Author Topic: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder  (Read 9375 times)

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Rivet Miscounter

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #135 on: February 16, 2024, 12:24:34 AM »
+6
Finally got a chance to break my BN's out of their boxes and stretch their legs on a test loop.   Without a lot more investigation and poking and prodding I'm not sure I can add to the information too much at this point, but I'll comment on a few things I observed.

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The Good
- There's a lot to love about these locomotives.  I was nervous given the reviews, (here and elsewhere) and anxious that I wouldn't be happy given the (literally) record amount of money I spent on them.  But this evening as I was unboxing them and started to see them in action....well, you couldn't wipe the smile off my face.  :)
- They are beautiful models and mine run very well in a very limited, highly clinical, and dead flat test environment.  To me the sound is as good as I've heard in N, with very few exceptions. (one or two highly custom locos with 3D printed speaker enclosures, larger cowl units, etc.)  8)
-With all-due-respect to Bachmann  :trollface: the packaging is really pretty incredible.  Protecting all the detail is tricky and I feel a high level of confidence that this gives us the best chance of these locos surviving the rigors of model railroading especially Free-moN. (these are my first ST locos so I presume this isn't a new thing, but it's new to me)
-Not sure if this will end up being a good or not, but if we can get a keep-alive in the mix, that is a bonus.
-And if we can get a retro-fit kit for the beacons...well I'm gonna need some of Ed's skin care products.  :scared:

The Bad
-There's always the expectation that implementing sound has trade-offs, most notably with weight.   I knew that going into this.   But I guess I felt ST would be an innovator and really push the envelope.  Not really the case and that's disappointing.   Time will tell how much of an issue it really is.
-I'm bummed that they couldn't get a working beacon likey they did in HO.   That seems silly maybe, but it's how I feel.

The Ugly
-Those F&%$ing couplers are trash.   And it really stinks because I rallied for rust colored couplers on locomotives for two decades and I finally get them and.....oooof.   I know that's a fairly easy fix but it's annoying as hell in the meantime...try coaxing the loco a bit to get them to couple and OH YEAH there goes the sound....

So OK, the Bad and the Ugly are all things that I knew going in, or at least are an easy fix with the couplers.   And the Good is just really, really awesome IMHO.  The BN SD40-2 is probably my favorite locomotive ever, and I absolutely love that I have an extremely superdtailed, really nicely decorated, sound-equipped, and otherwise decent version of them in N-scale.   

So again...in summary there is just a lot to love about these locos.

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« Last Edit: February 16, 2024, 12:29:11 AM by Rivet Miscounter »
Doug

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #136 on: February 16, 2024, 12:30:56 PM »
0
Nooope, no extras. Maybe I should've kept my extra CR units because I certainly don't have any goodwill about ordering from them any longer...

You might want to give them another week or two. I know there's a window where they're holding stuff for delinquents to pay for their pre-orders. They might free up after that window.

Scottl

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #137 on: February 16, 2024, 12:40:20 PM »
0
The ST packaging is brilliant.  On the rivet counter T4s, it cradles those gems perfectly.  The operator versions have just a regular jewel case like Kato and the others. 

peteski

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #138 on: February 16, 2024, 12:52:28 PM »
+1
The Ugly
-Those F&%$ing couplers are trash.   And it really stinks because I rallied for rust colored couplers on locomotives for two decades and I finally get them and.....oooof.   I know that's a fairly easy fix but it's annoying as hell in the meantime...try coaxing the loco a bit to get them to couple and OH YEAH there goes the sound....

I'm confused.  I thought Scale Trains started using some sort of split shank MTL clones which IIRC Bryan Bussey said looked and worked well.  Are those MTL clones trash?
Or are they still using the McHenry-like couplers which to me are trash?
. . . 42 . . .

Rivet Miscounter

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #139 on: February 16, 2024, 01:55:36 PM »
0
I'm confused.  I thought Scale Trains started using some sort of split shank MTL clones which IIRC Bryan Bussey said looked and worked well.  Are those MTL clones trash?
Or are they still using the McHenry-like couplers which to me are trash?

They're not McHenry's.   They just won't couple.  Once they're coupled, they're good. (at least, I think...very little evidence to work from)      I literally tried 15-20 times on one connection and eventually had to lift it over the top and down.   Part of it is too much slop side to side, but even when alignment is good, they just won't couple.

Maybe a mold release issue like the Accumates used to have so maybe have they've moved and worn down the coating it will improve.   We'll see.
Doug

kiwi_al

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #140 on: February 16, 2024, 02:32:08 PM »
+2
I received mine yesterday, it had a long road trip and flight  :D. My experiences are a little different than some posting here.
Beautifully made, fine details, runs very smoothly and couples properly at very slow speed (1 - 2 ties at a time). The couplers are a bit ugly but since they work I have no issues with this model  :o

turbowhiz

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #141 on: February 16, 2024, 07:17:38 PM »
+7
They're not McHenry's.   They just won't couple.  Once they're coupled, they're good. (at least, I think...very little evidence to work from)      I literally tried 15-20 times on one connection and eventually had to lift it over the top and down.   Part of it is too much slop side to side, but even when alignment is good, they just won't couple.

Maybe a mold release issue like the Accumates used to have so maybe have they've moved and worn down the coating it will improve.   We'll see.

I just got my example of one of these units a couple of hours ago.

Based on your description I suspect part of your coupling problem is that the box probably loose on the mounting screw. The box doesn’t fit tightly in the slot, and has a large amount of lateral play. The box is hard and slippery too, so it doesn’t want to stay aligned even when the screw is very tight. If your box is out of alignment, or worse just loose, that would explain why you’re not having ANY coupling success.

They have MTL clone couplers; Their standard boxing glove monstrosity couplers just won’t fit on account of how their centering spring works, requiring more rear clearance then the SD-40-2 model will accommodate.

It seems that manufacturers consistently miss the most important detail in the MTL coupler when cloning them, and their clones are always inferior. Scaletrains failed in this detail too. They will not couple nearly as well as they should, and its not the mold/plastic/shape/box. They might eventually figure it out, who knows.

The only reason I bought one of these SD-40-2’s was to test the N-Possible couplers in it knowing they had restricted rear clearance. I’m super pleased to report they drop right in; There is sufficient rear clearance for my coupler, even with a big hunk-o-flash on the truck. (I will at some future time release a tight rear clearance variant, but I’ve got to get the primary version out the door first!) They seem to handle 11” unitrack corners with a prototypical length coupler too.

Can’t resist a teaser…. These models truly deserve better couplers that actually function and don’t scream N scale!



Jbub

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #142 on: February 16, 2024, 09:23:45 PM »
0
I just got my example of one of these units a couple of hours ago.

Based on your description I suspect part of your coupling problem is that the box probably loose on the mounting screw. The box doesn’t fit tightly in the slot, and has a large amount of lateral play. The box is hard and slippery too, so it doesn’t want to stay aligned even when the screw is very tight. If your box is out of alignment, or worse just loose, that would explain why you’re not having ANY coupling success.

They have MTL clone couplers; Their standard boxing glove monstrosity couplers just won’t fit on account of how their centering spring works, requiring more rear clearance then the SD-40-2 model will accommodate.

It seems that manufacturers consistently miss the most important detail in the MTL coupler when cloning them, and their clones are always inferior. Scaletrains failed in this detail too. They will not couple nearly as well as they should, and its not the mold/plastic/shape/box. They might eventually figure it out, who knows.

The only reason I bought one of these SD-40-2’s was to test the N-Possible couplers in it knowing they had restricted rear clearance. I’m super pleased to report they drop right in; There is sufficient rear clearance for my coupler, even with a big hunk-o-flash on the truck. (I will at some future time release a tight rear clearance variant, but I’ve got to get the primary version out the door first!) They seem to handle 11” unitrack corners with a prototypical length coupler too.

Can’t resist a teaser…. These models truly deserve better couplers that actually function and don’t scream N scale!


That is quite the picture. It's like I'm looking up from the tracks.
"Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!"

Darth Vader

wmcbride

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #143 on: February 16, 2024, 09:42:08 PM »
0
I have been waiting 4 decades for a coupler like yours!
Bill McBride

peteski

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #144 on: February 16, 2024, 09:55:35 PM »
0
I have been waiting 4 decades for a coupler like yours!

Yes, that coupler looks really good. The photo's angle and sharpness is also very impressive. The only thing that says "I'm N scale" is the very thick coupler box (but I know that is something that has to be that way for compatibility).   When these couplers become popular maybe there will be another coupler box available (like MTL 1023).
. . . 42 . . .

garethashenden

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #145 on: February 16, 2024, 10:07:00 PM »
+1
I just got my example of one of these units a couple of hours ago.

Based on your description I suspect part of your coupling problem is that the box probably loose on the mounting screw. The box doesn’t fit tightly in the slot, and has a large amount of lateral play. The box is hard and slippery too, so it doesn’t want to stay aligned even when the screw is very tight. If your box is out of alignment, or worse just loose, that would explain why you’re not having ANY coupling success.

They have MTL clone couplers; Their standard boxing glove monstrosity couplers just won’t fit on account of how their centering spring works, requiring more rear clearance then the SD-40-2 model will accommodate.

It seems that manufacturers consistently miss the most important detail in the MTL coupler when cloning them, and their clones are always inferior. Scaletrains failed in this detail too. They will not couple nearly as well as they should, and its not the mold/plastic/shape/box. They might eventually figure it out, who knows.

The only reason I bought one of these SD-40-2’s was to test the N-Possible couplers in it knowing they had restricted rear clearance. I’m super pleased to report they drop right in; There is sufficient rear clearance for my coupler, even with a big hunk-o-flash on the truck. (I will at some future time release a tight rear clearance variant, but I’ve got to get the primary version out the door first!) They seem to handle 11” unitrack corners with a prototypical length coupler too.

Can’t resist a teaser…. These models truly deserve better couplers that actually function and don’t scream N scale!



If I were told that was O, I'm not sure I'd have much reason to doubt it. When are you releasing the couplers? This week? Next week? Lets go!

EspeeGoldenState

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #146 on: February 18, 2024, 01:34:38 PM »
+2
I don't have a ScaleTrains SD40-2 for comparison yet, but jerkiness at low speed and motor hum are definitely something I've encountered with my ScaleTrains Dash 9s. I was able to dramatically improve slow speed performance by tweaking the ESU BEMF motor control settings. The factory settings were too aggressive, and the auto-tune only made things worse.

I took quite a bit of trial and error, but the following work well with the Loksound V5 Micros in the Scale Trains Dash 9s:

Enable Back EMF  [CV49.0]

Basic settings:
    Regulation reference  [CV53] = 140   (14V)
    Regulation Parameter "K"  [CV54] = 30
    Regulation Parameter "I"  [CV55] = 20   (40ms)

Slow Speed settings:
    Regulation  [CV52] = 28
    Largest internal speed step that uses "K slow"  [CV51]  = 18
    Regulation influence during slow speed  [CV56]  = 255  (100%)

Back EMF settings:
    Slow Speed Back EMF sampling period  [CV116]  = 100  (10ms)
    Full Speed Back EMF sampling period  [CV117]  = 150  (15ms)
    Slow Speed Length of Measurement Gap  [CV118]  = 20  (2ms)
    Full Speed Length of Measurement Gap  [CV119]  = 25  (2.5ms)

PWM Motor pulse frequency  [CV9]  = 40  (40,000Hz)


These settings work well for me with a linear speed table optimised for a maximum scale speed of 60 mph:
    Minimum speed  [CV2] = 1  (0.39%)
    Maximum speed  [CV5]  = 78  (30.59%)

Hope this helps

It's possible/likely that the motor or drive train in the SD40-2s is a bit different, so I'll post an update once I finally get the chance to test with these.

Received my CSX 4027 SD40-3 on Thursday and my ESU 59925 yesterday and got it installed. Definitely a good looking locomotive.

Input kiwi's settings and definitely doesn't have any jerkiness to it, though the hum is still there, but I've seen/watched where people say it tends to get quieter the more you break it in.

This really isn't a complain though it is. ScaleTrains offers the ESU files for their HO versions of their units for both LokSound and LokPilot files in the Product Support section, but not for their N scale versions. I don't know why I struggled at first mapping out the Aux's and functions to work properly until I opened the HO version and compared what I was doing wrong and my end goal and was done in 5 minutes. If anyone else need the file I can throw it in my Dropbox for download.
Attempting to model a modern Southern Pacific based in 2015/2016...

Also, I have a passenger train addiction...

kiwi_bnsf

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #147 on: February 18, 2024, 08:52:22 PM »
+1
This really isn't a complain though it is. ScaleTrains offers the ESU files for their HO versions of their units for both LokSound and LokPilot files in the Product Support section, but not for their N scale versions. I don't know why I struggled at first mapping out the Aux's and functions to work properly until I opened the HO version and compared what I was doing wrong and my end goal and was done in 5 minutes. If anyone else need the file I can throw it in my Dropbox for download.

I had the same issue with the new run of ScaleTrains C39-8 that use the ESU Loksound V5 Nano. I emailed support at scaletrains.com and they replied with a Google Drive link to the N scale sound project within 24hrs.

Cheers
--
Tim Benson

Modelling Tehachapi East Slope in N scale circa 1999

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #148 on: February 19, 2024, 07:45:47 PM »
0
Received my CSX 4027 SD40-3 on Thursday and my ESU 59925 yesterday and got it installed. Definitely a good looking locomotive.

Input kiwi's settings and definitely doesn't have any jerkiness to it, though the hum is still there, but I've seen/watched where people say it tends to get quieter the more you break it in.

This really isn't a complain though it is. ScaleTrains offers the ESU files for their HO versions of their units for both LokSound and LokPilot files in the Product Support section, but not for their N scale versions. I don't know why I struggled at first mapping out the Aux's and functions to work properly until I opened the HO version and compared what I was doing wrong and my end goal and was done in 5 minutes. If anyone else need the file I can throw it in my Dropbox for download.
I had already sent a email asking them about the file and they sent it to me the following Monday. If you would like to have it just let me know and I'll send it to you.


Benjamin H

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Re: Well, I just paid for my ScaleTrains SD40-2 Preorder
« Reply #149 on: February 20, 2024, 04:34:29 PM »
+7
Lombard has one or two left in stock…