Ho train track sets,bachmann 2-6-6-2,n scale steam locomotive kits,model railroad paint sets - For Begninners

If you have any question about this Buy THIS Now Classified Ad Item, please contact the member. If you are the winner you will be entered into a legal & binding contract with the SELLER to purchase this item. Before either large scale GIRR ever existed in any kind of permanent form, there was an HO layout. Initially, he used the starter set stuff and what still worked from the HO trains that I had when I was a kid.
I found some old home movies spanning the time from the initial construction until sometime near the end of the construction. I also built a QuickTime Slideshow of a selection of photos taken on the layout since the beginning. By 2009, the disaster that I casually referred to as a "garage" had become so clogged with the results of a lifetime of collecting "stuff" that I had to do something about it. There were three locos there, an Athearn F7, some kind of GP7 and an 0-4-0 dockside of unknown origin.
Richard and I selected a track plan for the layout from a book called "Track Plans for Sectional Track" by Linn Westcott and published by Kalmbach. We picked this particular plan because it fit in a 4x8 space, it was a twice around with a reversing cutoff, had a couple of passing sidings, a couple of stub sidings and a yard. It was initially built with brass flex track and turnouts left over from the 60's but the brass was too hard to keep clean so he replaced all the track with nickel silver, most of it is flex track. On March 15, 2009, I started to resurrect the layout, In the two days since I started working on the layout to the to the time that I started this page I made quite a bit of progress. I have identified most of the blocks (shown as dark slashes across the track) and labeled the switches that control them. I've gone over the whole main line with a bubble level and found that almost all of it needed work. There were several spots were two rails didn't line up properly, most often in height, but sometimes in gauge. After I got the railroad in a sufficiently stable condition that I could actually run a train, I started dragging cars around, ending up with these two test trains.
As of March 26, 2009, the layout is pretty reliable if I don't use the four really bad actor cars that obviously need some kind of work. However, as a test, this loco was the first to be converted to DCC, as described below, and it tended to run better. During the initial DCC conversion, I put a DH123 into the trolley, but during testing on the LAMRS trolly line, it didn't have the steady slow speed performance capability that it needed so I swapped the decoder for a DH163 and it ran better. Last time I was at the LAMRS, the trolly was running for an extended period but somebody saw it starting to smoke.
Over a period of time, the Mehano Pacific got a DH163 installed inside the loco, a Digitrax SFX0416 (for sound and the rear headlight) installed in the tender and a Kadee #6 coupler installed on the pilot. I was running this loco at the LAMRS club today and it ran fine except that I literally could not hear the thing. I also found that I had 3 shells for these two locos, two F7A shells and an F7B shell, all painted to match.
After 6 months or so, the cheap rubber bands lost strength and tended to stick to themselves and to the spindle and drive shaft. One of the F7's was eventually converted to a dummy and wired to provide 8 more wheels of power pickup for the Athearn Warbonnet F7. I also found this road unit which I think is probably a GP40 because of the three large fans in the back. At the Nov 2009 train show at the Los Angeles County South Coast Botanic Garden, there were a couple of tables set up up selling HO rolling stock really cheap. Eventually, I added power pickups to the tender and cross jumpered power between the engine and tender.
The front coupler was a dummy which is kind of useless for a switcher so it got changed to a Kadee as well. Bachmann called and said that they didn't have the parts to fix it nor an undecorated Doodlebug so they were going to send me another one painted in some other roadname. It didn't take long to simply paint it weathered black, apply some decals and clear coat it with a clear matte from a rattle can. I had already determined that airbrushing over decals to dull them was beyond my skill level by experimenting on test pieces. I made some numberboards by drawing them on the computer and then printing them on plain white paper.
It took many days of work, on and off, to finally install all of the detail parts on the SD45.
The SD45 still has the original Bachmann decoder in it but I've ordered a LokSound Select sound decoder for it. Almost 2 years later, the decoder finally arrived, but it isn't the exact one that I ordered. This one makes a fair amount of gear noise but I eventually figured out how to get the truck apart to lubricate it. After a few days of trying to get the thing to quiet down, I ran it without the shell to see what was making the noise. After more messing with the Doodlebug, I found that a window insert on the left side was buzzing against the shell. I messed with the Doodlebug some more and at least I've found the source(s) of the remaining buzz. Some of the wiring on the top of the PWB was interfering with a brace on the shell that crossed the PWB.
In the process of rewiring, I determined that some of the motor noise was conducting through the plastic clip that mounts the back end of the PWB to the motor housing. After doing some extended test runs that were going well, I noticed that the headlight was brighter than it had been in the past. I put a Kadee coupler on the rear, the front is still a dummy and took it to the club for the Christmas Run Day.
I had such good experience with two of these Bachmann 2-8-0 locos that I found one on the internet and bought myself one.
The loco had a tendency to derail at one spot with a vertical gradient that was too abruptInstead of fixing the track, I adjusted the drawbar on the loco. ESU finally came through with the steam version of the LokSound select and I installed it in the tender using a 28 mm low profile speaker which the tender was designed to accept.
I rolled the dice one more time on a Doodlebug I found on evilBay for $19, rated LNIB, and as expected, it has problems.
I put a Bachmann DCC decoder that came out of an On30 Davenport in the Doodlebug and it ran without a lot more noise than it had without it. I had the Doodlebug apart to investigate another problem and I took another crack at reducing the noise because this one was still louder than the Warbonnet version. I bought a Santa Fe heavyweight coach to use as a trailer behind either of them and I found a problem.
The power pickup on this car is not quite as steady as the one that the club has, the problem is in the wipers. Last night I determined that the decoder was not right, either because that is the way that this kind of decoder works or because this one is defective. After working with the inspection car for quite a while, I got the bearing free enough to use. I let it run for hours and the current stabilized at about 110 mA which is low enough so I reassembled it and tested it again.
At the swap meet and Open House at LAMRS today, this model of the Blue Goose followed me home because it didn't sell to the public. I had some derailment problem with the tender of the Blue Goose so I added some weight and that seems to have fixed it.
After adjusting the coupler heights on all the streamliner cars (they were all over the place, usually high) and on the Blue Goose (low), I was able to pull the five streamliners on my 5% climbing 18" radius curves. The headlight on the Blue Goose wasn't right either, it was on all the time and the decoder would not respond properly to the programming track. It turned out that adding functional pickups was a trivial modification, it took about 10 minutes to do all three trucks. However, the increase in drag was enough to cause the loco to stall with drivers slipping on the worst part of my layout with five streamliners in tow. I added all the weight I could fit in the boiler, 2 oz, and it helped but the loco still slips at the worst spot. At the Big Train Show in Ontario yesterday, I picked up a jar of Bullfrog Snot to try to replace the balky traction tire.
I programmed the correct address and adjusted the chuff timing to 4 beats per turn and it is good to go.
The Blue Goose has been running well for more than 2 years, but at times the power pickup is still a little flakey.
On the tender truck, I added 0.015" phosphor bronze wipers to the outside wheels of both trucks. This Bachmann GN 2-8-0 was donated to the LAMRS by somebody and found it's way to me for evaluation.
I opened the loco to see why the headlight didn't work and found that the loco had a smoke generator. Since the LokSound Select decoder has a 9 pin JST interface, I installed a old HO test decoder into it to get that part out of the way. The tender is black molded plastic already so it didn't require much work other than removing the GN pad printing and adding some SP decals which I found in a local hobby shop. The tender contacts were not working very well due to oxidation of the axles and the contact straps. Since the ESU Select uses a 9 pin JST interface at the decoder, I went ahead and installed a temporary 9 pin JST decoder in the loco so that I could test it at LAMRS.
After the front coupler install, the loco started to derail at some spots on the layout due to interference with the coupler box.
After a lot of running, the pony truck still derailed sometimes at one particular turnout when the pony truck was in the frog facing point on the diverging route. I had taken the DH123 out of this loco to use in a club loco and put a club test decoder, a DH121 in this one, until I got my DH123 back or I buy another decoder. It's is generally not a good idea to install a turnout on a grade but it can work if the grade through the turnout is constant and the turnout is level.
The cars are more or less grouped together by either type or status in the following table. This car had sprung trucks and derailed on nearly every turnout when on the diverging route. One in the "map" style, one in the "Chief" style, one wide door version in the large herald version and one plug door "Shock Control" version. This car has the same diecast frame as the unlettered hopper above, but it runs a lot better. This car also has sprung trucks but of a different and clearly newer variety than the Revell ones. If you are a beginner, you may want to subscribe here to get access to my newsletter, which will give you more great info. Your browser does not support inline frames or is currently configured not to display inline frames.
It was built by my son, Richard, in late 1994 and rebuilt a year or so later but never finished.
The first thing to go was the 3rd bench seat for my old van that my younger two boys used to commute back and forth to college.
Richard had partially rewired it, there were two power packs on it and some cab switching but the turnout controls had never been rewired.
The roadbed is tacked down to the Homosote base well enough, but the tacks holding the track down are not holding well, they tend to come up and actually catch the trains. Two insulated rail joiners appear to be missing so that two of the blocks are actually wired together in two places.
In large scale, one bubble error in lateral level is the starting point of a derailment problem. If a step is big enough to feel as I run my finger along the rail, it's big enough to cause a problem. Many cars would pick the points of the curved point rail so all of them got filed to solve that problem. Trains run smoothly with only an occasional derailment as there are now only a few spots with difficulties. Some of the turnouts seemed to have a systematic derailment problem when running on the diverging route facing point. There is still lots to do to make it run and look better, but I'm declaring victory for this phase. Besides the hulk of a Revell F7 and a couple of dead Athearn rubber band linkage F7's, a set of streamliners and a bunch of freight cars, I found the powered stuff in the following photos. It doesn't run well on the LAMRS club layout because the flanges are too large and it bumps along on the spike heads that hold the code 83 club rail.
The baggage car was missing a coupler for awhile until another Athearn car surrendered it's metal coupler box cover. The coupler mounts were completely non-standard so I basically knifed them out and rebuilt coupler boxes from Kadee #5 parts. I don't recall ever seeing a Warbonnet like paint scheme in blue and yellow on any real F7 but I found a photo of a yellowbonnet F9. It had a Kadee in the front and a NMRA coupler in the rear but the rear one eventually got changed to a Bachmann EZ-Mate because it fit easily in the snap on plastic coupler box. The tender also has power pickup to support the rear headlight, 2 wheels on one truck on one rail and 2 wheels on the other truck on the other rail.
The background noise at the club is a lot higher than in my garage and the SFX0416 just doesn't do enough audio output power. The extra F7A shell fits the much newer loco with the funny paint job so it got swapped so that the unit looks similar to the older ones. Athearn no longer has the parts that I needed but a brush for a newer loco is similar to the older brush and I found that I could wind my own spring from 0.020" music wire.
A Kadee #5 (or Bachmann EZ-Mate or Intermountain) is too short on the pilot end where there is a dual mounting hole. At least they have a LITTLE bit more weight on the rear end and will drive themselves up a grade. However, to do it I had to rebuild the whole structure of the front end as cutting off enough material to make room for a Kadee box would also detach the whole pilot assembly from the loco. I plugged in a DH123 and it ran much more quietly but I put the Bachmann decoder back in until later. It seemed a little "sticky" at low speed so I added some LGB gear lube to the worms on the gear towers and it immediately improved. All the detail stuff, steps, grills, grabs and handrails, still need to be added but that will happen later. Brushing a very little of the soot pigment over the decals and brushing lightly faded them just right. The only part I did not install was the speedometer cable from the front truck to the chassis. I used CA to glue the window insert to the shell every inch or so all around and that source of noise went away.
I cut much of it away and the noise level went down again, not all the way, but nearly to the level with the shell off.
There is a derailment problem in one spot with a questionable track geometry (vertical gradient) but the track is fixable.

I have another LokSound Select on backorder for it whenever ESU sees fit to ship the steam sound sets. It didn't take long to determine that the drive shaft socket was not attached to the gear tower. Under heavy loads, the powered truck of the Doodlebug tends to want to cant upward at the front enough so that the front wheelset lifts completely from the track.
The LAMRS car ran so well and was so cute that I found one on the internet and bought it for $89. It'll take some more breaking and perhaps some adjustments to get it running as reliably as the club car. However, the brass drive gear fell off again and when I tried to reattach it with a dab of LocTite 222, I apparently got some in the drive shaft bearing as well and the thing locked up. The Blue Goose, a 4-6-4 Hudson ATSF 3460, was the first in its class and the only one to get streamlined. This is not a great decoder so it will eventually get changed out, probably to a DH163 or maybe even a LokSound Select sound decoder if it runs well enough in the long run to deserve one.
I opened it up and found that the bulb was in a socket that was attached to a bracket that was bolted to the frame, at least when the shell was on. There is a contact strap that brushes on two axles and connects to the tender body at the truck pivot. A single piece of phosphor bronze wire clips over the truck frame and presses against both axles.
This is a rubber like material that is applied to a wheel wet and allowed to cure while the wheel is slowly turning such that it forms a sticky tire surface on a wheel that would not normally have a traction tire. The grades are not so severe there and it had no troubles, derails or stalls anywhere on the layout.
It's got a DH163 in the tender already, for about $55 I can get an SFX064D that will do well enough.
There wasn't sufficient room in the loco for any sound decoder so I installed the test decoder in the tender hardwired across to the loco.
The motor is pinched inside the weights and the motor tabs connect to the weights via small springs. When the LokSound Select arrives in a week or so, I'll unplug the test decoder and plug in the Select.
ESU also released the steam manual a little while ago and a JMRI decoder definition for this loco was published so that I could properly program it. As I accumulated a couple of more pieces of SP rolling stock, I found that the loco simply would not pull them, even on the easier grades on the LAMRS layout.
The pad printing came off with a little lacquer thinner and some rubbing with a paper towel. I think that I'll use a little Bragdon weathering pigments to stain it a little and call it done.
I used a little light gray over the tender decal to flatten the contrast of the lettering and conceal the shiny decal background. This is a model of an engine that would have been built around 1900 but I have not been able to identify the actual version or builder. I ground away at the box and I think that I've removed all the interference but only time will tell. The remaining interference was pushing on the truck and not allowing the truck to catch the frog properly. I ordered a LokSound 73417 (diverse steam sounds) decoder that will either go into the Blue Goose or into this loco depending on how the decoder sounds.
In this case, the fairly large (by HO standards) rectangular speaker was mounted on the tender floor facing down.
Digging back in dusty recesses of my memory, I think that some of these are Revell cars that came in my very first train set. However, replacing the trucks with Athearn ATH90400 Bettendorff trucks with metal wheels completely fixed the B&M boxcar. The trucks got replaced with Athearn reefer trucks (all that the carshop crew had handy) and body mounted Kadee #5 couplers.
It had been sitting in my garage ever since, gathering a thick layer of dust and "stuff." This photo is how I found it after a massive amount of non-train stuff stored on top of the layout was removed.
He wanted a better layout than just a loop on the floor so I bought him some materials and he went to work. I finally put the seat back in the van because it was the major blockage, besides the HO layout, that prevented me from even walking to the roll up door. It was wired to run from an LGB power pack but I wanted to use the LGB pack as a cab so I found a 6 volt 300 mA wall wart in my junk box and installed a DPDT switch for reversing.
I have reattached a section of track with a dilute solution of TiteBond II wood glue every couple of inches and this seems to do much better. I haven't located any insulated joiners in the boxes of stuff that was on the layout so I just cut the rail in two places with a Dremel cutoff wheel and inserted a styrene insulator, trimmed after the CA used to hold it in place dried. I discovered that regular 3" x 5" filing card stock is about 8 to 10 mils thick and makes a good shim. Sometimes, a rail can be bent slightly about a half inch back from the joint to get it to align better.
On the really bad ones, the curved point rail is lower than the stock rail by 10 to 20 mils. I think that this was the engine in the set that Richard got from his grandfather in about 1990. It had an NMRA hook and horn on one end and a Kadee on the other but the NMRA coupler has been changed out to a Kadee body mount. Some new Aerocar lubricants and a little gentle work brought the current down from 2 amps to a half amp. It doesn't run very well, the power pickup is marginal at best so that to run at all, it has to be going pretty fast. I then installed a pair of Bachmann EZ-Mate couplers and secured the covers on with hot glue. I don't much like that scheme on an F unit so I swapped the shell from an older F7 (a dead Revell model) with a more traditional blue and yellow scheme that also happened to match my other two ATSF F7's. While test running it on the bench, it issued a big puff of smoke and the booster shut down.
I cleaned out the shorts between the commutator segments, removed and cleaned the motor brushes and reassembled it. Eventually I cross jumpered power between the loco and tender so that there was 8 wheel pickup and it ran over turnouts much better.
I used it last week at an operation session and it worked well and, except that it is a small loco and doesn't have exceptional pulling power, it ran quite well.
Further Athearn, which is 8 miles from my home, says that they have parts for these things.
However, due to the variable brush resistance in the older motors, the DH163 turned out to be a better deal and the B unit got one also. The loco has a small pancake motor on the rear truck and a high reduction ratio gear train. It ran but there is a gearing problem resulting in a repeating clunk and the power pickups on the rear truck are flakey. Slow speed performance was much better and what little gear noise there was virtually vanished. When the shell comes off (remove both coupler pockets to release the outer frame and shell), the wires would normally have to be pulled from the little push on connectors on the PWB. It is simply brushed on and the heat of rubbing causes the adhesive to bind the powder to a matte surface.
The company, Bragdon Enterprises is still on line and this kit, FF-65, is still listed at $22. I deemed that that that part could not be easily seen and would get broken off in a hurry during handling while simply putting the loco on the track. It does have a 20 cylinder turbo sound file as one of it's three prime mover options (12, 16 and 20 cylinders).
This could be transmitting vibration from the motor, up through the assembly above through the decoder to this strip and then to the shell and roof. If I run the Doodlebug on the bench with the shell off and then use the shell to touch various parts of the loco, I can get the same buzz if ANYTHING in the motor area touches the shell. This is a bad thing as it can mess up programming, although Service Mode programming still worked. I also removed the stiff cardboard insulator between the motor housing and the bottom of the PWB and insulated the motor with electrical tape. I could barely hear the gear noise above the room ambient so that I guess that it is quiet enough. It worked but since I would have to build an enclosure for it anyway, I elected to use a 28 mm low profile speaker instead.
When ESU finally releases a US steam sound for the LokSound Select decoder, I'll replace the included decoder with a good sound decoder. I bent the drawbar a little so that the loco doesn't apply upward force on the tender at that spot yet still provides a secure connection. I pulled out the front truck and pressed the socket back on the gear tower shaft until it clicked in place and then reassembled the Doodlebug. I pulled down the paper insulator down and attached it to the side of the motor on both sides with a little bit of CA. I first wired it with full length leads and tested the car to be sure that the decoder would not misbehave like the DZ125 did. The real Blue Goose was an oil burner, this one has a NYC style coal tender with a water scoop, one that might be found following an NYC J3a class loco. I tacked it back on with a couple of very small dabs of CA, but that just created hard spots and the thing got a little bumpy.
Since I had determined that Riverossi replacement parts are simply not available, I am trying to use this stuff to make a new tire.
With enough coats, about four, it can fill the groove left behind by a failed traction tire and replace the function of the tire. All this combined to allow the loco to wobble (unlevel track) and the undergauge section was causing the rear drivers to be pushed up.
Alternately I could put a Tsunami (too expensive and temperamental to program), a Zimo MX640 (way too expensive at $138) or an ESU LokSound Select ($80) in it. The headlight didn't work as the little contact fingers that were supposed to touch the weight halves were bent. I'll use a different prime mover and whistle sound for this loco to differentiate it from the other one. I then need to mount a speaker under the coal load (after drilling an array of holes to allow the sound to escape from the tender shell) and mounting the external capacitor for the Select somewhere, it'll be done. That did leave a ghost image of the area I rubbed so I overpainted the tender sides with engine black, then added the SP decals.
Then a little rust over the tender and engine but I overdid it so I toned the rust back down with black.
Since the engine and tender are semi-permanently connected, I can put a sound decoder in the tender and just wire it back to the loco. I ground just a little more off the box and THEN it finally would go around both ways, on all routes, without derailing at all. It's got a 4-4-0 sound set, a 2-6-2 tank engine set, a J1 Niagara set and one for a 2-10-0.
The steel weights that were there were removed and replaced by lead stick on weights on the back of the coal load. When there are tracking or friction problems, the problem is virtually always due to the truck design or construction. They all have knuckle couplers, most are Kadee but there are some Intermountain and Bachmann EZ-Mate couplers in the mix. The wheels were a different type than on the two SP heavyweight coaches and didn't roll as well and tended to derail.
Then less than an hour later as I was rummaging through Richard's boxes, I found ANOTHER IDENTICAL one, unbuilt, still in it's shrink wrapped box. It's trucks also are tight by the frame and the flanges of the end axles were dragging on some mold marks on the frame in some vertical gradients. He selected a track plan, shown below, and after we came home with a pile of lumber, he went to work. If I needed something on the other side of the seat, I had to open the door and attack it from the other side. When I am sure that the rest of the track is aligned, in gauge and level, I will do the rest of it that way.
Steps are better filed off, or if the problem is that the rail isn't level, then the rail needs to be bent up or down to match. Derailments that occurred with several different cars but at a specific spot got the track reworked at that spot.
The loco doesn't track very well, but I've been using it in that state to find bad spots on the layout.
It never got Kadee couplers before, probably because it never ran well enough to deserve them. The trip pins needed a little adjustment, but they fit fine and the coupler knuckles are at the right height. This loco is also somewhat sensitive to less than perfect trackwork so it has been set aside for now. I had an ESU LokSound Select that I originally purchased for a large scale PCC car but I pulled it because I didn't like the sound file that ESU supplied for a PCC car so I returned it for replacement with one with a steam sound file. The mounting hole on the rear end is set far enough inward so that the back of the long shank #6 box will barely fit (with some minor trimming) and still not interfere with the rear truck.
The drag of the power pickups on the front truck is so high, even with lubrication, that the loco will hardly drag itself around.
I sent it back to Bachmann for repair, $20 under the lifetime warranty because it was a "Spectrum" product.
This one came mostly as a kit with all the detail parts in little bags to make painting it easier. This is a pain so I installed some connectors in the front headlight wires to allow the shell to be more easily released from the frame.
The good part about HO is that the detail parts are really tiny and hard to see so that if the detail isn't really good, it doesn't matter much anyway. I stared at a bag of 6 small slivers of silver plastic before I finally figured out that they were windshield wipers. I had ordered a small rectangular speaker with it and they both arrived so i plugged it into the loco and it ran. The first was a Warbonnet version, the other two were the earlier "moustache" version with a red and yellow front end and a pullman green body. I glued in the window strips better and the noise got less harsh but it still makes more noise with the shell on than off. I cut it off with a cutoff wheel and things improved a little more, but it is still louder with the shell on than off.
Since the Doodlebug doesn't have a reverse headlight, I moved the cabin light to the yellow decoder lead (F0R) and reprogrammed the decoder to have the cabin light on F3 and made it non directional. I used some double back foam tape to hold the decoder to the PWB, which itself is floating supported by it's wires alone, and the thing now runs as quietly with the roof and shell on as with it off. Apart it came again and a 3 mm white LED with an 820 ohm current limiting resistor went it. I built a 15 mil styrene enclosure by wrapping a piece of 15 x 125 mil Evergreen styrene strip around the speaker and gluing it into a ring which I then glued on the back of the speaker.

The tender is set up to take a speaker facing downward and an 8 pin NMRA medium connector for a decoder. As I was breaking it in, it had a problem, the motor speed increased and the car slowed down.
This looks like it lost power but I installed a small bulb across the power pickups and it is getting power. It has indeed broken in a little and now it runs as smoothly across my insulated frogs as the club car did. After messing with a lot, if I left the two very small screws that hold the shell onto the frame loose by half a turn, it ran right. This model has a DH121 in it and runs well enough but the club didn't want it because of the prototype and that the power pickup seemed a little flakey on the club layout. I'll add two wheels to the tender as the center axle doesn't contribute right now and two more wheels to the loco as the rear truck wheels don't contribute either. The center axle wheelset was identical so all I had to do was bend a piece of 15 mil phosphor bronze wire over the truck frame so that it rode against the center axle and one of the end axles. I then soldered a short piece of flexible wire to the contact wire and terminated it to the loco frame under the screw that holds the truck assembly on (to the right in the photo). It does improve traction, but it also needs weight to keep the wheels on the track or the loco will start to hop. With either the Tsunami or Select, I can recover the DH163 for use elsewhere so I "save" $24 or so.
One broke when I attempted to straighten it but that doesn't matter as the little PWB that the contact fingers are soldered to will be chucked during a DCC conversion anyway. I removed the springs and soldered the orange and gray decoder wires to the tabs which were then insulated with shrink tube. After finding a routing path for the wire bundle out of the loco and grinding a passage in the front of the tender shell, the wire bundle routed easily. Harriman Standard locos usually had a Vanderbilt tender but at least they were coal burners.
If I elect not to add sound right away, I have a Z scale decoder that I can install into the loco.
If the sound decoder goes into the Blue Goose, it's DH163 will come back to the Mogul until I get an appropriate sound decoder for the Mogul. Some have been converted to Kadee (or Intermountain) knuckle couplers, some still have the original NMRA hook and horn couplers.
I think that the springs allow the trucks to flex so much that a wheel can actually walk up on a point more easily than others. I was astounded when I came home from work the next day and found that the benchwork was already built.
A lot more "stuff" found it's way to the trash so that I could actually walk around 3 sides of the HO layout. The front and rear mounts were a little different so I sort of improvised until I got it right.
Their speeds change depending on direction of motion and sometimes one or the other will start to run a little faster or slower.
On both ends of both units, the mounting pad needs to be filed to make it parallel with the frame so that the coupler comes out to the right height. If I remember correctly, Richard initially used these to pull the streamliners but they crapped. I'll probably just paint it weathered black and letter it for the GIRR, then rust it up some.
I wanted one of the green ones but, as a test, I made a $25 bid on the Warbonnet version and won it for $21.38.
I thought it had stalled but it snuck past me and got out on the main before I found it again.
I then glued a round 15 mil sheet on the back of the speaker and sealed the edge with gel CA. This finally brought the noise level down so that it is about the same as the Warbonnet one.
I need to power cycle the track or lift one side of the car off the track to cause the decoder to reset properly and then it picks up and scampers off. If the replaced decoder still has problems, I'll try and NCE or TCS Z scale decoder and use this one some less demanding application in the future.
The drive gear has also fallen off again and I have to determine how to get it to stay in place before I can proceed to clean out the degraded bearing.
I temporarily wired the replacement DZ125 to it again and it behaves better, but it is still having some of the same problem. To replace a missing tire, several layers of the stuff have to be applied to build up a thickness that replicates the original tire.
It is clear that it helped, but the loco still needs a little more weight to get by the very worst spot. Taking $24 off the price of the Select, I get just about the same cost as an SFX064D and the Select has considerably better sound. It is a somewhat larger loco than Santa Fe 2517 but it does not appear to be a Spectrum class model. This isn't a big problem in HO as it is easy to pick the loco and tender up as a unit with one hand.
I found a couple of spots on the split weights next to where the smoke unit was to solder the red and black power wires. This more normal coal tender is not prototypical for a Harriman Standard loco but most locos went through more than one tender in their normal service lives. The passenger cars are too long to tolerate body mounts on my trackwork (S curves in a few places) so they still have truck mounts. We put a sheet of Homosote on it and made a cookie cutter roadbed and scenery base and then he really went to town.
The track was held down with small wire nails, but these tended to come loose so I started using the nails only as a temporary patch until a mixture of 50% TiteBond II and water (with a couple of drops of detergent per pint as a wetting agent) was dribbled on the track every 3" or so to act as a more permanent bonding agent AFTER the section was leveled. Rail joints that refuse to stay in place should be either soldered together and then filed or glued with Zap-A-Gap CA and then filed. However, the overall improvement in operation since I checked, leveled and glued the whole main line is striking. I found that I could slip one or two slivers of card stock between the throwbar and the point rail to raise the point rail up a little to match the stock rail and the problem would simply go away. These locos can run like a bat out of hell but they also could run slowly and typically more quietly than gear drive locos because there are no gears. However, they are close enough considering the built in compliance of the rubber drive mechanism. I then hacked and ground out the existing coupler and cut the original pilot assembly away from the loco. From the amount I used on this loco and an entire large scale gondola, I'll never go through 10% of this material. The last parts to go in were the "bridges" that allow a crewman to cross from one loco to another.
It does sound ok, but I'll be playing with the programming tomorrow as it has defaulted to the 12 cylinder sound set.
I suspect that this was purchased by somebody and it ran like crap so it sat on a shelf or in it's box for years. I am assuming that that the noise is what caused the former owner to put this loco back in the box and not run it. There appears to be just one noise source left as the character of the remaining noise got much "simpler" in nature and intermittent.
I properly attached the windows and bent the motor contact tabs so that they did not rest against the shell and the noise level came down to just a little louder than the Warbonnet one makes after working on it for weeks. On a curving grade, the wheel lifts and at the top of the grade the curve ends, but the truck is still pointed to go around the curve.
I took the shell off and didn't see anything wrong so I ran it that way for a lap or so and then something went plink and the car stopped dead with the motor running fast.
The resistor is there to help protect it some from any motor mis-behavior even though my testing didn't indicate a problem. I may have to try another kind of decoder and use the DZ125 in some less stressful application. Some adjustment of the wire pressure was required so that the friction wasn't so high as to actually stall the wheels, but it worked. I thought that it was a result of getting some Loctite in the bearings, but I don't think so now.
The brass wheels will be a problem going forward and will require cleaning fairly often, but with the trailer wired to pick up power it is good enough. The spring pressure is fairly light so that the drag of the wheels isn't a lot higher than it was before. However, the sound files for a 6 coupled type loco have not been released by ESU as of Oct 10.
It's internal construction is similar to the UP 0-6-0 but there is a little bit more room inside.
This loco is a little larger than a Harriman Standard 2-8-0 and the domes are in the wrong places, but it is close enough for my taste to a Harriman Standard loco dating from about 1905. Eventually, these trucks will probably have to be replaced or superglued into rigid trucks. I applied it with a medicine measurement syringe (free for the asking at most pharmacies) to fill the gap between two ties. This left just enough room to slide in a Kadee #5 box which is attached to the underside of the pilot beam with another #2-56 cap screw. I had dropped one of the smaller pieces and lost it on the floor for awhile, but I eventually saw and recovered it. It still makes too much noise to qualify for a sound decoder so I'll run it this way for a while to see if it gets better once it is broken in.
It appears that the PWB that is attached to the top of the motor is transmitting motor vibration to the shell as well. When the load relaxes and the front wheelset drops, it comes down OFF the track every time.
The car will run plenty fast enough with the resistor and it only drops a half a volt or so anyway at normal current levels. After removing the decoder, it actually ran better, although it is still having power pickup issues on some, but not all, of my insulated frogs.
I just glued two 10 mil shims of styrene on the frame so that the shell cannot be tightened down all the way to the frame and it is good.
It does have some derailment problems, especially with the tender, but I think that it because the tender is WAY too light. Now the LED lens sticks right through the bezel and it at the right spot to represent the headlight.
I also treated both center drivers (neither pick up power) and the front driver that still had a rubber traction tire. The headlight turned out to be a 1.5 volt bulb with a voltage dropping resistor and dual diode stack to set the bulb voltage. The other spots are probably similar but I cannot find the NMRA HO gauge to check the track or wheel gauge.
The glue would eventually partially flow under the adjacent ties and fill the gap (if it existed) between the rubber roadbed and the ties. There were cars that just derailed all over the place, those got put aside as they were too confusing and something is probably wrong with the car.
I have had to lift some sections that were previously glued and it is no problem to lift the track and then glue it again. Even partially installing the shell causes the problem to return so it isn't a result of the decoder pressing upward as the shell isn't on far enough to reach the decoder. The 330AµF storage capacitor that came with the decoder would not fit under the roof next to the decoder so it is sitting in the front of the passenger compartment. Fortunately, I was able to find it and I pressed it back on the motor shaft with a little CA applied to hold it in place. This is a decoder problem so I'm probably have to send the decoder back to Digitrax for replacement. Only then did 2 more oz of lead draped above the rear drivers allow it to climb that grade without serious slippage.
Finally, the thing was able to pull the consist up that grade with a little slipping right at the top and it didn't derail. I was able to desolder the contacts that used to touch the weight halves and solder the blue and white decoder wires there. The glue is strong enough to hold the track in place, but also weak enough to allow the joint to be broken in case more work needs to be done in that area.
I removed the wheels and reformed the brushes, one did not have sufficient tension to touch the wheel well enough.
There is very little clearance between the PWB and the inside of the shell so I'll either have to find a way to center it better or to damp that possible interference. I tried restraining the rocking movement of the truck to keep it from lifting, then it doesn't have enough compliance to stay on the track in other places. The USRA 0-6-0 has a similar Z scale decoder in it, a DZ143, and it has none of these issues. I cut them out from the header in individual pieces, cut off the remaining plastic header and then use them for both the male and female connectors. I tried to mess with the bearing alignment by bending the bearing piece a little but only made it worse to the point that it actually would not run. It is still somewhat sensitive to dirty track and wheels, but when things are clean, it is good to go.
Even though it makes the worst grade, I'll still run it the other way most of the time as the train fits in front of the station better the other way. It started off at 250 mA and slowly worked it's way down to 150 mA as the mechanism slowly increased in speed at a constant 10 volts on the car. I'll put it in the tender and hardwire over to the loco as the drawbar is semi-permanent anyway.
I realized that the track was bad because this spot had given me trouble before, but the loco was out of balance. This causes it's coupler to "lift" as it crests the grade while the trailer is still on the grade. After the current stabilized, I lubricated the gears with gear grease and the bearings with a light AeroCar oil.
I simply have to run this thing to wear the bearings so that they are not so tight so I set it up on the bench, clip leaded to the connectors I installed for the trailer, put 6 volts on it and I am going to let it run to wear away the tight spots.
Since all five were essentially identical, there is something about their design or configuration that makes them especially susceptible to less than perfect track. At another spot, going the other way, there is a turnout at the top of a straight grade and I get the exact same problem there except this time the truck is straight and the track curves away underneath it. When I can pull and push this set over the whole layout, I will declare victory on the trackwork for awhile and move on to other things.

Mrc n 1812 dcc sound decoder
Discount model railroader magazine
Category: z scale train sets christmas | 30.07.2014

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