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Author Topic: Prairie 2-6-2  (Read 6037 times)
wharracoop

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« on: June 17, 2011, 12:15:35 PM »

I would like to install a DCC decoder in one of these engines but I am afraid of breaking something when I try to take it out of the shell. Are there any instructions available for dis- assembling this Engine? The engine code is 51520. Thanks
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ACY


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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 01:12:03 PM »

An easy method to get a Bachmann DCC 2-6-2 is to buy a DCC 0-6-0 and add pony and trailing trucks, that is pretty much the only difference between the two. It is not worth the trouble to hard wire a decoder in a 2-6-2 because it is not accurate and does not pull well.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2011, 03:42:31 PM »

wharracoop-

Finding and paying for lead and trailing trucks will require a fair amount of time and money. IMHO, you're ahead of the game putting a decoder into an existing Prairie. Incidentally, and not because anyone else cares, Prairies are my favorite locomotives. I won't go into my motives, because there are many, but they sure do appeal to me.

Also, this link will take you to the Bachmann exploded view of your loco. Except for the presence (or not) of pilot and trailing trucks, Bachmann's 0-6-0, 2-6-0 and 2-6-2 are alike mechanically.

         http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/dwg/dwgs/56501.pdf
                                                                                                              -- D
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jonathan


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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2011, 04:32:55 PM »

Removing the shell is easy, yet it seems difficult.

Remove the screw underneath, in the back of the loco.  Pull up the back to remove the shell.  There are metal tabs, near impossible to see near the front of the loco.  It is tough to pull over those tabs.  You will feel like your about to break something.  Been thinking about posting some pics and tips on the prairie.  I happen to like it, too.

With a little tinkering you can add tender electrical pick up to improve performance, especially over turnouts.

The trick is separating the motor tabs from the split frame.  You can see the tabs in the back, after the shell is off.  By using the screws/t-nuts that hold the frame together, you can hook up a decoder, without soldering. Pretty cool.. While your in there, pull out the smoke unit, remove the guts, and now you have a spot for a very small decoder.  However, I would put the decoder in the tender, which has plenty of room, for even a speaker, if you're so inclined. You'll have to wire the head light to the decoder, too.  That will seem self evident after the shell is off.

Good luck to you.

Regards,

Jonathan

Addendum:

Here's a couple of shots of my prairie.  It was a 2002 NYC version.  I'm bashing it into a B&O D-30. Yes, I know.  Another loco project.  What can I say?  It was cheap, and it runs pretty well, now that I added tender pick up.





Don't know if you can make out the lead in the domes and the former smoke unit.  Also, a little added weight to the tender.  It will have a working reverse light as well.  I haven't decided about DCC or sound yet.  This may be a stay-at-home loco.

jev
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 05:43:27 PM by jonathan » Logged
Doneldon

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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2011, 10:08:46 PM »

whar-

Be sure to use a good quality decoder whether you do sound or not. The Bachmann 0-6-0 and its sisters aren't the best running or pulling locos but you'll be more satisfied with yours, I'm sure, if you make the best of what you have to work with. I'm sold on decoders with BEMF (back electro-motive force). This feature allows the decoder to basically monitor the electric motor's operation and keep it running effectively and efficiently. Jonathan's idea of putting some weight any where you can is an excellent one. It will improve power and, often, smoothness as well. Just make sure it is securely attached to the loco's shell.

                                                                                                                                                                                    -- D
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2011, 10:25:57 AM »

Incidentally, and not because anyone else cares, Prairies are my favorite locomotives. I won't go into my motives, because there are many, but they sure do appeal to me.

I've become quite fond of Prairies, too. I have to deal with a very small layout space. I've come to realize that with piston valves and that trailing truck, a Prairie "looks" more "modern" than the eight-wheelers and ten-wheelers that I usually run, but it's still a small-enough  locomotive that it doesn't overwhelm the layout. It runs on fairly tight curves, too.
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jonathan


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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 06:08:41 AM »

Here's another tip on the 0-6-0 / 2-6-0 / 2-6-2:

The crosshead guides are plastic and pliable.  It's easy to get them snagged on something and pull out the crosshead.  Ask me how I know this... A fix is to attach a small piece of wire to hold the crosshead guides together.  Most prototypes did this as well.  This is a bad photo, but maybe you can make this out:



Don't apply any inward pressure.  The wire is only to keep the guides from spreading apart.

Here's mine about 95% complete now.  Still needs the markers and a little touch up here and there.  She's coming along though:









In case the pics are too fuzzy, there is a crew and glazing in all the windows.  Reverse light works. Added a few hoses and pipes, too.

Regards,

Jonathan

P.S.  Would love to know if anyone has successfully mounted a working coupler in the front.  That would really be something... jev
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 06:37:42 AM by jonathan » Logged
J3a-614

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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2011, 06:30:39 AM »

And now you are into weathering?  Amazing as usual; many of us wouldn't pay too much attention to "toys" such as this, or old metal, but you have a touch.

Bachmann has helped, too, with the motors that are in these engines now.  I can remember when these and other models in the Bachmann line had a white plastic "pancake" motor and spur gears, and a type of plastic axle that failed with distressing regularity.  Operationally, the modern 0-6-0/2-6-2 is marvelous compared to what came before.

Again, good work--can hardly wait to see what you'll do when you get to start passenger service. . .
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jonathan


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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2011, 06:50:37 AM »

Thanks, J3a.

I did this on a whim.  Picked up this loco for next to nothing.  Turns out these locos aren't so bad.  If fact, with a little tweaking (weight & tender pick up) they are pretty good runners and pullers.  Not as smooth and quiet as a Spectrum, but still fun and reliable so far...

Starting to toy with weathering.  Not confident at all, but it's a start...

Regards,

Jonathan





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Doneldon

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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2011, 05:55:16 PM »

Jonathan-

Some start! I'm envious.

                     -- D
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jonathan


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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2011, 06:44:26 PM »

Thanks, Doneldon.

I kept it simple.  Misted the whole loco with Grimy Black; Neolube on the wheels, firebox and smoke box, finally drybrushed some medium brown all over seams and rivets.  Left the cab roof alone after I painted it red.  Thought it might make an interesting contrast.  Oh, there's a little medium grey drybrushed just below the sand domes.

Done.





Regards,

Jonathan

Addendum:  Don't know how well these are suppose to operate, but mine will pull 6 box cars (NMRA weighted) up a 3% grade.  One more car creates wheel spin and no forward progress.  It's also a bit "tight", but I think it will loosen up after an hour or two of run time.  Seems pretty good for a "toy" locomotive.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 07:48:52 PM by jonathan » Logged
ACY


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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2011, 09:34:59 PM »

Jonathan, how much weight did you add? I added a little bit to mine, but mine will only pull 3 or 4 NMRA weighted cars up a grade that is about 3%.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2011, 01:44:54 AM »

Jonathan-

From my experience and what I've heard,
six cars is about all these could pull on
such a steep grade.
                               -- D
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jonathan


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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2011, 06:53:53 AM »

ACY,

Sorry, I didn't keep track of the exact amount.  I filled all three domes with lead and filled the smoke unit with lead after removing the guts.  Probably not enough weight to matter, but I did use Precision Scale brass figures for the cab.

On a side note, after running for about an hour, the loco did smooth out nicely.  Not as quiet or smooth as a Spectrum, but it will move nicely at about 32% power from a 12 volt pack.  It will pull a dozen cars easily on level track.

If I do another one of these locos (and I probably will), I will replace the bulbs with LEDs.  Running on low voltage, the present bulbs are too dim to see.

Regards,

Jonathan
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2011, 07:13:16 AM »

Jon - once again nice work on the engine.

Will you be at Timonium this coming Sunday? Myself and a friend are going to make the trek to Maryland. Would love to visit your club layout.
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