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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought one of these (metronet pathfinder), inserted a dcc decoder and put on the layout:

Great looking model. Smooth running with moderate noise level. Bi-directional lighting is really nice. Weathering needed on this model in my opinion.

Areas of potential improvement:

The model is too light. This means traction is not great and an imperfect layout can cause the loco to stall relatively easily. Electrical pick up will also eventually suffer from lack of weight.

Electrical pickup: only 4 axles out of the 6 are used for electrical pickup: very silly as adding the other two would be very easy and provide improvement for power pickup. The lack of weight will not help. I wish they would add lead to the boggies.

Wheels: slightly shallow. My loco cannot go through one of the peco points on my layout as the point is right at the end of a curve and the front wheel of the rear truck is 'climbing' on the needle of the point as it enters (the needles are cut downward at the tip so that the very end of the tip is about 1.5mm or so below the rail level). Having a slightly deeper wheel flange (like on my Kato locos for eg) would prevent that happening.

Great model overall but please add weight and put the extra pickups as this would then produce a truly great and reliable runner. Deeper wheel flanges would provide extra reliability on the track particularly as these long 6 wheel boggies are always struggling to cope with tight curves and imperfect layouts.
 

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QUOTE (Nthusiast @ 6 Jul 2008, 02:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just bought one of these (metronet pathfinder), inserted a dcc decoder and put on the layout:

Great looking model. Smooth running with moderate noise level. Bi-directional lighting is really nice. Weathering needed on this model in my opinion.

Areas of potential improvement:

The model is too light. This means traction is not great and an imperfect layout can cause the loco to stall relatively easily. Electrical pick up will also eventually suffer from lack of weight.

Electrical pickup: only 4 axles out of the 6 are used for electrical pickup: very silly as adding the other two would be very easy and provide improvement for power pickup. The lack of weight will not help. I wish they would add lead to the boggies.

Wheels: slightly shallow. My loco cannot go through one of the peco points on my layout as the point is right at the end of a curve and the front wheel of the rear truck is 'climbing' on the needle of the point as it enters (the needles are cut downward at the tip so that the very end of the tip is about 1.5mm or so below the rail level). Having a slightly deeper wheel flange (like on my Kato locos for eg) would prevent that happening.

Great model overall but please add weight and put the extra pickups as this would then produce a truly great and reliable runner. Deeper wheel flanges would provide extra reliability on the track particularly as these long 6 wheel boggies are always struggling to cope with tight curves and imperfect layouts.

***Picking the tip of the frog isn't a factor caused by flanges. It is an issue with the wheel back to back or the point itself.

(1) Japanese made N isn't done to global standards and Kato have a narrow back to back compared to worldwide standards. The Dapol will almost certainly be set slightly wider. This doesn't make the Dapol wrong, but emphasises that parts of your points are not doing the job properly. (see 3 below)

(2) dropping the tip of the frog as you mention is unwise and goes against everything most modellers try to achieve - the objective is to have the wheel tread properly supported as far as possible, and dropping the frog tip increases the effective gap at the common crossing area and prevents this.

(3) The REAL problem with your points is that the "check rails" on your points aren't doing their job at all. They are designed to do exactly what their name describes on the real railway, and need to do the same on a model.

PECO are hopeless and have no idea about the reality of point design so they always place them too far away from the rail so they do not "check" the wheels and stop them picking the frog point.

You can fix this by adding appx 10 thou of styrene glued inside the check rail face (and shaped to match the check rail properly) so the gap is more correct and effectively narrowed between rail and check rail. This will keep the wheelset slightly more to the left and right of the frog as appropriate (correct name of that area of the point = common crossing). If the check rails are right and the back to back also right then your problem will disappear.

I can say definately that larger flanges will NOT help tracking - correct wheel profiles and accuracy of track design will... Big flanges are an abomination on models - certainly they tend to be the most jarring thing on the look of small scale models, totally destroying the look and realism of many otherwise fine models.

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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I absolutely agree with Richard.....the issue is the ''check rail gauge '' on both points AND wheelsets.....deep flanges detract from the look of the model [we all critiscise old Triang, Lima etc???]...and can also lead a maker to use UNDERSIZE wheels to compensate for the deeper flanges.

If the check rail gauge is correct and consistant...even the check rails themselves should show no signs of contact with the wheelsets.

since it is doubtful you will be able to measure the 'check rail gauge' on the wheelsets themselves...[back of one wheel flange, to rail-side face of opposite flange]....then ''back-to-back'' measurement and adjustment is all that one can do.

this is the main ADVANTAGE of hand-made trackwork.....it can be made to work correctly....and that I find preferable to even 'appearances''.....there is something appealing to me about the smooth, seamless transition of stock over a correctly-engineered point....

even the absence of chairs or proper fixings in miniature doesn't irk me as much as the bumbling progress of stock through even the likes of Peco points.
 

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I have no intention of entering the handmade versus Peco debate but as an N gauge modeller myself I get the feeling that Nthusiasts problem might have been misunderstood.
I could well be wrong but when I read his post I assumed that he was talking about the point blade and not the frog. Climbing the front tip of certain Peco point blades was a problem that I encountered with many of the older Arnold locos. It was easily rectified by ensuring that the blade tip tucked snugly against the stock rail by gently bending/filing.
 

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Again I agree...this also can happen in other scales.... a deeper flange does not solve the problem, merely masks it.

track alignment needs care......I have found with Peco points that the straight stock rail can sometimes be moved a tiny bit.....accidentally.

ensuring the stock rail is in the correct position in relation to the curved blade eases the situation....

sometimes a barely percetable kink can occur when joining a turnout directly to a curve........this 'kink' may create a localised tightening of track radius which is intolerable to a long [effective] wheelbase bogie or truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Swisstrain is right, the problem is with the tip of the blade not the frog.

Also my point is not about how to modify the peco points but how to ensure that locos can cope with the most commonly used tracks/points without having the modeler or the kid to spend hours making sure everything is perfect, soldering rail joints, filling points, or else. That said, thanks richard for the detailed response. Althoug my pb is with the blade not the frog, I did nevertheless try narrowing the back to back on the 66 to see if that would help but it did not cure the problem in this case.

I wanted to attach a picture of the blade tip to explain where the issue arose with this particular dapol model and why I believe that a very slightly deeper flange would help but it looks like its going to take some time before i find out how to attach an image here...sorry.

Alastair. good point too which i did check for as well.

Short of modifying points and making perfect layouts, it seems to me that more weight and/or a deeper flange would prevent derailment. Agree that deeper flanges do not look good but you don't need to make them that big either. My kato locos have just slightly deeper ones and go without pb on this particular point and they don't look that bad. Also, i guess it depends if dapol wants to only sell to experienced modelers or to a wider audience.
 

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QUOTE but it looks like its going to take some time before i find out how to attach an image here...sorry.

Check out this topic on how to post images.

David
 

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narrowing the B2B is a rare need..usually they need widening.....perhaps you need to actually gauge the b2b accurately?

what you are demanding is, for makers to produce rolling stock that runs reliably over indifferent track.

check the stock rail position of the actual point concerned.....try and see 'why' the blade fails to sit snugly into the stock rail.

also, check out the centre axles/wheelsets of the Dapol loco......they MAY be incorrectly adjusted....ie might need 'narrowing' a bit....to give a bit of play so the front wheels aren't stuck in a rigid wheelbase problem......especially if that particular place on your track does have a localised radius issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thks David for the tip. Here is the photo showing the tip of the peco blade:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3076/264205...1d87411.jpg?v=0

As the wheel comes at an angle (coming out of a curve) the shallow flange on the Dapol 66 gets onto the indicated slope and climbs it causing derailment. Slightly deeper flanges on kato stock goes fine through it.

I'll try Alastair's suggestion of narrowing the centre axle B2B.
 

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QUOTE (Nthusiast @ 7 Jul 2008, 05:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thks David for the tip. Here is the photo showing the tip of the peco blade:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3076/264205...1d87411.jpg?v=0

As the wheel comes at an angle (coming out of a curve) the shallow flange on the Dapol 66 gets onto the indicated slope and climbs it causing derailment. Slightly deeper flanges on kato stock goes fine through it.

I'll try Alastair's suggestion of narrowing the centre axle B2B.

having dropped the tip of the blade so far lets it ride ON the blade end and derail - however its already done so try filing the top edge to a knife sharpness from the BACK of the blade not the face and then gently twisting the blade a tiny bit over the last 15mm or so so it lies very snugly against the stock rail...

You could also add a check rail on the track very close to that particular point so it holds the wheels over more to stop it "picking" the end of the blade - the prototype does this on any similar situation. Make the check rail from any offcut of rail....

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 7 Jul 2008, 05:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>having dropped the tip of the blade so far lets it ride ON the blade end and derail - however its already done so try filing the top edge to a knife sharpness from the BACK of the blade not the face and then gently twisting the blade a tiny bit over the last 15mm or so so it lies very snugly against the stock rail...

You could also add a check rail on the track very close to that particular point so it holds the wheels over more to stop it "picking" the end of the blade - the prototype does this on any similar situation. Make the check rail from any offcut of rail....

Richard
DCCconcepts

That's an excellent suggestion Richard. I'll try that right on. Thanks for your always valuable advice. I'll try and let you know if that solved the pb but i can't see why it would not, unless i do a poor job of it.
 

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Any idea of the length of train and gradient that the 66 can haul? My Farish 66s do fine with 28 4-wheel wagons on 1:40ish but struggle with 12 of the new Freightliner hoppers, which seem much heavier and have more rolling resistance. The Farish chassis casting fills most of the body, but I think I'm right in saying the Dapol has more air inside and therefore possibly scope to add lead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
QUOTE (Edwin @ 7 Jul 2008, 09:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Any idea of the length of train and gradient that the 66 can haul? My Farish 66s do fine with 28 4-wheel wagons on 1:40ish but struggle with 12 of the new Freightliner hoppers, which seem much heavier and have more rolling resistance. The Farish chassis casting fills most of the body, but I think I'm right in saying the Dapol has more air inside and therefore possibly scope to add lead.

Edwin: No room at all in the Dapol to add lead (any apparent gap is in fact filled in the shell by the excellent light cluster. Have not tried long trains as my layout does not permit but the Dapol will not haul my CMX cleaning machine (arguably a pretty heavy cleaner to haul). The Farish 66 has all wheel drive i understand and is a little bit heavier so will probably haul more than the Dapol
 

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QUOTE (Nthusiast @ 7 Jul 2008, 08:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Edwin: No room at all in the Dapol to add lead (any apparent gap is in fact filled in the shell by the excellent light cluster. Have not tried long trains as my layout does not permit but the Dapol will not haul my CMX cleaning machine (arguably a pretty heavy cleaner to haul). The Farish 66 has all wheel drive i understand and is a little bit heavier so will probably haul more than the Dapol

Thanks. Back to graphiting the wheels of the hopper wagons and looking at whether I can re-design the layout to reduce gradient!
 

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QUOTE (Edwin @ 7 Jul 2008, 09:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks. Back to graphiting the wheels of the hopper wagons and looking at whether I can re-design the layout to reduce gradient!

Hi Edwin,

Do i gather you are graphiting the wheels on the hoppers to gain a smoother running wagon ? a product i have found is 'grease em' from 'kadee' no 231. a dry graphite powder sold in tubes, (£1.90)

A word of caution though do the hoppers over a sheet of paper and not near the layout as it is sparkly and would look out of place if transferred to the layout
.... any excess i place in a screw top bottle for later use.
 

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QUOTE (upnick @ 7 Jul 2008, 23:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Edwin,

Do i gather you are graphiting the wheels on the hoppers to gain a smoother running wagon ? a product i have found is 'grease em' from 'kadee' no 231. a dry graphite powder sold in tubes, (£1.90)

A word of caution though do the hoppers over a sheet of paper and not near the layout as it is sparkly and would look out of place if transferred to the layout
.... any excess i place in a screw top bottle for later use.

Thanks for this useful hint - I think there is some of this in my unopened trial pack of Mictrotrains couplers so I'll give it a go when I obtain that essential tool the round tuit. It's not so much making them smoother, more that some of the wheels don't turn very freely.
 

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QUOTE (Edwin @ 8 Jul 2008, 07:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for this useful hint - I think there is some of this in my unopened trial pack of Mictrotrains couplers so I'll give it a go when I obtain that essential tool the round tuit. It's not so much making them smoother, more that some of the wheels don't turn very freely.

Your welcome Edwin,

Here is the 'grease em' http://nick--orwin.photoblog.me.uk/p51813890.html

More info please on 'that essential tool the round tuit'
 
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