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61  Discussion Boards / HO / n&W "J' class Poor running on: May 17, 2008, 07:07:01 AM
Just purchased a N&W "J" class with sound and it's pretty sick. Basically it hasn't the guts to pull its own weight  never mind a train. I had heard that the sound equipped ones weren't as good as the non sound locos. I tested the lcoco at full power and just gently held on the tender expecting the loco wheels to slip which they don't, they just stop moving. Ohh and it derails on 42" curves, leading truck comes off. Before I start tearing into the loco has anyone had a similar problem. I have two of the non sound/non DCC fitted ones that I bought a few years ago and they perform beautifully, these are the new model not the blue box.

Charles Emerson
62  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: dcc for The George Washington on: March 10, 2008, 09:39:39 AM
I'd cut the caps and remove the chokes. When you remove the chokes you'll have to solder a jumper wire in their place. But check to see if the loco getting power? Have you tested it on DC? before fitting the DCC decoder. Are you getting the plug of the harness lined up correctly into the DCC socket. Sometimes you can overlap the socket and not get all the pins of the plug lined up and miss one row of holes. If you can't check it on DC,  you can place it on a DCC track and using a multimeter see if there's any  power from pins 8 red wire and pin4 black wire. If you can't read any volts there then check to make sure tender connections to the loco are in securely.

Charles Emerson
63  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Berkshire Upgrades on: March 10, 2008, 09:24:39 AM
Gene, I fitted a Tsunami medium steam to my first Kanawah to night. It took about two hours to do. I didn't the QSI ultra bass that Rob did but an ultravox 1watt oval as I have plenty of these. As it is a an inch and half oval I had to trim the small mounting posts off tender floor to get it to fit, also the fitting ring molded on the floor had to go as well as it's the wrong shape. I moved the Bachmann PC board to the top of the tender , had to lengthen the front truck wire to get it up there. I trimmed just enough of the shrink wrap off to get at the 9 pin plug of the Tsunami to repalce it with 8pin NMRA JST plug for the Bachmann board. I mounted the Tsunami up under the coal load. I had to toss the the steel weights and added a couple of ounces of lead above the trucks. Then I just tucked all the wiring back in place and hey presto one chuffing Kanawah. I'll have to fit a chuff cam later to synch the chuffs better but it'll suffice for now. I've pinched a few details off some of my scrapped P2K berks to add to this model as it is lacking in detail but that's okay for blue box model. We'll see how it's test run goes tomorrow.

Charles emerson
64  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New Athearn Engine on: December 09, 2007, 11:02:33 AM
I clean my track with CRC applied to a roller pad. Every month the the track cleaning train gets run around. It's made up of two old bachmann SD45's and 10 40' boxcars. The first four cars have masonite pads under them, the next car is a buffer then the roller car then the last three cars have MDF pads under them. Once a year a I get the bright boy and give the track a good going over. I found the traction tyres on the Rivarossi/Hornby Allegheny a bit soft and they only rolled off on  my superelevated curves  which have now been removed. The BLI A class lasted a lot longer maybe two years before it's traction tyres needed replacing. The BLI T-1's I have got the non traction tyred wheels fitted as soon as I got them out of the box. The P2K 2-8-4's played up from day one, 3 went back straight away, two I repaired and one was basket case but it had the noble distinction of becoming a decent body on IHC Hudson mech. I don't have the ability to run 75 car trains as my longest sidings will only take 40 40' cars.
As for "playing" hard I used to host 2 or three operating sessions a month with two round robin groups plus my regular NMRA group. An average session was around 5 hrs. Now most of my brass locos have had their wheels replaced over the years and some now have stainless steel tyres fitted. BLI locos have stood up better than the Rivarossi locos and the Bachmann locos better than any of the RTR models. And yes I may be old but I do realise that they are models  and not toys.


OK Ozzie21,

I can't help but ask another question. How, or with what, do you clean your track? OR do you just play that hard? BECAUSE I have never lost, damaged or worn out a traction tire and I have most of those models you mentioned. But based on other comments you have made such as "broken" Proto 2-8-4's, maybe you just play harder than most of us.

And, I know lots of other modelers with all these locos who have not had any problems with mechanisms or traction tires. Just ask Virginian on this board as well. As for pulling power how much do you pull? I have pulled 75 cars with my Class A and have been on the throttle of a Rivarossi Allegheny pulling 68 cars. That was on a friends layout with 1.8% helix grades. Both handle their trains fine with no traction tire problems.

As for being fragile, yes they are, they are models not toys - I have not had to repair any in the first place - so for me its not an issue.

65  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New Athearn Engine on: December 08, 2007, 10:48:17 AM
Well detail wise it's sort of okay though the stack the wrong height for the engine number. It's a bit to long, the amount of daylight under the boiler is way to much and the wheels are way undersize. I'm afraid I'll stick with my crown series brass ones which are excellect runners that will out pull a Hornby Allegheny of which I had three which all spat off their traction tyres same as the BLI "A" class and T-1. The P2K 0-8-0 is an excellent model but I'm finding plastic to be a bit more fragile than brass and when it comes to repairs soldering is a lot longer lasting than glueing.



Why does the Rivarossi Allegheny not "cut it" in your opinion? Mine run great and pull nearly as well as my BLI N&W Class A. As for detail they look better than any brass Alegheny I have ever seen.

My personal favorite of the PK2000 steamers is the 0-8-0, later version with the traction tires, but I have two early 2-8-8-2's I am very happy with as well. I do not have the 4-8-2 as it does not fit the theme of my railroad and I heard the early reports of its poor performance.

I will admitt, I am a free lance modeler, and even for those models lettered for a prototype road, I don't get my panties in a bunch over a rivet here or and overfire jet there.

Just my opinion, but since steam locos all went through so many changes, repairs, modifications, etc, worring about such small details seems silly. Except for the off chance you have full set of photos of the loco number you are modeling, taken on the date your are modeling, how do you or anyone else really know how "correct" or incorrect it is?

As for brass, I know many of the newer pieces do run nice, but after my experiances with it in the seventies, you can have it all. I'm not paying that kind of money for locos that require overhauling, ajusting and tuning up to get them running.

At the Chevy prices of Bachmann, Proto, BLI/PCM and similar products if I have to make an ajustment or send in for a warranty replacement that's one thing. But for brass prices it should run perfect out of the box and many don't.

66  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New Athearn Engine on: December 06, 2007, 06:24:02 AM
I had a few of the Athearn light mikes and after adding weight all pulled reasonably well. The one and only light pacific I bought did indeed break it's drive gear and has sat in it's box since then. The P2K engines were all great but I think the 0-6-0 was their best offering. The 2-8-4 was in my mind a disaster. Out of 6 engines I bought only one still runs the rest all suffered some sort of failure and those wheels on the first editions, total rubbish. I went back to buying brass engines to get almost correct C&O versions. Same with the Allegheny, buy brass as the very expensive plastic one doesn't really cut it. Now and this is for Gene we should really try and convince Mr B to build an H-7 and a K-3 as brass ones are getting really expensive and rather rare for the H-7.


Charles Emerson
67  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Sound for british steam locomotives on: November 24, 2007, 04:17:44 AM
Well not exactly while a Pricess Coronation or Pricess Royal are four cylinder locos thay do not sound like an articulated chuff. As the cylinders cannot get out of sychn on Princess, unlike a Bigboy or an Allegheny, they sound very much like a two cylinder loco as the cranks on the forward axle are set up to coincide with the opposing outside cylinders. It's almost like the exhaust beat has an echo. As I stated in my previous post to get a three cylinder chuff, for the likes of a Royal Scot, Jubilee, Gresely A4, A3, B17, K3 etc you have to use a cam with a Tnsumai as thay only provide a 2 cylinder chuff or an articulated chuff. Loksound do manufacture decoders with a 3 cylinder chuff and if you buy a lok programmer you can alter or completely change sounds to suit providing you can find a suitable sound in their library. An english company called Southwest Digital do make a range of steam decoders with prototype english loco sounds in diesel and steam though I think their steam sound decoders are limited to GWR locos at the moment.


You could use a light steam tnsumai with a GME 3 cylinder chuff cam. The problem is than none of the Soundtraxx decoders have a 3 cylinder beat so using a cam is a must.

Using the GME 3 cylinder cam will give the correct number of beats to the Tsunami, as Charles pointed out. Unfortunately, the Tsunami decoders only come with a 4 beat cadence, not the 6 beat cadence of a 3 cylinder locomotive - could be worse, imagine if it was 4 cylinder, though you could use an articulated decoder for that.

At the moment, probably the ESU decoder is the best option, though not ieeal - good motor control, however.

Steve Magee
68  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: I'm back after a long break on: November 21, 2007, 07:17:49 AM
It was expensive but fun. I have increased my loco stud 180 so I may have to thin it out. Some of the odler models may have to visit the 2nd hand dealer.

Charles Emerson

quote author=jsmvmd link=topic=3156.msg27813#msg27813 date=1195511233]
Dear Charlie,

Me, three!  How was the walkabout?

Best Wishes,

69  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann 2-8-4 question on: November 21, 2007, 07:14:46 AM
I have three brass T-1's that will navigate code 75 no  6 turnouts with out a problem. The BLI T-1's sure did capture the C&O whistle well sounds really good when a few  locos are running through the holler's.

Charles Emerson

I have two Broadway T-1s and have run them through #6s without any problem.
70  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Sound for british steam locomotives on: November 21, 2007, 07:10:29 AM
You could use a light steam tnsumai with a GME 3 cylinder chuff cam. The problem is than none of the Soundtraxx decoders have a 3 cylinder beat so using a cam is a must. Loksound on the other hand do make a few decoders with a 3cylinder beat but the whistles are those high pitched german peep and toot jobs.

Charles emerson

I am looking for something for a Royal Scot, and Hogwarts is a swindon machine. I'm looking for something a bit more manly!
71  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann 2-8-4 question on: November 19, 2007, 10:08:04 AM
As you already have them are they plastic or metal bodied. I'm hoping they are plastic as I'd like to convert them into the correct variant for the roadnumber as the C&O locos were built in four groups by Lima, Alco, Alco, Lima,  each with slight variances to the original group. I tried to do that the with the P2K locos but as they were such poor runners I gave up and sold them on ebay so they'd be some one eles's problem. I still have my brass ones but wheel wear is starting to set in so I'll be visiting Greenway products soon for some wheels.


The C&O Kanawahas look NICE. I don't know about the NKP yet as I havent opened thier box yet. Tomorrow I process them and what not so should be fun.

Hey Bach-Man is the 2nd C&O Number delayed? We only had one number show and two NKP's.
72  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / I'm back after a long break on: November 19, 2007, 09:56:10 AM
Gi'day from Australia. Some of you my remember me but most. I was member of this board for a few years but took a break from US modelling a couple of years ago to pursue some other facets of the hobby. Well I now have finished that project for the most part and I'm back to modelling the US prototype mainly the Chesapeake and Ohio in steam days and the Southern Pacific before the borg took over. So hi to Steamgene as he's probably thwe only bloke that remebers me.

Charles Emerson
in sunny Southeast Queensland
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