Author Topic: N scale (Late) question of the week! 17 aug 2011  (Read 1164 times)

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N scale (Late) question of the week! 17 aug 2011
« on: August 22, 2011, 03:56:46 PM »
Ok way behind the power curve this time, restared college for the fall, so time has got away from me. better late than never right? :D

OK so question this week is one that I have been thinking about for a while, and I got 2 storys for the question:
First, my daughter has a 1/150th N scale Thomas that she likes to run when I am done. it has been DCC'd, and runs good, except, it was plagued with pickup issues. so instead of just replacing the pickup on the locomotive, I decided to try to MU the 2 passenger coaches together, add pickups to the cars, and drawbar the whole thing together. well, to begin with the wheels on the coaches were plastic, so I needed to find wheels that were the right diameter, witch an old SW9 provided, given the split axel design, I decided to go with the axel end cup design. Long story short, it suffered in sevral ways. In the end I ended up building a british-looking boxcar with Bachmann tender trucks, witch worked well, then ultimatly, I ended up replacing the pickup on the locomotive, and was able to ditch the boxcar, so full circle was acheived.  :facepalm:

the next project has yet to surface, but I was trying to figure out how to make a small Mallet articulate properly. The locomotive is small enough to allow it, without excesive overhang around corners. My idea was to do a sort of "Ball gear" to convay the power from the rear enging to the front. Long story short, after a long disscussion about how it was not possible, someone pointed out that I should do it like Fleischmann locos do it. Tender drive, Dummy Locomotive. Again:  :facepalm:

Soooo.....the question:

What is the most complex idea you have had?
Implimented or not, relating to rolling stock, or layout. Don't matter as long as it is something to do with N scale!

I swear I will be on time this week, in a few days.  :scared:

Northern Pacific, Tacoma Division, 4th subdivision "The Prarie Line" (still in planning stages)

Philip H

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Re: N scale (Late) question of the week! 17 aug 2011
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 04:03:28 PM »
I think this would be a tie for me - how to construct a GP40-W wide cab loco for KCs (Using an Atahbasca etched brass cab and a life like shell . . .) and how to turn an Atlas B23-7 into a BQ23-7.  I always figured I'd render the latte rin cad and then etch it myself (as a reason to learn) but so far neither of these has come off well - though I have the GP40W sort of frankensteined together . . . . :facepalm:
Philip H.
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Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B


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Re: N scale (Late) question of the week! 17 aug 2011
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 05:47:17 PM »
1.) on DC, I wired together an ABBA consist of Bachmann F-7s. Drilled tiny holes in each half of the split frame, "soldered" wires in, then snaked the wires through holes in the shells. Worked like a charm until one of the B units cracked an axle gear. Dissassembly was harder than assembly. Ended up with an ABA, until one of the A units cracked an axle gear.

2.) Bought close-out GP-20s to put under the F-7 shells. The decoders for DCC fit between the frame and shells. But that one foot difference in wheelbase meant cutting off at least one set of stirrups and mounting brass replacements that did not foul the trucks. Worked like a charm until Intermountain brought out their F3s, which were far superior.

3.) Wired sprung contact strips to four corners of a Bachmann 0-4-0T Docksider to try to improve electrical pickup. It actually worked! It was hilarious watching that little engine wobble down the track, spewing sparks unpredictably from contact strips. That experiment ended when I needed the motor for an Atlas light pacific (or some other engine)--it was a bolt in replacement. (I used to buy Docksiders to replace engines--it was cheaper.) I still have the shell someplace.

4.) Trying to use old DDX-40 trucks for a Baldwin Centipede. I haven't given up on that.

5.) My fictitious twin-engined Alco F-8B--two old Mehano FAs joined end-to-end without cabs. It would pull paint off the walls, and had plenty of room for a decoder or two (or three). But those flanges!


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Re: N scale (Late) question of the week! 17 aug 2011
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 06:19:06 PM »
Westinghouse class B-1 electric.  It pretty much has to be etched, so I haven't gotten beyond drawings and ideas.  I do still keep a close watch on any new double ended motors that are affordable and also trucks with proper axle centers.

After that is a Knoxville trolley and various interurban cars.  I can RP these, but the tolerances require some creativity.  I may look at TT scale before long to gain that extra 25%.


Denver Road Doug

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Re: N scale (Late) question of the week! 17 aug 2011
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 06:25:24 PM »
This one's easy.   Implementing transponding.

Well, almost.

As if getting a layout up and running doesn't already present enough roadblocks.   Bad thing is, I actually had all the wiring done for the BDL168's and SE8C's and simply had to cut the blocks and wire feeders to the track.   But then life happened and that layout is defunct.  I am planning to try again with the new layout, and I actually disassembled the old wiring panels that all the PCB's and wiring were secured to only a few days ago.  So, at least I have a better idea of what I'm doing this time around.   :scared:
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.


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Re: N scale (Late) question of the week! 17 aug 2011
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2011, 07:44:47 PM »
Haven't started but have given some thought... to build an RS36. Seems I'd need bits of just about every ALCO diesel available in N to cobble together a shell that would be even close!


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Re: N scale (Late) question of the week! 17 aug 2011
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2011, 08:08:00 PM »
For me it was engineering the most critical part of the layout for a room that wasn't finished yet, and constructing it in a garage three flights of stairs away.

I started with the staging level, which has a loop that had to tie into a drop leaf bridge and thence to a shelf that wouldn't be constructed for another two years.  The level of the shelf had to be set at the right height to allow for a very slight grade that would wrap around the room on benchwork that I could only imagine, because my son was still using that side of the room for a bedroom...

Above the staging, I had to configure two return loops, which had to achieve specific elevations to also meet up with stuff that was still vaporware, and would be until mid 2010.

Once installed...

It worked!  Well, mostly.  When I finally completed the as-designed (and re-re-redesigned) circuit, I had to nudge this section up about a 1/2", and I had to lower the shelf on the other side of the lift bridge about 1/8" to get everything where I needed it to be.  The last little miracle was the installation of the final lift out section in front of the window, which I have to be able to remove to get the A/C unit out of the window for the winter...

It fit with about 1/16" to spare.

I did the happy dance that day, I can assure you!

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Lee Weldon


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Re: N scale (Late) question of the week! 17 aug 2011
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2011, 08:28:31 PM »
Nothing all that ambitious but an SD59M-2.  Looked like it wouldn't be that hard.  Mostly an Atlas SD60M and a Kato SD70M radiator or so it looked on first glance.  Of course the versions UP are building have much different cabs.  I'll have to graft the low headlight nose on the two window cab.  THen there is the equipment cabinet behind the cab with the change in railing.  I have the radiator section installed but the louvers forward look like CRAP.  I thought I could shoren the Kato vents bu again it looked bad and I don't have access to a dozen shells so I used the ons from the Atlas shell.

It's still on the bench but I haven't looked at it in a while.

The GP39v came out OK but I'll probably re-do it eventually.   GP30 and 35 shells, about four of each until I got it right.  I've since fixed teh BN on the nose, the fit of the cab, and added the glazing.
Can't model worth a darn, but can research like an SOB.


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Re: N scale (Late) question of the week! 17 aug 2011
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2011, 09:25:11 PM »
First thing that comes to mind is designing an automated staging yard for Rick Spano's S&U. I started planning it back around 1980. It took a couple of years to build successfully. In addition to a dedicated computer unit to run it, the six-track yard has no switches, no points, no frogs. Each end has a piece of flex track that's mechanically positioned at the end of one of the six storage tracks. Thus the derailment rate is zero, and has been since it went into operation in the mid-80s. The "computer" (a hardwired logic processor) operates the yard in one of three modes: automatic, pre-select, and manual. In automatic mode, when a train enters the yard, it's parked, and the next occupied track is selected and that train is sent out. This is used for shows, where all you need is a constant stream of traffic. In pre-select mode, you dial up the track containing the train you want to release next, and that train is sent out when an inbound train arrives. Manual mode is just as the name implies; any track can be selected at any time. The yard is also bi-directional; trains can be parked facing either direction. When an eastbound train arrives, the next eastbound train is released, and westbound trains are skipped, unless you send in a westbound train.

I submitted a three-part article detailing its construction to MR; they weren't interested. Ironically, this was back when staging yards were just catching on. I then pitched it to N Scale magazine; Hundman said it was too complicated for anyone to build. :facepalm:

Some photos and a very bad drawing finally made it into Great Model Railroads (I forget the year the S&U was featured).
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Re: N scale (Late) question of the week! 17 aug 2011
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 09:54:09 PM »
I seem to keep re-engineering my module legs, in the eternal pursuit of a system that weighs nothing, occupies no space in the car, and requires no time to set up or take down.

Rob M., a.k.a. Zox
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