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Re: Smoothest-Running Z Locomotive?

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  • elias1859
    Many thanks to everyone! WRT the various questions to me, I would like to know the smoothest- running at the slow speed whether the locomotive is $100 or $400,
    Message 1 of 23 , May 27, 2008
      Many thanks to everyone!

      WRT the various questions to me, I would like to know the smoothest-
      running at the slow speed whether the locomotive is $100 or $400, and
      it does not matter whether it is diesel or steam because I may remove
      the housing altogether. I can certainly incorporate -- with help --
      some form of DCC (which I've never used and know little about). I
      now realize -- thanks to many great responses -- that I need to
      articulate how slow I want the locomotive to move. (I never dreamed
      they could creep.) Thus I have now determined that I would like the
      locomotive to run as smoothly as possible at 0.5"/second on level
      straightaways, around tight curves, and over switches for an hour at
      a time. Is this possible?
      Again I really appreciate all the wonderful responses. Thanks!
      Brian







      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "elias1859" <brian.alters@...> wrote:
      >
      > At the slowest speeds possible, what Z locomotive is the smoothest-
      > running?
      >
      > Thanks.
      >
      > Brian
      >
    • Jeff BAZ-man
      Electrical contact will limit you from running slow, especially in curves. Maybe the MTL F7 with the wheel wipers AND a Guage Master to assure electrical
      Message 2 of 23 , May 27, 2008
        Electrical contact will limit you from running slow, especially in
        curves. Maybe the MTL F7 with the wheel wipers AND a Guage Master to
        assure electrical contact. In any way, I think you will be a kid in
        a candy store for the first time when it does make it around the one
        and only time.

        http://ztrackcenter.com/electronics/product_images/1.jpg

        http://ztrackcenter.com/electronics/

        But if you want a loco to bash, the Marklin will be the cheapest (the
        US and Euro diesels versions are that same chassis). The MTL F7 is
        completely full of metal, as is a $400+ AZL. Even the MTL GP9 or
        GP35 also is nearly full of metal.

        Jeff
        SF Bay Area Z

        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "elias1859" <brian.alters@...> wrote:
        >
        > Many thanks to everyone!
        >
        > WRT the various questions to me, I would like to know the smoothest-
        > running at the slow speed whether the locomotive is $100 or $400,
        and
        > it does not matter whether it is diesel or steam because I may
        remove
        > the housing altogether. I can certainly incorporate -- with help --

        > some form of DCC (which I've never used and know little about). I
        > now realize -- thanks to many great responses -- that I need to
        > articulate how slow I want the locomotive to move. (I never dreamed
        > they could creep.) Thus I have now determined that I would like
        the
        > locomotive to run as smoothly as possible at 0.5"/second on level
        > straightaways, around tight curves, and over switches for an hour
        at
        > a time. Is this possible?
        > Again I really appreciate all the wonderful responses. Thanks!
        > Brian
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "elias1859" <brian.alters@> wrote:
        > >
        > > At the slowest speeds possible, what Z locomotive is the
        smoothest-
        > > running?
        > >
        > > Thanks.
        > >
        > > Brian
        > >
        >
      • elias1859
        I apologize, I am now confused. Jeff stated I think you will be a kid in a candy store for the first time when it does make it around the one and only time.
        Message 3 of 23 , May 28, 2008
          I apologize, I am now confused. Jeff stated "I think you will be a
          kid in a candy store for the first time when it does make it around
          the one and only time." Does that mean what I want to do is next to
          impossible or extremely difficult? Does that mean if it makes it
          around the track one time I am fortunate, and that will likely be a
          rare event? Is the speed of 0.5"/second unreasonably slow for smooth
          motion? I appreciate the help, I just want to make sure I'm
          understanding accurately. Many thanks!
          Brian










          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff BAZ-man" <sjbazman49@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Electrical contact will limit you from running slow, especially in
          > curves. Maybe the MTL F7 with the wheel wipers AND a Guage Master
          to
          > assure electrical contact. In any way, I think you will be a kid
          in
          > a candy store for the first time when it does make it around the
          one
          > and only time.
          >
          > http://ztrackcenter.com/electronics/product_images/1.jpg
          >
          > http://ztrackcenter.com/electronics/
          >
          > But if you want a loco to bash, the Marklin will be the cheapest
          (the
          > US and Euro diesels versions are that same chassis). The MTL F7 is
          > completely full of metal, as is a $400+ AZL. Even the MTL GP9 or
          > GP35 also is nearly full of metal.
          >
          > Jeff
          > SF Bay Area Z
          >
          > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "elias1859" <brian.alters@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Many thanks to everyone!
          > >
          > > WRT the various questions to me, I would like to know the
          smoothest-
          > > running at the slow speed whether the locomotive is $100 or $400,
          > and
          > > it does not matter whether it is diesel or steam because I may
          > remove
          > > the housing altogether. I can certainly incorporate -- with
          help --
          >
          > > some form of DCC (which I've never used and know little about).
          I
          > > now realize -- thanks to many great responses -- that I need to
          > > articulate how slow I want the locomotive to move. (I never
          dreamed
          > > they could creep.) Thus I have now determined that I would like
          > the
          > > locomotive to run as smoothly as possible at 0.5"/second on level
          > > straightaways, around tight curves, and over switches for an hour
          > at
          > > a time. Is this possible?
          > > Again I really appreciate all the wonderful responses. Thanks!
          > > Brian
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "elias1859" <brian.alters@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > At the slowest speeds possible, what Z locomotive is the
          > smoothest-
          > > > running?
          > > >
          > > > Thanks.
          > > >
          > > > Brian
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • viktor_kovacs
          ... With clean track and a new marklin solid state dc pack, you can make a 8800 br89 creep that slow without extra circuits, just don t weather the rails on
          Message 4 of 23 , May 28, 2008
            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "elias1859" <brian.alters@...> wrote:
            > I apologize, I am now confused. Jeff stated "I think you will be a
            > kid in a candy store for the first time when it does make it around
            > the one and only time." Does that mean what I want to do is next to
            > impossible or extremely difficult? Does that mean if it makes it
            > around the track one time I am fortunate, and that will likely be a
            > rare event? Is the speed of 0.5"/second unreasonably slow for smooth
            > motion? I appreciate the help, I just want to make sure I'm
            > understanding accurately. Many thanks!
            > Brian

            With clean track and a new marklin solid state dc pack,
            you can make a 8800 br89 creep that slow without extra circuits,
            just don't weather the rails on the tops and the _insides_.
            The slowest I got my 8800 with pure dc was 0.1 inch/second,
            but on switches you have to speed up to 1 inch/second without
            pwm.

            With a good chopped pwm pack (on-tristate-on instead of on-off-on)
            you can make it crawl without making the track and the wheels
            extra clean, and it really helps with the switches, where the
            locos tend to stall even when the contact is still there, due
            to the increased resitance of the rails. With marklin switches,
            the contact wipers tend to oxidise, so throwing the switch a
            couple of times back and forth helps too.

            If the standard track cleaners are too strong for the led lighting
            of a loco, the pwm driver chip can add short medium voltage spikes
            to the normal pwm output in case the feedback circuit detects a
            break in the circuit. I don't know a commercial example of this
            design but I made a prototype of this double voltage pwm driver,
            so it works. The same circuit can be used for constant lighting
            circuits, but it does heat the motors when used for a prolonged
            time.

            ps: Did you know, that marklin motors follow the motor design
            used in the first new york central bipolar s-motors in 1903?
            The only difference is that they used a gearless and rodless
            axle mounted design, while marklin uses gears because of size
            constraints. But the dc motor design is the same, including
            the rail based dc power distribution system and the option
            to switch to overhead caternary by flipping a switch. Caternary
            support was added to the s-motors because they tended to stall
            on larger switch blocks because of loss of contact.
          • elias1859
            Wow! I believe I understood everything Viktor wrote except for one thing: What does chopped mean in chopped pwm pack ? Thanks! Brian ... a ... around ... to
            Message 5 of 23 , May 28, 2008
              Wow! I believe I understood everything Viktor wrote except for one
              thing: What does "chopped" mean in "chopped pwm pack"?
              Thanks!
              Brian




              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "viktor_kovacs" <viktor_kovacs@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "elias1859" <brian.alters@> wrote:
              > > I apologize, I am now confused. Jeff stated "I think you will be
              a
              > > kid in a candy store for the first time when it does make it
              around
              > > the one and only time." Does that mean what I want to do is next
              to
              > > impossible or extremely difficult? Does that mean if it makes it
              > > around the track one time I am fortunate, and that will likely be
              a
              > > rare event? Is the speed of 0.5"/second unreasonably slow for
              smooth
              > > motion? I appreciate the help, I just want to make sure I'm
              > > understanding accurately. Many thanks!
              > > Brian
              >
              > With clean track and a new marklin solid state dc pack,
              > you can make a 8800 br89 creep that slow without extra circuits,
              > just don't weather the rails on the tops and the _insides_.
              > The slowest I got my 8800 with pure dc was 0.1 inch/second,
              > but on switches you have to speed up to 1 inch/second without
              > pwm.
              >
              > With a good chopped pwm pack (on-tristate-on instead of on-off-on)
              > you can make it crawl without making the track and the wheels
              > extra clean, and it really helps with the switches, where the
              > locos tend to stall even when the contact is still there, due
              > to the increased resitance of the rails. With marklin switches,
              > the contact wipers tend to oxidise, so throwing the switch a
              > couple of times back and forth helps too.
              >
              > If the standard track cleaners are too strong for the led lighting
              > of a loco, the pwm driver chip can add short medium voltage spikes
              > to the normal pwm output in case the feedback circuit detects a
              > break in the circuit. I don't know a commercial example of this
              > design but I made a prototype of this double voltage pwm driver,
              > so it works. The same circuit can be used for constant lighting
              > circuits, but it does heat the motors when used for a prolonged
              > time.
              >
              > ps: Did you know, that marklin motors follow the motor design
              > used in the first new york central bipolar s-motors in 1903?
              > The only difference is that they used a gearless and rodless
              > axle mounted design, while marklin uses gears because of size
              > constraints. But the dc motor design is the same, including
              > the rail based dc power distribution system and the option
              > to switch to overhead caternary by flipping a switch. Caternary
              > support was added to the s-motors because they tended to stall
              > on larger switch blocks because of loss of contact.
              >
            • Glen Chenier
              ... Thus I have now determined that I would like the ... at ... 0.5 inches per second is 6.25 scale miles per hour (10 scale kilometres per hour), and as long
              Message 6 of 23 , May 28, 2008
                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "elias1859" <brian.alters@...> wrote:
                >
                Thus I have now determined that I would like the
                > locomotive to run as smoothly as possible at 0.5"/second on level
                > straightaways, around tight curves, and over switches for an hour
                at
                > a time. Is this possible?
                > Again I really appreciate all the wonderful responses. Thanks!
                > Brian
                >


                0.5 inches per second is 6.25 scale miles per hour (10 scale
                kilometres per hour), and as long as wheels, tracks, turnout
                contacts, and locomotive inner conducting contacts are maintained
                clean a good 4-axle (8 wheel pickup) diesel will run unattended for
                days with no problems.

                Have tried this, running trains non-stop on tight curves and Marklin
                turnouts to see how long they would go. The two initial problems
                were mysterious midnight derailments which were later determined to
                be caused by the cat, and track cleaning needed every two days due to
                the plastic wheels of 6 cars used as part of the test. Once the cars
                were eliminated and the test moved into a cat-proof room, ran non-
                stop at about 5 scale mph for several days at a time. Eventually,
                even without plastic wheels trailing behind, tracks and loco wheels
                did need to be cleaned again as oxides slowly built up.

                To get this performance with plastic wheels (and possibly metal
                wheels), the rolling stock wheels need to be maintained clean too.
                Does no good to clean the rails and then place rolling stock with
                dirty wheels on your nice clean track. Within 5 minutes your track
                needs cleanng again.
              • viktor_kovacs
                ... Chopped is when the power is switched between on and tristate. So essentially, in the on mode, the circuit is closed, in the tristate mode, the circuit is
                Message 7 of 23 , May 30, 2008
                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "elias1859" <brian.alters@...> wrote:
                  > Wow! I believe I understood everything Viktor wrote except for one
                  > thing: What does "chopped" mean in "chopped pwm pack"?
                  > Thanks!
                  > Brian

                  Chopped is when the power is switched between on and tristate.
                  So essentially, in the on mode, the circuit is closed, in the
                  tristate mode, the circuit is open. Many pwm circuits, switch
                  between on and off, so they slow the motor in the off phase.
                  With on - tristate - on - tristate operation the motor gets
                  the pwm pulses, but the filtering capacitors don't get discharged
                  in the off state, so the resulting waveform is actually a pwm
                  wave with a small dc component. It's good for the motors, since
                  they are never switched into break mode, so heat is less of
                  a problem. Not to mention the driver chips run much cooler too,
                  especially when used with rail to rail drivers, so no voltage
                  drop occure inside the chips. This is the conventional way
                  of operation for most industrial motors and switched power
                  supplies. To use chopped pwm, one needs a driver chip with
                  tristate output capability. Most dcc decoders come only with
                  a normal on-off driver circuit (H bridge), which results in
                  higher power draw, more heat and a less smooth motion for
                  the motor. Chopped mode can be used in dcc decoders and
                  normal hand throttles and works especially good when one
                  wants to leave engine and track bypass capacitors in place,
                  which isn't a good idea with normal on-off pwm.
                • elias1859
                  Thanks to all for such helpful information!!! Brian
                  Message 8 of 23 , May 30, 2008
                    Thanks to all for such helpful information!!!

                    Brian



                    --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "elias1859" <brian.alters@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > At the slowest speeds possible, what Z locomotive is the smoothest-
                    > running?
                    >
                    > Thanks.
                    >
                    > Brian
                    >
                  • Keith Nelsen
                    This is a little off subject, but still interesting to train buffs. Check out the You Tube video below about steam trains in China.
                    Message 9 of 23 , Jun 5, 2008
                      This is a little off subject, but still interesting to train buffs.
                      Check out the You Tube video below about steam trains in China.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uN72lqJvwrA


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