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1  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Three train rule on: May 02, 2010, 12:09:38 PM
Have your main go into a tunnel.

Loop inside the tunnel and come out some distance "Down the wall" and a slightly different direction and elevation.

Or even come around and climb past loop mountain to reach the second town which might be a few feet above the one you left.

Do what I like to do, climb a mountain pass and go out of sight making it necessary to walk around to the other side of the room.
2  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: BEST RADIUS FOR ON30 on: March 05, 2010, 01:39:04 AM
I choked off 7 feet out of a availible 8 foot width of my train room to make Kato Unitrack 28, 31 down in radius with room for 34 inch.

I feel the large radius paid off handsomely in being able to run anything at the time in HO scale except prototype built brass engines.

I did handicap my railroad with kato number 4 switches. I needed number 6's to make it work but patted myself on the back and bought 4 axle power only.

Now I own On30. 21 inches in minimum to start on the logging line. Maybe I will stretch out to 30 inches again. But it will be a long time before I can think that big in On30.

At the hobby shop that layout in HOn3 uses 16,18, 20 inches to good effect. And that railroad was smaller than mine and did more with the railroad with it.

My two cents:

Quit stressing about radius. Just dont make them too small. take your biggest engine, choose a radius it can live with.

Then carefully lay your track to avoid Vertical changes in curvature before and after switches. To give your biggest engine a chance to settle all the wheels firmly down before changing tracks.
3  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Your Avatar Picture on: January 23, 2010, 01:40:24 AM
Just a Seagull hunting food.

Some days are better than others.
4  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Couple of newbe Questions: on: January 18, 2010, 08:59:39 PM
Take a piece of paper. Draw a circle on it.

Make that circle a track circle with each rail visible.

Then put a dot in the center of that circle.

That is your north pole.

Your outside rail becomes South rail and your inside rail becomes north pole. Clockwise = east bound and Counter = Westbound.

I usually go one step further and assign a color to each rail electrically to keep everything in phase in DCC.
5  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: adding engine on: January 18, 2010, 02:19:59 AM
In HO Scale I had 4 BLI F7 Units in ABBA consist working together as a brute engine.

Kaydees wont break, all other couplers will. Maybe 35-50 cars uphill.

Quite frankly 700 dollars worth of DCC and sound engines were better served as a pair of A-B road engines than one big engine trying to pull everything I own.

Maybe the Club could have lugged them down, but the Club just aint got the amps over that far of a electrical run to feed all of them worth a damn.


Having came back to earth I will say that the 2-6-62 in On30 will handle maybe 6 cars uphill (Have not tried it yet.) and may need a helper to bank the train in the future.

Until then I use a Bullfrog Snot Compound that you can buy for 20 dollars and treat one axle with a sort of a sticky greenish traction tire.
6  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Online Train Store on: January 16, 2010, 03:11:54 PM
I use the Ebay "The Favorite Spot" also. It is the best.

Be sure to do your buying in batches of 5 units that way shipping is only 12 to 15 dollars for the lot.
7  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: My Revelation on: January 16, 2010, 03:11:01 PM
Less costly, more trains.
8  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: building inclines on: January 14, 2010, 08:05:25 PM
3% will get up and over 4 inches in about a 12 foot run.

A 4% rise will clear 4 inches in about 8 feet.

If a engine can pull 10 cars level, it will pull 8 on 2%, 5 or so on 3 and less than that on 4% I consider 4% the upper limit.

Woodland scenics is my way of building inclines. My head hurts too much otherwise.
9  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Train Simulator on: January 14, 2010, 02:12:41 PM
I have the Tycoon series, the MSTS Original Simulator for a while. They worked well. I build my own rigs when money allows once or twice a decade and they do well.

Trainz was pretty good if you accept from the start that thier convoluted and unnecessarily complicated download files system just dont work at all. And when it finally did with the 2008 version, the bandwidth was throttled to dailup speeds. I have 6 mbits on hand with DSL and I will be damned if I have to wait 30 minutes to pull a engine file the size of a floppy disk. (1meg) I am accustomed to pulling a gig file in that time.

I have not bought any new train simulators. I prefer American Steam from the Civil War through the Post War era and all I see are either foreign engines or BNSF type engines from the big railroads.

Disclosure, I do fly FSX alot with Heavy Bombers from Wings of Power series and also the 747 from Microsoft and enjoy it well. I find it realistic enough for my local area near KLIT airport.

With that in mind, I look forward to finding a Train sim that matches my steam interests and is well done. So I just have to keep looking. I prefer to buy my software on Ebay with retail packing because Best Buy and other stores pretty much quit selling PC games and only sell mountains of Console (Nintendo TV type games) now.

I like the controller very much, but the 150 price is just too expensive... however why am I griping when I just finished that On30 2-6-6-2 at twice that amount? Hmm...

Something to think about.
10  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: two engines on: January 09, 2010, 08:47:06 PM
Anyone can horse a train up a hill. But getting down without bucking or being pushed off the table for the big drop at the curve is the trick.

I tend to add engines until it moves.

Or double/triple the hill.
11  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: 2-6-6-2 Sound phasing on: January 09, 2010, 05:54:07 PM
Yea and the Baldwin material indicates it has 10000 pounds TE good for 210 tons on 3% grade.

Truly a bantam light weight. You might want to keep this engine in swampy ground, it is that light on it's feet.
12  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: 4-8-4 vs 4-8-2 on: January 09, 2010, 05:51:12 PM
Tractive effort is usually 25% of total design weight that are on the drivers themselves. Not including the rest of the axles if any. That will make the coefficient about 4.0 or so. I give myself a headache as to why they do it this way.

Terrain has a issue. Richmond is flat, Roanoke is not.

Also dynometer data as gathered for engines will help the railroad determine which one is good for the job. I think you dont want to have a puny runt engine panting on no water and hardly any coal trying to drag something like 5000 ton fast enough to clear the main for that day.

The Y6b could pull the earth itself against it's own rotation but only up to 30 mph or so. Stories I have heard where Crews were brave and had em up to 60 mph. If so, it's a testament to the excellent trackwork by the MOW.

The Pennsy never found the true top end potential of some engines like the 4-4-4-4 or even the 4-4-6-4 ( think I had it right.) there was simply not enough train you can tie onto it due to coupler Strength limitations. And not enough room to take it beyond 120.. however there were again, one off stories that will never make official. (Best they didnt)

Finally but not last. You can only boil so much water so fast with whatever size firebox you have on a engine. Bigger = heavier more headache to maintain and feed. Smaller requires more engines and thier crews to help you out on a hill.

All steam engines have a sweet spot for wherever they are suited for the work that they are asked to do.

"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...."
13  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: What brand of speakers do most people use for their Sound install? on: January 07, 2010, 03:47:03 AM
QSI is tops, but are thirsty on power. Digitrax is making new sound units that are cost effective. I can buy a Bachmann Engine with DCC but no sound... throw away the decoder.. yes throw it away, stick a speaker in the tender and harness and I'm off.

I usually stick to buying engines with factory sound. That way they are all in there and it's a one time purchase. All done. Put it on the track and run.
14  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Problems posting messages on: January 04, 2010, 08:33:13 PM
Put Mozilla Firefox on your machine and a few addons like Ghostery, ABP blocker etc.

IE troubles go bye bye. No more IE, no problem.
15  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Tyco GP-20 Loco Died on: January 04, 2010, 01:49:09 PM
35 years on a tyco GP 20. Ugh. I had one of those as a kid. It lasted 6 months.

If memory serves the motor is of a pancake type sitting in the one front power truck under the cab.

I will be blunt and say that you will do very well to find any number of GP20's brand new today for the cost of a replacement motor for that Tyco.

I will extend congratulations on your length of service with that engine. I had a Life like F unit from the mid 70's that lasted until mid 90's and died due to worn out motor brushes. Fred Flintstones would have had a smoother ride on those stone wheels too.
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