Well, it looks like I am now the owner of one of these babies. I had only a mild interest in one of these - more curiosity than anything - and threw in a REALLY lowball bid on one and won the darn thing! I must admit I was (pleasantly) shocked! What I find strange is the number of these that are for sale. They are supposed to be so limited but there are MANY out there for sale and my purchase of an unused one for a record breaking low price has me wondering. Is this thing a lemon? I tend to shy away from this electronic stuff that seems to be the cause of all sorts of issues. 

I also recently purchased the 1964 version of the Lionel 773. I guess its going to be interesting comparing the two! I never had either one so this is a first for me (better late than never!) They will both be here this week. I am just starting to design a small permanent layout and am clearly going to need to use 042 curves! Unfortunately I also have a few MTH items designed for 072 curves that will either have to wait for a larger layout or become display pieces. 

Opinions and comments are welcome and desired! Thanks! - AL

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

Original Post

They are good for what they are, which is TMCC electronics in a classic Postwar style engine.  (though it will of course run in conventional as well, if you don't have TMCC or Legacy)

So they are not whiz bang details up the wazoo scale pieces, as you obviously know since you know it's based on a PW engine.

At the time CCI came out, while there certainly were scale pieces being offered, it was no where near the bulk quantities of different items being offered each year across multiple catalogs like we have now. (well, some scale pieces were offered long before that, probably late 80's onward, but it blew up a lot to rise to the amount of product we see now probably between 2000 and 2010)

If you look over catalogs from around when CCI came out(1997-2000 for all 5 engines, IIRC), there was far less product.  A lot of people were still thinking (incorrectly, it turned out) of these being true collectables and possibly worth a fair amount of money in the future if they stashed them away.  As a result, many are available, a lot un-run.  People who truly bought them for what they are and like that level of detail, probably will still speak well of them.  But anyone who bought them all on speculation of future value are letting them go for a lot less than they sold for (or they are coming out if estate sales, etc).

So electronics wise, they will never creep around a layout the way a Legacy or DCS engine will with many more speed steps, but they are a decent improvement to a PW classic.  There are a few markings that identify it as CCI (gold bell/whislte, and it also says Century in small gold letters on the rear of the tender).  If those will bug you, then that's maybe a negative.

Unless there turns out to be something wrong with the one you bought, If you go in with the knowledge of what it is and what it is not, I believe you will be happy when you get yours and play with it a bit.  (of course at this point it's very close to 20 years old, so a thorough lube and oil is a necessity before regular running)

-Dave

They run, look and sound nice. I don't recall hearing any common electronics issues. Many mechanical parts are shared with older 773s. Personally, I would have preferred if they would have done the silver "773" and Lionel Lines on the tender rather than the rare 60s NYC lettering applied to the 50s tender. None of the Century items has held value.  My opinion, trends have changed away from the traditional Lionel Pulmor equipped product making these less desirable. Couple that with more Century product coming available in the market due to people selling because of "lack" of features, downsizing and even death. They are 20 years old (hard to believe) but are still a solid, quality piece. 

I have this loco and run fairly often. I have never heard these (or any of the Century Club offerings) were limited, rare, or otherwise special other then how they were sold (direct). I understand the way it was marketed might be viewed as "limited" but in reality, these was never a limit, implied or printed.

As far a actual numbers, we, the general hobbyist will never know, but I am sure a few people and one in particular who views this board has the answer. However, I don't think he needs or feels he has any reason to provide this information.

As far as this specific loco, the sound package, although old and dated by todays standards, is still impressive especially the whistle. The "chuf" is very good, deep sounding, but only two per revolution.

In my case, I have been spoiled by cruise control "Odyssey" in Lionel speak, and honestly, this is the main reason I find I am running these engines less and less. That might be the reason you see more of these on the market... that as well as people dying and the widows selling stuff just to get rid of it.

Enjoy your engine, it is a pretty good runner for a non-cruise control locomotive.

Charlie

Bill S. posted:

They run, look and sound nice. I don't recall hearing any common electronics issues. Many mechanical parts are shared with older 773s. Personally, I would have preferred if they would have done the silver "773" and Lionel Lines on the tender rather than the rare 60s NYC lettering applied to the 50s tender. None of the Century items has held value.  My opinion, trends have changed away from the traditional Lionel Pulmor equipped product making these less desirable. Couple that with more Century product coming available in the market due to people selling because of "lack" of features, downsizing and even death. They are 20 years old (hard to believe) but are still a solid, quality piece. 

I think I am going to love it! I'm not a "collector" per se, I collect but run what I have. I'm not into refusing to use something because it may hurt its "value". My most sophisticated power equipment is a ZW (No. 2 is my KW LOL) and if the engine is happy with that so am I. I'm not interested in hearing my engine speak, hiss, bark, or anything else other than smoke and maybe puff. Hopefully I can accomplish this with the ZW! Thanks for all the input I really appreciate it.

For what its worth I have the 1964 version of the 773 arriving tomorrow. The Century Club 773 will be here Weds. It will be interesting to compare!

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

Bill S. posted:

I would recommend a more "electronics friendly" transformer, something with fast tripping breakers. I use a ZW-C on my newer items.

Too many people keep making this incorrect assumption. Modern transformers won’t prevent damage to a locomotive’s electronics as a result of high-voltage transient spikes.

The circuit breaker is designed to protect the transformer, not the train, and do so when there is a surge in current, not a transient voltage spike.

To protect the locomotive, you need a TVS diode installed. It would be best closest to the electronics it is protecting, inside the locomotive, but for simplicity’s sake, most put the TVS between the transformer and the track connection.

Here’s a good thread from a few years ago, but this topic has been addressed often since then on the forum.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/tvs-diode

Jim R. 

fisherdoc posted:

 I tend to shy away from this electronic stuff that seems to be the cause of all sorts of issues. 

I also avoid the "electronic" stuff.  I occasionally might buy something if it is so cheap that after a failure, I can put a postwar e-unit in it and still feel okay. (this weekend $40 for a boxed dual motored MTH diesel that so far runs fine conventionally)

I think without the "electronic" stuff this forum would lose 50% of the threads.

However, they are impressive when they run properly.

The Century Club version might need a little break-in time on the track to smooth out.  Maybe a lot of track time!  I would inspect both locos to make sure the grease / lubricant isn't congealed.

Props for going ahead with the layout.  A working layout with O42 is much more fun than an O72 collection packed away in boxes!

There's no advantage to having just ONE command-controlled engine.  If you're not planning to run more than one loco on the same track, there's no advantage at all!  However if the electronics fail or give trouble, you can always rip them out and install a regular e-unit.

Thankfully, both of your locos have all metal wheels (although the 18058 came with an optional set of grooved wheels and tires.)  Adding to what @aussteve posted above, without the rubber tires, the forum would lose another 10% of its threads!  Then we might actually have to talk about railroading!    Thanks for sharing and I hope your Hudsons provide a lot of fun and no frustration!!

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

Jim R. posted:
Bill S. posted:

I would recommend a more "electronics friendly" transformer, something with fast tripping breakers. I use a ZW-C on my newer items.

Too many people keep making this incorrect assumption. Modern transformers won’t prevent damage to a locomotive’s electronics as a result of high-voltage transient spikes.

The circuit breaker is designed to protect the transformer, not the train, and do so when there is a surge in current, not a transient voltage spike.

To protect the locomotive, you need a TVS diode installed. It would be best closest to the electronics it is protecting, inside the locomotive, but for simplicity’s sake, most put the TVS between the transformer and the track connection.

Here’s a good thread from a few years ago, but this topic has been addressed often since then on the forum.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/tvs-diode

I wasn't referring to voltage spikes. I am well aware of the TVS diode and have them installed in several engines.  I have a Rio Grande SD50 from 1995. It was powered by a PW ZW, I was working and running trains years ago (wow, probably 20 years ago!) before the ZW-C. I was not near the transformer when the train stopped, did not derail and the electronics sizzled for a while before the breaker tripped on the ZW and the sounds went into shut down. Had it been a fast tripping breaker, it likely would have tripped sooner, it is amazing how fast the bricks trip. The board still would have been bad but the wiring likely would have been spared. As a safer practice, if it has a circuit board, it runs with the ZW-C.

Jim R. posted:
Bill S. posted:

I would recommend a more "electronics friendly" transformer, something with fast tripping breakers. I use a ZW-C on my newer items.

Too many people keep making this incorrect assumption. Modern transformers won’t prevent damage to a locomotive’s electronics as a result of high-voltage transient spikes.

The circuit breaker is designed to protect the transformer, not the train, and do so when there is a surge in current, not a transient voltage spike.

To protect the locomotive, you need a TVS diode installed. It would be best closest to the electronics it is protecting, inside the locomotive, but for simplicity’s sake, most put the TVS between the transformer and the track connection.

Here’s a good thread from a few years ago, but this topic has been addressed often since then on the forum.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/tvs-diode

 

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

Well the Century Club 773 arrived today. While I am still digesting this, and I am slow, I have this to say thus far.

Firstly, consider what I paid for this thing - which incidentally is brand new never been opened - I would be an ingrate to complain one bit. From what I can tell I paid nearly $100 less than the least expensive one has ever sold for new OR used. So in this regard I did very well. I really do feel bad for these guys who thought this would be an investment. This seller had this thing for 20 years - in fact it was shipped to me in the original Lionel Box dated June 2000. And he never even saw it! That is sad I'm sorry. This is supposed to be a hobby not the stock market! And it is a wonderful hobby if one allows themselves to enjoy it. This poor guy must be ****ed as anything. I don't know what they cost new but I'll assume it was well over a grand.

Next - As I get the engine out of the box, I see the 6 drive wheels will not move. I tried with a reasonable amount of force and the wheels are frozen in position and will not move. I don't see anything obvious keeping them from moving and I don't want to force them. So I guess I'll have to take this thing apart to see what's going on. I can't believe grease would get THAT hard in 20 years to freeze this thing to this extent. I have NEVER seen anything like this. I have been pulling my Lionel stuff out that has been sitting for 30++ years and never saw anything like this. I thought there might be some lock or something but I didn't see anything in the manual. 

The handrails at the front of the engine are not bent properly on one side. From the front they symmetrically straddle the nose of the boiler and one of them on one side was almost straight. So I gently bent it but I see it is still not right. Unless it is supposed to be like this which I doubt. Photo of the front below. entire2front3

The brass whistle appears to be VERY SLIGHTLY off to one side. I do professional picture framing and have an "eye" for straightness etc. and i see it off a bit. I really don't think I will attempt to move it as it really isn't noticeable.  

So this is where I am at - it is on display in that REALLY nice display base till I can figure out why the wheels are frozen. I'll just add this to all the other train projects. My bench, which is an electronics repair bench designed for vacuum tube repairs, is starting to look like a Mini Altoona! 

Incidentally, I didn't notice any "Made in USA" anywhere on this thing but supposedly it is made here? Maybe due to some imported parts like the electronic stuff?

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

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All of the below is from my memory.  I don't have time to go look at mine right now, but will tonight if no one else chimes in during the day.

I think the wheels should not be moving unless powered, totally normal.  The meshing of the worm gear on the motor with the gearbox does not translate in reverse when you try to move the wheels by hand.

I think the angle on the whistle is intentional and normal as well. 

The handrail is supposed to have that slight bend in it so the front of the boiler can be swung open to get to the headlight bulb (or LED, I forget).  Unless I mis-read your concern.  That slight bow showing on the right handrail near the hinges in the picture is intended.

You should be careful messing with the handrails, as they are the TMCC antenna (which is also why those little plastic sleeves are there), though I think you said you only operate conventionally, so maybe it doesn't matter for you.   You may end up disabling the TMCC capability though if you disturb the handrails too much.  They need to not be grounded to the shell.

-Dave

Well thank you!  For a moment there I was rather puzzled as to what was going on with the wheels - now it makes perfect sense. As far as the handrails, what I noted is that they are not symmetrical around the boiler front. I did read in the manual about them being the antenna. 

Until I get the proper track set up in the near future it is on display. I also need to get some of those transient voltage diodes before I run it anyway. I am an electronics guy so I will install these in each piece of equipment in a neat manner. I have an account with Mouser as I buy hundreds of components from them.

I guess these diodes are needed for ANY stuff with circuit boards - MTH included. I never dealt with these units that have electronics in them but these diodes make perfect sense. 

Thanks again for all the input I am always learning! Any further thoughts are most welcome! - AL

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

Please read my post earlier in this thread.

The worm gears on Lionel's 700-series Hudsons like your 18058 are back-driveable.  But it's a double-threaded worm, not a triple threaded one as used on the Berkshires.  So the wheels will turn the motor only after a lot of break-in time.  Lionel's 1990s-2000 Hudsons (the ones with a screw holding the wheel to the axle) are notoriously "tight," and will need a LOT of break-in time to smooth out.

Also twenty years is a long time and hardened grease is a real problem.  Be prepared to dig it out and re-lubricate.

If I have to bet, your 1964 model may have enough track time that the wheels will turn when it arrives.  But don't force them!

Regarding the handrails on the 18058, be gentle.  If the connection breaks or it shorts to the shell, you'll have no wireless command signal.  As MartyE said, the hinge side is round and the other side is straight.  That plastic is insulation for the radio signal so don't remove it.  Good luck!

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

Oh yes me too. I am grateful to have knowledgeable folks keeping me from messing things up. Sometimes I feel stupid asking such questions but I am new to this and seeing what I have already learned I did the right thing. I am VERY thankful for all the advice! 

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

So I finally got around to putting this engine on the tracks. I now have a brand new MTH Z-4000 transformer which I love. I took the engine shell off to lubricate it where I can. Of course all the side rods. I usually clean out the gearbox and replace with synthetic grease but this one had so many circuit boards on top of the gearbox I didn't bother. Hopefully this American Made (?) engine has better grease than the stuff I find in the MTH engines. Anyway, a good oiling and I put it back together. The tender takes one standard 9 volt alkaline battery not the rechargeable type like the MTH tenders. 

I got it all ready to go - turned on the juice and let it idle for a few minutes to allow the capacitors etc. to "wake up" after sitting for 20 years. And she huffed and puffed and started breathing like an engine! - really cool!. Then I blew the whistle and the top of the tender popped off! I laughed my head off! What quality you just gotta love it. So I re-seated the thin plastic "coal" load on the tender. Hit the whistle again and POP! Off came the coal load! So I bent the plastic locating pin a little and so far it seems to be holding. Great sounding whistle though! 

Beautiful motor and drive system. VERY well done.  Everything fits together quite well. The plastic volume control pot is quite flimsy being supported only by its connection to the board but it isn't used a lot so I guess it isn't a big deal. I wish there was a physical switch to turn off the smoke. 

I am very happy with this engine and love the sounds. The infra-red connection makes it so easy to use without having to mess with plugging in wires. It pulls like a maniac. It came out of the box with the blind center drivers that have a tire. There are a pair of flanged wheels in the box to replace these if so desired. And when the tires wear out I am going to do just that.

It looks magnificent in the display case - but now that it is on duty I have my 1950 773 in the display case in its place.

Check the video - the tender thing is hilarious! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVB2PrWZGi0

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

Your coal load in the tender is not seated all the way down. Either you did not seat it correctly after you installed the battery, or the fit is not correct. You should not be able to see the sides of the load sticking up past the outside edge of the tender.

BTW, you don' have to instill the battery for operation, it is just to keep the sound active when the power is interrupted. 

Charlie

fisherdoc posted:

<snip> Hopefully this American Made (?) engine has better grease than the stuff I find in the MTH engines. Anyway, a good oiling and I put it back together.  <snip>

 

Check the video - the tender thing is hilarious! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVB2PrWZGi0

Fear not! The CC 773 was made in Chesterfield, MI. I had the good fortune to watch the assembly and testing of the CC 773's (Each and every one was fully tested!) during the 2000 TCA Convention summer tour of the Lionel factory. My two decade old sample is a well-made, good running loco with a hearty whistle. Ah, the good ol' days. 

Enjoy.

Bob 

Maybe a little off-topic.  I know all of the older Hudsons pretty well.  But who can point me to a list of the Hudsons made from, say, 1993 or 1994 through to the 11209 Vision Line model?  I'm trying to figure out when Lionel changed the chassis (I think it went through at least two iterations.)  Also, which ones have the wheels that screw into the ends of the axles.  Thanks!

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

Ted S posted:

Maybe a little off-topic.  I know all of the older Hudsons pretty well.  But who can point me to a list of the Hudsons made from, say, 1993 or 1994 through to the 11209 Vision Line model?  I'm trying to figure out when Lionel changed the chassis (I think it went through at least two iterations.)  Also, which ones have the wheels that screw into the ends of the axles.  Thanks!

Sounds like a good topic for another thread Ted, .....I’ll help contribute to that, but let’s not trample on FISHERDOC’s thread, as this will get off subject of his thread, I believe........Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

Lionel Mod 6-18058 Century Hudson 4-6-4 #773Lionel Mod 6-28062 100th Anni Gold Hudson No. 1900Have all engines from first CC and they all run great!  Really like the Hudson and have no complaints.  I believe it was the first engine I acquired that has the infra red drawbar.  Do have others but acquired them after getting the CC engines.  And, like the CCII engines, as well.  Haven't ever run the gold 1900 Hudson.... yet...  Yes, hard to believe it has been twenty years!  So many engines, so many track miles.. so little time!

Jesse  TCA 

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Here are some pictures of my Century Club 773 in a state of undress LOL. So far its running great I love it. Nice sounds, great whistle. Fast but not too fast. I think it could do without the Philips head hub caps though. 

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

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Wow! Some great info here. I bought the exact same engine (also new in box at a killer price! ) as a gift to myself for Christmas. Haven't had a chance to play with it yet due to health issues but I am eager to get to it as soon as possible. Thanks for the great review.

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