Typical Newbie!

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Dad-1
Posts: 6738
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Dad-1 » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:43 pm

Hi Newbie19,

There are some of us with a perverse attitude, in that we spend ages trying to make some old and less than perfect
early Hornby locomotives work well - and they still need lots of tender loving care to keep them working.
I've not checked to see exactly what that pack contained, but usually something can be done.

First though let's mention Track. Points are not as straight forward as one may think. Sets will have what we call
insulated frog, where the two adjoining rails meet in a plastic 'V'. This plastic is obviously non-conductive so any
wheel on it won't be able to pick up any current. With a 4 wheeled locomotive (2 each side) one can't collect current
so you rely totally on one wheel, any dirt on the wheel, or track will undoubtedly make it stall at less than high speed.
The obvious answer is to use live frog points, no plastic, but to achieve conductive rails one needs to have insulated
rail joiners attached to both the rails coming from the 'V'. Although you can rely on the switched rail to conduct current
from it's contact with the stock rail. This can prove unreliable so it's always recommended that the frog area is fed
with a switched power supply to give the correct current matching the direction required. Confusing, not really once
you stop and think about it.

My loco tip with light stuff is to stuff it with lead, or whatever heavy material you can place in any suitable void. As I said
it's not for everyone, a perverse pleasure to be asked how do you get it to run like that ?

https://youtu.be/DfBs123DGuw

Geoff T
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Bigmet
Posts: 9123
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Bigmet » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:19 pm

Newbie19 wrote:...Do you suppose that the Class 08 featured on this layout is one of the Hornby or Bachmann models ?Any suggestions in relation to DCC controllers also gratefully received.

Pretty sure that's the Bachmann version. (No individual radiator grille slats, no holes in the panel lifting lugs on top of the bonnet.)

DCC systems. Difficult at the moment, because really you want to try out the interface to see how it suits you. There's a good choice, and they all do much the same thing, but if you are going to enjoy using it you really do want a system that you feel really comfortable with. My priorities were a 'full system' with complete functionality, a really small tethered handset (I am the very devil for temporarily losing small remote controls) and a really good handbook of instructions, and I found that in the Lenz system. But a lot of people find this system a little 'dry' or unexciting.

Newbie19
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:17 am

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Newbie19 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:15 pm

Very helpful as usual thanks Bigmet, and a most impressive eye for detail on that video. The Bachmann 08 would suit me just fine.
Will post any relevant updates...
Regards N

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:33 pm

Newbie19 wrote:Any suggestions in relation to DCC controllers also gratefully received.

I use the NCE PowerCab, which is a keenly priced complete system, but also allows future expansion if required. It has given me several years of problem-free operation of two layouts. I think someone above mentioned Coastal DCC, and that's where I got mine from :D

Newbie19
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:17 am

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Newbie19 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:34 pm

And thanks also to Dad-1 and P-N Penguin!

Dad-1
Posts: 6738
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Dad-1 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:27 pm

Nice of you to say 'Thanks', you'll find we help where we can because we want you to enjoy the
hobby as much as we do !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

Bigmet
Posts: 9123
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Bigmet » Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:53 am

Newbie19 wrote:... a most impressive eye for detail on that video...

Not really, that's more about knowing the key things to look for, in this case, differences between the two competing versions.

I attempt to buy as much as possible second hand, for the useful savings; and having an eye for what's revealed in any photographs of the offered item is often crucial. Is it the actually the item described? Is it the maker/version I want? Is it in original condition, and if altered is it significant? How bad is the described cosmetic damage? Can I see the problem that makes it a non-runner for spares or repair?

The background to this is that I will usually already own a specimen, and after the test running is complete and the model is proven, it is then dismantled, so I have a good insight into where any weaknesses on the model may be. (I model a specific location and time span, which requires multiple examples of both 11 classes of steam loco and about 25 types of coaches, plus loadsa wagons. Most common loco, the Gresley N2 0-6-2T 'big Met' suburban service tank engine; second most common, about to be the Hill-Gresley N7 0-6-2T suburban service tank engine.(Although if you count DMU's as locos then it is the Cravens (class 105) two car sets.) Simply because in their time, these were 'always on view' at the principal layout location.

Newbie19
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:17 am

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Newbie19 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:17 pm

Evening all.

I took possession of my new Bachmann Class 08 this week and it's a fine little loco. Bright red mind (a DB Schenker).

Can I ask if anyone has any views or recommendations concerning electric de-couplers (for Hornby track)?

Many thanks, N19

Dad-1
Posts: 6738
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Dad-1 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:26 pm

Electric de-couplers ?
Do you actually want magnetic auto couplers ? In that case the actual track make is of no
consequence as all code 100 set-track is interchangeable.
There are several options starting with the relatively expensive Kadee couplers £5 for a packet
of 4, enough for 2 wagons/coaches. Bufferstop uses the Brian Kirby method which relies on a
home modification of the existing manufacturers coupling again with a magnet hidden in the track
base board.

Best to say exactly what you want to achieve as with SO many elements there are more than one
way.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Newbie19
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:17 am

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Newbie19 » Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:01 pm

Thanks Geoff, further confirmation of the value of this board to numpties like me!
I've had a quick look at that Kadee magnetic system and it would be ideal for my requirements. I would have the magnetic strip lying between the rails (rather than buried beneath). Do they work ok for you? They look incredibly easy to install.
I gather there is an electro magnetic version such that the magnet is only activated when pulsed, but that seems like an unnecessary complication.
Paul

Bigmet
Posts: 9123
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Bigmet » Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:51 pm

Kadee is arguably the best RTR autocoupler available. Not cheap, but the best things rarely are.

They do need to be carefully installed for truly reliable performance: it is worth buying the gauge Kadee make, as NEM coupler pockets are not always correctly positioned, and the gauge will guide making corrections.

They will not reliably autocouple or auto-uncouple on curves below 30" radius, which means all set track curves.

Kadee's electromagnet uncoupler is worth it if you find the track magnets are attracting any steel wheels or axles you may have on your stock. This can lead to random uncouples when moving dead slow (I have a good number of such wheelsets, and it happens, so electromagnets it is for me).

Mention of the 'Brian Kirby' modification which can be applied to the Bachmann miniature tension locks. This modification works on the Kadee track magnets, both permanent and electro magnet. This is handy as I use Kadee for coaches, Bachmann tension lock for wagons. (I got lucky, as I had selected the Bachmann miniature tension lock as standard for my wagons, having become aware that mixing the Bachmann and Hornby versions was not completely reliable. Either used exclusively is reliable: so since I was buying Bachmann's wagons about 50:1 vs Hornby at the time, that was a choice that 'made itself'.)

Dad-1
Posts: 6738
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Dad-1 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:10 pm

I miss a day and Bigmet has answered with just about the complete story.

A quick word about the merits of above & below board magnets - Can't say much about electromagnets as I
only have one on a 1 metre test track.
I'm a fussy old so and so regarding the visual effects. I have made 2 shunting layouts and the first the magnets
were hidden below. They were difficult to align exactly because we fitted from underneath and the Kadee
underboard magnet is more powerful making the "magnet creep" a real problem to overcome.
The between the rails magnets are comparatively easy and although I hate the look they have been used on
the second layout because of the easy visual locating for drivers and easy set-up - I still prefer hidden BUT !!

Now Bigmet mentions "Magnetic Creep", but had lightly passed over the very real problem it is, even with above
board types. The system is American and was never designed for short British outline wagons the majority of which
have highly magnetic axles and are of a short wheelbase. The magnetic drag on most British wagons will disturb
the operating of Kadees. Later I shall add a video of a Kit Built wagon being moved - A LOT !! The finer wheels
supplied and recommended by kit companies are usually steel tyres fitted to plastic wheels and are much more
prone to this excessive movement.

* Video https://youtu.be/aZOqJq-G9z0

The usual dodge is to fix a small shred of a harder foam that rubs on the axles, just enough to stop wheels spinning
freely. This loads any train you're pulling and can limit what a locomotive can haul. Currently I'm finding that a
Hornby Sentinel can just move 7 - 8 wagons, 9 brings it to a complete halt with wheels slipping.

Now my application of a shunting puzzle needs every wagon to be braked, this is not a requirement on most model
railways and blocks of wagons retain their small tension-locks, with a Kedee on each end. That way the additional drag
of the block prevents magnetic creep and saves a small fortune !!

I may add a Kadee session video to show they do work well, but be prepared to set-up each wagon where singles are
shunted. The Ruston Can't cope on most exercises.

* video https://youtu.be/uG3CoFnhrMk
* video https://youtu.be/XEfId_2OlBs

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Bigmet
Posts: 9123
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Bigmet » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:56 pm

Magnetic creep isn't a problem for me. That's because all my Kadees are on passenger locos and the ends of heavy trains of coaches which are internally tightly coupled so move as a single unit. All heavy enough not to be dragged around by a magnet.

Small wagons, ]Bachmann miniature tension lock with the Brian Kirby magnetic uncoupling mod is far the better plan in my opinion. Really neatly it creates a good loose coupled effect for the unbraked goods trains common during steam operations. (I haven't solved the coupling of continuously braked four wheel wagon trains to my satisfaction.)

Dad-1
Posts: 6738
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Dad-1 » Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:15 pm

Bigmet,

It was only after posting I realised that I'd not mentioned coaches, which as you say
are little influenced by the magnets. I so rarely run passenger stock !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Newbie19
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:17 am

Re: Typical Newbie!

Postby Newbie19 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:48 pm

Nothing is ever straightforward then?!
Typically, there seems to be a UK shortage of Kadee related items but I got some on order from Hattons and will report back when sorted.
A propos of earlier comments about the unreliability of short wheelbased locos, I came across a video on YouTube by Chadwick where he installs a device called a "life saver" into a class 08 which seems to eradicate that very issue. No doubt you're all very familiar with this fix?
Paul


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