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1981  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Minimum radius Bachmann streetcars on: November 30, 2012, 03:58:10 PM
I've operated the HO 4-wheel Brills on 9in radius curves built into "city streets". Don't know about the others, as I've never owned any.

1982  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: power feeds on HO Steel track on: November 29, 2012, 10:15:15 AM
Both a 9in straight and an 18in radius curve 'Terminal Track' is available seperately. Using one of them would be the simplest way to add an additional power feed.

1983  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann 44 ton Switcher with Decoder on: November 29, 2012, 10:11:46 AM
You may want to take a look at CV3, Acceleration Momentum. If it's set too high the loco will just sit there for a while before it starts to move.

1984  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Dept 56 Trolley on: November 28, 2012, 12:47:06 PM
You may have dirt build up between the back of the wheels and the wipers that rub on them, so power's getting to the light, but not enough current to spin the motor. A drop of Conducta-lube on the back of the wheel will sometimes fix that, or a shot of electronic contact cleaner.

1985  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: loose turnouts on: November 26, 2012, 02:38:55 PM
That's why I mentioned shims. You could use cd83/cd100 transition joiners, but I prefer to shim and use the Peco cd100 joiners. They're tight enough to work with cd83 rail.

1986  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: loose turnouts on: November 26, 2012, 08:59:26 AM
Short answer: Yes, the Kato HO turnouts will work with EZ-Track, but...

You'll have to remove loop and pin from the end of the EZ-Track, and the rail joiner/locking clips from the Kato turnouts and replace them with regular rail joiners. I prefer the Peco cd100 joiners as they seem to hold tighter than other brands. Depending on your benchwork, you may have to shim one side or the other with a bit of card stock.

You'll also have a slight discontinuity in the roadbed color, Kato roadbed is darker than EZ-Track. You can use a dark gray wash to make the transition look more natural.

1987  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: HOn3 or HOn30?? on: November 25, 2012, 12:43:43 PM
The 'why' of 30" gauge is simple, ever since home computers became commercially available the "1/2" and "1/4" keys typewriters and Wang Word Processors used to use have disappeared. Which made it harder to specifiy the correct Xn2-1/2 foot gauge (Where X=O/S/HO/TT/N/Z) in publications, so it got 'shorthanded' into Xn30 inch gauge.

The problem being, 2ft and 3ft gauge are still specified in the correct feet, not inches. So occasionally people read an article about an Xn3 (3ft) gauge layout, and think there was a typo and it's supposed to be Xn30 (30in/2-1/2ft) gauge. Or they'll read an article in an older magazine refering to Xn2-1/2 ft gauge, and not realize it's the same as Xn30 in gauge.

In the US, either all of them need to start being referred to in inches, e.g., Xn24, Xn30, Xn36, or (since the 1/2 and 1/4 key will probably never come back to the keyboard) people need to get used to using Xn2-1/2 so the correct Xn2, Xn2-1/2, and Xn3 ft gauges can be used.

1988  Discussion Boards / Williams by Bachmann / Re: Williams on Fastrak on: November 25, 2012, 01:00:30 AM
The blinking green light on your CW-80 means there's either a short or an overload condition going on.

How many feeders do you have running from your CW-80 to the track?? Steel rail is not a great conductor, and if you only have one or two feeders it's possible not enough current is getting to the motors if the loco is too far from a feeder.

Does it run ok when it's withing a track section or two of a terminal track? What size wire are you using to get from the transformer to the terminal track feeder wires?

1989  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Using terminal blocks on: November 24, 2012, 02:42:38 PM
I like lamp cord because it's availalbe in several colors. Polarity is pretty easy to keep straight also. The insulation on all lamp cord is smooth over one conductor, and has ridges over the other. Pick one to be the 'hot' side, and the other to be the 'return'.

I use brown insulation for track power, white for building lights, gray for switch machine power, and black for misc odds and ends.

1990  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: on30 scale ??? on: November 24, 2012, 02:32:44 PM
Where does On30 fit in.  That seems to indicate it was O Gauge, Narrow, 30" between track rails.

You've got it exactly right. On30 is O-scale (1:48 or 1/4in/ft), narrow gauge, 30in (2-1/2ft) gauge between the rails. So, even though it will operate on HO track, buildings, scenary, etc., should in fact be 1:48 scale.

Strictly speaking, the gauge after the 'n' should be specified in feet, e.g., Xn3 for 3ft gauge, Xn2-1/2 for 2-1/2ft gauge, etc. Unfortunately computer keyboards lost the 1/2 key typewriters and older word-processors had. So people started using 30, for 30 inches, instead of 2-1/2 for 2-1/2ft. Which can lead to confusion with Xn3 gauge when people think the zero was left off.

1991  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Clearance above rail height. on: November 21, 2012, 02:17:53 AM
NMRA Standard gauges can be ordered directly from the NMRA, and are also available through Walthers. The Walthers mfg-item numbers are:

98-1 HO Standards Gauge
98-8 N Standards Gauge
98-9 On30 Standards Gauge

The 98-5 O Scale Standards Gauge is for 2-Rail Scale O, not 3-Rail 'tinplate' O.

1992  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Clearance above rail height. on: November 19, 2012, 11:02:26 AM
For US prototype modeling standards you might want to check out:

Clearance info is contained in standard S-7, found at:

For the 'Classic' era, 1920-1969, the clearance from the top of the rail should be 3-1/32in (77mm). For the modern era the clearance from the railhead would be 3-5/32in (80mm).

1993  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann couplers on Tyco rolling stock. on: November 18, 2012, 07:36:15 AM
Short term, Life-Like makes a plastic knuckle coupler with a small mounting hole that's a direct replacement for the original Tyco horn-hook couplers. No adapters needed, but I find they work better in Tyco trucks if you clip about 1/8" off the end of the centering "whiskers".

If your LHS doesn't have them, you can get them directly from Walthers. Item #433-1427 is a pack of 10/pr for $8.49 and 433-1436 is 2/pr for $4.99. The 10/pr pack is a better deal.

Long term, as others have already mentioned, go with the body mounted Kadee couplers. Personally, I don't like having to juggle the bronze centering springs so prefer the #148 'whisker' couplers. Or you could get some Kadee boxes and use EZ-Mate couplers if your trains aren't too long.

Eventually I also remove the 'snap-on' Tyco trucks, fill the hole with "5 Minute" epoxy, then drill and tap for a 2-56 screw and mount appropriate Kadee trucks with Intermountain wheels. The Intermountain wheels are a good idea even if you keep the original trucks.

1994  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EZ track connection to NCE Power Cab on: November 14, 2012, 07:54:40 AM
If you don't want to cut the wire that comes with a standard EZ-Track terminal section, pick up a 10ft Red Terminal Extension Wire (Item # 44498). Cut the male end off, split the wires apart, strip the ends, and you're ready to connect to your Power Cab.

1995  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Track layouts on: November 14, 2012, 07:48:53 AM
Kalmbach Books publishes a track plan book called "101 More Track Plans" that includes HO layouts using EZ-Track, and just about all of the layouts in the Atlas 'True-Track Plan Book' can be done using EZ-Track.

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