EMD Switcher ID

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jon-monon, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    I have always like the looks of a SW1500. I think they look brutish and all business like.The type of locomotive that will get the job done. I perfer the AAR switcher trucks over the Flexi Coil trucks though.
  2. moss-lake

    moss-lake Member

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    I like the SW1500s as well. The SW1200s are my favourates though. More so if they have roof-top dyanamic brakes.

    Just won 2 dummy SW1500s and 2 SW-7s (all Athearn) on e-bay. The Sw-7s have the Ernst gearing and KDs installed. Does anyone here run switchers with Ernst gears? Just wondering how noisey they are and if it's as slow as people say.:confused:
  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Hi Russ, I have an Athearn S12 with ProtoPower West drive and ernst gearing. Noise level was high initially, and speed is very very slow. Mine has been installed for 20 years. It is without a doubt my fav switcher. When I first installed it I thought it too slow, but I hadn't yet started to appreciate scale speeds. Seems to me it has quited down over the years. It is noisy at high speed, but I seldom run it anywhere but the switch lead so that is not a problem. Between the ernst gears, the nicely balanced flywheels and a lot of weight, the loco coasts nicely when power is shut off. I have a LL 0-8-0, which with tender pickups added, runs as nicely as the S12. Thats how good the S12 is! But the 0-8-0 doesn't have the tractive effort of the S12. I also have LL Alco S1, a very nice switcher which doesn't often get selected! I think you will really like the units with the ernst gearing.

    Gary
  4. moss-lake

    moss-lake Member

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    Hi Garry,
    Thanks for the information. I plan on running them on my logging line with shays and other types of geared locos. The lower gearing will hopefully give me a higher motor RPM and lessen the risk of stalling while lowering the top speed to better suit my operations.:eek: ;)
  5. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

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    Hey Russ, like Gary, I have some Athearn locos with very old Ernst gearing. After over 15 years, mine still run like champs. They are a little quieter than when I installed the gears, though not a lot. It is a small price to pay to not have to run the switchers at a prototypical speed of 40 mph in the yard...:rolleyes:
    I think all locos should be made to run slower. It is a big advantage to run the motor at a higher speed for smooth operation. It is also better to use the higher voltage on a non DCC system as it breaks through the oxidation on the rails better.
    Somehow, having an SW7 that can run at 100 mph just doesn't seem to make sense to me...:D

    Tom F
  6. Tankertoad70

    Tankertoad70 Member

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    I have equipped several of my switchers with the Earnst gears also, and they do run much better and are more reliable.

    However, I am not an electrical wizard and wonder why the amp pull of the lokie drops with the extra gears installed??? Anyone know why this is?:confused: :)
  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    The motor is not having to work as hard with it geared down. They might also have less "drag". Less work is less current.
  8. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

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    What he said...

    Same reason you can lift a 1/2 ton motor with a block and tackle but not with a straight pully...
    Or, in simpler terms... It takes a finite amount of energy to move the train a finite distance. With the lower gearing, it takes the same amount of energy but it is spread out in time. If you calculate the total amount of energy USED, it would pretty much be a wash. Move the train faster, use more energy in a shorter time, more draw in current...
    (Ow, I pulled a muscle in my brain! Higher math!...):p


    [sorry, can't spell tonight--pulled a brain muscle...:D ]
  9. moss-lake

    moss-lake Member

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    Aaahhh...yep :eek: :eek: :rolleyes: .

    Thanks Tom. I'll throw that answer at the missus if she comments on the low speed of these lokies when they venture out. With any luck she'll retreat and leave me in peace till she can figgure out what the hell I'm talking about.
  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    Het Russ,
    Sounds like the old " If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with b......t" ploy. Glad to know it still works!
    Pete
  11. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

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    Yeah, even I can't figure out what I said, but whatever it was, I stick by it!..:D
  12. marty w.

    marty w. Member

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    Tom - I totally agree with what you said. However you forgot the temperature inversion conversion factor, which is relative to the dew point temp on a given day and time. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
    Marty
  13. moss-lake

    moss-lake Member

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    I'm having a lot of fun comparing running qualities on a P2K SW chassis, an Athearn Sw, an Athearn Sw with a 'can' motor and when they arrive the Ernst geared Athearn Sws.
    The ultimate aim is to improve low to mid range speeds in my 3 SW1200s. I may end up building chassis using parts from all of them.:eek:
  14. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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  15. moss-lake

    moss-lake Member

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    I think they only make one set for 4 axle locos, Jon. The other sets are for 6 axle and SD40-2 locos. I just had one truck apart and it looks the same as the diagramme.
  16. Tankertoad70

    Tankertoad70 Member

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    That's the one. Earnst only makes one four axle set. One of our club switchers has the Earnst set, the old Athearn motor, and a Bowser pot metal SW1500 casting on it. That sucker will pull the drywall off the walls.:eek: :) ;)
  17. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Great. I immagine if I drywall el garaje, I won't want to pull it off any too soon, but lower gears are always better. Us P-K folks are in no hurry.:D :D :D
  18. moss-lake

    moss-lake Member

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    Hey Don,
    Did you put Ernst gears in that logging SW you built for your club?
  19. Tankertoad70

    Tankertoad70 Member

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    Yep, and I also added an additional 4 oz. of weight. That puppy pulls very nicely and the extra gears have really smoothed out the operation on the stiff grades.;)
  20. moss-lake

    moss-lake Member

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    Sounds good. The next thing I gotta do is replace the stock Athearn SW wheels with the NWSL wheels. That should improve them as well.