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HOn3 Shay

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HOn3 Shay
Posted by Yellow Dog Bill on Monday, February 08, 2010 10:36 PM

 

Why am I having such a difficult time finding a DCC HOn3 Shay (2 or 3 truck) with sound?  I have checked with my local train store (1 hour away) and scoured the Internet.  I have not been able to find any Shay in HOn3, never mind DCC and sound.  I found one on youtube and the guy said he had to remotor, whatever that means, and install the DCC, sound and speaker in the boiler.  It sounded great.  It was a fantastic looking locomotive, but I'm sure I'd just end up with a $300 box of parts, if I try that.

The interesting thing is, I can find 50 different pieces of HOn3 rolling stock used for logging, at a hundred different web sites, but can only find "regular" style steam engines.  Why am I having such a difficult time finding a DCC HOn3 Shay (2 or 3 truck) with sound?

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Posted by richg1998 on Monday, February 08, 2010 11:48 PM

First of all, they are not being made. Seems obvious to me if you cannot find them.

Go to ON30. Much more popular and there is a Shay with sound. HOn3 has never been very popular.

You can watch ebay for brass HOn3 or the cheaper MDC/Roundhouse Shay and convert to sound.

Rich

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Posted by r.y.a.n on Tuesday, February 09, 2010 2:49 AM

i am doing On30 and there is no three truck shay....there are many two truck shay with sound but no three truck shay yet

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Posted by fwright on Tuesday, February 09, 2010 3:00 AM

There are several HOn3 Shays in "production" in this point in time:

  • the Keystone Shay kit, makes a tiny 20T model with the help of an NWSL motorizing kit.  I don't see any easy way to fit a micro-Tsunami plus reasonable speaker in such a small model, but I suppose it can be done by an a real enterprising soul.  Darth Santa Fe has been running a thread in this forum on building his HO standard gauge Keystone Shay, which is very, very similar.  Keystone and NWSL produce the Shay in HO, HOn3, and HOn30 versions.
  • David Hoffman (no web site) is producing semi-kits using Roundhouse and NWSL parts, and his cast details to make HO and HOn3 models of specific Shays of around 50T.  I believe cost of the semi-kit is $200.  The semi-kit comes with the mechanism pre-assembled.  Being basically Roundhouse Shays, these are considerably bigger than the Keystone Shays, and probably can fit the larger decoder and speaker.  Some criticize the Roundhouse Shay as having too wide a frame for narrow gauge.  You certainly have to check your clearances with one.  I believe you can get this in a DCC version for extra $$.
  • There is another fellow - don't recall his name - who buys Roundhouse Shay kits and builds and tunes them to run well.  He will also provide a DCC version.  He usually has 5-6 for sale at any given time, with some of them being HOn3.  He advertises periodically in the 4L, Model Logging, and Roundhouse Yahoo groups.

The only HOn3 locomotive made to date that was actually RTR out of the box, and had DCC/sound is the Blackstone K-27 (2-8-2).  Blackstone (a division of Soundtrax) is coming out with a C-19 at the end of this year.  I expect it will sell out pretty quickly, so if you want one you should probably get your order in.

Westside, Balboa, PSC, and PFM all have made HOn3 brass Shays.  Again, I have to question how good a sound you can actually get out of the smaller models due to speaker size limitations.  And anything with an open frame motor will take remotoring to generate the space for the decoder and speaker, and bring the current down to micro-Tsunami requirements.  Costs for a used brass Shay range from about $250 for a Balboa at bottom price to $600+ for a remotored or premium PSC or PFM model.  New brass Shays start at $800.  Cost of decoder and speaker push another $100.  Add installer costs if you are not willing to do the work yourself.

Or consider standard gauge for your logging line (there were plenty of standard gauge logging lines).  Buy a Bachmann Shay, have it fitted for DCC and sound.  And buy the NWSL replacement lineshaft gears - chances are you will need them.  The Bachmann Shay is a bit big for a logging line for my tastes, but so is the Rivarossi Heisler.

good luck with your quest

Fred W

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Posted by Railphotog on Tuesday, February 09, 2010 4:53 AM

I am curious if you've ever seen a Shay in HOn3?   The fact that they actually  run is amazing, taking their very small size.  I've seen a few owned by a friend some years ago.  Not DCC though, and having room to place a decoder would be a problem, but probably could be done, but adding a speaker in a loco about 3-4" long could be a chore.  Not saying it couldn't be done, but the demand for such a model would make it really expensive, if at all possible.

 

 

Bob Boudreau

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Posted by wedudler on Tuesday, February 09, 2010 6:22 AM

 This is my friend Friedhelm's shay, H0n3, from PFM UNITED:

And in this video at the end, still without sound.

Wolfgang

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Posted by IVRW on Tuesday, February 09, 2010 8:37 AM
I might want to check out Blackstone Models, a leading HOn3 maker.

~John

16 Years old, Modeling the Bradley-Woodard Timber Company of Northwestern Oregon in 1932

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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Tuesday, February 09, 2010 12:04 PM

You have three options for an HOn3 Shay that I know of. Currently, none of them come with sound.

1. NWSL powered Keystone Shay. Requires a lot of cutting, filing, fitting, and other work to finish (the metal is soft, so it's not as bad as it sounds). If you're comfortable with this, it's an excellent option. The boiler is hollow, so the electronics can fit in there, and then a speaker can be placed under the roof of the cab. Again, you need to be comfortable with metal and mechanical work to do this. My Keystone Shay ran great in tests, and is currently waiting to be painted.

2. MDC/Roundhouse 2 or 3-Truck Shay. Also a kit, but metal work is pretty minimal. The mechanism, on the other hand, requires a LOT of fine tuning to run well. I'm working on one right now, and I can tell you right up front that you will want both NWSL gear kits for these. The stock MDC gearbox gears are poorly made, and the axle gears are too large to work properly in their trucks. BUT, once it's all tuned, it's a great steam engine!Big Smile Except for a little wobble, mine's a very smooth runner now. There's room for electronics and a speaker in the tender(s).

3. Brass. I usually see at least one brass HOn3 Shay for sale on eBay (like this one). They're expensive, but they're also highly detailed and engineered well. Some need remotoring, and most should get a good cleaning and have fresh oil and grease for the shafts and gears. Brass is usually pretty hollow, so there should be enough room for electronics inside.

Yellow Dog Bill
I found one on youtube and the guy said he had to remotor, whatever that means,

It means he had to take the old motor out and put a new one in. Older motors often use a lot of power, make a lot of noise, and don't run very smoothly, so a much better new motor is put in place of the old one.

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Posted by Yellow Dog Bill on Tuesday, February 09, 2010 11:56 PM

Thanks to everyone for their helpful advice.  I checked out the eBay auction...wow!  What was it at... $235 and the reserve wasn't met.  It didn't mention DCC or sound.  I bet it would if it had it.

Fred,

Thank you for the thoughtful reply.  I did find a couple sites that offer full size HO Shays with sound for around $300.  I am concerned with the overall size.  After all, narrow gauge is supposed to be narrow.  At the train museum near my town, there is a standard gauge Shay on display.  It is huge, and definately not narrow.  I rode the Yosemite narrow gauge train, and I've ridden an old steam powered passenger train.  There is a big difference.

I think with all the information I've received and especially your opening comment about HOn3 Shays in production, I will wait until they hit the market.  In the mean time I'll use HO track and a couple small Camelback Goat Switchers.  I have to run some full size rolling stock, and switch out the track when the HOn3 Shays arrive.  I just won't ballast or permanently lay the HO track.

I am in the process of remodeling my layout, I had only laid track, when a member of the train club I joined showed me a copy of the Short Line and Narrow Gauge Gazette with a timber operation that was the most beautiful and detailed model I have ever seen.  Since that fateful day, I have a real lust for narrow gauge logging.  My redesigned layout is planned with HO and HOn3 track.  The HO has 24" radii on the lowest portion of the layout, and the HOn3 track with 18"radii on the upper, more mountainous portions.

Thanks again for your hopeful comments.

Bill

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Posted by fwright on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 3:11 AM

 Bill

Of the 3 "production" Shays I mentioned, only the Keystone with the NWSL drive is going to be found in an LHS - and even then only in well-stocked places like Caboose Hobbies that carry complex kits and substantial narrow gauge.  The other 2 guys only sell direct.  I believe David Hoffman has parts for a total production of around 200, and the other guy maybe a tenth of that.  Some of those numbers will be standard gauge, not narrow.

The Blackstone engines are rod engines.  The K-27 is a famous D&RGW outside frame 2-8-2.  The C-19 is a D&RG 2-8-0 that was a large Baldwin engine of the 1880s.  However, Blackstone is only doing versions as it appeared in the 1920s through 1950s (the eras most narrow gaugers model).  The C-19 was so big, some were converted to standard gauge and back during their careers.  Blackstone has to model bigger prototypes to fit the sound during production, and to date has specialized in D&RGW narrow gauge.

I too have become a narrow gauge convert, modeling a free-lanced logging line that became a common carrier in southern coastal Oregon in 1900.  The layout has a 20" switchback tail for the harbor scene so my locomotives have to be short.  My motive power consists of:

  • 2 Keystone Shays to work the switchback
  • a Ken Kidder "Plantation" Porter 0-4-0T.  This will need extensive reworking to be useful.  Perhaps it will become a logging 2-4-2T, or an 0-4-2T.
  • an FED Baldwin 2-6-0 with the Roundbell remotor kit to be installed
  • a Roundhouse inside frame 2-8-0 kit.  I don't know how this will fit/be used

My roster cries out for a 4-4-0 for passenger service.  With PSC/MMI's 4-4-0 never likely to see the day in HOn3, I will probably have to go the FED route or scratchbuild.  Just like standard gauge, the larger locomotives are much better represented in HOn3 than the more common place smaller ones.  But it was the remaining large locomotives on the D&RGW, EBT, and WP&Y that survived into the '50s were the ones that were well documented.

I would like to do sound eventually, but most likely with a series of under the layout speakers with some sort of sound routing so that the sound somewhat follows the engine.  Given the small size of my layout, this is not totally impractical in terms of speakers or network.  And it lets me focus on getting maximum weight and tractive effort into my tiny locomotives for the steep grades.

my thoughts and choices, yours may vary greatly

Fred W

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Posted by dr.bones on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 12:53 PM

well i just my mdc roundhouse two truck shay with all the nswl parts but decided to go with the open  frame motor, but i also decided to not start it until the handbook arrives it might just be a huge proyect and has been called a bear of a model, but something that i noticed with nswl is that they offer kits  numbers 188-6 to up grade the gears and 186-6 which is also compatible with hon3 or ho. have u ever thought of maybe building one to your taste? remember to order 4-40 screws because they both don't have any 

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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:19 PM

dr.bones
well i just my mdc roundhouse two truck shay with all the nswl parts but decided to go with the open  frame motor, but i also decided to not start it until the handbook arrives it might just be a huge proyect and has been called a bear of a model, but something that i noticed with nswl is that they offer kits  numbers 188-6 to up grade the gears and 186-6 which is also compatible with hon3 or ho. have u ever thought of maybe building one to your taste? remember to order 4-40 screws because they both don't have any

Check out this website: http://www.modelrailroading.nl/ProjectShay/ShayIndex.html It was a great reference for me in building my 3-Truck Shay, which is now almost ready for painting.Big Smile If you have both of the NWSL gear kits, a few long steps will be knocked off the building process. I also skipped the steps for making the lineshaft universals more flexible, since they work fine down to an 18" radius as is.

One thing I will say is the the stock electrical pickups DO NEED TO BE REPLACED!! I decided to give them a try thinking, "could it really be that bad?" They are really that bad. I used Kadee coupler centering springs to make new wipers, and they couldn't work more perfectly.Big Smile I'll make a whole topic for it later today.

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Posted by Boborlando on Monday, January 03, 2011 3:03 PM

Hi Bill. My name is Bob and I am working on a HOn3 3truck Shay by Roundhouse. I have had it for 15 years and I have just  about finished with my Narrow Gauge layout under my HO layout. They are around so keep looking for  one. I did see one on E-Bay, a Roundhouse kit. I will watch for you also and maybe  direct you to one. I will be adding DCC and sound to mine. I have done this with many of my engines and love it. It makes the hobby come to life. Also check Micro Mark's web site ( www.Micromark.com)  They sell Bachmann Climax's and Shay's with sound and DCC at reasonable pricing. Good luck I know you will find one.

Tags: HO - HOn3
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Posted by Geared Steam on Monday, January 03, 2011 7:01 PM

Dr. Bones, reworking the MDC Shay has been so well documented that it really is quit easy now. Install all of the NWSL upgrades, file down all but 1 of the lineshaft gears, and they run quite well. Don't be intimidated, just take your time and sand and file everywhere you need to.

http://www.modelrailroading.nl/ProjectShay/ShayIndex.html

(edit: oops Darth already supplied a link)

 Geared Steam's Blog

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