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  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

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  by ajp31
 
green_elite_cab wrote: Actually, I was thinking about making a separate Arrow III build thread, and then photograph each step. I figure at the very least, even if you can't get Arrow III kits anymore, the techniques might be useful for those building resin kits in general. Also, its that much more impressive when you have several being built at once.
Please do! I have no shortage of these kits to build myself, and the assembly-line method seems like the way to go. I'd love to see your process as a model for when I find the time to do mine!
  by green_elite_cab
 
ajp31 wrote:
green_elite_cab wrote: Actually, I was thinking about making a separate Arrow III build thread, and then photograph each step. I figure at the very least, even if you can't get Arrow III kits anymore, the techniques might be useful for those building resin kits in general. Also, its that much more impressive when you have several being built at once.
Please do! I have no shortage of these kits to build myself, and the assembly-line method seems like the way to go. I'd love to see your process as a model for when I find the time to do mine!
I'll look into it then, though i'm not sure i'll be making regular progress. Out of curiosity, how many do you have?
  by ajp31
 
green_elite_cab wrote:
ajp31 wrote:
green_elite_cab wrote: Actually, I was thinking about making a separate Arrow III build thread, and then photograph each step. I figure at the very least, even if you can't get Arrow III kits anymore, the techniques might be useful for those building resin kits in general. Also, its that much more impressive when you have several being built at once.
Please do! I have no shortage of these kits to build myself, and the assembly-line method seems like the way to go. I'd love to see your process as a model for when I find the time to do mine!
I'll look into it then, though i'm not sure i'll be making regular progress. Out of curiosity, how many do you have?
Oh, no worries. Talk about your long-term projects...I have 12 pairs and 3 singles and Mike (hi Mike!) owes me another 4 pairs and 1 single. ;-) So ultimately I have 36 (gulp) of these suckers to build...and paint...and power...and procure pantographs for...like I said: long-term project. :)
  by green_elite_cab
 
First of all, I feel bad for you! While normally, I wish I had that many Arrow IIIs, the reality is that I'm already questioning my sanity and i've barely made any progress at all (see below). Don't forget trucks! Unless you get the new drives instead, I don't think IHP has any left. In fact, I thought he wasn't making kits anymore! I'll have to bug Mike about it as soon as my budget builds up again!

Secondly, do you have a large layout to run these things? "when" do you model? You sound like you have enough for a full schedule.
I hope I don't sound too envious when I say I wish I had that many. I imagine with that many kits, you're planning on some sort of operations with them, right? I spent a good chunk of the summer tracking down train schedules and making a giant train graph for the NEC in New Jersey duing July 1979. I have just about every train on there, and the way I figure it, I'm only missing a handful of trains (such as non-revenue moves, and trains like WAKE, also know as the Tropicana Orange Juice Train, which was still running on the corridor by this time.

Powering them is probably going to be the biggest challenge. I'm not convinced that commercially available power drives are necessarily viable for these models. For one thing, the gearing and wheel size is a major handicap. Whats more, Unlike the Silverliner III and Arrow I kits, there are no provisions in the Arrow III kits for powering these models. I have a Black Beetle drive in one of the cars, and it does well, but i'm not sure it gives me the speed I want.

The manufacturer of the Bull-Ant actually got upset by my "MU Drive" video I posted on facebook. While to be fair, I don't own a bull ant and can't say much about them from first hand experience, I did discuss the subject with him. He said the maximum speed he could get was 60 MPH. I'm not sure what the typical speed for an Arrow III set on the NEC is, but I'm guessing its slightly faster.


I think I have a good plan for building the pantographs. I have already built my own, and I've had a good look at the IHP pantograph. Mike tells me that the maker of these pans can only pump out a few at a time. I think I can replicate this design with a few improvements.

In order to make it work, I'm going to try and get a hold of a metal photo etching kit, like the one Micromark sells. I figure that way, I can mass produce the bases, pantograph shoes, and the lower pivots (a feature I particularly like about the IHP version) on a sheet of brass or phosphur bronze.

the arms and bearings can be easily created from varios bits of wire and small diameter brass tubes. I see these bearing as the primary improvement on the IHP design, since I've both read and been told that a direct wire-through-metal sheet joint can actually wear out and seize.

As soon as I get measurements of the Stemman pantograph that I am confident in, I can make jigs, and print out the patterns for the photo eteching kits.

If walthers seems unwilling to sell spares off the metroliner production, then I'll probably work on this project, sometime next summer.




********************************************************************************************************************************************************
Anyways, back onto my progress with these kits-

Right now, the most annoying thing are some of the roof blisters. I was working on these kits today, and some of the "A" blisters have extra plastic junk on them. I tried filing and sanding it down, which could be done, but the vent areas themselves were fairly miserable, and there was no easy way to carve it back properly.

I think ultimately, I'm going to have to cast these parts. I'm gonna dig through the kits and make sure all the parts look nice. If something doesn't, I'll have to make a cast out of it from the "good" parts. I know i have some roof blisters that came out pristine, so I'll have to use them.
  by ApproachMedium
 
Arrow III DC config was good for 100MPH. Arrow III in earily AC config was good for 100MPH but not for long after traction motor and bearing issues arised. The current config AC cars are only good for 80MPH. Pretty much been that way since 1993.
  by ajp31
 
green_elite_cab wrote:First of all, I feel bad for you! While normally, I wish I had that many Arrow IIIs, the reality is that I'm already questioning my sanity and i've barely made any progress at all (see below). Don't forget trucks! Unless you get the new drives instead, I don't think IHP has any left. In fact, I thought he wasn't making kits anymore! I'll have to bug Mike about it as soon as my budget builds up again!

Secondly, do you have a large layout to run these things? "when" do you model? You sound like you have enough for a full schedule.
I hope I don't sound too envious when I say I wish I had that many. I imagine with that many kits, you're planning on some sort of operations with them, right? I spent a good chunk of the summer tracking down train schedules and making a giant train graph for the NEC in New Jersey duing July 1979. I have just about every train on there, and the way I figure it, I'm only missing a handful of trains (such as non-revenue moves, and trains like WAKE, also know as the Tropicana Orange Juice Train, which was still running on the corridor by this time.

Powering them is probably going to be the biggest challenge. I'm not convinced that commercially available power drives are necessarily viable for these models. For one thing, the gearing and wheel size is a major handicap. Whats more, Unlike the Silverliner III and Arrow I kits, there are no provisions in the Arrow III kits for powering these models. I have a Black Beetle drive in one of the cars, and it does well, but i'm not sure it gives me the speed I want.

The manufacturer of the Bull-Ant actually got upset by my "MU Drive" video I posted on facebook. While to be fair, I don't own a bull ant and can't say much about them from first hand experience, I did discuss the subject with him. He said the maximum speed he could get was 60 MPH. I'm not sure what the typical speed for an Arrow III set on the NEC is, but I'm guessing its slightly faster.


I think I have a good plan for building the pantographs. I have already built my own, and I've had a good look at the IHP pantograph. Mike tells me that the maker of these pans can only pump out a few at a time. I think I can replicate this design with a few improvements.

In order to make it work, I'm going to try and get a hold of a metal photo etching kit, like the one Micromark sells. I figure that way, I can mass produce the bases, pantograph shoes, and the lower pivots (a feature I particularly like about the IHP version) on a sheet of brass or phosphur bronze.

the arms and bearings can be easily created from varios bits of wire and small diameter brass tubes. I see these bearing as the primary improvement on the IHP design, since I've both read and been told that a direct wire-through-metal sheet joint can actually wear out and seize.

As soon as I get measurements of the Stemman pantograph that I am confident in, I can make jigs, and print out the patterns for the photo eteching kits.

If walthers seems unwilling to sell spares off the metroliner production, then I'll probably work on this project, sometime next summer.




********************************************************************************************************************************************************
Anyways, back onto my progress with these kits-

Right now, the most annoying thing are some of the roof blisters. I was working on these kits today, and some of the "A" blisters have extra plastic junk on them. I tried filing and sanding it down, which could be done, but the vent areas themselves were fairly miserable, and there was no easy way to carve it back properly.

I think ultimately, I'm going to have to cast these parts. I'm gonna dig through the kits and make sure all the parts look nice. If something doesn't, I'll have to make a cast out of it from the "good" parts. I know i have some roof blisters that came out pristine, so I'll have to use them.
Heh. Yeah...sometimes I question my sanity, as well. Here's the dirty little secret: right now there is NO layout! Just waiting to be sure that I'm settled in a long-term house before I start planning how the basement becomes the train room. ;-)

You're exactly right about "running a full schedule." I think I've talked about this a bit in various threads here and elsewhere, but my intention is to model the stretch of the NEC between the Harrison PATH station and Hunter Interlocking (where the Raritan Line diverges to the Lehigh Valley). My modeling period is summer, 2001: the summer after I graduated from college and had a chance to do some serious train watching! It was a nice period, too--a lot of the equipment from my childhood (the E60s, Comet IBs and unrebuilt IIs) was still around and in regular service, there was a smattering of new Acelas and HHP-8s, and Amtrak was practically in another "rainbow" period with all the different stripes on the Amfleets. You can find my (admittedly amateur) videos of an afternoon at Harrison in July '01 on YouTube (my handle is ajp31); I basically want to model the typical hour or two of an afternoon/evening rush through Newark. Hence enough Arrow IIIs to build, say 6 solid 6-car sets. I've also got a decent stockpile of Walthers' Comet cars and eventually I'll work with Mike on fleshing out my Comet III and IV fleets. (My take on selective compression: reduce the 10-12 car Arrow sets to 6 cars, the 6 car Comet consists to 4 cars, and similar numbers with the Metroliners/NEDirect/Regional consists.)

The theory in choosing Harrison/Newark, other than that it's been a favorite train-watching spot for me my entire life, is that it's a great place to show NEC trains in action, but at speeds that better fit a model railroad. There's enough interesting trackwork and dispatching to make things mildly challenging from an operations standpoint, and I get to include the diesel-powered NJT trains on the Raritan and Coast lines, plus PATH if I'm so inclined. Getting back to the Arrows, the choice of setting also means that gearing/speed of the power trucks is basically a non-issue, since I won't be running them more than a scale 45 MPH or so. You're right about the other headaches; I have already contacted Walthers about the possibility of making the Stemman pans from the Metroliners available separately. Last I checked with Mike he was going to fabricate some additional trucks from plastic rather than metal (and I actually have a bunch of extra commuter trucks that he made for me five or six years ago); you're right, I don't think he's doing kits anymore, but all of my cars were from a single order when he first announced them. Since, having no layout, I have no particular urgency, I haven't nagged him TOO much and he's sent batches of cars as he has time to make the parts. :-)

Aside: You're probably wondering why, if I'm modeling 2001, do I have a ton of the IHP Arrow III kits rather than the IMW ones (which more readily model the 1993 rebuilds), and the simple answer is that I'd been after Mike to produce these cars for, what, ten years? So when he did them, I pounced. I certainly couldn't have known that another outfit would offer an Arrow model (and Joe was very kind to work out a deal to get me the decals I'm going to need), and at least the IHP cars, in kit form, leave some room for adaptation to the rebuilt versions. I haven't seen the IMW shell in person; they both look like excellent models, and I certainly won't complain that after 33 years of riding these cars, we finally have craftsman-quality HO models. Honestly, I wasn't sure it was ever going to happen!

Anyway, I'll look for your updates and hopefully at some point contribute to the discussion of getting these cars ready-to-run!
Andy
  by green_elite_cab
 
Well, in my opinion, 2001 really is one of the best times to model the NEC in New Jersey. I can't think of a single model that isn't available, or at least, not imminently available (IMW "modern" Arrow III Married pairs?). The only thing you'd have to kit bash is an E60MA, and that is not terribly difficult. 2001 has many of the short lived schemes like the Phase IV on locomotives, as well as the "Acela" styling on the Amfleets. There is also a fine mix of Phase III and Phas IV stuff. The available models (HHP8s, AEM7s) tend to reflect the early 2000s better than they do their current paint jobs, as slight as the differences may be.

I'm pretty sure IMW makes the Path trains. There are E60MAs, Acelas, HHP8s, AEM7s, ALP44s, ALP46s, Arrow IIIs, you can't really go wrong.

Modeling Newark is also a good idea, since that is the one train station that ALL trains stop at. This way, you can always know when a trains is coming or going, giving you extra control about operating it.

As far as you having a ton of the IHP kits, I'm not surprised. It seems most people jumped on them when they came out, but almost every single person wanted to model a "later" Arrow, after the 1992 modifications. This only bugs me since there are only so many Arrow kits available, and several people I know are hacking them up trying to make them "Modern". I'd almost rather buy them the IMW kits and trade so that everyone gets the models they want. It seems doubtful that I'll ever get a hold of any additional Arrow III kits, i'm sure all the ones that were made probably have a home at this point. And we all know the "RTR" married pair versions will be WAY more expensive, and produced in far smaller runs. I've been lucky up to this point, but I'm thinking modeling the NEC is going to be much harder very shortly.

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Anyways, as far as operations go, I also want to model about an hour or two of the NEC, but between Lane Tower and Metropark (although almost any segment in New Jersey is fair game, for now), during the summer of 1979. In particular, I want to try and get Union interlocking and Rahway station as well, since I too want to model some of the limited diesel trains that run this way.

However, given that I have a limited amount of trains that I can expect to own in this lifetime, I've been trying to figure out "When" is the "best" time to model the NEC, and where? Seeing as I was born 10 years after the fact, I have none of the perception that someone then did. I decided I would make a "Master" schedule of NEC trains, and find the schedules of all Amtrak, NJ DOT, and Conrail trains. The Conrail trains were the trickiest, but by this time I've found just about all of them.

I've actually been working on this all summer, and I have only just recently decided its good enough to present, although you won't be able to see much detail here.

I first made them into tables in Excel, but that wasn't enough. It was too difficult to interpret the data. Certain trains ran faster than others, and there was no good way to sort them. If i wanted to model Rahway, not all trains stopped at Rahway, so how would I know approximately when they would pass?

To do this, I made a scatter plot in Excel, and then connected the dots. After a little cleaning, I got this- a Line Graph schedule of the entire NEC in New Jersey on an weekday.

The bottom of the graph is the early morning (12 AM), while the top of the graph is 11:59 PM. the White horizontal lines are approximatley an hour.

New York is the set of dots on the right, while Philadelphia is the set of dots on the left. Though hard to follow, the dots go like this:

Philadelphia-Trenton-Princeton Junction-Jersey Avenue-New Brunswick-Edison-Metuchen-Metropark-Rahway-North Rahway-Linden-Elizabeth-North Elizabeth-Lane Tower-Newark-New York.


In excel, I can identify which trains are which lines, but for here, you will all have to be satisfied with the color code.

Light Blue- NJ DOT trains between Trenton, or Jersey Avenue (Arrow MU)

Orange- NJ DOT trains to South Amboy (Arrow MU)

Purple- NJ DOT Trains to Bay Head (GG1-exchanges with E8)

Red- NJ DOT Trains to Bay Head (GP40P Express trains)[note, the 5300 series trains did not got to NYC. However, the corresponding train the red line touches in New York is the connecting train one would have to take to reach NYC]

Green- Amtrak Long Distance trains (such as the broadway limited, Silver Meteor, etc)

Lime Green Amtrak Clocker Trains

Yellow/Gold Metroliner service (Metroliner MU)

Blue Conrail Freight trains

Link to a larger version-

http://i543.photobucket.com/albums/gg44 ... ofixed.jpg


Image


I'm still not sure when the best time is, but I can make an educated guess now. I can see when certain trains might meet, or when there are to many trains on the track for me to realistically model. I can find the sweet spot, so to speak. Its looking like that might be between 10 AM-12PM, or close to between 2PM-4PM. the Rush hours are clearly visible, and so I know "when" to avoid.


If there is any interest in the Excel sheet itself with all the schedules, let me know.
  by acelaphillies
 
green_elite_cab, that idea about making the scatter plot is pretty ingenious! You can easily see every train at every time and location all at once. Definitely a great idea to organize operations.
  by deandremouse
 
Finally got to transplant that Genesis motor into this Athearn GP38-2

Image
  by ApproachMedium
 
And you would have been better off with the original motor, because they can actually pull. The genesis motors are crap, they run smooth but they cant pull anything. The best motor was the old black ones, but you need a powerful 2 amp decoder to run one.
  by Backshophoss
 
AM:That looks like a can motor,not a Factory Genesis motor.

Deandre,why do you have a disc "cap" on the motor lead?
Do you run DC only or intend to install a decoder?
  by green_elite_cab
 
I'm betting he is using the capacitor as a way to back up power to the motor when it hits dead spots. I don't know how far a capacitor like that will take the locomotive, but thats what it looks like to me.

It probably wouldn't be a good idea to wire one of those in with a decoder anyway. besides, TCS sells decoders that have back up power sources now.
  by ApproachMedium
 
Caps like that are what made Bachmann locomotives run like crap. That cap wont have the same effect wired the way it is as the TCS supercaps do.
  by deandremouse
 
The original reason for the conversion was an article I read on trainboard or was it (train orders?) someone had used a Kato motor, and a motor like this from a genesis Model and put each of them in Athearn GP38-2s. Supposedly this motor is more powerful than the factory one installed in RTR models. This motor was in a genesis MP15AC, that pulled 20-30 cars alone and was equipped with DCC.

Therefore I did this to assume it would be more powerful, as all this engine will be pulling like the prototype is husky stack cars, and I figure that might be a bit heavy, justifying a better motor.
I'll see how it goes.

As for the disc cap/capacitor I didn't install it, it came with the motor like that. I was thinking of removing it but wasn't sure if I should. I think I will however.

And I haven't used DC in a long time, this will be equipped with Tsunami's TSU-1000 645 non turbo, so DCC yes.
  by ApproachMedium
 
just get rid of the cap, it will save you trouble later on with DCC installation. Esp new decoders with Back EMF. BEMF does NOT like anything but a motor between the decoder and the motor.
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