Blackstone C-19 review

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Model Railroading' started by Bill Nelson, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    SMLA-1 C-19 2.jpg SML C-19 a.jpg I started a separate thread for this Blackstone c-19 review, rather than fold it into my Hon3 shops thread, because this locomotive doesn't need a trip to the shops, except for some light oiling and some cosmetic work (pureley to help it fit the SL roster, it looks fine!)

    I pre ordered this locomotive when it's production was announced by Blackstone. I was approaching having enough Hon3 power, but I had been lobbying Blackstone to make a locomotive that would look at home outside Colorado for so long, that when they finally did it, I felt duty bound to pony up to the bar and put my $$ where my mouth was..

    I ordered the early version, painted /unlettered with sound. This is not an inexpensive locomotive! That said it is reasonable. The level of detail is excellent. The detail level is better than my 1970's era Westside Models C-16, which cost me$260 , That locomotive needed to have a re motor kit, which cost about an extra $100, It also needed to be painted, a tsunami sound decoder would add considerable cost as well, so this thing at close to $365 is a good deal, as the good motor and the Tsunami sound decoder, and a good paint job are included, saving considerable cost and effort.

    I have found sound Dual mode decoders to be somewhat annoying when operated on Dc. My other experience with this comes from an Atlas Proto 2000 USRA 060 with QSI sound, a Broadway Limited Paragon 2 Y-6-b, with whatever they use, and a Bachman 0n30 climax (also with a tsunami). I was pleasantly surprised with the sound and operation of this critter on DC. I can live with the operation of this locomotive on DC. It's performance is better even than the Climax with a Tsunami. Perhaps that is because Blackstone is a division of Soundtrax, so the same folks developed the locomotive and the decoder.

    I am very pleased with this locomotive. It will need to get a red roof. My State Line RR Locomotives have Green cabs, but this locomotive has a green boiler , so I think I'll leave the cab black.

    so far I can highly recommend this locomotive. the folks I know that have bought their K class locomotives have recommended them both for quality, and for customer service. The K's are too big to suit my taste, so this is my first experience with Blackstone. thier rolling stock has also been highly recommended.

    Blackstone has changed the nature of Hon3 modeling, you no longer need to be a builder or a tinkerer to have great running models in this scale/gauge combiniation. I have been modeling in Hon3 since 1969, and this is the first steam engine I have bought that did not need modification. Con-Coor's excellent geese were the first Hon3 motive power to be great runners out of the box, but they didn't follow up with other releases.

    The Hon3 world has changed folks! Come on in The water is fine!

    the above is a link to a video of two of these locomotives @ the narrow gauge guild club in Pasadena California. this link shows how good they sound.

    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  2. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    more info

    I have tested my C-19 on Iron mountain, and sadly it will not pull a train up the outrageous grade to iron mountain from Ridgemont to Gegokayoosa. I'm not certain of the exact percent grade , but it is close to 7%.

    I had originally thought that only shays would go up there, but my little FED 4-4-0 and 2-6-0, and my westside c-16 will all handle small trains up that grade, but sadly one portion of that grade is too steep for the C-19

    Bill Nelson
  3. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    After seeing that video of those two engines chug a lugging a long, all I can say is, You guys sure play hard!! Does that load up the brushes on those engines?
  4. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    In the old days, open frame motors brushes would spark on the comutator, and dirt up the comutator, reqiting frequent cleaning, with tuner cleaner and or pencil erasers. especially before the brushes got worn into the shape of the commutator. It is a good thing we don't have that isue with can motors, cause you have to disassemble the motor to get at the brushes.

    I haven't seen an issue with this with modern can motors.

    The steep section of grade is on an old standard gauge roadbed that was abandoned when the Gizzard module was incorporated my current RR. I may have to study it, and see if there is a possibility off adding in another loop. or some other track plan correction that will let this locomotive play on the upper reaches of my RR. I keep trying to figure out how to increase the narrow gauge on my RR, even though I'm out of room. I have even toyed with the idea of making a massive rebuild of my whole RR.

    Bill Nelson
  5. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    That is a beautiful set up. I watched the video clip. Is there another clip maybe showing the whole setup? (I didn't get a chance to go through all the YouTube videos to see). I was also wondering if you had one of those camera cars. I have some old N--scale stuff and when I lived in Ridgefield Ct. a guy (really snooty) came into the transfer station (a.k.a. "dump") complaining how some guy left an "old train set" in the house had had bought, was was supposed to have taken it down. Unfortunately, by the time I got there he had smashed the 2, 4 x8 plywood sized tracks with all the houses, buildings and unimaginable goodies into bits. I informed the man that some old those old trains could be worth money, and I would be interested in buying them off of him (sensing an opportunity). He looked me in the eye, holding a rather large box, and said, "Ive already thrown all that cr@p away", and promptly threw this box into the "pit", (a concrete channel where a tractor trailer backed into). My friend who ran the center was looking at me the whole time (he was in a backhoe used to crush the garbage), and when the guy left I just pointed to the box, which he promptly picked up and put at my feet. That day, all the garbage was dry, Thank God! The box was full of 2 engines, 4 cars (Pullman Style), too many other doodads to name, switching tracks and a beautiful digital controller. I could not believe what a bold faced liar this guy was. Why couldn't he have donated this stuff to the GoodWilll trailer 2 blocks away?

    Turns out, the GoodWill would not take this stuff because of liability, when I asked, but the lady said no one had bought that there I knew all the "main" people in town). I just pulled this stuff out a month ago, it has been all wrapped pretty much he way I got it 7 or 8 years ago, in my dry basement. My son is 11 and just started to get interested in his kind of stuff.

    In another unrelated post, a gentleman ( I use that word sparingly) came into the "dump" in his brand new 2001 Mercedes SL (nothing wrong with that, I own a 1973 450SL, somebody has too!), wearing Alligator Skin shoes:eek:. He gets out of his car, carrying a "white box", my 11's go up in the back of my neck, and I realize it is a sub-woofer. Now, me, owning the local T.V. and Audio repair shop in the town at that time, realized, by the emblem, it was a Miller-Kreisel subwoofer. This sub-woofer costs $1800 dollars when it came out and produces infrasonic sound waves. It is a subwoofer you feel, not through mechanical vibration of the box, but by the sound waves it produces. This guy had just upgraded his system, (to God knows what!) and was looking for someone to give this too. I was so happy, and still have this wonderful piece of equipment, that fits in so well with the tapered 1/4 wave tubes I've made. So not everyone in that town is so decadent!

    People through away too much. I have a machine shop in my Barn, all of my electronics equipment. I have not purchased a T.V. in 16 years. I still have a couple of Sony XBR's and with the digital Comb Filters, there aren't many new LCD's (well until very recently) that matched the picture, and let's not even get into the latency problems. I fix all I can, for neighbors and friends too. Sometimes, I even make money doing it! I hope this wasn't too much of a long rambling post, sorry! :)
  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    The you tube clip is of a model railroad club in Pasadena CA. My narrow gauge run is much shorter, and I only have one C-19. You can see my outfit in the logging mining and industrial section (Logging in Eastern TN in 1928 on the DG CC & W RR). I have some great scenery, but not that much of it.

    I don't have one of those little cameras, but that would be fun.

    Bill Nelson
  7. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I am going to research it, having been an electronic technician, I would accept though, if you wouldn't mind, any insight into these can motors. Is there a fundamental new technology that protects their brushes, or is there some different way they are made?
  8. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I don't know if they are all that way, but on one of my Hon3 locomotive projects the new motor came apart while I was trying to reposition the worm on the shaft, and managed to pull the end of the motor apart. On that motor it looked like the commutator was flat, mounted perpendicular to the shaft, with the brushes parallel to the shaft. thiat way the brush/commutator interface is flat, rather than being curved, like the convex and con cave surfaces of the commutator and brushes on the old open frame motor..

    Thankfully, I slid the motor back together and it worked, I was thinking for a moment that I had trashed a nice motor from NWSL.

    I am an old automotive technician My old open frame motors need the commutator cleaned regularly, but I've never had to do it with a can motor; and that is a good thing, as it would be an ugly job.


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