Saturday, February 26, 2011

I love flatcars with loads

Picked up a couple new pieces of rolling stock and an MTH corner building. Rolling stock is all Lionel O-Scale except for the MTH Premier flat with engine load. The detail on the tiedowns with the chains and springs is awesome. The building has a blinking simulated neon sign in the window.

A couple eBay finds this week

Picked up (3) MTH Premier Conrail 8000-gallon tank cars and a couple Lionel tractor trailers on eBay this week for a bargain. Condition was excellent for all. The MTH freight transfer warehouse is new. I need to find the right home for it but it looks pretty cool.

Wiring cleanup for new MTH DCS System

After recently incorporating the MTH DCS remote system into my layout, I decided it was time to clean up the wiring too. I mounted the (2) 135-watt Lionel PowerHouses in parallel giving me about 15 amps in to the DCS TIU. I was told the fuses in the TIU can handle that, so hopefully nothing will smoke during a derailment. I'm pretty sure I'll never being pulling near the max load for this layout. I tied the TIU to the Lionel Command Base with their "special" cable, allowing me to run my TMCC locos via the DCS remote.

I also have a Z4000 with one side for mainlines and the other for yard tracks. The PowerHouses feed through the TIU and then to the control panel to one side of a track power toggle switch. The Z4000 outputs feed to the other side of the track power toggles. The center of each switch then goes to the respective track block. These switches are center-off, so i can have my choice of off, fixed 18-volt PowerHouse via TIU/DCS, or variable voltage Z4000 output to any track block.

Some may look at my non color-coded mess and bash it, and I might agree since I guarantee 15 amps going through a terminal strip in the open right near where I need to plug cables in to the TIU would never meet UL Listing standards. But I can only say this: no quirks, no power problems, no stray signals, and DCS quality 10.0 signal everywhere always. Ha! Take that.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Atlas Switch Tower

I worked on my switch tower area tonight. A while back I did a table top installation of a Tortoise switch machine because there was benchwork framing right underneath my turnout throwbar. Initially I searched for a building to put over the switch machine, but the building would have been too close to the track.

So I put an Atlas switch tower in and fenced in the Tortoise to make it look like some big trackside industrial railroad necessity, complete with some dude shoveling gravel for no apparent reason.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Playing around with the new UP AC4400CW

Playing around with the cab/crew talk/tower sounds, doppler horn, smoke, ditch lights, and smooth operation on the new loco

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bought my first MTH DCS engine!

Needed a engine to try out the new MTH DCS system!
My first engine purchase in about 12 years!

Product Line: Premier
Roadname: Union Pacific

AC4400cw Diesel Engine w/Proto-Soundr 2.0 (Hi-Rail Wheels) - Union Pacific
Cab Nos. 5624, 5747 & 5923
Product Number: 20-20012-1
First appeared in: 2010 Volume 1

From the dawn of dieselization through its first six decades, virtually every American diesel locomotive used DC traction motors. By the early 1990s, however, a series of technological advances allowed designers to tap the inherent superiority of AC traction - namely, the ability of an AC motor to start a heavier load than a DC motor, with the same prime mover. The superior adhesion of AC power touched off a new horsepower race because, with the same number of wheels, AC traction could put more horsepower on the rails.

Two years behind rival EMD, General Electric entered the AC traction business in June 1993 with the AC4400CW - 4400 horsepower, "C" for 3-axle trucks, and "W" for wide North American cab. The new engine was basically an AC version of the Dash 9-44CW introduced the same year. The key external difference between the two engines is the large box behind the cab on the left side of the AC 4400CW, which houses much of the AC traction electronics.

Although General Electric's AC power arrived on the scene later, its AC engines have outsold those made by EMD. One reason may be GE's use of one inverter bank per traction motor, a design that allows the crew to cut out a single malfunctioning motor and still retain more than 80% of a locomotive's function. On a comparable EMD AC-powered engine, an entire truck has to be taken offline if one of its three motors fails.

One area of weakness for GE was its high adhesion trucks, which were generally acknowledged to be inferior to EMD's steerable radial truck. Later model AC4400CWs feature GE's own version of a steerable truck, which improves adhesion on curves.

Now you can bring the brute strength of the AC4400CW to your own freight operations. This model offers the industry-leading features you expect in a Premier diesel: awesome sounds, superb detailing, see-through body grilles, a wealth of added-on details, and smooth operation at any throttle setting from a crawl to high-speed mainline service.

  • (2) Remotely Controlled Proto-Couplers
  • Metal Chassis
  • (2) Precision Flywheel Equipped Motors
  • Illuminated Number Boards
  • Intricately Detailed ABS Body
  • Directionally Controlled Headlights
  • Die-Cast Truck Sides, Pilots and Fuel Tank
  • Authentic Paint Scheme
  • Metal Handrails and Decorative Horn
  • All Metal Wheels and Gears
  • Lighted Cab Interior
  • (2) Engineer Cab Figures
  • Moveable Roof Fan Blades
  • Metal Body Side Grilles
  • Operating Ditch Lights
  • Operating Smoke Unit
  • Metal Wheels, Axles and Gears
  • Locomotive Speed Control In Scale MPH Increments
  • Proto-Scale 3-2 3-Rail/2-Rail Conversion Capable
  • Proto-Sound 2.0 With The Digital Command System Featuring: Freight Yard Proto-Effects
  • Unit Measures:19 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 4"
  • Operates On O-42 Curves

Bought an MTH DCS System today!

I've had Lionel Train Master Command Control (TMCC) since 1998, but have been undecided so far on MTH DCS or Lionel Legacy.

Decided to go MTH DCS at this time because it also run my TMCC locos and I have no plans to buy Lionel Legacy engines right now.