American Z Line AZL Mikado first impressions & DCC'd

Carlsbad92009 Jul 21, 2013

  1. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    The C-64 Tenshodo steam engine has the motor in the tender, NO traction tires and could pull 19 MTL freight cars.
    https://vimeo.com/27734903
     
  2. Carlsbad92009

    Carlsbad92009 TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Garth,

    I should have additionally added to my commentary that my main objective with the weight conversation is to maximize contact to the rails as needed for power pick-up, and good low speed operation for the decoder. I have also found that when I pulled 14 Pullmans that there was a bit of driver chatter. So.....adding weight helped to reduce that. As I basically do a good degree of engine service, DCC and LED lighting......and more recently adding sound decoders, even the smallest detail/improvement is a bonus.
     
  3. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I don't have one yet, but others were talking about twisting and even you called them torque happy. If there are no problems then that is good.
     
  4. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Different subject regarding the Mikes. Is there much of a visual difference between the light and heavy Mikes? Either my eyesight is bad or there isn't much that I can see. Any enlightening thoughts?
     
  5. RobertAllbritton

    RobertAllbritton TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a side by side picture of an early tooling sample. To me the look like big brother and little brother, but I'll let you be the judge.

    Best,
    -Rob(A)
    AZL

    Second Sample.jpg
     
  6. minzemaennchen

    minzemaennchen TrainBoard Member

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    Looking forward to get my hands on the CB&Q Heavy Mike, lots of opportunity to make it a proper O-4 class!

    :)
     
  7. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Even in real life there is not a great deal of difference in the two versions. The most visible difference is the skyline. larger, with larger domes on the boiler top, in real life larger fire grate area, higher boiler pressure and larger cylinders say the heavy should be able to lift a larger train but driver size is the same and engine dimension don't vary in length by by inches not feet.

    Looking at models in the AZL case at Atlanta there was a visible difference in that the heavy as expected looked a bit beefier or bulkier but as I only ran the light version I could not say if there is much difference in actual weight between the two versions. as Rob said big brother and little brother. There is greater variation evident when looking at the two models from the side rather from the boiler front or cab rear In looking up data on the two versions I could not get good comparison data on tractive effort in real life or weight on drivers to compare the two versions in real life. But I could get comparisons on cylinder size, fire grate area and operating max boiler pressure, and those thing indicate big brother does have some more grunt over little brother. The longer cylinder stoke and higher boiler pressure might indicate the heavy might have been capable of a bit higher road speed but with the same size of driver on both engines I doubt it, more likely the heavy was able to lift a greater load out of the hole.
     
  8. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thank you Rob and Garth. Exactly the info I wanted. I like the beefier and heftier version so it looks like I'll be ordering in September when WP makes its debut. Got money in hand. Now where is the best price?
     
  9. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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  10. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    This may be the locomotive that gets me back into Z scale. Honestly, a couple of these and a Geep, and I'll have a branch line going in no time. Damn nice work there, guys!

    Question; will programming this thing in DCC to run with momentum on, help avoid any torque wobbles and such when operating in a switching capacity? Also, I must have missed it, but how easy will it be to add DCC sound to this baby; is that out of the question? They do make some tiny speakers......
     
  11. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Don't discount the GP30 & GP38-2: they're great low speed runners and have drop-in DCC. I haven't heard it confirmed, but I suspect the upcoming GP-7s & GP-9s
    will be able to use that unit as well.

    I think most of the rest of your questions are answered on the first page or so.

    Mark
     
  12. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The engine has good slow speed control, so I don't see the need to adjust it with momentum. There's no room in the tender for a decoder, so I am putting the sound decoder in the baggage car.
     
  13. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    John;
    All the connections are at the rear of the tender, both track and motor. The headlight works on constant lighting so it will light up with DCC track voltage but if you want to control it you have to bring at least two wires to front of boiler, the good news is there is room for standard small cross section wire intended for DCC wiring and it is flexible enough to cross on or under the the draw bar. The light pipe, to the head light is plastic and can be improved by painting outside of pipe with aluminum paint, others have used black. I also drilled out for a piece of fiber optic to go inside the light pipe with mushroom head at font and rear of light pipe and got more light and focused light out of the head light. For incandescent lighting at bit or orange tint with a felt tip will dampen theblue in theLED. I put my colour on the fiber optic mushroom in front of the LEDat back of light pipe A CT Elektronik DCx74zD has been successfully installed and there is a web site showing the decoder installed. It is speculated that a Z2 or Gold Mini could also be used with maybe a bit of work on the opening in tender weight to get it to fitin the opening against back of tender wall.
     
  14. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Are there any mechanical fasteners between the boiler and the frame or is it a press fit?
     
  15. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I figured it out. Un-hook it from under the cab and lift off over another hook at the cylinder chest.

    Next question. What is all that chattering? Mine seems to do it going forward more than reverse and it feels like it comes from the locomotive and not the tender. When I hear the chatter the whole loco vibrates and of course it does this mostly at slow speeds. Any ideas?
     
  16. Carlsbad92009

    Carlsbad92009 TrainBoard Member

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    Chris, something is out of sync or the drive shaft is not seated properly going into the universal joint between the tender and the cab/boiler. Put some graphite to the side rods if any are hanging up due to friction, that should be the cure. Be careful that nothing is bent on the side rods, always handle the loco from the top of the boiler and not the drivers.

    Don
     
  17. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have pulled the worm out a few times and pushed the locomotive down the track with a finger. All the wheels spin freely with no down force so I don't think there are any binds. The worm did have some back-n-forth play in it so I added a .005" thick washer shim to the front. The play is much less now, but it didn't help things.

    I also noticed there is some back-n-forth play in the motor shaft. I'm not sure how much play is normal in a coreless motor.

    I think it needs a 0816 in it with a 4:1 gearhead, but I just don't understand what that chatter is.
     
  18. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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  19. FrenchieZ

    FrenchieZ Permanently dispatched

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    Almost sounds electrical.
     
  20. DPSTRIPE

    DPSTRIPE TrainBoard Supporter

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    Chris,
    I agree with FrenchieZ. Is it possible that there is a problem with your supply? It sounds almost like a PWM drive misfiring. Or almost like it's swinging slightly negative (switching polarity). Maybe try a different supply?

    Dan S.
     

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