Iron Ore Mine & Steel Mill in N

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by DrGeologist, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    I dont know much about N scale, but I do know you can replace the coupler to match your cars. I nodel HO as I said, and there are too many coupler choices to count. I know someone can help you, possibly in the N scale thread.

    I dont know where you get your info or if you got pis of DMIR dock 6, but you might find this site interesting: Missabe Railroad Historical Society
  2. only15

    only15 PRO:Pain In The Behind

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    Good to see another Aussie in this Forum,
    I model Tasmanian 70's to Now in 4mm (OO)
    as stated above im sure Kadee retail all different scale couplers
    try their site Kadee® Quality Products Co. - The Coupler People® - HOn3, HO, S, On3, O, #1, G Scale Couplers - HO Couplers - Magne-Matic® - HO Cars - HO Trucks & HO Wheelsets - Uncouplers - Coupler Conversions - Decals - HO Scale, if you don't have any luck try over at Railpage Australia™ (more aussie moddelers)
    anyway, good luck with it

    Nathan
  3. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    :eek::eek::eek: How could you possibly turn someone on to another website, they dont get any better than the Guage!sign1

  4. only15

    only15 PRO:Pain In The Behind

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    i agree they don't get much better,but this is another forum that could be of use if he doesnt find the help he needs here. just helping a fellow modeller:thumb::thumb::thumb:
  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    In N scale, the couplers are Microscale (same family as Kadee), and there should be a conversion kit for your loco. What is currently on that geep, is a Rapido coupler.
    Pete
  6. wjstix

    wjstix Member

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    Rapido designed their coupler back in the sixties and didn't copyright it - in fact they encouraged other manufacturers to copy it, so most N scale stuff over the years has come with Rapido-style couplers. Now it's not uncommon to find N scale items with the kadee couplers from Micro-Trains (IIRC the brothers who started Kadee split up the company, the N and Z scale products became Micro-Trains and the rest remained Kadee Co.)

    Micro-Trains | The Ultimate in N and Z scale model trains
  7. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    I know you cant post pics yet, but when you can I want to see some pics of the ore dock, even if you have not started it yet please.​
  8. DrGeologist

    DrGeologist Canadian Down Under

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    Ore Dock Photos for Kevin

    It turns out that I have a backup digital camera so I can actually take some snaps for you. I still haven’t started building the ore dock kit yet because I’m still messing around with extruded foam and starting my terra-forming.

    Here are a few shots to give you an idea of what the kit is like:

    She's 4 feet long...

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    The kit surprisingly looks quite easy to put together.

    In other news: I received my train controller/transformer today. I absolutely love it… very old school and I love the copper finish. Much nicer than the newer plastic boxes in my opinion. It’s also a lot bigger than I was expecting.

    [​IMG]

    Now I’m just waiting on my two blast furnaces and all my Peco PL-10 point switch machines, then I will be ready to rock ‘n roll.
  9. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    Dr. J

    I suggest you quickly try out your new/old power pack with a train on a loop of track. I'm afraid you may be disappointed in your ability to control your locomotives at slow speed.

    The power pack you show was designed to control HO locomotives with open frame motors - motors that typically drew 0.5 amps or more running. It uses a variable resistor - rheostat - to control the voltage going to the locomotive.

    The downside of rheostats is that the voltage drop (voltage subtracted from the motor) is the product of the current drawn by the motor times the resistance added by the knob setting. The speed of the motor depends upon the voltage reaching it.

    Today's N scale locomotives typically use 0.1 to 0.15 amps running. So the same rheostat resistance (based on knob setting) will only cause 1/5 to 1/3 the voltage drop that would occur with an old HO locomotive. There will often not be enough resistance, even at the lowest knob setting, to slow your N locomotives to a slow switching speed.

    Newer power packs, like the MRC Tech series, while having the plastic cases you despise, control the voltage to the motor through a transistor circuit instead of a rheostat. This gives you direct control of the voltage regardless of the current being drawn by the motor.

    Hence my recommendation to try your power pack for suitability while it is still possible to return/exchange for something that will give you the control you need. If the pictured pack works well for you, then disregard all I have said. But I will be very surprised. Towards the end of the "copper case" line, MRC did make their power packs in N variants with a higher value of resistance for the rheostat. These were marked with an "N" at the end of the model number or name.

    yours in having fun with trains
  10. DrGeologist

    DrGeologist Canadian Down Under

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    Geez Fred, way to be the bearer of bad news. I do appreciate the advice though. I still have to wait until I get a voltage stepdown transformer so I can plug it in here in Australia before I can test it out.

    I don’t think I’d return it anyways… it’s just too pretty. So it may just get shelved for that inevitable HO layout that I’ll do when my eyesight starts to go with age or my son is big enough to take up the hobby. I also have good mate who fiddles with these sorts of things for a living and he may even be able to wave his magic wand over it so that I get the needed resistance for slow speed control.

    Thanks again. You’ve probably pre-empted a future post titled “My Trains are on Drugs” or something similar. I don’t “despise” modern plastic control boxes, but seriously, they just don’t have coolness factor going for them! :cool:
  11. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    I don't enjoy being the Grinch who stole Christmas. And I do hope I'm wrong.

    But if I'm not, attaching a 20-30 ohm resistor in series with one of the leads to the track would work as an interim solution to restore control at the low speed end. Sacrifice would be top speed, with less sacrifice with the 20 ohm resistor. A 15 watt or higher rating should be just fine for 20 ohms; 10 watts would be enough for a 30 ohm resistor.

    An improved long term solution is to use the power pack as a fixed voltage DC power supply. Wire yourself up a hand held transistor throttle to attach to the terminals - parts are about $10 in the US for the simpler circuits. See these pages for some circuits: Transistor Throttle Circuits and Throttle. I actually built an even simpler version of the throttle in the 2nd link. I left out the capacitors and the zener; just a voltage divider network driving the Darlington transistor. I built it in a small Radio Shark project box, and attached it to an old AHM train set power pack that only had 2 working speeds - off and full. I used a coiled telephone hand set wire with a 4 prong plug on the end so I could hold the throttle in my hand and move around the layout within reach of the layout jack. Still have it, and it still works.

    just some ideas

    Merry Christmas!
  12. DrGeologist

    DrGeologist Canadian Down Under

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    My next step (I can’t believe how long I’ve put it off) was to put a layer of extruded foam on to my benchwork. For this I used a type of LiquidNails that won’t melt styrene. After setting the sheets, I put bricks on them to ensure a tight bond.

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    I then tacked my Woodland Scenics foam inclines in places using sewing stick pins and tested to make sure that I liked all my curves before permanently setting anything in place. I’ve read that it’s strongly recommended when having ‘S’ bends with flexitrack that you should have a bit of straight track at the inflection point where the S bend changes from one curve direction to the other.

    Once happy with the fit, I glues the WS incline foam sections to the extruded foam using a crafter’s low temp glue gun. Also, because I’m a psycho Virgo, I squeezed a dab of the ol’ LiquidNails into each gap for extra hold.

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    I’ve used a 3 deg and a 4 deg incline. These are for my main line which is planned to loop around in really only one direction, so I figured I can get away with the 4 deg as it will only get used a decline.

    I now have lots more foam to lay down and some serious terra-forming to do. In other news, I’ve started on the ore dock. I’ve painted the majority of it using “High Temperature Barbeque Paint.” The paint is very expensive, but gives an amazing realistic sparkly metallic lustre. And by spraying it on unevenly, allowed the original red plastic to show through a little to give a hint of oxidation.

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    Of course the whole thing will get weathered later, but it’s just a start for now.
  13. DrGeologist

    DrGeologist Canadian Down Under

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    The back half of my layout will be relatively hilly, thus the inclines I have glued down. I’ve now started on setting the next layer of extruded foam that will form these hills.

    Obviously this involves cutting the foam such that the pieces fit around the inclines. Since the inclines are set in their place, I decided to create stencils by taping together small bits of paper around the curves of the inclines. I could then trace the stencil on my foam and cut out the perfect shape to fit around the inclines.

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    Once finished, I can smooth or detail it all before painting. I have WS plaster cloth and light weight spackle to fill in any gaps.
  14. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    Nice work on the hills so far, good idea with the tracing thing. It is very fun to watch the layout as the landscape grows.​
  15. DrGeologist

    DrGeologist Canadian Down Under

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    So far I've been loving all aspects of this hobbie; albeit I've only done benchwork and laying foam so far. I may feel different about soldering N scale track or ballasting (from what I've read).
  16. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    Soldering is difficult, but with patience, once you figure it out, you will fly through it. And some scenery like balasting can be time consuming but are SO WORTH the work. Like I said earlier, its very fun to watch the scenery take place.

    ++++++++++++++++​
  17. DrGeologist

    DrGeologist Canadian Down Under

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    I'm a Happy Camper

    I finally got around to testing out my power pack today. I've been waiting on a step down transformer so that I could use it here in Australia.

    Everything you warned me about Fred makes perfect sense, and I was prepared for the worst, but fortunately the power pack works great for my N scale loco and I am very pleased with the level of control at low speeds.

    I know it doesn't make any sense that it does work well... given that MRC put out a 700 'N' of this power pack just for this scale, but I am certainly not complaining!

    My only complaint is that for some strange reason, when I use the power pack, I lose radio reception in my garage. When I turn the power pack off, or take the GP38 off the tracks, the tunes come back on!

    Anyways, long story short... I got very lucky, and by some divine intervention, my HO intended old school MRC 700 copper finish power pack works like a charm with my N scale locos.

    Yee Haw
  18. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    Very glad to hear it. There are times when I love being wrong! You may yet find some engines that don't draw enough current to control at low speed. Setting up the 10-20 ohm external resistor to switch in and out of the circuit might save the day - if that ever happens.

    It is also possible somebody has already modified the power pack with a different rheostat or added resistance.

    Radio interference is most likely from the brushes on the motor of the engine. One cure sometimes used is to put a small capacitor across the motor leads. Cleaning the commutator can also help.

    warmest regards
  19. DrGeologist

    DrGeologist Canadian Down Under

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    Iron Giant

    Well the ore dock pieces are all painted. Now it’s a gluing marathon to put it all together. I thought I’d take a couple of happy snaps while I had most of the structure set up prior to gluing just to see how it was going to look.

    It’s whole lot of plastic I’ve got here. The kit is not complicated at all to put together, there’s just a lot of it. I’ve seen on the web some folks have put four of these together since they’re modular… a significant effort.

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    This will get my kit building skills up for my next few structures. Eventually I have two blast furnaces to kitbash together, which will certainly be a challenge… but we won’t get ahead of ourselves.
  20. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    Looks nice, just wish I could afford 2 and I would just build the kit.