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August 12, 2020, 10:49:02 PM
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1  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: RIP - hminky (Harold Minkwitz) on: June 19, 2020, 11:43:20 PM
I was both shocked and saddened when I just today learned that Harold Minkwitz had passed away three months ago. The model railroading hobby has lost a valued friend and contributor. Thanks for everything Harold.

Bill in FtL Cry
2  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: How you got into the range? on: December 08, 2019, 02:14:30 PM
Well over 10 years ago, bought my first THOMAS item on eBay, because I thought it would be fun to run on my clubís modular layout when we displayed at shows (it was, and still is). At that time, the economy had tanked, and the prices on eBay were surprisingly low, so typically, I ended up getting carried away with my collecting. I was also into On30 at the time, and even used some of the THOMAS OO open wagons equipped with Kadee couplers behind my On30 Davenports and Porters, they seemed to make pretty good stand-ins for narrow gauge mining equipment. Whenever I got a new Thomas item, I would check the Wikipedia Thomas and Friends site to see the correct nomenclature for the real item it was based on, and then look up any info on the prototype. I was impressed by the adherence of the THOMAS serieís characters to the real trains in the UK. This led to an increased interest in British profile model trains, and just recently led to my first OO scale purchase from Hattons just over a month ago. I didnít foresee that first THOMAS purchase all those years ago leading to my getting interested in yet another model railroad scale.

Bill in FtL
3  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: HELP! My Brand New Toby is Running Too Slow on: December 08, 2019, 01:43:16 PM
I hope this review help how slow Toby is.
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkzeGrb0Rm0

Hi track master,
Thanks for the link to the Hornby/Bachmann Toby comparison test. While the video does show how much slower the Bachmann model is than the Hornby, I would swear that my Toby seems even a good bit slower than the Bachmann Toby as shown in the video. However, since my own Toby appears to run smoothly throughout its speed settings, Iím going to take a chance and run him, but only for limited durations while keeping a close eye on him for any problems that may arise. At some point, I may try to change out the 1/4 watt resistors for some with a higher wattage rating, perhaps a full 1 watt if I can get them to fit. Since Tbyís Speed doesnít seem to change much from anything above 1/4 throttle, a friend who holds a college degree in electrical engineering seems to think is because of the resistors. As an aside, my local hobby store has had a Bachmann Thomas loco running as a ďdemoĒ on their shop layout for several years now, and everyone is quite amazed at its durability, especially since it is a toy. One shocking thing the video did show was the MSRLP for the Bachmann Toby in 2011 was $55.00, which seems cheap compared to todayís (2019) list price of $95.00!

Bill in FtL

4  Discussion Boards / On30 / The New On30 2-6-0ís on: December 08, 2019, 12:54:33 PM
Do the all of the new On30 2-6-0ís have tender pickups with wires and plugs between the tender and loco, or only the ones with metal gears. On the currently available ones with plastic gears, is pickup only in the loco like on the previous releases? Iím guessing the ones with metal gears (including the new 0-6-0ís) will have tender pickups since they have DCC & Sound boards in the tender, but did they also change the non-metal geared 2-6-0ís when they made the new ones with metal gears? Seems like not having to deal with the fiddley wires and plugs between units is a plus for those running around the Christmas Tree...

Bill
5  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Details about Rosie on: October 22, 2019, 10:46:55 AM
Thanks for the quick reply STL. Iím surprised to hear that there were two sets of tooling made for this loco, seems like an expensive way to go. I would have guessed that even if the bodies were slightly different, they could have at least shared the mechanism between the two. The word of actual axle bearings and all wheel pickup seemed too good to be true, so I guess it really was...

Bill in FtL
6  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: HELP! My Brand New Toby is Running Too Slow on: October 22, 2019, 09:04:16 AM
Thanks guys! Your replies help a lot, but Iím still concerned about the very high temperatures of the components (resistors) on the circuit board after a run of less than a minute. Their stripes indicate a value of 25 ohms and their size looks like they might be 1/4 watt. Since there is no capacitor or choke on the board, they probably arenít RF interference circuits, but Iím no expert when it comes to electronics. However, I donít have to be an expert to see how quickly these things get too hot to touch, and I really donít want poor Toby to suffer a meltdown!

Bill in FtL
7  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Details about Rosie on: October 22, 2019, 08:50:00 AM
Since my first post, I have been looking around on the web, and have found some better pictures of Rosie, plus a review, and also a review of an American war export 0-6-0 from Bachmann UK loco (not sold in the USA) whose shape looks identical to Rosie, so now Iím wondering if those two locos are actually the same? The war export 0-6-0 is said to have metal axle bearings and DCC (plug/socket?), do you suppose any of these positive features got carried over to Rosie?

Bill in FtL
8  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Prairie 2-6-2 using Railpower 1370 on: October 19, 2019, 01:28:44 PM
Several of MRCís DC power packs use a pulse wave form that is NOT friendly to DCC decoders running with analog function enabled. I know for sure that the 2800 dual controller pack is not friendly to decoders, and I believe the 1300 was not friendly either. Since the 1370 is a later version of the 1300, it may not be as well. In any event, the 1370 is an analog pack, not DCC. In order to do a factory software reset you will need to use a DCC system, or possibly a computer with a programming interface like the SPROG that uses JMRIís DecoderPro. Broadway Limited had a special unit made just for programming addresses but I donít know if it can do factory resets, or if they will work with other than BLI decoders, check with them to be sure. You might also check with Jason Sharon at Rapido Trains, I seem to recall that they had some issues with MRC power packs and Rapidoís DCC decoders.

Itís possible your problem is just a programming issue, but it could be a broken wire or a blown audio output in your decoder. Try to eliminate as many possibilities as you can before going to the trouble and expense of returning it to Bachmann.

Good Luck,
Bill in FtL
9  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Details about Rosie on: October 18, 2019, 08:57:31 PM
Is Rosie based on the same tooling as the HO 0-6-0 rectangular side tank switcher, or is she new tooling? I canít really tell from the illustrations. If the answer is yes, then she should be a very good running engine.

Bill in FtL
10  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Layout details/plans/pictures on: October 18, 2019, 05:22:23 PM
Brass doesnít rust, steel does. Steel track is no better than brass track, maybe even worse. Brass and copper oxidize and turn dark with age, like a copper penny, and can even corrode and turn green. The oxide that forms is a poor conductor, so if your track is brass youíll constantly need to be cleaning it just to keep your trains running. You are correct, nickel silver track is much better than brass, especially for smaller sized trains. Even the brass track used in G-gauge must be cleaned frequently, in spite of that scale making better contact because it is so much heavier.

Bill in FtL
11  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / HELP! My Brand New Toby is Running Too Slow on: October 18, 2019, 05:05:59 PM
I just picked up an HO ďTobyĒ to run on my clubís modules for the upcoming season (Thomas and Friends are real crowd pleasers), and during a test run on a 3í section of track set up on the dining table, I see Toby is very slow, he can barely crawl along, even at full throttle. Thomas, James, and Percy are three to four times as fast at the same power setting. He runs quietly and seems pretty smooth, so I removed his shell to see if there was a bind somewhere, but found nothing. I was surprised to find him wired up with a circuit board containing two resistors and a couple of diodes, and even after a short run one time back & forth on the 3í track, the resistors get too hot to touch (this cannot be right). This circuit board doesnít appear to be for interference suppression, and Toby has no lights, so I can only guess that this is a circuit to drop the voltage going to the motor, but given the heat itís generating, it canít be long before it melts the surrounding plastic or burns itself out. I checked the Bachmann parts list and photo of this circuit board on the Bachmann website, and the resistors seem to have the same color code value (red-green-black-gold). Is it normal for Toby to be so slow moving? I canít imagine any kid running his train at this speed, so it seems like this canít be normal operation.

Bill in FtL
12  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Re: DCC on Board on: October 01, 2019, 02:00:09 PM
You donít mention the decoder manufacturer and model, not all DCC is sound capable. Are you sure you have a decoder equipped with sound? If so, the sound may be set to ďmuteĒ, check your decoders instruction manual to see if it has a ďmuteĒ CV, and how to turn it off & on. Also be sure the loco has a  working speaker and itís connections are good.

Bill in FtL
13  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Why No EZ-App Locos in the THOMAS Series on: August 12, 2019, 10:41:45 PM
Bachmann came out with a bunch of EZ-App locos in HO, first diesels, then even the 2-6-0 steam loco, but I think they might have missed the boat by not doing a version of Thomas or a Williams 3-rail O loco with EZ-App Control. After all, itís the younger generation that more fascinated by smart phones, wouldnít  they appreciate using their phone to run their trains? Personally, I would like to see an EZ-app board with a DCC plug made available that could go into some of my On30 locos without requiring extensive modifications (the Blue Rail Trains board was just a bit too big).

Bill in FtL
14  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Motor turning but wheels not moving. on: January 20, 2019, 11:39:43 PM
It could be universal joints or axle gears slipping on their shafts. A very common problem which is usually caused by the plastic part (in this case, the universal joint socket, or the axle gears) cracking, which then allows it to slip on its metal shaft, rather than transferring the power from the motor to the wheels. Fixing it requires pretty much total disassembly, replacement of bad parts, and then reassembly. A big job for an experienced modeler, to say nothing of a newby. Sorry to say, replacement with a new loco is probably your easiest alternative.

Bill in FtL
15  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Is E-Z App Dead? on: October 08, 2018, 09:18:41 AM
In looking for E-Z App HO locos on the web, very few are still listed, many are shown as O/S, and a couple show a blowout price, indicating possible discontinued product. Has this technology been abandoned by Bachmann? I have a couple of E-Z App locos in HO, and I like them a lot and was hoping to see E-Z App expanded into the Thomas HO and the Williams O gauge product lines, but it looks like this may not happen. Sad...

Bill in FtL
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