Author Topic: Model Power 4-4-0  (Read 3528 times)

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Model Power 4-4-0
« on: April 27, 2007, 08:42:49 AM »
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Anyone have any experience with these?  How do they run?  Is a decoder possible and if so, how difficult is the installation?  I can't find any info on the web.


Chris333

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2007, 08:51:37 AM »
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45:1 gear ratio means they run nice and slow. You may need to mess with the tender trucks if you have any pick-up problems.

I don't do DCC, but all the wire go into the tender, so I guess it wouldn't be that hard.

brokemoto

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2007, 10:02:00 AM »
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As Erie Chris accurately states, the slow speed control is good.  The runnability throughout the speed ranges is good.  MP steam is very smooth running.

An example of the pulling power is two RR HWs and an express car, all on MT trucks, up a one per-cent grade at thirty-five SMPH.  Any more cars will cause slippage.  I do have one on which I substituted a B-mann SPECTRUM USRA Standard tender for the stock tender.  That adds one car to the pulling power in addition to improving the electrical pick-up. 


Many do complain about the pulling power, but you are not going to get much from something as small as an N scale eight-wheeler.  Some have gotten hold of a tyred driver (the drivers are the same as on the MP USRA light pacific) and substituted it for one of the stock drivers.  I would suspect that this would compromise the electrical contact, unless, you also substituted an all-wheels-live tender for the stock MP (or made the stock MP all-wheels-live).  I have not heard complaints about the pick-up from those who have meade the driver switch.  I have not made the tyred driver switch, as I use something different if I want a longer passenger train.

The locomotive suffers from 1970s construction methods.  The tender is only half-wheels-live.  At track speeds, this is generally not a problem, as the flywheel will coast the locomotive over dead spots.  It is occasionally a problem going over plastic frog switches at slow speeds in yard and station areas.  It does not stall frequently at slow speeds over plastic frog switches, but it does it enough to be annoying.  Pick-up in the tender is accomplished by means of contact wipers on the axles, so one pair of wheels on each truck must be electrically neutral.  The wipers also do create enogh drag on the locomotive that substituting a tender with needlepoint axle pick-up will increase the pulling power by one car on a one-per-cent grade.

Pick-up on the locomotive is accomplished through contact wipers on the drivers.  At some point, they will wear out.  I also wonder how much drag they might create on the locomotive.  Flexing wires connect the locomotive and tender.  Flexing wires eventually break.

I forget what the MT conversion is on these.  The tender has a body-mount box on which I used the knuckle couplers from the Kato RS-2/RSC-2.  The pilot coupler is a dummy that sits at the proper height and will couple to other knuckle couplers that are out there.

Some have substituted Kato mikado tender trucks or Kato caboose trucks for the stock MP trucks.  They have also modified the tender with contact strips to make best use of the Kato trucks.  I have heard of fewer people swapping out the MP tender for either a B-mann SPECTRUM or Kato USRA Standard tender.  I have done the swap-out on the mogul, also.

The MP mogul, which has the same shell and tender as the eight-wheeler, does have a traction tyre.  That traction tyre does compromise the electrical contact to the point that the locomotive will stall on straight and level track at speeds less than thirty-five SMPH.  If you make the tender on the mogul all-wheels-live, it ends the stalling problems and makes the mogul into a nice locomotive.  Mine will pull fifteen loaded gondolas or hoppers, and a caboose, all on MT or Accumate trucks, up a one-per-cent grade at TEN SMPH.  That is the highest number of cars that I have tried.

MP has stated that they plan a do-over of these two with an all-wheels-live tender.  They are not going to put a traction tyre onto the eight-wheeler, as they fear (and probably rightly so) compromised electrical contact.  The mogul will retain its traction tyre.

The shell of this one is really that of a Harriman mogul.  They simply released the eight-wheeler first.  For the eight-wheeler, they just substituted two larger driver pairs for the smaller three driver pairs.  If you look at the sanding lines, they are not in the proper place for a four-drivered locomotive.  If you do not want to buy the mogul, imagine three pairs of sixty-three inch drivers in place of the two pairs of seventy-three inch drivers on the eight-wheeler.  You will see that the sanding lines are in their proper places for a mogul. 

A solution to the sanding lines problem might be scraping off the cast-ons and adding separately applied.  This may prove more difficult on the metal shell of the MP than on a plastic shell.  It may require extra care and clean-up (filing) is more difficult than the sanding that you would do on a plastic shell.  Substituting a USRA Standard tender (either B-mann SPECTRUM or Kato) does not dwarf either the mogul or the eight-wheeler.  The Kato USRA Standard is still not available (although since Kato has re-run the mikado recently, that might change).  B-mann SPECTRUM is a hit-or-miss.  B-mann will sell you the tender from the SPECTRUM USRA light mountain or the consolidated, IF, they have one.  They take them from returned locomotives.  It is not inexpensive, either.

I would recommend either the mogul or the eight-wheeler as allright until something better appears (or MP makes some serious improvements).
« Last Edit: April 27, 2007, 10:05:28 AM by brokemoto »

3rdrail

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2007, 10:32:23 AM »
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I have one and have added the traction tired driver set. I use MicroEngineering Code 70 track and switches and have had no problems whatsoever with contact. I plan to build a new tender with all wheel contact, as I am modifying it into a PRR D16sb type.

It is a very nice looking and smooth running model, IMHO.  8)

Skip

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2007, 10:49:35 AM »
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Thanks Brokemoto for the outstanding evaluation.

Follow-on question.  Does it run alright on Altas Code 55 track?

David Leonard

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2007, 11:11:54 AM »
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According to Walthers at least some of the 2-6-0's now come with all wheel tender pickup. descriptions for other MP steam locomotives say only "all axle." http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/490-7611  The undecs are coming in May, they say.

Chris333

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2007, 11:30:47 AM »
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Yes it runs on Atlas C55.

This is what I made with mine:


Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2007, 12:19:51 PM »
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Chris
You need to stop posting pictures of that prototype locomotive and claiming you "made it in N scale"...

I call shenanigans...  ;D

That thing is remarkable.

Boiler-man

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2007, 10:15:40 AM »
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This loco performs very good just lacks tractive effort and a hard wire decoder installation is easy as long as operating the headlight with the decoder is not an issue (there are no headlight wires in the tender) ;D.

The decoder fits inside the tender and the required wires are right there for making the connections, in fact the directions that come with the unit depict what wires need to be used.

May I ask how one acquires the traction tires for this loco ????


railspike55

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2007, 10:36:39 AM »
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I am with Boiler-man on this as I have a vary slippery 4-4-0.

It can only take two cars an a caboose up my 2% grade.  I was hoping for
at least one more car. And these are not weighted cars.

Ron N.
Steam and Diesel in Transition

Ron N.

3rdrail

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2007, 10:37:34 AM »
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This loco performs very good just lacks tractive effort and a hard wire decoder installation is easy as long as operating the headlight with the decoder is not an issue (there are no headlight wires in the tender) ;D.

The decoder fits inside the tender and the required wires are right there for making the connections, in fact the directions that come with the unit depict what wires need to be used.

May I ask how one acquires the traction tires for this loco ????


Basically, one cannot anymore. They are the driver set for the Pacific. I got mine from an obscure hobby shop in Texas. They only had a couple left and Chris333 cleaned them out, but the ones he bought were damaged by the USPS in transit.  :'( :(

Chris333

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2007, 10:45:27 AM »
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I did get one good set of traction tires, but I'm saving them for my MP 4-6-2. My 4-4-0 only has to pull 2 PAX cars so traction tires are not needed.

David Leonard

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2007, 01:18:20 PM »
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Walthers lists the traction tires as being expected on May 7. 

Dupesy

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2007, 03:13:30 PM »
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I, too, will attest that these little MP steamers run beautifully.  I need to ring up my pusher(s) and get a few more.  Why, I don't know, since I model the mid 80's.  But they do run beautifully, especially since they are so small.  I cannot attest to their tractive effort, however.
dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die

mopaustin

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Re: Model Power 4-4-0
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2007, 07:17:52 PM »
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Basically, one cannot anymore. They are the driver set for the Pacific. I got mine from an obscure hobby shop in Texas. They only had a couple left and Chris333 cleaned them out, but the ones he bought were damaged by the USPS in transit.  :'( :(

What "obscure hobby shop in Texas"?