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Good question, but I wonder if they're going to want to dilute their efforts of getting the site on-line by dragging a bunch of parts to York?

I'm confident Mike knows what he's doing.  If they have a presence at York, it wouldn't affect what they are working on now.  Alan seems to have the inside track so I suspect they won't be there though.

@Dave Zucal posted:

Mike, any chance on getting a better handle on the parts shipping cost?  Some things like a few traction tires could be sent with a stamp.

This seems to come up from time to time, be it MTH, or Lionel,…..but you need to look at the bigger picture,….shipping costs don’t just encompass the actual stamp….somebody has to pack it up, and that costs money. ……so if you order just one tire, …well, that’s just silly,…make an order worth the while to cover the shipping cost…….

Pat

We have implemented a flat rate shipping cost system, based on the order total. Please keep in mind that this chart is for the United States only, International shipping rates are based on actual shipping costs via an International shipper other than USPS.

$0.01 to $100.00 =     $10.00 shipping
$100.01 to $200.00 = $15.00 shipping
$200.01 and up =       $20.00 shipping

Our primary means of shipping parts will be USPS Priority Mail, its affordable and it comes with a tracking number. There are hidden costs that most folks never think about like packing peanuts (have you ever ordered a huge bag of packing peanuts? the peanuts are cheap, but the shipping to get them to you is like 4 times the cost of the peanuts themselves!), plastic baggies to put the parts in (and heat seal), label costs, etc. Plus, please keep in mind our goal was to create as much automated work as possible (using automated processes within the website to our advantage). Again, there are 3 of us doing all this work, so the less hands on we can manage, the better.  (I really don't want to bore you with the gory details, but everything has a cost associated with it). The shipping is not outrageous.

To be honest, a $10.00 shipping charge standing between your train working and being broken is not that big of an expense!

But, as always, someone will disagree, which is okay too. I've been in this business long enough to know that no one will EVER satisfy everyone no matter hard they try. That's just the gory reality of life (and business too for that matter)!

Thank You,
Mike Reagan
MTH Parts & Sales LLC

As promised, Below are the motor charts we have put together to help everyone identify what motor goes with what product in each product line.

A couple things to bear in mind when looking at these documents;
1.) Take particular note to dimensions of the worm gears. Each mechanical drawing shows the diameter of the worm as well as the length of the worm gear itself (remember, this is just the worm I am talking about). To the left of each mechanical drawing is the factory part number for the "worm gear". This number is very important, as it is included in the part description of every motor we have in stock. (Additionally, each truck we have renamed has the appropriate worm gear that mates to that particular truck (example below)).

2.) The second thing to take note of is the "worm depth". This is shown on the first page of each document. It is the length from the bottom of the motor (the face of the motor that sits on the motor mount) to the bottom flat face of the worm gear. My single biggest fear was dumping motors with the same worm gear into a pile and not paying attention to its overall worm depth, thus having a motor bottom out inside a gearbox. So please pay particular attention to the "worm depth" when researching your motors.

3.) Finally, if you review the document carefully you will find a couple worm gears have the same dimensions. But look at the document closer, as they are typically installed on two different sized motors. For instance two worm gears may measure 7.86mm D X 20mm L. One will be pressed onto an RS385PH and the other pressed onto a RS365SH, so just because you measured the worm gear itself, please ensure you have identified the motor it is married to as well, for each application.

You have to bear in mind that any truck block can work on any number of different locomotives, as well as the motors. But mating the correct motor (think worm gear) and the correct helical gear (think truck block) is the most important first step. Then comes motor size, flywheel dimension, tach bracket, etc.

When the site launches you will see how we renamed the truck blocks as well. Below is an example of the changes implemented;

DA2000008       4-WHEEL TRUCK / POWERED / LONG FRONT / TOP MOUNT FRAMES / 1 HOLE PILOT MOUNT / USE BI-0000009 MOUNT / USE MOTOR                                 W/MD001-M8 WORM

(Understand that the old part name was "truck", all 682 different part numbers were named "truck".........)

As you can see above, the truck block description includes what motor mount to use (very important!) as well as what worm gear to use with this truck block. We have tried to construct a bi-directional relationship between truck blocks, motor mounts and motors, as best that we can. I would imagine someone will find a fly in the soup, but at least it will prove we are human, I suppose?

I would love to tell you that we have every motor you could ever want in stock, but that is not the case. We have made every effort to reduce the number of individual part numbers for a given motor down to one or two or three (based on worm depth) (and yes, we kept the integrity of old numbers by pointing them to the most current part number, motors included).

In some instances you may have to pull a flywheel and worm gear and build a new motor, we have all the motors in stock without flywheels and worm gears, so it is feasible to do this, along with tach brackets, flywheel stripe tape, etc. If it needs to be done, it can be, that's all I'm saying.

Understand our goal is to provide you with the parts you need and organize it in a way that's as easy to understand as possible, so YOU can find what you need (read YOU (not me) LOL).

Sorry for the doldrum, just trying to get the "correct" information distributed.

Before anyone asks; We do not currently have one of these charts for the following product lines, yet:
Tinplate
RailKing One Gauge
HO
S Gauge

They will be developed in the future, but we do not have the information required to get them done at this time.

Hope you can use these documents to your advantage!

Thank you,
Mike Reagan
MTH Parts & Sales LLC

Attachments

Files (3)
MTH Premier Diesel / Electric Motor chart
MTH RailKing Diesel / Electric Motor chart
MTH RailKing Steam Locomotive Motor chart
Last edited by Mikado

Mike has done nearly all of this work from the work shop behind his house. Every week he would get boxes and boxes of parts and trains to photograph, measure and catalog. There were many parts with no indication of what they were and what they went to. For instance I saw him with a box full of handcar trucks. It was amazing to see how many different variations there were just for handcar trucks. "They look the same to me". Mike would look and say "no, see this one has a notch on this end. and this one has..."  Each was measured and the variations were noted.
     So while we have been waiting all these months Mike has spent long days and evenings cataloging parts for us. It's a job I wouldn't have wanted.

I want to say thank you Mike for your hard work creating a parts catalog almost out of thin air.

Scott Smith

Last edited by scott.smith

One of the reasons for so many part numbers for one lamp is at the dawn of MTH, they used to sell them with the connector plug attached to the bulb. Sort of a custom fit for each diesel locomotive. So each different length of wire needed, the same bulb acquired several part numbers. Now add if it was a double bulb set for twin headlights, same senario different lengths of wire created a new part number. But all-in-all, it is the same bulb. Just splice onto the existing plug. In most cases it is easier too, not having to re-route the entire bulb and wire.

If you don't have the connector ( or found one of your wires squished under the body mounting post of an RS-27 )

search "5264 battery connector" or "5264 connector" on ebay for connectors with or without attached wires.

Last edited by JET

This is a herculean undertaking, and I am glad that it is being done right . Having done store inventory as a teenager, I am glad they didn't go that route...*lol*.  As far as the "mess" that was MTH parts, that doesn't surprise me one bit.  To you the person with a broken part, need a new board, etc, parts are critical, to a company that is producing something they see it as a cost center, not as a profit producer, so it tends to get short shrift (yes, I know, there are exceptions, the markups on parts at an auto dealership makes it quite lucrative to them.........you can get the OEM parts online for half what a dealer charges). Inventory control is one of the biggest PITAs out there, even with modern systems like rfid that in theory allows knowing exactly what you have, automated shipping systems that actually update inventory quickly, it still isn't easy.

What happens is not like what happens in our houses when we live someplace a long time, we forget what we have, things are tucked away in boxes, and then when you go to clear the house out you find you have like 10 boxes of the same type of screw and wonder why......(my hardware drawer in my tool chest has all the organization of a pack rats nest). I am sure they had fun when they started cleaning out the old warehouse, and found boxes unlabeled, things in envelopes with no info, and realized they had a 'situation'. Then cataloguing parts that can look alike but aren't the same thing, or the really fun stuff when the vendor that made the parts changes and uses a different id code for the part, so you can have 500 with one id, 500 with another, the exact same part. Imagine a small company doing this manually, even if they had a computerized inventory control.

Friend of mine was involved with a project involving inventory switchover from one company to another (buyout), he is a whiz with automated inventory control systems and the like, and someone told him it must be a snap, that it must of all been an automated switchover, that they simply needed to transfer data from one computer to another, what's the big deal? All he could do was laugh, that the existing system (if they had one) likely had about as much real knowledge of physical inventory as a manual system would. Among other things, their vaunted "Just in Time" system said they had parts in stock that didn't exist because it turns out that the person running the parts inventory area, decided to be clever and save money, got rid of any manual checking in of parts and assumed that vendor notification of parts being finished on their end meant the part would be in stock in x days, and the company had no scanning of bar codes or rfid or the like. It sort of worked, assuming shipping worked the way it should and the vendor actually shipped the parts. Likewise, due to whatever errors, they had something that JIT inventory should avoid, they had more of some parts then they thought they had.

Hopefully Mike had a good magnifying glass handy, a coffee pot and a good bottle of something to put in it, music designed to soothe the soul, and hopefully soundproofed, so family and neighbors couldn't hear the blue streak coming out of his workshop over the last year. I don't envy the task, outside what I do for a living ,it is probably one of the most thankless things in the world to do inventory and then help run a parts operation, those that are happy you never hear from, those who are angry , well......

@bigkid posted:

I don't envy the task, outside what I do for a living ,it is probably one of the most thankless things in the world to do inventory and then help run a parts operation, those that are happy you never hear from, those who are angry , well......

Time to change jobs if what you do for a living is worst than doing inventory!   The secret is to pick something you like to do for a profession.

Time to change jobs if what you do for a living is worst than doing inventory!   The secret is to pick something you like to do for a profession.

Didn't say I don't like what I do for a living (software QA/QC in the financial industry,been doing it a long time ), just said it is a thankless task. If things go well, you get stuff into production, no problems, it is assumed that the whole thing was the work of brilliant programmers who just wrote the code, flipped a switch and it worked great......if something goes wrong "why did you guys foul up?"...just like parts, if you order a part, gets to you okay, you shrug your shoulders...if it doesn't go smooth, well, whoever is on the other end is an idiot *lol*.

@bigkid posted:

Didn't say I don't like what I do for a living (software QA/QC in the financial industry,been doing it a long time ), just said it is a thankless task. If things go well, you get stuff into production, no problems, it is assumed that the whole thing was the work of brilliant programmers who just wrote the code, flipped a switch and it worked great......if something goes wrong "why did you guys foul up?"...just like parts, if you order a part, gets to you okay, you shrug your shoulders...if it doesn't go smooth, well, whoever is on the other end is an idiot *lol*.

Sounds like you work for Fiserv... 😉

@bigkid posted:

Didn't say I don't like what I do for a living (software QA/QC in the financial industry,been doing it a long time ), just said it is a thankless task. If things go well, you get stuff into production, no problems, it is assumed that the whole thing was the work of brilliant programmers who just wrote the code, flipped a switch and it worked great......if something goes wrong "why did you guys foul up?"...just like parts, if you order a part, gets to you okay, you shrug your shoulders...if it doesn't go smooth, well, whoever is on the other end is an idiot *lol*.

That pretty much sums up field service. The only satisfaction coming from that job was knowing that I repaired something that very few others could have repaired.

Last edited by RoyBoy
@H1000 posted:

Sounds like you work for Fiserv... 😉

I actually interviewed with them a number of years ago (the office was literally walking distance of my house), but didn't pan out, in part because they didn't pay well. Similar, though, though I worked with securities trading systems at 2 different exchanges and for a number of years one of the pioneering off exchange electronic matching platforms.

Mr. Sartor,

To be honest, yes, but to be even more honest not for a good bit of time. The worldwide shortage of electronics parts is not helping us in any way. Please take into account the much larger fish in the pond; Chevrolet, Ford, Chrysler (and literally just about every other manufacturer who is not making model trains!). Everyone is feeling the results of the 2020 / 2021 pandemic and factories being shut down for long periods (world wide). There is a backlog of orders for components that need to be fulfilled before we (MTH) start seeing the IC's needed to produce PS3 boards. Then add to that demand (internally). Production is clamoring for PCB's to make trains, warranty related orders that need to be fulfilled and us service parts guys are pretty much on the bottom of the list, in terms of any type of priority! (anyone who works in any type of parts business knows what I'm talking about). So, to answer your question, yes, we will be selling upgrade kits, but I honestly cannot give you any type of date as to when at this point. Once the global shortage of IC's is relieved (and it will relief itself over time (just think about 17/32" OSB selling for $75.00 for a 4 x 8 sheet a couple months ago) low supply coupled with high demand = even higher costs!) Obviously it makes no sense to pay way too much for IC's and sell them at a loss just to say "we did it"? (I also trust that everyone out there has enough "backup" trains to fuel your train addictions! If you don't, it would be a great time to build one of those cool TW Trainworx kits!

I know this is not what anyone wants to hear, but as everyone in this industry who knows me, I rarely hold any punches and I always tell you like it is (refer back to my not making EVERYONE happy comment).

Thank you,
Mike Reagan
MTH Parts & Sales LLC

Its finally Friday! which means two more days to work until we start all over again! LOL

I also wanted to drop another tid-bit about the new parts site. We have implemented a "wish list" in the site. What does this mean? It means that if you come across a part you want, but it is marked as "out of stock" you can enter the quantity that you want and click ADD (the add to cart button). A pop-up window will appear where you can enter your email address to be notified when that part returns to stock. So, for instance you are interested in a 4-wheel truck block that is showing as out of stock, you sign up to be notified. When that truck block is entered into the system as "in stock" you will get an email from us telling you its available and invite you back to the site to order it (it is designed to save you the agony of having to come back to the site repeatedly to check its availability).

Okay, I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Thank you,
Mike Reagan
MTH Parts & Sales LLC

Ralph,

Great question! Glad you brought it up;

When the site launches all orders (Customer, Dealer, ASC) will be pay as you go. Meaning a valid credit card or Paypal will be required to purchase your parts. We simply do not have the resources to do line of credit / invoicing. When you get to the check out screen you can enter whatever credit card number you like (personal, business, store owner, Gunrunner John's, etc.) as it is illegal (maybe not illegal but certainly highly uncouth) to store any credit card numbers in today's day and age.  So, to answer your question, yes some form of payment (credit card or paypal) will be required to purchase parts. There will be no billing, invoicing or line of credit to anyone.

Thank you,
Mike Reagan
MTH Parts & Sales LLC

@bigkid posted:

Didn't say I don't like what I do for a living (software QA/QC in the financial industry,been doing it a long time ), just said it is a thankless task. If things go well, you get stuff into production, no problems, it is assumed that the whole thing was the work of brilliant programmers who just wrote the code, flipped a switch and it worked great......if something goes wrong "why did you guys foul up?"...just like parts, if you order a part, gets to you okay, you shrug your shoulders...if it doesn't go smooth, well, whoever is on the other end is an idiot *lol*.

So true... and the people who do it (analysts, programmers, and testers) are disposable, interchangeable parts, and experience is not valued.  Don't ask me how I know this.   

@Mikado posted:
When you get to the check out screen you can enter whatever credit card number you like (personal, business, store owner, Gunrunner John's, etc.) as it is illegal (maybe not illegal but certainly highly uncouth) to store any credit card numbers in today's day and age.

I'm guarding my credit card, I don't think I can support the whole parts business on my credit limit!

Got my first look at the site today, and I can certainly say WOW!  Certainly a lot of work has already gone into this, and Mike assures me that more is to come!  It is way easier to find a part as there are numerous ways to search.  Not live yet, so you can't really buy anything, but it's looking promising.  As with any project of this magnitude, there are little things that don't appear logical, I'm writing them all down to hopefully aid in the tweaking of the site.

One tip when you do gain access, here's something that I've been doing for years on many sites.  When you're navigating off a page to a specific list or part, and you intend to come back to the previous page, hold Ctrl and click the link.  This opens a new tab and when you're done there, you can just close that tab and be back at the previous page.

I can't imagine how tired Mike's fingers are already, this really is a huge undertaking!  I only hope his fingers don't fall off before he catalogs the remaining sea of parts pallets!

Got my first look at the site today, and I can certainly say WOW!  Certainly a lot of work has already gone into this, and Mike assures me that more is to come!  It is way easier to find a part as there are numerous ways to search.  Not live yet, so you can't really buy anything, but it's looking promising.  As with any project of this magnitude, there are little things that don't appear logical, I'm writing them all down to hopefully aid in the tweaking of the site.



John why not share the link with the rest of us so we can also get a peak?

@RJT posted:

Got my first look at the site today, and I can certainly say WOW!  Certainly a lot of work has already gone into this, and Mike assures me that more is to come!  It is way easier to find a part as there are numerous ways to search.  Not live yet, so you can't really buy anything, but it's looking promising.  As with any project of this magnitude, there are little things that don't appear logical, I'm writing them all down to hopefully aid in the tweaking of the site.



John why not share the link with the rest of us so we can also get a peak?

Because it's obviously not finished. By giving everyone access it slows the website down so making updates and changes can also be hindered and why would they want to have people ask about things not yet implemented. I am also sure Mr Reagan has all the people he needs testing functionality and security on the site and when its ready it will be shared with everyone.

Last edited by Shawn_Chronister

Shawn is correct, it's totally up to Mike how access to the site is granted.  I'm sure it'll be on-line soon enough, the object of the exercise now is to have a few "beta testers" exercise the site and see what pops out, or doesn't pop out.   Having dozens, or even hundreds, accessing the site would probably be counterproductive.  My mission, should I decide to accept it, is to try out various scenarios and see how they work, obviously before the tape burns up. (Mission Impossible reference )

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

I'm guarding my credit card, I don't think I can support the whole parts business on my credit limit!

Got my first look at the site today, and I can certainly say WOW!  Certainly a lot of work has already gone into this, and Mike assures me that more is to come!  It is way easier to find a part as there are numerous ways to search.  Not live yet, so you can't really buy anything, but it's looking promising.  As with any project of this magnitude, there are little things that don't appear logical, I'm writing them all down to hopefully aid in the tweaking of the site.

One tip when you do gain access, here's something that I've been doing for years on many sites.  When you're navigating off a page to a specific list or part, and you intend to come back to the previous page, hold Ctrl and click the link.  This opens a new tab and when you're done there, you can just close that tab and be back at the previous page.

I can't imagine how tired Mike's fingers are already, this really is a huge undertaking!  I only hope his fingers don't fall off before he catalogs the remaining sea of parts pallets!

Could help yourself to let the cat out of the bag huh G

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