Author Topic: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?  (Read 1034 times)

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andyl913

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Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« on: November 17, 2017, 11:28:32 AM »
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So I've been thinking of some possible ideas for mods to Bachmann's 44 ton switcher. I know someone installed a sound decoder in one and had to cut some of the body to make room, but I'm wondering about some mods that could help with connectivity...

One idea I had was to put a rare earth magnet between the truck as I think it will help pull the locomotive down against the tracks, and also installing a larger tantalum cap, similar to the cap's that John Colombo uses for his sound installs (I saw a very similar cap on the DCC board in the switcher)..

Just curious if anyone made some mods to this little loco to get it to run smooth? It already does great for its size, but I always look for improvements!

u18b

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2017, 11:36:59 AM »
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Hmmmm.  Magnets?

What is there to pull toward?
Track spikes.

Having trouble seeing how this would do anything (except maybe interfere with the magnetic field of the motor.)
Ron Bearden

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

eric220

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2017, 11:51:58 AM »
+1
Ron is right about the magnet. There’s nothing ferromagnetic in a typical track installation for the magnet to be attracted to.

@Lemosteam did an experiment where he buried a steel wire under the tracks, and that worked.


I’m planning on doing something similar for my hump engine, if I’m ever able to build my hump yard.
-Eric

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JMaurer1

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2017, 12:02:37 PM »
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Wouldn't a rare earth magnet under the motor also cause problems with the motor? Magnetic field would be way too strong on one side of the armature (and the rail isn't magnetic unless you are using very old steel track)
Sacramento Valley NTrak

Chris333

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2017, 12:08:20 PM »
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Try cleaning everything. My five 44T's run great.

EDIT: I pulled the decoders out of mine. I run DC.

garethashenden

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2017, 12:14:59 PM »
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Replacing the factory decoder with a better one is supposed to make quite a bit of difference, although I haven't done it myself.

up1950s

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2017, 12:24:21 PM »
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A 44 tonner as a hump engine is not something I have ever seen . Now I have never seen a rack engine used for hump service , but that could be doable if , 1 - it didn't need to go through a turnout , and 2 , if it did , the cog wheel could be lifted and locked as well as lowered and locked via DCC command to a on-board relay . With all that a longer engine , maybe a B unit would fit the bill .

Lemosteam

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2017, 12:34:04 PM »
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Ron is right about the magnet. There’s nothing ferromagnetic in a typical track installation for the magnet to be attracted to.

@Lemosteam did an experiment where he buried a steel wire under the tracks, and that worked.


I’m planning on doing something similar for my hump engine, if I’m ever able to build my hump yard.

Oh dear Gawd.  Not that thing!

Lemosteam

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2017, 12:44:18 PM »
+1
Since were visiting that old idea, as for magnets and switches the same loco goes through the paces in three suscessive Atlas code 55 UNPOWERED frogs here: 


peteski

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2017, 12:53:43 PM »
+2
This thread shows what I did to make that model run better.  And I agree with others that cleanliness of the wheels and track is of paramount importance with lightweight and short-wheelbase models like this.  Also, when I was servicing that model recently I also added a mini keep-alive circuit (several tantalum capacitors in the cab).
--- Peteski de Snarkski

Joetrain59

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2017, 08:28:17 PM »
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I just put tungsten discs wherever I could. Chris333, didn't you have a tungsten part made to fit the fuel tank area?
 Joe D

Chris333

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2017, 08:43:02 PM »
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I just put tungsten discs wherever I could. Chris333, didn't you have a tungsten part made to fit the fuel tank area?
 Joe D
Yes for 2 of them.

nkalanaga

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2017, 01:07:20 AM »
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Richie:  Most rack locos didn't have moveable pinion gears.  If turnouts were needed, there were three main options:

Have the rack higher than the running rails, with a gap, or a moveable rack section, where they cross.  If your loco has two pinions, which many prototypes did, a gap isn't any problem.  As long as one pinion is on the rack, the loco can still pull.

Have the rack at or below the top of the running rails, with some very complicated moving parts in both the rack and the running rails.

For the really adventuresome, build two sections of track, side by side, on a transfer table.  No turnout at all, just slide the piece you want into place.

If at all possible, most rack railroads preferred to have the turnouts on level track, where they didn't have to use the rack at all.
N Kalanaga
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randgust

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2017, 11:14:39 AM »
+1
I  got one a long time ago to see if it would repower my resin GE 70-ton kit.

I really like the mechanism, but that basic DCC dual-action board was nuts.   I removed it and sold it, filled all the excess shell space above the frame with lead (there's nothing in the cab area) and run it under DC.

It runs great, very reliable, slow, quiet.   Very happy with it.

On small locomotives, any weight you give up for stuff like DCC decoders and sound is an instant compromise on electrical pickup and tractive effort, period.   

A 44-tonner was intended to be just under the limit to allow one-man operation, that's why the size class ever existed.   I've got the performance tables on one, and you just couldn't get all that much out of them, either, though short-term tractive effort at very low speed was respectable.  They were great on relatively flat, light-rail and light-bridge shortlines, places with ridiculously sharp curves on industrial track, but if anybody ever used them as a heavy-duty hump switcher, you'd have to prove it to me.  ATSF had about six of them, ended up using the last of them as tie-plant switchers as they weren't much good for anything else.

I have the 'critters' book with the tech stats and it shows a starting tractive effort of 26,000 lb, top speed of 35mph, and at that speed the TE drops to 2000 lb.   Your 'walking speed' 3-5mph hump speed TE already plummets to 17,500, so that's a pretty lousy hump engine.

u18b

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Re: Mods for Bachmann N GE 44-Tonner?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2017, 12:26:30 PM »
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Andy,

Back to the original question.

You really should read the thread mentioned in Peteki's post above.
Yes, there are some ways that you can improve this little loco.
Ron Bearden

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.