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    • January 6, 2019 7:25 PM EST
    • The show is over, and the Tyco ran pretty well all things considered. Even though its a division of the NMRA, the track-work on the various modules leaves something to be desired. The Tyco would sometimes high center herself on the diamond, and sometimes she derailed on the dip and bump combination on the one module. Also she would sometimes stall on the non powered frogs that a few modules have. Since the locomotive picks up power from one rail, and the tender picks up power from the other rail, its understandable that a dead frog could stall her. Several people commented on her, apparently that locomotive was fairly popular among my age group.


      One viewer asked how I had put a can motor in her, so I explained that I did not put a can motor in her, she is running with her original open frame motor. He was surprised that it could be done. I guess he read the same literature that I had read that said a DCC decoder can not be used on an open frame motor.


      Now that I have done a Tyco 10 wheeler, I can get back to the collection of AHM 4-4-0s that I have awaiting DCCing.

    • January 6, 2019 7:32 AM EST
    • Rick, judging from the wheel plating on this gal, she didn't run much back when she ran. Judging from the oxidation on the motor commutator, she hasn't run in a long time. Seeing her resurrected and running, on DCC, made me feel good.


      Yea John, my grandfather started me on Lionel. I didn't like that weird third rail. I wish I still had that Lionel set.


      At the show, one of the NMRA guys asked me if the locomotive was a Bachmann. I replied that "No, its a Tyco." He just said "Tyco" and walked away. Mission accomplished, another mind blown.

    • January 5, 2019 8:51 PM EST
    • Yep the above caused the pause...

      1960 my father switched me from the Lionel Turbine to a Mantua General and a Tyco Shifter 0-4-0. So tiny, but at 10, I could take a truck to school to study the rolling characteristics (covertly, of course).

      I miss that turbine.

    • January 5, 2019 8:40 PM EST
    • Yea, I still have my first HO Tyco a 4-4-0 American from back in the early 70's great little runner back then.  Haven't ran it in probably 40 years

    • January 5, 2019 6:57 PM EST
    • Today was the first day of the Greenberg train show in Monroeville. So I took the old gal out and ran her off and on all day.



      I remember the headlight being brighter when I viewed it in my living room.


      I guess I  need to use a smaller current limiting resistor in the headlight circuit.


      And, as I suspected, the more the old gal ran, the better she ran. At the beginning of the day, she was only happy at Lionel speeds. By the end of the day, she was trundling along at a nice, sedate pace. At the beginning of the day, she would speed up and slow down, uncommanded, sometimes rather abruptly. By the end of the day, she was running at a a near constant speed. And at the show I bought another Tyco 10 wheeler.


      Did I mention, that when I was a kid, I literally ran the wheel plating off of the Tyco 10 wheeler that I had. She was my favorite locomotive. So seeing one run again, and run well, gave me a warm fuzzy feeling.

    • December 29, 2018 10:43 PM EST
    • Next I replaced the tender wheels. The tender trucks are metal, and I carefully bent the bolster a bit to take out the original plastic and brass wheels and replace them with new nickle silver wheels, making sure the the insulated wheels are all on the proper side.



      In the picture the left truck has the new wheels, and the right truck still has the original wheels.


      Then I wired up the locomotive with a Digitrax economy decoder, because I am chee frugal, and tried to run the locomotive. It turned out that the motor ran the wrong way. After trying to change some CVs to compensate, I gave up, pulled out the super magnets from the motor, flipped them over and put them back in. Then I did a factory reset on the decoder and she ran the right direction.



      Next I programmed in an address. The number on the Tyco locomotive is 3. But I know of 2 other locomotives in the NMRA group that use address 3. So I programmed her to use 1003. I plan an setting up my old time locomotives with addresses between 1000 and 1999, since so many of them actually are single or double digits road numbers. Just to prevent duplication with others in the groups I belong to.


      Next I need to remount the smoke stack, and then she will be ready to run for the up coming shows. I am sure that more then one person is going to think it an abomination to be running a Tyco 10 wheeler on a modern layout, but I know that others will enjoy seeing the old gal trundle around the layout.

    • December 29, 2018 10:29 PM EST
    • Some of Yunz know that I belong to 2 HO FeMo clubs, now more of Yunz know. I belong to a small club called the South Hills Model Railroad club, because Dave Bodner drug me kicking and screaming to one of the club's meetings when the club was just getting started, and forced me to join. Just kidding, but Dave did invite me to the meeting, and I have to blame someone for delving back into HO. I also belong to the NMRA division 2 FreMo group. Besides having a pair of modules, I also am trying to put together some train sets to run. My latest adventure is resurrecting an HO Tyco 10 wheeler that I bought at a train show. Ok, its actually a bit oversized for HO, but it was a popular locomotive back in it's day.


      First thing I did was to set the train up on an oval of track and apply DC power to the track. If the thing won't run, I may be done right here. Sure enough, it didn't want to run. So I opened it up, and the motor contacts, the commutator, was black. So I removed one of the motor brushes and carefully cleaned the commutator with Brasso. Once I put it back together the train actually ran.


      At first it ran jerky, then it derailed. Upon inspection I found that the drawbar screws were so tight that the drawbar could barely move, and the tender truck screws were cranked down so tight that the trucks would not swivel. After backing off those screws a quarter turn or so, I tried again. Again she started off real jerky, but after a minute or two, she started running smoother and smoother. And she sounded just like the one I used to have when I was a kid.


      Once I knew that the mechanism wasn't trashed, and that she would run, I started my upgrade of her to DCC. These older locomotives have open framed motors in them. Those kind of motors tend to draw a nice amount of current.


      My ammeter was showing .4 something amps when I was running the locomotive. I say "something" because the next 2 digits of the meter were flickering so much that I have no idea what the average of them would have been. To improve the performance of the motor, I replaced the original magnet with super magnets from Micro Mark.



      I could not figure out what way to put the new magnets in, because the motor's original magnet was so weak that super magnets would stick to it in any direction. So much for the "opposites attract" theory.


      I put 2 strips of electrical tape on the bottom of the motor and reinstalled it with a nylon screw. That way the motor is electrically isolated from the locomotive's frame.




      Running the locomotive now, it only draws .2 something amps, a definite improvement.


      While I was rewiring the locomotive, I replaced the headlight light-bulb with a bright yellow LED. But the headlight wires would not fit in the groove in the boiler weight.



      After little work with a file, the 2 wires fit in the groove originally made for one wire.






    • December 20, 2018 1:57 PM EST
    • Is it done yet?

    • November 20, 2018 5:38 PM EST
    • David Maynard said:

      Wow, this is serious. The thing even has an hobbs meter.



      Almost all ride-on engines (gas or electric) have hour meters. Generally to keep track of time in use/maintenance work. These engines clock hundreds of miles (in comparison to thousands of feet with garden railway variety of RR stock). Our club diesels (electrics) have complete maintenance logs for each engine on the roster. So do the club steam engines. Some are small 1-1/2 scale Pacific's to the larger NG Sweet Creek steamers in 3-3/4 scale. Maintained with the same care that the full-sized railroads did back in the day. When you run at very large tracks like Train Mountain in Oregon or Mill Creek in Michigan, you can accumulate a lot of miles quickly. Train Mountain has almost 45 actual miles of track and Mill Creek is near 5-7 miles, I believe. Our track here in Los Angeles has a mainline run of about two miles for one circuit. All of my electric engines have hobbs/hour meters.


    • November 20, 2018 5:10 PM EST
    • Sean said:

      Hmmm ... if you put a ceramic bowl on top of the motor .. will it heat it up enough to work as a smoke unit ?

      That motor will be working hard ...

      Like minds and all that  :)  ......... I just ordered an exhaust stack from him yesterday. Has a stainless steel stack and a "rain flapper" :).

    • November 20, 2018 4:20 PM EST
    • Wow, this is serious. The thing even has an hobbs meter.


    • November 20, 2018 1:16 PM EST
    • Video showing a Super Husky pulling 12, 1-1/2 inch scale steel gondolas and two cabeese. Each gondola weighs about  150-175 pounds and the cabeese are probably 125-150 pounds each. Approx. 2200 pounds including the Husky and the engineer. ONE 500 W 24v motor :) I was told by the manufacturer of these engines to hold the gear ratio around 6:1. I believe the chain sizes are 25 and 35.


    • November 20, 2018 8:17 AM EST
    • Hmmm ... if you put a ceramic bowl on top of the motor .. will it heat it up enough to work as a smoke unit ?

      That motor will be working hard ...

    • November 19, 2018 7:55 PM EST
    • " Rooster " said:

      So it's probably not gonna have HEP then.

      Ok Rooster......I'll bite :).

    • November 19, 2018 7:45 PM EST
    • So it's probably not gonna have HEP then.

    • November 19, 2018 4:25 PM EST
    • Sean said:

      So do you have the prime mover yet for this baby ?


      As a matter of fact, I do. The man doing the electronics for me has purchased a few motors for other builds he does. The power with be a single 500 watt, 24 volt motor. We had thought about going to two 500 watt motors but the battery capacity of the batteries that will fit under the hood and in the cab just won't permit that. The single motor with chain drive to the axles and an idler shaft can pull about 11 steel gondolas (empty) on a level track. Pretty strong for only 4 wheels and and a light engine at 150 pounds. There are quite a few videos of Super Husky's running. This engine will have Phoenix Sound and a RC wireless controller. RC controllers are those used with model race cars. Not tethered. I have talked with folks who use this system and they say the range is about 500 feet. I can literally sit on a bench next to our yard at the LALS club track and do all my switching without being anywhere near the train. The kid's can handle the couplers and use hand signals :). Many use this system already now in the ride-on scales to control the larger diesels in the 1000 pound range. Just BIG garden railways!! All with full sound and large amplifiers added. Large woofer speakers really can "shake the ground" as they go by :). No room for amplifiers in my critter though.

      This is the 500 watt 24 volt motor we will be using. I'm told by the man doing my electronics that this motor should provide around 3/4 HP. To give an idea of the physical size of this motor, those aluminum angles for the motor mounts are 1 inch X 1 inch angle.


      This phoyo shows the two 12 volt batteries that power this little engine. They are both Group 26 size batteries.


      This photo shows the back panel of the electronics. This is the earlier version using a "tethered" cable from the handheld controller box.


      Looking down inside the cab showing one battery and the electrical panel. Not a lot of room.


      RC wireless transmitter/controller and the small rectangular receiver and motor controller. All available from Amazon for under $50! This doesn't have to be an expensive hobby. This may even be less expensive than 1/29th!

    • November 19, 2018 12:43 PM EST
    • So do you have the prime mover yet for this baby ?

    • November 19, 2018 12:36 PM EST
    • Sean said:

      Gary you need a hobby .. with all this free time you have ... You lucked out with the kit ...

      Funny you should say wife says the same thing :)

      I WAS lucky to get the kit. Quite a few folks were surprised when he decided to stop production on this little engine. Those people were doing the same thing as I was (building their own engines and getting the material and machining their own parts). Rich Eaton is STILL in business with his Eaton Custom Engineering in Castle Rock, WA. He just said that production was taking time away from other things he manufactures in the ride-on and HO hobby. He does make some beautiful 1=1/2 inch scale arch bar trucks and other detail items. Also does some really nice HO wig/wag signals and trolley poles for HO traction.

    • November 19, 2018 7:58 AM EST
    • Gary you need a hobby .. with all this free time you have ... You lucked out with the kit ...

    • November 18, 2018 12:12 PM EST