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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of us have talked about this before.
Thought it would be a good thread.
I have bought used engines that was damaged.
all I reaaly need in them is
1 the 24 volt motors
2 leds head lights ,direction board.
3 some may want smoker.
4 sound unit w/speaker

I have been asked why is all the boards in side the locos for if you don't need them?
In the old days all we had was lights, smoke

In my mind engines are designed for meeting everyones needs the easiest way possible.

Some of us even remove everything and start over with some sytems.

I have a couple of engines that just have a plug in and out at each end and leads to the motors. nothing else.the lead engine controls them or a battery car.

what do you think.??
 

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Sound? Lights? Smoke?

I dont even need any of that bourgeois nonsense!



I practice the KISS priciple: Keep It Stupedly Simple. The more pipes you add to the plumbing the easier it is to stop up the drains.


My proletariat locos are as simple as it gets, maybe thats why they always run. Not a StuperSocket in sight!
 

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RE: What does an engine "need" in it?

I think that manufacturers could do the hobby a big service by offering their engines in a "BASIC" configuration. They could eliminate all the controll boards and only include wires to the power pickups, front and rear lights. No smoke units. No sound units. No controll logic boards. No multifunction plugs. No special road names or colors. These engines could be sold as a kit with a reduced price for the modelers who wish to do their own thing. They could still offer a complete unit for the people who want to pull the engine out of the box, place it on the track and start running. I don't know what the cost difference would be but it could increase their sales and help offset their tooling costs for new equipment.

Big John
 

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RE: What does an engine "need" in it?

With that kind of talk, Marty, you're bound to put some of the installer types around here out of business.

I'm more from the simple school - lights, maybe smoke, simple sound, a track/battery power switch on some. No need to control every light, sound, and doodad separately to keep those trains running. I'd rather run my trains than tinker with electronics.

-Brian
 

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I think that the various manufactures are going to do what they determine is best for them.
[*] Manufacture a product that appeals to the broadest customer base, at the lowest cost so they can compete in the market.

[*] Manufacturing and stocking multiple versions of the same model will increase the cost of all versions.

[*] Since most products are manufactured in relatively small production runs, keeping quality control in check would go out the window. Just about the time they get somewhat close to working any kinks out, it's time to break the line or at least parts of it down and rearrange the process.

[*] Manufacturing and stocking multiple versions of the same model would most likely reduce the number of models available.
[/list]
 

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I like the lights, smoke generators are ok but they don't always work that well. I like aristos pnp socket, when it works


I have a bunch of locos where I gutted everything and added my own stuff--directional lights, firebox lights, sound. I dont think we'd save much money if they just delivered a loco with an engine in it. The costs of the PC boards is--maybe I'm wrong about this--way way less than the cost of paint and molds


I suppose Bachmann could offer a loaded, ready to run K27 and a stripped, Goodson appoved K-27. Kind of like painted and unpanted?
 

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All I want are the motors and the lights (and I don't need a board for these either as a simple diode/resistor combination directly on the LED or bulb works fine for directional lighting). The smoke unit should be a plug-n-play for those who want to add it. Sound should be totally up to the user. There could also be a "socket" for those who want to easily change out to R/C or DCC.
 

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RE: What does an engine "need" in it?

Well, for people who just want the basics, you would still want a socket to allow the rest of the people a way to go r/c or DCC or whatever.

Lights, well, most people like the "constant lighting" which is a voltage regulator/supply and lower voltage bulbs/leds...

So, if you look at this "minimum" you have an Aristo loco, almost exactly. Yes, there are separate boards to solder the lights to, that's so you don't have hundreds of wires inside, like a pair for every bulb.

I cannot fault the wiring in Aristo in terms of design. It's actually simple, given directional and "constant" lighting. Give that up and you have either more wires or all track powered lights that are dim 90% of the time.

Regards, Greg
 

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Marty have you bought a new vehicle lately? Guess what, you get all the crap weather you want it or not. Same for trains. Your in the electronics age face it. Later RJD
 

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RE: What does an engine "need" in it?

To reinforce what RJ said and I said, I don't think you can take away the constant lighting circuits, the directional headlights, the switches to turn the lights on and off, the smoke switch, and the motor switch.

That's really all that is in your Aristo locos Marty. I'm assuming you are mostly talking about your Aristo's.

Regards, Greg
 

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Many people like their engines to smoke so a working smoke unit is a must. I don't see it that way. The only smoke unit I have ever seen that puts out a considerable amount of smoke was the MTH unit that was installed in another manufacturer's locomotive by an enterprising person! For me, all you need are the main basics of r/c control. The engine needs to start and stop realistically and it needs directional as well as continuous lighting and the engine needs controlable digital sound. Oh yes, the engine needs weight and the ability to pull at least as much as the prototype.
Now, that being said, there are some things that I would like it to have (classification lamps come to mind) and things like flickering fireboxes are always a nice touch but that's pretty much it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
RE: What does an engine "need" in it?

RJ
My first 69 chevy pick up I could sit in the engine area and work on it. My newer van I am afraid to stick my arm in it.
Its scarry under the hood.

I run almost 50% AC and USAT locos. I've removed alot of stuff on a couple of them. based on need.
I know so little about wiring other than wiring a house as a contractor.
Thats why all this RC stuff gets me. I like simple on/off forward /back.
Should still be a basic around.
good topic
 

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RE: What does an engine "need" in it?

Marty, you might not want the new TE then! It's more complicated with scrolling menus, and programming, and more menus and more buttons!

Can't have more "bells and whistles" without more complexity.

Regards, Greg
 

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You better forget about the new revolution system then. It's over your head.
. Later RJD
 

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RE: What does an engine "need" in it?

Some people like them, some don't. I have gotten the Aristo ones to work fine, I have a TAS that is even better, and will try an MTH soon. They are kind of fun.

Some people don't like sound, some people love it.

The manufacturers are making locos for everyone, and like cars, keep adding stuff in the hopes it will help sales.

Regards, Greg
 

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An "Engine", a "proper engine" needs a pressure vessel full of water and a goodly fire beneath it to turn that water to steam. THAT is what an Engine "NEEDS" in it!
 

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I want it all, and I want it now!

- A PnP socket for an R/C receiver or DCC decoder in all the major manufacturer’s locomotives. The only reason I gutted locomotives previously and built my own sockets was because I could not get the promised range out the 75 MHz receiver. That new receiver and decoder appear to have that problem solved.
- A factory mounted speaker and plug-in wiring for a sound board.
- Sound boards that plug in. No need to solder for power, battery charging, triggering sounds, etc.
- Constant intensity, directional, LED lighting. I can live with out the Christmas tree classification lights. White lenses would do fine.
- I don’t smoke, but don’t mind the new A-C unit as it is easy to remove if I need the space.
- A location, fastener, plug, charging plug and switch for an on-board lithium-ion battery pack.
- Plug in MU cables. Nice to have with a brand new locomotive so you can run it with a power car right out of the box. But once the receiver and battery are installed, they could be removed and only used when the battery pack needs re-charging or a trailing battery car is needed to extend run time.
- Receivers and decoders that don’t release magic smoke when you hook them up to USA Trains lighting circuits.
 

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RE: What does an engine "need" in it?

I have never been a fan of LED lights in locos, either they are too blue or in Bachmann's case, yellow.
 

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Posted By Paul Norton on 01/06/2009 9:59 PM
I want it all, and I want it now!

  1. - A PnP socket for an R/C receiver or DCC decoder in all the major manufacturer’s locomotives. The only reason I gutted locomotives previously and built my own sockets was because I could not get the promised range out the 75 MHz receiver. That new receiver and decoder appear to have that problem solved.
  2. - A factory mounted speaker and plug-in wiring for a sound board.
  3. - Sound boards that plug in. No need to solder for power, battery charging, triggering sounds, etc.
  4. - Constant intensity, directional, LED lighting. I can live with out the Christmas tree classification lights. White lenses would do fine.
  5. - I don’t smoke, but don’t mind the new A-C unit as it is easy to remove if I need the space.
  6. - A location, fastener, plug, charging plug and switch for an on-board lithium-ion battery pack.
  7. - Plug in MU cables. Nice to have with a brand new locomotive so you can run it with a power car right out of the box. But once the receiver and battery are installed, they could be removed and only used when the battery pack needs re-charging or a trailing battery car is needed to extend run time.
  8. - Receivers and decoders that don’t release magic smoke when you hook them up to USA Trains lighting circuits.


Paul you need to go DCC!!!

Item for item from your list above!!!


  1. I got the PNP for Aristo and USAT and the new bachmanns...
  2. The factory mounted speaker is not always there, but 2 wires from the decoder to the speaker
  3. Sound boards not only plug in, they are part of the PNP decoder, even better
  4. Constant intensity is a given on DCC
  5. Smoke units run from the rails, constant power and no worries about batteries
  6. No holes to drill for charging plugs, fasteners, or switch, because no charging batteries and no batteries period! not even for your sound card.
  7. Don't need mu cables, plenty of power, locos mu with the push of a button
  8. I have 3 USAT decoders that run just fine thank you very much, and they will be in production soon.
So, I want it all, and I have it now!



Greg
 
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