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Chuck

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  1. Interesting as it was right around 3/28/2017 that USA Trains made it official that the FEF & heavyweights were chosen to be produced...Almost 3 years to the new delivery date of 4/16/2020. Hard to believe this topic is going on 5 years old. Next few days will be interesting as Charles Ro is still showing a delivery date of 12/16/2019 for the FEF.
  2. Yeah those don't have much power. From what I found online specs are 0 - 18.5V DC @ 35VA which is only like 1.89 amps....barely enough for 1 GP-9. Here's a review I found on Amazon... "This power supply is great for any modeler in HO, but it has limitations in "G" scale. It simply doesn't have enough power to run anything larger than a single motor locomotive. If you try and run a double header, or a locomotive with twin motors, the unit gives it a try, but after about ten minutes the circuit breaker trips and you're out of action for about fifteen while everything cools down."
  3. Update...The heavyweight passenger cars have been pushed back to 4/16/2020
  4. So I decided to close the "gap" between bottom of chassis and top of truck...and/ or to hide the wiring. I just sorta mimicked the frame rails?? that USA uses on the SD40-2 chassis...as to me the USA Trains engines "look right" Aristo-Craft had a very annoying habit of making freight cars, passenger cars and engines sit way too high. The Dash-9's had at least a 1/4" gap between motor truck top and chassis bottom. The streamlined passenger cars have plenty of articles published over the years to lower them. Some of the freight cars were so bad that Aristo used to offer a lowered floor for the 40' boxcars, reefers etc. Anyway here's what I used. Plastruct 90046 5/16" channel iron so maybe it'll look like some frame rail? I also opted to use a channel type so had a wider base to glue to chassis...make it more of a stable mod than just a piece of styrene sheet glued on. Here's one being glued... Here's compared to what USA did... Here I cut down and mounted the Aristo steel channel that goes on the inside of chassis. I decided to shorten it compared to leaving long and then having to modify by cutting new holes, shimming to fit over new bolsters, etc. Then the cab probably wouldn't fit over it being raised as interior would hit then have to notch it. I did feel the need to use it shortened as Aristo has no screws for chassis to shell in this area...more of Aristo cutting manufacturing corners. It's bad enough that it was designed for the fuel tank to "snap" into place which to me is just crazy! I modified the fuel tank and now it uses 4 screws to fasten onto chassis. Here's the finished look after painting a bit with some flat black...I like it! All that's left is to install a MTH DCS ProtoSounds 3 Upgrade kit
  5. After doing a bit of painting I assembled the end sills, fuel tank & trucks. Here's the clearance between truck end and sill... Here's clearance between truck and fuel tank... Here's where truck swivel arc stops at sill... Same turn but at fuel tank... Here's the overall chassis showing maximum turning radius...I'm real happy with that! I'll never be in a curve that sharp as my minimum radius is 7' or 15' diameter curves...I prefer 20' or greater. Here's compared with a USA Trains SD40-2...SD45 has the body just sitting on chassis.
  6. Centennial??!! As in the DDA40X...??? Post some pics of that beast please!
  7. First I'll start off by stating that I am not a fan of the Aristo-Craft 3 axle motor trucks. A crappy rail power pickup design along with no spare parts available. Overall I do like the Aristo-Craft SD45 so I decided to mount USA Trains SD40-2 motor trucks. I do like the USA T design as they use both the wheels via axle bushings and slider skates to pick rail power. I'm also a big fan of using traction tires. My idea is keep the locomotive weight light and pull good using traction tires. First off I started this on 10/31/2019 as it was such a beautiful fall day outside here in a northwest suburb of Chicago... Here's a SD45 chassis/ frame stripped down being prepped for the USA drives. I removed these pieces with flush side cutters and then sanded down smooth... For mounting the floppy axle steel guide/ bolster whatever it's called... But since I plate the floppy axle and make it solid with the rest of the motor truck I decided not to use the steel bolster thing... Just mounting the drive onto the chassis could be done but I didn't like it as it looked to "high"... The USA drives are a bit taller than the Aristo's so I decided to raise the bolsters...or lower the chassis. And since the USA drives pivot at a different spot than the Aristo's I calculated where the new bolster holes should be. In this case 5-3/4" away from the chassis top side ends...where the diamond plate stops. After I marked where the holes are to be I drew out where to cut for the bolsters. I just followed a USA SD40-2 frame and made the holes approx. 2" x 2". I didn't take any pics of just the square holes being cut. Here I made & mounted new bolsters out of some .110 or 7/64" hard acrylic plastic. Bolsters measure approx. 2" x 3". Glued and screwed. Pic shows how much shorter the Aristo SD45 frame is compared to the USA Trains SD40-2. Here's the 5-3/4" bolster hole... Here's the frame with slotted holes cut for truck wiring to pass thru...these holes are right next to where the fuel tank ends... Trucks fit nice...without the fuel tank being installed So I had 2 options...either shorten the USA truck frames a bit or shorten the fuel tank. I figured a shortened fuel tank would be an eye catcher...so I opted to shorten the truck frames a bit. Here I chopped the rears of say about a 1/2"...or just next to the rear traction motor blower duct...Won't even be noticeable. Oh...should say I figured all that out way ahead of time...that's how I came up with the 5-3/4" number. Here trucks are temporarily mounted along with fuel tank and a end sill sitting on track compared to a USA SD40-2. With a bit of painting and some detail work it will be just fine
  8. Charles Ro Supply is showing a stock number the new USA Trains F7's http://charlesro-com.3dcartstores.com/F7-AB-Unit-Locomotives_c_629.html
  9. Ben...That is awesome thanks for sharing!! Magnificent layout and train! Too bad about the redwood trees though.
  10. I see they're back for the 2019 Holiday Season!
  11. Yes looking good! Here's another place that has all kinds of tiny miniature screws, bolts, nuts etc. https://model-motorcars.myshopify.com/collections/small-parts-hardware
  12. I believe it! MTH paint is about the worse I've ever tried to remove...which is a good thing!

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