Is anyone familiar withe the MTH Operating Flag 30-9103 from the late 90's? I just purchased one because it looked interesting. The base takes a 9 volt battery and the pole vibrates to give the flag movement. Mine is obnoxious. It sounds like one of those old vibrating football games with the metal surface and is louder than the trains. The flag vibrates incredibly - but on a very small scale. The box says "Incredibly Realistic Effect". Mine is not even close. Has anybody had better results with their flag?
Yup, was suckered & bought one too when it was offered. Had plans for it when I was building our layout. Was going to put it in front of the Plasticville schoolhouse, hook it up to track power so it would fly when a train passed by. It now sits ignored & out of reach on a marble slab I found in a stoneyard rubble pile. I'll just leave it at that ...
I've got one on my layout, I saw one on a layout while in Florida one year and just had to get one. They are noisy but with you trains running to me it's a minor. I hooked mine up to Lionel's 153IR controller so that when my train exits the tunnel the flag waves. I like it!
After hearing that some of you could tolerate the noise, I took my flag apart to see its operation. I found the cam was on the wrong side of the motor lifter. I put it back together and the loud noise I was having was gone. I optimized the flag flapping with some spray starch. I now can hear the snapping of the flag from the "wind" over the sound of the vibrating mechanism. It looks like a strong wind is blowing the flag - reasonably realistic.
It turned out to be a nice accessory once tweaked (like most operating accessories).
I believe this accessory was designed by the famous Lionel inventor, Frank Petitt, when he was very late in life... his late 80's perhaps. I think the story was that he offered it first to Dick Kughn's LTI, but they were not interested in it, sadly. But Mike Wolf was, bought the design and put it into production.