New to HO

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Spartalee, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Spartalee

    Spartalee Member

    Ok seems I am all over these boards now a days. I finshedrepairing my O scale lionel and have it up and chuggin but as I was working with it I knew I didnt like the scale and while at the nearst hobby shop I fell in love with HO scale. so now I have 2 questions. 1 I have a alaskan set (I will be runing this rail line) with this set came a Diesel loco and while there I purchsed a Great Northern Steam loco (I like old locos to) but my problem is the diesel is MUCH slower than the steam one even if I try to load the steam one down it is at least 4-5 times faster than the diesel so does any one know of any quicker diesel loco's. 2 does anyone know a good website where I can but HO scale trains, more specifically alaskan or canadian type trains (cold weather).
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Several possibilities...

    - Maybe the diesel loco wasn't properly lubricated. You might want to take off the shell and examine the mechanism and see if the gears, CV joints and bearings are all properly lubed. If they look bone-dry, you need to lube it with plastic-friendly grease (for gears) and light machine oil (for motor brushes and bearings).

    - If the diesel loco is properly lubed, then it's most likely the gear ratio it's built with. You can't make it go any faster than that.

    Now if these locos are equipped with DCC decoders, you can actually program the decoder on the faster locomotive to restrict its top speed.

    Hope this helps a bit.
  3. Spartalee

    Spartalee Member

    The diesel loco is properly lubed but it is very heavy like maybe 3-5lbs or so so I think it is meant for pullin long or heavy trains rather than speed. also how do I know if it has the code thing you spoke of?
  4. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Sounds to me then like that's the way the locomotives are geared. In that case, you can't change their top speeds short of using a DCC system.

    Did it say on the box your locos came in "DCC EQUIPPED"? If it does, you can use a DCC system to restrict the top speed of the faster locomotive. If not, then that's a system upgrade for the future for you to consider.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Since you have just moved on from Lionel it may seem that HO scale trains should be moving faster. Lionel trains are basicly toy trains. (I know, I'm going to offend some Lionel fans). Some of the newer HO and N scale locomotives are geared to a more prototypical speed range. If your GN loco is an older model, it may be geared for a higher speed range.
  6. Spartalee

    Spartalee Member

    Yea I sorta figured the diesel was meant to be slow since they are not exactly built to burn the tracks lol

    and what kind of box should I purchase to control multiple trains?
  7. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Your question about " control boxes" is one of those questions with no simple answer. Basically there are two types of control system in use now, DC the old standby which uses nominal 12 volt DC current which is fed to the locomotive via the rails To run multiple trains with this system you need to set up what are called blocks. This means that sections of track must be electrically isolated from one another. One train can be operated per block.
    The other option is the newer DCC (digital command control). With this system the track becomes both the electrical path and the control path for individual locomotives. Individual locomotives can be controlled both speed wise and directionally on the same track. With DC without using the block system, all locomotives will go the same direction at basically the same speed.
    I'm sure you wanted a less complicated answer but it just isn't there if you want to run multiple loco's. There are good basic books available at hobby shops. Other than the above, two completely separate tracks are your only option
  8. Spartalee

    Spartalee Member

    How much does this DCC system usually cost? and if I do use this system do I put a chip on the train to give it an ID or what? and my hobby shop is about an hour drive so I wont be going till maybe friday but when I do I will look for a book.
  9. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    You can start in DCC for around $100 with the Bachmann system. Yes you engines have to be DCC equipped, you can add a chip or get them ready RTR. On the Bachmann system there are hidden cost. A second controller that plugs into the main is over 100 and the power amp to run more than 3 engines at one time is over 200. Other systems cost more to start but don't have the hidden cost.

    I plan on up grading to another system after Christmas.

    Digitrax sells a system that seems to be pretty complete for around $500.

  10. Spartalee

    Spartalee Member

    DO you have a website for the digitrax u spoke of?
  11. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

  12. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    The top speed of a model locomotive doesn't have to have anything to do with the top speed of its appropriate prototype--if the locomotive you got was a cheap toy-train type of locomotive it will have a top scale speed of a couple hundred miles per hour even if it is a model of a switching locomotive that can only hit 40 MPH going downhill. Many newer model railroad locomotives are made with gearing to more accurately reflect the prototype.

    It might help if you had an idea of how fast these locomotives were going. 100 MPH in HO scale is equivalent to traveling three real-world feet in about two seconds.

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