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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 2-8-2 on: November 09, 2017, 02:50:36 PM
Unmodified, I couldn't tell you.

However, with balancing weight added, I can pull about 20 cars on a level surface.  I haven't tested it up to wheel slippage. 20 is plenty for my needs. I have the sound value model.

The locomotive is back-heavy and needs added weight to the front to balance it out between the middle drivers.  There is plenty of free space in the smokebox area.  I added a total of 1.5 ounces to each of my two Mikes.  This also takes care of any problems with the loco riding up over the rails on curves.  Some have reported this issue.

I decided against adding bullfrogsnot to any drivers.  The gears are not particularly thick in the mechanism.  They may be fine, but I didn't want to add any additional stress.


2  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Running dcc engine on dc on: November 07, 2017, 10:58:17 AM

Your suspicion is correct.

When you place a DCC/Sound locomotive on a DC layout, and apply power, this is what happens:

The headlight/s come on. Also, some sounds may activate--usually an engine idle or compressor.  When too much power is applied, the lights will flash 10 or 11 times, to indicate over supply of current. Then the loco will shut down, temporarily, to protect itself.

I can't remember if it's CV 28 or 29, but you can program the decoder for dual mode--enabling the decoder/locomotive to respond to DC power.


3  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Modifying a Spectrum USRA 2-6-6-2 on: November 03, 2017, 05:37:45 AM
Starting to look familiar:

DSC_0953 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr
4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Modifying a Spectrum USRA 2-6-6-2 on: November 02, 2017, 07:12:21 PM
Just a little update:

I managed to get a hold of another rerail frog.  So, there are no empty holes in the tender:

DSC_0944 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

I want to run some long trains, of course.  Double-heading is necessary for me.  However, you may notice the smaller wheels on the 2-6-6-2, compared to the 2-8-0, and all the other Bachmann steamers. It runs just a bit slower than the others:

DSC_0945 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

The locomotives don't seem to fight each other--even though I know the Connie is a bit faster.  When going upgrade, with 20 or more cars in tow, they cooperate quite well.  Going downgrade the Connie has not forced the 2-6-6-2 to derail.  Hopefully, I can continue this operation.  The 2-6-6-2 is a bit faster than my brass.  Don't think I'll give that a whirl...

On the hill behind, I've added 57 more trees.  Got a ways to go there.  Plus, I need to add some contrasted colors to make it more interesting.

I've also built two more wood sided boxcars-my personal obsession... built 52 craftsman kits so far...
DSC_0947 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

Finally, I've been wanting to put myself into the layout somehow.  So I'm going to be driving my first car along a road. MY car was a '65 Ford Galaxy 500.  The best I could do in HO was a '67 Galaxy.  They look the same, but the '65 had round taillights.  The '67 had square lights:

DSC_0948 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

This is the same blue as my car.  However, mine had a white hardtop.  And it was pretty faded, with lots of miles, by the time I started driving it.  If I can figure out how to disassemble this tiny creature, I'll go to work on trying to make it look like the tank I remember.

My car and I were both born a little too late for the steam era, but I'm going to fudge a little here.


5  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: bachmann s-2 on: October 31, 2017, 06:53:32 AM
On the S-2 and/or S-4:

Remove the screws that hold the coupler pockets.  Slide out the coupler pockets.  The shell can now be lifted from the frame. 

First time is usually a little sticky.


6  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: what dcc systems allow running analog locomotives on: October 30, 2017, 07:03:08 AM
The most economical solution, for me, was to purchase a "SPROG II" device.  It is an interface between a programming track and my home PC and/or laptop.  The device was around $90 if memory serves.  

The programming software (JMRI) is free and must be downloaded to your computing device after you obtain a SPROG or similar device.

Then all you need is a section of track long enough to hold your longest locomotive.  The track is connected to the SPROG by two wires.  The SPROG interfaces with the computer with a USB-type connector (included in the SPROG package).

Once everything is up and running, you can program to your heart's content.  Not the most user friendly thing in the world, but I've seen worse.

Using this method, you can keep your EZ command to run the layout, and have a programming system separate from the layout.

That's how I do it anyway.


7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: ho universal led 10091-ww on: October 27, 2017, 10:11:10 AM
For LEDs in general:

I use a 9V battery, and 1K ohm resistor on the negative pole, to test the LEDs.  Testing the LED, in this case, will also tell you which lead in the positive (+) one.

If you are replacing an LED in a Bachmann locomotive, there is likely resistor hard wired into the PCB.  But you should put eyes on the resistor on the board, just to make sure.

The board will also have (+/-) marking for the headlight wires.  From there, you will have to trace the wiring back to the headlight to ensure the color-coding, if any, matches back to the headlight.

Hope that helps.


8  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Modifying a Spectrum USRA 2-6-6-2 on: October 20, 2017, 10:57:39 PM
OK, decided to stick a fork in this project, and call it done.

The last step was to remake the cab grab irons.  The old ones were flimsy and I pretty much destroyed them disassembling the model.  I used .015 steel wire:

DSC_0933 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

What follows are three shots of the same scene, just at slightly different angles.  The transformed B&O KK-4b is pulling 14 cars up a 2% grade on a 28" radius curve:

DSC_0935 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_0937 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_0942 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

It seems to be breaking in, that is, running more smoothly as I run it around my figure-8-shaped layout.


9  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Coupler alignment on: October 19, 2017, 11:39:04 AM
I have run into this problem with some older equipment, along with some Bachmann cars.

I have done one of two things:

Cut a slit into the washer to allow it to spread a bit on the bolster; or

use a round needle file to gently file out the middle of the washer hole.  I prefer this solution.

Other than the Kadee washers, Tichy has plastic spacers/washers on the Brake Sprue they offer for sale in their parts section.  You will run into the same problem, but the plastic washers are easier to ream out.


10  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Modifying a Spectrum USRA 2-6-6-2 on: October 19, 2017, 09:58:57 AM
Thought about doing one of the other KK classes myself.

The version 2-6-6-2 I got came with the square tender, which I like.  However, the version with the Vandy tender came with the large squared-off steam chest on the front engine, which is correct for the B&O KK class.

Went looking at the parts section.  The front engine is available with the small steam chest.  For the large, squared-off steam chest, I would need to purchase the whole chassis... pricey!

So, I will live with the small steam chest for now.  If the opportunity comes along to pick up a 2-6-6-2 with the square steam chest, I may consider another project, but would have to change out the tender on that one.


11  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Modifying a Spectrum USRA 2-6-6-2 on: October 19, 2017, 05:23:02 AM
Coming together:

DSC_0930 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_0929 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

On to the pony and trailing trucks...


12  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Modifying a Spectrum USRA 2-6-6-2 on: October 18, 2017, 05:33:22 AM
Shell modification is completed.  Here, I've given the shell a good scrubbing. Now, it goes in the cabinet to dry for a day, before I start weathering:

DSC_0928 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

Now it's time to start playing with the drive mechanism.  First, I need to start patching holes.  I pulled a couple of tanks and some piping from underneath. The holes left behind are visible, even after the shell is put on top.

I used some resin flashing to patch the square holes:

DSC_0926 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

And some styrene rod to patch the round holes:

DSC_0925 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

Been tinkering with a bit weathering underneath.  I've discovered neither neolube nor weathering powders like to stick to the white sidewalls on the tires.  This was a C&O loco, so the tires were white on the side.  

It's going to be quite time consuming, but I need to scrape the white paint off and redo the weathering process on the wheels.  It's not hard to scrape off the paint, just ssssslllllooooowwww, especially with 12 wheels to deal with.


13  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Modifying a Spectrum USRA 2-6-6-2 on: October 17, 2017, 05:16:42 AM
Just a few tidbits today...

It's difficult, at best, to see inside the cab of a steam loco.  However, I did a little painting, in case anyone sticks their nose down in there:

DSC_0921 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_0920 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

I'm using #7521 (KK-4b) as my prototype.  The boiler walk had a "bridge" built over the air compressor.  Don't know the actual nomenclature, but:

DSC_0919 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

Paint is still drying on that.

The top feed check valve came in yesterday:

DSC_0923 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

The boiler is getting close to being done.  Soon; on to the drive mechanism.


14  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: anorher dc or dcc on a small layouy on: October 16, 2017, 07:15:35 AM
Depends on how you like to run trains.

I have a medium sized layout, with a triple-track mainline, and two areas available for switching.  Yet, I like my trains to go roundy-round as I watch them.  So, my layout is DC, no decoders anywhere. 

I keep my DCC inventory separate for the club layout and modular train shows.

If you like to do switching/operations, there is an advantage to DCC and would be worth the cost.

But, if you're a roundy-round kind of operator, DCC may be unnecessary. Just an opinion...


15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Modifying a Spectrum USRA 2-6-6-2 on: October 15, 2017, 07:18:13 AM
Here is my temporary smokebox front.  It's just press fit, and the parts are attached with white glue:

DSC_0912 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

I added the auxiliary tanks to the top of the boiler.  They are made of 5/32" aluminum tubing, filled with epoxy, and detailed with 1X3 styrene:

DSC_0913 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

Waiting on the mail for the top feed check valve.  Then I can sand and finish the boiler.

The last steps involve detailing the drive assembly:  weathering drive wheels, modifying the headlight, painting the cab interior, repainting the engineer and fireman, and a few other things.


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