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Re: Working for the masses of Z Scale

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  • 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 1 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
      --- 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 2 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
        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 3 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
          --- 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 4 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
            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 5 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
              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 6 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
                >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 7 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
                  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 8 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
                    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 9 of 18 , Nov 1, 2006
                      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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