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Thread: news from the loco lab

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    Default news from the loco lab

    I want model steam engines and
    good ones are not really available from commercial sources.

    a lot are close and are yet not good enough.

    I'll list the various failings if anyone happens to ask

    I am, among other things, slowly building a GHQ prr L1.
    I created a re-gearing A-la Max Magliaro using a b-mann consol worm-wheel
    and the loco has a whine that I dislike.
    I've spent some time trying to remove it.
    nothing extreme, thick grease on the worm and u-joint.
    After a while the hi-pitch noise comes back.

    I decided to explore the motor from Kato's FEF. it can fit in the Mike chassis

    this led me to build a test mule because I wanted the same gearing
    as my GHQ/mike chassis and didn't want to modify another Mike frame.

    The motor in the FEF is the reason the FEF can run slowly.
    I do not hear the hi-pitch whine or much else from the mule in motion.
    I have not tried to test pulling power cause the mule is pretty lightweight and I do
    not have traction tires on it. the added complication being that I do not have a sense of
    what electrical limits I should respect.

    If there is a way to test how good your electrical pick-up works,
    this thing at a creep requires a solid pick-up system. my mule has no flywheel
    and it will stall if it finds dust or cat hair.

    I am not pleased by the brush construction in the coreless motors I have opened.
    They will have short lives compared to say a lifelike sw1200 motor brush.
    with the price of repair being 25 for a motor versus 4-5 dollars for new brushes
    and 600 ish hours versus 3,000 plus hours run time before the repair is needed.
    so the Kato coreless motor is the more expensive option.

    I am considering the trade-offs involved.
    the coreless motor is smaller and that alone is a clear choice.
    all I can add to all this is the motor should be easy to replace.

    from this testing, I expect we will see smaller n-scale steam engines
    and the advent of bullet proof pick-up systems.

    victor

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    piturs or it dinna happen

    the mule
    nsn-mule-30.jpg

    and If the video ever uploads...
    45 seconds of boring slow rolling.
    https://youtu.be/nC-T4YmXrf0

    victor
    Last edited by victor miranda; 10th Feb 2020 at 03:26 PM. Reason: added vid link

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    What’s the box of stuff with chips all next to it? Wood?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_L View Post
    What’s the box of stuff with chips all next to it? Wood?
    scenery?

    the box is wood. it is there to be a positive stop for a turnout that has been removed.
    I was testing a pick-up tender. the Atlas truetrack switch is a bit tight.
    The tender worked well and the engine drivers (I think it was an MP Pacific) found cause to ride up on the wing and guard rails.

    victor

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    Hi Victor,


    Are you using ball-bearings between the universals and the worm?
    Or on the back of the worm?
    When you quarter it, whose side rods are you going to use? Who’s valve gear? Or scratch?
    Now the hard part…fitting a shell
    A+ for effort, it’s not seen here on that level often.

    Soon, I’ll have time to tinker more.
    Gunna watch

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    Hi Donzi,

    no ball bearings, am not sure why. I had some bearing blocks at hand.
    They are the kind Kato used with a ball bead in it.
    the parts you are looking at are mostly from a Kato Mike
    I did all I could to match the mike, so I expect the other mike parts will work,
    such as the siderods and valve gear and cylinders.
    It can fit under a number of steam engine shells I have, like the Atlas/RR 0-8-0
    as well as it can wedge under a shapeways Atlantic boiler and make a PRR 2-8-0 h-8/9/10.
    that is part of why I went off and built it. it looked to me like one can build a small mechanism.

    while it is clear for fitting under those shells, my problem is the motor...
    the chassis was mostly built as a test for the Kato FEF motor.
    how durable and reliable is it, plus performance during the motor life.
    I seem unwilling to run the Kato FEF I have.

    If I keep rolling on the modeling work, it will become a PRR H8s.
    as fitting it under the E6 shell was a size specification.
    I'd like to fit a flywheel and while there is a bit of room for a little one
    that got skipped.
    I suspect even a little flywheel will improve the slow speed steadiness.

    if my impressions of this chassis are any indication of what to expect in future locos,
    the coreless motor is going to be common. I am not sure I think that is a good thing.
    I will go as far as to state that making them easy to replace is a good idea.
    One can also hope that the brushes in these motors can be improved for durability.

    In my explorations I want to try a small brushless dc motors.
    I have not yet found one available that I think will either fit or work.
    That is I have found tiny ones that max out at 20 milliwatts power or are simply too big.
    With DCC becoming common, the decoder/computer can run the brushless motor.

    The search for the best locos continues.
    at the moment, the Kato FEF leads the way
    with Bmann's 4-6-0 and 2-6-0 as an underscore of what a coreless can permit.

    victor

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    Not a fan of brushless motors, they are intended to be cheap(less costly) and disposable.
    However, that’s the way of the world today.

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    hi Donzi,
    the possibility of a motor that is cheap and will not fail is truly tempting...

    I do not know the running properties of such a motor.
    it may well have a cogging quality that is unsurmountable.
    that will make it a poor choice.

    in a few years, I'll look into it again.

    victor

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    the photo loaded!

    nsn-prr-h8-2.jpg

    the loco is a shapeways prr e6 shell.
    the tender shell is an Atlas/RR 0-8-0 tender with the coal hopper removed

    the tender has a homemade frame in it, riding Kato caboose trucks

    I aimed at an overall look.
    it pretty much looks like a PRR h-8/9.

    if one does an evaluation during a build,
    I want to create a better looking or sized pilot
    I have not found a Kato mike pilot truck. I thought I had one as a spare.
    it needs a headlamp

    I did not get the position correct for the valve gear carrier and I think that has
    put a very mild tight spot or just some drag on the mechanism as it takes
    a little more power to run.
    I also added a traction tire driver and I think that is causing a waddle
    hand rails and a coal load would add a lot to the look of the engine.
    my measure is the loco is at the correct height, however,
    it looks to my eye like the engine needs to drop about about 3/4 of a milimeter
    and the tender seems even higher and so has to drop even further.
    I also think I will need to add a flywheel.
    Thus far it is easy to see the rear frame tie screw should be
    a bit forward as it currently limits getting the chassis just right under the stack.
    I can't really correct the few small mistakes I've built in,
    my plan is to make another frame. perhaps next winter.

    In terms of performance, the shell should be filled with weight.
    It can pull 8 cars and I did not test the limit.

    overall it is a nice loco.
    I have to plan a bit better.
    victor

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    Are any of the super capacitors up to the task of smoothing minor pickup issues?
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    Hi Leo,
    If I add a sound DCC decoder I would consider a capacitor.
    In this case I know I have some room for a flywheel.
    I was not certain of room so I skipped it,
    maybe in the back of my mind I thought it would not hurt as coreless motors
    are reputed to be smooth and even.

    it is pretty smooth.
    that tender in the picture was a pick-up test tender.
    The tender is very reliable and the loco will stall at the slowest of speeds, sometimes.
    mechanical flywheel first, after that I may try a cap.
    victor

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    I seriously doubt any one will make one of these.
    in any case here is the shell I used
    https://www.shapeways.com/product/WX...-and-cab-shell

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    Quote Originally Posted by victor miranda View Post
    the photo loaded!

    nsn-prr-h8-2.jpg

    the loco is a shapeways prr e6 shell.
    the tender shell is an Atlas/RR 0-8-0 tender with the coal hopper removed

    the tender has a homemade frame in it, riding Kato caboose trucks

    I aimed at an overall look.
    it pretty much looks like a PRR h-8/9.

    if one does an evaluation during a build,
    I want to create a better looking or sized pilot
    I have not found a Kato mike pilot truck. I thought I had one as a spare.
    it needs a headlamp

    I did not get the position correct for the valve gear carrier and I think that has
    put a very mild tight spot or just some drag on the mechanism as it takes
    a little more power to run.
    I also added a traction tire driver and I think that is causing a waddle
    hand rails and a coal load would add a lot to the look of the engine.
    my measure is the loco is at the correct height, however,
    it looks to my eye like the engine needs to drop about about 3/4 of a milimeter
    and the tender seems even higher and so has to drop even further.
    I also think I will need to add a flywheel.
    Thus far it is easy to see the rear frame tie screw should be
    a bit forward as it currently limits getting the chassis just right under the stack.
    I can't really correct the few small mistakes I've built in,
    my plan is to make another frame. perhaps next winter.

    In terms of performance, the shell should be filled with weight.
    It can pull 8 cars and I did not test the limit.

    overall it is a nice loco.
    I have to plan a bit better.
    victor
    wow really nice!

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    I thought; today I'll fix-up a b-mann 0-6-0 and share.
    why I am still chuckling may become obvious.

    so I rounded up my collection.
    nsn-x-6-x-cllctn.jpg

    my plans went south pretty quick
    these driver/axle gears are cracked through
    nsn-x-6-x-grs.jpg

    I recommend you get one of the recent x-6-x and If they are something you can find,
    the usra short tender DCC ready.

    flip the drawbar over and you are off to do some shunting.
    a helpful photo
    nsn-x-6-x-db3.jpg
    and a video
    https://youtu.be/MsYd0yNnBCk

    while that will get you going, i think the tender could use some additional weight
    and a replacement drawbar for better fit and tender to engine spacing may well be a good idea.

    recently Spookshow pointed out to me that these x-6-x locos do not come with all wheel pick-up.
    I went through all I have and none that are known to be new have are all-wheel pick-up.
    there are two types of tenders. they look a lot alike.

    since this started as part of the discussion of costs.
    the bachman tender is 25 ish dollars and while it is an improvement
    mine still stalls... not sure if that was motor or electrical.

    buuuut give it some thought 80 ish buck and another 20 ish for a tender

    frankly it wants for a flywheel and a decent motor...

    so adding another 30 means you have a 150 dollar 0-6-0
    that may well be worth all that coin and effort.
    leave aside that it still looks like a b-mann 0-6-0.

    I don't think any options exist past that point.

    other than a lower price what would be an improvement?

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    Victor, I agree with your assessment of the 0-6-0. Bachmann seems to have all the ingredients needed to make an excellent small switcher. I can’t understand why they can’t do in the factory what you and others have done on the workbench.

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    I have found that the front set of drivers are prone to slip out of quarter on the recent variants of this loco causing them to limp along and the motor mounted so far back renders them not much good for kitbashing. Having said that, some yard goats were modified USRA switchers.

    Here is my extreme solution to curing the problem of tractive effort and pickup. The saddle tank is cast in lead and despite losing the tender pickup, it's massive weight means it never stalls Understood not everyone wants a goat though

    IMG_6041.jpgIMG_6043.jpg

    Goats, Camels, what ever next ???
    Thanks, Tom

    Expect nothing except the opposite of what you expect, and then expect it to be something other than that ! Then that's about what it will be

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    Hi Victor,

    You can't go wrong using a Kato mechanism in your locomotive.

    I changed the shell on a Japanese 4-6-2 to create an American Pacific...the driver hole patterns are not correct...but in N scale and moving...no one notices.
    Happy Modeling

    Bruce

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    howdy Bruce.

    every Kato loco I have purchased has been worth the price.
    once I found that Katousa.com sold 'parts' I used the parts
    to improve locos I wanted to run.

    the issue for me is simple. no one is competing with Kato.
    If you want your loco to... ah... run?
    you use Kato parts or make your own parts.
    that make your own parts is quite often using Kato's idea...
    I modify Kato's parts or tune them for my needs
    buuut I do not often have ideas that are better.

    in the case of my mule/prr h8 I have a lot of parts from Kato in it
    to cut down on how long it would take to make my own parts.

    I can't get Kato to make what I want.
    for a BIIIIIIG Pacific a Kato c55 is perfect.
    when you want what I'd call an ordinary pacific with
    72/75 inch drivers... you have to find another chassis.

    All told I truly love Kato's work for n-scale and steam.
    They tend to shy away from doing the ordinary north american
    steam engines n-scale needs.

    victor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Victor, I agree with your assessment of the 0-6-0. Bachmann seems to have all the ingredients needed to make an excellent small switcher. I can’t understand why they can’t do in the factory what you and others have done on the workbench.

    Hi Jimbo,

    I can see some of b-mann's logic... some.
    from all I can tell shunters are not a popular loco option.
    so there is every reason to keep such things cheap...

    in direct contrast to that thinking...
    who in n-scale buys shunters?
    I think it is the people who build layouts and who need such models.
    those people will buy shunters.
    and they will pay a reasonable sum.
    right now b-mann has all the pieces.
    they could charge a proper price and get it.
    If I wanted and wanted to keep the price down
    last time I looked Kato caboose trucks are still available
    and soldering in flexable wires is the cheapest easiest solution.
    b-mann will not see the extra spending, Kato will.
    what keeps me from buying b-mann's 0-6-0
    (look at how many I've replaced over the years...)
    is that I know I have to work to get them up to servicable.

    Kato's c50 and c-56 keep getting my attention
    the drivers are a bit big however.

    so at this point I have gotten to where I am planning to build my own
    mechanisims to go under the shells I have.

    the Minitrix 0-6-0 is my next shot...
    I wonder how many Kato parts will be in it.

    victor

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcook View Post
    I have found that the front set of drivers are prone to slip out of quarter on the recent variants of this loco causing them to limp along and the motor mounted so far back renders them not much good for kitbashing. Having said that, some yard goats were modified USRA switchers.

    Here is my extreme solution to curing the problem of tractive effort and pickup. The saddle tank is cast in lead and despite losing the tender pickup, it's massive weight means it never stalls Understood not everyone wants a goat though

    (photos backspaced)

    Goats, Camels, what ever next ???
    greeting Mr.Cook,
    you do such good modeling...
    I suppose I'll have to learn that type of work.

    the failures of the mechanisms are why I didn't invest the time in the
    topside. when I was much younger I figured the problems would get fixed and I would get
    better at my rattle can work ( I clearly had a limited imagination back then...)

    I've spent a lifetime learning how to get these ... kits to work.
    the subtlety of how good aside...
    nowadays I think I can do it.
    we shall see.
    victor

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