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My MTH R17 Rating

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  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: US
  • 969 posts
My MTH R17 Rating
Posted by alloboard on Thursday, March 16, 2017 11:09 PM

     If I gave the MTH HO scale R17 subway trainset a grade, it will be a D-. To start with the trucks are too light. There is no weight, on the roof interior, thus the interior light was descent. The undercarriage is heavy enough. The only interesting factor is the express and local light switching, but the head and tail lighting is poor and some lights were even omitted, though there are hole provisions for them. The worse is that the coupling of the cars are so sparsely spaced, and one car is like a locomotive pulling 3 trailer cars instead of a prototype multiple unit operation. I will get 3D printed plastic undercarriages withmetal weights placed on them, and make provisions for mounting NWSL stanton drives under the 3D printed undercarriages. I will modify all the imperfections that I mentioned above.

     I have already coupled the cars closer together as you can see here: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNo1rDmYB2EbVlRY4eJnW1tVFGCdzRf_fYDJkdDmfOuFA0ShxsGx2yx5obtegYiGw/photo/AF1QipMRsmZO6qK-GfjTVtoz5IaZz49ktcFnKuWt5Vew?key=OW5KYkVsSDJKNm5sdmU2Q3E4UE9WVzBDUXM0UFRn 

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipO6BTK-kLbYaNULs8PD_2-tUmM39ZjKkbibWRW0 I also mounted 1/4oz lead weights on the roof interior and under the trucks so that the trucks will have better stability: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNo1rDmYB2EbVlRY4eJnW1tVFGCdzRf_fYDJkdDmfOuFA0ShxsGx2yx5obtegYiGw/photo/AF1QipPDylXatWQE7Cj3ZpkEmuSQxn6fxA58KJ3vsIq7?key=OW5KYkVsSDJKNm5sdmU2Q3E4UE9WVzBDUXM0UFRn 

As I continue to modify this MTH R17, I will install better LEDs in the omitted ones and all of the LEDS will be replaced. I intend to put standing and sitting human figures on the interior with two new LED light stips. The newly modified lit up interior with white high intensity interior LED strips and blue seats should look alot better.

 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 7,501 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Friday, March 17, 2017 10:19 AM

LION has 10 six car consists of LL/Walthers subway cars. Him in process of repowering them with new motors.

LION bought six cars of MTH equipment. Dorks think you will run subway trains on a loop, so that the lead car will always be in the front. LION normally puts power car of him in middle of consist, so fancy front end lights are wasted, and are not on all cars.

MTH machines had difficulty on tracks of LION, poor power pickup. LION in in process of converting MTH cars to standard (for LION) 48 wheel power pickup, necessary for operations on route of LION.

LIONS rid themselfs of couplers, and install drawbars to keep cars closer together, and to keep trainline wires intact.

Them will work for him, and I guess the price is the price, but now with 11 trainsets running on the layout all at once, I guess I have enough subway cars for now. I still have some units to be painted yellow and will appear on C Division equipment.

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Good ol' USA
  • 9,168 posts
Posted by AntonioFP45 on Friday, March 17, 2017 4:46 PM

 

Photo by Dennis Linsky

 

Ah, the memories!Cool

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alloboard,

Sorry to read about the issues on your MTH units. In "looking" at the photos from your links, these cars appear to be more accurate than the LL P1K version. They certainly look nice on the YouTube videos. I admit though that the headlights should be brighter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM6QVyKcr_I

I saw your photos. Which lights were ommitted? I rode these trains often and do remember that they were a virtual rolling Christmas tree, LOL! 

It would have been really neat if MTH had included full headlight / tailight lighting on the dummy cars too! I like Lion's idea of being able to place the powered car in the middle of the train.

I can imagine that to run a prototypical, 10-car IRT train would require 2 powered MTH cars for smooth running. Typically, back in the day the only time the NYCTA and (later) MTA ran trains less than 9 cars long on the IRT system during the daytime was on Sunday and certain holidays. On those days 4 to 6 car consists were normal (however, the 42nd St. Shuttle and the 3rd Ave EL ran short consists at all times).

 

Oops! Dating myself again! Stick out tongue

alloboard

     If I gave the MTH HO scale R17 subway trainset a grade, it will be a D-. To start with the trucks are too light. There is no weight, on the roof interior, thus the interior light was descent. The undercarriage is heavy enough. The only interesting factor is the express and local light switching, but the head and tail lighting is poor and some lights were even omitted, though there are hole provisions for them. The worse is that the coupling of the cars are so sparsely spaced, and one car is like a locomotive pulling 3 trailer cars instead of a prototype multiple unit operation. I will get 3D printed plastic undercarriages withmetal weights placed on them, and make provisions for mounting NWSL stanton drives under the 3D printed undercarriages. I will modify all the imperfections that I mentioned above.

     I have already coupled the cars closer together as you can see here: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNo1rDmYB2EbVlRY4eJnW1tVFGCdzRf_fYDJkdDmfOuFA0ShxsGx2yx5obtegYiGw/photo/AF1QipMRsmZO6qK-GfjTVtoz5IaZz49ktcFnKuWt5Vew?key=OW5KYkVsSDJKNm5sdmU2Q3E4UE9WVzBDUXM0UFRn 

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipO6BTK-kLbYaNULs8PD_2-tUmM39ZjKkbibWRW0 I also mounted 1/4oz lead weights on the roof interior and under the trucks so that the trucks will have better stability: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNo1rDmYB2EbVlRY4eJnW1tVFGCdzRf_fYDJkdDmfOuFA0ShxsGx2yx5obtegYiGw/photo/AF1QipPDylXatWQE7Cj3ZpkEmuSQxn6fxA58KJ3vsIq7?key=OW5KYkVsSDJKNm5sdmU2Q3E4UE9WVzBDUXM0UFRn 

As I continue to modify this MTH R17, I will install better LEDs in the omitted ones and all of the LEDS will be replaced. I intend to put standing and sitting human figures on the interior with two new LED light stips.

 

 

 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 17,321 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, March 17, 2017 9:01 PM

My subway trains run in tunnels so a lot of the details don't get much visibility on my layout.  I have thought of adding pasengers in the non-powered cars and perhaps some flat printed "detailing" for the powered cars.

I bought my first subway train and paid about $120 for it.  The last LL set was a lot more than that, and MTH has raised the price point even higher.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: US
  • 969 posts
Posted by alloboard on Friday, March 17, 2017 10:49 PM

The omitted lights were the full headlight tailight lighting on the dummy cars, and the lack of relistic multiple unit operation.

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: US
  • 969 posts
Posted by alloboard on Friday, March 17, 2017 10:55 PM

     The Concor MP54 are the best realistically operating HO scale MU trains ever made, as compared with the MTH R17s, because each MP54 car is powered and not by a big motor in the middle of the car, but a compact motor that is so small ,but yet powerful and hidden out of sight. This mechanism is what I was expecting fom an MTH R17 but no. Instead you have one locomotive car with a huge engine on the inside that pulls 3 dummy cars. In HO scale modeling I perfer that MU's operate realistically and prototypically as possible, meaning the AAAA or ABAB or ABBA BABA BAAB arrangements. A's mean powered cars and B's mean dummy/ trailer cars.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Good ol' USA
  • 9,168 posts
Posted by AntonioFP45 on Saturday, March 18, 2017 6:59 PM

Alloboard,

Thanks for sharing your input with us as I know modelers (myself included) that plan on buying some of these subway cars in the future.

But consider sending your feedback to MTH. From my understanding, management does read/listen to input from customers.

Yes, I've read good reviews regarding the ConCor MP54s. I hope that MTH considers (for the future) taking Kato's route of using high quality powered truck motors. That would work nicely for subway and commuter units since it would leave plenty of room for lighting and interior details.

Respectfully, I still believe that you can have a realistic, cost effective IRT subway train with just one or two powered cars (via KATO or Concor type of truck motors) and appropriate lighting in ALL cars, including dummies. Headlights/taillights should be directional as well as have the feature that would enable them to be turned off (which can be done with dcc).  This would make placing powered & dummy cars anywhere in a train a no-brainer.  An 8 or 10 car IRT train with EVERY car motored could be quite a wallet cruncher for modelers on a budget. Stick out tongue

alloboard

     The Concor MP54 are the best realistically operating HO scale MU trains ever made, as compared with the MTH R17s, because each MP54 car is powered and not by a big motor in the middle of the car, but a compact motor that is so small ,but yet powerful and hidden out of sight. This mechanism is what I was expecting fom an MTH R17 but no. Instead you have one locomotive car with a huge engine on the inside that pulls 3 dummy cars. In HO scale modeling I perfer that MU's operate realistically and prototypically as possible, meaning the AAAA or ABAB or ABBA BABA BAAB arrangements. A's mean powered cars and B's mean dummy/ trailer cars.

 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: US
  • 969 posts
Posted by alloboard on Saturday, March 18, 2017 7:30 PM

     However I would rate the Concor MP54 a B- because the red tail lights were omitted and the headlight looks like an incandescent light instead of a bright intense LED golden white spotlight. I would be drilling holes on the Concor MP54 for LED taillight installation, and be replacing the OEM headlights with better looking LEDs, and the interior LED light strip to the interior roof. I had removed the original DCC ready board and hardwired a TCS KAT26 decoder on all 4 of my MP54's and added weight on the interior roof. I will also be adding passengers to the interior seatings. Also check out my related threads here: http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/261911.aspx 

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/744/t/259789.aspx 

Check out my layout over the course of 12 years here. You can scroll down fast the newer stuff are at the bottom: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNo1rDmYB2EbVlRY4eJnW1tVFGCdzRf_fYDJkdDmfOuFA0ShxsGx2yx5obtegYiGw?key=OW5KYkVsSDJKNm5sdmU2Q3E4UE9WVzBDUXM0UFRn 

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 17,321 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, March 18, 2017 7:39 PM

My old LL units run just fine with only one powered car.  I have grades as bad as 5% on my subway lines, too, although those are only the ramps too and from the surface, and I seldom take the subways there.

The LL cars are all illuminated as provided, and they have headlights (but not tallights.)  It would not be difficult to retrofit a lights-only decoder into the tail car.  I often run my subways with the power car in the back, and again, I have no trouble with that.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Good ol' USA
  • 9,168 posts
Posted by AntonioFP45 on Sunday, April 02, 2017 5:03 PM

Thanks for the replies guys. I really do like the way the MTH units look proportionally.

I went to MTH's website and saw that they do sell non-powered (dummy) units in 2-car sets. I'm considering going for two in the Silver & Blue scheme and two more in the red version which would convey a realistic 1968-71 appearance (before the graffiti plague hit) since mixed schemes within trains was the norm then. That's how I remember them as well.

 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: US
  • 969 posts
Posted by alloboard on Sunday, April 02, 2017 10:05 PM

Let's start with close coupling. Has anybody done this yet I did. I used crazy glue to reglue the coupler boxes further back with Kadee's short shank couplers. I added 1/4 oz adhesive weights to the roofs of the R17's. I plan on 3D printing the undercarriages with stryrene like material instead if the stuped metal undercarriages. I will make inscisions on the newly 3D printed undercarriages in order to mount 1 or two NWSL stanton drive self powered trucks on every undercarriage and install TCS decoders to those drives amounting to every of the 6 cars that I have.

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 17,321 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, April 02, 2017 10:19 PM

Newer Walthers subway cars (out of production even though they are "newer") were delivered with end gates installed, but the original LL Redbirds did not have them.  I bought aftermarket end gates from Images Replicas.

These gates are larger than the ones later installed.  I also put door chains on the cars because I remembered those from growing up outside NYC.

The end gates were somewhat of a problem.  The Images Replicas ones are large enough that they will hit each other on tight curves, so I had to carefully install them to prevent that.  A combination of end gates, tight curves and tight coupling might be difficult.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Good ol' USA
  • 9,168 posts
Posted by AntonioFP45 on Thursday, April 06, 2017 7:21 PM

Hey guys, since couplers were mentioned......Smile

In a comparison between the MTH and prototype IRT subway cars, the standard Kadee couplers on the models appear a bit oversized.

The prototypes used Westinghouse H2C couplers which were small and actually hard to see. I was wondering if anyone has considered using the Kadee #158 "Scale Head" coupler? It's slightly smaller and it seems that it might blend in a bit better.

Just thinking behind the keyboardWink

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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