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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ebay is awash with tender drive units just now and I am still looking for a suitable 3 axle powered tender for my Russian loco. Assuming I can get my tender body onto one of these how do I determine if a Black Five Thomas the Tank engine such as this, for example: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HORNBY-CHINA-MADE-NE...A1%7C240%3A1318
is DCCable or has sufficiently finescale wheels to go on my Code 75 track?
There are other Black Five tenders too, some made in Margate(?) as well as drives on other trenders. How should I proceed?
 

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In depth idiot
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Since no-one else has ventured on this one: it is not the most sophisticated drive, no problem in fitting a decoder to the current examples. It needs a good decoder to make the motor produce reasonable perfomance; don't expect the motor to be quiet, lots of gear noise. The wheels will be OK on code 75, but the centre wheels are slack on stub axles and wander about: don't try and use it with Peco insulfrog because these will frequently bridge the rails at the crossing.

If you go for a Margate version of the tender drive you will almost certainly run into the live chassis with direct connection to one brush problem, which means changing a metal screw in the motor construction for a plastic replacement.

I have no idea what sort of match to any Russian tender this might represent. Although likely to be more expensive there are companies like Hollywood Foundry offering drives which may well provide a closer match. The motor can be a good quiet large can with a flywheel and will likely have a lower profile for an easier fit in the tender body, and there is a fair choice of wheel diameters and spacings.

http://www.hollywoodfoundry.com/shopdispla...rive+Mechanisms
 

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Chief mouser
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Just a thought but have you considered any of the Fleischmann tender drive units?

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fleischmann would be my first choice but I haven't seen any for sale on Ebay on their own. If anyone knows where I can find a 6 wheel powered Fleischmann tender please tell me.
 

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the Hornby tender drive unit shown [the 'Henry' drive unit] is a very capable piece of kit.....my son conned me into buying a Henry a couple of years back, and surprisingly it performs very well, being QUIET, smooth and powerful enough for most needs....considering it is essentially a ''toy?''

[It would seem somebody at Hornby has been influenced by old-school railway modellers who strongly advocated [like CJ Freezer?]...that engines for younger POTENTIAL enthusiasts should be excellent, reliable performers first and foremost....nothing erks a child towards disinterest more than having to continually prod an engine into life]

It ought to be easy to convert to DCC.......why not ask Hornby themselves?..if I recall correctly, the tender doesn't pick up traction current anyways? [or am I wrong there? I haven't bothered to dig out Henry to check.

at the prices quoted,one cannot go wrong..I suspect a Fleischmann item would attract seriously Fleischmann prices..or be of an age when code 75 track was something only those 'orrible britishers used?

the ringfield, or pancake motor and transmission design is old, yet SOUND technology...advocated first by model engineers more than 50 years ago.

[check out comments by Iain Rice in his book on locomotive chassis construction.]

oh...and as an additional reference, one Steve Rabone [of toddler article fame] hasbuilt a number of tender locos in S gauge...using tender drive units [principally the old Airfix unit]..... with ingenious adaptions for re-gauging.

perhaps this is a possibility, seeing as Russian railways use a broader gauge than 't'uthers?

go for it and play around a bit
 
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