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1966  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Prototype for the C&NW 4-6-0? on: January 10, 2015, 09:02:14 PM
That's the problem. Word special characters aren't straight ANSI/ASCII text, and can show up strangely when posted to web sites that are looking for that. Better to use EditPad Lite (it's free) or NotePad for straight text editing if you're going to copy and paste from offline documents.

1967  Discussion Boards / Williams by Bachmann / Re: E Z street on: January 10, 2015, 06:43:37 PM
The trolley will run on EZ-Streets just fine. For bumpers, you could make your own, check e-bay for original Super-Streets bumpers, or modify train bumpers, such as the Bachmann 00208, to work on EZ-Streets. You'd probably have to glue or screw the train bumper down at the end of the run.

1968  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Benchwork Help on: January 10, 2015, 06:35:38 PM
The books here contain a lot of information on getting started in the hobby. Including the one on benchwork, which covers several types, several of which are readily adaptable to sectional designs.

If your LHS doesn't carry them, you can order direct from Kalmbach or from your local bookstore.

1969  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: ON30 passenger car couplers on: January 10, 2015, 03:05:49 PM
If they are Mark II couplers, with the metal spring, make sure the springs are all in place. Sometimes in shipping, or rough handling at the hobby shop by customers, one or more springs will pop out. Resulting in the couplers that will not stay closed. I've seen the same thing happen with HO car couplers.

1970  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Prototype for the C&NW 4-6-0? on: January 10, 2015, 01:21:44 PM
Interesting. I just did a "quick and dirty" check for the #239 coal vs oil info I found. I'm mainly into Eastern and Southern roads. My interests in the Northwest area runs more to Northern Pacific and Great Northern passenger service.

Are you typing directly in the message box, or using an external editor and doing a 'copy & paste' into the message box? The weird symbols look like what you get pasting a full blown word processor document into something looking for straight text.

1971  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: I pushed the Accessories button by mistake, and now the train won't work! on: January 10, 2015, 01:13:10 PM
It would help to know what scale, O, HO, N, and which specific set it is. If it's not a set, what pieces do you have?

1972  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: in stalling decoder in a Bachmann steamer on: January 10, 2015, 07:41:03 AM

Nice job!

But it also makes my point. Connecting the headlight to the decoder isn't as simple as just running two wires through empty space in the loco shell. Rather than drill, I used a 'V' shaped carving tool that, had seen better days, to make a groove down the engineers side of the loco weight molding on mine. Then laid the wires in that, coated them with 'Weldbond' white glue to hold them in place, and reassembled after it dried.

1973  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: in stalling decoder in a Bachmann steamer on: January 10, 2015, 12:58:20 AM
If these are the 4-4-0 "American" locos, with motor in the tender and drive shaft to the loco, there are a few problems.

First, there's not a lot of space for a decoder. You'll probably have to use a Z-scale decoder, and even that will be a tight fit.

Second, it's a 'hardwire' installation, which means some soldering is involved. The the power leads have to be removed from the motor and spliced to the decoder inputs. Then the decoder motor leads have to be soldered to the the motor.

Third, the headlight is fed power directly from the front truck. Which means running new wires from the headlight to the decoder in the tender if you want to use the decoder light functions. Not simple, since the body is pretty much full with a case weight.

You can get a rough idea what this involves from the exploded diagram at:

In short, can it be done and has it been done? Yes, to both.

Is it worth doing? Most folks would say no, but it's your call.

There was some discussion about this some years back on the Model Railroader Magazine forum. You can find that discussion here:

1974  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Track Polarity on: January 09, 2015, 07:27:44 PM
I can't give you an answer off the top of my head, but you'll find a cheap (under $10) continuity tester a handy thing to have for track work. You can get them at Radio Shack, most home improvement stores, and auto parts stores. It will tell you real quick what connects to what.

I can tell you the tabs directly opposite each other go to the same rail. So looking at one side, the right hand tab goes to the rail connected to the left hand tab on the other side.

It would have been nice if the connectors had been 'keyed', so you don't have to worry about flipping it by accident if unplugged for whatever reason.

1975  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Keeping cars attached to each other on: January 09, 2015, 06:55:12 PM
Actually, the first pic is orignial EZ-Mate plastic springs, the second is Mark II's with metal springs.

1976  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Keeping cars attached to each other on: January 09, 2015, 03:14:50 PM
A knuckle coupler looks like this, the knuckle is the moving part:

There are two ways the knucle can be held in the closed position. One uses a plastic tab, the other a spiral spring. To find the solution, it has to be determined which it is.

Is there a small plastic tab attached to the main coupler body that's supposed to push the knuckle closed, like in the picture above? Sometimes these tabs get bent in shipping, or when a set sits on the dealers shelf too long. If the tabs are sticking out instead of pressing on the knuckle, the couplers need to be replaced. If this is a Bachmann set, you'll want EZ-Mate Mark II Medium Center Shank couplers, or if you prefer metal, Kadee #148.

Or do the knuckles have bronze, possibly blackened, springs holding them closed? Like this:

Sometimes the springs get knocked loose in shipping, or if the set gets handled a lot at the dealer, in which case just the springs need to be replaced. The Kadee #622 Knuckle Spring works fine in EZ-Mate couplers.

1977  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Boston & Maine smoke and sound?? on: January 09, 2015, 09:44:38 AM
A solution I use is to purchase unlettered locos and apply decals.


This will give you a locomotive with B&M markings but you won't necessarily have a model of a B&M locomotive. This
has been an issue for mass produced model train products since before I got into the hobby in the 1950s.                                                                                                                                                                                               -- D

You got that right! In spite of many manufacturers doing it, painting an F-7, which the New Haven never owned, in the McGinnis scheme does not magically turn it into a New Haven FL-9.

1978  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: turnouts on ho track power both sides on: January 09, 2015, 08:57:15 AM
The mixed curves shouldn't matter, just use the right deck piece between piers under each curve section. That's where making poster board templates for trial fitting can come in handy.

And your right, individually the 18" curves are a bit longer than the 22". I was tired, and thinking about the size of a 90deg turn using 18" curves vs using 22" curves when I wrote that.

1979  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: turnouts on ho track power both sides on: January 09, 2015, 06:39:39 AM
You can get the protractor 'gizmo' at just about any hardware or home improvement store. They're less than $10.00, and the metal edge is handy for scribing plastic with an X-Acto blade.

But like I said, it makes things simpler to have one, but it's not essential. You can use a regular plastic protractor and ruler to lay out the basic deck size and shape on poster board. Then cut out the poster board to use it as a template for laying out the decks on styrene sheet.

The key points to remember are the 18" curve deck ends are 15deg angles, the 22" curve deck ends are 11.25deg, and the 22" curve decks are longer than the 18" decks.

1980  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann gp40 won't run on: January 08, 2015, 09:45:51 PM
And yes, the motor has to be connected to the board with the dummy plug on it. That's why the dummy plug is there, to connect the power pick up from the wheels to the motor when no decoder is installed.

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