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1  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Catalog abbreviations on: April 30, 2011, 11:07:47 AM
Interesting, r0bert.  Not my era, but I'll have to check a kit out just out of curiosity.  Thinks for the info.
OldTimer
2  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: DCC Locomotive Help on: April 29, 2011, 01:18:11 PM
If you end up with a 9-pin decoder and need the 8-pin interface, you can get a patch cord from Digitrax in a couple of different lengths.
OldTimer
3  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Catalog abbreviations on: April 29, 2011, 12:55:34 PM
Well, lets sort this out a little. 
1.  Walthers MAKES  lots of plastic, and a few (a half dozen or so, I think) wood structure kits.
2.  All Walthers wood kits are laser cut and are identified as such in their publications.
3.  Walthers SELLS lots of WOOD structure kits by other manufacturers that are NOT laser cut.  The Campbell line is just one example.  These kits are NOT identified as being laser cut.  The materials in the kits are generally well described in the Walthers catalog.
4.  Plastic model kits (structure or otherwise) are made from thermo-plastic material.  That means that when it gets hot, it gets soft.  That's how the parts are cast.  Hence, the idea of a "laser cut" plastic kit seems to be beyond the relm of probability.  Seems like you'd just end up with a blob.  Grin

The annual Walthers catalog (aka Reference Book) is an excellent resource for finding information on products made and/or sold by Walthers,   Hope this helps.
OldTimer
4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Layout design - Visio Template? on: April 13, 2011, 03:31:10 PM
Atlasrr.com, the track people, have a free track-planning software package called Right Track Software.  The current version  number is 10.  RTS is easy to use and comes with a small tutorial.  There are other more CAD like programs available but they can be pretty pricey. 
OldTimer
5  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Single locomotive operations on local trains on: April 10, 2011, 01:53:02 PM
Railroads assign locomotives to trains based on the power needed to move the load.  When I was a youngster, I saw local frieghts every day that switched a warehouse and a team track in the little town where I grew up.  These "peddler" freights were most often pulled by a single 2-8-2.  While I saw lots of mu'd diesels and big articulated steam engines, they were hauling loaded coal trains east.

Railroads make their money today by hauling bulk commodoties in large quantities over long distances.  That formula dictates a lot of power, therefore multiple units working together.

If you model the transition era, I've seen figures that suggest that a 2-8-2 should have been capable of producing approximately 3000 horsepower.  That's the equivilent of two GP7's or F3's.  The calculation of steam engine horsepower is a very interesting subject, although complicated and somewhat imprecise because of all the variables present in a working steam engine.   In fact, these days drawbar horsepower is measured with a dynamometer rather than being calculated.
OldTimer
6  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Donner engine for new NP&S ON30 freight set on: April 09, 2011, 10:06:57 AM
The poem, 'Twas the Night before Christmas," by Clement Moore is almost two hundred years old.  As a linguist, I can tell you that languages are very dynamic things and they always change over time.  The German word for thunder is rendered TODAY as Donner.  According to Wikipedia, the original 1823 version of the poem used the Dutch words, Dundar and Blixem (Thunder and Lightning).  The poem was published again in 1844 in an anthology of American poetry and the names were given in contemporary German as Dondar and Blitzen.  Since the mid-20th century, Donner and Blitzen have been used pretty much universally in both printed versions of the poem and in the Rudolph song.  Lacking original documents, it may be that too much time has passed and too  many folks have had their hands on the words to know for certain which version is correct.

Since the North Pole and Southern is as fictitious as the reindeer, this whole question seems moot to me, but I guess if you want to be "prototypically correct," you need to go back to the original 1823 Dundar.  But whether you prefer Dundar, Dondar or Donner, decal alphabet sets are inexpensive, or it's super easy to make  your own decals using decal paper and your printer.
OldTimer
7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EZ Mate Couplers on: April 08, 2011, 08:14:20 AM
The Kadee 20 series couplers include the truck mounting adaptor in the package along with the standard draft gear box.  The 30 series couplers come with a unique draft gear "box" designed for body mounting in tight spaces.  The Kadee web site at www.kadee.com has complete descriptions of all their couplers. 
OldTimer
8  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: new to dcc tips on good wireless starter kits on: March 31, 2011, 09:56:34 AM
There are IR repeaters available.  They transmit the content of the IR signal by radio, then reconstitute the signal and illuminate the device being controlled.  Mine works fine over a distance of about 40' and through a couple of walls.  The only time I have problems with it is when one of the cats climbs on the hutch and knocks the transmitter out of alignment with the satellite receiver.    As far as I know, the repeaters will work with any IR device, because they don't have to "understand" the content of the signal, just pass it along.  You can find them at electronics stores.  I think I paid about 20 or 30 bucks at newegg.com several years ago.
OldTimer
9  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Digitally programmed vs multiple single controllers? on: March 28, 2011, 08:39:22 PM
Just a guess, but I think you need to do some homework.  Go to your LHS and find a book that that explains how cab control wiring works.  The Atlas track plan books are excellent.  While you're there, get a book that will introduce you to the principles of DCC.  If you opt for cab control, you can always convert to DCC later.  

A little studying now can save you from potentially expensive mistakes later.  Good Luck.
Old Timer
10  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Auctions on: March 28, 2011, 06:25:30 PM
Around here (western Maryland), auctions are a pretty big deal, especially in the summer time when the events move outside and become social affairs.  The local auction houses advertise estate sales and post a list of items to be offered for sale.  I'll bet that if you call around, you can get on the mailing lists of some of your local auctioneers.  Let them know what you are interested in.
OldTimer
11  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: ATLAS MASTER COMMANDER on: March 26, 2011, 09:18:24 PM
As I recall, it was released 10 or so years ago.  I haven't seen an ad for it in ages and it is not in the current Atlas catalog, so I expect  it is out of production.
OldTimer
12  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Getting Published in My Spare Time on: March 22, 2011, 09:02:23 AM
Jonathan,
Excellent job.  Congratulations!!!!
OldTimer
13  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: train value ? on: March 20, 2011, 11:02:49 AM
It seems that when I am trying to sell, the cost of trains is always low and when I am trying to buy, prices are astronomical.  Seriously, I would look on eBay for items like, or very similar to, what you have, and value your pieces accordingly.  Collecting is not my cup of tea, but it seems like the only electric trains that have consistently appreciated are most of the Lionel stuff and, to a much lesser degree, some American Flyer.  There are other, extremely rare, antique trains that bring huge prices, but most of us will never run across any of them.
OldTimer
14  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Removing Flywheel from Motor on: March 19, 2011, 08:42:36 PM
You need a gear puller.  Walthers carries one made by Northwest Short Line called the Puller II that you might want to check out.

http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/53-554

Hope this helps.
OldTimer
15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: e-Z track 22 " R inner oval on: March 19, 2011, 09:37:57 AM
Atlas makes a 22 inch radius "Snap Switch" in both their True-Track (with roadbed) and Snap Track (no roadbed) product lines.  The down side for EZ Track users is that the Atlas parts are only available with code 83 rail.  Atlas also makes transition rail joiners to connect code 83 to code 100 rail.  You can find the Atlas web site here:

www.atlasrr.com

Hope this helps.
OldTimer
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