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Does anyone have any experience with one of these units? The good, the bad and the ugly - and the pretty. I'm looking for something to use on a mining line. I should have grabbed a HWL Mack but back when they were readily available but I had too much else on the go.
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Robert;

They will only pull one or two small cars, but they seem to run a long time, considering they use AAA batteries. Mine is a "clean machine" and uses manual control only. I remove the cleaning pads when I run it, as it mainly runs on steam tracks. This little locomotive is great for keeping something running (and viewers happy) while the steamers are raising steam.

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Regards, David Meashey
 

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OOPS! Forgot to mention that I was pleasantly surprised that Piko actually provided instructions and provisional parts for mounting Kadee G couplers to this locomotive.

Best, David Meashey
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick response Dave. I have a pair of Bachmann ore dump cars I was hoping to pull around. If I proceed I'll have to remember to make the loads out of foam!
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i was using mine to haul back trains when the loco ran out of steam. it had no problem with six large 1:16 scale cars.
With a full battery charge those rubber tires make for a lot of traction.
Harvey C.
 

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I use mine during the cold months when all of the motive power is stored away in the house and I need a garden train fix. Don't have to worry about cleaning track, etc. Easily pulls my 3 Piko passenger coaches. I have run it for at least an hour at a time with no decrease in performance.
 

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Since 3 AAA give 5.1 volts when fresh, I would be tempted to rewire and use 4 rechargables which give 5.2 volts. AAA's drop fast to a lower voltge whereas the rechargable stays at a higher voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gentlemen, appreciate all this information. Dan I agree I figured one of the first things I'd do was to wire in some rechargeable batteries. Glad to hear the pulling power will probably meet my needs.
 

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6 AAA batteries at 1.7 volts fresh would be 10.2 volts. So, 1.2-1.3 volt rechargable cells would give to 9.6 to 10.4 volts. So, I would compare usage time to battery cost time to decide which to use. My LGB track cleaner has only been run 3 times this year. Track is mostly LGB brass and has not been cleaned for more than 6 weeks now and we got the wettest summer in recorded history this year.
 

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I should have added that I use rechargeable batteries on my Piko engine. I started with regular AAAs but they didn't last more than about 30 minutes until the engine started slowing down. That plus the $$$ to keep replacing the AAAs.
 

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Just remember that regular batteries are 1.7 volts fresh and the rechargable are 1.3 volts. Therefore each battery difference is .4 volts times 6 batteries gives a 2.4 volt difference in top speed.
 

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I have one (the Clean Machine in green). I'm satisfied with mine. Yes, it can pull rolling stock, but I really only use mine as a track cleaner. I have both track power and live steam, so cleaning tracks is of an elevated level of importance for me and doing it by hand was too time consuming. I always run my Clean Machine first before running electric trains, and again after running live steam (I always run electric models before live steam). The manual recommends that you use rechargeable batteries, but it will run fine on regular batteries.
 

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Chiming in on this one, though later than most I guess?
I have a few of these and they work great. The battery R/C goes a bit slower than the battery non-R/C loco - as apparently the R/C uses up some power. Both battery versions I have can pull way more cars than the original loco did, and run faster. (But the real thing only went 20-25 max and most folks like to run trains faster than scale speeds.) You can add weights if you want to pull more cars, but the traction tires allow it to pull quite a bit, usually 4 or more piko cars.

I pulled 8 cars with a track-power version - no traction tires - that I had added some sticky wheel weights too. So pulling power should not be an issue at all.

(Folks are correct that using rechargeable batteries will get you way more running time, and save you money in the long run.)
 

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For me, I got tired of replacing batteries ($$$) and converted my track cleaner to DCC. I took off the rubber tires, added Bachmann passenger car wheel wipers, and a Mossoth decoder, and now I can run at any speed, and turn all the lights on or off remotely. The nice thing is that it now will run forever (lubricating it occasionally). At higher speeds this thing will really whiz around the track. Did that more then a year ago, run it all the time, and have had no issues whatsoever. Wish Piko would have done that at the start. Obviously, I am not a fan of batteries and the issues with replacing or constantly re-charging them.
 

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For me, I got tired of replacing batteries ($$$) and converted my track cleaner to DCC. I took off the rubber tires, added Bachmann passenger car wheel wipers, and a Mossoth decoder, and now I can run at any speed, and turn all the lights on or off remotely. The nice thing is that it now will run forever (lubricating it occasionally). At higher speeds this thing will really whiz around the track. Did that more then a year ago, run it all the time, and have had no issues whatsoever. Wish Piko would have done that at the start. Obviously, I am not a fan of batteries and the issues with replacing or constantly re-charging them.
If I may ask, did removing the tires leave grooves in the wheels? If so, how is that affecting operation? I have an R/C version of this loco that I run on rechargeable AAAs which has the tires and a track powered version that I converting to RC and adding a significantly larger battery. I have thought about removing the tires but have been concerned about the grooves. Thanks, Ken
 
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