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The front and rear of locomotives in German speaking countries is designated with the numerals 1 & 2. This is mostly for maintenance purposes as each end is identical to the other.
 

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ulterior motive

Traction you always go above and beyond. Thank you, again!

When I googled "bismuth alloy weight stuff" one of the top results was "How to entirely empty your bowels every morning (revealed)"

Gotta love the interwebs!

Anyway I took your advice and pulled things apart, and you're right about the various little spots weight can be added. Since I have no idea at what temperature the plastic might melt I don't know that I'll risk dumping molten metal all over the trucks. I shoot black powder on occasion so I have an abundance of lead balls I can cut into little pieces and glue into place.
You were also right about the gauge spacing...the rear axle on the front pilot is just a hair tight.(IE the gauge will fit, but I've got to force it) The rest are within spec. Short of filing down the outside of the flange some I don't know how to correct that issue.

I did try a stiffer spring with no luck. It may work better if I can stiffen up that floppy thin plastic beam, maybe tape a small length of bamboo skewer or the like to it...

Since I had the pilot trucks off I ran the little beastie and it handled my sharp curves fine at any speed in either direction. If it didn't look so wonky I'd just leave it like that!


Great Twain quote! One of my favorites: " Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.":D


gimme30;

My partial disassembly of my GG1 was not entirely altruistic, or exclusively for your benefit. I was curious about the construction of those pilot trucks that were giving you so much trouble. I have plans for my GG1 beyond running it as is. I bought this "unique to the Northeast corridor" locomotive for my model railroad set 3000 miles away in the Pacific Northwest because;

1) It has a very similar wheel arrangement to a Milwaukee Road "Quill Motor" electric locomotive. My "very long range" plan is to scratchbuild a brass Quill Motor body to fit onto the GG1 mechanism. Then I will add a two-wheel trailing truck which the Quill Motor had, and the GG1 doesn't.

2) It's made by Kato, which means it's excellent, and smooth-running. (except on 9-3/4" radius curves and Atlas #4 "turnouts" which you have, and I don't :D)

BTW If you want, or know of anyone that wants, a GG1 shell in brunswick "green" (nearly black) with gold lettering, let me know.

Yes, the way that front truck is attached to that plastic arm probably makes adding a stronger spring useless. It's kind of like trying to lift a barbell while standing in a vat of peanut butter, you, (or the stronger spring) just don't have anything solid to push against.
I thought about removing that arm from the main truck, but I think one might have to remove the bottom from the main truck in order to do that. That bottom plate appears to be held on the main truck by four extremely teeny weeny little plastic hook/tab items which look like they would break off in a mild breeze, so I'm a little reluctant to delve that far in. If that long arm could be weighted, or sprung, that might help.
Thanks to Google, I did find the answer to one of my other questions, how to get the shell off.
With Kato locos, this is often a mystery. They seem to feel that shell removal should be as challenging as opening one of those oriental puzzle boxes. Maybe they hired their designers from a puzzle box manufacturer, or maybe they're still pissed at us about Hiroshima. :cheeky4:
In any case, it seems each type of locomotive Kato sells has its shell attached differently, just for their amusement, at our expense. :confused: The GG1 shell comes off if you insert four round toothpicks under the shell with one directly under each of the four front of cab side windows.

Adjusting the gage of a pair of wheels on a axle is usually a simple matter of pulling the two wheels away from each other while twisting them in opposite directions.

Bismuth melts at a temperature lower than plastic. I heated a little metal off a large piece with a 30 Watt soldering iron, and let the drops of metal fall directly into the square hollows in the pilot truck frame. The plastic wasn't hurt a bit. Trying the same trick with solder, or lead, would melt the plastic. They melt at higher temperatures.

Good Luck, have fun;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

I was able to use another quote from Mark Twain at a family gathering years ago. A distant relative by marriage, named Jimmy is a layer, and as a prerequisite for that profession, also a jerk. While standing around slightly drunk, with his hands in his pockets, he introduced me as "Mike's brother, who is a bit funny." (A century earlier, Twain received a similar introduction from another lawyer, also standing around with his hands in his pockets. That lawyer called Twain "A humorist who is a bit funny." I adapted Twain's clever reply to my situation. "Ladies and gentlemen, we are doubly privileged here tonight. Not only do we have before us a humorist (brother) who is a bit funny, but also that rarest of all god's creatures, a lawyer with his hands in HIS OWN pockets!
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I copied your photo into Paint, "blew it up" by a factor of 3, and look what I found! :D
Good eye GN, mystery solved!

Well, sorta.

Your discovery made me take a closer look at my little replica and lo and behold, there is indeed an F on one end....the end opposite the L shaped grill like thingy! (you can clearly see it in the first pic I posted. Can't believe I missed that, but as my wife would say I'm less than stellar at paying attention.)

Now that I know where to look I searched GG1's again and each has the F where you found it, EXCEPT for the Conrail Bicentennial! The mystery continues....


The front and rear of locomotives in German speaking countries is designated with the numerals 1 & 2. This is mostly for maintenance purposes as each end is identical to the other.
That's a common sense solution that, well, makes sense! Especially over a single "F" that to the uninitiated could mean anything from front to fahrvergnugen!
Btw you have an AMAZING layout-aside from the unique (to this side of the pond anyway) equipment the structures are beautiful as well-such style! Especially compared to what's available in N to replicate buildings found in the US.

All we get are boxes with doors.:smilie_daumenneg:
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Traction Fan, of course I had to google the MR electric and quill motor and I sure hope you'll post the build when you do finally get around to it.

Solely for my benefit of course.:D

I found several variations, some looking very much like a GG1. Are you planning on something like this?


Good to know about bismuth's melting point, but since A: I can't find any locally and B:I'm impatient, I'll stick with cutting up my balls this time around. I've got the triangle-shaped holes on the outside of the frames filled and if I have time today will work on filling the rest. Hopefully it will add up enough to make a difference.

…….. or maybe they're still pissed at us about Hiroshima. :cheeky4:
Lol! Past time to let it go boys! Besides, we gave you McDonald's, what more do you want?:rolleyes:

I have to admit that shell removal on pretty much every brand is a mystery to me but so far the "shove something in there and pry" method has worked out. I have noticed Kato shells are thinner than say Atlas, but made of a more forgiving or flexible material. Haven't broken one yet knock on wood.

Speaking of and completely off topic I recently spent hours putting Kato's light kits into the Super Chief passenger cars.
12 to be exact, and after the first I was looking for a B-29 stocked with Little Boys. That was hands down the fiddliest most infuriating thing I've encountered so far.
Noting but stick-on led's for this kid from now on.

Anyway...
You've managed to answer something else I've been wondering about, just exactly how to adjust wheels. It sounds like they're simply pressed onto the axle? Same process for plastic wheels or does that require replacement?

As much as I like to quote Twain I find it's often a wasted effort. You get the deer-in-the-headlight look right before their eyes glaze over entirely. Which always puts me in mind of a quote from another funny guy, Will Rodgers...

"Never miss a good chance to shut up.":laugh:
 

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Sounds rather extreme!

Traction Fan, of course I had to google the MR electric and quill motor and I sure hope you'll post the build when you do finally get around to it.

Solely for my benefit of course.:D

I found several variations, some looking very much like a GG1. Are you planning on something like this?


Good to know about bismuth's melting point, but since A: I can't find any locally and B:I'm impatient, I'll stick with cutting up my balls this time around. I've got the triangle-shaped holes on the outside of the frames filled and if I have time today will work on filling the rest. Hopefully it will add up enough to make a difference.



Lol! Past time to let it go boys! Besides, we gave you McDonald's, what more do you want?:rolleyes:

I have to admit that shell removal on pretty much every brand is a mystery to me but so far the "shove something in there and pry" method has worked out. I have noticed Kato shells are thinner than say Atlas, but made of a more forgiving or flexible material. Haven't broken one yet knock on wood.

Speaking of and completely off topic I recently spent hours putting Kato's light kits into the Super Chief passenger cars.
12 to be exact, and after the first I was looking for a B-29 stocked with Little Boys. That was hands down the fiddliest most infuriating thing I've encountered so far.
Noting but stick-on led's for this kid from now on.

Anyway...
You've managed to answer something else I've been wondering about, just exactly how to adjust wheels. It sounds like they're simply pressed onto the axle? Same process for plastic wheels or does that require replacement?

As much as I like to quote Twain I find it's often a wasted effort. You get the deer-in-the-headlight look right before their eyes glaze over entirely. Which always puts me in mind of a quote from another funny guy, Will Rodgers...

"Never miss a good chance to shut up.":laugh:

gimme30;

Yes, that's a Quill Motor in your photo, though it's a weird paint scheme I've never seen before. For most of their multi-decade service lives, Milwaukee's electrics were painted in a somewhat-less-than-dramatic paint scheme, based on steam locomotives, all black, with white lettering. (Ho Hum :p)
Late in their carriers, they were repainted in (gasp! :eek:) colorful schemes. Milwaukee orange, black, and maroon first, and later Union Pacific armor yellow and harbor mist gray.

If you ever need any bismuth (and who doesn't, now and then? :rolleyes: ) it's available through normal online hobby sources. "Lo Temp" is one trade name.

I know you're a dedicated model railroader, and that you really, really, really want those pilot trucks to stay on track, but cutting up your own balls, (as a sacrifice to the gods of model railroading?) does seem a bit extreme! :eek:

Many model wheelsets are formed of metal, or plastic, wheels pressed onto a metal axle.
The metal-on-metal variety have insulating plastic hubs in the center of one, or both, wheels, to prevent short circuits. Some have steel axles which can be drawn in when close to a magnetic uncoupling ramp. Aftermarket replacements, and most high-end factory wheelsets, use brass, or other non-magnetic, axles.

Another variation, which is what I think is used on the Kato GG1, is to have metal wheels with short metal axles pressed into a plastic "main axle".( or "quill" very inside joke!) The metal axles are, 2 short 2 short 2 ;) each other, but will allow enough movement to re-gage the wheels. There are also some all-plastic wheelsets, and these are usually one molded piece, which will not let the wheels be adjusted at all. What you get is what you get. Cheap toy-like wheelsets and Micro-Trains, not-so-cheap, and not toy-like at all, plastic wheelsets, fall into this category. Naturally, the Micro-Trains wheelsets are in perfect gage right from the factory. Not always true with other, cheaper, wheelsets though.

OK since we've switched to Will Rogers, here's one for you. "They tell me there's no fool like an old fool. I guess that's true, you just can't beat experience!" :laugh:

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Traction Fan, of course I had to google the MR electric and quill motor and I sure hope you'll post the build when you do finally get around to it.

Solely for my benefit of course.:D

I found several variations, some looking very much like a GG1. Are you planning on something like this?


Good to know about bismuth's melting point, but since A: I can't find any locally and B:I'm impatient, I'll stick with cutting up my balls this time around. I've got the triangle-shaped holes on the outside of the frames filled and if I have time today will work on filling the rest. Hopefully it will add up enough to make a difference.



Lol! Past time to let it go boys! Besides, we gave you McDonald's, what more do you want?:rolleyes:

I have to admit that shell removal on pretty much every brand is a mystery to me but so far the "shove something in there and pry" method has worked out. I have noticed Kato shells are thinner than say Atlas, but made of a more forgiving or flexible material. Haven't broken one yet knock on wood.

Speaking of and completely off topic I recently spent hours putting Kato's light kits into the Super Chief passenger cars.
12 to be exact, and after the first I was looking for a B-29 stocked with Little Boys. That was hands down the fiddliest most infuriating thing I've encountered so far.
Noting but stick-on led's for this kid from now on.

Anyway...
You've managed to answer something else I've been wondering about, just exactly how to adjust wheels. It sounds like they're simply pressed onto the axle? Same process for plastic wheels or does that require replacement?

As much as I like to quote Twain I find it's often a wasted effort. You get the deer-in-the-headlight look right before their eyes glaze over entirely. Which always puts me in mind of a quote from another funny guy, Will Rodgers...

"Never miss a good chance to shut up.":laugh:

¨what more could you want¨ this is very true
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Just a quick update, the weight helped. Mostly. I still get the occasional leading-truck-refuses-to-follow-the-damn-turnout derail but it's not happening anywhere else now.
I think the fix in your excellent write up TF will probably solve the remaining issue but I won't have time to get to it for gawd knows how long-starting tomorrow I work every day until they can find a replacement for my sub. (long story)

I was about to say I still think it's odd that I'm apparently the only one who has had this issue but really, it's just my kind of luck.
For example, my first love is riding. One hot summer day I was out in short sleeves, no jacket, and had a wasp fly up the sleeve and sting my armpit. That in itself isn't unusual, except that in my case the very next day the same thing happened to the other arm!

I'm also the only fella I know of taken out by a turd, (on the track back in my racing days) that could only have come from a pterodactyl. Biggest. poop. ever.

I know you're a dedicated model railroader, and that you really, really, really want those pilot trucks to stay on track, but cutting up your own balls, (as a sacrifice to the gods of model railroading?) does seem a bit extreme!

You know, it sounded funny at the time but I was in a hurry...

And on that note I'll leave you with a quote from my future wife, Salma Hayek:

"I keep waiting to meet a man who has more balls than I do."
 

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Just a quick update, the weight helped. Mostly. I still get the occasional leading-truck-refuses-to-follow-the-damn-turnout derail but it's not happening anywhere else now.
I think the fix in your excellent write up TF will probably solve the remaining issue but I won't have time to get to it for gawd knows how long-starting tomorrow I work every day until they can find a replacement for my sub. (long story)

I was about to say I still think it's odd that I'm apparently the only one who has had this issue but really, it's just my kind of luck.
For example, my first love is riding. One hot summer day I was out in short sleeves, no jacket, and had a wasp fly up the sleeve and sting my armpit. That in itself isn't unusual, (Really! Do you consider that a common occurrence?! :confused: ) except that in my case the very next day the same thing happened to the other arm!

:laugh: I don't remember the name of the "hard luck" character in the old comic strip "Li'l Abner" He was the one who walked through life with a black cloud, and personal lightning storm, perpetually over his head, but It sounds like you may be his descendant!

:laugh: Hilarious story to hear! :laugh:

:( Probably no fun at all to live through. :(

If you were really, really, cursed you would have fallen off your horse, broken an ankle, and had to use crutches! :eek: (Think about it.)

Does your current wife know about you and Salma?

Country singers Garth Brooks, and Tricia Yearwood, are a married couple. When they perform together, He introduces her as "The love of my life." She introduces him as "My current husband!"

gimme30;

Please read between your lines above for my insightful comments. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Your insightful comments cracked me up TF.:D

Yep, the bee-up-the-sleeve thing is pretty common, most of the riders I know have experienced that particular joy. Fortunately nothing larger, like a pigeon, (or the aforementioned pterodactyl) has flown up there yet but I suppose there's always the chance!
(visions of Hekyll and Jekyll imbedded in each pit comes to mind)

I had to googly lil abner as that was a bit before my time-the 'jinx' in question was Joe Btfsplk, a last name apparently meant to sound like a raspberry! I read a few dozen strips and they were hilarious! Andy Capp is quite the clever fellow so of course now I'm on the hunt for a comprehensive collection.

So yeah, thanks for helping me spend even MORE money.:rolleyes:
 

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Long-sleeved scuba suits?

Your insightful comments cracked me up TF.:D

Yep, the bee-up-the-sleeve thing is pretty common, most of the riders I know have experienced that particular joy. Fortunately nothing larger, like a pigeon, (or the aforementioned pterodactyl) has flown up there yet but I suppose there's always the chance!
(visions of Hekyll and Jekyll imbedded in each pit comes to mind)

I had to googly lil abner as that was a bit before my time-the 'jinx' in question was Joe Btfsplk, a last name apparently meant to sound like a raspberry! I read a few dozen strips and they were hilarious! Andy Capp is quite the clever fellow so of course now I'm on the hunt for a comprehensive collection.

So yeah, thanks for helping me spend even MORE money.:rolleyes:
gimme30;

Perhaps you equestrians should wear long sleeved scuba suits while riding in bee country! Wait a minute, considering my luck with flat tires on my "geezercycle" (a pedal-powered three-wheeler, with two big baskets to hold groceries and a big seat to hold my big butt.) rubber wont stop anything from penetrating. Maybe bees are the real reason those knights of old wore steel armor! :laugh:
My most recent riding adventure (geezercycle, not horse) Was a trip to the local Costco store, which is mostly downhill from my house. There are some hills in between, so I get to ride up one side of them both coming, and going. Returning with a full load, I got the obligatory flat tire a few blocks (all uphill naturally!) from my house. Now I'm partially disabled. I have a nerve disorder in my lower spine which interferes with some of the muscle function in my feet. I can walk, but not very far, certainly not fast, and I look funny doing it!:hah:

To push a two-wheel bike you just walk beside it. Try that approach with a three-wheeler and you get hit in the back of your leg, every other step. The way to walk one of these beasts is to constantly lean it toward you with the far rear wheel off the ground. Then it's pretty much like walking a two wheel bike with a couple bags of concrete strapped to the far side, constantly trying to pull it over onto the side away from you!
So here's the 71 year old semi-disabled geezer trying to push about 100 pounds of combined tryke, watermelon, pineapple, and a host of other groceries up a hill that's about a 20-25 degree slope and no more than say "50 miles" long when you're said geezer pushing said heavily loaded tryke!

A 20-something kid on a motorcycle stops next to me to say "Sir you have a flat tire." Now at this point, having pushed this %^^$#%* tryke a block-and-a-half uphill, while holding the wheel with the flat tire in the air, and while balancing half the weight of tryke+load, and hobbling along on two bad feet, while snails whizz by me in the fast lane, I'm reasonably well acquainted with the excruciatingly obvious fact that "I have a flat tire." I don't know if this guy is a no-helmet, road rash, brain concussion graduate, or just a "smart-donkey." (in family forum terms) So I respond "cheerfully" "I know,(dummy!) that's why I'm pushing it, instead of riding it! (Where's Bill Engvall when you need him?) :rolleyes:
He then says he lives nearby, and offers to pump up my tire. Being a guy, and not very bright, I say "no thanks, it's only a little further." Yeah! only a little further, like the Titanic is only a little wet!

Further up the endless hill, another guy offers the use of his air compressor. Having learned my lesson regarding "Pride going before a fall," I say "Yes, please, thankyou!", since any "pride" I may have foolishly felt was long gone, and I figured the consequent "fall" was imminent, and would likely include a full-on face plant into the concrete by the old fool pushing the tryke! :smilie_auslachen:
I did make it home, riding one block, until the air gave out, and pushing another block, until I gave out.
I then put the groceries away, took a badly-needed pain pill, an equally needed hot shower, and collapsed for the rest of the day.:eek:hwell:

Meanwhile, back at the thread, have you "improved your Atlas turnout" yet? If so, did modifying the turnout help keep your GG1 from derailing on it?

Always nice to hear from you;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #31
TF, your reply popped up on my phone when you posted, but due to my schedule I haven't been able to respond until now.

Well, that's not entirely true.

I could have responded last night. Except that I was laughing so hard I couldn't see the screen or keyboard through the tears!:D

And how do you respond to something like that? On the one hand, you described it so well I could picture the whole ordeal and having to read it to the wife when she came up to see what was so funny just made it that much funnier.

On the other, I couldn't help but feel for an "old geezer" in such unfortunate circumstances, who's never been anything but a gentleman. I seriously wanted to smack the punk on the bike..:mad:

Anyway, I'm glad you survived to tell the tale!

As for the turnouts, nope, not yet. I'm off today and tomorrow and hoping I can spend time on them between honey-dos, but man that woman's got a long list for me this "weekend."
I intend to spend as much time as possible trying to get out of them.:)

Back to Mr Twain, this quote is particularly apropos...

"It was on the 10th day of May - 1884 - that I confessed to age by mounting spectacles for the first time, and in the same hour I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time. The spectacles stayed on."

Look familiar?:laugh:
 

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Yes!

TF, your reply popped up on my phone when you posted, but due to my schedule I haven't been able to respond until now.

Well, that's not entirely true.

I could have responded last night. Except that I was laughing so hard I couldn't see the screen or keyboard through the tears!:D

And how do you respond to something like that? On the one hand, you described it so well I could picture the whole ordeal and having to read it to the wife when she came up to see what was so funny just made it that much funnier.

On the other, I couldn't help but feel for an "old geezer" in such unfortunate circumstances, who's never been anything but a gentleman. I seriously wanted to smack the punk on the bike..:mad:

Anyway, I'm glad you survived to tell the tale!

As for the turnouts, nope, not yet. I'm off today and tomorrow and hoping I can spend time on them between honey-dos, but man that woman's got a long list for me this "weekend."
I intend to spend as much time as possible trying to get out of them.:)

Back to Mr Twain, this quote is particularly apropos...

"It was on the 10th day of May - 1884 - that I confessed to age by mounting spectacles for the first time, and in the same hour I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time. The spectacles stayed on."

Look familiar?:laugh:


gimme30;

Yes! That slimy little bugger looks like one of those critters that went by me with heavy attitude about "Some old fart's slowing down traffic." I got the strong impression that they would have given me the finger, if they had actually had any fingers!
The "punk"kid on the motorbike didn't deserve a smack from you, or my own attitude. He was actually stopping to offer me help, as it turns out. I was just in such a miserable mood that I was upset by his brilliant observation that I had a flat tire. By the way, Costco by tryke again today and gloriosky the air stayed in all three tires! :)

Actually I rode to Costco after "chair yoga" class at the local library. I've suggested they should change the class name to "Yoga for geezers," since, at 71, I'm one of the younger students, but they wouldn't do it. :eek:
Stretching while sitting, is ideal for me since I can't balance worth diddly squat when I'm standing. Besides all the "ladies in their eighties" that make up 95% of the student "body" (in the sense of corpses that don't have sense enough to lie down yet.) Think I'm cute! :eek: (Most of them don't see very well! ;) )
You know, that TV show is just fiction. If you want to see the real" living dead", just visit a senior center, or check out the government employees (I don't call them "government workers" that would be an oxymoron, and a room full minus the "moron" part) at the nearest government office!

One of the few TV shows I bother with anymore is called "Mom." If you haven't seen it yet the basic idea is making fun of the American traditional "mom and apple pie", "Beaver Cleaver's mom", etc, stereotype. The two generations of moms in this show are Bonnie, and her 40-something daughter, Christy. Both are ex drug addicts, ex smokers, ex petty criminals, ex pole dancers, and recovering alcoholics with plenty of attitude. In short not traditional TV moms!

One recent line from that show particularly grabbed me because of my age. The support group of six women AA recovering alcoholics is hanging out at their favorite diner when Cristy comes in wearing a sweater that makes her look like she just wandered off from an elder care facility. One of her " supporters" asks her if she's just been shopping at "Forever Seventy-One." [Your wife can explain to you that there is a well-known (among women) chain of clothing stores called "Forever Twenty-One, Presumably patronised by women who saw their twenty-first birthday disappear in the rear view mirror many years ago, and want to dress like it has only recently been passed.] {UPDATE from my own wife. "Mostly young people shop at Forever 21. (She's 64 so her perception of "young" may be a bit skewed) However the implication is that I was wrong, yet again. Oh well, it's kept us together for 38 years!

The "Painted Ladies" The famous San Francisco houses shown in the opening sequence of TV's "Full House", and that you built in HO-scale, are also available in N-scale. Happy gingerbread! :rolleyes:
I have started on scratchbuilding that brass body for a Milwaukee "Quill motor" that we talked about. I will try to take some pics later. All I've done so far is to transfer the window, and door, locations via careful scribe marks, from an N-scale reduction of a prototype builder's drawing, onto a sheet of brass. Last night I drilled all the window,and door openings. Then I filed, the openings out, on one side of the locomotive. Making square holes, with a file, out of the round holes I just drilled, lost it's fascination for me after a few hours. I may do the other side today.

You mentioned, jokingly, the possibility of me getting brain damage from my geezercycle journey. Actually I came close a few years back. I was trying to "walk" the dogs by holding their leashes on the handlebar of my tryke. (Very bad idea!)
Here's what happened. 1) Dogs see cat off to the side of the road. 2) Dogs chase cat. 3) Handlebar & attached front wheel make instant 90 degree right turn. 4) Rider flys over handlebar. 5) Rider's head meets road. 6) Two nice neighbor ladies help me up & ask if I'm OK. 7) I say I am (I don't know it yet, but I'm not! 8) I ride home, sit down, and don't know if what just happened was real, or imaginary. 9) I go back and ask the ladies if it was real. 10) I call my wife (a nurse) and tell her about it. 11) She takes me to the hospital. 12) Doctor says I have a brain concussion and amnesia. I was wearing a helmet. If I hadn't been, I'd be dead, or a piece of "bed broccoli" in a care facility. Morals: a) Do wear helmet. b) If you have kids, MAKE them wear helmets! c) Don't walk dogs, and ride a bike at the same time. Dummy! :smilie_auslachen:

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Ya know, I don't shop at Costco since there's not one nearby, but King Soopers delivers. You might want to look into that.:p

I do completely agree with you about helmets, even though it ruins my image of you flying down a hill, feet off the pedals and legs sticking out to the sides in an attempt to build momentum.

A few years ago I highsided my bike (the motorized variety) and wound up getting thrown straight up into the air and coming straight down on to my head and shoulder. The bike took a beating, it shattered the bones in my left thumb leaving it mostly useless, and I suffered a grade 3 AC separation. All bad enough but thankfully because of my helmet I didn't even get a headache.

The interesting thing about this is that up until about a year prior to the accident I never wore a helmet on the street.
On the track, yes, but in CO they're not required and I am most definitely a wind-in-the-hair kind of guy. Even though I've done many stupid things and gone down many times I never hurt the ol' noggin, but a transfer to a new work location accessed via the single most dangerous stretch of road I know of prompted me to make some concession to safety.

I'm glad I did. Once those rocks fall out, you can't stuff them back in.:D Plus, our helmets look way cooler than the dorky things you pedal pushers are stuck with.

Can't say I've been pulled off a bicycle by a dog, not that I didn't try, but it was obvious from the start that big mastiff had no intention of doing anything I wanted to do.

Apparently I'm going to have to watch MOM. What's not to like about pole dancing criminal alcoholics? Besides, the wife listens to it and likes it as well....I generally avoid tv but I'll give that one a shot.

Speaking of shots, I checked Ebay and found exactly one used N scale painted lady, priced kinda high considering it looks like she was finger painted by a three year old.
I may scrap the idea of conventional housing altogether and go with grass covered mounds, with tiny little round doors, and call the tiny little inhabitants Hobbits. Wonder if I could use a flocking machine to simulate hairy feet?

I do hope you'll consider doing a build thread on your Quill...I can't be the only one that would find that interesting. That's actually my favorite thing about online forums-I can't draw a straight line with a ruler but I can certainly appreciate the creativity and ingenuity of others!
I don't know if you visit the O gauge section of this forum but Lee Willis recently built a vacuum car....with a vacuum!
Pretty clever!

Finally, I did get a chance to work on the turnouts yesterday. Got one done but ran out of time before I could test it. Pretty easy fix now that I've actually done it, thanks to your instructions.:smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Dorky? Dorky? You talkin to me?

Ya know, I don't shop at Costco since there's not one nearby, but King Soopers delivers. You might want to look into that.:p

I do completely agree with you about helmets, even though it ruins my image of you flying down a hill, feet off the pedals and legs sticking out to the sides in an attempt to build momentum.

A few years ago I highsided my bike (the motorized variety) and wound up getting thrown straight up into the air and coming straight down on to my head and shoulder. The bike took a beating, it shattered the bones in my left thumb leaving it mostly useless, and I suffered a grade 3 AC separation. All bad enough but thankfully because of my helmet I didn't even get a headache.

The interesting thing about this is that up until about a year prior to the accident I never wore a helmet on the street.
On the track, yes, but in CO they're not required and I am most definitely a wind-in-the-hair kind of guy. Even though I've done many stupid things and gone down many times I never hurt the ol' noggin, but a transfer to a new work location accessed via the single most dangerous stretch of road I know of prompted me to make some concession to safety.

I'm glad I did. Once those rocks fall out, you can't stuff them back in.:D Plus, our helmets look way cooler than the dorky things you pedal pushers are stuck with.

Can't say I've been pulled off a bicycle by a dog, not that I didn't try, but it was obvious from the start that big mastiff had no intention of doing anything I wanted to do.

Apparently I'm going to have to watch MOM. What's not to like about pole dancing criminal alcoholics? Besides, the wife listens to it and likes it as well....I generally avoid tv but I'll give that one a shot.

Speaking of shots, I checked Ebay and found exactly one used N scale painted lady, priced kinda high considering it looks like she was finger painted by a three year old.
I may scrap the idea of conventional housing altogether and go with grass covered mounds, with tiny little round doors, and call the tiny little inhabitants Hobbits. Wonder if I could use a flocking machine to simulate hairy feet?

I do hope you'll consider doing a build thread on your Quill...I can't be the only one that would find that interesting. That's actually my favorite thing about online forums-I can't draw a straight line with a ruler but I can certainly appreciate the creativity and ingenuity of others!
I don't know if you visit the O gauge section of this forum but Lee Willis recently built a vacuum car....with a vacuum!
Pretty clever!

Finally, I did get a chance to work on the turnouts yesterday. Got one done but ran out of time before I could test it. Pretty easy fix now that I've actually done it, thanks to your instructions.:smilie_daumenpos:
gimme30;

Dorky looking doesn't bother me. When you get to my age, just about everything looks dorky, but the compensatory flip side is you are no longer trying to impress anybody with your looks, which would be hopeless anyway! :laugh:
It's actually cool, & very liberating, to just do whatever you want, without caring if anyone else thinks you look silly doing it. What you are/aren't still able to DO is another matter!:eek:

Besides that, you gas burning, pollution spewing, suicidal, motorbike guys only have head-enclosing, heavier, helmets to keep the air inside your heads from escaping into the atmosphere, and dragging the collective public IQ down to your level! :D
Though I enjoy, and appreciate, looking at beautiful sunsets & scenery, cute kids, gorgeous women, etc. I don't care as much about how something, or someone, looks as how well it works, or how interesting & intelligent they are.
My helmet kept me alive, and functional, after falling off my bike, and that's all it was designed for, not to be some ridiculous type of fashion statement. California does have a bicycle helmet law but, absurdly, it only applies to kids! As if an adult couldn't have their brain turned into scrambled eggs by pounding it into something solid. Many times I see family groups cycling with the kids dutifully wearing helmets and their parents not. I guess, as the song says, "I believe the children are our future", and the adults are already way beyond help! :smokin:

The N-scale "painted ladies" houses I have were sold by IHC (International Hobby Corp.) You might check for that company online. Also look on www.walthers.com

When I get some photos of the quill project I will start a thread with them.

Did modifying your turnout help? Does your GG1 finally make it through the Atlas "obstacle course" with all wheels still on the rails?
I received some Peco Unifrogs yesterday. Very nice turnouts! Even though they work very well out of the box, I'm going to add some of the same basic styrene shim modifications to them that you just did on your Atlas, just to make the passage of wheels through their frogs super-smooth.
These turnouts will be used in a hidden staging yard, and I want them to be as perfect as I can make them in that unseen & harder to reach location.
I very much like the design of the Unifrog. They are DCC friendly, and have the option of powering the isolated frog. Peco even included a path for the frog power wire through the underside of one the ties, out to the end of that tie. That should save a lot of hassle in lining up the hole for the frog wire to get under the table. Nice touch Peco!
I was a bit disappointed that they did not have all-metal frogs. However, the overlapping rail arrangement Peco uses should assure constant power for a wheel passing through the frog.
If not, I'll just pour molten metal (bismuth) into my brand new $20 Pecos! :laugh: NOTE: I may practice this possibly risky procedure on one of my leftover P.O.S. Atlas Snap Switches. Yes, I'll admit, I have, actually "been there and done that!" It's how I formed my less-than-glowing opinion of the things! :mad:

If "King Soopers" is a "Meals on Wheels" clone that delivers straw-feedable meals to "slurping shut-in dinosaurs" , I'm not there quite yet! :cheeky4:

If it's one of those high-priced grocery delivery services, I probably can't afford it, and I wouldn't want it anyway.

I actually enjoy riding my geezercycle (though pushing it, fully-loaded, uphill, is absolutely no fun at all!)
Riding it is also good exercise for an old guy who can no longer run at all, or even walk all that well.
If all other transportation options fail, I do have my "Official California Resident "green card" ID, a valid driver's licence, and a minivan to drive. (appearances, appearances, we don't need no stinking appearances! We be old!)

Like the, "old man dying of the black plague" character in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (best movie EVER!) " I'm not dead yet! I feel much better. I think I'll go out for a walk."

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Besides that, you gas burning, pollution spewing, suicidal, motorbike guys only have head-enclosing, heavier, helmets to keep the air inside your heads from escaping into the atmosphere, and dragging the collective public IQ down to your level!
Hey, I resemble that remark!:laugh:


Besides, there's rocks in my head....I let them dribble out onto the road so trike riding geezers can pretend they're moto crossing:D.

Anyhoo I finished shimming the 2nd turnout and ran the GG1 around it with NO derailments whatsoever. By itself mind you, no drag-adding cars required. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I have to admit it seemed like a long shot but it works, so anyone else using the same high quality equipment should take a look at TF's "improving atlas turnouts" pdf. (When he says POS turnouts, he means Positively Orgasmic Switches:rolleyes:)

Haven't tried the 4-4-0 on them yet but I suspect even with the mods that's gonna be a no go.

IHC is still in business to my surprise and does have a website, but no N scale structures unfortunately. Still, nice to see they're still around.

King Soopers is just a regular ol' grocery store for regular ol' folks, but like everyone else they're trying to compete by offering delivery. Remember when the only food you could get delivered was pizza? Now they'll bring your "Almondmilk honey flat white w/Starbucks blonde espresso" straight to your trendy little mouth!
 

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Von's will deliver everything you need to make a white Russian -- vodka, kahlua, and lactose-free milk for us geezers -- for only a $4.95 service fee.

It's even a better deal if you throw in some actual food.

 

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Next step, eliminating "frog drop?"

Hey, I resemble that remark!:laugh:


Besides, there's rocks in my head....I let them dribble out onto the road so trike riding geezers can pretend they're moto crossing:D.

Anyhoo I finished shimming the 2nd turnout and ran the GG1 around it with NO derailments whatsoever. By itself mind you, no drag-adding cars required. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I have to admit it seemed like a long shot but it works, so anyone else using the same high quality equipment should take a look at TF's "improving atlas turnouts" pdf. (When he says POS turnouts, he means Positively Orgasmic Switches:rolleyes:)

Haven't tried the 4-4-0 on them yet but I suspect even with the mods that's gonna be a no go.

IHC is still in business to my surprise and does have a website, but no N scale structures unfortunately. Still, nice to see they're still around.

King Soopers is just a regular ol' grocery store for regular ol' folks, but like everyone else they're trying to compete by offering delivery. Remember when the only food you could get delivered was pizza? Now they'll bring your "Almond Milk honey flat white w/Starbucks blonde espresso" straight to your trendy little mouth!

gimme30;

Amazing how that works huh! Just follow the directions, and derailments go down! Now that you have experience working with turnouts, you may want to try the next step. Or not, your choice. When car wheels go through a frog they often drop into the frog, and then are pulled back up when the wheel hits the frog point. This usually does not cause derailments, unless your train is traveling a lot faster than it should be. What it does cause is an annoying jerky motion by the cars. They bounce up and down and sway side to side because of what the wheels under them are doing.
Many modelers, (including me, when I was young and ignorant, instead of old and senile. :smilie_auslachen:) have tried to "cure" this problem by filing down the frog, or at least filing the frog point down at an angle, to make it easier for the wheels to climb back up to normal rail-top level. This missguided procedure not only won't actually fix anything, but it can do serious damage.
Take the common Atlas Snap Switch as an example. It has a black plastic frog. Directly under the plastic are the tops of the two short rails that run out from the frog. These two rails have opposite electrical polarity. By filing away any of the insulating plastic you make it more likely for a wheel to short across the two rails. The old "nail polish fix" was invented to cure this same short, when the plastic had worn away. Why accelerate the wearing process by filing away plastic?

Also the problem is not really, how to get the wheels back up, but rather, how to prevent them from dropping down in the first place.
Doing that will prevent "frog drop" altogether and the cars will pass through the turnout frogs very smoothly. No more bounce, or sway, by the cars. If you want bounce and sway just look at model/actress Sofia Vergara on the TV show "Modern Family." She exhibits plenty of both! :laugh:

Fortunately, it's quite easy to eliminate "frog drop."
Like what you just did to eliminate derailing wheels, (shimming the guard rails) frog drop can be eliminated by shimming too. Only this time by shimming the floor of the frog upward.
I glue styrene strips in both frog flangeways, filling them up completely, just above rail height. One of the styrene strips should be tapered to fit snugly against the other so that the entire frog is full. Side-to-side & bottom-to-top. Use a generous amount of styrene cement to glue everything together into one solid block for a frog. IMPORTANT: Let the glue DRY OVERNIGHT. Styrene cement is normally fast-acting but we want the newly-filled up frog to be one hard, solid, piece, before taking the next step.
The next day, gently file the styrene strip fillers down even with the rail tops. Be careful not to file away any of the frog's original black plastic!
Now use the "flangeways" tabs on one side of your NMRA gauge. Put one tab in either of the guardrail flangeways you have just narrowed. The other tab should be on top of the filled-in frog. Gently drag that tab along the top of the frog and scrape a shallow mark along the top of the frog with the tab. Now shift the gauge over to the other guardrail flangeway and the opposite side of the frog. Gently scrape another shallow mark along the top of that side of the frog. Now keep making repeated passes with the gauge until you have gradually carved out two new flangeways in the frog. These new flangeways should be only as deep as the tab can reach. In other words, you want the new flangeways to be exactly the same width, and exactly the same depth, as the tab. It should just fit, and slide through ,freely when you're done. As a matter of fact, you are done!
Now roll a car with properly-gauged, non-pizza cutter, wheels through the turnout. You will be pleasantly shocked at how smooth passage through that (formerly POS) turnout just became.

Regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Thanks TF I'll give that a go! Do you see any problem using balsa rather than multiple strips of plastic? (Just thinking I could cut a block to size before gluing in to speed up the process a little)
 

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Yes

Thanks TF I'll give that a go! Do you see any problem using balsa rather than multiple strips of plastic? (Just thinking I could cut a block to size before gluing in to speed up the process a little)
gimme30;

Yes there are some potential problems. First balsa won't stick to the plastic frog of your turnout, unless you use super glue. Liquid super glue loves to wander in where it's not wanted, like the formerly moving parts of your former turnout. In fact super glue can quite easily convert your former turnout into a 5" piece of straight track, or a 19" radius piece of curved track. With your luck, the points will stick somewhere in between routes, converting your former derailer, now finally functional turnout, back into a derailer! :laugh:

You may also discover that you "have become very attached" to your former turnout, since super glue's greatest superpower is permanently bonding human skin. :eek:
You might think, OK, you cantankerous old Yoda wannabe, I'll use GEL super glue, cause it won't run all over as much, so there! You are correct Luke Bikewalker, but when fully cured, gel super glue is way too hard to carve flangways into, using your NMRA gauge. You'd need to use a Dremel, and cutting flangeway trenches the exact width, and exact depth, of a "flangeways" tab with a high speed, cuts right through anything in no time, power tool may be a little beyond your present, newbie, skill level. I've been in this hobby over half a century, and I darn well know it's way beyond my skill level. (subtle hint, don't do it.)
Likewise carving a block of balsa to the right 'V' shape to fit and fill the exact inside dimensions of the frog, won't be any picnic either. In fact, it will be so unlike a picnic, even the ants won't show up! Especially when they find out there's a frog involved! :D

I would definitely use styrene, not balsa. You can get styrene strip material in many sizes. You should be able to find one that will fill the frog flangeways on an Atlas turnout. Or, You could just use the styrene you have and build up the floor, one strip at a time , until the bottom of your NMRA gauge's "flangeways" tab just touches the newly raised frog floor. Either method will work. If you use the layered strip method, you can cement in all the necessary layers in one session, and then wait overnight only once. The gauge should then slide through the frog and guardrail flangeways without binding. Wheels will also pass through very smoothly, with no vertical bounce, or horizontal sway, from the cars.

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Hmm, ok, no balsa, no Dremel.
Shame, since it's always fun dodging hi speed chunks of cutting wheels when they decide to fragment themselves.:D

However....

I may be tearing the whole section out and starting over. I never liked where the track plan placed the turnouts, but not knowing any better I went ahead and followed it to the letter.:rippedhand:
Turns out a turnout at the end of a sharp corner, or start of an incline, is a bad thing, even when you're using exquisitely engineered technical marvels made all the better with a few TF tweaks.

That'll set me back a bit time-wise, and goes against my "I'm gonna use what came in the box instead of buying more stuff" rule.

Decisions, decisions....
 
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