Author Topic: Con-Cor Aerotrain  (Read 4647 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

VonRyan

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3061
  • Gender: Male
  • Does anything really matter?
  • Respect: +521
Con-Cor Aerotrain
« on: April 18, 2013, 09:25:38 AM »
0
So I've been shoving some thoughts around in the conglomerate that is my head...

There are a couple Aerotrain 4-car basic sets in PRR on the bay, and the do look quite nice, but I've never heard much mention of them, let alone seen any on train-show layouts.

Is there something amiss with these that make them not worth buying? or are they great and I should totally ask for a set for my graduation present?

I'd like to at one point have the full 10 unit aerotrain that the PRR ran (even though it is out of my era), but only if it is worth running.
There are no shelf-queens in my house. (I wouldn't be alive if I bought a shelf-queen)

Thanks all!


-Cody F.
Cody W Fisher  —  Wandering soul from a bygone era.
A waste of sentience.
Burned out, with no chance of recovering.
My life is just one endless fuckup.
I am a disappointment to too many, and little else to others.
I wish only to be content.

chicken45

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4491
  • Gender: Male
  • Will rim for upvotes.
  • Respect: +1002
    • Facebook Profile
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 09:36:40 AM »
0
Yeah. I heard mixed reviews.
http://www.spookshow.net/loco/aerotrain.html

I mean, I think they can all be fixed, but you gotta put in time and cizzash.
Josh Surkosky

Here's a Clerihew about Ed. K.

Ed Kapucinski
Every night, he plants a new tree.
But mention his law
and you've pulled your last straw!

Alternate version:
Ed Kapucinski
Every night, he plants a new tree.
He asks excitedly "Did you say Ménage à Trois?"
No, I said "Ed's Law."

CodyO

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 847
  • Gender: Male
  • Cody Orr-SPF
  • Respect: +198
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 09:44:53 AM »
0
Ive also always wanted one

Was going to do a foodie Tuscan red paint scheme on it
Modeling the Pennsylvania Middle Division in late 1954
             Nothing Will Stop The US Air Force

Bob Bufkin

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6397
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +43
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 09:55:28 AM »
0
I have one of those with an extra car set.  Haven't run it in years.  Real pain in the butt to set up to run.  The DCC board is not in the engine but one of th cars and with it installed the body never set right no matter what I try. 

dougnelson

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +1705
    • PRR N Scale
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 09:57:24 AM »
0
Cody:

The CC Aerotrain is a very smooth runner.  You need to ensure that the wheels are gauged properly and that there is no binding of the wires between cars.  Once that is done they are excellent runners due to the all-wheel pickup.  In fact, the CC model is a better runner than than the rough-riding GM prototype. 

It's a pretty cool looking train and the PRR used them in 1956 on a daily round trip between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.  Full train was power car plus 9 coaches.

chicken45

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4491
  • Gender: Male
  • Will rim for upvotes.
  • Respect: +1002
    • Facebook Profile
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 12:16:32 PM »
0
Cody:

The CC Aerotrain is a very smooth runner.  You need to ensure that the wheels are gauged properly and that there is no binding of the wires between cars.  Once that is done they are excellent runners due to the all-wheel pickup.  In fact, the CC model is a better runner than than the rough-riding GM prototype. 

It's a pretty cool looking train and the PRR used them in 1956 on a daily round trip between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.  Full train was power car plus 9 coaches.

I'm glad to hear that, Doug! I guess with your blessing I'll have to pick one up. They look great, but from what I read, it was a questionable operator.
Josh Surkosky

Here's a Clerihew about Ed. K.

Ed Kapucinski
Every night, he plants a new tree.
But mention his law
and you've pulled your last straw!

Alternate version:
Ed Kapucinski
Every night, he plants a new tree.
He asks excitedly "Did you say Ménage à Trois?"
No, I said "Ed's Law."

VonRyan

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3061
  • Gender: Male
  • Does anything really matter?
  • Respect: +521
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 01:33:20 PM »
0
Cody:

The CC Aerotrain is a very smooth runner.  You need to ensure that the wheels are gauged properly and that there is no binding of the wires between cars.  Once that is done they are excellent runners due to the all-wheel pickup.  In fact, the CC model is a better runner than than the rough-riding GM prototype. 

It's a pretty cool looking train and the PRR used them in 1956 on a daily round trip between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.  Full train was power car plus 9 coaches.

I'll have to keep that in mind. Looks like I've found my other graduation present (the first being some Digitrax stuff), plus with the fact that it was used as early as 1956 it is just a matter of expanding my era by one year. (my official cut-off having been 1955)

Once an initial 4-car set is in hand and decoder installed, it'll simply be a matter of scratching together enough green to buy two add-on sets for a complete 10-car set.


-Cody F.

Cody W Fisher  —  Wandering soul from a bygone era.
A waste of sentience.
Burned out, with no chance of recovering.
My life is just one endless fuckup.
I am a disappointment to too many, and little else to others.
I wish only to be content.

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13421
  • Respect: +7008
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 01:45:43 PM »
0
Doug, you must either have an exception, or have flawless track--or both. The one I own is plagued by performance issues. The combination of light weight, fine flanges, funky magnetic coupling and stiff, bulky wire harnesses between cars makes the set a very fussy runner: it doesn't like the slightest irregularity in the track, which it will quickly leave if it's unhappy. Not to mention it's a real PITA to just set on the track. One of my many round-tuits is to replace the wiring harnesses with much lighter wire, do away with the multiple wires needed for DCC operation and stick with just two very fine wires, and possibly even permanently couple the cars. But this is way low on my priority list, to be honest.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 01:48:29 PM by David K. Smith »

haasmarc

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 379
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +418
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 03:27:46 PM »
0
I have to agree with David.  First thing you have to fix is the gauge.  When you spread the wheels to the proper gauge now they won't spin freely.  I filed the axles shorter to get them to spin.  Next is the wires between cars.  I found that if you gently pull them downward while the cars are coupled, they won't try and twist the diaphrams to one side which causes the light cars to derail.  Unfortunately, the wires don't stay centered.  Concor had a weight set made for the observation that they said fixed some issues.  I have it, but haven't installed it yet.  I was thinking of adding weight to all the cars to help tracking.  I think David's idea of replacing the wires with finer more flexible wire might go a long way to helping it stay on the rails.  If I straighten the all the wires to center all the diaphrams and run it around the layout, it will usually make it around.
Marc Haas
Keeping the Reading alive in N scale!

Frisco Larry

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 162
  • Respect: +5
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2013, 04:59:22 PM »
0
I have a Pennsy set (main set and two add-ons)  It required a great deal of work to get it to run well.  The cars are too light.  A friend of mine with a RI set (same size as mine) made replacement weights for his and mine (he works at a steel fabricator).  The weights are steel, about double the thickness of the original weights.  The fact that these homemade weights fit, shows that they should have been made that thick in the first place. The gauge is also a problem on two counts. As mentioned above, the axles are too long when the wheels are spread out to the proper gauge.  I filed mine down slightly.  Also there is nothing to keep the trucks from turning, thus with only one axle, they do not remain perpendicular to the rails.  So, even when in gauge, they are not "in gauge".  My friend came up with some plastic shims that keep the trucks square.  He then came up with a box design which holds the entire train (40" x 3.5" x 3", foam lined).  When the train is on a straight track, the box slips over the entire train.  Then you turn the box over and put on the top.  To put the train on the tracks, you just turn the box upside down, set it on the tracks, and spread the sides slightly to release the train and you are ready to go.  For what it cost, one should not have had to do all this work to get it to run well, but after doing this, it is a good runner.  Con-Cor displays their total lack of marketing sense, by not coming up with the boxes themselves.

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 28408
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +3253
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2013, 07:04:27 PM »
0
Here is the review of this model I did right when it came out: http://forum.atlasrr.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=51058

I have not finish making many of the modifications I want to do or installing the sound decoder I bought for it.  It is now pretty low on my priority list.
. . . 42 . . .

kelticsylk

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 781
  • Respect: 0
    • Milepost 15
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2013, 12:41:03 AM »
0
I have a Pennsy set (main set and two add-ons)  It required a great deal of work to get it to run well.  The cars are too light. 

Made me laugh...Same issues as the real train. Very prototypical  :)

Even though it was considered a dud, I love the 57 Chevy look out front and the fins and wrap around window on the tail car. I did hear that they later found that the air suspension was never hooked up correctly.That was supposedly the reason the ride was so bad. Is that true?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 12:43:23 AM by kelticsylk »

dougnelson

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +1705
    • PRR N Scale
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2013, 03:44:50 AM »
0
My track is not perfect.  I even ran my set on an NTRAK layout with traditionally bad track and still had no problems.  Maybe I am just lucky, but with some fine tuning, it has run well.  I was planning to add weight to the cars, but once I got the wheels gauged and made sure the wires were not binding the extra weight was not necessary.

VonRyan

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3061
  • Gender: Male
  • Does anything really matter?
  • Respect: +521
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2013, 09:03:02 AM »
0
Ok... so perhaps I should rethink on the Aerotrain...

It sounds like they require quite a bit of work just to get to a state of reliable running, and bodging around with wheel gauging problems is something I've never had to do, and with the wheels/axles set up as they are (and that no one has mentioned the solution) it makes the Aerotrain quite off-putting at least to me.

If someone has determined a reasonable solution for the wheelset problems that can easily be done, I might still have an eye for a set, but if the problems aren't ones to be easily corrected, I think i might take a pass at least until the sets drop to the $100 mark.


-Cody F.
Cody W Fisher  —  Wandering soul from a bygone era.
A waste of sentience.
Burned out, with no chance of recovering.
My life is just one endless fuckup.
I am a disappointment to too many, and little else to others.
I wish only to be content.

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13421
  • Respect: +7008
Re: Con-Cor Aerotrain
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2013, 07:56:11 AM »
0
I just popped the box open on my set to refresh my memory. Now I remember that I was going to exploit the magnet pairs of the coupling diaphragms as the conductors for power and eliminate the wires altogether.

As for the wheels, two steps: one, replace the pivot pins with screws, and fix the trucks in place (they do not need to swivel, and indeed things may work better if they don't), and two, replace the wheels. It just so happens that the wheels from the Kato GS-4 tender are drop-in replacements. (You can buy a replacement truck set from Kato for $15, which gets you six wheelsets).

There are other things to do, like add more weight, but I think this is a good start to improve things.