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1996  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann ez track auto crossing gate on: January 06, 2015, 08:35:08 PM
There's nothing listed on the "Order Parts" page. Your best bet is to call the Parts Dept. and ask if they have one.

Contact #: 1-800-356-3910, ext 328 or 329, be prepared for long hold times.

If it's not available, short of replacing the whole crossing gate, you might be able to make a replacement using thin Bass Wood or sheet styrene.

1997  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: options for HO 4x8 track and wiring plans in DC operation on: January 06, 2015, 08:25:31 PM
No need to tear any switches out to install fixed decoders. The DS64, or equivalent just replaces the switch controller. You can use the switch wiring already in place.

1998  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: How to keep track of switch direction on DCC layout? on: January 06, 2015, 06:48:44 PM
Unless there are contacts for controlling indicator lights built into the switch the instructions don't talk about, there's not a lot of options.

You might be able to use the manual throw lever to bump micro-switches controlling indicator lights on a control panel. Or possibly link it to a modified manual switch stand with built in contacts to control indicator lights. Something like:

1999  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: options for HO 4x8 track and wiring plans in DC operation on: January 06, 2015, 05:46:50 PM
HO EZ-Track is cd100. Cd100 is probably best for equipment from the 70's, a lot of it had huge flanges, if you don't want to change out the wheels.

Most layout plans from that era use "Common Rail" wiring, where only one rail is gapped for creating electrical blocks. If you know you'll be upgrading to DCC down the road, still put in the blocks, but gap both rails. This makes it much easier to set up power districts, and troubleshoot problems, when you finally switch to DCC. Just turn all the blocks on when using DCC.

Other than turnouts/crossovers with decoders built into them, track doesn't care if your running DC or DCC. And even standard remote turnouts can be operated with DCC by adding 'fixed' decoders to operate them, for example the Digitrax DS64. There are several others.

2000  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: options for HO 4x8 track and wiring plans in DC operation on: January 06, 2015, 11:56:07 AM
Which track system to use depends on a lot of factors. How big a layout do you plan to build? Will it be temporary or permanent? Will mainly be running "through" trains, or doing a lot of switching? Will you be looking for crossovers between parallel tracks with fairly close spacing, e.g., 2.5" - 3"? Do you want to have parallel sidings with fairly close spacing to the mainline? Do you plan on having yard tracks that aren't elevated on seperate roadbeds like mainline track? Do you have older equipment with "pizza cutter" flanges that require code 100 rail? Or newer stuff with RP25 contour wheels that can handle code 83, or even 70, with no problems?

The close spaced parallel tracks and siding is an issue, because none of the built in roadbed track system turnouts are designed for that. Even the Atlas Tru-Track roadbed system forces you to use the 1/3 curve section in the "match the curve" mode, and not flipped around to create a close spaced parallel track. Or removed completely for creating a crossover between close parallel mainlines.

I would say look at some track plan books, and once you have a better idea of what you want to do, then decide on a track system.

2001  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: turnouts on ho track power both sides on: January 06, 2015, 06:30:35 AM
"Outside influence" = Scenary pin dropped across the track; setting a Kadee #205 metal coupler height gauge on the track with power applied; etc.

2002  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: options for HO 4x8 track and wiring plans in DC operation on: January 06, 2015, 12:11:22 AM
Considering there's a reason brass track hasn't been made in over 20 years for a reason, yeah, go with nickle silver. Way less work to maintain, and locos don't stall because green gunk is growing on the rails.

I'd suggest pulling the rails out of the brass track and recycling the plastic ties and brass. Or check with your local scrap dealer if you've got a lot. Depending on what part of the country your in, scrap brass is going for $0.85 - $1.55/lb for under 50 lbs.

2003  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EZ Track Noise on: January 05, 2015, 09:00:17 PM
Having about half a 25lb bag of plaster left over from a project, I just fill the void under the track with plaster and smooth it off with a plastic spackle spreader. Let it set up overnight, and way less noise in use.

2004  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Bachmann 4-4-0 model 28306 sound on: January 05, 2015, 07:26:54 PM
The tender body is the same one used in the sound equiped version of this loco. It already has a space for the speaker in the tender. The sound equiped version uses the Bachmann #10066 speaker, available through the "Order Parts" page.

2005  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann HO engine #6308 on: January 05, 2015, 07:10:29 PM
Len it is the pancake motor unless it was modified by someone. This locomotive hasn't been made in Canadian National livery since the 1970's.

Ugh! If it's lubed to loosen the motor up, their okay for dragging their own train around in loops. But too much slop in the drive for reliable switching actions with knuckles. Plus one or two extra cars can bog them down.

No CN, but I've swapped some other "ancient", and discontinued, shells I really liked to newer drive mechanisms.

2006  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: bachmann track pack 4x8 on: January 05, 2015, 06:38:24 PM
It's not a case of which way is "Cheaper", but which was is affordable.

If you don't have the $$$ to buy the track pack, but enough to get a couple of packs of curves or straights each payday, it's more affordable to get the track pieces sepately over a period of time. Even though overall the complete track pack may be cheaper.

2007  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann HO engine #6308 on: January 05, 2015, 06:32:58 PM
The cars are okay, but probably have horn-hook couplers.

If it's the F9 with a can motor, they clean up pretty well, have all wheel pick up, and can pull a fair number of cars. If you run DCC, a hardwire decoder is fairly simple install.

If it's the really old one, with "pancake" motor and drive wheels all in one assembly at the front or back, with only 4 pick-up wheels on the other end, it's probably not worth doing more than giving it a drop of oil on each end of the motor shaft. It will pull the cars that came with it, and maybe one or two more. More than that and you may see smoke start coming out of the motor.

2008  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: bachmann track pack 4x8 on: January 05, 2015, 04:22:04 PM
The 'Madison Central' track plan is available on TWGH web site, as well as several others. It's also in a number of track plan books. So if you're on a budget, you don't have to buy anyone's "Track Pack". Just buy the appropriate track sections as you find them on sale, and your budget permits.

Fleishmann did a track bundle for the 'Madison Central' some time back, but I don't think it's available any more. There are also plans and track lists around for doing it in 'N', 'S', and 'O' scales.

2009  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New HO 4-4-0 train set won't go on: January 05, 2015, 01:47:12 PM
You can get a stereo mini-plug like the one on the end of the red cable at Radio Shack. With the shell off, plug it into the jack on the speed control and measure the voltage between what are known as the ring and sleeve connectors. The tip connector is not used in this instance. If you read voltage, the red cable is bad, no voltage it's the speed control.

2010  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: bachmann track pack 4x8 on: January 05, 2015, 12:05:12 PM
Michael Gross did a series of "How To" videos for 'The World's Greatest Hobby' folks.

One of which is "Building Your First Model Railroad", included in the #44596 "Your First Railroad Track Pack". Since TWGH isn't affiliated with any particular manufacturer, they did the layout in just about everyone's track system and scale. And at some point, several manufacturers offered similar track packs to build the layout.

The layout itself is based on the "Madison Central", built by Jim Hediger for Model Railroader magazine some years back. Which in turn was based on a layout built by a youth group even earlier.

As 4x8 layouts go, it's a good, basic 4x8 layout, without creating the "spaghetti bowl" effect. There's resonable possibility for operating two locos if you're using DCC. One switching the spurs, the other running the loop.

No idea why the switches are getting bad reviews. They aren't high end, like Shinohara, but they're no worse than other basic solinoid operated switches.

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