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What brand I run depends on the interactions of what I want, who makes it, what the price is, and, who I want to trade money for product with.
The several locomotives are a couple Bachmann Big Haulers, an Annie; and by HLW, a couple steamers, Macks, and Sparkies.
Cars are Bachmann, USA Trains, HLW.
Some cars are scratchbuilt bodies on trucks by any of the above 3.
Some day I'll get something finished. Maybe.
 

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I run LGB old west steam era (except for the cleaning loco), track and power. I am not as worried about true to life replication as I am about reliability. I have one Bachmann Reindeer car that won't stay coupled so I have stopped using it. I will eventually upgrade to a newer DCC system. Just haven't figured out which one yet.
 

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I now run what I like. Kit HLW with body mounted kadees, lots of LGB and converted half my engines to DCC. I installed DPDT switches to select DC or DCC on all my tracks.
 

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I run LGB old west steam era (except for the cleaning loco), track and power. I am not as worried about true to life replication as I am about reliability. I have one Bachmann Reindeer car that won't stay coupled so I have stopped using it. I will eventually upgrade to a newer DCC system. Just haven't figured out which one yet.
I recomend putting Kadee couplers on all rolling stock. You will have reliable coupling to all rolling stock. They have many options for mounting, body mount is best, but requires larger curves. Most truck mount are pretty simple.

Track power DCC is a good option if you are able to matain your track power. There is a huge selection of decoders that will work with any DCC controler.
 

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Kadees do not always require larger radius curves, it depends on the length of cars and how far from the wheels the coupler is located. Case in point is my body mounted Kadees on the short HLW kit cars and my LGB FRR cars which are running on a get this 29 inch circle. that is diameter!!!! 14.5 inch radius!!! This runs at times for hours with no issues.
 

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Yes, length of cars will make a difference, but what Mike says is comparing the same car truck mount vs. body mount, body mount will require larger curves is accurate.


But on the other hand, you would be surprised how tight a curve body mounts on rolling stock can handle. Normally it's the locomotives that are the issue, or 2 cars of very different lengths with body mounts.


Classic example is USAT SD70 with a short freight car coupled... overhang of SD70 will literally throw a 40' car off the track. (there are creative ways to mount couplers in this case)



Greg
 

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I am looking at NCEs PH-10R system. It's calling to me. "Buy me, buy me!" ;) Just need to save up the money.
So far I do not have any issues with track power. I am using Aristo on rail clamps with Piko conductive grease. I only have one power hook up point at the moment but I also only have about 140' of track surface laid on my patio and wall pavers so drainage is not an issue. Once it warms up and the ground thaws I plan to increase the number of hook up points.
I have one train converted to Kadees (truck mounts). I have issues with the brake hoses catching on track sensors, point covers and other items inside the track. I do have the Kadee height tool and have to continually adjust them. But I can't recall them ever coming uncoupled. I now run a minimum of R3 curves (because I have the space) but that wasn't always the case.
 

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For DCC, maybe just one more, at the furthest point.


It's better to have just a few feeders and good rail joiners in DCC... you can actually overdo it with feeders.. an advanced topic.


Greg
 

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For DCC, maybe just one more, at the furthest point.


It's better to have just a few feeders and good rail joiners in DCC... you can actually overdo it with feeders.. an advanced topic.


Greg
Greg,

Can you please explain the overdoing of feeders in DCC in a bit more detail?

This statement has me intrigued, is it G scale specific or would it apply to all scales?

I am constructing a DCC layout albeit in HO (same concept different scale) and I have been advised to connect a feeder to each rail length unless I have soldered the joints, most likely to overcome a joiner issue.
 

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It's pretty simple conceptually, but often overlooked since most users are not engineers.


Basically in DCC you are trying to deliver the cleanest signal to the locomotives.


This means with the least distortion as compared to what comes out of the booster.


Have you heard of the use of snubbers at the ends of a "dead end" track?


Do you know about signal reflections?


If you do, then I probably don't need to say much more other than it happens at these frequencies.


Perhaps you understand the concept of ground loops?


Let me know if you are familiar with any of the above, as I can answer you in very few words.


Yes, to "current wisdom" is to connect a feeder to every rail, basically saying my joiners are crap... but you can cause other issues that affect the integrity of the signal, and then that still does not address dead end tracks.


Greg
 

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It's pretty simple conceptually, but often overlooked since most users are not engineers.


Basically in DCC you are trying to deliver the cleanest signal to the locomotives.


This means with the least distortion as compared to what comes out of the booster.


Have you heard of the use of snubbers at the ends of a "dead end" track?


Do you know about signal reflections?


If you do, then I probably don't need to say much more other than it happens at these frequencies.


Perhaps you understand the concept of ground loops?


Let me know if you are familiar with any of the above, as I can answer you in very few words.


Yes, to "current wisdom" is to connect a feeder to every rail, basically saying my joiners are crap... but you can cause other issues that affect the integrity of the signal, and then that still does not address dead end tracks.


Greg

Greg,

As a radio/radar technician with over 40 years experience in both ground and aircraft installations I am very familiar with signal reflections and ground loops.

Have never heard of using snubbers at the end of dead end tracks but it would make sense to control transients and spikes especially when points are switched.
 

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Great, so I can speak at a higher level!


So first DCC being a square wave, we have ringing, etc. distorting the signal.


The reflections at the ends of tracks will be necessarily out of phase reflections and further distort the signal, in extreme situations can radically reduce the signal as you know about an 180 degree out of phase signal.


In HO layouts, where the largest market is, it is very common to use a "snubber" at the end of any track segment, normally a resistor and a cap in series, to kill any reflections.


So, the problem of too many feeders is the potential for adding more signal that is not exactly in phase, due to the difference in distance since there is more than one path to any location, and by putting feeders close together, you actually enhance that danger....



most DCC issues is distortion of the waveform, not power issues.


soldering jumpers of course helps indoors, and outdoors the ultimate is bonding track sections together, better than clamps.


Anyway, there's the gist of it, more feeders can control voltage drop and get around bad joiners, but can have a detrimental effect on the signal quality.


Some day, let me tell you why stainless steel track is better for signal integrity than brass track...


Best regards,


Greg
 

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Thanks Greg,
No need to explain stainless track I only run track power for my HO layout the Large Scale one is battery.
 

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By the way, besides gleaning information from people I consider experts, I have actually put a scope on the rails in various places, and I'm lucky enough to have a portable DCC packet analyzer, that combined with my engineering background allow me to be confident in the analysis.



Of course this flies in the face of some of the "common wisdom" ha ha.


Greg
 

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I run primarily Bachmann "Spectrum" locomotives; the Bachmann Climax was my first loco,/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif got me restarted after a 10-year abscence /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif model railroading. Currently have the Climax, 3 2-truck Shays, 1 3-truck Shay, a Heisler, 1 each "Centennial" 4-4-0 & 2-6-0, 2 "Annie" 4-6-0's, 1 45-ton GE diesel. Only non-Bachmann electrically powered locos are an LGB rail truck & USA Trains Alco PA diesel in NH colors (want to get a matching passenger train to go with it:rolleyes:). Control is via DCC, although still have a few locos to convert (the Christmas "Annie", the USAT PA, & LGB railtruck). Rolling stock is a mix, although tending towards 1:20.3 equipment in recent purchases (Accucraft & Bachmann's new Spectrum 1:20.3 cars); older equipment includes some Aristo "Classic" / Delton cars (mostly wood hopper cars or reefers), & some LGB (US-style narrow gauge). May acquire more 1:29 equipment in the future & run "standard gauge" some days, "narrow gauge" others, but do NOT plan to mix the two!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif (1:29 equipment under consideration is more NH prototypes from USAT, an Accucraft-AMS PRR K4s Pacific/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif, maybe Aristo's live-steam mikado).





I also have two 1:20.3 live-steamers (both Accucraft) on the roster; my "workhorse" 3-cylinder Shay/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif (equipped with RC control), & a Ruby 2-4-2 (which desperately NEEDS /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/ermm.gif RC control to deal with my grades! - It's a "wanna-be ACELA":rolleyes: running downgrade without it!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif).





Track is mostly Aristo "Euro" (narrow-gauge tie style) brass with LGB 16050 or 18050 turnouts.:)





Tom
What track power do you use?
 

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Bachmann made 2 lines of Largescale locos. The big-hauler line is inexpensive and you do get what you pay for in quality. Original 4-6-0's were poor runners, the later Annie version with metal siderods is a much better loco. I was not impressed with the industrial loco, no weight/poor puller of cars but has a great look.
OTOH all my LGB locos run great, pull well for their weight.
 
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