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31  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Can this be done? on: April 12, 2009, 10:08:19 AM
Also you can go to radio shack and ask for a rectifier diode, 1 amp up to 50 volts (the range is from 1-to 50 volts). These diodes are handy for changing DC current to AC current or vice versa.
32  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: LENZ Decoders - anyone added one in a diesel? on: April 09, 2009, 11:16:25 AM

Rick you did the right thing by going to a tech dept. I've been using Tony's Trains (, they seem to be the most comprehensive site and Tony has devoted it to DCC users. If need be he will walk you through it on the phone,  great place!

If all you want to do is a simple 2 function lights and motor, nothing wrong with your choice especially using Bachmann EZ Command. I just ordered 2 decoders for my BLI blueline HO Alco RSD 15's just recently purchased and the decoders are Digitrax DZ 143PS with lock, for HO, N, and Z scale, the size of a dime. It already has sound but with DC, so I ordered a decoder that was recommended and it's just a simple plug in with the sound decoder. It depends on how much room you have with the shell and chassis if a particular decoder will fit. Some buy decoders and hog out the shell or the "weight" to make them fit. I'm a bit lazy for that method unless I have to.

33  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: LENZ Decoders - anyone added one in a diesel? on: April 09, 2009, 08:47:36 AM
Are there any particular benefits of the Lenz that was recommended by Walthers?

So far, I have only used decoders by Bachmann, Digitrax and Soundtraxx. They all seem to be very compatible with each other and with my EZ Command.

Bob I may be wrong but Bachmann doesn't make decoders. What I'm finding out with my computer interface PR3 and decoder pro is they are Lenz in the Bachmann diesel engines.
34  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: adding sound decoders to locos if all you have is an E-Z Command on: April 04, 2009, 09:43:13 PM
From following various threads about adding sound and the need to madjust cvs, is it practical to even think of adding sound with a limited system like the E-Z Command?

If I want sound am I better off trying to find  factory equipped locos that I can afford even if I have to search E-Bay?

Boomertom Undecided

Tom I just bought and received 2 BLI blue line RSD 15 loco's from Factory Direct Trains for $89.00 each. They come DC with sound, great sound I might add and detail, however you can either buy DCC motor decoder's for them ranging in price from $25.00 to $35.00 and install them yourself or they will install them for an extra $20.00 each. It seems best to order the decoders that work for them from Factory Direct. I've read on other forums with problems installing other, cheaper decoders and programing them. I haven't installed the decoders yet. I get carried away with the PR3 and not getting any work done on my layout. So I put it away while I finish some of my scenery I've been working on all winter. I bought the Digitrax PR3 computer interface and downloaded the JMRI program. I only use the decoder pro part of that program, and I can adjust or change sounds, some decoders you have a choice of bell or horn/whistle sounds. But you can adjust the cv's for everything else, like mars lights, ditch lights, speed steps, etc, that I had no control of when they were on or off, with my Bachmann EZ Command, now I do. Here's the link to Factory Direct Trains, I received them 3 days after I ordered them.

35  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: frame house colors of the 50s on: March 30, 2009, 09:48:39 PM
           I probably know exactly where you live.  I'm sure you have seen me around in various places before.  It's a shame I won't be here for the trains this year.  Had a blast last year.  Do you live down Ervin Lane or on US 219 proper?  Should be pretty close to Highland Park.  I work for the City Police.  Be interested in talking with you.  I will be leaving for Reserve duty again next Sunday for about six weeks this time.  Short tour!

     sounds like a plan.  On the farm in the hollow I grew up in, we didn't paint the "out" buildings.  Only those that had more money than we did!  lol  But even they painted with what they could get or had on hand.  I spent the late 50's, all the 60's and early 70's growing up there but we just didn't have alot.  Still wouldn't trade it for anything though.  Still want to get down there and visit.  Would love to see your layout in person. I'm still working on locomotives, rolling stock and track.  I have a few buildings that I have just started to build, when I have the time that is!     Stephen

Yeah Stephen I live right on 219 across from the entrance to Highland Park, the old Phillips house. We've no doubt crossed paths possibly when I pay my water bill.  I too have worked with police, state police and various county sheriffs depts, (police combat courses, retired now though) but not Elkins PD.
36  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: frame house colors of the 50s on: March 30, 2009, 10:01:31 AM
I doubt if the houses were "white white" but some shade of grey.  I suspect the color had a lot to do with the ability to "hide the dirt".  an older house needing some attention could have peeling paint, especially on the sunny side of the house.

I'm not sure when the water based acrylics became popular. Most likely the paint came in a basic near white color to which you could add a tint of another color.

In a block of houses, you can be sure that the trim would be different from green to brown, black, blue, etc.

Not to argue with anybody, but no, white was white back then and still is today, bright white. I'm 65 and my dad was a house painter, sign painter and paper hanger. Everything until 1960 was oil base paint with lead I might add, even flat colors for inside on walls, but most folks used semi gloss on walls and ceilings, it was easy to clean and still is. Water base house paints didn't catch on until the mid to late 60's.

The house I'm thinking about is the old Revell/Heljin/Con-Cor farm house kit, with house, shed, chicken coop, and outhouse.  The house itself is obviously wood plank.  The one reason for painting it something other than white is that what's called for - protect it from being the same color as every other kit of its type.   I guess it would be possible to cover the walls with shingles or something like that, but that's more than I want to do. 
I need to find a barn for it - but I think I know where that'll come from.

Gene I have that same kit I put together 40 years ago, everything is still there even the chickens for the hen house, even the outhouse. But I left it the original white. If you take a ride out any place rural farm area's the farm houses and buildings, excluding the barn's, silo's, and pig pen's are practically all white, of course weathering with a light gray or even green on the north side for mildew or moss nearer the bottom of the siding, common in wet area's, brown in fact on the very bottom for rain splash. And most of the gutters and down spouts were painted green. The gutters on some of the older farm houses were built in or "yankee gutters" as they were referred to. Most also had slate roof's, dark gray. And some even here in West Virginia and I know in upstate New York and Vermont had and still have metal, tin roofs. I lived in one such here and it was tin painted red.

37  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: frame house colors of the 50s on: March 30, 2009, 09:36:37 AM
Rangerover, you stated you live in Elkins?  Where at, I too live in/around Elkins.  I've worked here for 17 years.  I grew up in Harrison County and lived in Pendleton County for over 16 years.       Stephen

I live on North Randolph Ave/Rt 219. The main road going into Elkins just off Rt. 33, the DOH yard and office is right next door. Couple more weeks and the Shays will be running back in the yard here in Elkins. Will post those pictures as soon as they roll in. I'll know when they are here, when they blow that extinctive whistle. I live 5 minutes away from the train station.

I visited here in Elkins, some 45 (1963-64) years ago when I was in the Army at Ft Knox, I was cadre at USATCA. A couple of my NCO buddy's brought me "home" with them on weekend pass's and we came to Elkins. I'll never forget when we got of the car in the train yard and I looked around at the yard with the roundhouse and turntable, and it was busy with coal cars and lumber cars, passenger cars. I looked at these mountains and said this is where I want to live. The folks here are as great now as they were back then, reminded me of the 50's-60's back home in NJ.
38  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: frame house colors of the 50s on: March 29, 2009, 10:00:08 AM
LOL...I live in North Central West Virginia, Elkins, I just painted my house built in the 30's last summer, white with black trim. Most of the homes are at least 20-80 years old and still painted white with black, green or red trim. some foundations that are out of the ground are painted a brick reddish brown. Though I was born and raised in North Jersey most of the houses I lived in there were also white with the same color trim. My grandfather's house, built in the late 1800's was a very dark brown, but it was cedar shakes, with a white trim. His storm screen and window's were painted green. He used to remove the screens late fall and install the storm windows.
39  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Athearn GE U30-C not running on: March 23, 2009, 09:02:01 PM
OP if you need new gears for your Athearn, and it sure sounds like it to me, go here on eBay and scroll down to the bottom of the page, don't bid on them as offered on the top of the page. K4 supply is reliable!
40  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Customer Service on: March 23, 2009, 08:50:11 PM
I sent a loco back  thursday march 19 for repair. I called first and they told me it would return in 4-6 weeks! LOL I always add 2 weeks! but this my first return to Bachmann.
41  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Compliments To The Board on: March 23, 2009, 12:22:43 PM
I generally look at any post that peaks my interests and frequently those you have had responses from those whom I have come to respect.

I follow the general, HO, On30 regularly and the N and Plasticville occasionally.

I hope that my replys and new topics have been responsive and/or thought provoking. I think we are a great group and respect each others opinions and behave like ladies and gentlemen unlike some forums where my choice of the E-Z Command DCC causes me to be treated as a second class citizen.

Thanks to all for mutual respect.


Laughing my butt off!!!!!!!!

Hey Tom I get into it too with these guys on other forums, they get upset, I keep my head and say things like "I'm sorry you feel that way about Bachmann" it blows them away. I think Bachmann got a bad name years ago when some loco's for $8.00 would quit after 2 hours running and are still considered "toy train company" by some. Well thank God for Bachmann and Thomas the Train products and sets. We need the toddlers and youngsters interested in this hobby to carry it on. My first train set was a wind up with a key loco, I was about 5 years old back in '48. Well like I always said, you can't beat the price of a Bachmann DCC Loco, whether diesel or steam and their customer service is the best I've seen.

Let them keep bashing, I keep having fun running Bachmann, I also buy the better more expensive loco's, I like'em all!
42  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: What Brand Turnouts for track on roadbed - NOT EZ Track on: March 23, 2009, 12:00:34 PM
Peco and they are great as is using their switch motor, purchase seperately. You can also remvove the spring in the Peco that locks the rail and install tortoise machines to operate them.
43  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Yampa Bob's posts on: March 23, 2009, 11:54:55 AM
Bob I'm a newcomer here too sort of, but I like your common sense and easy as you go approach to fixing things. Because of that I somehow thought you were from the south. I too would like to call you  my friend.

I remember another poster was bashing you pretty harsh, but you kept your head and didn't return bashing, you kept your head and that makes you a real man and a leader! Jim
44  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: EZ Track Question on: March 21, 2009, 12:46:07 PM

I am trying to isolate or section off my layout. Is there an easy way to remove the connectors. I found it difficult and it gets destroyed when I have to pry it off with brute force. There has to be a better way. Thank you in advance.

Tough ain't they...a jack hammer comes to mind...kidding!

Carefully with force use a pair of heavy long nose pliers and twist and pull, side to side up and down, will get them off. Be careful you don't pull the rail out by trying to pull it straight out and off. You can replace with Atlas plastic rail joiners.
45  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: older trains and sets on: March 21, 2009, 11:32:34 AM

This is the site you need to go to, classic toy trains:
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