Shhhhh--crossing over

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by MrBones, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. MrBones

    MrBones New Member

    Hi everyone. I have been working on an N-scale layout for several months and adding scenery and cars and just plain investing money in N-scale. I like the size for transportability and empire size.

    During Christmas I got out my old HO cheap set for under the tree and it's a no-go.
    I would like to upgrade the HO set with new engine/cars and track.

    I am thinking maybe a small oval that would be mounted on two pieces of plywood and center cut out for going around the tree in two pieces but with some scenicing added as well.

    So my thought is, after reading and searching here, the athearn kit with the trutrack. Any others?

    Also, and my main question is what diesel should I be interested in if I was to want to model the first diesel types after the steam era? I am shooting for the mid 1950's era.

    Today the wife and I are going to attend an HO club open house and stop at a LHS. If they do not have the kit I am seeking, I may have to compromize.

    Thanks for all your help. I really don't have room for 4x8 layout, so I would like to stick with Nscale, but I really like the size of HO engines.............................

    Boy can I babble or what?

  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Hi Mrbones
    The Athearn F7 or GP9 would be my choice.
    I built a similar layout for under the tree about 15 years ago. It ended up being a permanent layout.
  3. geep15

    geep15 New Member

    Wal*Mart has the Athearn John Deere train set. It has an F7, boxcar, flat, tank car, and bay window caboose, all in JD colors. There are also two Model B tractors in the set. Looks like all the cars & diesel have Kadee-compatible couplers, and it comes with a power pack and modular track. It looks pretty neat.

    Now not all Wal*Marts have this set, so you may need to check the Athearn website to check for the one near you.

    Good luck, and Happy Holidays!:thumb:

    (FWIW, I'm an HO scaler myself)
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I agree withRay and Geep, the Athearn set currently being sold at WalMart is a good buy for what you want, with all the right equipment for the era you'd like to model. The only drawback is the paint scheme is not authentic, but it is beautiful none the less. My Wally World still has 5 on the shelf. I'm gonna play gambler and see if they don't make it to the markdown aisle now that the Holidays are past.
  5. MrBones

    MrBones New Member

    Thanks for the information. I will have to stop by Wally World and take a look. Though, at the LHS, all they had was the Walthers kit. I may hold out for better set. I really hate buying cheap. Right now I am looking at the "ATHEARN GENESIS LIMITED ADDITION SANTA FE 2-8-2 MIKADO". I don't know anything about it, except it is not deisel. But I like the looks. I don't need to make a quick decision.

    The open house of HO yesterday was fantastic. That was the largest layout and most trains I have ever seen. I run had 84 coal cars. Blew me away. But then again, that doesn't take much.

    Thanks for all the help. Any comments on the Genesis, I am all ears.
  6. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    MrBones:D :D :D :D :D welcome to the world of:D :D :D :D :D


  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I ran my Athearn Genesis Mike at a recent GAT Show in Victorville here in the So Cal desert. It is a very good runner. I've read that because of being out of balance, that they don't pull very well, but mine pulled as much as I wanted to which was probably 12-15 cars including some hopper cars that are very heavy. I did have a small problem with the pilot truck wanting to derail at a couple of turnouts on our layout, but I was told that Athearn has come out with a fix for any of the "mikes" that tend to derail the pilot truck. I understand that they offer a slightly stiffer spring for the trailing truck that transfers weight forward, and that solves the problem. I'm going to check it out at my local hobby shop and see about getting one.
  8. geep15

    geep15 New Member

    Don't wait too long- they'll be gone if you're not careful!

    WallyWorld has that habit:rolleyes:
  9. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Regarding the Athearn Genesis Mike, if your intent is just around a xmas tree, it will be fine. It's a nice looking unit and runs very smoothly, but in my opinion the traction is awful. Yes it will haul 15 or so cars on level trackage. Introduce a 2% grade and you'll be down to 8 or so. Both of these figures are too low for my liking. The Bachmann 2-8-0 does much better, for less money.
  10. MrBones

    MrBones New Member

    Gary, you're peaking my interest. I looked over the Bachmann and in the Spectrum series I am researching the 2-8-0 and found the Consolidation with DCC and sound. Before I get really involved in a new scale, maybe DCC should be something to think about.

    I know nothing about DCC. I will research that tonight, but in the meantime, how involved is DCC? Is it just the engine or all the cars and track and turnouts? The wifey really liked the sounds on the O-scale at the LHS.


    Hey interurben, I thought I said shhhhhh....LOL. Man am I going to here about this in the Nscale forums. Well, maybe they won't find out. LOL. Thanks for the welcome.

    Thank you everyone.

  11. Jim T

    Jim T Member

    Mr. Bones, I have the Bachman Spectrum Consolidaton with DCC and sound and really like it. The only thing I've noticed is that I haven't been able to program the top speed to slow it down to something more realistic. No problem just slowing it down with the controller but I'd still like to set the top speed properly. Now, that said, I think if I was going with a one engine layout I can't really see the need to go DCC.

  12. MrBones

    MrBones New Member

    Thanks Jim. I would like not to spend too much money right now on a new scale. Last year I dove into Nscale and in the summer the wifey purchased a garden layout. I have so many buildings to build, and so much scenery items to make.

    But I do want a small HO layout. Mainly for under the Christmas tree you understand. LOL.:thumb:


  13. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    MrBones, DCC can be very simple or as complex as you care to make it. Assuming you prefer simple for now, a starter set, (I'd recommend the Digitrax Zephyer, but others are good also) and a loco such as the Bachmann 2-8-0 with sound installed gets you going with high quality equipment. BTW, the sound install in the tender of the 2-8-0 is very easy to do yourself. It consists of removing the tender shell and replacing the pcb there with the Soundtraxx one. The speaker is attached to the pcb, making things very easy. And it sounds good too.

    Regarding what is involved for wiring DCC, it depends on things such as what turnouts you use and whether or not you want to "sectionalize" the layout. If you use turnouts which are not power routing and avoid reverse blocks, then you can just use one set of feeds and be ready to go. Of course, relying on rail joiners isn't such a great idea, so more feeders is always a good idea, DCC or not. You can buy circuits to act as circuit breakers and "block" your railroad, connecting each block to a breaker. This way a short in one block doesn't disrupt operations elsewhere, and trouble shooting becomes easier. There are lots of enhancements available, driving up both cost and complexity. You should note however that none of them are needed, they are just extras.

  14. MrBones

    MrBones New Member

    Thanks Gary. I'll ponder over this.

    Lots of good information there. I appreciate that.

  15. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hello MrBones and welcome to the gauge.:thumb: :wave:
  16. MrBones

    MrBones New Member

    Hi Shamus. Love the CD I bought from you. I haven't looked through all of it yet, but what I looked at so far is superb. I don't get a chance to work on a layout during the summer months. Just too much to do outside. Gearing up now though.

    Thank you for the welcome. Hope things are going well for you.

  17. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The absolute minimum for DCC is a chip for the loco and a controller.
    You then go on to a chip for every loco. If you have reverse loops, there is a black box for them.
    If you have certain combinations of turnouts and wheels, you may need to replace or modify the turnouts, after you get tired of the short circuits' shutting down the layout.
    Be careful wiring lights in the locos -- they run at full power all the time.

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