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16  Discussion Boards / N / Re: power loss on: April 24, 2017, 03:26:34 PM
Dear Fish,

Is it possible that the old Atlas turnout control rail gets its power by the point rail touching the stock rail?

If so, you would have to clean ballast from between the point rail and stock rail

so good electrical contact could be made after the points were thrown.

Hope this helps.


Joe Satnik
17  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Converting Ho Layout To N Scale. on: April 21, 2017, 09:16:03 AM
Dear All,

From a 2011 post of mine [modified here] concerning HO to N layout conversions:

. . [T]he geometries between the N and HO scale EZ-Track systems are not proportional. 

Granted, the main curves in [both scales] are 30 degrees.   

The main HO straight is 9".  The main HO curve radius is 18", which is twice (2.0 X) the length of the straight.

The main N straight is 5".  The main N curve radius is 11.25", which is  2.25 X the length of the straight.

Those proportions (2.0 and 2.25) would be the same if the geometries were proportional.   

I don't know if the N "Remote" turnout has an offset proportional to the 1.5" offset of the HO "Remote" turnout[, or if the numbered turnouts are

dimensionally proportional.] 

I suggest that [you] download the CAD layout program and

try putting [the layout] together using [proportionally close] pieces in [Anyrail's Bachmann N E-Z Track library. 

Fitter pieces will help make up the difference.]

Hope this helps.


Joe Satnik
18  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Curved crossover on: April 21, 2017, 07:33:19 AM
Dear All,

It appears there would have to be lots of "cuts" and "jumps" to properly isolate and power all the rails, diamonds and frogs of the "Bronx Terminal".

Good thing I'm not on the project.

I would probably just give up and run Battery-RC.

Joe Satnik
19  Discussion Boards / N / Re: power loss on: April 21, 2017, 06:20:01 AM
Dear Fish,

Are you describing the power-routing action of the divergent leg of the turnout ?

IIRC, older N Scale turnouts were power-routing, i.e., cut off power to the divergent (curved) leg of the turnout

when the points were aligned with the main (straight) route. 

Main had power at all times.

Power best fed from points end. 

IIRC, newer versions of the N Scale turnouts have solid power to both routes at all times.

Others, please correct me if I am wrong about this.

Hope this helps.


Joe Satnik

20  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum 83902 HO 4-8-4 Class J will not run forward on: September 03, 2015, 10:22:50 PM

I suspect a bad decoder.

Does the flywheel turn freely (by hand, controller off) in both directions?

Is there a DCC plug? 

Can you put in the DC jumper plug and try to run with an old analog DC power pack?

Let us know.


Joe Satnik
21  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: HO EZ Track on: July 04, 2015, 03:36:25 PM,29653.0.html
22  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: How big is an oval track when using 35.5 ez track curves? on: June 17, 2015, 11:07:13 PM

Radius is to the center-line of the track, and Bachmann HO E-Z Track track bed is very close to 2" wide.

Twice radius plus a track bed width = the (outside edge to opposite outside edge) width of your circle.

So, 2 x 35.5" + 2" TBW = 73"

As a rule of thumb, I allow an extra TBW for outside overhang, so 75" fence-to-fence.

Hope this helps.


Joe Satnik
23  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Connecting headlamp to new chassis - and general Annie questions on: June 04, 2015, 10:15:37 AM
Dear All,

IIRC, the solder terminals on the back of the (Double Pole, Double throw) smoke switch on the Big Hauler (non-Annie) loco

are used as a convenient place to connect wires without having to pay for and install a separate terminal strip.

1 2    (My own numbering system, may be different than official Bachmann diagrams.)
3 4
5 6

Terminals 1 and 2 go to the smoke unit.

Terminals 3 and 4 are track power pickups (R and L), motor (dot and non-dot) and grain-of-wheat headlight (wire 1 and wire 2).

Terminals 5 and 6 are empty (unused).

Smoke "On" connects 3 to 1 and 4 to 2. (Track power to smoke unit.)

Smoke "Off" connects 3 to 5 and 4 to 6. (Track power to unused terminals.)

Hope this helps.


Joe Satnik
24  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Runs Roughly in one direction on: May 25, 2015, 10:06:33 AM
Dear Punkin,

Assuming this is a Big Hauler 4-6-0 or an Annie, there are no power pick-ups in the tender. 

Engine pick-ups are on the outer 4 driver wheels (IIRC - center blind drivers have no pick-ups) and the 4 pony truck wheels in the front.

My guess is that the pony truck pick-up wires are intermittent (flexed and broken inside the wire's plastic insulation),

but make contact swung to the far right (running clock-wise),

and lose contact swung to the far left (running counter-clockwise).

You can check your wheels with an Ohm-meter.

Most that you can buy these days are built into a Digital Multi-Meter (DMM),

which you can buy for a reasonable price at Harbor Freight.  

One probe touching one wheel, the other probe touching another wheel.

Same side pick-up wheels should read near-zero Ohms (less than 2 Ohms),

Opposite side pick-up wheels should show the combined resistance of the motor, light, and smoke unit if turned on, perhaps about 8 to 10 Ohms. 

Wheels without any connection should over-range, or show "infinity" ohms on the meter.

Make sure all pick-up wheels keep their connection over the entire range of their left to right travel, including driver "slop".

Hope this helps.


Joe Satnik

25  Discussion Boards / N / Re: HELP FINDING OLDER BACHMAN TRAIN SET MODEL?? on: May 20, 2015, 11:34:39 PM
Dear Billy,

No help with sets, however...

On Tony Cook's site....

Click the links on the left side. 

Hope this helps.


Joe Satnik
26  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann engine "picks' points on one particular EZ-Track turnout on: May 18, 2015, 09:32:53 PM
Check the gauge of your wheels (indirectly) by measuring the wheel back-to-back using a caliper:

According to,

0.566" to 0.575"


14.50mm to 14.73mm

Hope this helps.


Joe Satnik
27  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Capacitor Installation on: May 10, 2015, 07:21:35 PM

Re: Passenger Car Video.

How many wheels per car are picking up?

If you have good rail-to-wheel electrical contact on multiple points,

and good wheel-to-pickup electrical contact on multiple points,

your lights should not flicker at all.

Clean your track, clean your wheels, and fix your pickup wipers.

When that is complete, then improve your circuitry.   

However, until you get a properly wired diode or diode bridge

between your pickups and the electrolytic cap, do not run in reverse

(If your LEDs are lit under forward track power, you are safe.

i.e., you will not blow up the electrolytic capacitor.)

Hope this helps.


Joe Satnik
28  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A Request for Suggestions Concerning Mining/Logging Industry Turnout on: May 10, 2015, 06:48:28 PM
Backing through an "S" curve is an almost certain derailment.
29  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A Request for Suggestions Concerning Mining/Logging Industry Turnout on: May 10, 2015, 03:42:38 PM

A straight (at least as long as your longest car or loco) between opposing curves will fix an "S" curve, according to John Armstrong.

Hope this helps.

Joe Satnik

30  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A Request for Suggestions Concerning Mining/Logging Industry Turnout on: May 10, 2015, 02:48:06 PM

I noticed a few "Ess" curves in your design. 

One that is unavoidable is just south of your lettering "Scenic Ride Stub".

Another one, just off the south-west corner of the "office" building, if you need to take the western-most stub.

There are others in your turnouts, but they can be avoided by careful route selection.

Hope this helps.


Joe Satnik
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