Author Topic: Big boys  (Read 2315 times)

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kscessandriver

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2021, 06:44:25 PM »
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Not to change directions too much, but in regards to the DC only Athearn Big Boy, my understanding is that it is equipped with an NEM651 socket, should I want to put DCC or DCC/Sound in. Anyone able to confirm this

SkipGear

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2021, 11:18:09 PM »
+1
Big Boy Big Boys everywhere but not a Yellowstone to drink...  :D

Ummm????? You sure about that?





Then there were these at one time......



Tony Hines

robert3985

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2021, 07:26:16 AM »
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I'm aware of the slipping "feature".
I still say it will be a silly gimmick which will make these more difficult to "decoderize", and likely decrease their puling ability (motor is likely lighter than equivalent weight inside the boiler).

To clarify, 1:1 loco's engines are rarely in since with each other, but they aren't constantly slipping either.  They are just off by certain number of degrees and stay that way. Other (single-motor) models of articulated locos have engines not in sync.  And in N scale I don't think that slippage will occur very often either.  Again - a gimmick.

Evidently Peter, you don't know what you're writing about.  Having owned and modified over 20 N-scale Big Boys over the years, I'm thinking that the Kato rumor of two motors is a great idea...if it can be done.

First, I will assume that Mr. Kato, who is a rabid Big Boy (and UP) fanboy, will not allow an engine to go to market that won't run.  Whatever science Kato used to increase the pulling power of their UP FEF-3, if they can double that in a Big Boy model, that would be phenomenal, because the FEF-3 is the best-pulling RTR (non-modified) steam engine I've ever had.

The problem with N-scale Big Boys (and other big, articulated N-scale engines) as far as pulling power is concerned, is that the front engine, from a functional standpoint, is virtually useless.  The prototype uses a bearing surface that utilizes a slippery oil to put proper weight on the front engine, but still allow it to articulate as to "go around curves."

In N-scale a properly articulated Big Boy model needs about an 18" minimum radius to function, with the front engine sticking WAY out on the inside of the curve, with the smokebox hanging WAY out on the outside of the curve.  Noticeably, as compared to all RTR "plastic" large articulated steam locomotives, on properly articulated N-scale brass models, the cab doesn't do much swinging back and forth.  But, on minimum radius trackage, the Athearn Big Boys and Challengers will hit tunnel portal sides, insides of bridges with their CAB SIDES...not the smokebox.

This swinging back and forth of the cab on Athearn articulateds drives me crazy.  It looks very unprototypical, and it is.

To allow the front engine to articulate and follow the rails, it is basically totally unweighted.  The massive Big Boy in N-scale has the pulling power of a 4-8-4, the rear engine doing the vast majority of transferring power to the rails.

IF Kato can find where to place the separate motor's weight on the front engine, or find a way to transfer boiler weight to both ends of the front engine, then...pulling power will be doubled...while retaining the look and motion of the prototype articulation.

One of the signatures of articulated steam locomotives is the out-of-sync sound of each engine operating separately from each other, as well as the look of the out-of-sync motion of the rods and drivers between the front and rear engines.

If Kato can pull this off, vastly increasing the pulling power of an N-scale Big Boy, retaining the actual articulation of the prototype, allowing each engine to slip independently, syncing the sound output of each engine so that each engine produces its own chuff, its own rod clank, and whatever other noises the prototype produces due to separate front and rear engines, I would hardly describe these excellent features as "silly gimmicks"....just excellence.

I haven't even started talking about appearance. 

When prototype Big Boys are viewed from the side, there isn't a huge, gaping space between the rear cylinders and boiler...in fact there is NO space, because the boiler sits on a saddle that the cylinders are cast into.  There also isn't a gaping space near the front of the boiler either, since the front part of the boiler rests on the aforementioned "slip" plate, transferring boiler weight to the front engine drivers.  If Kato uses something similar (in miniature) to reliably transfer boiler or motor weight to the front engine, the appearance of the model will be exponentially improved.

Since the rear engine on the prototype doesn't swivel from side to side, the large, insulated steam pipes running along the front half of the boiler from the tops of the rear cylinders to the articulated steam joint that the movable front steam pipes are attached to, then attached to the front cylinders....will contribute to the prototype look as well as lessen the gaping air space prevalent on every other RTR plastic large articulated N-scale steam engine.

All of this, including either two sound decoders, or one purpose-built sound decoder that senses the speed of each engine's drivers and matches them automatically, but allows them to be out-of-sync with each other, but syncing with each engine's mechanical motion for proper sound, is definitely possible, but will be expensive.

I am sure that this expense is one of the main things that Kato is exploring minimizing, but even Athearn Big Boys are going for over $400 right now....I'd be more than willing to purchase several Kato Big Boys for 100 bucks more if they are more prototypically detailed and run as well as their FEF-3...with double the pulling power, with prototype articulation.

Gimmicks?  Truthfully, isn't ANY improvement, or excellent feature on a model a "gimmick" to increase desirability and sales?  I'd say that Kato, if it can be done, will do it well, and am prepared to be highly impressed, with both praise and multiple purchases.

I am afraid that you CAN have too many Big Boys, since the prototype only had 25 engines.  It's easier to have too many FEF-3's, since UP only had ten of them.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore


up1950s

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2021, 10:45:28 AM »
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But there were modification in radiator placement , and 4019 had elephant ears for a second . So there is a exception to the 25 limit . Oh and 4014 is now oil fired , and 4005 was also for a test which was judged a fail by UP then . The we have the changeover from linked lubricators to chain driven ones . Probably up to 50 by now .

peteski

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2021, 06:16:20 PM »
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Evidently Peter, you don't know what you're writing about.  Having owned and modified over 20 N-scale Big Boys over the years, I'm thinking that the Kato rumor of two motors is a great idea...if it can be done.

First, I will assume that Mr. Kato, who is a rabid Big Boy (and UP) fanboy, will not allow an engine to go to market that won't run.  Whatever science Kato used to increase the pulling power of their UP FEF-3, if they can double that in a Big Boy model, that would be phenomenal, because the FEF-3 is the best-pulling RTR (non-modified) steam engine I've ever had.

The problem with N-scale Big Boys (and other big, articulated N-scale engines) as far as pulling power is concerned, is that the front engine, from a functional standpoint, is virtually useless.  The prototype uses a bearing surface that utilizes a slippery oil to put proper weight on the front engine, but still allow it to articulate as to "go around curves."

In N-scale a properly articulated Big Boy model needs about an 18" minimum radius to function, with the front engine sticking WAY out on the inside of the curve, with the smokebox hanging WAY out on the outside of the curve.  Noticeably, as compared to all RTR "plastic" large articulated steam locomotives, on properly articulated N-scale brass models, the cab doesn't do much swinging back and forth.  But, on minimum radius trackage, the Athearn Big Boys and Challengers will hit tunnel portal sides, insides of bridges with their CAB SIDES...not the smokebox.

This swinging back and forth of the cab on Athearn articulateds drives me crazy.  It looks very unprototypical, and it is.

To allow the front engine to articulate and follow the rails, it is basically totally unweighted.  The massive Big Boy in N-scale has the pulling power of a 4-8-4, the rear engine doing the vast majority of transferring power to the rails.

IF Kato can find where to place the separate motor's weight on the front engine, or find a way to transfer boiler weight to both ends of the front engine, then...pulling power will be doubled...while retaining the look and motion of the prototype articulation.

One of the signatures of articulated steam locomotives is the out-of-sync sound of each engine operating separately from each other, as well as the look of the out-of-sync motion of the rods and drivers between the front and rear engines.

If Kato can pull this off, vastly increasing the pulling power of an N-scale Big Boy, retaining the actual articulation of the prototype, allowing each engine to slip independently, syncing the sound output of each engine so that each engine produces its own chuff, its own rod clank, and whatever other noises the prototype produces due to separate front and rear engines, I would hardly describe these excellent features as "silly gimmicks"....just excellence.

I haven't even started talking about appearance. 

When prototype Big Boys are viewed from the side, there isn't a huge, gaping space between the rear cylinders and boiler...in fact there is NO space, because the boiler sits on a saddle that the cylinders are cast into.  There also isn't a gaping space near the front of the boiler either, since the front part of the boiler rests on the aforementioned "slip" plate, transferring boiler weight to the front engine drivers.  If Kato uses something similar (in miniature) to reliably transfer boiler or motor weight to the front engine, the appearance of the model will be exponentially improved.

Since the rear engine on the prototype doesn't swivel from side to side, the large, insulated steam pipes running along the front half of the boiler from the tops of the rear cylinders to the articulated steam joint that the movable front steam pipes are attached to, then attached to the front cylinders....will contribute to the prototype look as well as lessen the gaping air space prevalent on every other RTR plastic large articulated N-scale steam engine.

All of this, including either two sound decoders, or one purpose-built sound decoder that senses the speed of each engine's drivers and matches them automatically, but allows them to be out-of-sync with each other, but syncing with each engine's mechanical motion for proper sound, is definitely possible, but will be expensive.

I am sure that this expense is one of the main things that Kato is exploring minimizing, but even Athearn Big Boys are going for over $400 right now....I'd be more than willing to purchase several Kato Big Boys for 100 bucks more if they are more prototypically detailed and run as well as their FEF-3...with double the pulling power, with prototype articulation.

Gimmicks?  Truthfully, isn't ANY improvement, or excellent feature on a model a "gimmick" to increase desirability and sales?  I'd say that Kato, if it can be done, will do it well, and am prepared to be highly impressed, with both praise and multiple purchases.

I am afraid that you CAN have too many Big Boys, since the prototype only had 25 engines.  It's easier to have too many FEF-3's, since UP only had ten of them.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

You're right Bob - I have no clue about what I'm talking about.  :(  Sorry to have posted my false wisdom here.

You are also wrong in many ways.  True, the articulation (of both engines) on the Con-Cor and Athearn locos is unprototypical, but that doesn't mean that the front engine is there "just for looks",  It supports a good portion of the boiler's mass (which means it there is lots of adhesion there).

I also don't understand everybody talking about the new "out of sync" feature when using separate drive for each engine.

Single-motor driven permanently-coupled engines all can be set up (and usually are) to be out of sync.  A single sound decoder can also be set up to simulate articulated steam exhaust.  The only thing that is missing is the possible change of the out-of-sync amount if one engine slips.  But as I mentioned earlier, even with separately powered engines in N scale, I highly doubt there will be much slippage occurring during operation. A 1:1 engine slippage does not scale down to N scale. The N scale engines might as well be permanently coupler to a single motor (and run with a constant out-of-sync amount).

I own a Sakatsu brass Big-Boy which is properly articulated. The rear engine does not swing, and the front engine's pivot is behind its last driver.  It needs rather broad curves, and the front engine ends up swinging way out form under the boiler.  Of course it is powered by a single motor (and the engines are set up permanently out of sync).  Also, in that model, the front engine is mostly "for looks", since it does not support any of the loco's weight.

Since Kato is designing this loco to run on small Japanese layouts using Unitrak, I have feeling that both engines will be articulated Bob. Just like Athearn and Con-Cor.   If the  rear engine is fixed, I'll eat a bag of Woodland Scenics walnut shells ballast!   :D
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Jbub

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2021, 10:37:22 PM »
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To be clear (yes, that was intentional for the Letterkenney fans) when I talk about the engine being in sync, I don't mean the drivers being in they same position. I mean that they turn at every so slightly different rpms due to numerous factors.  The engines being out of sync is not necessarily a function of one slipping under more power and less adhesion. When UP towed 4014 from California to Cheyenne there were times both engines were exactly in the same position and other times they were out 180 degrees. One thing I
that bugs me with steam sound is out of sync chuffs. An articulated sound file forces one engine in and out of sync with the other even though mechanically nothing ever changes.
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squirrelhunter

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2021, 11:34:11 PM »
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I don't have a dog in this one (I find the big boy to be oversaturated) but the issue with articulated engines is they go in and out of phase, not out of sync.

Peteski, the issue is the front engine and rear engine start with the drivers/rods all in the same position and slowly drift out of phase until they are 180 degrees apart and then they drift back again. I want to say this happens 2 or 4 time per mile.

This probably would be hard to replicate with both sets of drivers geared to the same motor.

peteski

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2021, 01:45:15 AM »
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I don't have a dog in this one (I find the big boy to be oversaturated) but the issue with articulated engines is they go in and out of phase, not out of sync.

Peteski, the issue is the front engine and rear engine start with the drivers/rods all in the same position and slowly drift out of phase until they are 180 degrees apart and then they drift back again. I want to say this happens 2 or 4 time per mile.

This probably would be hard to replicate with both sets of drivers geared to the same motor.

And I'll say it again: IMO, even with each engine driven by a separate motor, and with 2 sound decoders (with virtual chuff cam), that would be likely  impossible to duplicate.  The only way I see this duplicated would be to have cams installed on each engine, triggering chuffs in each decoder. But with the precision manufacturing nowadays, both engines will unlikely go out of sync often.  Maybe going over curves? I just don't see the average modeler wanting to buy a loco, willing to install 2 decoders with 2 mechanical cams, just to hear that infrequent effect of the drifting chuffs. But whatever . . .  I think I'm done wit this discussion.

Actually, I just thought of another way to achieve this desired drifting in- and out-of-sync effect.  This could be done virtually, in a single motor-driven model with a single decoder.  The slow drifting effect in a moving loco could be simulated on the decoder (have the articulated chuffs randomly change the amount of drift.  With 4 chuffs per revolution, per engine, with small diameter drivers,  and 4-chuffs/rev. of  each engine's drivers nobody would notice that the chuffs are not occurring at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock rotation of the drivers.  Heck, in N scale, as long as there are 4 chuffs/rev. occurring when the loco is moving is quite good enough. Nobody's looking for them to occur at the above-mentioned position of the driver crankpins.
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robert3985

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2021, 03:15:12 PM »
+1
But there were modification in radiator placement , and 4019 had elephant ears for a second . So there is a exception to the 25 limit . Oh and 4014 is now oil fired , and 4005 was also for a test which was judged a fail by UP then . The we have the changeover from linked lubricators to chain driven ones . Probably up to 50 by now .

Hahaha....damn nit-picker!  But, you are correct...entirely!  :D

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2021, 03:32:33 PM »
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I will probably never own the N scale version of the loco, but some years ago while visiting Odgen, I did get a souvenir....


Tom D.

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If you don't make it, I can't buy it.

robert3985

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2021, 03:52:39 PM »
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You're right Bob - I have no clue about what I'm talking about.  :(  Sorry to have posted my false wisdom here.

You are also wrong in many ways.  True, the articulation (of both engines) on the Con-Cor and Athearn locos is unprototypical, but that doesn't mean that the front engine is there "just for looks",  It supports a good portion of the boiler's mass (which means it there is lots of adhesion there).

I also don't understand everybody talking about the new "out of sync" feature when using separate drive for each engine.

Single-motor driven permanently-coupled engines all can be set up (and usually are) to be out of sync.  A single sound decoder can also be set up to simulate articulated steam exhaust.  The only thing that is missing is the possible change of the out-of-sync amount if one engine slips.  But as I mentioned earlier, even with separately powered engines in N scale, I highly doubt there will be much slippage occurring during operation. A 1:1 engine slippage does not scale down to N scale. The N scale engines might as well be permanently coupler to a single motor (and run with a constant out-of-sync amount).

I own a Sakatsu brass Big-Boy which is properly articulated. The rear engine does not swing, and the front engine's pivot is behind its last driver.  It needs rather broad curves, and the front engine ends up swinging way out form under the boiler.  Of course it is powered by a single motor (and the engines are set up permanently out of sync).  Also, in that model, the front engine is mostly "for looks", since it does not support any of the loco's weight.

Since Kato is designing this loco to run on small Japanese layouts using Unitrak, I have feeling that both engines will be articulated Bob. Just like Athearn and Con-Cor.   If the  rear engine is fixed, I'll eat a bag of Woodland Scenics walnut shells ballast!   :D

Peter @peteski I am happy that you admit so readily you don't know what you're writing about!   :D

I am counting the "many" ways that I may be "wrong" and I count...let's see....one, maybe two ways??  Yes, the plastic articulateds with their monkey-motion articulation schemes support more boiler weight than do the brass models with proper articulation, but the vast majority of traction on the plastic ones is still generated by the rear engine. Finding a way to get an ideal 50% of the engine weight on both sets of drivers and having them configured mechanically as is the Kato FEF-3, would be phenomenal...especially IF Kato determines that it can be done with a solidly affixed rear engine.

I think the operative phrase in the next paragraph about "out of sync" is "...I don't understand...", which is obvious.

The idea in the model is to have separately powered engines so that they duplicate one of the endearing (or irritating) features of the prototype....out of sync engines...including OOS (Out Of Sync) drivers, OOS rods, OOS valve motion, and OOS driver slippage, and the accompanying OOS sounds this characteristic produces. 

Note that the engines of Big Boy being OOS was (and is) the norm, not the exception...BUT, the amount of being OOS varied all the time...so, just being the same amount OOS all the time, is the same unprototypical look and sound as always being IN sync.

I hope Kato is able to include the "silly gimmick" of variable OOS looks and sound in Mr. Kato's Big Boy model!

For true fans of Big Boys, or any other articulated steam engine, this will make the model MUCH more realistic when in motion, and is not difficult to "understand".  However, it would be difficult to reproduce in 1/160th scale, and if Kato can do it by powering each engine with its own motor, or by any other means, true articulated steam engine fans will LOVE it!  Not at all difficult to understand for a true Big Boy fan who has watched videos of the real engines, or watched 4014 in the flesh.

I am going down to my LHS and buy a bag of light gray Woodland Scenics ballast to ship to you Peter...   :D

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore   
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 03:57:16 PM by robert3985 »

peteski

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2021, 04:00:37 PM »
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Peter @peteski I am happy that you admit so readily you don't know what you're writing about!   :D
Well, compared to your God-like wast UP knowledge (including their steam era), I'm a mere mortal neophyte. But I do have half-a-brain, and am able to come up with some valid ideas from time to time.

Quote
I hope Kato is able to include the "silly gimmick" of variable OOS looks and sound in Mr. Kato's Big Boy model!


I highly doubt that this loco will come with factory-installed sound decoder(s), or even capable of this highly desired feature.  If it will be sold with a decoder, those will be installed locally, by a highly skilled Kato USA employee.  :)  But if that model does all that you are all pining for, I'm all for it.

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robert3985

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2021, 05:28:35 PM »
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Well, compared to your God-like wast UP knowledge (including their steam era), I'm a mere mortal neophyte. But I do have half-a-brain, and am able to come up with some valid ideas from time to time.

I highly doubt that this loco will come with factory-installed sound decoder(s), or even capable of this highly desired feature.  If it will be sold with a decoder, those will be installed locally, by a highly skilled Kato USA employee.  :)  But if that model does all that you are all pining for, I'm all for it.

I never thought that anybody would ever manufacture sound equipped, accurate, highly superdetailed models of UP Standard Turbines since I've been advocating for models of them since the late 1970's....BUT...HERE THEY ARE!!! 

So, even though I'm not "pining" for the Kato version of Big Boy (I have a dozen or more BB's from other manufacturers right now) I am not going to arbitrarily claim to know what is going on in Mr. Kato's mind or what is going to come out of his factory, but hope for the best.

I wasn't too disappointed with his UP FEF-3 (only a few, easily fixed, minor disappointments) so I'll keep generating positive thoughts about what I hope Mr. Kato's Big Boy will be....

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

peteski

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Re: Big boys
« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2021, 03:39:46 AM »
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I'm a huge Kato-fanboy in general, but I'll hold my full judgment about this model until it actually materializes.  That is if it really has a dual motor drive.
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