I ordered a Bigboy to please our grandson. I like it enough, I'd be just as happy with a Challenger. I got to ride behind the 765 on the excursions from Fort Wayne HS. So at least for me, there's a connection to the Berk.

 I had a HO scale berk style engine I think, when I was a kid. It kept derailing on me. The front 2 wheels would seem to jump for any reason. I didn't know enough to modify it for more reliable tracking.

 I'm staring at the new MTH catalog and there's a scale wheeled Berk. So although I prefer diesels, once again I'm tempted to order a steamer and deal with it.

A couple of my steam engines have acted up and need repair. I have to replace a board set it one, add wipers to a few, and deal with them not liking my recently ballasted trackwork. The diesels run fine and just keep running. So do I please my guests with another steam, or make life easy on myself???

Original Post

In the past, MTH 2-rail steam used a strange insulating technique.  I much prefer rim insulation on drivers.  Hope that quickly becomes moot with good dead rail systems!

 Five years ago I predicted battery/rc within five years would be commonplace.  Wrong again, I guess!

With the advances in battery tech in the last 30 years, it's hard to believe there haven't been more battery offerings.

I guess until Lionel does it, then it won't happen in O.  That is, unless another company comes along and starts kicking their butts with battery powered locos.  Dare to dream.  I wish MTH was still a company with some bravado.  Sorry, Joe.  I'm just ranting.  I'm not ordering the 2 rail Berk. 

That's OK. I'm just ranting too!

I read a lot of posts where people just seem to want public response or publicity. I figure I may as well post too. If I really want it, I'll order it. I just need to find a way to pay for it!

 Battery tech has come along so far, I am amazed. I look forward to future toys that recharge themselves automatically. I don't believe they'll stay stuck in the fifties (?) rail power tech. Look at the Roomba robot vacs, robotic delivery platforms inside factories, and other similar stuff's advancements. It will come to our toys too.

The technology has been there for almost a quarter century.  Remember the $30 Radio Shack race car? Speed control, steering, transmitter, receiver - I think batteries were included.  Easy stuff if you go into production.

The more complicated your track work is the more you will appreciate battery RC.  As i was building my too big RR a very good friend advised to get at least one battery RC engine so I could play until all the blocks and power units were wired in. 

Best move I ever made.  I was driving across diamonds, double cross overs, un wired tracks, etc.  Never a stutter.  Less than clean track does not mean anything.

Last edited by Tom Tee

I’m another one of those people who is thinking hard about battery power, at least for road engines (especially for people toying around with running on club layouts or something set in the great outdoors). In my case I keep thinking about b-units and empty spaces within.

Mr. Lee,  Not just for road engines, I find preference in using my battery R/C GP for creeping through the industry district as well as preference for battery power on the road engines. I can pull 20 freight cars up a 75' long  1.25 % grade with one battery.

Using my equipment I find there is a gradual spooling up and coasting down effect with batteries where the operator needs to leave the toy train transformer mind set behind and think more like an engineer dealing with enertia and the absence of drag race starts and taxi cab braking. 

There is no way to do a jack rabbit start even if you wanted to.  Using the throttle, you normally can only gradually speed up or slow own.  Don't take that as too slow of a start, I can get up to full speed in less than 20 feet with a drag if I wanted.  There is also an emergency toy train style stop if it was needed. 

What I am trying to say is that with battery power there is hand held, walk around prototypical operation available all the time.

To clarify my comments I need to say I am somewhat new with this form of control and my experience is only with the products of Piko and Radio Control Systems (aka RCS).

Robert Buck  at:   gscaleinstallations.net   does a lot of 0 scale R/C installations.  Robert is an honest and detail oriented  craftsman doing excellent work.  He has battery packages to fit anything.

Last edited by Tom Tee
@Tom Tee posted:

Using my equipment I find there is a gradual spooling up and coasting down effect with batteries where the operator needs to leave the toy train transformer mind set behind and think more like an engineer dealing with enertia and the absence of drag race starts and taxi cab braking. 

There is no way to do a jack rabbit start even if you wanted to.  Using the throttle, you normally can only gradually speed up or slow own.  Don't take that as too slow of a start, I can get up to full speed in less than 20 feet with a drag if I wanted.  There is also an emergency toy train style stop if it was needed. 

What I am trying to say is that with battery power there is hand held, walk around prototypical operation available all the time.

To clarify my comments I need to say I am somewhat new with this form of control and my experience is only with the products of Piko and Radio Control Systems (aka RCS).

Robert Buck  at:   gscaleinstallations.net   does a lot of 0 scale R/C installations.  Robert is an honest and detail oriented  craftsman doing excellent work.  He has battery packages to fit anything.

All important features in my opinion. 

Simon

 

@clem k posted:

Where do the batteries install ?

Also, is there an easy way to recharge them, i.e. an electrically powered track section that you park the loco?

I think battery/RC will take off once someone starts installing the system in locomotives from the factory. I think it would be really cool if someone would come up with a hybrid system where you can run on power from the rails and use the battery to go over switches and complicated track work, then you go to a friends house that has a layout with no track power and you flip a switch to go to full battery power. This way they can sell locomotives to guys that run battery/RC and guys that run track power. 

One problem I see if say MTH installs company A’s battery/RC system in their locomotives and Lionel goes with company B’s battery/RC system in their locomotives then the user will need two controllers to operate both locomotives. 

@sxe60 posted:

Also, is there an easy way to recharge them, i.e. an electrically powered track section that you park the loco?

No.  Until a major manufacturer of O gauge trains offers an off-the-shelf option, this is probably a dead issue.  And today's news (R.I.P. MTH) doesn't portend great innovations in O. 

Seriously considering ordering a steam locomotive after hearing the horrible news. Trying to decide between the Berk and the Reading T1.

I was going to order until I heard the news MTH is closing. If nobody buys MTH there will be no parts, a risk I'm not willing to take.

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