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You can either have a powered unit and a "dummy" unit or have two powered units... Obviously you can have more than just two, but for example...

The dummy unit is the same as the powered unit on the outside, but it is gutted on the inside and has absolutely no mechanics or electrical stuff... It is just like pulling another train car... This is the setup that my two AC6000 diesels use...

Now running two powered units is different... I think that they need to have some sort of DCC built in, but I am not sure... With the DCC the locomotives move at the EXACT same speed... Those without DCC will move at slightly different speeds, and eventually you will damage the motors (or so I have read)...
 

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When you have the room and the cars, it's pretty cool, the only limit being your power supply and your locos ability to work together. As long as it's close, it'll work. Too wide a difference and they will defeat each other---just like real life---that's why it's so cool. Dummies are OK for cosmetics but fully powered is the only way to go. I've seen it as high as five locos at once, the layout just vibrates from the power. This is 12 powered axles having at it...

 

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Some locos do not run well with others. I've been out of the hobby too long to give any decent examples. But recently at one of the store sites I saw a review of the new engine and they talked about how the engine ran with other locos.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Some locos do not run well with others. I've been out of the hobby too long to give any decent examples. But recently at one of the store sites I saw a review of the new engine and they talked about how the engine ran with other locos.

Steve

Well don't leave us hangin. What did they say?
 

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There are a couple of ways to run multiple engines safely.

1. 1 Powered - 1 Dummy, you'll see this in a lot of E8, E9 AB sets or even 1 Powered 2 dummy ABA sets which looks sweet. One thing to keep in mind though is that only the powered engine usually lights up.

2. DC - Multiple Engines of the same brand/type with different road numbers. These engines will have the same motors and gearing and will produce very close to the same pulling force and speed. They are then cooperating and one's not dragging the other one around the track.

3. DCC - Multiple Engine Consist. This is the coolest way to go, you can have multiple engines from different providers, and adjust their individual speed curves so that they match. You then assign the units to a consist. This allows you to control as many engines as you like as if they were only 1 engine. The lights can synch up, and when you have an ABA configuration, the headlight of the unit that's moving forward will light up. Reverse direction and the former back engine now is the front and it's headlights now operate.

I just ordered in a couple of Atlas DCC units (powered but no sound) to go along with my Proto DCC w/ sound engine. I figured that 3 engines all with sound at once might be a little overkill. I can't believe how loud the little guy is by himself. Really looking forward to starting to run multiple engine units.

3a. One other thing you can do, that is really neat from an operational perspective is to have a steep grade that one engine is not able to pull up a consist of cars. Then you can have a second operator switch onto your track, join up with a helper engine, and then decouple them once you crest the summit.
 

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One thing I didn't see mentioned, if you are using DC and want to run the locos back to back you have to reverse the wiring in the locos taveling the opposite direction.

As was mentioned, DCC is the best way to run a "consist" (multiple locos on a long train). It allows you to change the direction of locomotives facing the opposite way by changing the locomotive's decoder programming instead of rewiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
"One thing I didn't see mentioned, if you are using DC and want to run the locos back to back you have to reverse the wiring in the locos taveling the opposite direction."

That sounds like a great idea. How tuff is it to do with n scale loco's?
 

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That sounds like a great idea. How tuff is it to do with n scale loco's?
That depends on the loco. If its actually wired, you may be able to do it with a soldering iron without dismantling the mechanism. If it's a split frame design you'll have to take the entire mechanism apart and turn the motor over. If the motor contact tabs are different lengths you'll have to swap them, which means pulling the brush caps off. If you pull the brush caps off don't lose the springs and brushes and be sure to get them back in right.

On the whole, DCC is a better way to go. :)
 
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