Welcome to the forum   
Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Share
Options
View
Go to last post in this topic Go to first unread post in this topic
Offline ratherbesailing  
#1 Posted : 03 September 2013 19:58:22(UTC)
ratherbesailing

United States   
Joined: 16/07/2013(UTC)
Posts: 4
Hi there - Complete model train newbie here and dad of a 4 year old. Looking for some suggestions for a particular conundrum.

Over the summer my father-in-law gave my son an electric train set (HO scale made by Model Power). We had several problems with it - track would come apart, cars would decouple, and I was pretty uncomfortable having the thing plugged in especially since I have an 18 month old also roaming around.

I threw some money at the problem and:

1. Bought some plywood and encased it in felt to make a train table which slides under a bed
2. Purchased the My World TGV
3. Pickup up some extra C track on eBay

Right now my son is really quite happy with the set up. We've got a figure 8 with a turnout. If we want to make something elaborate, we use the turnout to connect tracks to a bigger layout that we have on the hardwood floor. The My World product is perfect for his age. It's nice because he can independently pull out the train table and use the trains without any adult supervision. He likes to use the remote, but he also like to push the trains along the track with his hand, including the original cars that his grandfather gave him. We use eneloops (low discharge NiMh) rechargeable batteries and we just change them once a week.

So now for the conundrum:

We live in San Francisco, so of course by son is obsessed with PCC streetcars (can't blame the kid for good taste). I would love to get him a streetcar - my absolute ideal would be a PCC streetcar that works exactly like the My World trains, but to the best of my knowledge there are no remote control battery operated HO streetcars out there.

So I've come up with some options - and I know that some of this might be a little half baked since I don't really know much about model trains.

1. Just get him a non-motorized street car and have him push it around on the existing Marklin tracks
2. Get Bachmann PCC streetcar and pull out the original Model Power tracks to create a circle on his train table. These tracks would have to be nailed together so they don't disconnect. It would kill the current figure 8 that we have so it's really not a great solution.
3. Go with option 2 and sell all of the Marklin track and replace it with some Bachmann EZ track.
4. Figure out a way to run DC on the current Marklin tracks and some how add a third rail pickup shoe to the bottom of the streetcar
5. Perform surgery on a streetcar and make it battery + remote operated

For all of the of non-battery DC power options, I was hoping that something like http://www.modeltrainstu...ler-RC-01-p/rkn-c001.htm might fit the bill to avoid plugging a controller into the wall. He doesn't build long trains and his My World train runs like a champ on 4 AA batteries.

I do like 3 rails system and as he gets older I think that it'll be easier to for him to grow with as he gets older. I'm also realistic that things are apt to change quite a bit in the next 10 years.

My budget is about $150 and/or 6 hours of time.

I know that there's a lot of goofy ideas here - appreciate any thoughts or feedback!
Offline H0  
#2 Posted : 03 September 2013 20:21:19(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 15,292
Location: DE-NW
Hi!
Welcome to the forum!
Originally Posted by: ratherbesailing Go to Quoted Post
4. Figure out a way to run DC on the current Marklin tracks and some how add a third rail pickup shoe to the bottom of the streetcar
When you manage to add a pickup to the streetcar, then you only need a (simple) decoder and it will run on either AC or DC or even digital.
If you can't add a pickup, then there is the option to modify C track for two rail operation - but the turnouts 24611/2 are somewhat difficult to modify for that.

Or get Trix C track. The My World train will run on it, but Märklin trains with centre rail pickup will not.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
Offline BrandonVA  
#3 Posted : 03 September 2013 20:40:33(UTC)
BrandonVA

United States   
Joined: 09/12/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,533
Location: VA
Hello and welcome.

I think probably option 1 would work best. You could come up with another solution, I am sure some people will suggest things...but keep in mind two rail and three rail track typically have different wheel sizes, so two rail stuff doesn't always run great on Marklin track (most notably certain turnouts, etc).

Regarding switching to a different system: It may be expensive, but Marklin for me has always been the best...it stays on the track, it couples well, and you don't really have to worry about being too careful with your layout design to avoid derailments or trouble spots. So my vote would be to stay as close to Marklin as possible, since it runs well and generally has good compatibility between all Marklin products. I have three young kids, and typically Marklin works very well for them (however, I don't have any battery powered Marklin).

-Brandon
Offline witzlerh  
#4 Posted : 03 September 2013 21:56:58(UTC)
witzlerh

Canada   
Joined: 25/09/2010(UTC)
Posts: 417
Location: Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
With the exception of the turnouts and some crossings, all the C track can be clipped to become 2 rail. All you would need to do is get the TRIX C track turnouts.
You then can add power and have the street cars DC operated when you add power to the rails.

The TRIX and Marklin (2 and 3 rail) C track are physically completely interchangable.

If you turn the track over and look at the strip that connects the rails, there is a high section that you can snip and bend away, electrically separating the rails.
I have done this several times when the club's 2 rail layout was missing some track. I just later soldered the cut part back again to regain my 3 rail.

There may be slight jiggling at the turnouts due to the larger flanges that Marklin has when running the Marklin rolling stock on Trix C track turnouts.
There may be a slight gauge issue but in my experience, is not a big issue as if you do have performance issues, you can twist and slide the wheel to gauge. This is easier on the DC equipment as there has to be plastic bushings to insulate the wheels.

So if the color difference is not important, (Trix C track ballast is lighter grey than Marklin)
Harald
CS2 DB & Canadian Era 3-6
Offline Hoffmann  
#5 Posted : 03 September 2013 22:49:20(UTC)
Hoffmann

Canada   
Joined: 25/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,106
Location: Guelph, Ontario


Hi,

Please go with option # 1 . Your Son will grow up and will soon demand more variety in playing with trains. Your Marklin is easy to expand and when your Son is 6 or older he will have no Problem operating the Trains with track power.

Just my thoughts.

Martin
marklin-eh
Offline ratherbesailing  
#6 Posted : 04 September 2013 00:53:25(UTC)
ratherbesailing

United States   
Joined: 16/07/2013(UTC)
Posts: 4
First - thank you everyone for the warm welcome and the thoughts. Based off of what I'm reading, I think that I won't replace the C track. So I think that the first phase would just be to get him a non-motorized streetcar and maybe get a motorized one to do some experiments with either battery power or analog DC using Marklin 3 rail. I would love to hear of anyone else's experiences with taking either of these approaches, especially putting a pickup shoe on a DC locomotive.

It would be amazing it if Marklin had some sort of My World kit where you could retrofit a locomotive with batteries and an infrared receiver. If you haven't noticed, I think that the My World stuff is brilliant and they nailed it for younger audiences. The only problem is that the trains are, well, a little boring.

Thanks again everyone!

Greg
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by ratherbesailing
Offline Sparrow  
#7 Posted : 04 September 2013 09:54:07(UTC)
Sparrow

Spain   
Joined: 05/09/2011(UTC)
Posts: 219
Hi Greg and everyone!

I have some experience in running DC locos on C track. Besides fully converting them into digital three-track locos (wich involves the use of a decoder) you have basically two options:

1.- Isolate tracks and feed them with analog DC, which works fine but involves some work regarding switches.
2.- Stick a slider underneath the loco and feed C track with analog DC in the normal three track way.

Both ways work well, but my final option, after prologued testing, is #2, as far as it doesn´t involve any change in track and your converted locos will work on M track just as well as on C track.
Additionally, should you consider a full convertion to digital in the future, you would have half of the work done.

You can find a tutorial on isolating C track switches here: HERE

Scroll down the thread till you find it. Text is in spanish, but pictures are quite self-explaining and you can feel free to ask me.

Regarding sliders, conversion is easy, and you can find plenty of tutorials on the net. Only caveat would be your loco needs to have enough free space underneath to stick the slider. Otherwise it will "jump" over switches and derail.

Best regards.
Luis.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Sparrow
Offline Sparrow  
#8 Posted : 04 September 2013 10:11:59(UTC)
Sparrow

Spain   
Joined: 05/09/2011(UTC)
Posts: 219
I have not been able to directly load a video here, so this is the link to youtube.

VIDEO

The short video depicts an old Ibertren analog DC shunting loco, fitted with a slider underneath and running on my M track layout.
Of course I need to switch to a DC regulator instead of my AC Märklin trafos to run this and other classic DC locos on my layout.
Best regards.
Luis.
Offline ratherbesailing  
#9 Posted : 06 September 2013 23:56:00(UTC)
ratherbesailing

United States   
Joined: 16/07/2013(UTC)
Posts: 4
So the streetcar arrived a couple of days ago and my son has been pushing it around on the track and loves it. We did pull out the old DC two rail track and got it running in a circle, but boy I had forgotten how awful that track is. So he's back to pushing it around on the Marklin track.

Sparrow, thanks for the links. I think that I'm going to try to attach a pickup shoe to another streetcar that I just ordered off ebay. If it works, we'll be running 3 rail analog DC for the streetcar and we'll have the My World TGV running around on batteries. A bit of a unique setup, but I think that we'll have a blast with it.

The power controller that we have now is a really basic DC controller with a lever. My son loves to move around and it would be really nice to have a remote control for any trains that are picking up their power from the track. I see that on ebay there is a Marklin infrared controller (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Marklin-Wireless-infrared-controller-Terminal-straight-C-track-24089-AC-3-rail-/261277151965?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item3cd554f2dd) from a starter set. I'm not too sure how this thing works, I assume that it is some sort of digital controller and I would have to insert a decoder into the streetcar. Does anyone know if the 00748 Wireless Infared Controller + 24089 C-Track Feeder Track would work if I keep the 3 rail DC setup? Or would it force me onto AC which would make me to replace the motor in the streetcar.

If using the Marklin infrared is too involved, I guess I could contact this guy for his analog DC infrared controller kit (http://www.trainelectronics.com/PicaxeSpeedController/article).

Or I can reverse engineer the My World TGV and make the streetcar battery powered and controlled by infrared...

All comments appreciated!
Offline H0  
#10 Posted : 07 September 2013 07:32:27(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 15,292
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: ratherbesailing Go to Quoted Post
Does anyone know if the 00748 Wireless Infared Controller + 24089 C-Track Feeder Track would work if I keep the 3 rail DC setup?
It's a simple digital controller for the three-rail system.

Originally Posted by: ratherbesailing Go to Quoted Post
Or would it force me onto AC which would make me to replace the motor in the streetcar.
There are no Märklin H0 locos with AC motors. Early Märklin has AC/DC motors, current Märklin locos have DC motors.
The streetcar only needs a decoder, no need to change the motor. Then it will work with AC analogue, DC analogue and "Märklin digital" (depending on the capabilities of the decoder).
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
Users browsing this topic
OceanSpiders 2.0
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

| Powered by YAF.NET | YAF.NET © 2003-2024, Yet Another Forum.NET
This page was generated in 0.979 seconds.