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    • August 15, 2019 9:23 PM EDT
    • Wow Mike, you've gone so far since I saw your initial ground-based layout. Beautiful benchwork.


      Neat to see an "old gal" running, looking like she's in her prime. 


      Great job! 

      And thanks John for reposting the vid.



    • August 15, 2019 8:25 PM EDT
    •  How about a short video of my Bassett Lowke Titley Court on her maiden run on my completed layout.  Still need to level the table up as there is quite the downgrade on one side.  Thus the need to temper the speed a bit prior to the curve.  We dont need her rolling over due to excessive speed now do we?  Smooth run, front pilot axle needs a bit of attention, one wheel has a bit of a wobble to it.   But for a nearly 100 year old model, she runs well.   She is internally alcohol fired, originally a Smithies/Water tube boiler, she was professionaly reboilered at some point to a JVR Type C fire tube boiler.  All of these models were originally pot boilers when Bing made them for Bassett Lowke in 1924.  But they sold poorly as gauge one had moved outdoors and pot boilers are not the best choice for that, especially in damp and windy England.  So in the early 1930's, a modeler had BL modify one with a internally fired boiler.  It was so sucessfull that most of the remaining stock was converted and the service to convert other models to this type of firing was offered as well.  

    • August 14, 2019 1:13 PM EDT
    • We're back online! (Now to run through it with a fine tooth comb and pull out any tangles). :-)


    • August 13, 2019 5:47 AM EDT
    • Update on - Our techs are still working on our migration to the new servers. We had to take the domain offline in order to ensure there were no transactions that would be out of sync when we come back online. Thanks for your patience. I'm badgering our provider to get us back as soon as possible, but I want it done right.


    • August 1, 2019 7:19 PM EDT
    • FYI - will be temporarily offline as we migrate from old servers to new servers. We're working with our hosting service to make the down time as short as possible. Thanks for your patience.


    • May 5, 2019 1:17 AM EDT
    • Made some progress today, was supposed to go to a RC boat meet but the weather had other plans.  So a friend invited me over to awaken the old Reno.  New rubber tubes for water and fuel were needed along with new wicks.  A nice steady rain was falling so just a short run was preformed light engine today.  She run smooth and steady, got in a couple nice slower laps before shutting her down.   Had some issues with a long hanging cow catcher snagging the guard rails on his layout.  I have fixed this issue now that I am home.   Reno raised steam quickly with the new wicks.  I do need to take apart the sight glass as the lower fitting is blocked with deposits so the glass is non functional at the moment.  Debating to either do a vinagar soak to see if it helps any or risk taking the gauge assembly apart so I can poke a stiff wire thru the lower 90' fitting to clear the blockage.   


    • May 1, 2019 11:45 AM EDT
    • I have managed to trade for the wild west style live steamer that I wanted.  But she has been sleeping in a display case for many years.  So a bit of going over will be in order once she arrives here in Indiana from the west coast.  He did have the correct drawbar for her, so a home brew one is doing the duties for now, but I will make up one from sheet brass that fits in the proper place.   I also plan to box in the drivers in the cab and install proper wood plank wood flooring(with metal duct work tape on the back side to protect it from any alcohol flare ups). Seat boxes for engineer and fireman will be added along with a crew once I find some resin figures that look the part. I doubt plastic ones would like the heat back there, but resin figures seem to do ok in other models I have, or even metal figures.(any suggestions for seated crew in 1:32nd scale that would tolerate the heat?)   I plan to go after all the brass work with Brasso to restore the shine and I will buff out the paint work.   I have 2 different rakes of passenger coaches, the Kalamazoo set of 3 shorties are heavy, so they should help tame the Reno's speed.  The pair of metal 1:32nd scale Marklin Maxi coaches are lighter weight but would still look good behind the Reno.   She should arrive here early next week hopefully, then the fun can begin!   Plans for a brand new raised line to suit this engine are in the works for later this summer in our back yard.  My old R1 curved line will be torn down at that time, I have had enough of tight curves and the anxiety of models going around those to fast and falling to thier doom 4' down.       Mike the Aspie




    • May 1, 2019 11:32 AM EDT
    • I did not know that, thanks John!   Anyways, both are now traded off to a new home for this nice old Aster Reno.  She has been sleeping in a display case for many years, so a trip thru the shops to wake her back up, then I will get after that brass work with some Brasso.  Gonna make her sparkle again, just as they did in that period of American railroading.  I have a rake of 3 custom painted Kalamazoo shorty coaches and a pair of 1:32nd yellow Marklin Maxi coaches to pull.  She should look good on either set as she is scaled at 1:28th according to Aster.   The Kalamazoo set will help tame her a bit, with the interiors and figures I have added, they are quite heavy and give my old Kalamazoo 4-4-0 a real work out to pull them.  Mike the Aspie



    • April 30, 2019 9:43 AM EDT
    • Mike Toney said:

      As not all the live steamers might look at the for sale board, I am looking to trade my Regner Konrad & Stainz for an Aster Reno.   Open to cash offers as well but prefer to trade even up for the Reno.   See the ad over in the for sale thread for details on both locomotives.    Thanks  Mike and Michele T

      But you do have 3 listings on the Home page ...

      This reply bumps you back to the top of the list tho'

      Good Luck

    • April 28, 2019 3:50 PM EDT
    • As not all the live steamers might look at the for sale board, I am looking to trade my Regner Konrad & Stainz for an Aster Reno.   Open to cash offers as well but prefer to trade even up for the Reno.   See the ad over in the for sale thread for details on both locomotives.    Thanks  Mike and Michele T

    • April 28, 2019 5:11 PM EDT
    • Final set of tests with a Hitec servo instead of generic chinese SG90s.


    • April 25, 2019 4:05 AM EDT
    • I received an RCS TX3 from Tony last week and Winn loaned me a "servo doubler" from Servocity, so it was time for some tests.  Here's the TX3 with the knobs reversed, so the throttle has 150% servo throw preset, and the reverser is 100%.



      Here's the video of the first set of tests -apologies for the commentator who kept getting his numbers wrong.



      The following day I repeated a couple of tests to confirm the findings.



      I have a different servo, a Hitec HS81 spec'd at 162 degrees max, on the way so there will be some more tests.

       - I concluded that RCS' TX3 with the 150% throw does make some servos move 135 degrees instead of the standard 90 degrees.  This can help with a live steam throttle which is rod or chain actuated.

       - The "servo doubler" works as advertised, even on servos that pay no attention to a 150% throw request.  At $20 it is a bit pricey.  With chain and sprockets, it can help where you need more movement of the throttle shaft.

    • April 18, 2019 10:03 PM EDT
    • Thanks Pete.

    • April 18, 2019 7:30 PM EDT
    • Now that I can see the pics, very nice.

    • April 18, 2019 2:48 PM EDT
    • Joe Zullo said:

      I can't seem to find a way that leads to the pictures without being logged in. They have the location buried deep within the site.

      OK.  Sorry - I put them on MLS the quick way, which saved uploading them.  I have now also put a copy on the Freightshed so you should be able to see them.

    • April 17, 2019 3:41 PM EDT
    • I can't seem to find a way that leads to the pictures without being logged in. They have the location buried deep within the site.

    • April 17, 2019 12:59 PM EDT
    • You can see them if you are logged into

    • April 17, 2019 12:55 PM EDT
    • I'd love to see your model Pete, but the pictures are broken links.  Maybe the dreaded httpS ?

    • April 16, 2019 6:12 PM EDT
    • East Broad Top #1 was the original engine bought to lay the track in the 1880s. It survived, and was given a new boiler when The Big Cheese bought a Business Car (#20, Orbisonia.) It spent its final days pulling him around the railroad.



      This is my modified Aster JNR 8550 that I built from a kit. I managed to lose some parts - notably the gasket set, but I soldiered on to get a steam-tight model.



      It has a new stack, but I haven't done any painting yet to get rid of the JNR red or touch up the bolts. The copper top came from Roundhouse (very inexpensive.) The cab is a Bronson-Tate Forney kit from The Train Dept, and I made wooden walkways to match EBT #1. It needs earlier domes, but I haven't done them.

      The tender came from an Accucraft 4-4-0, I think, acquired because it was the right size and had the butane tank. I was determined to convert it to butane, and I bought a 30mm Regner ceramic burner that just fit with a bit of bending. I re-used bits of the Aster tender as #1 had a strange 6-wheel arrangement.

      The conversion isn't particularly successful, as you can't see what is going on. I need to run a suction fan until there is enough steam for the blower, just like an alky, as there isn't enough room for the gas to escape? It does run on rollers, so more experimentation is needed on the track.

      In any case, I can't spend any more time on it so it will soon be For Sale. If anyone wants to return it back to alcohol I have all the tender parts and the burner. I don't think I did anything that isn't reversible. (PM me if you have any interest.)