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Transferred over from the old forum where I posted it yesterday.

I've been wanting to add a 1:29 scale steam loco to my layout. I've noticed that St. Aubin's still has a few of the older version of the Aristocraft Mikado for under $300. I assume these are the old ones and that the more expensive ones listed are a newer, upgraded version. My question is this - are the old ones OK and thus a good deal, or would I be better off spending more money for the new one? I'm not sure I'm willing to pay $500 for one, but I would pay $300. I just don't want to buy it and have it break or have gear problems or something. Any thoughts from those of you who know Aristo or the Mikado?

Ed
 

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Ed,
There are no "old" Mikados There has only been one run of Mikados and they ALL feature the new drive train and smoke units. The Pacific was done in the past and has been upgraded, but all the Mikados are the same. The difference in price is based on road name only and not new vs old. It may also be a typo :)

George
 

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Nope. There are no old ones. Those are just road names that didn't sell well, a pretty good deal.
 

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Ed pay the money, get a Mikado that is already battery ready so you will at least have 1 battery powered engine then all you have to do is get the R/C unit.

If ya buy the old version you will have top convert.

AND if they are ALL battery ready, as I would not know as I do not run any Ps' or Ms'....NEVER MIND!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif


See ya at the show!

Bubba 
 

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Careful Ed! You put batteries in one, you'll want to change ALL your locos.

You'll love the Mikado.
 

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I should add mine does not have the track/battery switch. At least I have not been able to find one. It has on/off switches for the motor, the lights, and the smoke generator, and it has a battery power plug in the tender, but no switch.

I assume this is some variant in production, probably means I have an "early" one which will turn out to be tragically flawed/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif

It seems like a really good engine to me
 

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That's the first release Mikado. I don't think you can find any of these any more.

If I wanted to batterize that one, I think I'd do it Curmudgeon's caveman way and rip the wiring out first.
 

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Posted By Torby on 02/08/2008 7:22 AM
Careful Ed! You put batteries in one, you'll want to change ALL your locos.

You'll love the Mikado.
No kidding. I agree on both points. You WILL end up wanting to go to remote-control battery operation once you start. I had to have one of those Aristocraft Mikados ever since they first were announced in '94 or '95. Of course, it took about ten years before they were finally available, if I recall. I have actually double-headed my Aristo Mikado with my Aristo mallet--same drive system. Works well that way, too.

--Ron in CC
 

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One of the odd things about this hobby--or maybe it's one of the good things, keeps me busy--is how little is explained. Aristocraft "manuals" are comically obtuse. I can't make head or tail of the RCS website, or the Airwire website. They all seem to be written by guys who cut English class

It took me about a year to figure out what Aristo's Train Engineer is/does, and that I could run remote control using track power--and I'm still trying to figure out some aspects of it.

The last thing I'd want to do now is start worrying about what batteries go with what charger, which are charged and which aren't, etc,etc. I can kind of see the attraction of battery/remote, but it alsoi seems like it'd have a serious downside--expensive, batteries losing capacity over time, limited capacity to run lights and accessories--is worse than the upside. At least for me. But then i have a relatively small layout with few continuity problems. I keep thinking I'll try converting my old Pacific to battery...
 

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Posted By lownote on 02/08/2008 12:45 PM
I can kind of see the attraction of battery/remote, but it alsoi seems like it'd have a serious downside--expensive, batteries losing capacity over time, limited capacity to run lights and accessories--is worse than the upside. At least for me. But then i have a relatively small layout with few continuity problems.
That being the case, you're right. I'd stick with track power, which is what I had originally until I expanded to the point where that option was no longer feasible.  I keep forgetting about the smaller layouts. Mine is no longer so small and hasn't been since 2001. I couldn't properly run track power now even if I wanted to with my present track arrangement (mostly Llagas aluminum) and size (about 900 feet) and breadth ( the Phase II segement extends outward about 250 feet from my building before heading back, so it is not exactly compact, either).  
 

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I like to see some of the great and large railroads which feature in Forum posts.  I sometimes think it would be nice to have a larger system but then I realize that the 150ft of brass track plus four sidings is enough for me to maintain and like lownote I feel sometimes that the technology of some aspects of the hobby can be baffling. 
So everything here is on a simple basis, just an Aristo analogue transformer with control knob which any small visitors to the place can also, besides me, cope with.  /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif
 

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I just finished running mine for the kids getting off the elementary school bus. It was pulling 14 freight cars (all I have) and a caboose on a layout with a lot of long R3 curves--the minimum curve Aristo recommends for this locomotive. It pulled really well--slowed down a bit on the upgrade but nothing too serious--I could have added more cars if I had them to add. Smoke generator ran nicely. kids love the smoke.
 

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Posted By lownote on 02/08/2008 12:45 PM
One of the odd things about this hobby--or maybe it's one of the good things, keeps me busy--is how little is explained. Aristocraft "manuals" are comically obtuse. I can't make head or tail of the RCS website, or the Airwire website. They all seem to be written by guys who cut English class

It took me about a year to figure out what Aristo's Train Engineer is/does, and that I could run remote control using track power--and I'm still trying to figure out some aspects of it.

The last thing I'd want to do now is start worrying about what batteries go with what charger, which are charged and which aren't, etc,etc. I can kind of see the attraction of battery/remote, but it alsoi seems like it'd have a serious downside--expensive, batteries losing capacity over time, limited capacity to run lights and accessories--is worse than the upside. At least for me. But then i have a relatively small layout with few continuity problems. I keep thinking I'll try converting my old Pacific to battery...

Lownote.
I am sorry if you can't follow the RCS website.
One question.
Did you click on the beginners link and work through that? There is even a glossary for terms used in R/C that non R/C people often do not understand.
If you didn't visit the beginners page, I respectfully suggest you do so.
If you did, please let us know what it is you want to know and perhaps we can help.
If the information you require is not at the RCS website I will be delighted to upgrade the website when I know what it is you wish to find out.
 

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The only thing that may have changed on a newer release is that you will not have problems with the drive wheels comming loose.  Other than that they are a great runing loco.  Later RJD
 

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Ed - the February issue of Garden Railways has an ad by Aristo Craft stating that they have new and improved features on the live steam mikados. They list them as follows: Improved flame air-flow, Higher Butane fill tube, Smoke stack height change for better water flow and easier operation, no more Goodall valve. This may account for the price differences at St. Aubins. Good luck.
- Steve
 

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I don't think Ed was asking about a live steam Mike, but a sparkie. I would not worry about whether it was an early one or later one, the basic mechanics are the same. I think the only variations are in wiring, and you can find that often in an Aristo loco, minor variations here and there.

If you convert to battery, learn and check the switch positions and whether the track/battery switch actually disconnects the power from the rails in the battery position. Do not assume anything!

Regards, Greg
 
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