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2056  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: EMD FT-A Skids or Bottoms Out ?? on: January 30, 2012, 07:40:17 AM
All good suggestions of things to look at but, on a more mundane level, did you check to see if a traction tire is missing? That can also cause the symptoms you describe.

2057  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Wired rail joiners... block info and how many do I need?? on: January 28, 2012, 11:55:14 PM
Like I said, my friends layout filled a one car garage and had track inside buildings, hidden staging tracks, etc. Not having a way to isolate sections of track with On/Off switches for trouble shooting purposes led to a major headache.

Are blocks needed on a smaller layout, maybe not if all the track is readily accessable. But it doesn't hurt to put them in.

2058  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: TURNTABLE BACHMAN ELECTRICAL on: January 27, 2012, 08:07:53 AM
Spurs other than #4 connecting to the main get insulated to prevent shorts if the turntable is rotated enough to reverse the polarity on the rails relative to the main line.

You'd probably need to install an automatice reversing module, e.g., Digitrax AR-1, between the spur and main to prevent problems if you actually ran a train through the connection.

2059  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: passenger car production on: January 27, 2012, 08:00:26 AM
The other option is to do what NS did, 'kit bash' and paint existing models into the NS Executive cars. NS did a lot of reworking and repainting to get those cars into their existing condition.

2060  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Wired rail joiners... block info and how many do I need?? on: January 27, 2012, 07:56:01 AM
In my book, there's no such thing as too many power feeders.

And don't let anyone tell you blocks aren't needed with DCC! A friend of mine with a 1 car garage layout bought into that myth and didn't put in any blocks, except to set up seperate power districts for his yards. One day he was doing some scenary work and dropped a T-pin. He figured he would look for it later, and when he went to fire up the layout, his DCC system tripped out because of a dead short. Long story short, 3 days later we found the pin where it had bounced on to an "inside the building" warehouse track. He decided it might be a good idea to retrofit blocks for troubleshooting purposes.

Trust me, it's easier and cheaper to put the blocks in as you build the layout.

2061  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: bachmann power pack on: January 25, 2012, 03:43:51 PM
"Best power pack" is very subjective. What I might consider best for my layout may be totally different than what someone else considers best.

For what you described you were doing, the MRC 1370 will do the job and won't break the bank. It gives you the basics - 300 degree speed control know, power on/overload indicator, On/Off switch, fixed AC accessory output, and variable DC track output, and a 5 year warranty. If you're using conventional DC operation with blocks, you might want two to allow for two operators.

There are more expensive power packs out there with additional "bells and whistles", e.g., momentum, a built in reversing loop output with it's own direction switch, built in volt/amp meters, etc. But if your looking for something that will power a 30 car train with two older Athearn F-units with open frame motors at the head end, the MRC 1370 will do it.

Just use plenty of power feeders for 125ft of track.

2062  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: bachmann power pack on: January 25, 2012, 12:41:20 PM
If you're double heading with two powered locos do yourself a favor and, at a minimum, get an MRC 1370 power pack. It has an 18VA rated output, the typlical train set pack is rated 7VA, and can easily handle two powered locos on the front of a long train.

2063  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 15 " radius tract on: January 20, 2012, 03:46:28 PM
The cars from that set would probably be ok on 15in radius curves, if you operate slowly.

I have serious doubts about the loco though, both because of it's length and the wheelbase of the trucks.

Something along the lines of a 44 or 70 tonner would be more appropriate for that tight a curve.

2064  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: bridge incline on: January 20, 2012, 04:29:20 AM
If you don't want to get into the classic "Up & Over" figure-8, which has almost all the track either going up or down except short sections at the top and bottom, there are a couple of options.

A. Use 2in thick blue or pink insulating foam as a base for you layout. This allows you to keep the track flat, yet makes it very easy to carve out rivers, cuts, etc., to justify bridges and/or trestles.

B. Use Woodland Scenics foam risers as a base for the track, leaving gaps where you want to install a bridge or trestle. Using the foam risers allows rolling hills to easily be created using wadded up newsprint and plaster cloth between the risers. This allows the track to stay flat, while creating the illusion track is going up and down. The risers are available in heights of 1/2", 3/4", 1", 2", and 4". There are also inclines available to transition between riser heights if you actually want to add grades, without the full "up & over" look.

2065  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: flex track on: January 19, 2012, 11:41:29 AM
For what it's worth, I've found using 'O' cork roadbed with code 100 track comes closer to matching the height of the EZ-Track plastic roadbed than 'HO' cork does.



Do you narrow the O-gauge roadbed?

                                                -- D   

It depends on the mood I'm in at the time. I just use 12 to 18 inches of 'O' roadbed, then switch to regular HO roadbed. I use some sandpaper wrapped around a chunk of 2x4 to taper the 'O' cork down to match the HO cork, then vacumn up the mess.

2066  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: flex track on: January 18, 2012, 09:57:33 AM
For what it's worth, I've found using 'O' cork roadbed with code 100 track comes closer to matching the height of the EZ-Track plastic roadbed than 'HO' cork does.

2067  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Sample DCC Layout? on: January 15, 2012, 10:04:05 AM
The Alan Gartner's web site also has a bunch of useful info on wiring a DCC layout.

2068  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: GP9 Turning Radius on: January 15, 2012, 09:53:47 AM
I basically agree with Roger, with one exception regarding articulated steamers. Mantua's 2-6-6-2 articulated, based on a logging loco that was originally designed for rough track with tight curves, handles 18in curves fine. And it doesn't look completely rediculous doing it.

One of these days I've got to dig the "Death Spiral" out, and see just how tight a curve it can handle.

2069  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: rerailer wire question. on: January 15, 2012, 03:33:06 AM
The wire you're looking for comes with the 9in straight and 18in radius curve terminal track sections. For reasons known only to Bachmann it is not available as a seperate purchase item.

Apparently Bachmann thinks these wires never go bad and have to be replaced. Or that people may want to upgrade from the train set controller with the phono plug jack, to an MRC power pack with screw terminals as their power needs grow.

At any rate, the wire you're looking for is available. Just not for seperate purchase.

2070  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: GP9 Turning Radius on: January 14, 2012, 04:28:34 AM
The GP7 and GP9 both have 6 axles that I know of...but before I buy into this model...what are the chances they will perform on an existing 18" turn? Has anyone had experiences with these models derailing?

Actually, the GP7 & GP9 (GP = General Purpose, aka "Geeps") had 4-axle trucks, the SD7 and SD9 (SD = Special Duty) were the 6-axle versions. The extra axles were to reduce the axle loading, or weight per axle, allowing them to operate on branch lines with less than optimal track, hence "Special Duty" locos.

All of the Geeps I own will negotiate 18in radius curves just fine.

Most of the SD's I've got, except one Proto, will also.

That one makes 18in radius left turns fine, but jumps the track on 18in right turns.  Nothing appears to be binding, the wheels are all in gauge, the trucks have the same swing both ways, but it just doesn't like those 18in right curves. So I keep it on the runs with 22in, or bigger, curves and it's happy. All my other SD's handle 18in curves with no problems.

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