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I bought a Bachmann Climax....now what?
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 Posted: Thu Mar 29th, 2012 07:10 pm
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mwiz64
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So I picked up a 1:20.3 Climax on Ebay and it just arrived. It's my very first anything large scale oriented and I'm not a seasoned model railroader by any stretch of the imagination. I have an old MRC Tech II 2400 transformer. Will that make it go, even a little bit or do I need something more?

Here is why, I want to run the engine now because I want to know if what I bought works and.... I'm a little kid about it and I wanna see it go. Eventually, it will be battery powered and run outside but right now, I need a quick fix.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Mike

Last edited on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 07:10 pm by mwiz64



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 Posted: Thu Mar 29th, 2012 07:27 pm
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Toeffelholm
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????
Mike,

why don't you take a piece of track, two wires and your transformer and just try?

Juergen



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 Posted: Thu Mar 29th, 2012 07:38 pm
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mwiz64
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I don't have any track yet. I went to the LHS and they couldn't answer my question. I think I'll bring what I have to the LHS tomorrow and see if we can figure it out. I just hate the idea of buying an expensive transformer just to test the thing knowing that I'll never really use it for anything else.

Like you said, I can also buy a little track for now and give it a try. I just dont want to smoke something in my ignorance.

Mike



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 Posted: Thu Mar 29th, 2012 08:18 pm
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W C Greene
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Mike-your MRC power pack should be OK to test the Climax with. I ran a 3 truck Shay with sound using an old Bachmann "Spectrum" power pack from an On30 set and it did just fine. You might need a bit more than 12 volts DC to make her "git" but what you have is fine. I would buy some track however, you need to see her run on track anyway. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Woodie



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 Posted: Thu Mar 29th, 2012 10:11 pm
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mwiz64
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I'm taking it into the LHS tomorrow on my lunch hour. When I'm there I'm going to get some track. Say, is 8 bucks about right for a single 1' section of track? That's a little higher than I might have expected. If so, is it cheaper to lay your own track? And lastly, is laying track this big hard to do?



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 Posted: Fri Mar 30th, 2012 02:27 am
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UNCLE BOB
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You really don't have to have track to test the engine.  Turn it upside down on a pillow or something and touch bare leads from your power supply, one to a wheel on one side, the other to a wheel on the other side. (with throttle on about half)

Be sure your leads are connected to the " to track" terminals, not "accessorys"

BTW, when you get around to the battery power, be sure to disconnect the pick up leads or you will back power onto the track.

HAVE FUN!  :thumb:

Bob



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 Posted: Fri Mar 30th, 2012 02:40 am
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UNCLE BOB
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mwiz64 wrote: Is it cheaper to lay your own track? And lastly, is laying track this big hard to do?

Are you planning on an indoor or an outdoor layout?  Hand laying indoors is pretty easy but outdoors there is usually nothing solid to attach the ties to and you thus have to spike the rail to each tie (at the work bench) which is tedious.  Also, even if you saw your own ties, you still have to buy the rail and spikes so the savings over 6ft flex track is not that great.

(Bob)



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 Posted: Fri Mar 30th, 2012 03:34 am
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mwiz64
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Well to start with I may do a small diorama. We are just now in the talking/planning stage with the back yard project.



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 Posted: Fri Mar 30th, 2012 04:59 pm
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mwiz64
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Alright... We ran the Climax at the LHS today on their test track. I picked up 2 packages of Bachmann straight track or 8 pieces for $55. That's really the killer of large scale, isn't it? Track is outrageous. If there is any savings to laying my own, even out doors, I'm going to do it. If nothing else, I'll lay out pieces of treated plywood to nail it to.

OH.... I almost forgot. The Climax looks and runs great. It's as smooth as a babies butt from a crawl up to a fairly good speed.

Last edited on Fri Mar 30th, 2012 05:46 pm by mwiz64



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 Posted: Fri Mar 30th, 2012 05:17 pm
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W C Greene
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Mike-yes, G gauge track is very costly. You might get a "break" if you do handlay your own. If you own some shop tools like a table saw or band saw then you could make your own ties from redwood or another weather resistant wood. As for spiking, many years ago, my friend Mopman and I built a portable (with forklifts and sore backs) G scale exhibition layout with handlaid track. With proper tools, the job was not all that hard. Instead of spikes, we used small finishing brads driven in with a pneumatic nail gun and the work went quite fast. The turnouts (switches) were made using cut off wheels (in an air grinder) and large pliers and a vise. We had access to these tools, if we hadn't, then we might have not done the work. LGB used to make (maybe still does) tie stock and 6 foot pieces of rail which cost a bundle but was still cheaper than ready made track. The switches are the big cost factor, if you can build a nice line with few of them, you can save a bunch. You mentioned using onboard batteries and r/c...then you could make the track from wood, all painted up, it would look just fine and without needing power on the rails (outside that is a cause for real problems), you could really "go to town" . Think about that idea, it is being used right now on several outdoor layouts. Good luck and keep us posted.

Woodie



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