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About benshell

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    Sacramento, CA

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  1. Bachmann DCC 55 ton help

    Hi Harold, I just saw this message, and I use DCC. What sort of problems are you having? Please describe as best you can, and be sure to let us know the manufacturer of the DCC system as well as the decoder in the locomotive, if you know. One of the benefits of a forum like this is that if you describe the problem here, and people are able to help, then others will also have the benefit of the knowledge shared if they encounter similar problems. I certainly learned a lot of about DCC from reading forums while trying to get the bottom of some of the issues I had early on, so I'm always happy to share what I've learned.
  2. New MTH 2017 G scale Catalog

    Hmm. Is that an older release on the left? It looks like it also has ribbed sides. I would have expected consistency here. They are nice looking cars though. I think they have more detail than the new Accucraft cars.
  3. Hi Ben,

    Congratulations on getting your K4 going.  I really enjoyed the video.  I'm brand new member.  I was drawn to the group hoping I could get help in location a G scale pre-war PRR K4.  I'm looking for an engine to display.  It does not have to be in running condition.  The display will honor my Dad who fired K4s (M1s, I1s, J1s, L1s H10s, and #6110, the prototype T1) for PRR on the Panhandle Division between Columbus and Pittsburgh.  I'm looking for a highly detailed engine, either steam or electric, and will happily pay a reasonable price.  Can you or any of your Forum friends help me?

    Thanks very much!



  4. 4-8-4 1:29 Brass

    Wow, this is very impressive! Great work!
  5. Live Steam Salvage Tug Kit

    Nick, this is really coming together and looking amazing! The last thing I need is another project, but wow, this sure makes me want to build something like this.
  6. MTH 2017 Passenger Cars Are Shipping!

    Wow, that's crazy Chuck. Is UP the roadname you ordered? It sounds like MTH must not have anticipated the demand. I also think MTH should do more old school advertising, i.e. ads in Garden Railways magazine, because none of the garden railroaders I've talked to in my area have even heard there is an MTH 2017 catalog. Of course, now they know because I mentioned it so maybe that's the word of mouth MTH is going for, but it seems like a bit more traditional marketing would be helpful.
  7. USA Big Boy Zinc Rot!!

    Yikes, I haven't heard of that before! Wow! I'm glad I haven't noticed any of this on mine. I did notice that it's very cheap pot metal that was difficult to do anything with when I was repairing mine. JB Weld didn't seem to even stick. Do you keep the Big Boy in the house, or somewhere without climate control? I'm reading that can make a difference. Mine spent about a year in the garage when I was working on it, but otherwise stays on display in the house. I guess we better enjoy these locomotives while we have them. This also gives me second thoughts about the FEF-3!
  8. USA's Train groupe, site/ info ...

    It's been fun to be apart of the USAT G Scale Group for so many years. However, there are several other more active forums, and the software is badly outdated (and difficult to update) so it's likely to be hacked soon. It was great while it lasted, but it's not all a loss. I think the lasting value has been the information collected and the relationships formed. I'm actively working on a modern and searchable database web app to host the USA Trains information--and having a deadline will help me to get this done before the USAT G Scale Group goes offline! And forums like this (as well as Facebook) help us to stay connected. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. I'm trying to help minimize the loss and ultimately make USA Trains information easier to research.
  9. USA Trains GP38-2 Questions

    Are you still looking for sound? And are you comfortable with wiring? DCC sound decoders are nice because the sounds should be in sync with the motors. There's nothing wrong with a Phoenix+Airwire setup (I would say this is by far the most popular combination) but the sound isn't as impressive as what I get from my QSI Titan decoders. Unfortunately QSI Titans are currently unavailable, but I've heard that ESU V4.0 has even better sound for diesels. And if you want to use battery instead of DCC through the rails, you can get a CVP Convertr or Tam Valley Depot "DRS1 HiPower" receiver (basically a wireless DCC booster) and use an Airwire throttle to run any DCC decoder.
  10. Upgrading an AML K4

    Thanks guys! Chuck, LOL. I know you have experience with this too. Teardown is a pain, and unfortunately I know the answer to your question. I was putting it back together last Monday and was on my very last step (frame to cab brackets) when they wouldn't fit because I put the weights on the sides of the motor on backwards! I think it was just past 10am, and I finished doing the compete teardown and reassembly again by noon. Now that I know exactly how to do it I'm surprised it wasn't faster but it is really a pain. I haven't done any paint touch up yet but it's not bad, not in visible areas anyway. I also left off the brakes for now. They seemed to rub if they get just slightly bumped, and no one is going to notice when it's running.
  11. Upgrading an AML K4

    After a month off for traveling and insanely hot weather making work in the garage/outside miserable, I'm back with some exciting news and a video to share! I pressed in the rolling bearing and reassembled, and the K4 is running smoother than ever! But just in case, this time around I didn't test run first... I took this video on the very first loop around the track with the new bearing! 20 cars was no problem until the entire train was on my 2.5% grade... then I had to lighten the load to 16 cars. I could probably add a little more lead weight to improve traction, but I probably won't bother for now. I just wanted another smooth running steam locomotive that could pull a decent train, and I feel I've reached that goal now. Also, it's running at top speed, which is about 20 volts DCC. A prototypical passenger train should run a little faster, but this is faster than I run most of my trains so I'm happy with the range. I guess the next step is getting PRR heavyweights. I'd been on the lookout for Aristo-Craft cars, but at this point I'll probably wait for the new USA Trains heavyweights. In the meantime, the K4 will be engaged in frequent freight service.
  12. Goodbye QSI

    Yeah, it's unfortunate what has happened. I bought my last QSI Titan for my K4 back in February, just in time apparently. I'm still hopefully they will resurface at some point though. It's great hardware and software, it was just terrible customer support.
  13. the ultimate collection?

  14. New Project - SP GS-4 (1:29 scale)

    Wow, this is so cool Chuck! I look forward to watching your progress on this. I always wanted a 1:29th GS-4 but don't (yet) have the skills (or perhaps more accurately, the time) to build one. Do you have any USA Trains Daylight passenger cars yet? I like that they are ribbed to better match the prototypical Coast Daylight cars. The MTH and newer Accucraft cars I have are smooth sided, which would be accurate only for a Shasta Daylight which as I understand it were pulled by diesels. Still, only the original Accucraft cars are based on prototypical Coast Daylight cars, and given the cost of them I've given up on accuracy! Now if only those 2017 MTH GS-4s would ship...
  15. New Project - SP GS-4 (1:29 scale)

    Wow, I'm in suspense. This looks like quite a project!