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RC Trains transmitter and receivers

Reylroad@...
 

I’ve begun using RC Trains radio control systems out of the UK and am extremely pleased.  If you are curious, Google them at rctrains.co.uk.  I’m planning to do a clinic on their system after the holidays are over.

The receiver’s are minute and the transmitter I have could conceivably control upto 12 locomotives simultaneously.  Plus it’s a lot less expensive than other systems.  As an RC installer i’d Make a good cop but I installed the receivers and bound them in two LGB Forneys in a couple of hours.  Easy and no trailing cars.


LGB stock for sale

Reylroad@...
 

I have three LGB cars for sale.  None have ever been out of their boxes and are in pristine condition.
1 44710 WP&Y extended cab caboose#903($170), 1 4074 Pabst refrigerator car($75), 1 4091 1996 San Diego LGB Convention boxcar that Wolfgang, Rolf, and Johannes Richter signed for my wife($120).
if you would like photos, email me.  Tom Rey (858)279-2493


New QSI DC/DCC sound decoders on the horizon

Greg Elmassian
 

The next generation QSI units are finally being advertised.

There are some unique features, like stereo sound. The big difference will be the larger memory, higher recording quality (which is already very good, on par with Phoenix), and trigger inputs so the unit's sounds can be triggered by conventional R/C systems, as well as the core DCC capability.

Greg


Zimo Decoder works for small G scale locos.

Greg Elmassian
 

I found the new Zimo 642 decoder (motor and sound) works great and they have a nice "galloping goose" sound file.

The decoder is very small and will handle about an amp.

Greg


Galloping Goose?

Greg Elmassian
 

I've been looking for a small DCC decoder to fit in my Berlyn "Casey
Jones" rail truck. I also have a small Accucraft loco that is a model of
the Casey Jr. train in Disney world, which is another tight fit. Click
to see "Casey Jones"
<http://www.elmassian.com/images/stories/motivepower/berlyn/side.jpg>

So I've been using the Casey Jr. as a test mule. I tried a Tsunami, but
it flipped out at my track voltage, which is nearly 24 volts. I built a
compact array of diodes to drop the voltage, but then the dang thing
overheats. Upon investigating, it seems the Tsunami's are famous for
not handling current.

So Zimo recently came out with a new version of their HO decoder, and
it's supposed to handle 1 amp, 2 amps stall. Since I already have the
programmer, I ordered one for the Casey Jr.

Lo and behold, it works fine! Also, now a "Galloping Goose" sound file
is also available.

So the following video shows the Casey Jr. loco with the Casey Jones
sounds! Click to see the video
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1ihpXVybUQ>

(I have the decoder ordered for the Casey Jones now)

Greg


All quiet on the Western front?

Greg Elmassian
 

Seems not much going on, very few new products in G scale.

Aristo Craft released and shipped the RDC-3, like the RDC-1, but now with clear windows and an interior.

Well, unfortunately, the interior is a cheesy, thin, molded floor with seats. Many of the seats are wrinkled or collapsed in several units I have seen.

The other stupid thing is that the Aristo socket is now up on the roof, so a whole bunch of wires run down the aisleway in the car, and then up to the roof, and it's all visible through the windows.

Why in the heck they could not have done this in the "baggage" area, and not in the passenger area is just beyond me.

To make matters worse, the original RDC-1 had the socket and room for a separate sound card on the underside, all that wiring was hidden and the socket a 30 second access. Now you have to remove 12 screws to open the body to get to the socket.

Oh well, that's progress.

Greg


SWGRS Train Show in Pomona

Greg Elmassian
 

Went the the new show by a new promoter.

It was held at the Pomona fairgounds in LA County, and it was small but good, G scale only.

50 feet from the exhibit hall is the Fairplex outdoor G scale railway, so a great combination.

A number of vendors were there, Gold Coast Station, RLD hobbies, USA Trains, Bachmann, St. Aubins, etc.

Had a good time, bought a brass rail truck by Berlyn, just what I have been looking for, some small Split Jaw parts, and a USAT F3.

Great show, and look forwards to having a second show nearby each year.

Greg


The Big Train Show in Ontario

Greg Elmassian
 

I stayed overnight so I could do Saturday and Sunday.

This is the "old" Queen Mary show, which has been moved to the Ontario convention center for the last several years.

New this year is that the show is all scales. There were only about 10% of the vendors that were not large scale, but more than 50% of the layouts were not large scale.

The real news is that the Convention Center now "owns" the show, the promoter that previoused "owned" the show sold the rights to them.

There are some procedural changes, and some new rules, but overall the impact is a wash now.

I enjoyed the show thoroughly, and got an opportunity to talk to a number of the vendors.

Of note:

USA Trains will be delivering there center cupola caboose soon (non-extended version). They showed a relatively modern shorty covered hopper car that looked great, and a line drawing of an 89 foot (!!) triple decker covered automobile carrier.

Aristo had a tiny booth showing the new Revolution TE, and they were selling some stuff from the booth apparently.

AML (the 1:29 part of Accucraft) had a lot of plans for their new cars, and showed the 0-6-0 steamer, and the nice stock car with the proper bettendorf trucks.

See the MLS web site for more info.

Greg


Re: New TE from Aristo

Greg Elmassian
 

There have some reports of teething problems with the new aristo system.

There has been an overheating episode on a SD-45, which should never draw over 3 amps. The TE decoder is rated for 5 amps with a 8 amp surge, and has a big heat sink.

The consisting capability is somewhat hampered by limited ability to match speeds for locos, there is a new firmware change that will let you offset one loco's speed plus or minus 25% over the range of speeds.

I don't think that is the right solution, but we will see.

Will keep you informed.

Greg


New TE from Aristo

Greg Elmassian
 

The new product is almost here, 100 people got an early shipment, and a couple of firmware changes have been made.

It's a nice step forward from the old Aristo TE that did speed and direction only. There were accessory receivers, but they only worked on a few of the 100 theoretical channels.

The new system has an advanced display, and more features like momentum, and consisting, but it is touted as a competitor for DCC and it's a poor stepchild in this comparison.

The consisting support has undergone several changes, and it's still not really right, in my opinion, but this is a comparison to DCC.

So on a 1 to 10 scale of functions available, where 1 is just speed control and direction, and 10 is all the functions you would find in a DCC system, the old TE is about a 3, and the new TE is about a 7.5 in my opinion...

A good move forward for Aristo, but risky, since the first release is a decoder per loco, quite a difference from their mainstream market where the trackside te powering the rails to an unmodified loco is supreme in popularity.

Regards, Greg


Re: New slow motion switch machine from Aristo

Greg Elmassian
 

More information. Seems that the Aristo clone is a poor clone.

Several gears that are brass in the original are plastic in the Aristo.

There is also a spring to create some "give" when the motor moves farther than the switch points do.

This is necessary in all designs.

There have been reports that the Aristo clone's spring has bent/lost it's spring. One report was from a very avid Aristo supporter.

So, my advice is buy the real thing.

Greg


New slow motion switch machine from Aristo

Greg Elmassian
 

Aristo-Craft has come out with a "new" slow motion switch motor.

It is actually a clone of an existing product from Switzerland.

There are some interesting side by side pictures on the MLS forum.

After looking at all the pictures, if you are using these outside, my opinion is use the real ones, you can get them from Axel at Train-Li.

Regards, Greg


Updated page on USA trains F3 units.

Greg Elmassian
 

Well, I finally updated my F3 page on disassembly with pictures!

It was an old page and no pictures to help.

Now it shows the screws to remove the shell, and a separate section on
disassembling the motor blocks.

Find it under MOTIVE POWER.... USAT ... F3 on my site.

Regards, Greg


Re: New frogs for Aristo WR switches, $1 !

Greg Elmassian
 

I added a page on my web site showing the installation procedure and a
couple of good tips for installing these frogs.

http://www.elmassian.com/trains-mainmenu-27/track-mainmenu-93/aristo-
track/aristo-wide-radius-switches-mainmenu-96/replacing-aristo-wr-
turnout-frogs

Regards, Greg


New frogs for Aristo WR switches, $1 !

Greg Elmassian
 

Aristo, after years of requests, has upgraded the flangeway depth on
the frogs for their Wide Radius switches.

(They make 3 styles, a very tight "R1" switch, a Wide Radius switch
(matches 10' diameter curves) and a #6 switch.

These frogs are for the WR switches only.

They are only a buck, and the flangeway is 3.33 mm deep, and they seem
to also have improved the problem where the frog was higher than the
surrounding rails.

If you have any of these switches, order some frogs now.

Regards, Greg


Trackwork repairs

Greg Elmassian
 

Well, it was a nice weekend and went to repair the last switch that
was not working.

I have Aristo SS switches. The throwbars on the turnouts are NOT UV
resistant.

I remove the manual switch machines and hook up my air motors.

http://www.elmassian.com/images/stories/track/ezairmotor.jpg

This exposes the end of the throwbar to sunlight, and as you can see,
it's very thin.

So they crack open and no motion.

It's a chance to also see how the underside of the switch is doing.
Normally the wiring to power the frog and/or the point rails past the
frog has completely corroded away. Also a good time to check the 2
screws that function as pivots for the point rails.

Well, this switch has been down for some time, so one of the screws
that attach the throw bar to the point rails was pretty corroded (and
they are all stainless!) so the head of it was trashed by the time I
removed it. Aristo is known for using cheap metal.

Got some more screws, lubed everything up, and put in a new throwbar
and bushings. There is a bushing in the throwbar and when you tighten
the screw down, it tightens against the bushing, leaving play for the
throwbar to move.

These parts are lifetime warranted by Aristo, so I would ask for
spares now if you have any of these switches.

Greg


Traction Tires on USAT locomotives

Greg Elmassian
 

Well, if you have read my web site www.elmassian.com you would know
that I'm a fan of removing the traction tires from locos.

Main reason on USAT is the split axle problem, where the plastic axle
splits and the wheels spin in the axle "housing". It's a design flaw
that has been around forever.

Each 2 axle motor block has one axle with smooth metal treads, and the
other axle has rubber traction tires on it.

The traction tires definitely give more pulling power, but what
happens is the load is unequally balanced and the traction tire wheels
pull more than their share. So their axles split first. By removing
the traction tires, the load is better balanced between all axles.

Also, if you have a crash, the wheels will spin with no damage, but
when you have traction tires, they dig in and cause more damage.

Finally when you replace the traction tires with "solid tread" wheels,
then you have more power pickup, and you can remove and throw away the
stupid sliders, that short out on some turnouts, and get stuck on some
trackwork.

The only downside of doing this is that the locos cannot pull quite as
much. But, diesels were made to be MU'd so just an excuse to run two
on a consist!

See my site on the USAT locos for more info.

Regards, Greg


Re: Working on a Lionel Atlantic

Greg Elmassian
 

I replaced the axle with the cracked crankpin, so now the rods don't
rub each other.

I added the shims to limit downward travel of the axles, which would
allow the gears to come out of mesh.

The loco drivetrain is now in great shape. If Lionel had done that in
the first place, I'll bet 90% of the stripped gear problems would go away.

The loco now runs great, looking to update the tender trucks to
something less toylike and to make them pick up power. I've put an
order in to get a set of the new type Aristo C16 tender trucks, they
do not use the carbon brushes to pick up power.

Greg


Re: Working on a Lionel Atlantic

Greg Elmassian
 

Ahh, turns out that a common item broken on these locos is a cracked
crankpin. The great news is that there are still parts available from
Lionel, and on line. They have exploded diagrams, and I bought a new
wheelset for $14, and bought new rods.

Greg

--- In sandiegogardenrailways@yahoogroups.com, "Greg Elmassian"
<greg@...> wrote:

Well, I bought one of these finally. They can go for over $200 on
ebay, and often are messed up.

I got one for $99 in what appeared to be good shape, but further
investigation shows several things need to be fixed or repaired.

I've found some good fixes, and posted them on my web site.

Look under TRAINS...MOTIVE POWER...LIONEL

It's a nice-looking loco, and the drive train is actually rugged.
Adding 3 pounds of weight then makes sense, and it might pull a
resonable passenger car consist.

Regards, Greg
www.elmassian.com


Working on a Lionel Atlantic

Greg Elmassian
 

Well, I bought one of these finally. They can go for over $200 on
ebay, and often are messed up.

I got one for $99 in what appeared to be good shape, but further
investigation shows several things need to be fixed or repaired.

I've found some good fixes, and posted them on my web site.

Look under TRAINS...MOTIVE POWER...LIONEL

It's a nice-looking loco, and the drive train is actually rugged.
Adding 3 pounds of weight then makes sense, and it might pull a
resonable passenger car consist.

Regards, Greg
www.elmassian.com

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