Saturday, March 1, 2014

Let's get started....

I've been building model trains since 1976 (I was a kid back then) with my set, an AHM Spirit of 76 GP18 and come cars and Tyco Santa Fe Crane and Tender from Gramma and Granpa....

By 1994 I had accumulated about 250 freight cars and 100 locomotives and then I had to pack it all up and store it until November 2013.

Needless to say that things have changed.  I used to think $50 was my upper limit on just a couple of my best locomotives.  I scratch built a massive fleet of CNW diesels regardless of being prototype or not.

So where I'm going to start is here:  I don't have DCC yet and I'm trying to decide what I'm going to get...also I haven't started a layout yet, just lots of locomotives, rolling stock and structures, but more about that later.

Today I'm addressing the fact that I put a lot of work into some very low quality locomotives way back when and have recently rebuilt most of these...I'm talking plastic pancake motors from Bachmann and Life-Like and metal pancakes from Tyco along with rubber band drives from Athearn (plus lots of models before fly wheels came out).

I intend to convert every locomotive I have to dcc (with a few exceptions).  I love pancake motors, especially the tyco all metal housing motors.  When overhauled properly and coupled with another kind of locomotive, the result is quite pleasing.

My lashup of a Pemco SD35 and an Atlas SD35 makes for a nice powerful set that can pull some heavy weight.

I also have a really sweet lashup of a Tyco SD24 and an Atlas SD24.

I just performed major machining on a Tyco pancake motor and now it is just running so sweet.  It's going into a C630 and I might have to lash it to my Genesis SD70M which has absolutely zero power.

By zero power, I mean on my torque tester.  I attached a plain jane rubber band to a dummy coupler and numbered the ties past the hookup, which is power level 0.  The SD70M does not make it to level 1 without slipping.  By contrast, my SD35 lashup makes it to 10 and 3 Athearn blue box GP9's can make it to 16.  And for those of you rusty in physics remember that each additional number is harder to achieve than the previous.  Rubber bands increase pulling resistance with each additional stretch....but more on that later.  I'll refine it and study it in more depth to interpret it's true meaning of Christmas....

Anyway, I have also reached the 50% mark on my double Heljan Brewery B807 which you can see here on youtube: Heljan B807 Brewery and Grusom Casket

And on

Ok that's all for now...

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