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4291  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum GP-30 DCC Ready? on: April 28, 2009, 10:34:04 PM
the non dcc ones that i have require a haard wired decoder. it is not a hard job to do but it does require complete disassembly and  some rewiring. the following link shows how to convert an h16-44 to dcc, the gp30 is almost identical.
4292  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: DCC decoder on: April 28, 2009, 10:00:10 PM
the short answer is yes, you can put a decoder in any locomotive. however, some are designed for installation of a decoder, and others present major obstacles to dcc. it is best to do some research on whatever locomotives you have, to be sure decoder installation in those locomotives are something you think you can handle. many decoder manufacturers and dealers have instructions for installing decoders in particular locomtives on their web pages.....
4293  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: I Am Finally Unveiling My Layout! on: April 28, 2009, 09:55:59 PM
i think you have every right to be proud of what you've accomplished here. now i have to get started on my new one so i can show it off

that is, if i can keep the real ones from distracting me as they run by the apartment.....
4294  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: The demise of non sound steam on: April 28, 2009, 03:21:06 PM
it is interesting. when many of the other manufacturers started loading up their locomotives and prices went through the roof, i gave bachmann another look after years of buying other brands exclusively. dcc onboard was a pleasant surprise: a good running dcc equipped locomotive for less than the others were charging for analog......guess what i started buying.....

put another way, if you have a sound equipped locomotive only, at $300, i will only buy one if i REALLY want that locomotive. an impulse buy is not an option at that price. strip it down to analog and sell it for $100, i may buy 5 of them.....
4295  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Trackplanning on: April 28, 2009, 01:50:39 PM
i am currently in a similar situation to you. my available space is about 10' along one wall, and 4 1/2' along the other. have you considered having two seperate "towns" connected by a switchback? i am torn between this idea, and using the 4 1/2' area for a turnback curve to get to the upper level.
4296  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Lionel HO engines on: April 28, 2009, 07:31:24 AM
i once had a lionel gp30, it had the pancake motor mounted on the front, similar to bachmann locomotives of the era. lionel also had a ge u18b in their line. i don't believe anybody else has ever done one of those, and the gp30 was also unique to lionel at that time. i am not sure about freight cars, they may have been athearn kits that were pre assembled. i know the cars cox had in their sets were athearn.
4297  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Terminal railroads on: April 28, 2009, 07:23:44 AM
sometimes nut not always. some terminal railroads borrow locomotives from one or more owning lines. when they do own their own locomotives, they are often painted in the colours of one of the owning lines. an example of this was the staten island in new york city. it was owned by the b&o and its locomotives were painted royal blue, but with staten island letterinig where the b&o would be. another example, while not strictly a terminal railroad, was the p&le in pittsburgh. it was owned by the new york central, and its locomotives were painted like nyc locomotives, but the lettering said new york central system, and a small p&le was under the number on the cab.
4298  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: I Am Finally Unveiling My Layout! on: April 28, 2009, 07:14:55 AM
re: lighting.
i did notice the photos taken under natural light. they looked great.

one thing that can be done to increase lighting using standard fixtures is to up the wattage of the bulbs. whtih the new twist type energy saving bulbs,  the equivalent of a 150 watt bulb consumes about 40 watts. these will work in even a lamp rated for 60 watt bulbs. as an added bonus, they put out very little heat as well.

another trick for better pix is to change the setting on your camera. many digitals have provisions for taking photos under tungsten or fluorescent lighting. using those settings will eliminate alot of the yellowish tone in photos taken under indoor lighting.

snowman, i had a layout similar to your situation, i lit it with clip lights mounted on the backdrop. home depot has them at modest cost. just be aware you should use the energy saving bulbs in them, a 100 watt standard bulb puts out enough heat to damage the fixture.
4299  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Still run your Old rolling stock? on: April 27, 2009, 10:25:28 PM
regarding astrac,
i believe it was discontinued for lack of sales. but the concept has been refined and upgrades. we now know it as dcc.
4300  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 2 locomotives pulling a load ( Couple 2-10-2's ) on: April 27, 2009, 10:22:01 PM
i would say they are both pulling about the same, as long as neither one's wheels are slipping.

for proof, the real railroads rate locomotives by tonnage pulled over any particular route. the tonnage ratings are added together to determine what a particular consist is capable of pulling. think of it like a giant game of tug of war. everybody pulls on the rope and the force they exert on the rope is added it follows that identical locomotives should exert roughly equal force.
4301  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: #6 crossovers on: April 27, 2009, 09:19:52 PM
note very carefully the arrangement of the crossover in uncbob's photo.
note that the crossover switch nearest to the curve, curves the same way as the curve, there is no s curve there. a common mistake in track planning is to have, say, a left hand switch coming out of a right hand curve. the resulting s curve can be a major source of trouble, particularly if there is no straight track between the curve and the crossover. by having the first switch of the crossover continue curving in the same direction as the curve it is adjacent to, you will have far fewer problems with locomotives and cars derailing.....
4302  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: I Am Finally Unveiling My Layout! on: April 27, 2009, 09:05:59 PM
beautiful layout.
if i could make one suggestion, many people do not use enough light over the layout. with the new energy efficient bulbs you can light up the train room like the outdoors. then you can take your photos using the room light, without the flash. you will get some incredibly life like photos and i think you'll be pleased with the added light....
4303  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Terminal railroads on: April 27, 2009, 08:49:38 PM
a classic example of a terminal railroad exists in pittsburgh as the union railroad. it served most of the us steel plants southeast of the city, along with many other industries including a gm autoparts plant, and a cement plant. though only about 30 miles in length, it once connected with 7 different railroads. the amount of traffic this railroad once handled required over 100 locomotives.......
4304  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Big Engines, small curves on: April 24, 2009, 10:13:05 AM
the problem is not the 18" curve per se, but the crossover that has two of them in an s curve without any straight track in between. my grandfather used to run a mallet 2-8-8-2 and a 2-10-2 through 18" curves. but there were no s curves without at least 9" of straight track between the curves.
they looked horrible but ran pretty well. i ran u30c's and sd45's around 18" curves successfully as long as the first car wasn't shorter than 50'.....
once again, no s curves without an intermediate straight....

4305  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Cheapest Scale/Gauge? on: April 24, 2009, 10:05:38 AM
n scale is great for scenery. you can build mountains that look like mountains that the railroad had to tunnel through. operations, though much improved, still leave something to be desired if you like switching. most of the cars have truck mounted couplers, most of the locomotives body mounts....

HO on the otherhand, runs like a fine swiss watch. because of its size and weight, electrical contact problems are minimized. most cars and locomotives now have body mounted couplers, and switching is a breeze. it is still small enough to build respectable scenery, yet large enough to detail....

sacles larger than HO, you get all the detail at the expense of the scenery....

HO is the best compromise, but a quick check of  any hobby shop will show slightly lower prices for n scale cars and locomotives....
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