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Discussion Starter #1
I have been looking all over the internet for a photo of Aristocrafts ball bearing wheels, and cannot find one, even on their site! I would like to know more about them before I buy them. Has anyone a close up photo of them?
 

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I don't have a picture now, can put one up from an installation if no one has one.

Basically, they are sort of the only game in town if you need power pickup without brushes rubbing on the backs of the wheels, or picking up from eyelets in the journals.

They are ok, not as high quality as the LGB ones, but they are available. I use them for powered cars when I cannot justify the price of LGB (and the LGB ones are shiny, and large and VERY expensive).

These are the wheels with bearings between the axle and each wheel. Not to be confused by putting ball bearings in the journals and both wheels fixed to the axle.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am very familiar with LGBs BB wheels. I have them on almost all of my rolling stock. But as you mentioned, getting very expensive. So I am looking for an alternative for the time being. I am curious to see if Marklin reissues them and what the price will be. If you don't mind posting a picture, I would appreciate seeing it.
 

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Lousy picture, but it's cold outside and I have poor lighting right now. There are 2 tabs to solder to.

Some of the ball bearings feel a little rough, again as compared to the LGB which are silky smooth. This is a track sweeper car that sits outside under a balcony all the time, so it's dirty and dusty.


Electrically the wheels perform well.




Regards, Greg
 

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You also have JB .... they are bushing on the axle and will carry more power then a ballbearing and hookup just like a lgb


Jay-Bee Bennett Enterprises
P.O. Box 7031
Villa Park, IL 60181
630-832-3615
 

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Scott, do you have some details and pictures.

My experience with bushings on the axles are very loose fit "eyelets" that Aristo uses on passenger cars and steam tenders. The fit between the axle and the eyelet is very loose, and I do not think much of this conduction path.

Regards, Greg
 

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I have one set of the aristo BB wheels in use and it works very well. I have four sets of the Gary Raymond wheels and they work equally well, though I think they roll a little more freely. AML is supposed to be coming out with BB wheels, but it's been a year since they were announced.

I'm surprised there aren't more options for this--it's not rocket science. I've been using the "solder a wire to the bushing" method quite a bit, and it works but it's hardly the best way. Is it possible to modify a SanVal BB wheel to get power pickup?
 

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I have one car that has the Aristo BB. Works well. The car came with the wheels but I am not going to be upgrading any cars in the near future.


Now Ive heard it all to cold for good photo. I thought Sand Diego was paradise
. Later RJD
 

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Hey RJ, it was night, and it must have been 57 degrees outside. Brrr.... have a heart will ya? I had to go get a parka to go outside.


Regards, Greg
 

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the bushing is tight with a .001 clearince o bushing to axle so the wheels do not wobble .............

to hook up leads you can solder to them or use the wire connecters JB gives you or what I do is use a small brass tube and slide it over the wires on the end and solder to the tube this way you can pull the wheelset easy if you need to

we sell these for $31.60 for 2 axles at the store

personly I am not fond of ballbearing for power pickup for two reasons

1. if it is a sealed bearing is the grease sealed inside going to help or hurt power conduction?
2. the whole bearing is little so the Ball inside is what .060 ?? in dia and how big is the contact area of the ball to race .010 ???? whould you run a amp or 2 thru a wire that is only .010 ? It just cannot be good for the ball as I would think it would just weld itself to the race
 

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Scott I believe the contact area with a bushing IS better BUT not too much better. In terms of surface area measured it's not much, but in terms of percentage or area it's a LOT as I re-call. Greater minds than me can confrim or deny.

Chas
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I use LGB ball bearing wheels on almost all of my rolling stock to backfeed the locos, as well as light my cars. I was skeptacle of the reliability of the power pickup myself. I did a little test. Most all of my rolling stock are the small field type four wheeled cars. I placed one on the track and backfed the loco as usual. Then I picked up the loco just enough so that the wheels and pickup shoes were not touching the rails. Lo and behold the loco kept on spinning it's wheels. Now thats with only one small four wheeled car providing power to the loco. Most of my trains are six to eight cars in length.
 

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The grease makes no nevermind to conduction, just like grease in rail joints.

Yes the contact patch is small.

Why this works is that in the real world, the contact patches that electrons actually go though are much smaller than you realize. The amount of current per square inch (and you do not have a square inch) is like a million amps. This all works because the amount of metal near by keeps heat "drained off".

The basic point: a small, clean, unoxidized, uncorroded contact patch is much better than a huge surface oxidized or corroded.

Remember the contact patch between your wheel and the rail is plenty small also.

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg:
I am currently performing just this kind of test for my real job. I am testing how long the gold conductor in a transistor chip will last. Currently I am running 100 mA through the conductor, which does not sound like much, but we are talking about a cross section measured in *microns*.
 

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Greg, Did you have to wear a coat when you went out to that cold night ? You said 57 degree's, that is swimming weather. Just to make you feel really warm, last week I worked outside for 8 hours, 5 days straight between 0 and -20 wind chill. And i'm getting pretty old. Can't take it much longer though. I need to retire before too long. Thanks Rex
 
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