Saturday, December 12, 2015

Improving Donohue's GE 44 -on Performances

Bachmann's GE 44-ton locomotives are a classic in model railroading as much as they are in real life. However, with the short wheel base, you can't expect stellar performances over very long turnouts. Since this switcher is going to perform regularly in the next months, we decided to install a TCS Keep Alive (K2) to make it bullet proof  over Donohue's complex trackage.

As simplistic the keep alive concept can be easy to understand, implementing it can be a real headache. I took a good 5 hours to Louis-Marie figuring out how to wire it! Online help and instructions are scarce; let's be honest the learning curve is quite steep depending which decoder you use (in our case, a N-scale NCE decoder).

The good thing is that I feared there wasn't enough place for it under the GE 44-ton diminutive shell, but the KA2 found room without any effort at milling the frame or altering the model. A good thing because installing KA2 in our RS18 and GP9 will require to remove a certain amount of weight from the engine.

Anyway, the final result is excellent and the GE 44-ton now crawls on our track flawlessly which is the most important aspect for doing slow switching operations. Now, if I could only add sound to it, it would be great, but I'll keep that for another time because it will require modifying the model frame at some point. Fortunately, this time there's a lot of info online.

Pictures or not?

Many of you must wonder why I no longer post good pictures on my blog. The reason is simple, my camera met its fate recently. It is still working, but it's out of focus most of the time. I don't know when I'll be able to take good pictures, but bear in mind it's not intentional.

No comments:

Post a Comment