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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: New Railroad (sorta) part V (preview) on: February 21, 2020, 06:57:22 PM
Wow. Really clever... and great looking, too. Hats off to you, sir.


2  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann #51319 DCC-Equipped Baldwin 2-8-0 Consolidation - Union Pacific #619 on: February 21, 2020, 08:17:50 AM

Short answer is yes.  You will have to determine what is causing the locking of the front drive wheels.  Here are some thoughts on diagnosing the problem:

a.  The good news is there is probably nothing going on internally. I've had these locos apart dozens of times, and I can't recall anything that could interfere with the axle turning.  So, let's consider some possible exterior issues.

b. If you loco was brand new, it is possible the box/loco was squeezed a bit in shipping.  I would first look at the crosshead that sits directly over the drive wheel.  The crossheads may need a very, very gentle spreading to move them away from the wheel, particularly the thrust rod attached to the wheel.  It wouldn't take much persuasion to straighten out the crossheads.

c. There are small phosphor-bronze pick up brushes on the inside of all the drive wheels.  It is possible the pick up brushes are a bit bent out of shape and catching the wheel spokes as the loco moves into a curve.  This was a problem on the old 4-8-2 Mountains, but I haven't heard of it happening on a consolidation, but you never know. You can usually manipulate the brushes just enough, without having to disassemble the loco.

d.  Are you sure it's the front drive wheel?  I ask because I have a consolidation where the main gear, on the third driver, was not quite centered on the drive shaft. Sometimes the main gear and the worm would get a bit misaligned and lock up. That would require a bit of work... probably needs sending in for warranty repair.

e. Check the nuts that attach the rods to the drive wheels.  Make sure they are not loose and catching the crossheads.

That's all I can think of for now.  Good luck. Hope your problem is an easy fix.


3  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: HO 2-6-6-2 DCC Top Speed on: February 19, 2020, 08:21:29 PM
Yep.  It's the one loco I can't doublehead with any other loco.  Looks good all by itself anyway.  It's supposed to be a bit slow.  Notice the small drivers.

If you want faster, the EM-1 has plenty of speed and big drivers.


4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: just plug lighting system on: February 13, 2020, 08:16:09 AM
I think as long as we don't get disparaging in our comments on the product, we'll not break the spirit of the rules of the forum.

I have seen that product used on the layouts at train shows.  Seems to work fine for folks. 

I'm a cheapskate. So I prefer to put my own lights in vehicles, lampshades, and buildings, then hard wire 'em to a bus feed.


5  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EZ Command X-OVERS with DCC on: February 13, 2020, 08:11:04 AM

You are asking for a pure guess, since we don't really have anything to go on.  That being said...

Best guess is there is a wire lead that has a bad solder joint, or has come loose, from it's connection to the motor/switch that operates that particular turnout.

DCC is responding as one turnout operates.  The switching mechanisms are usually pretty reliable.  However, the most common point of failure in most electronics always seems to be a poorly connected wire.

Perhaps there is a way for you to turn the turnout upside down and open up the area where the wires connect to the motor/switch.  That's where I would start.  I'm a tinker and love to open things up and "fix" them.

Good luck in your search for a fix.


6  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Relettering Alco 2-6-0 on: February 11, 2020, 09:16:15 PM
Lettering is stamped on using some pretty tough ink. There are a number of different ways.

My methods is to to use a flattened toothpick, dipped in nail polish remover. Rub gently.

It takes a long time, but it works for me. Others may provide their favorite method.


7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Jonathan's Layout #3 on: February 10, 2020, 06:04:45 AM
Thanks, guys!


8  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: can you change whistles and horns on your engine with Bachmann DCC controller? on: February 09, 2020, 07:01:50 PM
With a full feature DCC system you can indeed change horns and whistles... all kinds of stuff.

BUT a Bachmann EZ Command Controller is very basic and cannot changes functions on your locomotives.


9  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Jonathan's Layout #3 on: February 09, 2020, 03:22:01 PM
Those of us, of a certain age, remember Malcolm Furlow (sp), who would instruct we young modelers to break up our layouts into little vignettes/scenes and work on one little story at a time... so we wouldn't be overwhelmed by trying to scenic our layouts all at once.

In that vein, I am working on one corner of my layout, which might really entail 3 scenes at at same time.

I broke out some scenery materials:
DSC_0246_01 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

And went to town on my corner.  The glue is still drying all over, but I'll share some shots.  Here's a long shot of the corner in progress:
DSC_0244 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

The tunnel portal is some foam molded thing I picked up cheap at the last train show.  I started with basic gray and dry-brushed various colors, finishing with white highlights and some weathering powders:
DSC_0241_01 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

For the basic color of the landform, I mixed equal amounts of brown, gray, and white.  Was going for something very neutral.  Then I spread some matte medium around and sprinkled on ground foam for the hills, and a gravel mix for the parking area:
DSC_0240 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

The ballast is light gray. I mixed fine and medium ballast together before spreading:
DSC_0238 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_0236_01 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr

DSC_0235 by Jon Vogel, on Flickr


10  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Will Bachmann EZ-COMMAND DCC run MTH HO PS3 Locomotives on: February 08, 2020, 05:25:11 AM

MTH locos, IF YOURS IS NEW, come preprogrammed with two addresses:  3 and 3333. You will not be able to change those addresses without a programmer like JMRI or some more equipped DCC system. Theoretically, you can run MTH on EZ command, but you need an upgraded system to set the loco, or a friend with a system who can do it for you.

MTH locos, when new come with instructions on how to set up the loco to run on other DCC systems. Just sayin’


11  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Jonathan's Layout #3 on: February 06, 2020, 01:21:43 PM
Thanks Woody!

Great to hear from you.  I do like those little cars for some reason.

Hope you're feeling better.  Went thru a long bout of illness myself.


12  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: running multiple engines on DC rails on: February 05, 2020, 03:46:38 AM
I can share my experience, being aware that I could be wrong.

I doublehead my locos all the time. My favorite way to operate. If the locos are identical, it makes it that much easier.

I have dabbled with tripleheading. I found that with DC, things tend to heat up a bit and I don’t get the extra power I was expecting. There may be a diminishing returns thing going on there. As you stated, you get away with it for a while, but it doesn’t last.

However, when I run DCC, like the club’s traveling layout, I can triple head all day long. I particularly like running my F units in A-B-A fashion. The extra volts and amps probably make the difference. Some club members will even doublehead and add a helper loco at the end of their train. Braver than me.

Just a guess but I think DC configuration in general can only provide a limited amount of volts and amps. Tripleheading may be at the edge of that limit.


13  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Where are the motor pickups for a GS4 Daylight? on: January 30, 2020, 08:53:14 AM

Bottom line up front:  This locomotive is old, and is likely going through its death throws.  Repair may or may not be possible.

That being said:

The washers are not your problem. Most likely those washers were glued to the inside of the wheels and have come loose. The washers were probably intended to protect the wheel and add more electrical contact with the frame as the locomotive turned through a curve.

If you look at your photos (thanks for providing them), the electrical contact (pick up) is provided by the metal bushing on the axle which sits in the frame's depression for the axle. The rest of the axle is plastic. I'm surprised the axles haven't let go by now.

If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say you should look at the spots where the motor makes contact with the frame parts. The contacts may be corroded or worn out. 

You didn't say what the problem was. Does the headlight still come on?  Is the motor not turning when applying power to the track?

Parts will be near impossible to find for a loco this old.  You would probably have to root around at train show bins to find the same loco for spare parts.  Would probably cost you more to repair it than just purchasing a newer loco with more updated technology.

Just an opinion. I have spent time on old locos that had sentimental value to me, like old Varneys or Mantuas.  Your GS4 might be more challenging to attack.  Those axles are going to give out eventually, and there is nothing that can be done once they fail.  Just sayin'


14  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: HO scale Western Maryland # 744 item no. 84504 on: January 29, 2020, 02:11:04 PM
If you'll click on the "Parts, Service, & Information" tab, then click on "DCC", I believe the start up guides and CV information is available for Soundtraxx, Sound on Board, and Sound Value locomotives.


15  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: HO scale Western Maryland # 744 item no. 84504 on: January 29, 2020, 08:22:24 AM


Print those two links listed above.  That should help you with diagrams. 

1) The Bachmann Consolidations were never manufactured with reverse lights.  If you are familiar with markings on PCBs and/or decoders, you will find tabs where you can wire in your own reverse lights and mount them to the tender in whatever fashion is prototypical for your railroad.  I have done it on 4 of the six Connies I own.  Takes a bit of effort but I like the way it looks.

2) If your Consolidation is slightly used, as you say, the tender wires have not had a chance to loosen up over time.  They will as you run the loco more often.  Some tricks we use to help the process along:

a) inside the tender there is space to add some weight up front to help keep the front trucks planted on the rails.  The tender shell had just one screw holding it in place, behind the front truck.  It may be a little sticky the first time you attempt to remove.

b) I like to feed the drawbar BETWEEN the two set of wires.  I find it helps to stabilize the tender and keep it on the rails. It will take some time to manipulate the wires that you are most comfortable with.  TAKE YOUR TIME.  Those plugs can release a wire if you get too ham-handed. 

A 'new' connie can be a bit frustrating at first.  Over time, however, you will find it may be the best loco that Bachmann ever produced.  I have one of the original Spectrum Connies, with white plugs and a brass bell.  Still runs like a top.

An additional tip.  Put a bit of light oil (conductalube or the like) in the eccentric crank.  It is usually the first part to actually wear out after years of running.


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