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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Decoder for Spectrum Baldwin 4-6-0 63" drivers on: December 22, 2008, 01:11:10 AM
Thanks for the information. For now, I think I'll install the Bachmann 8 pin decoder. We'll play with sound decoders in the future.

Derek O  Smiley
2  Discussion Boards / HO / Decoder for Spectrum Baldwin 4-6-0 63" drivers on: December 19, 2008, 11:48:26 AM
Hello everyone. Its been over a year since my last post.

Playstation kind of distracted my now 9 year old son from full time model trains, but the TRAINZ PC simulator has renewed his interest. So he asked Santa for a steam engine to pull his Roundhouse Harrimann CN passenger cars.

Santa will be delivering a new Spectrum Baldwin 4-6-0 with 63" drivers dcc ready (cat 82307) but I want to install a dcc decoder. My sons layout is steel ez track with the EZ command system and a standalone sound (MRC 312 soundstation). Everything works great!

I see from this forum many options and technical discussions. This will be my first decoder installation. I am comfortable doing soldering etc. but I don't want to mess up this beautiful loco.

So best value options are?
- basic non sound decoder (Bachmann?) - which one?
- basic sound decoder (to use with the EZ command system) and would it require modifying the tender to hear the sound?
- anyone have step by step instructions
- or should I choose to have a hobby shop do the install. What should I expect to pay?

Thanks all in advance for your suggestions.

DerekO  Smiley

P.S. is anyone still trying to "FREE the 2" straights"?!
3  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 8x4ft.U.S.HO Layout Plans Wanted on: November 12, 2007, 12:27:17 AM
Sunshine - were you planning on using EZ track for your layout?

Derek
4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: My latest Wal-Mart HO vehicle find on: September 13, 2007, 11:14:51 PM
Just delivered to Canada - found them in Toronto area Walmart!

1/87 Hot Wheels, Fresh Cherries and Malibu line arrived together!

My son is overjoyed "look dad they're all in plastic cases they must be good!".  My credit card just took another beating; but good value for the quality of model.
5  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EZ Track layouts here on: June 28, 2007, 10:00:30 AM
Great job again Terry!

Glad to see you're setting the groundwork for the next phase of the annual campaign to "FREE the 2" STRAIGHTS". (lol)

Derek
6  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: replace plastic wheels on ho cars on: June 13, 2007, 03:01:14 PM
Sorry about that Ernie.

Time is one thing I haven't been able to find for sale on ebay or at my local hobby store! I must say this hobby is quite a pursuit. And thank goodness for all the dedicated people on this site and others that have helped me through the learning curve. They have saved me tons of time and money.

Derek
7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: replace plastic wheels on ho cars on: June 13, 2007, 01:03:01 PM
Ernie: Here's my two cents worth as a newbie who has replaced some of the  plastic wheels.
1. The rolling friction became so minimal that I now have to worry about my layout being totally level! Especially near the uncoupler magnet!
2. I should have made sure the axles were non-magnetic.
3. With metal wheels I have to ensure the uncoupler magnet is perfectly centred between the rails.
My vote is for KISS approach - keep it simple. If it works but it ain't perfect how much time and money do you want to spend!!??

Just my thoughts...

Derek
8  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Mr. Bach-man - Source for ships that appear in Island Of Sodor Layout on: May 29, 2007, 12:00:19 AM
Quote from: the Bach-man
The ships are HO Scale vessels from Artitec, which I got from a company called Across the Pond.
The EZ track is fastened down with hot glue from Woodland Scenics.

Thanks Mr. B - exactly the info I needed.

Derek
9  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Mr. Bach-man - Source for ships that appear in Island Of Sodor Layout on: May 27, 2007, 10:08:20 AM
Mr. Bach-man: I'm building a shipyard as part of my ez track layout and am looking for smaller size freighters and tugs. What size were the ships you used in your layout and could you tell me where I can source them from?

Also, a related question - how did you fasten the ez track to the foam - with caulk, glue or screwed in?

Thanks

Derek
10  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: EZ Track Wiring on: May 17, 2007, 10:46:31 PM
Bojangle is right on with his advice - worked perfectly for my layout. Only other suggestion is instead of Radio Shack, go to an electronics junk store to save money on the terminal blocks. I found 9 hole mini blocks for $1 each. I cut them into groups of 3 and mounted underneath the table. Also, I also suggest tinning the wires before you insert wires into terminal blocks.

Derek
11  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: My first layout HO on: May 13, 2007, 12:33:45 PM
Robert - nice job. My son and I enjoyed watching your video. He wants to know when you're adding HO vehicles to the layout!

Derek
12  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Height of building sites and roads beside EZ track on: April 26, 2007, 01:21:04 PM
You can also try styrofoam insulation, the blue or pink stuff they sell at lumber yards, not the white beady stuff.

Woody - thanks. I'm using pink foam for my benchwork and tried to use it for roads and under structures. But cutting 3" wide 1/4" thick pieces is tricky with a flexible knife blade (cuts fingers real easy - I use this type of knife as it leaves no mess). I guess a sawblade or hotwire could do the trick.

Derek
13  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: HO E-Z Track on: April 25, 2007, 01:37:02 PM
Paul - the schematic was made using the Atlas Righttrack freeware track design program http://www.atlasrr.com/righttrack.htm.

Then I copied/ pasted into Microsoft Paint (included with Windows 98 operating system) to clean up, add colour, lines and text. This program is really easy to use; just zoom in and edit pixel by pixel.



Final image was then pasted into MSWord and printed on a colour laser printer.

Thanks for asking. Derek
14  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Height of building sites and roads beside EZ track on: April 23, 2007, 02:13:04 PM
Thanks Guys for the info. Is amazing how modeling sharpens your observation of how the real world is constructed!

I picked up some 3/16" thick sheets of foamcore at Michaels (on sale at 75% off!) and started playing around.  Used coffee stir sticks and 1/4"x3/16" balsa strips to elevate where needed. Also tried making paved roads with foamcore and 1/16" craft foam covered with soupy wall compound mixed with grey acrylic paint. My son says it looks good and his vehicles run smoothly - that's all that matters!

Derek
15  Discussion Boards / HO / Height of building sites and roads beside EZ track on: April 18, 2007, 11:19:25 PM
Hi everyone - just starting my scenery and landscaping and am scratching my head on this. I've read that elevating your building sites and roads 3/8" is necessary to bring them into proper scale.

I can see the doors on the boxcars will lineup with the platform edge and it will be easier for my son to drive his vehicles over the railway crossings.  But, I didn't think railroad rails are always level with the ground.

Should I be elevating just the building or walkways around the buildings? Should all the roadway be elevated or just near the crossing? Is 3/8" correct?

Details.....yikes.  Undecided

I am planning to completely landscape the layout and am not worried about 100% prototypical. Just don't want to make stupid mistakes that have me backtracking ten steps.....

Thanks for your comments.

Derek
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