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1996  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: E-Z track turnout wiring on: January 07, 2015, 03:18:08 PM

True, they could physically hold it to one side or the other.

But the problem I had, and why I switched to toggles, wasn't they were operating the switch on purpose for too long. They just kept setting things, mainly books, on top of the flat Atlas switch controllers. This would hold the button down, and I'd get fried switch machines.

The toggle handles, sticking straight up, are less inviting as a place to set things on.

1997  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: HO Steam Loco Driver Size on: January 07, 2015, 03:12:32 PM
Mantua had 56" drivers, at least all of the ones I have seen did.

Thanks for the info. Never owned one, or looked that close at it.

1998  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Power Pack with no DC current on: January 07, 2015, 03:11:12 PM
I saw this once when my repair shop was open. Customer brought in a "bad" power pack with one track wire under an "AC" accessory screw, the other under a "DC" track screw. Double check the track wires are all in the right place.

Also, if you're using extra power feeders to the track make sure none of them are reversed from the others. That will create a short.

1999  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: E-Z track turnout wiring on: January 07, 2015, 02:00:07 PM
I prefer the toggle switches because you just have to tap them one way or the other. No sliding over, then pressing. And no burned out solinoids if someone, e.g., grandkids, sets something on the switch controller keeping the button pressed down.

2000  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Chuggington DCC on: January 07, 2015, 01:53:15 PM
I checked the on-line exploded diagrams on the "Reference" page, and Brewster, Koko, and Wilson are all DCC Ready, with an 8-pin dummy plug installed out of the package. It looks like the all use the same chassis.

This is the light board and dummy plug common to all three on the parts page:

2001  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: HO Steam Loco Driver Size on: January 07, 2015, 12:58:33 PM
These are the Bachmann Spectrum 4-6-0 w/63" Drivers if you go looking for them at shows, or on eBay:

84902 - Painted, Unlettered w/Sound & DCC
84906  - C&NW #238 w/Sound & DCC
84907 - NYC #1233 w/Sound & DCC

2-6-0 Moguls had either 56" or 64" drivers, the Bachmann Spectrum 2-6-0 has 56" drivers. If you can find one, IHC did a 64" driver version in their 'Premier' line that was DCC ready. The tender frame also had "grill" work in the bottom for installing a speaker if you added sound. I'm not sure what the driver size was on the Mantua version of the Mogul.


2002  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: E-Z track turnout wiring on: January 07, 2015, 10:42:30 AM
I can tell you from personal experience, these work quite well:

Unless you want the extra contacts for signal lights, you only need a SPDT Momentary On-Off-On switch, not a DPDT.

Tie all the center wires (common) together and connect to one side of your power supply. The outside wires go to the outer connectors on the SPDT switch. The switch center connectors can be "daisy chained" together, and connect to the other side of the power supply.

2003  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Prototype for the C&NW 4-6-0? on: January 07, 2015, 09:00:43 AM
Two different locos, with some number overlap going on.

The coal burning #239 was built for CSPM&O, as a Class G-1. It was reclassed as an R-1 when it came under C&NW.

The oil burning #239 is a Class K-1, built for C&NW after the coal burner was scrapped.

2004  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Prototype for the C&NW 4-6-0? on: January 06, 2015, 09:05:55 PM
Couldn't find #237, but here's the #239, same markings you describe for the #237:

Larger version at:

2005  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.

2006  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.

2007  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:

2008  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.

2009  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.

2010  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.

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