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Hello

I'm new to the train world and am concidering buying a Aristocraft 4-6-2 pacific loco. Does anyone have any thoughts on this train ??? Should I conicider something else???
I appreciate any feedback, one other thing I will be converting this to r/c battery.

Thanks

Jamie
 

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The Pacific is an excellent locomotive and you will not be disappointed with its performance. It’s a strong puller, the motor block is robust, and it’s got one of the best smoke generators on the market at the price.
 

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I just received one of these last week from St. Aubin's Las Vegas.  They have a few at the old price (see their Garden Railways ad on their website) in selected road names.  I have only been able to do a short test run on some track placed indoors (sort of a back-and-forth arrangement) but it does appear to be a good strong power train, response to extremely low voltage.  Because my temp track arrangement is short, I am reluctant to give it the full voltage for fear of having to dig it out of the wall, but I am looking forward to some nice weather where I can take it outdoors and give it a shot.  I run only battery power and will set up a test section to apply 12v to the track and see what it'll do in the real world.  I am planning a visit next week to the local dealer/installer for AirWire to discuss equipping this loco with their system and possibly converting my USA GP30, GP38 and a Mighty Moe from LocoLinc to AirWire.  

I have had some horrendous experiences with an Aristo U25b (obviously different motors arrangements) derailing and ended up stripping the LocoLinc and Sierra Sound and returning it to factory specs and then sold it.  There are plenty of forum entries on this issue with this U25b and some of the later entries tend to show some cures, but they came after my decision to dump it.  The USA engines are power hogs but are strong pullers and have never given me a minutes trouble. 

The Aristo fleet is readily convertible to battery power which is a good thing.  Depends on how you intend to power yours as to which features are important, but your Pacific would seem to be a great selection.  I hope I am right here....I am in this parade now so let's see how it progresses.
 

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Jamie,

Just so you know, Aristo craft has redone this engine.  Those made prior to 2004 were subject to a poorer quality mechanism.  The easiest way to tell if you are looking at a new version is if the wheels are unpainted metal.  Also, the headlight is mounted a little off the center of the smokebox front.  The older versions were not as robust.  The new version is what most of these guys are talking about here. 

Good luck!

Mark
 

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This is a goood locomotive. i just bought one in november from trainWorld. there are issuses with them though: Thw wiring is messed up. The battery/Trank swithc is wired backwards so to run on track power set the switch to Battery. Also the wiring in the tender is maeesd up. If you set the switch to Track it still runs but the only electrical pickups are the 2 tender wheels. (Only one set of tender trucks is wired to pick up power. When i install my sound decoder i will fix all of this. See : http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips2/pacific_tips.html
 

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Actually, the switch is labeled backwards in the instruction book. Take a pen and fix it:D
 

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The AC Pacific tender is miswired.

If you don't fix the problem you will short out the battery controller to the track.

The following may be useful to you converting to battery R/C.

http://archive.mylargescale.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=31674

I found this latest version to be smooth and reliable.  Certainly an enormous improvement over the early version.
 
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The new version of the pacific is a good runner, if you look back thrue some posts here you can see i had ray manley install dcs, what a differance it made it runs great on dcs,dc battery and  train engineer system can't go wrong with this loco, just be sure you fix the tender wiring if needed, not all had this problem but some did no big deal. by the way trainworld has them on a super sale, good deals.
Nick S.:)
 

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I am pleased to learn all this since I have two new Pacific units sitting here awaiting remote control battery installation. The Pacifics were the only ones that fit my particular theme for the passenger units I had selected,so this really is good news. I also have an original one--a Milwaukee Road--which is now in the shop for battery and sound. Hopefully, it will exceed the somewhat lower expectations voiced here.
 

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The Pacific is not as good a puller as the Aristo Mikado, due to the larger driver size. You may find you want to add weight to help tractive effort. As with all Aristo steam locos, check the tightness of the drivers on the axles every so often, they are a tapered fit that can come loose.

Regards, Greg
 

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That was my assumption.  In fact, my Aristo Mikado pulls quite well. The Pacifics will not be on line until sometime later this season. And thanks for the tip.

My regards,

Ron in (where the h*** is) Copper Center, Alaska
 

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You'll like them.

The Pacific is faster than the Mikado and won't pull as hard, but it's strong, smooth and reliable.
 

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Using my remote control battery system, my plan is to double-head these Pacifics once they go on line with one of the passenger consists to avoid the slippage I anticipate on some of the slopes and curves.  I already do this with two LGB moguls, achieving excellent results.  They always run together now. 
 

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Posted By desertrat53 on 01/11/2008 11:50 AM

I just received one of these last week from St. Aubin's Las Vegas.   I run only battery power and will set up a test section to apply 12v to the track and see what it'll do in the real world.  I am planning a visit next week to the local dealer/installer for AirWire to discuss equipping this loco with their system and possibly converting my USA GP30, GP38 and a Mighty Moe from LocoLinc to AirWire.  



Ok, the decision has been made to work with the AirWire system and using a QSI sound board.  I am in a 4-week line for this to take place - after experiencing the usual lack of throttle response with my LocoLinc on my USA's I am pretty pumped at having a loco that goes-slows-stops when I say, not if/when it thinks it should.  My 4-6-2 is clearly marked as the "new version" which to me signifies better drive wheels and wiring.  That part remains to be proven - I did followup on my original post and isolate a section of my outdoor track, apply 12VDC to the track and watch her go.  So I am ready to see it run with some sort of control, not just 0-100 and 100-0 scenarios.  I found I need to adjust my track a bit - improve my entrances/exits from a bridge to prove 'swing-arc' clearance but otherwise, seems to handle the real world quite well.  At the same time I did see only a slight bit of slowing on a couple of sections of curves that are less than the recommended 6-1/2'.  I ordered a replacement set of center drive wheels from Aristo with an eye to removing the flanged area by grinding/finishing - this will not impact the power pickup for those applications where track power is being used - thus permitting only 4 flanges to control the lateral movement of the drivetrain.  Should this not work as I anticipate, I can always retreat to the original wheels.  I noticed similar arrangements on a couple of Bachmann and on Hartland (I think) locomotoives, which I suspect was for the same effect.   Hopefully in about 5 weeks or so I'll know if all this pans out the way expected.  Kinda like waitng for Christmas all over again!



Stay tuned...
 

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The Pacific is a good choice if you get the new version.  Lots of up grades and you will have metal side rods and such where the older has plastic.  The good thing about the older version it had more pick ups that carters pills.  To bad they did not carry this into the newer version.  Biggest complaint untill more pickup points were added.  Later RJD
 

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The saga of the 4-6-2 Pacific has come to an unexpected conclusion. The addition of the QSI / AirWire is an unqualified success - I have been a user of the LocoLinc / Sierra products, but this new combination simply puts it way out in front in terms of remote response and smooth operation. In fact, it is sooooo much an improvement, I have now scheduled the re-fitting of my USA Diesels. But, back to the Pacific. The operation of the Pacific on my layout is a huge disappointment - the main "surprises" being two-fold: the loco has trouble negotiating some track sections that are a bit less than the recommended radius/diameters (which the section gang could probably work out) but more importantly, it just looks out-of-place. I am primarily working in a time period of mid-50's to the late 60's and I guess it should have come as no surprise to me that a steam loco will always be the "sore thumb". The CEO and I have made the decision to stick with the original theme (Diesels and 50's & 60's) and so the Pacific is now on it's way to a new home. I was fortunate to do some horse(power) trading and will now add some more Diesel power. Turns out there are advantages to sticking with what works for you (but it is still 'sport' to try new stuff just the same!). As for the Pacific itself, Aristo has in fact made a good engine here - it's just not for me. So now on to the business of upgrading my control system(s)....
 

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The Pacific is a really nice engine--I have one of the new style Pacifics and it pulls really well, and runs very smoothly. I'm very fond of it. Mine very easily pulls 4 heavyweights up an egregiously non-prototypical grade. Make sure it's the new version. Should have metal siderods. The new version is much better than the old one.

I bought one at the ECLSTS for cheap, and I had to rewire the circuit board so the tender was feeding track power to the loco. Some of them have funky wiring, and as mentioned if you need to check it out before you convert too battery. Other downsides--it's kind of underdetailed, and because of the way the wheels are attached to the gearbox some people have experienced wheel slippage. The motor and gearbox are great in most ways, but some have this problem where the wheels come loose.

The Mikado is cool too, kind of a low rider version of the Pacific.
 

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I have one of the old ones, and it runs well. I really bought it just because I like the way it looks. It have it on display next to versions in N, HO, and O scale to show the size comparisons.

Paul
 
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