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54073Re: [HOn3] Re: enough of the locktite, geeze! any what HOn3 brass is good?

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  • Dale Buxton
    Jul 2, 2008
      I think it is important to inject here that the Balboa and NJ HOn3 C-21’s where both made by Katsumi. NJ somehow got the rights to import these models when Balboa closed it’s doors. The Balboa version is more of a composite of No’s 360 and 361. While NJ actually had Katsumi do the individual tenders and details specific to No’s 360 and 361. Both models have the same exact mechanical problems in design and execution though. The biggest of which is that the counter weight/crankpin connections were soldered on they axle ends and not pressed on. Those solder joints kept breaking loose because of other poor design choices at Katsumi. Like the following: The frames flexed too much; The driver springs were too stiff; The pillow blocks on the axles were round and really should have been square to keep those springs better aligned; The cover plates that held the drivers in the frame where too soft and flexed too much; The rubber tube between the motor
      shaft and gearbox shaft was too stiff; The motor had three or four mounting screws. If any of these started to move out of perfect alignment the resulting bind would almost always bust those soldered crankpin connections loose.

      There was a guy (Tom Napp) from Boulder, CO that used work in an aerospace lab, I think it was Ball Aerospace. He had access to fancy tools and equipment that most of us never will and he used to rebuild these models with can motors and would braze the crankpin connections on with silver solder. He used to advertise this in the Gazette about 25 plus years a go. If you have a Balboa or NJ C-21 that is rebuilt with a can motor and it runs smoothly there is a very good chance Tom rebuilt it.

      After reading Jim Vail’s tune up points on the PSC C-21’s it becomes clear to me that those models really were pointed directly at the collectors and no one else. Especially not operators! To be begin with, there were only 42 of each engine produced. There were also numerous little fiddley-bits of detail parts that made collectors go Oooo and Ahhh but many of those parts were just oversize enough or hanging in places that made operation almost impossible and electrical shorts that would make a guy want to pitch rocks at them. From what I hear though, if you have great patience and electo-mechanical skills, they can be made to run quite smoothly but are seriously under powered. Nope… These are collectors models and not ones for operators.

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