AZL GP7 arrives !

SJ Z-man Feb 24, 2007

  1. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Got my UP GP7 today. Nice, really nice. Crisp paint as was the SD70. Very similar construction. Need to run it when I get home (will edit post). Has traction tire on one axle (2 wheels, same axle) on rear truck.

    Included Chinglish instructions say:
    To use the enclosed front pilot, "you need to cut away the the coupler arm". Which arm do they mean? The one on the pilot I'm try to install (I hope not :) or do they mean 'remove' the existing coupler box from the front truck (duh !).
    Disassembly of the loco is not recommeneded. (how am I going to put in the DCC decoder ? :rolleyes:
    The motor is rated at 8V. If we use a transformer (uh, that's AC, not DC), we need to measure the 'current' first to establish the 8V setpoint. As an electronic person, you should measure the voltage, not current.​

    More later :)
     
  2. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I got mine yesterday, and fit a CT Elektronik decoder in it. Had to do the frame grind thing, and a little shell hollowing, but got it to fit. Will test it tomorrow and finish the lighting.
     
  3. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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  4. DPSTRIPE

    DPSTRIPE TrainBoard Supporter

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    The UP must have different instructions than the Pennsy. Mine says, "If you opt to use the front and rear pilot, you need to cut away the coupler arm from the front truck." I assume they also mean the rear truck if you use both pilots.

    I can live with the use of the word transformer, since this is still a very common name (though technically wrong) for the DC power pack. I know that most of my friends in HO and O still use the term "transformer" freely. I guess it's like "dialing" a touch tone phone, or the MOP (motor operated potentiometer) circuits or logic in modern motor drive controllers. And my personal least favorite; Many modern PLCs and PACs (Programmable Logic Controllers and Programmable Automation Controllers) use 32 bit processors. Many of them now use the term "Word" to mean 32 bit even though the technical definition of "Word" is 16 bits; 32 bits is a double word.This can get confusing when you re using devices with both 16 and 32 bit data. Sometimes, the old jargon just fails to go away.

    Now, the use of a volt meter to measure the current to set the voltage, sort of jumped out at me as well. The sad thing is, I don't think that this is a translation problem (Chinglish or Koreanglish). I have spotted the same misuse in several English to English publications.

    Dan S.
     
  5. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    The point of it was some of us may understand this but if you read many of the posts on any forum, a very significant portion of the people would not understand this. If you (and I) even had to think about it (or question it), it's not clear enough for the rest. I work in a very customer oriented field. If we don't graphically represent along with text, we do a lot of 'splaining, Lucy.

    Just would be nice if they included a graphical reference, even if they have to had to the AZL site (BTW: AZL's official site is now Ztrack, no more AmericanZlines.com) so Rob Kluz . . . That's waht CAD's for. The SD70 has an exploded view with interelated parts.
     
  6. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    wow, those are the best shots I've seen yet and the model looks great. The front on shot shows the nice narrow hood width.


    Has anyone with a PRR unit removed the antenna yet? Are there holes left over? Same with the UP, are there hole under the winter hatch?

    Anyone strip the paint yet?

    Also with the "filled" pilot will it pull cars around MT sectional track curves without derailing?
     
  7. HoboTim

    HoboTim TrainBoard Supporter

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    WOW!

    The photos showing the Loco by itself just don't tell you how small it really is until you add human hands for perspective! That Geep is small!

    WOW!

    Love the details! Yes, it may have minor issues, but I want one even more now!

    WOW!

    Hobo Tim :teeth:
     
  8. DPSTRIPE

    DPSTRIPE TrainBoard Supporter

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    I finally got around to trying to run in my Pennsy GP7. Strange thing happened. It ran fine on curved track, but died on straight track. I just have a starter oval set up on my hotel room desk. It died every time it got onto the straight track. Even if I nudged it, it wouldn't go, abd the light didn't even flicker. So, I tried cleaning the track (which was already clean), and it didn't help. So, I tried using my wheel cleaner on it (avoiding the traction tires). I couldn't get either truck to pick up unless I turned it. I pulled off the shell and noticed that each truck was only making good contact with the chassis on one side. On the other side, the chassis contact was pushed out away from the frame and only touched the truck contact when the truck was turned. I worked the contacts back into place and now, the GP7 is making its way around the test track with no problems. I still have about 15 minutes of run in to do, but, so far, it's looking good.
    Dan S.
     
  9. DPSTRIPE

    DPSTRIPE TrainBoard Supporter

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    Chris,
    Well, since I model Pennsy, I haven't removed the antenna, but I can tell you that it is only as thick as the etched handrail, so I doubt any holes that might be there would be any bigger than a speck. They should be very easy to fill.

    The only thing I can tell you about the "filled" pilot is that the instructions say that it will pull fewer cars than the truck mounted couplers.

    Dan S.
     
  10. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    The front / rear pilots are, IMHO, much better secured than the truck mounted coupler boxes. Neither is going to likely pull as much as a one piece truck like the GP35 or F7.

    The pilot has the usual swing to the coupler but those that run Marklin 145mm radius aren't gonna make it. Like the SD70, is just negotiates that 195mm (7.8" radius). We only run >>>>305mm (12" minimum) and mostly 380-457mm (15-18") radius so no problems with the pilots (unless we hit a back-to-back turnout "crossover" where the S kills it).

    More of a problem is the AZL couplers which, at least for us, uncouple far more frequently than the MTL versions. But you can easily change the SD70's for a MTL, just a little filing in the pilot hole or you can rebuild the AZL box with a 901/902 type kit.
     
  11. DPSTRIPE

    DPSTRIPE TrainBoard Supporter

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    I may have spoken too soon. After running the loc in for a half hour in both directions, I coupled a few cars to it and ran it some more. It stopped on the straight track again. I nudged it, and it started to move, so, I thought it was just a fluke. Then it stopped on the opposite straight. After that, it was once again stopping at every straight track. I checked the contacts I had "fixed" earlier, and they were still in position. I noticed that the truck sideframes seemed loose on the sides, and the journal ends seemed loose in the "wiper" sockets. I held the sideframes closed for a while, put it back on the track, and it seems to be running again. But I doubt the delrin(?) sideframes will hold their "new" shape. I'll keep running it and see what happens.
    Dan S.
     
  12. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Used the little one:
    [​IMG]

    And did a bit of work to fit it in:
    [​IMG]

    White SMT's are just bright enough:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Coupler Mods:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Fred Ladd

    Fred Ladd TrainBoard Member

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    Thatz a great looking engine- Why can't all these little bugz be worked out BEFORE we lay down our hard earned cash. I've been buying AZL since it started and it seems each engine has it's problems- My Alco's
    "eye Brows" fell off the Santa Fe- LOST! The truck side rails fall off, the friction shell mounts don't work- I pick the engine up by the shell and the whole mechenism falls out to the floor. The couplers have a habbit of coming loose. They ARE handsome engines, but by now you would think the kinks would be worked out. I've never sent an engine back, nor made open comment, but it sure seems when you are shelling out bucks that are as much as a diamond ( I bought cheep diamonds) It should work- Haven't had trouble in other scales..
    I certainly hope I'm the only one that has these problems, but I'm not a "BULL in the Hobby shop".
    Best
    Fred
    I'm still waiting to find out if the switches have had thier clitches worked out!
     
  15. Fred Ladd

    Fred Ladd TrainBoard Member

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    I don't know why I posted that today- It just seems we, the buyer, have to accept something Less than expected. There's been complaits of creepy crawlers, and some like it, other's don't. the engine should have the capability to run at all the engines scale speed-- guess I just got up on the wrong side of the rock!
    Best,
    Fred
     
  16. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Don't worry Fred, AZL has worked a lot of the kinks. The AZL's you are likely speaking about "falling apart" are likely their brass from 7 years ago. Yeah, the shells are a little loose but something that can be remedied. Their current units are manufactured by another vendor and are plastic too. All this can lead to more variables (new model blues) but usualy many more are worked out than creep in. Sure, there are bugs, defects, alignment, pick-a-word with any new product but you also must understand that in Z, vendors are making 100 pc runs of some things, maybe 1000 of another part. But it took them maybe 2, 5 or 12 times thru preproduction to make a sellable part. All this costs money, especially with injection molded parts where tooling is ~$5K per piece. Locos like the SD70, GP7 or MTL's upcoming GP9 have several parts that require this costly tooling. On top of that, dimensions become more and more critical in Z and therefore harder to manufactur and also reproduce a 2nd 5th or 25th run.

    Put a bit of RTV on the inside of the shell and smear to a thin film with your finger. This should give you all the friction you need to keep the shell on.
     
  17. RSmidt

    RSmidt TrainBoard Member

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    We were running some of the GP7's at the GTE show in Upper Marlboro, MD today. They were pulling about 40 cars (might have been 37) before they started slipping. It surprised me, but they were actually slipping, even with the traction tires. We ended up pulling 47 cars with 2 GP7's. We didn't bother to pull out more cars to see how many two would pull together.

    Randy
     
  18. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Come on, you expected to pull, what, 100 cars without slipping. Come on, be real.

    It does pull really well. Easily outpulls a GP35 and almost head-to-head wiht a MTL F7, the past champion puller with all that Lead in it.

    Most main line runs, we use 2 locos more for reliability to assure that there is minimal stop-n-go hesitation at various parts on the modules, usually turnouts.

    Mine single one has run around my modules in prep for next weekend show without any problems. It's been more than an 3 hours now. Didn't even clean the track since January's show.

    Can't wait to DCC it so I can lash it up with the C44 and SD70's for a little parade. :)
     
  19. Fred Ladd

    Fred Ladd TrainBoard Member

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    Jeff,
    How bout the creepy crawlies- Thatz a new plastic engine Those aren't Brass? NOT A LIMITED RUN. What's up with the GP-7 that ONE doesn't run on the straight- Yes some of my observations are brass-but at $500 a pop-- Figure that out for an ABBA- (Thatz the E-8's) couldn't those eyebrows (Alcos) been secured better- the side frames so they don't fall off. and the innerds so they don't fall out.
    It's nice you want to defend AZL-ME TOO- but a faulty product is not right.
    Best,
    Fred
     
  20. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    Gentleman, remember, this is the preproduction run. There will be changes between these locos and the standard run. I am very interested in Dan's comments. The stalling on the straights may have a very simple solution. Likely, a truck is binding slightly by the chassis being too tight. A 1/4" turn of the screws that hold the chassis together may very will fix the issue. If this problem persists, return the locomotive to me. I will be glad to replace it. We want customers to be happy. On a side note, I did test run a PRR and UP today. Both ran great, though I did find the PRR did stall on the same section of tracks on the club layout. This was more of a track issue. Randy, could this be the slipping you were seeing? Was it happening on the same section of track? These locos ran smooth for 2 hours. Also, the PRR was MU'ed with a MTL GP35. What a great team.

    Fred, I think you are having a bad day. Please don't rush too judgement, at least not quite yet. You are right, the early brass locos could suffer from the problems you mentioned. The SD70s and GP7s have come a LONG way. Of course, any all new release has it's learning curve. The GP7 has a completely new chassis design, and we expect there to be bugs that were not discovered in design and testing. I think faulty is extreme. Every run will have bad locos that will slip through. It is a fact of life. Though I wish every loco could be perfect, there is a reality. That is the reason we are happy to swap locos from the preproduction run.

    Rob
     

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