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Model Rectifier Acquired

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Model Rectifier Acquired
Posted by maxman on Friday, February 22, 2019 11:31 PM
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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 4:34 AM

Considering how many of our model railroad (and scale model) related manufacturers have disappeared, It's good to read that MRC will continue.

I'll always be grateful for their excellent DC power packs. I bought a Tech II 2500 in the early 80's. It performed very well for nearly 2 decades, until I transitioned to DCC.

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

 


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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 5:32 AM

I have a series of seven MRC Railpower 1360 power packs strung around my layout to power trackside signals, control panels, etc.  Not a one has failed over a 15 year period.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 8:33 AM

Ya, my 1971 "Golden Throttlepack" lasted into the 2000s, and I still use old Tech II and Tech IV units for lights and for breaking in new engines before converting them to DCC. Although I know this makes me a minority here, I really like MRC sound decoders. They're easy to program and their first generation 'blat' airhorns are some of the best around - especially for the price.

Stix
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Posted by RR_Mel on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 9:16 AM

My first store bought “transformer” was an MRC Model 500 that I bought in 1963 to run my Bowser Big Boy.  It still works like new and I’ve stuck with MRC ever since.  I think my favorite is the 2500 for its durability; it’s seen a rough life and just keeps going like the Energizer Bunny.
 
I sure hope that the new owner stays with it.  I really like my Prodigy and the majority of my decoders are also MRC and everything works very good.
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 9:19 AM

I use MRC Tech 2 1400 power packs for accessories and Tortoise switch machines.

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I still have my Control Master XI and love it.

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Glad to hear they will continue.

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-Kevin

.

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

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Posted by Bubby on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 10:10 AM

I’m still a devoted DC user, and I love my MRC Locomotion 1500 power packs. I’ve dropped or knocked them to the floor numerous times and they still keep working normal. 

I’m happy to hear MRC will continue.

-Alan

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 10:32 AM

I still have my 1960 vintage Ampack and not only does it still work but the cord is still flexible and the copper finish is still attractive (some painted speed indicators around the throttle knob are worn, about the only visible sign of age).  So ... a good old name in the hobby and one known for quality goods.  To their credit they went into DCC and sound in their own way.  

But apart from its excursion into N scale in the 1970s (as an importer, with an excellent NKP Berkshire and some passenger cars, highly praised at the time), MRC has had a history of stubbing its toes when it expanded into HO rolling stock.  I recall an F unit not so many years ago that ran well and looked OK although it had detail flaws and issues at the very time when the competition was really starting to get F unit details correct; worse yet the paint schemes were almost absurdly "off" including a genuinely pathetic Soo Line F unit which suggested that nobody in the "home office" had ever seen a Soo Line F in person or in photos.  One soon started to see those Fs being sold off at swap meets at bargain prices and even then, few seemed to be jumping at them.  

Their acquisition of Model Power and Mantua seemed off-hand and distracted and their distribution of Model Power/Mantua goods to LHS seemed spotty, perhaps because the pricing seemed mismatched to the target market and dated nature of the goods. 

Having said that, the JTT scenery and other items from MRC had good distribution in LHSs.

Here's hoping for the best for MRC in its new ownership.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by G Paine on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 10:39 AM

dknelson
dknelson wrote the following post 4 minutes ago: I still have my 1960 vintage Ampack and not only does it still work but the cord is still flexible

I have a couple of them from 60s vintage as well. I use one on my DC test track to size the amperage of decoders and general tests of old DC locos

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by joe323 on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 1:59 PM

Wonder if MRC will be moving out Edison NJ? I applied for a job with them many years ago.

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by Bubby on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 2:49 PM

I also had, in the 80’s, a MRC-Lima ALCO C420 decorated for Lehigh Valley which was quite nice and ran smoothly. 

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Posted by OldEngineman on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 10:57 PM

I have 2 MRC power packs I bought back in the 1970's (or was it even earlier?).

One I use on the layout to provide AC power that is used for turnouts.

The other I keep upstairs to check engines on DC before I put decoders into them.

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Posted by Santa Fe all the way! on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 4:23 AM

I just sent in my MRC Prodigy Advance squared DCC to have it fixed, hope everything goes OK. 

Come on CMW, make a '41-'46 Chevy school bus!
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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 8:15 AM

My very first MRC power pack was the "Golden Throttlepack"  I bought in '62. I thought pluse power was the best thing since Peanut Butter & Jelly since it smooth the operation of those old open frame motors.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by Harrison on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 9:05 AM

My layout is run with two MRC Railpower 1370's, and a MRC cab control handheld, so I am glad they are still in buisness.

Harrison

Homeschooler living In upstate NY a.k.a Northern NY.

Modeling the D&H in 1978.

Route of the famous "Montreal Limited"

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Posted by robert sylvester on Thursday, February 28, 2019 9:17 AM

I have the larger Master Control MRC with walk around, 5 MRC's under the layout to run various electrical componenets, lighting, signals, sidings; all have been around for over thiry years, even an MRC sound unit with both diesal and steam, braking sounds, squeals, coupler sounds, you get the picture and they all still work and have been for some 30-35 years.

I am not even sure who I would turn too if these play out. They are dependable, and they work.

Robert Sylvester

Newberry-Columbia, SC

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Posted by emdmike on Sunday, March 03, 2019 12:33 AM

I still have my model 501 golden throttle pack that I got for my 15th birthday(I turn 46 in just over a week), still functional and now serves as my work bench power supply. I always loved the copper colored power packs from that era.  The Tech II's work nice but never cared for the cheaper looking plastic case.  I have one of thier cab 1 controlers that mounts to the benchwork face that i use for my traction layouts.  The actual power supply being hidden under the layout.   I wish all the best for the new owners of MRC and would love to see the Golden Throttle pack brought back as a heritage model in the line up, just with newer guts for better control of modern can motors.  Mike the Aspie. 

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

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Posted by Maurice on Sunday, March 03, 2019 9:09 PM

I hope they fare well and keep the line going. I use a Tech 4 Railpower 250 with hand held memory throttle to control my locomotives. Works great. I have not been able to find the MRC remote ports but have found the NCE DCC Cab Buc Panel with RJ12 connectors works as a substitute. Universal throttle holders also work for this handheld throttle. 

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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Tuesday, March 05, 2019 7:44 AM

I didn't even know they were up for sale! I wonder if the Model Power and Mantua lines will also be kept going?

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 05, 2019 7:48 AM

Darth Santa Fe

I wonder if the Model Power and Mantua lines will also be kept going?

Wasn't Model Power sold to another company in the past few years?

Here is the going out of business

http://mrr.trains.com/news-reviews/new-products/2014/04/model-power-going-out-of-business

 

As far as MRC power packs go, I've never owned one but they always seemed to be solid and great a great alternative to train set power packs for novices as well.  I have a Star Tec Hogger DC power pack I've used for years for doing some running and testing during layout construction.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by nealknows on Tuesday, March 05, 2019 11:11 AM

The Model Power and Mantua lines were sold to Lionel last year. Lionel I gather is trying to get back in to the HO scale train business. There was a post about the sale on the Lionel site.

http://www.lionel.com/articles/Lionel-Trains-Model-Power-Announcement/

Neal

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, March 05, 2019 1:50 PM

riogrande5761
I have a Star Tec Hogger DC power pack I've used for years

I have one of those, It seamed to respond so slowly to what I wanted to do, I put it aside and got an MRC 2500.  This around 1994?

Maybe the hogger was running right, it just didn't seem right.

I still use the 2500, the very few (and getting fewer) times that I run the layout on DC

I use an MRC 1400 to power the signals.

Mike.

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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Tuesday, March 05, 2019 9:30 PM

nealknows
The Model Power and Mantua lines were sold to Lionel last year. Lionel I gather is trying to get back in to the HO scale train business. There was a post about the sale on the Lionel site.

http://www.lionel.com/articles/Lionel-Trains-Model-Power-Announcement/

Neal

Interesting, I must have missed that article! Considering Lionel's history with HO though, I'm hoping this doesn't mean both of those lines will be disappearing in the next few years.

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Posted by Eilif on Friday, March 08, 2019 8:00 AM

nealknows

The Model Power and Mantua lines were sold to Lionel last year. Lionel I gather is trying to get back in to the HO scale train business. There was a post about the sale on the Lionel site.

http://www.lionel.com/articles/Lionel-Trains-Model-Power-Announcement/

Neal

Has anyone heard anything about how much tooling actually went to Lionel?

I'm curious because the announcement mentions: 

"acquire a broad range of model train tooling used to produce the Model Power/Mantua product lines"

but it also says that 

"No previously produced product is contemplated in the transaction"

Which could refer to product stock that MRC has but also is just vague enough to suggest that maybe MRC kept some of the tooling that would now be headed to Heartland Hobbies.

Whatever the outcome, it's probably not  great news for budget model railroaders.  Lionel doesn't do bargain model railraoding so I sincerely doubt that anything Lionel releases will be anywhere near the previous prices.  The recent announcement only mentions the power and control systems and some scenery, so it doesn't sound like Heartland is much interested in -or getting any- trains. 

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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Posted by emdmike on Sunday, April 14, 2019 8:46 AM

As I still shun DCC for a variety of reasons, I still use the excellent, tried and true, copper colored metal case MRC transformers.  With the advante of can motors, my small layout doesn't need a big transformer.  I use a near mint condtion Railine 370 that I picked up for next to nothing.  Pulse power is perfect for switching and slow speed running.  Never any issues with the Buhler or Sagami motors getting on running in this mode for long periods.  In my little room, sound quickly becomes overwhelming, even on the lowest sound settings.  I wish MRC had made one of there DCC systems with that copper colored case.  I think those, when in really nice shape, add a touch of class to the control panel area.  The later black plastic case items feel and look cheap to me.       Mike

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, April 14, 2019 11:28 AM

they changed it for safety reasons.

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, April 14, 2019 11:43 AM

 And if the ones you use work with modern can motors, they aren't the true oldtimer packs, they are the transistorized ones MRC made in those same golden cases before switching to plastic. I had one of those classics still ooon hand once I went DCC. Worked fine for BB locos, many of the knockoffs like the P2Ks. Then I stuck new Stewart DS4-4-1000 on the test track, those come with a precision Canon can motor in them. Cracked the throttle and - full speed. Luckily they are geared to not run crazy fast. A rheostat throttle relies on the current drawn by the motor to drop voltage and control the speed, a modern can motor equipped loco draws so little current that the rehostat even at max resistance (slowest speed) drops so little voltage the loco runs at or newar full throttle. Back in the day, you had to use a different model for HO or N - the N scale ones used a higher resistance rheostat because N scale locos draw less current. And for O scale a much lower resistance rheostat was used because they draw a lot more current.

 Transistor throttle circuits avoid all this and are able to regulate the track voltage with anywhere from a very miniscule load right up to whatever the rating of the transistor is, so assuming the unit can handle it, you cna run a 4 amp O scale loco, a 2 amp old school HO loco, a 1 amp newer HO loco, a .25 amp modern HO loco (the DS4-4-1000 actually draws LESS than this), a .5 amp N scale loco, a .25 ampo more modern N scale loco - whatever. They all work and are all controllable by the power pack. Thankfully the rheostat type has mostly gone the way of the dodo.

                             --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 14, 2019 11:43 AM

rrebell
they changed it for safety reasons.

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I don't think that is nearly complete or correct.

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None of us were in the development meeting when the decision was made to make the new Tech II power packs in a plastic case.

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Metal enclosures can be made much more safe than plastic. 

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I would bet a couple paychecks that modern design, expense of manufacture, and maybe even weight of shipping product were all considerations.

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rrinker
And if the ones you use work with modern can motors, they aren't the true oldtimer packs, they are the transistorized ones MRC made in those same golden cases before switching to plastic.

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Probaby very true. I have a Controlmaster XI in a golden housing that is solid state and works well with my modern can motor drives.

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The can motors usually do not come to a full stop with a rheostat power pack.

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-Kevin

.

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

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, April 14, 2019 11:54 AM

 It absolutely was because of safety requirements. Few if any train power packs have or had grounded plugs. Plugs in the US are SUPPOSED to be polarized now, to keep hot and neutral correct, but there's no guarantee your house is actually wired correctly. Even if it were - if a riee came loose in the metal case units and that wire was the hot side, the whole case is now energized. Touch ground and the case of your power pack and ZAP. 

 Same era also saw power tools go from metal to plastic cases - "Double Insulated" 

                                         --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by emdmike on Sunday, April 14, 2019 11:56 AM

The little Railine 370 in full power mode will start my can motored engines with a jerk, unless the model has a constant lighting circuit in it, that buffers it some and starts are much smoother without using the pulse power mode.  The couple that lack the lighting will get it once they visit the painter in a few months.   I would love to find one of those Controlmaster XI's in pristine condition, but the last couple that turned up were not clean enough for me to pull out my wallet. The "Golden" era had 2 different color metal cases, the actual golden metal case, and the ones that were more of a copper tone(which are the ones I really like the looks of).  Probably goes back to my first hobby grade transformer, it was one of the copper tone 501 throttles, still works and is my bench power supply.  I am betting cost of production is what lead the move to plastic cases for the Tech2 line, along with being more rounded and stylish.  Just not my taste or style.  I will keep running my copper metal case ones and hopefully find that Controlmaster XI     Mike

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

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