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August 15, 2018, 01:07:33 PM
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Author Topic: Need help w my Uncle's Chattanooga train set's track wiring  (Read 204 times)
DennisBT

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« on: July 15, 2018, 12:27:59 AM »

OK, I'm mostly On30 and G, but my family gave my 90 year old favorite Uncle a Bachmann HO Chattanooga Train set for Father's Day and he's having trouble wiring in switches.  He is 300 miles from me but I'm going there in 2 weeks.  I have a left-over hand full of BMn E-Z track sections, and I'll take them along with another locomotive to give him.  My Cousin there said on the 'phone he got my Uncle 2 electric switches, (turnouts), but can't get them to work electrically.  I presume the low-end power pack has 16V AC for accessories, but cannot confirm.  Also don't know if he has push-buttons, etc. 

Looking for tips as to what I should round up and take with me besides wire, track sections, etc.  Is the Chattanooga set even capable of handling turnouts?

Thoughts appreciated,
Dennis
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J3a-614

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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2018, 01:41:04 AM »

If you can, you might want to also include a better power pack.  From Bachmann's product listing, this looks like a straight DC set, so you might be able to find something a bit better than the basic power pack Bachmann has.  There's a hobby shop just down the road from me that has several such items available from an estate, including MRC units ($25 when I was there last week), and even a Pacific Fast Mail unit with a sound system!

I did find a photo of one of these basic Bachmann packs--if he has what I think he has, it's a small thing, with a wall transformer to drop the voltage and set up for the wire plugs to the track.  It does have AC terminals, but I have to wonder about its capacity of all of one amp.

https://www.trainz.com/products/bachmann-46605-ho-power-pack-speed-controller?variant=33114892422

You might also want to take some push button switches along, too.  I'm not familiar with what Bachmann packages with its powered turnouts, but the Walthers listing for EZ track turnouts doesn't mention them, so he might need those.  

Finally, if he is going to wind up with two locomotives, you may also want to take along the stuff for sectionalizing the railroad, allowing him to park one engine while running another. . .but then again, if the gentleman is 90 years old and doesn't have past model railroading experience, that might be a bit too sophisticated, even though block wiring is still pretty well known even in these days of DCC.

The set has a Bachmann 0-6-0 for motive power, and some 40-foot freight cars and a caboose, so I don't think operation through turnouts will be a problem.

I wonder if he would like a building or two.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 01:46:35 AM by J3a-614 » Logged
Trainman203

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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2018, 12:07:27 PM »

Every switch I ever bought from Bachmann has an electric actuation switch, so yours should have them too.

Donít know why everyone feels the need to thow switches electrically, even when they are right in front of you.  Even the real railroads donít do that.  I donít buy those track switches anymore, but the first thing I did was cut off the wire and throw the electrical switch away.  And install s switch stand, like the prototype.
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Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945
RAM

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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2018, 10:01:42 PM »

TRainman203, You are not 90 years old.  You don't have and I don't have powered switch controls.  At 90  he may not move around that well.  If he wants to have power switch mach. more power to him.
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Trainman203

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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2018, 10:52:41 PM »

All true I acknowledge and am repentant.
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Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945
Yardmaster
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2018, 08:49:03 AM »

Here's a link to a video about wiring a powered turnout...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvQgLHt2ul8&list=PL9GxcpnVuIG-Fwjj1zXt6Lr0jSK1I6dFr
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DennisBT

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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2018, 02:16:02 PM »

Good information all;  thank you.  While HO is now too small for me to work with, I still model in larger scales.  I have an interest in vintage HO, however, and have some of that around.  (The old Varney and Mantua things I could not afford when I was young)  I do have a couple of Kato drive locomotives and a few Athern road switchers that run very well.  I'll take a couple over to my Uncle with some extra track.  Thanks to all of you, I can now see that I think his, "power pack," is likely to have NO AC output at all.  I have an idle accessory power pack that will work fine.  He'll just need to 110V AC outlets handy.  I have a few cars with KD couplers which I think I heard will work with Bachmann's now-common clones.  At least we're past NMRA couplers these days.  Maybe I'll dig up an old MRC 2400 power pack, etc., which would also solve a lot of problems.  But I have no source locally.
Dennis
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