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Author Previous Topic: M.A.C. Little Tugger Hoist Topic Next Topic: The Blue Ridge Stemwinder in On30
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Philip
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 03/18/2019 :  09:56:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit Philip's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Stance and proportions look good.

Philip



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Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/21/2019 :  12:15:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An experimental bash from the days of yore.

Some cars were needed to go along with the On30 loco, but nothing suitable was available. HO and HOn3 was all the range at the time and O-scale narrow gauge modeling, mostly D&RGW, was the realm of the craftsmen in the hobby, while those working in On30 were just dabbling in a semi-destructive way. Using the criterion of bashing HO standard gauge equipment to make what was needed, an experiment was carried out using two ore jimmies marketed by AHM. Although the cars were a usable length, three and a half inches, at just an inch and a quarter wide, they were too narrow for On30 use.

The main reason that these cars were used for this project are they were already on hand, they were all plastic and they were inexpensive; cheap enough to sacrifice to the razor saw gods. Varney and Roundhouse also made similar cars, buy they cost quite a bit more and they had one piece cast metal underframes, which complicated things considerably.

For those who are too young to remember, most AHM freight cars of the time featured well detailed plastic bodies that were equipped with truck mounted couplers and wheels with pizza-cutter flanges. As a result, the trucks were going to be replaced and body mounted couplers, link and pins as I recall, were going to be installed.

After stripping off the trucks and the separable underframes, a narrow slab was sliced off of one side of the body of each car, so when the remaining large pieces were put together, the molded on details would match. The underframes were modified in a similar fashion. This made an On30 car that was seven feet wide by fourteen feet long and about six feet tall at the railhead.

All in all, it made an interesting representation of a mythical single pocket hopper car, but it did not have the look that was desired. Something similar to the present day Boulder Valley Models #351, sixteen foot ore car was preferred, but of course, nothing or the sort existed at the time, except as a craftsman kit in HOn3.

What I needed to invent was an "embigulation device" that would inflate those miniature models to the proper size. As I had bigger fish to fry in the world of trains, the development of such a device was put on hold. This was a good thing as, today, it is not required.















Edited by - Dan on 03/21/2019 12:16:40 PM

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Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/29/2019 :  1:17:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rail Bus Serendipity

Back when I was buying vehicles for the layout, I also kept watch for something from which to bash a rail bus. I found the Matchbox Y16 and YET04-M models (different variations of the same vehicle) to be possible donors. As things turned out, large dollops of serendipity facilitated an easy bash into a small rail bus.

Their prototype is the Scania Vabis 1922-23 Swedish post bus. Despite its country of origin, with the possible exception of the horse collar shape of the radiator covering (it was knocked slightly askew in the photos), it looks rather "Americanized." The prototype busses were fairly small and as a result, although the model is proportioned in 1:49, at first it seemed too small when placed on the layout. To double-check, I found several prototype images on line, including some showing these unique vehicles in their natural habitat. Using the images I was able to verify that the model closely matched the size and proportion of the prototypes.

The bus model is built in multiple layers of cast metal and molded plastic construction. First there is a frame that has the suspension members and the four wheels. Then there is a chassis that has the fenders and the running boards. These cast metal pieces were not used on the model. Next there is a cast metal lower body with the engine hood attached, which also has a molded plastic insert detailing the interior of the bus. The upper body contains the window details and it is molded in plastic with a clear plastic insert for the window glazing. On top of everything is a molded plastic roof.

The inherent small size of the model provides a great advantage. Along the bottom of the lower body, between the rear wheel well openings, is a longitudinal brace, the width of which is a good match for the back-to-back dimension of a pair of HO gauge drive wheels. Therefore, the only major body work needed to accommodate the thirty inch gauge conversion was to slightly narrow the body brace and to remove the remains of the drilled out rivet heads that once held the model together. Both were easily done with a couple of dozen swipes of a small file.

The running gear was next and it was also a surprisingly easy build. As a basher, it is always a thrill to pick up a part from a box of junk, hold it up next to the project du jour and it not only fits, but it works better than was expected. The part was the bottom plate from a long dead HO AHM Genoa 4-4-0 to which the pilot truck is permanently mounted. Attached to the rear end of the plate is the old drawbar between the 4-4-0 and its tender, which was left on as it may prove handy. This slightly modified assembly now fits nicely under the longitudinal brace of the bus body.

Originally, the pilot truck was flexibly cantilevered from the portion of the plate that rigidly retained the driving wheel axles, so that it could move in whatever direction was needed. This was a benefit for running the loco on uneven track with small radius curves (such as sectional track laid on a carpet), although it made the pilot overhang somewhat ridiculous. A drop of ACC rigidized the cantilever so the pilot truck now works similar to a body mounted one. In this way, the height of the front of the bus body can be adjusted by slightly bending the pilot truck end of the cantilever arm up or down, which proved to be quite handy for the fitting of the classically bashed rear driving wheels, but more on them later.

The photos show a "paste-up" of the rail bus model with the major components taped and glued together for the photos. For a size reference, a photo shows the bus with a decade newer 1932 Ford Model AA truck. In O-scale the bus is seven feet six inches high to the railhead, sixteen feet six inches long to the front of the pilot truck and six feet wide.
















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Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 04/07/2019 :  6:24:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rail Bus Update:

While conducting a Google image search on On30 rail bus models, the posted Forum photos of my early and incomplete attempt at constructing one were there for all the world to see! The unexpected and unsolicited world wide exposure of the previous attempt is somewhat embarrassing. Hopefully, I can do better with my present efforts, in spite of setbacks.

The blue bus shown in the more recent photos took a tumble off of the workbench and landed on a concrete floor. The resulting damage provided an opportunity to buy the yellow 1923 version of the model (designated Y-16). While the basic bus bodies are the same, the running gear is quite different, with the yellow version equipped for winter operation. There are skis attached to the front wheels and an odd looking, but practical, mini half-track assembly at the rear.

According to the info sheet packed with the yellow version, "The Post Bus was developed jointly by Scania and the Swedish G.P.O. to provide postal and passenger services in scattered rural areas." That sounds like a suitable mission for an On30 rail bus bash. Each prototype bus weighed 5,280 pounds and could carry a working load of twelve passengers plus the mail (a total of about a ton). They were powered by a four cylinder, 214 cubic inch gasoline engine that developed 36 horsepower. This also sounds suitable for an On30 model.

The info sheet further states that Matchbox introduced the model in 1988 and confirms that the scale is 1:49. With 60,000 units in the initial issue of this version, they are not rare today. Despite claims to the contrary by some eBay dealers, with asking prices to match, by exercising patience and perseverance, one can be found new-in-the-box, as a Buy-It-Now with free shipping for less than twenty-five dollars. As they are now over thirty years old, the original rubber half-track treads may be deteriorating, but new replacements are available on eBay. As the assembly would not be used on the rail bus bash, their condition does not matter, but this unique prototype drive might prove of some use in a logging operation.

All the best to everyone.




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Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 04/15/2019 :  7:38:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rail bus serendipity - Phase 2

While the repurposed steam loco bottom plate from the damaged blue bus was reusable, several lessons were learned from its initial adaptation. For example, the rivet that attached the loco drawbar to the bottom plate was subsequently drilled out. The resulting hole was enlarged to accommodate the vestigial stalk of the rear rivet on the yellow bus body, which formerly held the model together. The serendipitous stalk provides a convenient as well accurate locating and mounting pin for attaching the bottom plate to the bus body.

On many Matchbox models the wheels spin loosely on the axles, but the bus models are different. The axles on the blue bus are made from steel wire with the ends burred and they are partially inserted into the plastic wheel hubs forming a rigid assembly. The wheels are a hard plastic and when the axles are removed the hubs sustain considerable damage. The yellow bus also has steel wire axles, but with shallow concentric ribbing in place of the burring. The wheels are made from a softer plastic and the axles extend all the way through the hubs, so when the axles are removed only a slight hub damage is the result.

Over the years, whenever I scrapped a dead locomotive I saved the mechanical parts and this proved handy for the rail bus bash. On the blue bus, I built a bearing box out of some scrap styrene to fit the reused wire axle, but it soon became apparent that something better was needed. For the yellow bus, I use a piece of shafting slightly larger in diameter than the ribbed ends of the original wire axles, and this runs in a pair of salvaged small bronze bearings.

The bearings are super glued to the underside of the bottom plate, being centered on the arch of the bus body wheel wells. The wire axle for the original 38" diameter rubber tires was 16 mm below the top of the arch for a floor height of about 27 inches. The replacement flanged wheels are 28" in diameter and the axle shaft is now 12 mm below the arch, for an appropriate rail bus floor height of about 18 inches. Although fabricating the above requires tedious hand work (actually, much of it was done using just the finger tips), a smoother running rail bus was the result.





Suitable HO spoke drive wheels, without crank pins or counterweights, are darn hard to find (the 57" drivers from an old Penn Line GG1 electric loco come close, but the centers are cast solid), so the plastic wheel centers from the busses are reused and modified. They are fitted with 52" metal tires salvaged from the drivers of a dead Rivarossi 2-8-0. The reused tires are equipped with the smaller version of the then standard European flange, as are the wheels of the rail bus pilot truck.

Except for the difference in plastic compounds, the wheels of the blue and yellow models are essentially the same. The wheels have a large square flange molded onto the center of the rim to hold the original rubber tires in place. Serendipitously, the Rivarossi tires are just the right size to fit over the bus wheel centers when the square flanges are filed down. The thru-the-hub axle mounting of the yellow bus wheels makes this a relatively easy task.

The wheel centers are mounted, one at a time, on the replacement axle shaft, which is then clamped in the chuck of an electric drill. This is the only power tool used in the bash. Just enough material is filed off the centers to make the mounting of the metal tires a slight force fit. For the rail bus bash, the secret of good layout operation is to make sure that the mounted metal tires are square with the axle shaft, even if the wheel centers are not, and the tires of both wheels are in gauge all around their circumference.

Due to slight discrepancies that are inherent with hand bashed wheels, the rail bus tends to wobble a bit. While it is not quite reminiscent of the waggle dance that is performed bu honey bees, the wobble is noticeable above slow speed. A simple way around the the problem is to use the bashed bus as a static display, at which it excels, but I want it to be quasi operational; propelled around the layout by a small four wheel powered trailer. As the completed bus bash weighs just 3.3 ounces, the pushing requirements will be modest and rail bus power pickup problems should be eliminated.

However, during experiments with manually pushing the blue bus around the layout, its bearing block equipped unpowered drive axle demonstrated an unexpected propensity to intermittantly bind on the curves, causing the wheels to slide. To partially address this problem, a once maligned anachronism is employed for the bashed drive wheels of the yellow bus. Just as the replacement axle shaft and the bronze bearings attached to the underside of the bottom plate considerably enhance its tracking qualities, the unpowered wheels are encouraged to keep turning by using the traction tire equipped drivers of the old Rivarossi loco.

For a cheap and easy rail bus bash, the results don't look too bad, although it still needs some detail parts, like a bell and a horn and, eventually, a powered trailer. It also needs a new paint job, so it waits in the queue behind the rest of the Matchbox vehicles.

Questions and comments are always welcome.










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Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 04/24/2019 :  12:30:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rail Bus Serendipity - Phase 3

I recently read that another of the reliable old suppliers, North West Short Line, will be closing soon. I have long had an urge to fiddle with one of their Stanton Drives, so I figure that it is now or never for using one to power the rail bus. As each Stanton is custom assembled when it is ordered, without a doubt there will be a manufacturing backlog, so I bought a prebuilt one via eBay and it arrived in just a few days.

As advertised, the HO Model 1210 Drive (with a seven foot wheelbase) came wired for DC operation, but it is changeable to DCC with only a bit of work. When I wired the layout, provisions were included for an easy conversion from DCC to DC and back again, so testing the unit, as received, was not a problem. The Drive weighs just three quarters of an ounce, so extra weight is required to generate enough traction to shove the hard riding rail bus around the layout. As the layout is level, two ounces proves sufficient for this task, plus it also eliminates problems with low speed power pickup.

As the Stanton Drive has a gear ratio of 15:1 and does not have flywheels, it tends to abruptly start and stop on DC, but this is to be expected. Eventual conversion to DCC should improve its operation. As the rail bus trailer will not be used for switching cars, excellent performance is not required. All that is needed is go and stop with smooth running in between. At one time, I had considered using a better running unit from an old two motor Bachmann HO 44 tonner, but converting one to DCC is a chore, plus they have mechanical issues similar to the contemporary On30 Davenports.

After a brief break-in period, the bus and Stanton combination smoothly circles the layout at about 6 mph on DC, slow enough to observe the individual spokes on the bus drive wheels. This is a realistic minimum speed and a good cruising speed is about double that. All that remains to be done is to install the Stanton Dive inside the body of a prototypical trailer. As running the rail bus is not a part of regular layout operations and the Drive is self-contained, as well as rather expensive and soon to be scarce, it will be removable, so that it can be used for other applications.

For making the rail bus trailer, serendipity struck again with another simple bash. The wheels on the Stanton Drive are 36" in HO, which look a little big for narrow gauge industrial use, especially on a diminutive rail bus trailer. Hiding them behind the side frames salvaged from a damaged Bachmann On30 wood side dump car will go a long way to visually correcting the situation.

One of the layout Matchbox vehicles, the 1932 Ford Model AA, came with a removable hollow plastic, box type body fitted to the metal truck bed. This now surplus truck part matches the width of the rail bus body and its length is nearly the same as the dump car side frames. Furthermore, its height is somewhat shorter than the height of the bus body, so the resultant trailer bash will be a good size match for the smallish rail bus.

With a minimum of razor saw work, the box trailer will have sufficient interior space to contain the upper part of the Drive, the needed extra weight and a DCC decoder, but no sound. For that I have the original Bachmann On30 Whitcomb decoder and sound unit that was previously replaced by a Tsunami2.

The surplus unit will be bashed into a DCC controlled, under the layout, universal sound system for use with the present rail bus, along with a Bachmann Davenport that I coaxed back to life , and any mute little critters that may show up in the future. As I find DCC a pain in the butt to program, they will all sound the same; however, as they will be operated one at a time, the use of generic sounds should not be a problem.

Questions and comments are always welcome.



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railman28
Fireman



Posted - 04/24/2019 :  12:41:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice little bus. It reminds me of the V&T's Carney.

Bob


It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5261 Go to Top of Page

Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 05/10/2019 :  7:52:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I followed through on my project of converting the old Bachmann Whitcomb sound decoder into a stand alone unit, mounted under the layout. As the layout is easily convertible between DC and DCC, I also took advantage of that situation. I used the pulse width modulated motor outputs (+ and -) from the Whitcomb decoder to power the layout tracks. In this way, I have many of the control and sound advantages of a DCC setup without having to convert my mute DC analog equipment.

When running equipment that is set up for DCC, but no sound, the layout is converted back to DCC (a simple switching of connectors, which takes about thirty seconds) and the trains are run as usual, but using the under the layout sound. The sound and operating parameters are generic, but this is generally not a problem with critter sized stuff. Even the Stanton powered rail bus bash operates and sounds pretty good.

The Bachmann SoundTraxx Whitcomb variant is reportedly rated for a one amp motor stall current with the motor outputs protected from spikes and overloads during operations (I have not tried to blow it up - yet!). In theory, the unit will shut down if a prolonged short happens on the tracks. Once the short is cleared and the unit cools down, a matter of a couple of minutes, everything should work again. The operative term here is "should." I have run some of my old HO DC locos, with their pre-can motor, current hungry motivators, around the layout, one at a time of course, and there have been no operational problems, but also nothing has derailed.



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txlarr
New Hire

Posted - 06/13/2019 :  1:04:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dan, I just discovered this thread of yours after doing a Google search for On30 layouts. Your posts and those of your followers are awesome. I just finished reading all 10 pages and loved every post. I learned a lot! I just got active in the hobby again after a 30+ year absence. I have lots of really old HO stuff that I have been upgrading with new motors and details. However, one of my daughters recently bought what she thought was a toy steam loco at an estate sale for 50 cents for me to set on one of my shelves. I did some searching and learned it was a Bachmann 2-6-0 On30 and it runs - DC with no tender or cars. It's an interesting story of why she got just a single loco so cheap. On30 has really sparked my interest. I now have a tender and two passenger cars via the auction site. I really can relate to your age and hobby comments. I will hit 78 in a few weeks. I got into trains at age 6 under the Christmas Tree. But, I too had to get busy Now as the clock is ticking.

Steve G

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Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/15/2019 :  08:58:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings Steve and thank you for your kind words. They were greatly appreciated.

Welcome to our little band of septuagenarian modelers. Questions, comments and contributions from the past, the present or even the future are always welcome.

For many, myself included, the Bachmann 2-6-0 revitalized interest in On30 and it deserves a place of honor in the Pantheon of narrow gauge models.

All the best to you and yours and good luck with your endeavors in On30. Mine have been both a challenge and a source of satisfaction.

Dan



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Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 07/12/2019 :  3:23:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Serendipity strikes again.

Schlepping through the endless aisles of an outdoor flea market, I made a layout related find. It was a sealed plastic bag of what appeared to be assorted parts for several horse drawn wagon models. Since I already had some horses, I have been in the market for a suitable wagon or wagon kit. Semi-delirious from the effects of the summertime heat, I made an impulsive two-dollar, pig in a poke purchase and kinda-sorta got what I was looking for.

On returning home, I realized the bag was from a 20 Mule Team Borax wagon train kit. There were no mules, just the rolling stock parts. I had the complete kit as a kid, so this was another blast from the past. At that time, building it was far beyond my meager modeling skills, everything I tried to make became encrusted in globs of glue, so my parents assembled it. Now deep in my own dotage, I will see what I can do with putting the parts together...probably more globs of glue.

Historically, the borax hauling wagons were really BIG, said to be the largest ever built, but a model of the accompanying twelve-hundred-gallon water hauling wagon is about the right size for use on the layout. The bag-o-parts also contained brake rigging, doubletrees and other bits and pieces that should make an easy to build, reasonably detailed model.

For reasons of sanitation, towns would pave their main streets. However, well into the motor age, to keep the accumulating filth to a reasonable amount, the streets were periodically flushed using water wagons that were similar to the one described above. Some extra plumbing is all that is needed to make the conversion.

Curiously, according to the original assembly instructions (a free download courtesy of a Google search), the model is supposed to be 1:67 (almost S scale), but based on prototype research, the parts in the bag measure out to be 1:48, just right for On30. On the original kits from the 1950s, warpage of the parts seems to have been a problem over the ensuing years. It appears that the kit was reissued circa 2010 and my serendipitous, straight and true flea market find is from one of them.




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Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 07/14/2019 :  07:54:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I sifted through the bag-o-parts and culled out the ones for the water tank. There are twenty-six of them, with some being rather delicate. Much of the assembly is done by the usual pins and holes, but not all of them fit very well, which conjures up old memories of globs of glue.

The instructions have the usual line drawings with parts identified by their function and a number. However, in the the actual kit nothing is numbered or otherwise identified, neither on the part nor on the connected casting sprue, which made sorting them somewhat akin to putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Now where did I put that tube of plastic glue? Hey! Here is a old tube of Ambroid Cement. Did you know that it was developed to build and repair canvas canoes? As I remember, this amber colored celluloid cement will glob pretty good.




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Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 07/17/2019 :  8:33:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kudos for NCE

A while ago I had bought an NCE Snap-It unit to control my twin coil Peco switch machine. Soon after it went out of warranty, it annoyingly stopped working. Modern electronics using so-called surface mount technology have a nasty habit of working without apparent problems for quite a long time, only to mysteriously fail on the next power up cycle. This is what happened to the Snap-It unit.

As they cost less than twenty bucks each at my LHS, I used the unexpected failure as an excuse to visit them and to purchase another unit, with the idea of sending the old one back for repairs. Non-warranty factory repairs for the unit are provided by NCE for a reasonable amount - $10 plus $2 for their shipping, plus another $3 for me to send the unit back to the factory in New York state.

Fiscally, getting the old unit repaired or buying a new one for a layout spare was a tossup, but I was curious about what would happen. LHS round trips take about three hours and this includes gawking time at whatever is new. However, sooner rather than later, my trips to the LHS will no longer be possible and everything will have to be done by mail, so I chalked the repair up to experience.

I am happy to report that the experience was good. Turn around time was two weeks, including shipping both ways. Instead of a repaired unit, I was sent a new one in factory packaging, so now I have a working spare. Therefore, kudos to NCE.

Regrettably, the same could not be said for the good people at Bachmann. I was experimenting with using the old DCC decoder from the On30 Whitcomb as a stand-alone DCC power unit for feeding motor current to the layout running rails to run non-equipped DC locomotives. I knew I was pushing the driver circuits to their limit, if not a bit beyond, so I was not surprised that the unit failed upon the next power up cycle.

Recalling my vast knowledge of industrial electronics (some people say "half-vast" or at least that is what I think that they are saying), I was pretty sure that it was just the driver circuits that were fried. I was informed by a quick reply to my email to Bachmann that a $70 standard fee was required in advance for non-warranty repairs to On30 equipment. Curiously, a factory new decoder can be bought from the Bachmann parts listing for $71.70 plus shipping, so the situation is, once again, fiscally a tossup. Either way, the project has become a bit on the pricey side, so for the present time, it will be put on hold.




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Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 07/20/2019 :  06:46:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A while ago, I unearthed a couple of relics from what could be called my "Critt-aceous Period" when critters were to roam a smallish layout supplied with DC power. At the time, seemingly out of nowhere, a malignant meteor manifested itself as the great gear debacle. Evolving out of the rubble was the present interest in the R-T-R, DCC equipped segment of the hobby. With my recent experimental DCC to DC power and sound conversion project now on hold, I decided to configure an existing simple Bachmann DC power supply to work with the present layout, so the revived critters (and other DC locos) can be easily run, albeit without sound, which brought back memories.

During the aforesaid period, I bought a SoundTraxx Sierra sound unit, just as they were going out of production (their design and components had become obsolete). The units were intended to be used with garden sized trains and were, therefore, rather large. They were to be controlled by varying the DC track voltage, but for me, this was never satisfactory. I adapted one that was programmed for Galloping Goose sounds to be an under the layout, independent acting, stand-alone sound system for my critters. By adding some ancillary electronic circuits, the unit was controlled by two manual pushbuttons. They were horn and coast. The rest of the sound control was semi-automatic, with the critter speed being manually set.

On power up, the motor sound was at idle. Before starting a run, the horn was blown twice or three times for forward or reverse. The horn button also controlled the ringing of the bell, which rang for several seconds after the horn control was released. The motor sound then revved itself up and down as the unit worked through the gears of a simulated manual transmission. During that time, the actual critter speed was adjusted independently with the DC throttle control.

When at running speed, a grade crossing could be sounded or a long blast blown for approaching a station using the horn button, with the bell sounding simultaneously. The coast control dropped the motor revs back down to idle when slowing or making a station stop. When running a critter on a small layout, the above was quite effective.

Putting it nicely, when compared to present day sound, the Sierra sound files were a bit on the unsophisticated side (to me they were always rather raucous), but with unsophisticated and often noisy, DC powered critters the above setup got the job done. Then the meteor impacted the earth, so to speak, and everything came to an end.



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Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 07/29/2019 :  5:40:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Railbus Blues

Does anyone know the over the tread diameter of the Bachmann On30 Railbus driving wheels? I noticed that the wheelsets are available on the Bachmann repair parts site for a reasonable price.

The reason for the request is another blast from the past and not a particularly good one. The very first bash that I did in HO (before my interest in On30) was recently unearthed. The body was a variation of a Mack AC railbus that I made out of cardboard salvaged from cereal boxes. The body was reinforced with some thin wood slats cut from tongue depressors, which were cadged from the doctor's office. The body was built to fit around the power unit for an early HO single-truck streetcar.

These units, which just begged to be converted into some kind of rail vehicle, had only one driven axle that was geared to a typical five pole, open frame motor, mounted at an angle. However, the units had small wheels equipped with small diameter axles and this was a problem. As the only readily available larger diameter drive wheels were from Athearn Hi-F rubber band drive locos, homemade bushings were required to fit their larger diameter axle holes to the small axles on the unit.

Having coaxed the open frame motor back to life, I put the now ancient bash on the track and prodded it into operation. Much to my chagrin and my embarrassment, the old bash wobbles just as much as the new one does.

Dang it; before I shuck this mortal coil and go gentle into that good night, I want to bash a model railbus that does not wobble, even if it requires using factory made On30 railbus wheels, hence my interest in the Bachmann ones.




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