got two new locos today

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jeffrey-wimberl, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I got two new locomotives today. An Athearn RTR AC4400 and a Proto 2000 SW9/1200.
    I had a problem with the AC4400. It runs around 18" radius curves just fine all day long. The rub was when it came to pulling a train. It did all right through the curves until it came to one to makes an 'S'. At this point it yanked the first car off track. An investigation revealed that because of the long end throw on the locomotive the rigid coupler pocket wouldn't allow the coupler to swing very much. So out came the Dremel with a cut-off disk. I opened up the rear pilot and modified the coupler pocket so the coupler can swin 45 degrees both ways. Now it has no problem pulling a train around the layout. A minor problem was the light weight out of the box. I packed the top of the shell with Rose-Art modeling clay, which increased the weight nicely. No more weight problem.

    This is a scanned view of the AC4400

    This a pic of it on the layout.

    And here's a scan of the SW1200. It's being repainted for KCS.
  2. zachary

    zachary Member

    looking good i really like it im still decideing on what road to model i might do kcs is there a lot of stuff out for it bye zacharyf

    COMBAT Member

    How is the proto 2000? Looks like DCC right? Are you going to conver the proto 2000? If so let me know how the light bulb changing goes, PLEASE! :)
  4. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    The Proto 2000 is DCC ready. On the bulbs, you don't need to change them. Just put a resistor in line to cut the 12v from the decoder to 1.5v.

    I had an interesting electrical problem with the AC4400 last night. For some reason, right at 10:30pm, the lightboard went up in smoke. Not being one to send anything back, I removed the board and hard wired the trucks to the motor. I'll worry about the lights later. I'm going to slip a NCE 2 function decoder into it this weekend, so the light board would have come out anyway. The documentation suggested using a (yeech!) MRC decoder. Over my dead body! I've seen and heard enough nightmares about MRC decoders to last me a life-time.
  5. berraf

    berraf Member

    That AC-4400 do look like a mighty queen :)
    Congratulations to your new locomotives
  6. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

    Yeah, S-curves are a problematic track geometry problem that John Armstrong warns about in his book "Track Planning for Realistic Operations". Combine an S-curve with sharp curves and then couple a long car to a short car (Long engine to short freight car) and you have the recipe for pulling cars off the track. 18-inch curves in this day and age are horribly sharp and then you put a long engine like a 6-axle AC4400W and your are pushing things to the extreem limit in terms of operability. Sounds like you found a solution to "trick" the trains in to staying on the tracks under those conditions, good job!

    Track design is important - you might want to pick up that book as it shows configurations to use and or avoid. S-curves are one of the nastiest of them all.
  7. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member

    Nice loco Jeffrey. Watching people get new loco's makes me jealous. I am trying to use getting a new loco (or more) as a motivation/reward to get my benchwork, trackwork and scenery done.

    By the way, is that some new fangled water tower behind your engine shed in the picture of the loco on the layout? sign1
  8. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    Rio Grande: In this case, the S curve couldn't be avoided. It was either put it in or no extension. The layout is in a 15 X 8 room and takes up 3/4 of the room.

    Mike: No, not a new-fangled water tower. I was painting over the drywall compound that I put down for my scenery base. The bottle of Matte Medium was in the way so I set it there for temporarily.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I have an older p2k sw9 that I installed a dcc chip in. I did not have one that was dcc ready to start with, but it did have directional lighting. The lights on mine were full voltage, and since I use it alone as a switch engine, and I don't like directional lighting on switch engines, I wired the lights directly to the track voltage and the decoder just runs the motor. It has been my observation that switch engine crews do not turn lights on and off as they go forward & reverse to switch cars. They just turn the lights on and leave them on.
  10. KCS

    KCS Member

    0o0o0o0o0o0 *drooling eye's* :) Ugh, I'm ready to restart my KCS fleet. Gotta love that road. It look's as if the yellow strip is reflective. I tried doing that on a few but it didn't turn out. I'm trying to figure when KCS stopped using the yellow and black stripe on the step latter's and went to solid yellow. I liked the black and yellow better. Gave it a very unique look that no other railroad that I know of has every used in any color. Look's great though! I thought about going with the RTR but I wasn't sure about detail's and performance. Are they worth it? My old KCS fleet was nothing but Athearn BB kit's that were dummie's and I powered and super detailed myself. I sold them all though. Kinda wish I hadn't. :(
  11. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    True, but you can replace the bulb and not have to worry about installing a resistor. That is one of the big reasons I have not done any conversions. :oops:
  12. zachary

    zachary Member

    did kcs have a lot of road power im serching for a railroad to model
  13. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Road power? :)
  14. zachary

    zachary Member

    yes as in locomotives zachary
  15. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    You mean did they have a lot of engines? When are you saying did they? Like what time frame?
  16. zachary

    zachary Member

    60s to modern zacharyf
  17. Omber

    Omber New Member

    Nice buy, I have the same AC-4400 exceptin CP Rail livery, I love it but I didnt have any smokeing boards problems yet :)
  18. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    Here's a link to a KCS motive power roster.

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