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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Layout Progress on: April 19, 2018, 05:44:17 AM
Thanks, Woody!

Here's a boxcar interior project, I just completed.  Got the junk from a very old life-like blister pack:



DSC_1260 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_1262 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_1265 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_1266 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_1268 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_1270 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

2  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Power Packs on: April 18, 2018, 11:17:19 AM
I have an older version of this, Tech 480.  I use it to control an inner loop and outer loop.

The max output on mine is 14 volts.  I see your version has a max of 20 volts.

If you are careful (not cranking it up all the way, all the time), you should be ok.  I don't run my sound locos on my home layout on a regular basis, but when I do, I have no problems.

Usually, decoders have a built-in overload system. The loco will temporarily shut down to protect itself, if you feed it too many volts or amps.

When you run the sound-value Berk, check the tender every now and then.  If the tender starts to feel a bit warm, or hot, give it a rest for a while.

These are dual mode (DC or DCC), but they run much better on a DCC system.  Just sayin'


3  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: How to install decoder into Decapod? on: April 10, 2018, 01:26:46 PM
I am curious as to what kind of "Bachmann" decoder you have.

There are decoders embedded in PCBs (an electronics board) that are used for some diesel installs.

Typically, the standard Bachmann EZ decoder comes with connector wires at a minimum.  I purchase the decoders that come with the 8-pin plug already attached to the wires.

Can you describe the decoder you have?


4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Layout Progress on: March 30, 2018, 08:23:01 PM
Thanks for asking!

99%of the trees are Woodland Scenics armatures.  I use tall ones in front and small armatures high up in the back... for a little forced perspective I hope.

Trying to mix up the colors of the ground foam clusters. Hoping this gives the illusion of tree variety.  Also, can't tell from a distance but I use various colors of black, brown, and gray on the trunks. 

Once the trees are done, I plan to detail the front edges of the "forest" with ground clutter.


5  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Layout Progress on: March 30, 2018, 07:41:54 AM
Thank you!


6  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: knuckle couplers on: March 29, 2018, 11:44:50 AM
I do lubricate. 

I use a powdered graphite lubricant. It comes in a small bottle with a thin metal tube attached.

I quickly and gently "puff" a bit of the powder into the coupler box (draft gear box).  One or two puffs is plenty.  One bottle should last a lifetime... I think.

You don't want to use liquid-type lubricants like oil or grease.  That will become a dirt collection point, which is the last thing you want in the couplers.  Better to do nothing than add any kind of liquid.


7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New Railroad, sorta on: March 29, 2018, 04:40:40 AM

I hope you continue to share your progress.  Thanks for letting us look.


8  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Compatibility 2 truck climax and mrc tech 6 2.0 controller on: March 27, 2018, 11:30:14 AM

It is very easy to install these sound modules upside-down.  Make sure you have installed the module with all the electronics pointing up.


It is very important that the locomotive has its original factory settings, especially DCC address set at 03, before installing the sound module.

If you locomotive was responding to your brand of controller, before the module, then it should respond with the module installed.


9  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Layout Progress on: March 26, 2018, 11:47:27 AM

Not as user-friendly as photobucket, but still free... for now.


10  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Layout Progress on: March 26, 2018, 07:03:48 AM

Yep.  That structure is a different brand than I'm used to. I did paint the inside walls... just one coat, and I didn't use black.  The plastic walls must be thinner than the other structures.  Now that it's planted, it would be a messy project to lift it out and add more inner paint.  Smiley


11  Discussion Boards / HO / Layout Progress on: March 24, 2018, 06:59:27 AM
Over the last two months, I have planted well over 100 trees.  Trying to build a forest on the hill behind the trackage:

DSC_1186 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

I like the results, but it's taking forever to finish.  I had the same issue with my last layout... never enough trees.  I got issues:

DSC_1187 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

These are the mainline locos I am running at present:

My Bachmann USRA 2-6-6-2 (KK-4b) runs at exactly the same speed as this brass Mikado Q-4b:

DSC_1189 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

They can pull a pretty good sized coal drag.  Took a while to find a loco that would double-head with the mallet.

I'm considering adding sound (econami 200) to the 2-6-6-2.  Just pondering at this point...

Next are the two Bachmann 4-8-2 Heavy Mountains.  The second one in the photo has given me all kinds of grief over the years.  It was always stalling on me.  I changed the motor and PCB.  Cleaned the thing inside and out.  I took it completely apart over a dozen times.  Finally, got it running as smoothly as the other Mountain:

DSC_1190 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

Last on the mainline are also Bachmanns; H16-44s. Tinkered with these guys a lot.  They run great:

DSC_1193 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

Of course, I have other choices... and run these other locos too:

DSC_1195 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

Took some low-light shots to check progress on lighting for night-time running.  Have a ways to go, but I'm starting to like this, too:

DSC_1198 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_1199 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_1202 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

Thanks for looking.



12  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Scouts Train Show on: March 21, 2018, 05:47:13 PM
Yes, I painted the shack... brush painted it.

I use a Nikon digital camera.  It used to take much sharper photos.  I think I ruined it pointing it at the sun during the eclipse. Did use a filter, but... now my photos are a bit grainy. I'm no photographer... so don't know how to troubleshoot or figure out how to take great pictures.  thanks for asking  Smiley


13  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Scouts Train Show on: March 21, 2018, 12:10:17 PM
Thanks for the kind words, folks!

Just to finish this off:

We're having Snowmaggedon II today.  So, when taking a break from shoveling (at my age, you have to), I've been trying to complete my traveling module:

DSC_1172 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

Wiring is done.  Scenery is getting there.

Also, decided to make a few trees to split... some for the module--some for my layout:

DSC_1182 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

I'm now better rested.  Back to the shovel...


14  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: dcc consolidation on: March 17, 2018, 05:51:21 PM
Glad to be able to help sir. You are quite welcome.


15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: dcc consolidation on: March 16, 2018, 01:31:43 PM

I can only speak from my experience. I have 6 Connies.  When new, they were all a bit stiff at first.  After about 20 minutes of normal running (no cars behind), they all smoothed out.  

Two of my Connies have the Tsunami sound installed.  They will creep along real slow.  The other 4 Connies run DC on my home layout.  They will run well at slow speeds, though, not as slowly as the DCC/sound Connies.

A good way to test the locomotive, if you have the means, is to remove the decoder, put in the dummy plug (usually provided with a new Connie), and run on DC.  This is just to test the mechanics.  Again, a little run-in time is needed in my experience.  Check the screw that connects the eccentric crank to the third driver.  Those can be loose (very rare).

I have never run a Connie with the stock decoder. I have a few diesels with the stock EZ command decoder. They DO require a bit more throttle than my sound locomotives.  I never gave it much thought.

One more thing to watch out for...

It's very common for the wire harness connector to be a bit stiff... so much so that the front tender trucks do not like to ride flat on the rails.  This will also loosen over time.  Some folks fiddle with the wires a bit to loosen them, or add a little extra weight to the front of the tender.  I usually just let it go until the wires settle down.  They do loosen over time.

If I had your loco in my hands, I could go over some things to diagnose any issues.

I suspect your loco just needs a good sound decoder and some time to run-in.  That's a guess from a distance.



Addendum:  ALL of my Bachmann locos, without exception, required a good wheel cleaning prior to running.  Just sayin'. jv
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