taking into account the large cab windows, I ordered glass packs from Clover House. Having recently worked on my Key RI E6, I can say that I love how glass can be easily wiped and cleaned.... it also doesn't yellow over time! No way one can restore smudged or scratched polycarbonate

Typically, the Baldwin (and other makes of switchers) came with a small single chime horn.  However, the "as delivered" single chime, and the single chime I heard aboard Frisco Baldwin's in the early 70s, may not be the same. The horns on the Frisco Baldwin VO's I've been aboard sounded most like the sound track of of the Leslie A125 horn, found here:


However, the AS BUILT Frisco Baldwin VO's looked to have been originally equipped with a lower tone horn, noted by its longer bell. (The horn was mounted on the hood directly in front of cab centered between the upper windows.) Here's a pic of an "as delivered" Frisco Baldwin VO-1000:

(Pic part the Archive Collection of Frisco.org and used by permission.)



As built, the bell was apparently mounted under the skirts of the frame, likely toward the front. Thus, it will be out of sight and not a worry point unless you want to get more detailed.

Hope that helps.



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That's great, Andre! I'll move the bell to the front... sadly no such evidence when it comes to the horn....

I'm using a 2200 tsnami 2 Baldwin decoder btw.... very easy to use....

No Everywhere west/way of the zephyrs decals available, but I think I found a solution.... more to come on that




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SANTIAGOP23 posted:

It is a compromise...  I just couldn’t live w the tank drive... It pulls 2-3 HW brass cars with some effort... could pull 5-7 Atlas CZ cars easily. It’s a switcher, so I it’ll only pull a couple cars here and there but I agree with you...


For me this is a no, no..


Late to this party...

Re: the above photo. I agree, which is why I've always been a fan of the '70s vintage Austrian-built Atlas F9. It was basically an enlarged HO scale platform, with everything above the frame, as is "proper":


PS: The sloppy wiring is mine, not Roco's... 

Mark in Oregon


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@Strummer the main problem with the Roco drive is that the pivot points for the gear cassettes were WAY above the frame.  This created an enormous moment of torque that causes the whole gear cassette to rotate about the worm wheel, lifting one of the axles off the track!  John Armstrong analyzed this phenomenon and described how a couple of brackets could be fitted to stop the truck/cassette assembly from rearing up.  Today these are known as "Armstrong brackets."  Still, the whole thing was light-duty and half-baked.

There are NO mass-produced diesels in O scale today that have a really good drive.*  The Atlas SW comes close, but it's geared like a road engine, and the can motor they used is a cheapie.  There isn't a lot of space to replace it with a better motor.  Unfortunately, this drive cannot easily be removed and installed in a different loco.  So still waiting for a savior... 

Tank drives bother me a little, but not as much as Mr. Santiago.  Before Weaver/P&D Hobby, All-Nation and CLW used an under floor drive shaft in a robust setup.  In HO scale there was Hobbytown of Boston.  They even offered a version with a centrifugal clutch between the motor and the gear tower!  Running one of these was a hoot.  Hearing it rev up and move out slowly with the "prime mover" grinding away was really fun!!

*Clarification: If you consider Sunset 3rd Rail to be "mass-produced," their drive is pretty solid, and has improved with each production run.  But it's also a "tank drive" with an underfloor drive shaft connecting the axle gearboxes.

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Ted ... motors....  Is anyone 'evaluating' current (as in 'now'), low-voltage motors?  Going to Pittman and asking for a run of motors that have long disappeared from their catalog is all I've heard recently.  In this world moving to robots(?!), etc, etc surely there must be powerful, low-current draw, smaller motors being worked on.  I wonder if the Chinese were simply working with what Atlas requested for the SWs and subsequent locos, their designs must have originated in the '90s.  Hands up everyone with an open-frame motor holding the door open 


At the risk of some thread drift (sorry) but responding to Jason: I have been experimenting with coreless motors and coreless gearhead motors with some success.  I have lowered the overall power consumption of my layout by over 75%.   Hey, I'm trying to do my bit for the environment!   

Jay Criswell at Right-O'-Way has developed some new drives with coreless gearhead motors which I have found to work very well. These are the "lower-duty" versions which work for my modern-era short-line, but he also offers heavy-duty versions for large layouts/trains.

Central motors for narrow hoods


Tower-mounted motors for cowl units:

I have also used Maxon coreless motors from The MotorMan (Microlocomotion) to replace Pittman motors in Weaver and Overland locos with some success.

Recently I've been eperimenting with Maxon coreless gearhead motors in C&LS RS11s. Robin Talukdar 3D printed motor-to-tower adapters for me and so far so good. The pulling power is about the same and the stall current is under 0.5A. 

I am now able to use "HO-sized" Loksound decoders in all of them which offsets the cost of the motor upgrades a bit at least. 

Pete M

Frying decoders since 1994

Santiago, your work is superb as always!  I am in awe of your ability to dive right into such projects to improve, detail and refinish your locos and rolling stock.

I wanted to mention a couple of issues I've had with the drive tower you're using because it might prevent the loco from reaching the same level of perfection in operation. Both are in the crop of your picture below. 

The red oval outlines the downward angle of the top shaft which results in the chain dragging as it leaves the sprocket teeth at an angle. The green arrow shows where the sides of the chain links extend beyond the sprocket boss and can catch on the large washer as they pass. These two combine to create drag, noise and vibration that can spoil the smooth running.

I learned about this from Bob Sobol's work but lacking his skills and equipment, I went with the Finescale 360 adustable tower and ball-bearing shaft kit. I saw that used successfully by MaxSouthOz in a thread here:



Pete M

Frying decoders since 1994


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Another thing that I'm not sure everyone is aware of... the links that make up these chains are individually molded.  There is a "rough spot" (mold mark or parting line) on one edge of each link.  You should be able to feel it if you run your fingers over the chain.  It's also visible if you look at a link in good light with a jeweler's loupe.

Every chain that I've purchased has been assembled such that all of the links are oriented the same way.  When you install the chain, you want to make sure the rough spot faces outward, away from the sprocket(s) and gear tower.  If you use the stock gear tower and the rough spot is toward the inside, it will worsen the skipping and noise problem mentioned in Pete's post above.

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

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