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Wiring HO

Ed asks:

“What size wire do I need? Can I use a larger wire to use as the main feed wire?”

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Paragon 3 #5750

Richard asks:

“I am a beginner and just purchased a Paragon 3 #5750 HO – PRR Sharknose, BF 16 A/B set DCC. I have many issues with this and am not very happy with it. Do you have any knowledge about this unit and comments?

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Changing Elevation With Risers

Kristopher asks:

“The added risers to get elevation change I needed. No problems so far, but I’m not sure the best way to cover them to make the elevation and scenery look natural. Help wanted!”

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Watch How To Make A Bridge Like This

Various methods can be used to construct viaducts and bridges for a model railroad layout. This short video walks you through the construction of a model bridge built from corflute and cardboard.

The plans for this bridge can be adapted without too much effort, for example, the arched portal can be made to be a single or double portal (for two tracks). The arched portal can even be blocked off thereby turning the portal into a sealed brick archway.

And, very importantly this bridge can be increased in length or made to be wider, depending on what is needed on a particular layout. Just one set of plans can be purchased and if a mistake is made or want to extend the length or width of the bridge, it is simply a case of printing out an extra copy. This tutorial demo shows the plan being constructed to OO scale size, however, this bridge can be made to N scale size, or to HO scale size which is 87% of OO.

You can see more details at https://www.modelbuildings.org/bridges-and-tunnels-pack-deal-c/

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Decoder Installation

Brett asks:

“Are their people who install decoders, or can they be easily installed by a relative beginner like me?”

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Starting Voltage vs. CV2

Clif models HO and asks:

“What is the difference between Starting Voltage and CV2? What is the difference between CV5 and Top Voltage? Are they the same? It’s driving me loco.”

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Engine Jerky

Wayne writes:

“I received as a Christmas present a Paragon Rolling Thunder EMD E9 Sou #198 (5810). The engine does not seem to run properly on the layout. The speed is very unsteady and time the RPMs sounds are extremely high for the very slow speeds on a flat surface. The engine is very jerky and unsteady with speeds. No other engine on the layout has this problem, which makes me think it is a problem with the Paragon Unit. Any help/advice will be appreciated.”

Please add your comments to assist Wayne.

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Wiring Turntable with DCC

A reader writes:

“Our club is replacing our HO turntable with the Walthers 130′ one. We have arrival and departure and 39 stall tracks. Our trouble is the auto polarity reverser built into the pit. Being that the built-in reverser is set 180 deg. in the pit, only half of the tracks work as needed but the other half end up being reverse polarity. My question is, can we wire a Digitrax AR1 into the feed to the bridge and let it do its thing?”

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How to repair Locomotives & Lubricate?

Dan asks:

“I have HO Steam Locomotives and I would like to know how to repair and lubricate them. Are there any tips I should know?”

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Stuttering Bachmann

Jeremy asks:

“My new (2nd hand) Union Pacific Bachmann SD40 stutters a bit when running slow, but runs smoother when I crank up the speed. I am thinking some lube might fix the problem. Is Labelle 107 suitable, and where are the lube points? Thanks in anticipation.”

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Track Spacing Questions

Larry a hesitant newbie to the hobby has these three questions to ask:

“I don’t think I’ll ever be a serious model railroader, but my son wants us both to work on a project together. For some reason, he thinks I need a new interest to keep me mentally and physically active. He’s probably right as usual so I’ll give it a good go.

My (our) HO layout will consist of two 4ft x 8ft panels joined with a 4ft x 4ft panel to form a U shape. This will give me (us) space to move around.

My questions – 1. How close to the base edge can the closest track be? 2. What is the recommended separation between parallel tracks from the outside rail of the first track to the inside rail of the track running parallel with it? 3. Should I (we) allow extra separation on the curves, and if so, how much?”

Comments below.

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Best Adhesive For Sticking Grass To MDF

Ken is working on an OO layout with his great-nephew and posted this question:

“I want to roll and stick a sheet of grass to my MDF base. I expect to cut away a couple of sections after it’s laid. Will Elmer’s glue (which I already have) work, or should I use another adhesive?”

Comments under this post please.

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Construct This TALL Industrial Warehouse And Position It For Dramatic Effect Behind Your Rail Yard

Download the plans here https://www.modelbuildings.org/tall-warehouses-pack-deal

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Connection Power Supply To Kato

Tom asks:

“My a/c Power Supply (my house current) doesn’t want to connect to my Kato power because the “tube-shaped” connector doesn’t fit into the Kato power pack, Is there a way to deal with this?

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Modular Layout Ideas

Danny asks:

“I’ve seen a couple videos, but do you all have any advice, ideas, tips, do’s/don’ts on building a modular layout for HO scale…I’m starting with 96″x96″ eventually expanding to 144″x96”.

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Multi Speakers in SD45

Mel asks:

“I’m converting an SD45 to DCC with sound. I have room for an extra speaker. What will an extra speaker do for me?”

You can contribute your thoughts below.

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Ballasting Ralph’s Way

Ralph Hammond writes:

“I was prompted to scribble this short piece after I showed a mate of mine how I go about ballasting. I appreciate that many of your readers will already know this stuff, but I’m sure there will be others who don’t. My railroading mate who I thought knew everything said he learned a few tips. Please share it with your contacts if you think it will be helpful to them.”

Ralph’s ballasting methods

The first point to make is I used a medium-grade ballast on my main line and a finer ballast on the yards and sidings.

I start by spraying the ballast with Isopropyl Alcohol mixed with 30% iso and 70% water. I let it seep deep through the ballast. After waiting a while I apply the glue. Instead of using the more expensive Woodlands Scenic Cement, I use diluted PVA white glue to hold down my ballast. I use a pipette syringe to suck up the glue/alcohol, then squeeze it so it flows out slowly as I move over the track. I apply quite a lot of glue, except around moving points (turnouts) where I’m extra careful.

To make it look real I mixed in some darker ballast to simulate the grease where my locomotives might stand for long periods of time and depict oil and grime dripped from the cars.

Readers might like to add their own suggestions and thoughts in the comments area below.

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Tightest Radius Curve for 85′ Cars

Paul models HO and asks:

“I want to extend my shelf layout along the sidewall. I will need a 90-degree turn. I have a long a passenger train with Walther 85′ cars, so was wondering what would be the smallest radius I would need to avoid derailments?”

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