At out local Club meeting recently, several people asked my about the Arduk Engineering Pro-Line test bench that I have.   I bought it in York in 1999 and use it on an almost daily basis.  Just curious, does anyone out there have one of these things.  It is an awesome piece of machinery.  I know that Lionel had some postwar benches that are very valuable, and that Sun Lines also made one years ago.  Arduk was owned by TCA member Gordon Pari, and I understand that not many of these benches were made.  In my file, I have a review of it by CTT in the February 1998 issue.  I have never seen another one anywhere.

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DSC03459I use a Lionel 5C topped by a roller test stand.  Use both regularly as I repair/service for two shops.

I remember seeing the Arduk and Sun Lines units in the old Yellow Hall at York.  Came close to buying one but got the 5C in the interim.

PRR by Lionel

Eastern PA Mountains, between Oley and Boyertown

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Any idea what issue of OGR that article was in?  That would surely be an interesting project! 

And at those prices, if one could streamline the build process and parts acquisition a little, it might just provide someone some extra train funding? OTOH, maybe not worth all the effort required, but who knows?    

Hello all,

This is my first post on the forum. Finally found in the OGR digital library the article on building an O gauge test set. The four page article is in run 148 - August 1996. When the article was first written, I started to collect all the needed materials and of course before building it, the OGR issue got packed away somewhere.  

HenryC

Thanks for the article info! Definitely an interesting article. And thanks to the new OGR online archives, I now have the article saved for future reference!

Personally, they are not worth buying in my opinion, unless you want one for display. Two feet of track is not enough to see how a loco with track around curves and with a loaded train.

Some track, a transformer, some jumper wires and some rollers are really all you need. And that list takes up much less bench space.

It's just my opinion, but I value it highly.

RoyBoy

RoyBoy posted:

Personally, they are not worth buying in my opinion, unless you want one for display. Two feet of track is not enough to see how a loco with track around curves and with a loaded train.

Some track, a transformer, some jumper wires and some rollers are really all you need. And that list takes up much less bench space.

It's just my opinion, but I value it highly.

My test bench has four loops and scenery 😁  I gave up on using a test track , even when it was "right there; no walk". The loops are the real test anyhow.

As long as track runs close to the transformer I'm good 😉  ..though two lines being down for maintenance is the norm.

I haven't had any trains that actually required rollers to run upright/stationary so a cradle and running jump clips is my norm for any stationary motor running.

I loved Gramps Lionel stand for the "mad scientist" look, but it wasn't used often and spent most of it's life under or at the rear of the bench.

My first electric project from scratch was a muti-tester (lights vs meters) and they (test equip) tend to be quite easy to build once you have a parts list done.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I already have tons of bench meters and power supplies, so what I really needed was a test track.  I made mine.

John's Bench Test Track

It allows for testing 3-rail or 2-rail by switching the power at the left side.  Each track section has a power switch and an indicator light.  The offset allows me to test locomotives on the rollers with the wireless tether connected to the tender on the raised section of track.  I also added a control track to test couplers and operating cars.  This is also very portable, and I can remove it easily from the bench when it's not in use.

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Hi John, you wouldn't happen to have a parts list along with suppliers for your home made test track?

Any help would be great!

Mike

USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Mike, I don't really have a parts list.  I just grabbed some scrap wood and left over Fastrack and started hacking.

I'd suggest starting a new thread on making a test track and I can post a few pictures.  You can also get other ideas from folks that have built them.

Totally agree build your own!  Initially I purchased a couple of sets of JAK Rollers.  Tried these using MTH RealTrax since the rail profile had a wide flat top.  I quickly found that this was not stable enough to run my Premier Pennsy S2 and UP Big Boy at near flank speed.  So I designed and built these. NO problem at full flank speed of 120 SMPH. Also have meters but normally use my extra Z-4000. The longer one includes a second track to test operating functions on rolling stock.

On the initial long one can run any and all steam engines including C&O M1, N&W "Jawn Henry"and AA E=units also Pennsy AA Centipedes.

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Also built a smaller test stand.

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Also fitted them to a carrying case so can take them to shows to run anything I have for sale and test run engines for others.

Ron

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gunrunnerjohn posted:

Nice looking test stands.  I never feel the need to run a locomotive flat out on the rollers.

When I buy a new engine first make sure all screws, bolts, and nuts are tight.  Then lubricate  it.  Then test run it for about a half an hour or so in both direction at all speeds starting at 5-SMPH up to flank.  Then bring it down to as slow as it will run.

Does everything but how it will do on curves.  And curves real do mean something.  After we built a new layout at local train shop toke my Big Boy over to test the O72 loop.  Ran on the straight away but stopped on the curve.  At home pulled the boiler.  Found that the main pin on the connector was not soldered in place.  And all the other pins had lousy solder joints.  Now the funny thing is like normal when I purchased the Big Boy there ran it on the old layout for hours and also later.

Ron

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Mike, I don't really have a parts list.  I just grabbed some scrap wood and left over Fastrack and started hacking.

I'd suggest starting a new thread on making a test track and I can post a few pictures.  You can also get other ideas from folks that have built them.

Hi John, sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I was more interested in where you got the rollers from? As they look like they have power hook ups in the center.

Thanks again!

Mike

USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Unless GRJ has another source, Micro-Mark might be the only rollers left for O gauge these days? They are $59.95 (set of 4) regular price. Micro-Mark has 10-15-20% off sales every so often. They also have free shipping sales sometimes as well.  Here's a link  Sometimes they show up on ebay, but their prices can sometimes be out of sight! 

RTR Thanks! I know about Micro-Mark and almost bought a set when they were on sale not to long ago. But I didn't know if I was buying the right stuff. You know I am still a rookie at this train stuff, I just fumble along and sooner or later I get it right. But I have to be better at what I buy as some of my mistakes cost $$$! LOL

Mike

USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

My problem with Micromark is they only provide one power pickup in the four roller sets.  I have one set of theirs, and two sets of the JAK rollers.  It's somewhat difficult to get JAK rollers, they don't list them anywhere.  I finally called and spoke to someone and got a couple sets.

gunrunnerjohn posted:
Ahitpy posted:

Trainworld is taking backorders for Williams by Bachmann  roller base with wheel cleaners.  $159.99

Doesn't look like a 3-rail O-gauge product.

That's what I thought as well...but when I researched it, the 2 rail version is part number RR-O-01 and the 3 rail version is RR-O3-01.

We'll have to see when they come in.

Ahitpy Santa Fe, MOPAC, C&A, T&P, Frisco & Wabash Home of the Midwest Mainline

I have and use a Lionel 5D tester. When testing I usually use the output leads attached to a roller stand. I rarely use the test track provided. The advantage of using a Lionel test stand is primarily in having the test procedures that Lionel provided.   These include specific pass/fail criteria for various parameters. The tests I find of most use are the for the whistle relay, both holding and closing DC voltages and the circuit breaker tests for the transformers.   I also make a lot of use of the lamp tester. 

mike g. posted:

RTR Thanks! I know about Micro-Mark and almost bought a set when they were on sale not to long ago. But I didn't know if I was buying the right stuff. You know I am still a rookie at this train stuff, I just fumble along and sooner or later I get it right. But I have to be better at what I buy as some of my mistakes cost $$$! LOL

I think the Micro-Mark rollers work OK on 3 rail O gauge, but as GRJ says, only one center pickup is included. I would try GRJ's suggestion about calling  JAK and asking for them. I have never seen any of their rollers, but they seem to be pretty well liked with those that do have them. 

I got some from what I think used to be Aristo-Craft (G sized trains)? I believe they may have reformed under a new name? Can't remember the name of the rollers or the company? Anyway, they seem to have come and gone since I got my rollers a few years ago. I'll see if I can find the name of the rollers and do some searching around.

As for the rookie stuff, I am still one of those myself! And I also have a few of those 'mistake' items in my collection! Took me a while to get going...and still happens occasionally.  Some of these are train items, but many of them are electronics related, errors on PCBs, wrong parts, wrong designs, oopses, occasional smoke releases (always order extra parts!), etc.  Those are all filed under the 'educational and training' expenses category.  

GRJ, You are definitely well beyond rookie status! More like teacher status to the rest of us around here.

Mike, the rollers I have were from Crest Electronics which seems to also be out of business now. I believe they were formerly Aristo-Craft before becoming Crest. Bacharus was another one that made rollers, but I just saw somewhere while searching that the owner retired and was no longer making rollers. Looks like Bachrus is now out of business as well.

Seems JAK or Micro-Mark is about all that's left for stand alone rollers at somewhat affordable pricing (less than $100 anyway).  

FWIW, I ordered a set of the Micromark rollers in January and built this test stand: 

Micromark rollers and new test stand

I purchased the O-gauge size and then changed the spacing between the roller frames to resize the gauge for my S-gauge locos.  I looked quickly to see what other rollers might be out there before buying the Micromark rollers, based on what others here at OGR have used, but I think Micromark is the only game in town that sells just the rollers and hardware.  It seemed like both Bachrus and Crest were no longer around and looking at the Jak website, I could not find a reference or link to rollers from them.

On the issue of the third rail pickup, it's "nothing more" () than a piece of 3/16 brass, 1.5 inches long and 19/32" tall (by my digital calipers) -- don't know why it couldn't be 9/16 or even 5/8 -- isn't the third rail roller contact spring loaded?  In the meantime, I'm happy to send one of you the one I'm not using - and for double the price, I'll include the plastic spacer that already has the hole drilled in it.  Contact me off list.

- Rich

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