but won't pull much on the upgrade portion  of my layout. My steepest incline is 4%, which limits pulling power to about 1/6 of what it will pull on the level. If you are using the ez track pier set for your incline, the grade is even steeper than 4%. If you want to pull your whole train around the track, you'll have tio make the hills less steep.
72  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: degree of incline on: November 23, 2017, 09:24:12 AM
There is a simple way to set up an incline in real life. Since grade percent is usually calculated on a model railroad as inches of rise over a 100" section, you can reduce the amount of those dimensions.

Thus, each percent of grade would equal 1/4" of rise over a 25" run, a much more manageable distance. If you are building a layout from the ground up, you probably have a 24" carpenter's level. When building your incline, you can measure its steepness by slipping 1/4" pieces of moulding strip under the downhill end until the bead sits level.
73  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: How to wire a layout on: November 23, 2017, 09:10:12 AM
The answer to your question will depend on how you want to control it. Will you be wanting to run more than one train at the same time? What form of control will you use, DC or DCC?

74  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.
75  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.
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