Operations with Magnets

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by Gary S., Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Wayne, thanks for the info. I'll have to contact Athearn and find out if the Ernst gearing is lower than factory gearing (if they even know). I'll a;so stop by the LHS and see what they can tell me.

    The first photo of #53 is really good. Very realistic. Something about the lighting makes it look like it was taken outdoors, the shadows look real.

    Last night I added weight to 34 more boxcars, taking them up to 6 ounces each. I am happy with the way the trains run with the extra weight. As for controlling the throttle for smooth, slow starting, it only takes a little practice and it becomes second nature.
  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    :wave: Oh, one last thing for the skewer pickers:

    I set out and picked up cars for a good while last night and didn't have a single unwanted uncoupling or any other coupling/uncoupling issues.*

    *Err.... except when I absentmindedly stopped the train on a spur and let the couplers stop over the magnet. I guess this by-hand vs. by-magnet debate is never going to be settled.:rolleyes:
  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Yeah, for some reason there were a whole whack of posts that I missed here; hence my reply with the pictures seems much more belated than it actually was. :rolleyes: :D
    Gary, the Ernst gearing is definitely lower than the stock Athearn gearing: my NW-2 runs at about half the speed of the SW-1200RSs, and all have been remotored with good-quality can motors.

  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Gary, the skewer magnet issue is just like dc or dcc. There is no right or wrong way, just what your happy with.

  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Gary, you said you already looked at the instructions, so I don't have to make that comment. Installing is easy:D . Prep work and testing is a different story:cry: . Did you order them?

  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Loren, I stopped by the LHS and they had a set in stock. Most likely will be tuesday evening before I can install it and test it out. If it works well, I'll do the other locos too.

    Was reading on the net, some folks were complaing that the Ernst gears are very noisy. We'll see.
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Gary, you get gear "whine" because they are spinning at a high rate of speed. One thing you can do to help, check the new gears with magnifcation and remove any burrs that are on the teeth, also(and this may sound like overdoing it) install one gear at a time, assemble the truck and make sure the gear spins freely, and them install the next gear, and so on and so forth. The first time I installed them they were tight. When I was done I could push rhe truck with my finger with no resistance.

  8. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I put the gearset in tonight, didn't spend a lot of time, just wanted to see what it would do. I only removed the obvious flash, and quickly threw everything in. Well, the gear ratio is certainly low, and that part I love, but this is the noisiest loco I ever heard. I mean DANG! :rolleyes:

    Loren, I'll have to take your advice and take my time, cleaning up the gears, and making sure everything is immaculate before closing it all up. Either that, or I'll abandon the thought of lower gearing and just use the locos as is from the factory. They really weren't that bad once you get used to the operating characteristics in conjunction with the heavier cars.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Gary, just saw your last post. To bad they seem so loud to you. I guess I should wear my hearing aids more often. I took a close listen to mine tonight, and I think it's the motor making most of the noise. Run a stock Athearn at high speed and compare the noise to your regeared loco. Sounds pretty much the same to me. The motor in the regeared loco runs a lot faster.
    Anyhow, due to my poor eyesight(dang, i'm a total wreck) I will be using permanent magnets everywhere except the mainline. I can see that good enough to use a skewer. Trying to use a skewer further away, I started popping the springs off the couplers. So I will be adding weight to my cars also. Heres another thread you started just when it was needed. Thanks !

  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I will play around with the regeared loco to see if I can make it better, but I'm most likely going to go back to the stock gearing. I've gotten used to my other locos with stock gearing and how they interract with the heavier cars. And I think that the locos react more like the proto-type... you really have to "drive" the loco now. As you start to take off, and as the slack comes out of each coupler, you have to slowly increase the power to keep it moving, being careful to not give it too much power to avoid the sudden jackrabbit start. I kind of like the way it works.

    Last night, my stock-geared CF-7 pulled 31 of the 6 ounce cars! (way more than I would ever have in an operating session) Now, if I hit the throttle hard, the loco wheels would spin a bit. I'm betting the prototype works the same way. Except I understand that the newer locos are computer controlled to monitor and minimize wheel-slip.

    Are there any 1 foot = 12 inch scale engineers out there that would care to comment on the above?

    Loren, I hope your magnets work out as well as mine. I'm pretty darned happy with them. Now if I could just get back the "warm fuzzies" for the Atlas switches.
  11. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member


    You may know this already, but don't use steel to weight your rolling stock. The uncoupling magnets will cause the cars to move around. I discarded all the steel weights in my rolling stock and replaced them with a combination of pennies and lead weights.

    For flat cars, you can purchase sheet lead "roof jacks" that are used over vent pipes on roofs. Easy to cut and replace the factory steel weights.
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Gary, I also plan on taking out the weights that came with the cars. For weights, I go to my local tire service center and buy lead "tape weights". They are the same thing you see advertised as car weights on the net, but buying them there is a lot cheaper. And if I stop on a busy day, they usually just give them to me.


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