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Re: Working for the masses of Z Scale

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  • Loren Snyder
    Ah,.....nothing like a cozy fire side chat on a brisk fall morning....... Joe made one comment below that really caught my attention and what I m about to say
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 31, 2006
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      Ah,.....nothing like a cozy fire side chat on a brisk fall morning.......

      Joe made one comment below that really caught my attention and what I'm
      about to say is not because Joe promised to pay for breakfast next time we
      get together.

      Perhaps because of Joe's and my close proximity, we see each other and visit
      more often than most folks are afforded the same opportunity. Not only are
      our get together's over breakfast yummy and entertaining, watching some
      folks overeat, (not true of Joe at least) but we discuss seriously the
      future of Z scale and share ideas and entertain grand schemes :o)

      I will attest to the fact that if there is anyone in the world of Z scale
      who is SERIOUS about this hobby, it is certainly Joe.
      He bends every which way but loose in trying to please everyone, and it just
      isn't possible to do that all the time. His plate at MTL is heaped higher
      than it should be and I think he does an excellent job of handling all the
      issues put in front of him.

      His title is design engineer, but the list of responsibilities he has
      includes some very mundane tasks that could be handled by the maintenance
      folks or janitors. Without any enemy soldiers throwing grenades at him, he
      gets fragmented more than anyone I've ever met. Some of you know what it is
      like to lose momentum when you are going strong and you have to stop what
      you are doing to attend to some interruption. This is often Joe's case...
      just when he thought it was safe to sit down at his desk, someone wants
      something or a prlblem needs attending to............sigh.

      Without Joe promising to buy me breakfast I still wanted to tell folks that
      he is one serious dude when it comes to his work, so let's trust him to do
      what is best for all concerned. Hey, after all, his job is on the line if
      he screws up so I doubt he is going to do something that would threaten that
      He designed the turnouts the best way possible and there are some issues
      that just aren't that easily solved.

      Joe is a big boy who doesn't need anyone to stand up for him, he can handle
      the worst of critics, but I wanted to praise him for his untiring efforts on
      our behalf.

      Let's just fiddle a bit with our turnouts AND wheel flanges or whatever and
      get on with choo chooing for fun!
      Loren

      PS. Joe didn't promise me a thing for saying this, not even breakfast......
      ..darn!


      -------Original Message-------
      From: Joe DAmato
      Date: 10/31/06 07:29:14
      To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: MTL Turnouts & AZL Locos

      <snip>......
      Trust me, anyone who has spent more than a minute with me
      talking about Z knows the last thing I want to do is exclude anyone
      or anything...

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Loren Snyder
      Reynard, Is Joe buying you breakfast after your nice endorcement? Even so, he ll make you leave the tip :o) Your testing just goes to prove how hard and late
      Message 2 of 18 , Oct 31, 2006
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        Reynard,
        Is Joe buying you breakfast after your nice endorcement? Even so, he'll
        make you leave the tip :o)

        Your testing just goes to prove how hard and late Joe has been working to
        make MOST of us happy.

        Loren

        PS. Wild mushrooms?......naw, we just breathe the fresh air and get a
        natural high!

        -------Original Message-------

        From: Reynard Wellman
        Date: 10/31/06 11:10:34
        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: Working for the masses of Z Scale

        Hello Loren,
        Just from reading the emails that has been my impression
        of Joe for a long time; hard working, mirthful and a great
        design engineer.

        Further testing of 100% MTL shod trains pulled by the
        GP35 forwards and backwards through a gaggle of MTL
        turnouts without one single derailment or stalling has me
        floored! I ran the trains at a scale 2-4 MPH without a single
        hiccup or stall. Operations like this in Z scale are new to me.
        I've only seen performance like this on some good quality HO &
        O scale club layouts, where trains were run on schedules.

        For those who are just starting out in Z I would strongly urge
        them to obtain a MTL train set with the GP35, the roadbed track
        and turnouts and plenty of MTL rolling stock. I believe that
        with the assistance of 2 to 3 GP35s we will all be able to
        run 100 plus freight cars through any yard configuration you
        might imagine, both backwards and forwards!

        Yea, I'm playing with trains - between work - it is now a very
        relaxing break from the computer and the house repairs.

        Have some migas, beans & wild mushrooms up there on
        that Oregon Trail ;>)

        Reynard
        http://www.micronart.com
        On Oct 31, 2006, at 9:42 AM, Loren Snyder wrote:
        <edited
        > Ah,.....nothing like a cozy fire side chat on a brisk fall
        > morning.......
        >
        >

        > Without Joe promising to buy me breakfast I still wanted to tell
        > folks that
        > he is one serious dude when it comes to his work, so let's trust
        > him to do
        > what is best for all concerned. Hey, after all, his job is on the
        > line if
        > he screws up so I doubt he is going to do something that would
        > threaten that
        > He designed the turnouts the best way possible and there are some
        > issues
        > that just aren't that easily solved.
        >
        > Joe is a big boy who doesn't need anyone to stand up for him, he
        > can handle
        > the worst of critics, but I wanted to praise him for his untiring
        > efforts on
        > our behalf.
        >
        > Let's just fiddle a bit with our turnouts AND wheel flanges or
        > whatever and
        > get on with choo chooing for fun!
        > Loren
        >
        > PS. Joe didn't promise me a thing for saying this, not even
        > breakfast......
        > ..darn!
        >
        >
        > -------Original Message-------
        > From: Joe DAmato
        > Date: 10/31/06 07:29:14
        > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: MTL Turnouts & AZL Locos
        >
        > <snip>......
        > Trust me, anyone who has spent more than a minute with me
        > talking about Z knows the last thing I want to do is exclude anyone
        > or anything...
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



        Z-scale: minimum siZe, MAXIMUM enjoyment!

        Yahoo! Groups Links





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Reynard Wellman
        Hello Loren, Just from reading the emails that has been my impression of Joe for a long time; hard working, mirthful and a great design engineer. Further
        Message 3 of 18 , Oct 31, 2006
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          Hello Loren,
          Just from reading the emails that has been my impression
          of Joe for a long time; hard working, mirthful and a great
          design engineer.

          Further testing of 100% MTL shod trains pulled by the
          GP35 forwards and backwards through a gaggle of MTL
          turnouts without one single derailment or stalling has me
          floored! I ran the trains at a scale 2-4 MPH without a single
          hiccup or stall. Operations like this in Z scale are new to me.
          I've only seen performance like this on some good quality HO &
          O scale club layouts, where trains were run on schedules.

          For those who are just starting out in Z I would strongly urge
          them to obtain a MTL train set with the GP35, the roadbed track
          and turnouts and plenty of MTL rolling stock. I believe that
          with the assistance of 2 to 3 GP35s we will all be able to
          run 100 plus freight cars through any yard configuration you
          might imagine, both backwards and forwards!

          Yea, I'm playing with trains - between work - it is now a very
          relaxing break from the computer and the house repairs.

          Have some migas, beans & wild mushrooms up there on
          that Oregon Trail ;>)

          Reynard
          http://www.micronart.com
          On Oct 31, 2006, at 9:42 AM, Loren Snyder wrote:
          <edited
          > Ah,.....nothing like a cozy fire side chat on a brisk fall
          > morning.......
          >
          >

          > Without Joe promising to buy me breakfast I still wanted to tell
          > folks that
          > he is one serious dude when it comes to his work, so let's trust
          > him to do
          > what is best for all concerned. Hey, after all, his job is on the
          > line if
          > he screws up so I doubt he is going to do something that would
          > threaten that
          > He designed the turnouts the best way possible and there are some
          > issues
          > that just aren't that easily solved.
          >
          > Joe is a big boy who doesn't need anyone to stand up for him, he
          > can handle
          > the worst of critics, but I wanted to praise him for his untiring
          > efforts on
          > our behalf.
          >
          > Let's just fiddle a bit with our turnouts AND wheel flanges or
          > whatever and
          > get on with choo chooing for fun!
          > Loren
          >
          > PS. Joe didn't promise me a thing for saying this, not even
          > breakfast......
          > ..darn!
          >
          >
          > -------Original Message-------
          > From: Joe DAmato
          > Date: 10/31/06 07:29:14
          > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: MTL Turnouts & AZL Locos
          >
          > <snip>......
          > Trust me, anyone who has spent more than a minute with me
          > talking about Z knows the last thing I want to do is exclude anyone
          > or anything...
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Reynard Wellman
          Ok, Loren, I ate breakfast so here s my tip for Joe: Easements. That curved track section, the ones that I am not using, that come with the MTL turnouts make
          Message 4 of 18 , Oct 31, 2006
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            Ok, Loren, I ate breakfast so here's my tip for Joe:
            Easements. That curved track section, the ones that I
            am not using, that come with the MTL turnouts make
            perfect easements into those sharp radius oval track
            sections. Kinda odd looking, but it gives the track
            pattern more character anyway.

            My endorsement will become much stronger once I see
            that larger radius roadbed track set become available. Maybe
            then I'll start thinking about running my AZL locomotives
            on MTL roadbed track. I know, it's all going to take some
            fussing and reworking, but darn it, it's easier than training
            a flea circus! Now where did that little feller hop off to?

            Mushrooms come from nature too. Too much fresh air
            rots the brain.

            RegardZ,
            Reynard
            http://www.micronart.com


            On Oct 31, 2006, at 11:22 AM, Loren Snyder wrote:

            > Reynard,
            > Is Joe buying you breakfast after your nice endorcement? Even so,
            > he'll
            > make you leave the tip :o)
            >
            > Your testing just goes to prove how hard and late Joe has been
            > working to
            > make MOST of us happy.
            >
            > Loren
            >
            > PS. Wild mushrooms?......naw, we just breathe the fresh air and get a
            > natural high!
            >
            > -------Original Message-------
            >
            > From: Reynard Wellman
            > Date: 10/31/06 11:10:34
            > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: Working for the masses of Z Scale
            >
            > Hello Loren,
            > edited>

            >
            > Have some migas, beans & wild mushrooms up there on
            > that Oregon Trail ;>)
            >
            > Reynard
            > http://www.micronart.com
            > edited>
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Larry Card
            ... And when MTL offers a powerpack with it s Z scale sets that includes the integrated roadbed, they will outsell Marklin. In my opinion of course. V/R Larry
            Message 5 of 18 , Oct 31, 2006
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              >For those who are just starting out in Z I would strongly urge
              >them to obtain a MTL train set with the GP35, the roadbed track
              >and turnouts and plenty of MTL rolling stock.

              And when MTL offers a powerpack with it's Z scale sets that includes the
              integrated roadbed, they will outsell Marklin. In my opinion of course.
              V/R
              Larry P. Card
              Franklinton NC

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            • Allan Miller
              ... the integrated roadbed, they will outsell Marklin. In my opinion of course. ... Well, it certainly will outsell everything else in Z in the U.S. at that
              Message 6 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                > And when MTL offers a powerpack with it's Z scale sets that includes
                the integrated roadbed, they will outsell Marklin. In my opinion of
                course.
                > V/R
                > Larry P. Card
                > Franklinton NC
                >
                Well, it certainly will outsell everything else in Z in the U.S. at
                that point--at least in terms of attracting new participants to this
                segment of the hobby. The trains are great; ditto for the track
                system. All that's really missing is a truly complete starter set
                that folks can wrap in pretty paper and stick under the Christmas
                tree, or pick up at the hobby shop and set-up at home without making a
                return trip or shopping around for a suitable power pack.
              • Stephen Moore
                I agree. and concur. I also must say something that I haven t seen mentioned. Has anyone made the association, that this MTL track and now switches, is equal
                Message 7 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                  I agree. and concur.
                  I also must say something that I haven't seen mentioned.
                  Has anyone made the association, that this MTL track and now switches,
                  is equal to the concept and quality of the kato unitrack in n scale? In
                  my opinion it will become as popular as the kato track.

                  By the way joe, please don't stop making the flex track either.
                  We don't need management to decide to do just the new track, when we
                  out here still need the flex track.

                  Stephen
                  Plano, TX
                  Texas and Beyond




                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Allan Miller" <almiller@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > And when MTL offers a powerpack with it's Z scale sets that includes
                  > the integrated roadbed, they will outsell Marklin. In my opinion of
                • Alan Cox
                  ... Almost - Kato at the moment is a bit more flexible especially around the turnouts but that same flexibility should come to Z as MTL produce more parts.
                  Message 8 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                    Ar Mer, 2006-11-01 am 14:16 +0000, ysgrifennodd Stephen Moore:
                    > I agree. and concur.
                    > I also must say something that I haven't seen mentioned.
                    > Has anyone made the association, that this MTL track and now
                    > switches,
                    > is equal to the concept and quality of the kato unitrack in n scale?

                    Almost - Kato at the moment is a bit more flexible especially around the
                    turnouts but that same flexibility should come to Z as MTL produce more
                    parts.

                    Alan
                  • Glen Chenier
                    This has been discussed a few months ago, all sorts of ideas were thrown into the pot including several all-bells-and-whistles power packs. Nothing as far as
                    Message 9 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                      This has been discussed a few months ago, all sorts of ideas were
                      thrown into the pot including several all-bells-and-whistles power
                      packs. Nothing as far as I know has been done, and the big season is
                      approaching.

                      Your comment leads to another concept - how would a manufacturer make
                      the simplest bare-bones, non-reversing, no speed control, no current
                      limit other than the natural battery limit - in short, what would it
                      take for the cheapest power pack to be included with a starter set to
                      do nothing more than get the train running around a circle at a
                      reasonable speed on the kitchen table? Once the train is in motion on
                      that little circle of track, the future mountains and trees become
                      very vivid in the imaginations of the beholders and yet another Z
                      scale layout begins to take shape...

                      Marklin came close with their 9 volt battery holder, the only problem
                      was this is a railroad train set, not the Indy 500. A similar concept
                      using a lower voltage battery pack such as this photo

                      <http://rocky.digikey.com/WebLib/Memory%20Protection%20Devices/Web%20Photos/BC3AAL.jpg>

                      lets the train run at a normal speed. Three AA cells in series
                      produce 4.5 volts, all that is needed to get the GP35 moving. The
                      battery holder is $0.60 in quantity, MTL could include the battery
                      holder with wires connected to the power track section and state on
                      the packaging "Three AA cells required - batteries not included".




                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Allan Miller" <almiller@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > And when MTL offers a powerpack with it's Z scale sets that includes
                      > the integrated roadbed, they will outsell Marklin. In my opinion of
                      > course.
                      > > V/R
                      > > Larry P. Card
                      > > Franklinton NC
                      > >
                      > Well, it certainly will outsell everything else in Z in the U.S. at
                      > that point--at least in terms of attracting new participants to this
                      > segment of the hobby. The trains are great; ditto for the track
                      > system. All that's really missing is a truly complete starter set
                      > that folks can wrap in pretty paper and stick under the Christmas
                      > tree, or pick up at the hobby shop and set-up at home without making a
                      > return trip or shopping around for a suitable power pack.
                      >
                    • Glen Chenier
                      ... This is the ideal towards which we strive, and there is no reason this cannot be possible in Z scale. Hiccups/stalls at slow speed are a thing of the past
                      Message 10 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Reynard Wellman <micron@...> wrote:

                        > Further testing of 100% MTL shod trains pulled by the
                        > GP35 forwards and backwards through a gaggle of MTL
                        > turnouts without one single derailment or stalling has me
                        > floored! I ran the trains at a scale 2-4 MPH without a single
                        > hiccup or stall. Operations like this in Z scale are new to me.
                        > I've only seen performance like this on some good quality HO &
                        > O scale club layouts, where trains were run on schedules.

                        This is the ideal towards which we strive, and there is no reason this
                        cannot be possible in Z scale. Hiccups/stalls at slow speed are a
                        thing of the past when using high quality turnouts and locomotives
                        with good wheel pickup.

                        > For those who are just starting out in Z I would strongly urge
                        > them to obtain a MTL train set with the GP35, the roadbed track
                        > and turnouts and plenty of MTL rolling stock. I believe that
                        > with the assistance of 2 to 3 GP35s we will all be able to
                        > run 100 plus freight cars through any yard configuration you
                        > might imagine, both backwards and forwards!

                        Backwards? Best stick with body mounted couplers (ie avoid truck
                        mount couplers like the plague)if you want to push 100 cars backwards.

                        > Yea, I'm playing with trains - between work - it is now a very
                        > relaxing break from the computer and the house repairs.

                        Ain't it grand when things work properly?
                      • Alan Cox
                        ... Two wires and a battery. At the point you are fabbing a battery mount and doing your approval testing you might as well make it a bit smarter and use an
                        Message 11 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                          Ar Mer, 2006-11-01 am 16:16 +0000, ysgrifennodd Glen Chenier:
                          > Your comment leads to another concept - how would a manufacturer make
                          > the simplest bare-bones, non-reversing, no speed control, no current
                          > limit other than the natural battery limit - in short, what would it
                          > take for the cheapest power pack to be included with a starter set to
                          > do nothing more than get the train running around a circle at a

                          Two wires and a battery. At the point you are fabbing a battery mount
                          and doing your approval testing you might as well make it a bit smarter
                          and use an H-bridge (eg L293), a *CMOS* 555 as pulse generator and a
                          small pot (or if you are really cheap a say 4 way switch) as the
                          resistance. The traditional simple resistance controller isn't good with
                          battery because of course its always sucking a fair bit of power.

                          There's another gloriously insane way to do this btw which is pushing it
                          on bigger scales but not Z. USB power is 5v 100mA (can be up to 500mA
                          for 5 loads). So you can just about make a USB Z scale train cable and
                          run the train power straight off a PC. No speed control however.

                          Alan
                        • Glen Chenier
                          ... BTW, when I actually timed ... Not really, under 1 smph at 40 pps is the norm for the enhanced MTL F7. Motor cogging below this prevents lower speed, but
                          Message 12 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Reynard Wellman <micron@...> wrote:
                            BTW, when I actually timed
                            > my slow running GP35s hauling 32 cars, the slowest speed
                            > was more like 8 to 15 MPH, not 2-4 MPH. See how lack of real
                            > data can make an exaggerator out of you? ;>))

                            Not really, under 1 smph at 40 pps is the norm for the enhanced MTL
                            F7. Motor cogging below this prevents lower speed, but in reality the
                            1 smph is far too slow for realistic operation.
                          • Reynard Wellman
                            Hello Glen, I ve got to own up to something... sometimes I exaggerate ; ) I doubt very seriously that I could back even 50 cars through a turnout peppered
                            Message 13 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                              Hello Glen,
                              I've got to own up to something... sometimes I exaggerate ;>)
                              I doubt very seriously that I could back even 50 cars
                              through a turnout peppered yard. Yes, the couplers can break
                              and then the cars go into the derail mode. Long trains are
                              a big strain on MTL Z scale couplers, I know this because I have
                              broken them off the engines in the past. BTW, when I actually timed
                              my slow running GP35s hauling 32 cars, the slowest speed
                              was more like 8 to 15 MPH, not 2-4 MPH. See how lack of real
                              data can make an exaggerator out of you? ;>))

                              None the less, I find the MTL turnouts to perform as well as
                              my Kato turnouts and they look cooler. I can't wait until all
                              the finer bits and pieces for this track system start showing up.
                              15° & 30° crossovers, sectional fittings, steel bumpers,
                              expansion track, road crossing tracks with built-in rerailers, etc.
                              The color and texture of the ballast to sleepers relationship
                              is perfect! Yes, the future is bright for Z scale. It's hard to
                              objective about the soup when you haven't been fed
                              for long, long time.

                              Also, I am pro non-roadbed MTL track sections for those who
                              are doing their own thing. Frankly, we need it. There are many
                              instances such as yards and bridges where tall mounds
                              of ballast are inappropriate. Yards are always at "grade"
                              with drainage ditches at key locations. Large concrete areas are
                              also found all over these yards. Variety within this track
                              system should also be taken into account.

                              I am not on MTL's payroll but I did approve this ad.

                              Best regardZ,
                              Reynard
                              http://www.micronart.com
                              On Nov 1, 2006, at 8:41 AM, Glen Chenier wrote:

                              > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Reynard Wellman <micron@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > > Further testing of 100% MTL shod trains pulled by the
                              > > GP35 forwards and backwards through a gaggle of MTL
                              > > turnouts without one single derailment or stalling has me
                              > > floored! I ran the trains at a scale 2-4 MPH without a single
                              > > hiccup or stall. Operations like this in Z scale are new to me.
                              > > I've only seen performance like this on some good quality HO &
                              > > O scale club layouts, where trains were run on schedules.
                              >
                              > This is the ideal towards which we strive, and there is no reason this
                              > cannot be possible in Z scale. Hiccups/stalls at slow speed are a
                              > thing of the past when using high quality turnouts and locomotives
                              > with good wheel pickup.
                              >
                              > > For those who are just starting out in Z I would strongly urge
                              > > them to obtain a MTL train set with the GP35, the roadbed track
                              > > and turnouts and plenty of MTL rolling stock. I believe that
                              > > with the assistance of 2 to 3 GP35s we will all be able to
                              > > run 100 plus freight cars through any yard configuration you
                              > > might imagine, both backwards and forwards!
                              >
                              > Backwards? Best stick with body mounted couplers (ie avoid truck
                              > mount couplers like the plague)if you want to push 100 cars backwards.
                              >
                              > > Yea, I'm playing with trains - between work - it is now a very
                              > > relaxing break from the computer and the house repairs.
                              >
                              > Ain't it grand when things work properly?
                              >
                              >
                              >



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Reynard Wellman
                              Hello Glen, I m just using a Marklin transformer, but the GP35 runs slow enough to be boring to watch even without further electronic enhancements to this gem.
                              Message 14 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                                Hello Glen,
                                I'm just using a Marklin transformer, but the GP35
                                runs slow enough to be boring to watch even without
                                further electronic enhancements to this gem.
                                Another topic: What's this about removing that spiffy looking
                                "trainboard" on the GP35? We finally get a locomotive that
                                is darn near perfect and some folks are already removing
                                one of it's most charming features. Glad that they are
                                inexpensive enough to kitbash. If all goes wrong, you
                                can just start over with a new one;>)

                                RegardZ,
                                Reynard


                                On Nov 1, 2006, at 11:01 AM, Glen Chenier wrote:

                                > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Reynard Wellman <micron@...> wrote:
                                > BTW, when I actually timed
                                > > my slow running GP35s hauling 32 cars, the slowest speed
                                > > was more like 8 to 15 MPH, not 2-4 MPH. See how lack of real
                                > > data can make an exaggerator out of you? ;>))
                                >
                                > Not really, under 1 smph at 40 pps is the norm for the enhanced MTL
                                > F7. Motor cogging below this prevents lower speed, but in reality the
                                > 1 smph is far too slow for realistic operation.
                                >
                                >
                                >



                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Larry Card
                                ... Ntrak throttle with a 9v wall wart power source or 9v battery. That s what I use, and it works pretty well. I think I paid around 10 bucks for the whole
                                Message 15 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                                  >Your comment leads to another concept - how would a manufacturer make
                                  >the simplest bare-bones, non-reversing, no speed control, no current
                                  >limit other than the natural battery limit - in short, what would it
                                  >take for the cheapest power pack to be included with a starter set to
                                  >do nothing more than get the train running around a circle at a
                                  >reasonable speed on the kitchen table?

                                  Ntrak throttle with a 9v wall wart power source or 9v battery. That's what
                                  I use, and it works pretty well. I think I paid around 10 bucks for the
                                  whole thing, not counting the time it took to solder the parts together.
                                  Variable speed control, and it has on/off and reversing switches. I'm sure
                                  that something other than the standard RadioShack project box would be used,
                                  but I can't see where that is a huge difficulty to overcome.
                                  V/R
                                  Larry P. Card
                                  Franklinton NC

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                                • dpstripe@aol.com
                                  In a message dated 11/1/2006 2:31:49 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, micron@micronart.com writes: I m just using a Marklin transformer, but the GP35 runs slow
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                                    In a message dated 11/1/2006 2:31:49 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                                    micron@... writes:

                                    I'm just using a Marklin transformer, but the GP35
                                    runs slow enough to be boring to watch even without
                                    further electronic enhancements to this gem


                                    Reynard,
                                    When I first got my Pennsy GP-35's last year, I was sitting in a hotel room
                                    trying them out with an oval of MT track and my Marklin transformer. Well, the
                                    phone rang, so I turned it off, or so I thought, and went to talk on the
                                    phone. Since the Marklin transformer has no real "on/off" switch, I thought that
                                    the knob was back in the off position. Well, turns out that it wasn't. After
                                    about a half hour, I noticed that the loc wasn't where I left it. Upon
                                    further investigation, I saw that it was actually moving. Slower than I could
                                    possibly imagine, but it was moving. Now, I realize that this was totally
                                    unloaded, so it's not intended as a counter to your minimum speed, but it was
                                    simply amazing. I laid a pocket scale next to the track (with 1/64" graduations),
                                    and to my total amazement, the thing was moving smoothly. Needless to say, I
                                    never quite trusted "off" again. And, I can no longer doubt any fantastical
                                    claims about these little guys.
                                    Dan S.


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • dpstripe@aol.com
                                    Reynard, We (the D.C. ZBend group) have periodically run long trains (I think our record is somewhere around 121 cars, Bryan and Randy, correct me if I m
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                                      Reynard,
                                      We (the D.C. ZBend group) have periodically run long trains (I think our
                                      record is somewhere around 121 cars, Bryan and Randy, correct me if I'm wrong),
                                      but we tend to throw a couple of helper locs in the middle of the train. It
                                      helps relieve some of the coupler strain. Our most common problem is the
                                      occasional wheel climbing out of the rails at turnouts (where's that re-railer
                                      section, Joe? Just kidding, no real hurry). But we have had our share of
                                      stringlines and NTSB investigations. I had a 69 (41 PZ and 28 FR) car coal train
                                      running for a couple of hours trouble free, with a fully powered MT F7 A-B-B-A
                                      at its head last year at Chantilly. But, then one of the B units brushes
                                      didn't feed in, and caused quite a few problems before I caught on to what was
                                      happening. Long trains are just a good time. We haven't had a lot of coupler
                                      breakage, though.
                                      Dan S.

                                      In a message dated 11/2/2006 12:22:46 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                                      micron@... writes:

                                      Dan,
                                      It's positively hypnotic; watching a train of 30 cars make
                                      the rounds at a creep. My cat wants to attack this
                                      dangerous looking snake, but I have warned her off.
                                      My previous show layout was about the size of a coffee
                                      table, so I kept my trains down to 15 cars max. When
                                      the module guys get together at NMRA shows, we run
                                      trains of 50 to 60 cars, at least until the couplers break.
                                      Ever seen one of these ropes flop off the rails all at once?
                                      Try backing up that train at a high speed.
                                      Gotta leave plenty of margin for error if you don't want
                                      your delicate cars to disintegrate on the train show concrete.






                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Reynard Wellman
                                      Dan, It s positively hypnotic; watching a train of 30 cars make the rounds at a creep. My cat wants to attack this dangerous looking snake, but I have warned
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
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                                        Dan,
                                        It's positively hypnotic; watching a train of 30 cars make
                                        the rounds at a creep. My cat wants to attack this
                                        dangerous looking snake, but I have warned her off.
                                        My previous show layout was about the size of a coffee
                                        table, so I kept my trains down to 15 cars max. When
                                        the module guys get together at NMRA shows, we run
                                        trains of 50 to 60 cars, at least until the couplers break.
                                        Ever seen one of these ropes flop off the rails all at once?
                                        Try backing up that train at a high speed.
                                        Gotta leave plenty of margin for error if you don't want
                                        your delicate cars to disintegrate on the train show concrete.
                                        The trouble with the GP35 by itself is; you can't
                                        hear it unless you move in real close. Perhaps Lajos,
                                        in addition to his "SAT" project (Self Adjusting Turnout),
                                        will manufacture a GP35 sound module that simulates the
                                        Union Pacific trains that pass in the night about two miles
                                        from my house. That would sure get your attention!
                                        If I heard that, I'd sure hang up the phone and look over
                                        at the layout or speed dial 911.

                                        Best regardZ,
                                        Reynard
                                        http://www.micronart.com


                                        On Nov 1, 2006, at 6:13 PM, dpstripe@... wrote:

                                        >
                                        > In a message dated 11/1/2006 2:31:49 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                                        > micron@... writes:
                                        >
                                        > I'm just using a Marklin transformer, but the GP35
                                        > runs slow enough to be boring to watch even without
                                        > further electronic enhancements to this gem
                                        >
                                        > Reynard,
                                        > When I first got my Pennsy GP-35's last year, I was sitting in a
                                        > hotel room
                                        > trying them out with an oval of MT track and my Marklin
                                        > transformer. Well, the
                                        > phone rang, so I turned it off, or so I thought, and went to talk
                                        > on the
                                        > phone. Since the Marklin transformer has no real "on/off" switch, I
                                        > thought that
                                        > the knob was back in the off position. Well, turns out that it
                                        > wasn't. After
                                        > about a half hour, I noticed that the loc wasn't where I left it. Upon
                                        > further investigation, I saw that it was actually moving. Slower
                                        > than I could
                                        > possibly imagine, but it was moving. Now, I realize that this was
                                        > totally
                                        > unloaded, so it's not intended as a counter to your minimum speed,
                                        > but it was
                                        > simply amazing. I laid a pocket scale next to the track (with 1/64"
                                        > graduations),
                                        > and to my total amazement, the thing was moving smoothly. Needless
                                        > to say, I
                                        > never quite trusted "off" again. And, I can no longer doubt any
                                        > fantastical
                                        > claims about these little guys.
                                        > Dan S.
                                        >
                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >



                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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