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OK, Tom.  I went downstairs and verified the headlight and motor switches do reverse the motor and headlight operation on conventional DC.  The "reverse" function for DC's not mentioned in the user manual.

The SHS F7s with Dallee Locomotic work a bit differently with the DIP switches in the back for AA/ABA/ABBA running. The lead locomotive should have its #4 (bottom) DIP switch in the OFF position for normal running and the trailing locomotive should have its #4 switch in the ON position so that its "forward" direction is in the same direction as the lead locomotive. When forward is selected on the Locomatic switch, the trailing locomotive runs backwards with its headlight off and its marker lights red. However, when reverse is selected, the trailing locomotive is now in the lead. Its Mars light cannot dim and brighten, only strobe; and its marker lights can only be red or off. The manual does not mention these differences. It only says that "all directional functions such as headlights & marker lights are switched also," but that probably only applies to straight DC operation. MTH may have done some things differently. Their unpowered F3 cab unit has headlight options and a capacitor that keeps the lights on for nearly a minute after power is removed.
@Francine posted:

Hi Tom,

I worked in a place that was behind the Oreland Y, you know the old Plymouth Reading Line. I followed it as far as it went.  There was a small bridge before you get to Church Road (RT 73) and there is nothing after the bridge.  They built houses were the line used to cross RT 73,  At Bethlehem pike you can still see where the line used to be, but after that nothing, not at the quarry or anywhere.

Rusty,

I see them at some places, but haven't heard a word from Hennings yet.  I know they sometimes get things late, but when the Berkshires and GP7s came out - they received them same as others.

F7s, Doug Peck should be back working on the 15th, but I know he is far behind on his orders.  Maybe by May 1st.

The Philadelphia side of the Y was right behind us.  I lived in the apartment on top of the bank, next to the PO from '72-'78.  You can still see it on Google Maps.  Both sides of the Y are visible as is the right-of-way.  There as a large tank car factory on the Lansdale side with a good size yard which I can't make out.  You can see the tar filled rail slots where they crossed Bruce Rd.

Our favorite watering hole was about 800 ft from where the line looks like it went under Bethlehem Pike -- Cisco's.  There's a Wissahickon Trail there the looks like it follows the right of way for a bit.

So where did you work?

Tom

Hi Tom,

Spectrocell - it back up to the line at the corner.  Remember that little hill and the tracks are at the top.

By the way, Tank Car Corporation (what reconditioned tank cars) closed about 5 years ago - it's a high rise condo/apartments now.  Miller's Trash is gone too.

By chance, did you see the Santa Train somewhere between 57 and 59?  Had a T-1, Flat Car with Santa and his elves throwing candy to the kids, a passenger car and red caboose.  I was standing right next to the drivers - can't forget the sight, sound and smells of that engine. Or when it pulled out and shot down the line like a rocket.

Francine

If you mean where the Pennsylvania Trenton Cutoff crossed Bethlehem Pike, It's now called McGurks. Was a couple of other names before.

@Francine posted:

Hi Tom,

Spectrocell - it back up to the line at the corner.  Remember that little hill and the tracks are at the top.

By the way, Tank Car Corporation (what reconditioned tank cars) closed about 5 years ago - it's a high rise condo/apartments now.  Miller's Trash is gone too.

By chance, did you see the Santa Train somewhere between 57 and 59?  Had a T-1, Flat Car with Santa and his elves throwing candy to the kids, a passenger car and red caboose.  I was standing right next to the drivers - can't forget the sight, sound and smells of that engine. Or when it pulled out and shot down the line like a rocket.

Francine

If you mean where the Pennsylvania Trenton Cutoff crossed Bethlehem Pike, It's now called McGurks. Was a couple of other names before.

Francine, we should probably take this to private email (mine’s in my profile) so these poor non-Reading nostalgia people don’t keep getting bombing with this.

But in the meantime; there is only an apartment building and the station inside the Y. Bridge St is quite a hill -- Ah, thank you Google, Spectrocell is still there with its back to the old right of way, right about where the Y comes together for the branch line.

I did see Santa, he made a stop at the North Hills Station. It was probably a little earlier then ’57, no candy, no steam. I have ridden behind, T1, 2124 several times, though. Saw it pass through when I wasn’t on the Ramble. I even switched it at the YM Tower, Glenside and had my head out the tower window as the T1 roared through.

And there’s the train wreak when the PRR Trenton Cutoff bridge, over the Reading main, collapsed with a freight rolling on it.

Tom

What you gets in the box:

Along with the scale wheels, alternate "freight pilot," coupler cover plug for the installed "passenger" pilot (A-unit), spare traction tires, Kadee-compatible couplers with bracket for the end (A and B-units) and spacer (A-unit) for the front, screws for mounting same, MU cables for the end of the units.

Almost all the same stuff S-Helper included in their F3's/F7's.  S-Helper included a couple more extra things.

Rusty

@Tom Stoltz posted:

My MTH Reading F7 A/B set has arrived. Took a quick look at the A unit, all sorts of little packages came with it and a set of scale wheels too. Unfortunately, it’s going to live in the box for a while. What are all the little extras?

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Tom, I test ran my MTH Reading F7 B and got something extra: horn, bell, and crew talk in addition to motor sounds. My MTH F3 B units only have motor sounds.

Mike

@Flyer 52 posted:

Tom, I test ran my MTH Reading F7 B and got something extra: horn, bell, and crew talk in addition to motor sounds. My MTH F3 B units only have motor sounds.

Mike

I noticed that too.  Guess MTH got lazy about the code as these things were about the last out the door.  My A and B were arguing with each other at one point before I managed to shut down crew talk in both units.  I don't care for crew talk anyway.

I didn't see any way to disable the horn and bell in the B.  Fortunately, the horn and bell appear to be in sync between the two units and they sound as one.

Rusty

The only sounds you'll get under conventional DC is prime mover sounds.  Crew talk only occurs when the locomotive is idle, you would have to have the voltage at the nether-region where there's enough volts to keep the locomotive powered up but not moving.

Rusty

Thanks Rusty, that’s a little reassuring, I hope.  And brings up another question which might hijack the thread again (I seem good at that).

Are sound systems available for DC operation?  As much as I would like to have DCC, it will probably never happen for me.  So, I’m stuck with DC – and I can’t hear the Flyer chuff anymore… even with hearing-aids!

Tom Stoltz

@Tom Stoltz posted:

Thanks Rusty, that’s a little reassuring, I hope.  And brings up another question which might hijack the thread again (I seem good at that).

Are sound systems available for DC operation?  As much as I would like to have DCC, it will probably never happen for me.  So, I’m stuck with DC – and I can’t hear the Flyer chuff anymore… even with hearing-aids!

Tom Stoltz

Modeltronics made a crude DC sound system way back in the 1970's.   PFM made an analog system that used taped sounds (as I recall.)  Both are long gone now.  The advancement of DCC  and other proprietary command systems petty much eliminated conventional sound development.

There's always the MRC Tech 6 hybrid controller, (if they ever restock it) which is designed to access some of the DCC functions while operating conventional DC.

Most of my stuff is conventional DC.  When I had my layout, that's what got the most run time.  Don't get me wrong, all this electronic hoo-ha is neat, but I sorta get bored with sounds after a while anyway.

Rusty

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the MTH catalog I ordered from had a HiRail and Scale version.  I went to my LHS (Hennings) to see if I could swap the Hi-Rail for Scale - but they informed me that the wheels and couplers were in the box and there was only one F7.

In speaking to a friend, who is very versed in this, he states that changing the wheel sets is very tricky and if you lose parts, you may be done.

Our club is phasing out DCC, don't ask me why, and the only place I will be able to run is on a super DCC layout in a friends house.

@Francine posted:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the MTH catalog I ordered from had a HiRail and Scale version.  I went to my LHS (Hennings) to see if I could swap the Hi-Rail for Scale - but they informed me that the wheels and couplers were in the box and there was only one F7.

In speaking to a friend, who is very versed in this, he states that changing the wheel sets is very tricky and if you lose parts, you may be done.

Our club is phasing out DCC, don't ask me why, and the only place I will be able to run is on a super DCC layout in a friends house.

MTH continued shipping diesel locomotives as hirail, with scale wheels and couplers in the box, just as SHS normally did.  Except, SHS would install scale wheels and couplers if requested by the customer.

Yes, it's a little tricky, but not impossible.  I've converted several SHS and MTH units without losing anything.

Rusty

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