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How slow can you go?

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How slow can you go?
Posted by the old train man on Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:36 PM

Just finished building new n scale layout, so just for fun I timed one of my best running engines to see how slow I could get it to run around the layout. The engine is an atlas diesel pulling 8 cars. I got it down to run from tie to tie in 2 seconds .I had similar results in ho. Anybody tried thisBig Smile? I would like to hear your results if so.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:42 PM

I'm guessing that's impressive, but it sounds too much to me like watching paint dry...or waiting for the guy in front of me to notice that the light has turned green, and that he needs to figure out which pedal to press. Stick out tongue

Wayne

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:48 PM

I have an brass H20-44 switcher and a NYC 4-8-4 Niagara that will both do 0.25sMPH.  IIRC, that's about 7-8 sec. between rail ties.

Tom

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Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by the old train man on Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:52 PM

Wayne, you have a point but when you run a train around the layout in say 1 minute,  your realism factor is reduced greatly. To each his own. I was just curious if anyone had a can motor or gearing that could get better results. also I was interested in the performance of other engines regarding slow speed.

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Posted by the old train man on Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:55 PM

Tom,Is that ho or o scale?

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:59 PM

A very long time ago, I put a "specialty" motor in a Sunset GN O-1.  I timed it at a speed of about 1 scale inch per second.  So that's about 8 seconds per tie, or about 16 seconds per tie spacing.  Top speed was rather low, as it is a 24 volt motor.

I had planned on dropping it in an F7, and calculated the top speed at 12 volts to be 35 MPH.  Not terribly useful, except up a grade.

I've still got several of the motors.  They are 1" cubes, have 9 slot armatures and 4 magnet poles (I am told) and ball bearings.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by tstage on Friday, August 11, 2017 12:04 AM

the old train man

Tom,Is that ho or o scale?

HO

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Posted by the old train man on Friday, August 11, 2017 12:08 AM

Remember guys, this is an n scale engine Im talking about & the space is limited to put another type motor in. 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, August 11, 2017 12:21 AM

the old train man

Wayne, you have a point but when you run a train around the layout in say 1 minute,  your realism factor is reduced greatly. To each his own. I was just curious if anyone had a can motor or gearing that could get better results. also I was interested in the performance of other engines regarding slow speed.

 
Oh, I understood your intentions and am certainly not knocking them.  I doubt that I have any locomotives that will run that slowly, but most of my trains have to "work" each of the towns through which they pass.  It could take a half-hour or an hour or more to make it around the layout.  I usually allow some time for the guys on the ground to "walk" to where they need to make a cut, or for them to set handbrakes or for the locomotive to charge the brake pipe, but spotting cars or picking them up is usually, in my observations of the prototype, done fairly briskly.
When I get all of the layout operational, a "day" might take me an actual month to complete, even if I allow some time every day for operations.
As you say, to each his own.
 
Wayne
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, August 11, 2017 12:29 AM

You are doing pretty good IMHO if it takes two seconds to go from tie to tie in N scale.

However, I have a couple of critters that can compare to Tom's locomotives. My Grandt Line Box Cab with a BullAnt drive and a Loksound Micro decoder also takes 7 seconds to go from tie to tie. See for yourself:

However, I have to agree with doctorwayne. It is like watching paint dry, and it is totally useless from an operating standpoint. If your rolling stock is so delicate that they will not withstand coupling speeds above .25 scale mph then you need to use more glue!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, August 11, 2017 9:44 AM

To me, the point of having a loco go .02 MPH, or whatever, isn't to do that continuously (except as a test).  It's to be able to go from a dead stop up to speed as smoothly as possible.  

The motor/engine combination I put together could not only go REAL slow, but it could accelerate from a dead stop to speed without a hickup--a nice linear acceleration.  Like the real ones.

This was back in the olden DC days, by the way.  No BEMF or whatever.

I don't know if other people were/are bothered by crappy starts like I am.  But when running a model, it kind of breaks the illusion when it just starts at speed or stutters on the way up.  Sorta like bad pickup or sound cutting out.

And I HAVE seen slow speed prototype coupling.  Usually passenger cars, sometimes freight.  The couplers just kind of meet and close, without the receiving car seeming to notice.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by the old train man on Friday, August 11, 2017 9:46 AM

Thanks to all for the replys. I never run trains at this speed for hours at the time, I just wanted to test the engine to see what it could do. Usually I run on the mainline about 30 or 40 scale miles per hour. In the yard its closer to 5 scale miles per hour. While reading model railroader the other night it took about 40 minutes for that engine to return to its starting point. I just thought it would be interesting to some people on the forum. By the way I can go to the other extreme & go as fast as I can without derailing in about 30 seconds.Stick out tongue 

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Posted by josephbw on Friday, August 11, 2017 9:57 AM

I think I can beat that. I have an engine that I left on last night. I went down this morning and it was still in the exact same spot. Big Smile

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Posted by tstage on Friday, August 11, 2017 10:01 AM

7j43k
don't know if other people were/are bothered by crappy starts like I am. But when running a model, it kind of breaks the illusion when it just starts at speed or stutters on the way up. Sorta like bad pickup or sound cutting out.

I totally agree with you, Ed.  Having a switcher instanteously start at 5sMPH is unacceptable to me.  And it's amazing how many mrring videos mimick that. Grumpy  Minimum starting speed - for me - is 1sMPH.

I don't think rolling stock in prototype yards would last as long if 5 MPH was the initial start rate.

Tom

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, August 11, 2017 11:31 AM

 That's quite impressive for N scale, which until fairly recently has been known for high speed, not slow speed. Newer models have been better, with better slow speed but still in many cases top out well over 100 SMPH. Beats some of those older ones with 250 SMPH+ top speeds. HO has had its share of speed demons too, like the Athearn Hustler and the Plymouth from AHM, but with more space for larger gear ratios, it's more the exception rather than the rule. Improved motor technology and the ability of DCC decoders to limit full speed voltage without impairing slow speed operation has made N scale much better.

                                 --Randy

 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, August 11, 2017 12:05 PM

rrinker

 That's quite impressive for N scale, which until fairly recently has been known for high speed, not slow speed.

                                 --Randy

What do you mean recently?  I was into N scale back in the late 70's and early 80's and had an Atlas FA diesel that would creep very slowly like a champ.  I' saw other N scale diesels with good slow running qualities too back then.  So recently  in my book was late 70's.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, August 11, 2017 12:17 PM

7j43k

To me, the point of having a loco go .02 MPH, or whatever, isn't to do that continuously (except as a test).  It's to be able to go from a dead stop up to speed as smoothly as possible.  

The motor/engine combination I put together could not only go REAL slow, but it could accelerate from a dead stop to speed without a hickup--a nice linear acceleration.  Like the real ones.

This was back in the olden DC days, by the way.  No BEMF or whatever.

I don't know if other people were/are bothered by crappy starts like I am.  But when running a model, it kind of breaks the illusion when it just starts at speed or stutters on the way up.  Sorta like bad pickup or sound cutting out.

And I HAVE seen slow speed prototype coupling.  Usually passenger cars, sometimes freight.  The couplers just kind of meet and close, without the receiving car seeming to notice.

 

 

Ed

 

#like.

For HO scale OEM, the run of Atlas products that have/had the QSI Titan sound decoder were, IMO, by far the best at slow speed creep...and doing smoothly.

And for DC, any Atlas Kato product using an Aristo Craft throttle.  Some Protos are also very good but are hit and miss for ultra slow speed creep.

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, August 11, 2017 12:54 PM

There are some quite nice HO DCC-equipped locos these days.

I've just been working on my Atlas Alco S-2 and my Bowser Baldwin S-12.  They come with Loksound.

I love running them.  I don't know that they're "speed perfection", but they ARE really good.  Out of the box.  That is, I don't feel compelled to fiddle with the CV's. Except for sound--turn it down.  Of special note is that, for both, the sound feels beautifully linked to the loco's motion.

The S-12 is lighter than the Alco--never good in a switcher.  I am, right now, adding weight.  The S-12 DOES have a cab interior--one up on the Alco.

Both are real sweethearts, though.

 

Continuing with my yakkin':

I put decoders into my three Athearn SP&S RS-3's.  I think they cost about $90 each (the locos, not the decoders).  While not properly detailed for SP&S, when they're MU'ed they look really really good.  And they run nicely, too.  And all the same.  Since they're painted in their delivery scheme, running them as "sets" is much more reasonable than later days.

I did have to mess extensively with the CV's though.  Of course, the decoder was off-the-shelf, so I guess that comes with the territory.  They ran nicely on DC, even better on DCC.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, August 11, 2017 4:44 PM

I have an old Troller Autopulse power pack that will make ANY of my engines take 30 seconds to go from tie to tie.

.

Troller power packs were awesome back in the 1980's.

.

I don't know anything about DCC, is Pulse Power to the motor even possible with a DCC system?

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, August 11, 2017 4:58 PM

SeeYou190

I have an old Troller Autopulse power pack that will make ANY of my engines take 30 seconds to go from tie to tie.

.

Troller power packs were awesome back in the 1980's.

.

I don't know anything about DCC, is Pulse Power to the motor even possible with a DCC system?

.

-Kevin

.

 

Kevin,

The actual motor control signal froma DCC decoder is a square wave full voltage pulse tha varies in duration to control speed.

My Aristo Craft Train Engineer wireless radio throttle also use ful voltage pulse width modulation spee control.

Any loco that starts smoothly and stays in motion between 1 and 3 SMPH is fine to me. That is actually slower than any reall loco could sustain for any distance.

When you see locos making slow speed coupling moves in real life, that is done with a small burst of power and then controlling the "coast".

Throttles like my Aristo do pretty well at simulating that once you learn how.

One great thing about the Aristo throttle, is that any speed the loco starts at, it is very likely to sustain without stalling......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by DSchmitt on Friday, August 11, 2017 9:22 PM

Back in the 1980's Icoupled two N scale Halmark GP9's together on a short straight section of track.  MRC throttle, don't rember ther model. Ran them so slow it was hard to tell they were movng. - 1ft in a little less than 10 minutes.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, August 12, 2017 3:41 AM

7j43k
To me, the point of having a loco go .02 MPH, or whatever, isn't to do that continuously (except as a test).  It's to be able to go from a dead stop up to speed as smoothly as possible

Ed:

Good point! I hate jerky locomotive movements with a passion!

Dave

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 2:32 PM

If I was going slow on the club layout, it would be usually due to bad track or another train is hogging up the mainline. 

My trsin could be up front, in the middle, or behind two other trains.

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