New guy from El Paso

Onizukachan Nov 13, 2018

  1. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    I send greetings.

    Returning (slowly) to the hobby and N scale for the first time in almost 30 years.
    My how things have changed!
    There is far more Detail in this N Kato GS4 than there was even in HO 30 years ago, it’s amazing!
    I wish I had my 30 year younger back and eyes when I am working on things though!


    So far I have built my dcc++ system, Installed JMRI on my Mac to run my test/programming track, and borrowed my game emulator RPi 3b+ So I could set up a card for JMRI. Still need a project box so I can put everything securely away from my 18 month old daughter’s hands.

    I added the EM13 just so I could test everything out, got it added and pictures in my roster, coded to 4449, played with the kick/accel/decel get it to start cleanly and have at least some momentum and about 15 minutes before I planned to pack everything back up until I could mod the 1st gen Kato my little girl couldn’t contain her excitement, reached out and ZAP!.
    So I said several non family words and went ahead and did the job I was going to put off till later.

    I stripped it down, got out the dremel and a couple of sanding drums the diameter of the wheel, and pretty much carved the wells out till they were daylighted.
    Then I sharpied them black again and did two coats of matte clear (immediately gets rid of the sharpie purple hue and also insulates for redundancy).
    And THEN I did kapton tape in the arches and backs of the wells FOR TRIPLE REDUNDANCY... And ordered another EM13.

    While I was in there I did a second better repair to fix the front coupler damage (it sheared the plastic single shear pin off during shipping to me) by using a piece of a steel sim removal tool as the coupler mounting pin instead of the fragile glued back on pin, and painted the white plastic cab floor and wall that light seafoamish mint green I had seen on videos of 4449.

    I’ve also bought a little Imex resin ranch house cheap and replaced the missing carport post with a toothpick, and installed a white led in the carport. Then I told my wife I bought her a house for 175. She was more than 1/160 happy.

    Future plans are to model a few chosen scenes of the Southern California coast that I find particularly beautiful or visually interesting, such as around Camp Cooke with the cliffs and bridge, Santa Claus beach where the tracks are tight down on the beach, etc. as I enjoy scenery, lighting, and animated art, rather than operations.
    I’m not opposed to some fun with switching, and will try to incorporate some of it, so I can run some Diesel freight, maybe some cars with 6x6s, Jeeps, and Tanks for Camp Cooke. I am thinking 1951-53 is a really good timeframe with some challenges to model, and also some flexibility as it is transition era, but prepiggyback, pre Vandenberg AFB, still lots of older rolling stock.


    Undecided on most everything layout wise except I want those cliffs and beach! And maybe Santa Barbara at my start of line.


    I also would like to add that I also model/fool around with “D scale” aka Disney non-scale battery operated toy monorails. It’s a load of fun and a challenge to take a toy and make it vastly more realistic. I have added passengers, lighting, announcements, upgraded motors, and have built interiors and lighting for the accessory buildings also. As they are very non-scale, it is very liberating to be able to be creative to give the “feel” of something/someplace. The monorails are sort of S and O and the buildings are probably Z scale at best! Selective Compression to the Max!

    It was the fun I had with those that reinterpreted me in railroading again.

    If you read this far, Thanks!
    Glad to be here.
     
    Carl Sowell and Kurt Moose like this.
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ha ha ha!!! (y):D

    Welcome to TrainBoard!
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Hi, Welcome. Glad to have you on board. You definitely have been busy, if your delightful narrative is any indication.
     
  4. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome to Trainboard Onizukachan! You are for sure right about how much N has changed in the last 30 years. Like the early 50's time frame you are thinking about and the location sounds interesting. Would be neat to see some pics of those "D scale" monorails.
     
  5. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you all.
    So as to not clutter the board, i’ll Post a couple of Monorail vids here.



     
  6. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Some cool videos there. Thanks for sharing them.(y)
     
    Onizukachan likes this.
  7. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    Those are real nice videos, thanks for sharing. Welcome to Trainboard.
    I too am interested in monorail but in N scale, would like to find a nice one to put on our club layout in Las Cruces. You and I will have to get together and talk trains someday. You might be interested in going to Cruces with me sometime to scope out our layout. Always welcome to do so.

    You did not mention your first name, is it Oni ?

    as always, have fun,
    Carl
     
    Onizukachan likes this.
  8. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Carl, first names actually Richard.
    A few years ago, My eldest son said I looked just like the lead character in the anime we were watching, Great Teacher Onizuka, thus the SN.

    I can tell you no one makes an out of the box operational Nscale monorail, but Bob of Monorail Modelers does make the chassis etc for a Disney one.RC and RTR... $900.
    There are some very cool static kits in 1:150 of modern Japanese monorails, the ones that look like late 70s L trains if that is what your group is looking for.i don’t see anyway to make them operational and keep the detailed interiorsthough.
     
    Carl Sowell likes this.
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    PS- It has been nearing fifty years since I was in El Paso. Lived there a few months. From what I have seen on line, has changed dramatically. Cannot recognize anything. :(
     
  10. fitz

    fitz Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome aboard, Onizukachan. Great story and videos so far. Looking forward to your progress.
     
  11. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    Box,

    I was born and raised here and lived here most of my 78 years. Spent about 10 years in Albuquerque.

    Even I can't recognize some parts of town. Way too large for me now.

    Carl
     
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  12. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    Well, my replacement decoder came in from Jim’s trains yesterday, and being a responsible adult (sometimes) I waited until tonight to install it since of course all would be well once it was in.


    DOA.

    Dagnabbit, just my luck.

    Right now GS-4 runs fine on DC, doesn’t run with the tender weight out so I know there is no short allowing the upper and lower frames to touch. (Besides which the upper is now clear coated specifically to prevent that, except where the motor pickups and the tender rub wires make contact).
    It does the same thing as the one I HEARD sizzle, nothing, Decoderpro error 308 can’t establish connection to locomotive.
    With the dc board in, it hums on dcc, with the em13 in it does jack squaticus on dc.

    I sent Jim an eBay reply explaining the situation and asking him/ them to make right, no blame I can understand how a return could have gotten mixed in with good stock or it could have been bad from Kato, but it is disappointing nontheless.

    I also ordered a second em13 from YANKEEDABBLER as I saw they are a forum sponsor, so i can have One spare.

    I really wanted to have this thing RTR by thanksgiving (because that is when the monorails come back out to go under the tree and take over the living room floor for almost 2 months).
    Ah well. It’s a bummer. I really need another DCC locomotive of some sort to play with on my little 5 foot test track.

    Trying to stay positive though!

    On another positive note, I do have a couple of Southern Pacific Lines 40 ft AeroTrailers on the way, they were too pretty to not pick up for $10, just need at least one late 40s tractor truck to “pull” them.
    Reference video here




    Mr. Carl, you at one point had Richmond Controls with em13 in your gs4, correct? Before yours gave you fits and you upgraded to hardwired decoder and a different motor?
    Does the Richmond work well with DCC?
    Once I get an EM13 that works again, that’s my next buy I think. The yellow LEDs really look quite terrible. And Kato could have done much much better than an on off flashing “mars” light for 50 cents more in parts.
    I really wish they’d come out with a revised light board with proper colored lights and mars light. They came out with 2 revisions of the coach lighting, 4 revisions of the Loco, close couplers, etc...
    I’d buy one.

    Finally thanks to everyone for the well wishes and warm Greetings. I’d like to start a more permanent thread to do I,ent progress, and/or regress, but am unsure what category would be appropriate. If someone can direct me I will copy this over there and not clutter the introduction anymore.
     
  13. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    Richard,

    I never had an EM13 in my GS4. I gutted everything out of the tender and installed a Tsunam 750 and speaker in the tender. I later replaced the Tsunami with a good ESU Loksound decoder. Yes, I had a Richmond Controls unit, because the Mars light is great especially when compare to KATO's blinking light. I can not remember but I think the RC unit is rated for up to 16 volts and what I did was wire it to the decoder white/blue wires for on/off control. Check out his website for current info as I am only familiar with the one I purchased some 12 or so years ago, when GS4 was first released. That old unit had 1.2mm incandescent bulbs and not LEDs.

    Carl
     
  14. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for the feedback, Carl. Got a message from Jim of jimstrains at 6 am that they’d be posting another one Monday.
     

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