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Hi Folks,
I'm new to this and trying to decide on a ruby or one of the basic roundhouse models.
I read Vance Bass' review on the ruby and it sounds like a good value,
if I bought one I would probably get the ruby 2 with steam gauge.
however the few clips i've seen of it on u tube might show it running for 20 seconds with a guys hand pushing it.

on the other hand some of the runs I see of roundhouse millie on u tube look fairly impressive.
I'v e treid to find a US price on these and it seems u have to call the few dealers i've seen as they don't post the price.
Ive left a few messages on answering machines with no reponse yet.

Anyone have any recommendations as to these two models
and also a ballpark US price on a basic roundhouse.
tnx pjw
 

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i have both the millie and 4 rubys ,if you like to bash and adjust things get a ruby if you want to run 40 minutes one run and pull some more coaches ,have grades and sharp curves get a millie,they lock lets say british, work eccelent and are very reliable,with and without remote price wise a good choice($ call royce)

Manfred Diel #1313

P.S. 1 Ruby in a box(kit) 1Ruby modifiet with larger boiler and cylinders,1 Ruby geared down 3:1 ,1 Ruby Stock!
 

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The Ruby is what it is. Lots of people have gotten into live steam because of the Ruby. You can add lot's of things to a Ruby, tune it, etc. However, IMHO the Ruby is no where near the quality of build or run that you will get from any of the basic Roundhouse engines. The Roundhouse will run great right out of the box. This comes with a higher price, the roundhouse engine will cost more. If you can afford the extra cost, IMHO..........it's well worth it. You might also look at the Sammy if you like a U.S. style engine. You hear it all the time at steam meets, "Nothing runs like a Roundhouse". And, it's true. Check the archives here at MLS. You just do not see anyone having problems with Roundhouse engines. This speaks volumes.
 

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I have a Ruby that I built from a kit and had serious beginners luck. Mine runs like a charm and it was my first opertunity to set valve travel on a live steamer. I am also in the process of building a Roundhouse Lady Anne kit. A lot more fiddling on the Roundhouse kit, but again it is a lot more complicated engine.

You can order your Roundhouse engines and accessories directly from the source http://www.roundhouse-eng.com/

A Sammie, Millie, or Bertie are all listed at the same price - around $685USD plus S/H

These are ready to run engines, they do not sell the ' BASIC' series engines as kits.


Joel
 

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I am relatively new to live steam also. I started with a Ruby Kit I bought 3 years ago and didn't start building till about December 2008. I had a similar experience as Joel with the beginners luck. I just followed the simple instructions in the manual and timed the valves and eccentrics right the first time and it ran like a charm. I have several electric engines, and very rarely run them. I have always been more into building the models. Not so with Live Steam. I look forward to making steam and because I am doing some extensive modifications to my Ruby, I ended up buying an Accucraft 4-4-0 to run while I'm the Ruby is in the shop.
I can't speak for the Round house model, but at 399 the Ruby is the best purchase I ever made on a model. Building it taught me a lot about steam engines and modifying it is teaching me even more.
 

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Lots of good advice in the prior posts. A few other engines to consider:

The Regner Conrad (and Willie). These are wonderful simple engines like the Ruby, but are geared and I think much more reliable runners and pullers. At one point price was very similar to the Ruby, but no idea what it is now given exchange rates, etc. Like the Ruby, these engines have been used as the starting point for some wonderful creations.

The Accucraft 2 cyl shay (either Mich Cal #2 or the open cab). This will cost you a bit more than the Ruby, but it is a great runner and a very reliable engine.

Accucraft, Regner, Roundhouse - they are all great engines and all have their strong points. Look at the web sites, what people have done with them, attend a local steamup, and get what appeals most to you.

Mark
 

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Picking a first Live Steam locomotive is sometimes like getting your next home computer... for just a few dollars more you can double the memory and a few dollars more you can double the clock speed and a few dollars more you can have a bigger screen and a few dollars more you can have more I/O ports and for a few dollars more...

Pretty soon, you can't afford to buy the PC.

I go though this EVERY time I think I need a new PC... that is why I have not changed in 8 years and that time is was because the old was was DEAD and I really needed to get a new one, so I just set a price and went to the store and bought the one that fit my wallet. (Gee, I wish I had spent a few dollars more!)
 

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Posted By Slick on 01/18/2009 5:26 PM
Save your money and by yourself a Roundhouse.


Save your money and by an Aster Great Northern S2. Kinda like buying that IBM Roadrunner as your next PC...


In all seriousness, as was said before, it all depends on how you view your entry into this hobby. One advantage of the Ruby is there are a LOT of experienced owners out there with reference information online. If you are a tinkerer and don't mind the furstration of some 'learning experiences', the Ruby is your best bet. If you want it to run like a sparkie (electric) then get the Roundhouse.
 

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If you want it to run like a sparkie (electric) then get the Roundhouse.

At first,...........that struck a nerve.
Then I realized what a compliment that is. With a Roundhouse engine you are running real live steam. You have all the experience of steam. Oiling running gear, adding water, steam oil in lubricator, watching pressure gage, safety valve blowing, etc, etc. But................because it is a Roundhouse, NO PROBLEMS !! And, I have yet to see anyone adding smoke drops to their Roundhouse engine.
 

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Posted By Steve S. on 01/19/2009 7:40 AM
If you want it to run like a sparkie (electric) then get the Roundhouse.

At first,...........that struck a nerve.
Then I realized what a compliment that is. With a Roundhouse engine you are running real live steam. You have all the experience of steam. Oiling running gear, adding water, steam oil in lubricator, watching pressure gage, safety valve blowing, etc, etc. But................because it is a Roundhouse, NO PROBLEMS !! And, I have yet to see anyone adding smoke drops to their Roundhouse engine.




Sorry Steve, didn't mean to rattle the nerves. You got it right, it was meant as a compliment. Now, if I could get some smoke drops to make my Berk bellow heavy black smoke just like the prototype pics THAT would be worth it.
 

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I have to second the suggestion for a Regner (I have a Vincent myself) and the Accucraft 2 cylinder Shay (my first live steamer). Both are geared so realistic speeds are more easily maintained, they haul a ton, and both are pretty easy to run. Regners also seem less common, so if having a different engine is important, you can't go wrong with Regner.
 

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If you want to stick with Accucraft, you can probably get an Edrig for $700-800 -- bigger cylinders, longer run time, more power , more control, and much more engine that a Ruby. All of the Roundhouse beginner's engines are nice and the Mille-- a throwback to the first "modern steam engines" -- with slip eccentric valve gear and a pot boiler gives tremendously long runs (no flue to deduct from boiler capacity). Accucraft Moguls are nice too, again more boiler and cylinder, and in a price range similar to the also nice two cylinder Shay.

The best advice is as above, see as many run as possible, talk to the ownders, and see what floats your boat, I mean turns your drivers.

Good luck & best regards, Mike
 

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I got a Aster B20 as my first locomotive. But they run around $1,400 I think. I have a Bertie also, which is nice, but I think I made the right choice with the Aster. You might want to check it out. Seems in the past there has been a lot of hate on that engine since it was not from a "western" country, but it is a nice and solid little model and very easy to get running. Easier than the Bertie.
 
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