01-25-16 Back at it

This year we renewed the tradition of spending the last part of the year in Florida. This year, because of other needs, the time was spent away from the trains. It is good to get my head clear. Several goals and directions have been sorted out relative to these train activities.

First, the large test activity looking at various motor variations has become clearer in its benefits.

This group currently exceeds 12 models with the potential of 20 to 25. Using thus approach a number of results will be identified. Primarily, the differences between six to eight motor types will be identified in several different engine chassis.

The goal is to finish all the engines with a module. This module variation will include a number of different DCC decoders. For now sound will not be included. The goal is to define the difference with and with out a module in place. These tests will all be done with a DC signal.

This is not intended to be a full examination of all the potential modules, but how the modules impact the engine performance.

The modules examined will also include products from Rail Pro and the latest wireless DC offerings. These also need to be able to run strictly in the DC environment. Again, the benefits of the module are not the purpose of this testing. The impact of how the module impacts the motor is the desired understanding to be achieved.

As was indicated in the October post, there have been some interesting results in the early tests. The visualization of these indications have been a challenge. A number of factors have to be looked at.

The second activity that has surfaced is an assessment of the recent Rapido Amtrak F40PH. This is the first Rapido engine that has been through the testing. The best that can be done is to compare it to the results of the cumulative set of data taken in this series. No insight as to how this engine compares to an average Rapido F40PH. This is a common draw back for any recently released model by any manufacture. The numbers and cost both work against having a large test sample. Models from twenty years ago were produced in larger numbers and are more readily available.

The third focus is the number of steam engines in the test series. The oppertunity for tha availability of an additional brass engine as brought this leg of the activity forward. The literature is froth with the negative thoughts about the brass steam engine performance. As usual, my question is compared to what. For this reason a number of steam engine models have been or will be tested. These will be described and where appropriate an improvement will be tried. A new motor and additional electrical pickups for example. This is activity will progress at a pace below the large diesel motor variation activity.

The finial point here is the graphite test activity. There is no indicated impact of the graphite as tested in the series performed last summer and fall. Clearly a different tact is required. Some additional approaches are required to highlight the benefits of graphite on engine performance.

Most of the engines n the test series discussed above will be sold with the final module and motor combination. Two of the early tested engines have been shipped. As the testing is completed for a given engine, it will be listed on the eBay store and sold for a Competitive price. Keep watching my store for these engines.

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