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Author Topic: Cad layout program  (Read 5779 times)
Penn1974
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« on: January 19, 2015, 03:37:16 PM »

Is there a cad program for Bachmann ez track to design a layout in a given space that will give you a parts list for the layout?
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Morgun 30

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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 03:48:34 PM »

Anyrail
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Len

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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 04:05:03 PM »

The free version of AnyRail limits you to 50 sections of track. It's $59 to unlock it for unlimited size layouts.

Although not free, RR-Track http://www.rrtrack.com/html/online_bundles.html is also a good program. Once you have a base bundle, it's easy to add additional track libraries. And you don't have to waste disc space with a bunch of libraries you don't need. Updates to libraries you already have are free. I've been using it for the better part of 10 years, and really like it.

There are a number of other free, and commercial, layout design software packages out there. Some folks swear by them, some swear at them. A bit of time with a search engine checking them out would probably be a good idea.

There's also a list of various model train related software on the NMRA site http://www.nmra.org/software including some for MACs.

Len
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AGSB
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2015, 06:23:11 PM »

SCARM is free and contains 5 different Bachmann track libraries.
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Penn1974
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2015, 05:19:50 PM »

Thanks for the advice. I used the free program and liked the way it worked on a simple rectangle of 5' x 10'. I purchased the full program and tried to make the layout as a L shaped layout with a 4' x 6' leg. I am having a problem how to input the added dimensions for the L so that the full layout size shows up on the screen. I downloaded the pdf instruction file but still can not figure it out. My second question is does anyone know of company that can convert 1980's Bowser steam locomotives and Rivarossi GG1 electrics to dcc since I am leaning that way for a new layout for my grandchildren?
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ACY


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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2015, 05:31:15 PM »

I know of a few shops that will do the conversions but it will cost you a lot, so much that it would be much cheaper and easier to buy a new locomotive with DCC.

Expect to pay $80-120 per locomotive plus an additional $20-30 for a decoder or an additional $100-150 if you want sound. For a total cost of $100-150 for non-sound or $180-300 for sound.

It is not advisable to have another person or shop do the installation since the costs for doing older non-dcc ready locomotives is always very high and not worth it really. It is also not advisable for you to do it yourself since you are not an expert and the locomotives you mention are very difficult installs and require a lot of knowledge and experience.

My advice to you is if you want to use the locomotives you mention just stick to analog (DC) or keep them for display and buy some new locomotives with DCC (and sound if you want) as it will be much cheaper and quicker in the end.
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Len

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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2015, 07:10:58 PM »

If the GG1 is the AHM/Rivarossi model, with the vertical motor, converting to DCC is fairly straight forward since the motor is already isolated from the chassis. If it's the Mehano/AHM/IHC version with the horizontal motor, it's a bit more involved.

Disconnect the wires from the motor and connect them to the red and black power in wires of the decoder.

The grey and orange motor wires from the decoder connect to where you just lifted the pickup wires from the motor.

I'd suggest replacing the light bulbs with LED's and current limiting resistors to cut down on heat build up in the shell.

Be sure to leave the decoder wires long enough to put in the end of the body opposite where the motor is.

Which specific Bowser steam loco do you have? Some are easier to convert than others.

Len
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ACY


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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2015, 07:18:52 PM »

Len often times adding DCC doesn't improve performance or  actually causes the locomotive to run worse than before. And often times with AHM/Rivarossi amd other older locomotives you need to install a new motor as the original motor is not DCC friendly so to speak. For these reasons it is usually better to just purchase new locomotives with DCC already installed.
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Len

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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2015, 07:46:16 PM »

I don't own the GG1, but I have several other AHM/Rivarossi locos that use the same vertically mounted motor. The motor itself is actually fairly decent, better than early Athearn open frame motors. My experience is they may need to be cleaned and lubed first, but if they run okay on DC they do fine with a decoder installed. And unlike older Athearn, and other locos, the motor is already isolated from the chassis, eliminating that potential problem.

Now detail on the body, that's a whole 'nuther story.

Len
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ACY


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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2015, 08:21:07 PM »

Len did you ever notice how many Amps many older locomotives draw after they are converted to DCC? Often times 1 such locomotive will draw so many Amps that the system is not capable of operating any other locomotives simultaneously as a result, thus defeating the purpose of Digital Command Control in the first place. That has just been my experience, so while they may run fine like you said, they aren't very DCC friendly due to the motors drawing so many Amps that the system does not have the capacity to run any other locos.
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jbrock27

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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2015, 09:11:11 PM »

I think many people often overlook these aspects that ACY is pointing out.
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Len

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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2015, 09:15:15 PM »

Yes, some older locos do draw a lot of amps, especially some of the old MDC/Roundhouse, Bowser, HO American Flyer, and Rivarossi die cast steam locos. The not very free moving running gear on them didn't help any either. And I wouldn't mess around even trying to put a decoder in any diesels using the Revell style belt drive system either.

But, like I said, my experience with the AHM/IHC/Rivarossi diesels that use the same vertical motor as the GG1 has been pretty good. I use a NCE Power Cab 2 amp system, which allows the clock in the lower right of the display to be switched out for a more useful amp display. While higher than my newer Bachmann, Atlas, and Proto locos, my Rivarossi motored diesels don't pull anywhere near 1 amp. More like 0.3 to 0.5 depending on how many, and what type of cars they are pulling.

I wouldn't operate more than one or two at the same time but, unless they haven't been lubed properly or it's a very low end DCC system, they should not cause the type of problem you're describing.

Len
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ACY


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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2015, 09:38:43 PM »

The Bachmann EZ-COMMAND cannot operate one of my friend's Rivarossi Hudson locomotive that he converted to DCC, it simply does not have the capacity. Depending on the era of the AHM and/or Rivarossi locomotive they can draw upwards of 1 amp, approaching 1.5 amperes.
Perhaps the one motor you have experience with is the exception when it comes to Rivarossi/AHM.
All I know is I have personally seen many instances where the the various issues I described have been an unforseen problem and then the owner regretted his decision to convert the locomotive to DCC and often times had to put in even more money for a new can motor.
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Morgun 30

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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2015, 12:12:46 AM »

Is This what you want?

« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 10:28:22 AM by Morgun 30 » Logged
Len

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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2015, 09:27:43 AM »

Quote
The Bachmann EZ-COMMAND cannot operate one of my friend's Rivarossi Hudson locomotive...

ACY, I included Rivarossi in the list of high amp steam locos at the start of my last post.

The only thing Rivarossi I'm  talking about adding DCC to, unless you've got a 5 or 10 amp system, are the vertical motor diesels and GG1. They aren't as heavy as the steamers, have smoother mechanisms, and don't have the added drag of all the running gear hanging off the drivers.

If it's been cleaned and lubed properly, I would be very surprised if the EZ-Command could not handle one AHM/Rivarossi GG1 converted to DCC.

Len
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