Sunday, February 21, 2016

Arroyo Progress

Had a little fun working on the Arroyo Tram this weekend. Added two small bridges and some cribbing.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Log Loader Goes DCC

Years after going DCC I finally added a decoder to the log loader. The installation should have been simple but when it wouldn't run, I tried taking it apart. Turns out the gears were just gooped up after not being used for so long. Made a mess taking it apart. Note to self: To get the roof off, the stack turns and unscrews. Who woulda thought that? Took me forever to get the top off. Kept looking for a screw in the stack! While I could have put a sound decoder in and a sugar cube speaker in the coal bunker, I decided against it. Its a loud runner and I was DONE working on it. Maybe in the future.

 Fun to watch it creep along and listen to all those gears go wherrrrrrrrr!


Looks like I have some clearance issues to deal with, oh well. Its fun to have this one up and running. Just a few things to touch up with paint, add the rolled canvas side covers and the log tongs.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Rod Engine Added to Roster

She still needs a few details and paint but the new 2-4-2 tanker is on the roster. I used a Tsunami decoder and speaker out of climax no 4. Also added a much needed keep alive. Runs much better. Overall I'm happy but am experiencing strange rear headlight issue. Always on.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Shay 7 Gets Updated with ESU Loksound Decoder

Updating Shat No7 has been a hassle. I first tried a TCS WOW decoder and Keep Alive but had all kinds of motor control issues. Hmm, maybe should have kept the Tsunami? Checked the internet about issues with the TCS and coreless motors after some emailing a bit with Jeff. Lots of posts about poor control with cordless motors and TCS decoders. Lots of "why would anyone even use a careless motor?" Well, lots of PSC brass shays use them. Yup, that puts us in the minority. Grantdline drives also use then in On3. So....lots of good talk about ESU Loksound and coreless motor control. Hmm. After calling TCS customer service, tech support and never getting a response, I ordered a LOKsound decoder.

First impressions? Sounds as good as the TCS WOW decoder. Amazingly better than the Tsunami. Seems to work on my track without a stay alive so far. Something also noted in the online discussions about these decoder so. I'm still skeptical but am so far VERY pleased. I purchase the Shay decoder and it matches chuff perfectly. Motor control-excellent! I just need to figure out how to modify the volumes of some sounds, and it will be perfect!

I'M DONE WITH DECODERS for a while......

Friday, February 12, 2016

Climax 4 gets TCS WOW Decoder and Keep Alive

This loco has been in a real need of added capacitor abilities. Despite adding electrical pickup on all wheels, it always had some issues with minor disruptions in sound. Recently I added a TCS Keep Alive to the already installed Tsunami but it didn't seem to work. The sound stayed on longer without power but there was no real increase in motor function with track power loss. Out with the poor sounding Tsunami and in with the TCS Decoder. What a difference! 

You might as why I didn't like the Tsunami sound? The sounds have little base and the worst bell sound of any higher end sound decoder on the market. It reminds me of the electronic bell on the first PFM sound systems. Makes you cringe. The motor functions, chuff and blower are ok; however, the WOW Sound is still alaround better with the same speaker. You would have to hear the two side by side. Huge difference.

Finally, after 20 or so years I can put the headlight lens in! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

No 8 gets TCS WOW Decoder and Keep Alive

Over the last few days I have been working to install a WOW decoder and keep alive capacitor to Climax N0. 8. I love the sound of the TCS WOW but hate installing decoders. I followed my friend Jeff's instructions on RR-line forums. He wasn't kidding about not having much room when installing the set up. 
As usual, I messed up a few things, ended up having to install new LED's, re attach the sanders, headlights, and generator. Uggghh!!! I must confess that I do NOT miss the poor sound of the Tsunami that was removed and I love how the keep alive prevents those little hiccups with dirty track.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

No 3 Gets a WOW Decoder and Stay Alive

Number 3, a GrandtLine Porter finally has a sound decoder, stay alive and lead weight. She runs as good as she ever will and sounds great. Tony's Trains sugar cube speaker is nothing less than amazing. No more Tsunamis for me!