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    • September 9, 2019 7:02 PM EDT
    •  What I have done in a the past was as described to replicate the stanchions from brass and brass rod I bought from Michaels. For stanchions that I have  broken the mounting tabs off of, I used a slightly smaller gauge wire and soldered a small section into the u channel the  cut to length. It works with the side mount style as well. 

    • September 9, 2019 5:29 PM EDT
    • Just to be clear, vertical stanchion mounting on the U25B is prototypical as seen in picture. The later "U boats" and typical EMD units have side mount stanchions.


    • September 9, 2019 5:00 PM EDT
    • Good information Ted. Like I say I've never done this and if I can figure out how to post photos from my smartphone, I'll do it. Did not know about side mounting on prototypes. That would have made it much easier.

      I have to look but I might have an SD70 hand rail. (one side) I just remembered that. I'll do some comparisons.

      Actually I forgot to mention at the locomotive isn't even here yet. It'll be here in a few days, so I thought I would try to get a jump on how to fix the problem early.

      Thanks Ted!


    • September 9, 2019 3:57 PM EDT
    • Illustrated below is an example prototype U25B having vertically mounted stanchions for its railings like the Aristo replica.  (Later "U boats" utilized side mounted stanchions similar to competitive EMD locos.)


      Ken, to answer your question, yes it is possible to bend USA stanchion bottom ends straight and add a full length wire, but with risk of breaking off the bottoms - if not when forming but vulnerable when handling.  The end bulkiness may be another issue to contend with when trying to fit within the U25B's cat walk holes.

      With the U25B having missing railings, compromise possibilities are presented in the illustration below.


      If Gilbert has available RS3 plastic stanchions, they could be used with bendable electrical buss wire as described.  In so doing, the cat walk detail may need to be filed flush and mounting hole size may be different.

      If using USAT SD40-2 (or similar loco) taller stanchions, they can be shortened at its base and reformed / trimmed for vertical fitment without the issue of rebending (& possibly breaking) its right angle side mount tab.


    • September 9, 2019 8:38 AM EDT
    • Gilbert, I hope you get better soon and thanks for the info. No worries, we'll find some way.

      Greg, i think, if I'm understanding this right, Ted's reply here is telling me that most likely, USA Trains handrails won't work due to the stantion end needing to be bent. (as well as the handrails themselves) I guess, as mentioned, there is a high possibility of breakage if you bend them straight down at the bottom or the handrail top. Maybe the idea below would work? Of course, I've never done this.

      Ted, is it possible to bend USA stantion bottom ends straight and add full length brass wire instead of using Aristocraft top rail pieces, if I said that right?

    • September 9, 2019 2:48 AM EDT
    • A couple of railing substitutes for the U25B are illustrated below.


      Note: USA Trains and Aristo-Craft metal railings are made of hardened metal.  Rebending them is done at the risk of breakage. That said, usually a single bend will work if not done at a sharp right angle.

      As far as fabricating railings from scratch, I had done this for a then new Aristo SD45 that had one of its short single stanchion railings at the front side of the loco missing.

      I used a paper clip wire and brass sheet material. It was very tedious and time consuming to make, and I would not want to do a long railing.

      See article, title: Aristo SD45 weights & railing installation Vignette
      When there, scroll down to "Left Front Handrail Remedy"


    • September 8, 2019 11:46 AM EDT
    • Hi everyone. I am back but still in low gear where mobility is concerned. I appreciate the referrals and support. Ted Dokaris pictures help a lot.

      I can't 3D print the Aristocraft U-25B stanchions like I do with the other replacement parts. They are too small and especially too thin an object. They remind me of HO scale handrails. Railing and stanchions injection molded as one.

      Even just printing the stanchions alone makes a very fragile object that would break as soon as you touch them for the first time. Assuming a hole at the top for the hand bent brass railing, the wall of the loop would be again too thin and susceptible to breakage the first time you touch it.

      The best way is to duplicate these with brass channel or rectangular rod as recommended by Paul Norton. I however don't have a stamping machine to quickly cut out and flatten the the top and bottom tabs. The top tab then gets rolled to shape the hole for the handrail.

      It can be done by hand with small tools, files and a table anvil. This is a project for someone with talent, tools and lots of time on their hands.

      Sorry not something GLX Scale Models would undertake. The set up and manufacturing costs would easily outweigh a reasonable price. 



    • September 7, 2019 7:36 PM EDT
    • I'd buy some USAT stanchions and check them out, per Roosters excellent suggestion.

      I doubt the plastic stanchions can be made as slender, or as prototypical, i.e. channel.



    • September 7, 2019 2:28 AM EDT
    • Ted, 

      Thanks for the nice photos! That is exactly what is needed. 

      Fred, Greg, 

      Fabulous news! I'll anxiously await yours and Gilbert's ideas.

      We'll sure take them up on whatever will work best. No worries there.

      Rooster, our group is going to see what Gilbert comes up with and I have copied the part number, if we need it because that is a very good idea.

      Paul, I checked the OVGRS website and it seems doable and this is also a great idea.

      I'm sure we'll find one of these ideas working out.

      Thanks everyone! I left a message with Gilbert and I'm sure he'll get back to me when he feels better.


    • September 6, 2019 11:16 PM EDT
    • The stanchions do look similar to the USA trains ones. These probably could be made with brass channels. The brass loops that hold the coupler bars can be bought in the ship building section of hobby stores. There is a small article on the OVGRS website that shows how these can be made and repaired.

      I recently bought a USA Trains S-4 switcher. The stanchions on it are much sturdier and easy to install than on previous diesels.

    • September 6, 2019 8:40 PM EDT
    • Ken,

      Pretty sure the USA trains part # R22-121 metal railings might work while also involving the kids to make it a kitbash?  Just straighten the stanchion pins down and bend the railing around the blower/battery box.


      However I am far from an expert on this issue.




    • September 6, 2019 2:28 PM EDT
    • Unlike the Aristo RS3 that has plastic stanchions, the U25B has metal stanchions that support the metal railings.
      See example below:



    • September 6, 2019 1:14 PM EDT
    • Great, stanchions are commonly damaged or lost, so this would be a good thing. Many are small diameter though, made from metal, so we will have to see what Gilbert can come up with.



    • September 6, 2019 11:53 AM EDT
    • I contacted Gilbert this morning. He is sort of "Under the weather", but should be OK in a day or three.

           I also have found a U25 loco here in Ottawa, so Gilbert can take a look at the parts, and see if he can make replacements.

          So there is some ongoing action on this project...

        Fred Mills

    • September 5, 2019 9:26 PM EDT
    • David, Fred,

      I left a message today, 9-5-19. I'm sure he will get back to me when he has time. It sounds like he's very good at remaking parts in general. I'm just sorry I didn't know about him before. As many years as I've been in this hobby, I can't believe I didn't come across his information before. I sure hope he can help me out with this problem. It's pretty sad to have a brand new engine and no handrails.


      The original owner said they didn't have the styrofoam piece that would have been on top of the cradle. They also told me that they looked on the front sides, back and top and bottom of the styrofoam that the engine rests in and sadly had no luck finding the handrails. It belonged too the father of this young man and he doesn't really know a lot about trains but he searched the whole house and garage and couldn't find any other styrofoam pieces or train parts that wouldn't have went along with it. I used to own one other u-25B many years ago and I remember what you're talking about and where they used to put the handrails, however that piece on top is missing.


      Thanks guys! I'll keep trying to get in touch with Gilbert. Ken

    • September 8, 2019 1:02 PM EDT
    • I emailed the Mogul owner today that I've completed his sound installation project.  It runs and sounds super.......but only in DCC mode.  I left the Analog features active if he wants to try that mode, but I advised him that continuing to try running it in Analog, and doing decoder resets to achieve that, could cause the decoder to quite working entirely.  And that the only want to run his Mogul reliably in Analog is to replace the decoder with a new Massoth XLS sound unit.

      If anyone would like to see the locomotive's operations and sound demo'd, go to my Website Homepage and there a video I made today of it operating on my outdoor's on the far right side "LGB Mogul Massoth XLS Sound Install."  I demonstrate all the sound features while it's standing.  Sounds pretty darn good if I may say so myself!



    • September 7, 2019 7:31 PM EDT
    • I think that using a Navigator allows full control of all Massoth CV's... seems most of the "brains" is in the throttle, not the central station.



    • September 7, 2019 4:08 PM EDT
    • Greg - Appreciate your point about decoder flash memory issues.  I broke the news about the Analog issue with the decoder as gently as I could that I recommend he not operate the loco in analog.....he wasn't happy:  "It's disappointing to hear of the decoder trouble with analog operation.  I have Locos from the early 2000's with flawless operation in mts and analog.  The mogul decoder was bought more than a decade later."


      But I told him it's his decision whether he wants to try operating his Mogul in analog.  He's also buying from me a Massoth Navigator and Wireless Receiver to connect to his LGB MTS III Central Station.  So, now he'll be able to reset the decoder and adjust some of the CVs if he experiences problems.   I'm not that familiar with the MTS III Central Station's capabilities and whether he'll be able to change all the CVs on the decoder or not.


    • September 5, 2019 10:12 PM EDT
    • I hear you Tom. Many people believe that electronics either works or not, but it is indeed possible for it to get damaged just a bit.


      My suspicion is that the internal flash memory is weak and is starting to "drop bits".... early flash can do that, and I had a discussion with another major European manufacturer with a different product talk about "bad flash".



    • September 5, 2019 8:46 PM EDT
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      Hah! The only adjustments to a decoder that needed to be reset 3 times I would use would be in the form of a sledge hammer.


      I throw away unreliable stuff. Life is way too short to put up with stuff that makes you crazy.



      Hi Greg - I contacted Massoth Technical Department in Germany about doing a firmware update on the decoder using my Massoth Service Tool but was told the decoder is too firmware updates available.  And they didn't offer me any other suggestions about possible CV adjustment to  the decoder for the failure issue.

      So, I'm going to recommend to my customer that I change the CV on the decoder to digital use Analog power.   That's because I think the decoder failed usually after I had been testing it DCC and then tried to do an operations test of the loco in Analog power mode.  The loco owner told me he wanted to be able to operate his loco primarily in DCC but wanted it Analog ready too......that's why he had me install the Sound Function Trigger to activate the whistle and bell in DC power. 

      Alas, the risk of using someone's furnished dcc decoder when they have previously fiddled with it!