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First Microtrains experience

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  • alextrov@yahoo.com
    Hi all, finally I have just bought a MicroTrains starter set (UP F7), it is rare here in Italy and it should be quite old (mid 90s?) althought it is still new
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2001
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      Hi all,

      finally I have just bought a MicroTrains starter set (UP F7), it is
      rare here in Italy and it should be quite old (mid 90s?) althought it
      is still new with a closed yellow box.

      I was really disappointed when saw that it was impossible to run the
      MTL F7 in my desktop-non-fixed-hence-non-reliable layout.
      I mean the MTL F7 blocked at every turnout, doubleslip or small
      defect of the track position, same layout where my Marklin locos ran
      almost perfectly during last week-end.

      Mmmmmh.... it seems to go better clockwise than counterclockwise....
      mmmmh.... finally looking at the wheels support I discovered that
      they could not move freely due a contact with the bottom end of the
      stairs just below the cabin doors...

      Once I slightly enlarged the 4 stairs extension over the wheels
      things went better and I started to appreciate the MicroTrains
      product.

      Is it normal or just one case?

      Well, as I have read in the group the differences with Marklin locos
      are really important, first of all the weight, the power pulling cars
      and on climbing tracks and their smooth running (at least respect of
      my Marklin F7 Milw.Road that usually "jump" at start).

      So, since you expert said that MTL F7s are more similar to the
      prototype than Marklin ones (shorter, really shorter) I can now say
      that they are probably really better... so I will join this party ;-)

      Just my opinion... at least until the next stop on a turnout...

      Ciao,

      Alex

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <bjkronen@...>
      To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 9:23 AM
      Subject: Re: [z_scale] opinions on f units


      > Greg:
      >
      > > Could I get a few opinions contrasting the MT F units
      > > with the Marklin ones? Smoother running, reliability, etc.?
      >
      > Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I'll stay with facts,
      not
      > preferences:
      >
      > Weight: Marklin about 0.7 ounces
      > MicroTrains about 2.6 ounces
      >
      > Pulling power: Marklin about 20 US type cars on the flat and level
      > MicroTrains about 50 US type cars on the flat
      and level
      > (estimates for a single F7)
      >
      > Max Voltage: Marklin 8 volts
      > MicroTrains 10 volts
      > (no one ever runs at max voltage, its too fast
      unless
      > you like slot cars that resemble trains)
      >
      > Gear ratio: While I've never counted the teeth in the gears,
      I'll note
      > that the MicroTrains unit has a planetary gear
      of about
      > 30:1 between the motor and the worm gear. That
      gives
      > quite a difference in speed between MT and
      Marklin at
      > any given voltage. It also explains the pulling
      power
      > of the MT unit (plus its additional weight).
      >
      > Lifespan: Both MT and Marklin can handle 10 plus years of heavy
      > running (hours on end) provided you regularly
      service
      > them (clean, oil, replace brushes, etc.) I
      don't think
      > you *can* wear either of them out.
      >
      > Creeping: Since Marklin has introduced the 5 pole motors, I'm
      not
      > certain that MT has the edge on "creeping"
      anymore. In
      > the past, that extra 30:1 gearing gave MT a slow
      > creep the 3-pole Marlin's couldn't quite match.
      > But I've got a 88982 with a 5-pole motor that
      > will take almost 3 minutes to travel one inch.
      >
      > Paint: Half say MT is better. Half say Marklin is
      better.
      > I must be blind. I can't see much difference in
      quality.
      >
      > Cost: MT's are about $80 mail order. Marklins are somewhat
      > more and it pays to shop around.
      >
      > QA/QC: In the last years, both MT and Marklin seem to have
      > increasing problems with wheel gauge. Be sure to
      > check yours with a gauge (MT sells one). It also
      pays
      > to pop the shell and just look for "opps" someone
      at
      > the factory left for you to find. But that's the
      same
      > in almost all brands, all scales,
      anymore. "Grinders"
      > are not common in either brand, but do
      occasionally
      > occur.
      >
      > I have both MT and Marklin. I run them both to death and love them
      both.
      >
      > Subjective: If you plan on a smaller layout and shorter trains, it
      doesn't
      > matter which brand you pick. If you want to run long trains, MT
      still has
      > the edge (our longest train so far had 96 cars in it with two MT's
      up front).
      >
      > Hope this helps. Others may have other comparisons and experiences.
      >
      > Bill Kronenberger
      > Houston
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