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1  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Suggestion- Baldwin outside frame 0-6-2T on: November 24, 2017, 03:44:02 AM
You might have seen one of my old posts -- I would also like to see one of these "Baldwin Bulldogs".  And a three-pack of 4-wheel cane cars (like how Bachmann packaged their mining dump cars and skeleton log cars) would be greatly appreciated.

David T. Okamura
Member, California South Coast On30 Modular Group
2  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Question about the trolley's motor block on: July 24, 2017, 02:39:42 AM
I believe that resistor is used only for the interior body light and the headlamps.  You can snip the wires connecting the wheel contacts to the motor and attach the DCC leads to them.  (Red and black to the wheel contacts, orange and gray to the motor.)  Just remember to keep a resistor for your headlamp wiring -- especially if using LEDs.  Most will quickly burn out on full track power.

Check the electrical contacts between the motor chassis and the trolley body.  The lights are linked directly to motor power, so the faster it goes, the brighter they are.  And the lheadlamps are directional -- probably just two simple wiring loops with LEDs in opposite polarities.  You will need to analyze the body wiring before determining how to adapt this to DCC control.  You might be able to continue the current system (keep that resistor!), but you will still have light fluxuations.  If the headlamp on "the wrong end" glows, just switch the DCC motor leads.

If instead you wish a consistent steady interior light and headlamps controlled by DCC, you may have to devise a means to connect body wiring to your DCC decoder.  This can be extra-long wiring tucked inside the body so you can lift and partially remove the body for maintenance, or add plug connectors.  Connect a resistor to your blue common positive wire, and take special care on LED polarities when rewiring the headlamps.  You might want to connect both yellow and white wires to the interior light's negative connection, so it remains lit in either direction when headlamps are on. 

Hope this helps.
3  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Return Of The Round Roof Caboose? on: March 31, 2016, 01:53:11 AM
The curved roof cabooses can be easily converted into "shorty" passenger coaches.  I modified three of these cabooses into a baggage car, passenger coach and an open air excursion car.  I simply replaced the doors and rebuilt the sides, keeping the end platforms and original roofs.  A couple of them behind a Porter or 4-4-0 make an eye-catching consist.

David T. Okamura
4  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Bachmann HO 0-6-0 to On30 conversion on: November 30, 2012, 02:38:12 AM
Hmm... I wonder if the Bachmann ALCO 2-6-0 could fit under the Bachwoods Miniatures bodies, too?  Probably needs a tender to carry the DCC and sound electronics, but I think that ALCO Mogul might also be a good starting point for an On30 conversion.
5  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: 2012 On30 wish list on: March 10, 2012, 01:16:54 AM
Precision Scale Co., Inc. also has On3 Buda Type I handcar kits, either in brass or plastic.  They can be regauged to On30.  I purchased the plastic version, and the detail is very fine.  However, even though both kits are described a "working", I think even the brass handcar might be too fragile for usage.  See:!

Sorry for the absurdly long link -- instead go to Precision Scale's home page ( ), hit the "Kits" button, then choose "On3 Passenger/Freight" in the pulldown menu.
6  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: when is the new items going to be anounced? on: June 28, 2011, 03:18:59 AM
Earlier in June at the Big Train Show (Ontario, CA), a certain Bachmann representative mentioned that On30 fans "should be happy" in July.  That's all he could say on that subject, so I suppose we should "anticipate" the official announcements at the NMRA convention.   Smiley
7  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: On30 Forney behaving erratically on: January 12, 2010, 04:31:32 AM
Hmm... this sounds familiar.  My Forney (DCC, no sound) began acting up the same way when on a On30 modular club layout.  At first they assumed that the engine needed lubrication or breaking in (it was purchased used and was lying idle for some time).  Another thought the drivers might be slightly out-of-quarter, since it appeared that the rods were binding.

BUT -- when tested on DC, my Forney ran as smooth as silk.  So it seems I have a similar problem.  I'm considering converting my Forney into a 2-4-0 with sound in the tender (I have a spare 2-6-0 tender, but am considering the Wisemann "shorty")  Any additional suggestions on identifying and solving this problem before I potentially fry a Tsunami?


8  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Mount Blue Models on: March 31, 2009, 12:36:36 PM
Of course given the normal modellers law, as soon as a scratch built, kit built or kit-bashed model is completed a ready-to-run version is announced!

"If you build it, they will come..."

Go ahead, Hamish K -- the sooner you finish your project, the sooner the RTR versions will arrive.  Rest assured the rest of us will be grateful for your sacrifice.   Wink
9  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: 2-4-0 on: February 04, 2009, 05:13:38 AM
Manager, that modified 4-4-0 was by Mr. Lynn Austin of Malfunction Junction in Las Vegas.  I saw it last month at the Great Train Expo in Anaheim, CA.  He replaced the metal boiler with plastic tubing, as I recall.

Mr. Austin has done several On30 modifications, including a 2-4-0 and even a 2-4-4-0T from Forneys.  Unfortunately he's not active online, nor have I seen images of his work posted anywhere.  Hopefully we'll see photos of Mr. Austin's "Forneycations" in the future.
10  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: 2-4-0 on: February 03, 2009, 01:40:39 PM
Manager, remember that the outside frame 4-4-0 has solid disk drivers.  That's not very apparent if you retain the frame and counterweights, but if you remove the frame when converting to a 2-4-0 you might want to switch out the drivers, too.

I've seen a very modified 4-4-0 where the modeler removed the outside frame, replaced the solid drivers with spoked wheels from the 2-6-0 Mogul, and then tapered the boiler.  That completely altered the appearance, and I personally think the added wagon top improved the overall look -- otherwise the front cab windows seem positioned too high.  It's a lot of work, but I've seen it done.
11  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Howto disassemble 2-6-0 On30 mogul on: December 11, 2008, 04:23:54 AM
Take a look at the first photo:

Harold's Pacific Coast Air Line Railway site is an incredible resource for On30 fans.  You can literally spend hours browsing through the various projects for tips and inspiration.  Enjoy!
12  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Something Slightly Screwy Here... on: November 18, 2008, 02:13:27 AM
Thanks, Tim!  I'm surprised I overlooked that discussion thread -- I wondered if anyone else noticed the screw issue before my post.  I'll start looking for #3 washers ASAP.

One question about chamfering the truck bolsters -- since this makes the now-tapered end of the underframe bolster post fit better inside the bevelled hole, won't this lower the cars even more?  I'm slightly concerned about maintaining coupler heights.

Thanks again!

13  Discussion Boards / On30 / Something Slightly Screwy Here... on: November 17, 2008, 04:39:59 AM
Here's a "head's up" for Bachmann and customers interested in the new lower freight car underframes. 

After considering the possible options for lowering my freight cars (Bachmann's low archbar trucks, sawing off the bolster nubs, etc.), I purchased two sets of the new underframes.  Installation couldn't be easier -- remove the two screws holding the trucks, and the original underframe falls out.  (Just remember the orientation of the vacuum brake components when dropping in the new frame.)  No instructions are needed -- even adding the bolster adapter brushings for those using the low archbar trucks seems self-explanatory.  Coupler boxes are also modified to remain at standard HO height, so you can hook up original and modified cars.

However, after installing the new frames I noticed my boxcars leaning at drunken angles.  Apparently there is too much "play" with the trucks.  The new bolsters are trimmed flush with the surface of the underframes, but the screws are the same length as the originals.  I had to recheck to see if I didn't accidentally use the original set, but all screws are the same length.

The screws pass through the trucks and the bolsters, into sockets in the car bottom.  Since this is a dead-end, you cannot sink the screws deeper to compensate for the shorter underframe bolsters. 

A simple "fix" for future Bachmann production runs would be to substitute shorter screws, with a notice to low archbar truck owners to use their original screws (I don't think shorter screws will reach through the bolster adapter brushings.)  Another possibility are washer inserts for the original trucks. 

(Again, I'm assuming that this glitch is common for the entire production run, but perhaps I just got a batch that escaped quality control.)

If other modelers have the same problem, drilling past the dead-end in the car bottom might work, though you'd probably go right through and ruin the flatcar and gondola decking.  (This shouldn't be a problem with boxcars.)  Finding shorter screws is of course the ideal option, but I don't know offhand if any suitable replacement is available if Bachmann doesn't have any in current inventory.  I'll probably scratchbuild sheet styrene washer inserts to go inside the trucks -- I don't think hardware stores will carry that particular size.

But whatever option you choose, DON'T try to cut the screws down to size!  These are hardened steel, so you'll probably won't be able to do so without ruining the screw thread (and whatever cutting tools you're abusing).  And then there's the danger of flying shrapnel... 

Granted, this is a minor issue, and I'll continue to convert my frieght cars with these sets.  But I thought this notice might be useful. 

14  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: What rolling stock would we like to see in the future? on: September 30, 2008, 01:13:41 AM
Hmm... didn't think about DCC control when I first suggested the rotary snowplow.  But if you have DCC, why not go all the way and add SOUND?

Can you imagine how popular a DCC sound-equipped rotary snowplow would be in ANY gauge, especially HO?   Shocked
15  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: What rolling stock would we like to see in the future? on: August 06, 2008, 03:42:59 AM
I see that Mark ("LurchBird") has already mentioned my suggestion, but here's an excerpt from my recent post:

On a similar subject, at the National Train Show I once again pressed Mr. Lee Riley and the Bach-man for a three-pack of 4-wheel sugar cane cars, similar to their boxed sets of mining and logging cars.  The end bulkheads could be removable, so the sugar cane cars can also be used as "shorty" flatcars.  Some cars from the Oahu Railway & Land Co. were once on display at Travel Town (Griffith Park, Los Angeles), but I don't know their current condition or location.  I'm impressed with Bachmann's recent resin castings (wood fuel loads, pulpwood cargo, etc.), and removable resin sugar cane and sugar bag loads would be nice extras for the set.  Sugar plantations were a major industry served by narrow gauge railroads, but so far Bachmann hasn't touched this subject.

And if Bachmann produces Hawaiian narrow gauge, why not a relabeled gondola car with a resin pineapple load for the Dole cannery?

Expanding on the Hawaiian theme, a two-pack of Kalakaua-style passenger cars would compliment the sugar cane trains nicely.

I suspect we'll see a version of the HO scale log skidder car, and Mr. Lee Riley might be planning an excursion car that's more accurate for narrow gauge than the prototypes seen at the National Train Show.  (At least that was my impression during our conversation.)

I echo the pleas for a new caboose -- perhaps a longer model that could later be released as a side-door drovers caboose?  Or perhaps a separate frame and running gear to convert the current caboose into a 4-wheel bobber?

Maintenance of way cars would be nice, though I would balk at recycled lumber camp cars.  A rotary snowplow or a simple snowplow car should be popular.  Modifying a tank car for firefighting purposes is another possibility.  And since you're providing new Mogul pilots with operating couplers, why not a Mogul snowplow pilot?

Eagerly anticipating,

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