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2011  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: e/Z Track to standard track on: February 21, 2014, 11:19:09 AM
Actually, you can use back-to-back "Power-Link" adapters from Life-Like's "Power-Loc" track line to go from EZ-Track to just about any other brand of track without any cutting and filing. The EZ-Track pin and loop slip right into the opening on the 'standard' end of the "Power-Link".

I've done this many times to add Peco 'Streamline' turnouts to places an EZ-Track, or other, turnout just wouldn't work.

Len
 
2012  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Dcc and layout size on: February 13, 2014, 12:30:00 PM
Keep in mind, just like with a DC layout, the more track you put in your layout, the more power feeders you'll need to it. Except for the most basic loop of track, the old saw about, "You only need to connect two wires with DCC.", is a myth.

Whether it's DC or DCC, track is not that great an electrical conductor.

Len
 
2013  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: mounting screw sizes on: February 13, 2014, 12:25:33 PM
Best on-line source of small screws I've found is Micro-Fasteners. They have small metric and inch screws of all kinds.

Web page is: http://www.microfasteners.com/

Len
2014  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Suggestions for a good-running, small DC HO steamer, for 15" radius on: February 13, 2014, 12:19:33 PM
I have to agree with Jeff on some of the old layout books having good plans for small spaces. Kalmbach's "101 Track Plans", which goes way back, has quite a few small layouts. Some of which have curves going down to 14in radius.

Dave, I'm surprised to hear your 2-6-6-2 has pickup issues. I put a TCS T1 decoder in mine, and use it on an 18" x 12' switching layout with lots of crossings and turnouts, with no problems at all.

Len
2015  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Suggestions for a good-running, small DC HO steamer, for 15" radius on: February 08, 2014, 03:02:50 PM
You might want to check out the Mantua 2-6-6-2 articulated. It's based on a narrow gauge logging RR prototype, enlarged a bit to fit standard gauge track, but does 15" radius curves just fine.

Len
2016  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 4x8 track plans on: February 08, 2014, 11:05:09 AM
I believe Tyco also had 9" radius curves embedded in street sections for use with trolleys.

If really pressed for space, Peco makes a line of sectional track called "Set-track", for obvious reasons, that has pretty tight curves using code 100 rail that can be connected to EZ-Track.

Appoximate sizes are:
R1 - 14.6" radius
Double curve 14.6/17.2 easement
R2 - 17.2" radius
Double curve 17.2/19.9 easement
R3 - 19.9" radius
R4 - 22.5" radius
There are also turnouts with equivelent radius diverging tracks.

Item numbers start with "ST' vs the "SL" of their "Stream-line" track system.

Len
2017  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: HO/OO on: February 07, 2014, 11:11:24 AM
For locos and rolling stock OO = 4mm/ft (1:76.2) and HO = 3.5mm/ft (1.87.5).

So technically HO (16.5mm gauge) track used for OO trains would only be 4ft 1-1/2in gauge, vs the actualy 4ft 8-1/2in gauge of the prototype. But it's "close enough" manufacturers aren't going to run out and start a whole new track line for what, in reality, is a limited market. Which is why Peco track is labeled "HO/OO", even though it's 16.5mm gauge.

Len
2018  Discussion Boards / Williams by Bachmann / Re: Fixing a Wheel assembly on: February 01, 2014, 01:03:53 PM
The old Lionel transformers used a rectifier disk (PN: 1041-13) to change 5V AC tapped off the main transformer winding to DC to trigger the whistle/horn relay in the loco. If the loco speeds up, and you get no whistle or bell with the LW, it means the rectifier disk has gone bad. These discs are no longer available from Lionel, but are available from many third party vendors. I've gotten them from Olsen's Toy Trains, The Train Tender, and several other places. They're pretty simple to replace.

Keep in mind the LW is one of those odd-ball transformers that uses the 'A' posts as 'Common', which should connect to the outside rails. The 'U' post on this transformer is actually the "Hot" that connects to the center rail. If not connected this way, using fixed voltage posts 'B' and 'C' for accessories connected to the outside rail for the return path will result in dead shorts.

Normally the shiny side of the replacement rectifier disc faces the mounting bracket. If this causes the bell to ring, instead of the horn blowing, just flip it around so the shiny side is away from the bracket.

Len
2019  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Alco S2 sound improvement simple on: February 01, 2014, 12:30:18 PM
While it's true in some circles all caps = shouting, I recently learned some folks with vision problems keep the 'Caps Lock' key on all the time so they can see what they are typing.

Len
 
2020  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Inexpensive Track Cleaning Tool on: January 31, 2014, 12:22:50 PM
I just use the 'Scotch Brite' side of one of those sponges with blue 'Scotch Brite' on one side to clean track. Most grocery stores sell them in a three pack that's pretty cheap. If the 'Scotch Brite' gets gunked up, just wash it out, let it dry, and it's ready to go again.

Just be sure to get the blue 'Scotch Brite'. The green is way to course.

Len
2021  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Help to identify Engine and coupler on: January 14, 2014, 10:32:42 AM
That's a Bachmann GP-40. The Life-Like equivelents were all numbered in the 3500 series.

The Kadee conversion uses a #37 coupler. Instructions can be found here: http://www.kadee.com/conv/pdf/b10.pdf

Len
2022  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Manual Turnouts to power? on: January 14, 2014, 10:19:38 AM
The only reliable way I've found to convert manual EZ-Track turnouts to remotes was with either Tortise or Peco under table switch machines.

The Tortise machines are DC 'stall motor' units that can be operated with a standard toggle switch, while the Peco's are solinoid units that operate best on AC, contolled by momentary contact push buttons or momentary contact, center off, toggle switches.

Len
2023  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Future of the Spectrum Range? on: January 10, 2014, 10:34:36 AM
I vaguely remember something being said about a few older Spectrum loco models being moved into the standard line a while back, but nothing about the Spectrum line going away.

Len
2024  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Regarding Brick and Mortar Shops on: January 03, 2014, 12:30:15 PM
One thing I'm noticing is the general, "We have everything!", hobby shops are slowly disappearing. The hobby shops that seem to do well are the ones that specialize, e.g., just RC, just plastic kits, just trains, etc. At least that seems to be what's happening in the area around Raleigh, NC where I live.

Len
2025  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 4x8 track plans on: January 03, 2014, 12:26:08 PM
Almost all of the plans in the Atlas "True-Track" plan book will work with EZ-Track.

And if you really want a second loop using 15" radius curves, consider using it for a trolley line. Most 4-wheel trolleys will operate down to 9" radius, so 15" radius curves are actually pretty broad for their use.

Len
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