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I got a chance at purchasing an RMT Beep locomotive from another enthusiast in the region but when I inquired if it was an older, single motor version he didn't know. Some boxes state "dual motors", others not stated on boxes but how can your average O-runner determine the difference? Is it OBVIOUS by looking at the underside or having him reluctantly remove the shell?

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Pat,

I believe they are all dual motors.

And, I have had the unfortunate experience of having to become a semi-expert on BEEPs.

The ones made by Taylor Trucks, O-Line Reproductions, and Aristo generally run well.

The ones made by RMT up until mid 2015 do not run well at all.  At their fastest speed, they travel at what most would call a low medium speed.

In 2015, RMT upgraded the circuit board to fix a lot of the problems, and this continued until the production ceased.  These upgraded units run much much better.

You can tell the old RMT from the upgraded RMTs by looking at the handrails.  The old ones all have "chrome" handguards.  The upgraded ones have different colored painted handrails, depending on the rail line of the shell.

Also,  in the later years, RMT started making "holiday" themed Beeps, such as the Christmas Snowflake model and the Halloween model, and these are also the upgraded ones.

I think that if you go to the research function of this Board, and search BEEPs, you will probably find the post that I put up about 3 months ago, with a complete list of all of the RMT upgraded models, by rail name and engine number.  (They even made a red "Atomic Energy" Beep.)

My advice is do not buy one of the earlier RMTs Beeps.  And whatever Beep you want to buy , make sure you watch it run at full speed on a test track.  These are great little unique diesels, but they can be burned or damaged.

And, don't rule out buying one of the Halloween Beeps, which you can still find NIB, and switching the shell to a real rail line shell.  RMT liquidated all of its remaining Beep stuff about 3 months ago, and they dumped lots and lots of leftover new shells on the market.   Just check on Ebay.  (They also dumped a lot of old inventory of the original poor circuit board Beeps on the market as well.  So watch out, these are all over Ebay as NIB units.)

And oh, also be aware that there are two "issues" with the couplers.

First, if you use the Beep on 031 curves, the coupler arm, as it swings to each side, with hit the low sides of the plastic engine shell.  So, you have to take a tool and cut back the engine shell about 3/8 inch on each side of the front and rear couplers.

Second, the couplers are really stiff, And I mean REALLY stiff.  They will derail just about any car you put behind them unless you really weigh down the front of the car.  I tried to "weaken" the coupler springs by taping the couplers to one side or the other, and leaving them for a month.  No help. They springs were still stiff and derailing cars.  I recently solved this problem by simply unscrewing the coupler screw underneath the body, disassembling the coupler (only 3 parts), looping the circular part of the spring over a small screwdriver shaft, clamping the screwdriver in a  vise, and then grabbing each protruding horizontal protruding side of the spring (two sides) and bending the back really hard with my hands, until I had bent them back about an extra 15 to 20 degrees.   After re-assembly, the coupler was a little mushy as to returning to dead center, but I have had no more derailing issues.

Finally, you may have to remove one or both of the friction tires on the Beep to get it to pass over Lionel 031 switches without stalling.   These diesels are really short, and the little side to side uneveness cause by the thickness of the tire will cause the Beep to rock to one side as it goes over the switch, and lose contact with the outside (neutral) rail. In my case with one of my Beeps, it came to a complete standstill and would not move.

More than you ever wanted to know, but I hope this helps.



Mannyrock

@Mannyrock posted:
Finally, you may have to remove one or both of the friction tires on the Beep to get it to pass over Lionel 031 switches without stalling.   These diesels are really short, and the little side to side uneveness cause by the thickness of the tire will cause the Beep to rock to one side as it goes over the switch, and lose contact with the outside (neutral) rail. In my case with one of my Beeps, it came to a complete standstill and would not move.

I took a wheelset from another scrap chassis and and eliminated both traction tires of the two that I have upgraded to command.  I didn't want them parking on every switch.

Thanks everyone!!  This crash course in Beepology is a godsend for my progressing small layout needs. I started a bit of Google search; I'll delve deeper into OGR search for more details. Curious...I'm wondering if anyone has ever custom-painted their Beep for an obscure shortline or something other than one of the scads of factory road names...

Pat, to give credit where it is due, much of what I wrote about Beeps I learned from John.

And, interestingly, there were lots of different railroad line shells made for the Beeps. They were not just the big common names.  So, you might want to do some extensive searching first.

I have considered painting up a shell myself, but couldn't figure out how to deal with those tiny handrails, and the areas of the shell body that they block.   Since I am a lousy painter, I figure I would just mess it up.

Also, take a look a the RMT S-2 Bang.  I it is just a bit longer than the Beep and from what I have read is a good runner, except that come complain about someone quick starts and stops.  (I guess it won't "crawl".)

They are much harder to find than the Beeps, and run about $25 to $50 more.  Not many come up for sale on Ebay, so it appears that many people are hanging onto them.

Mannyrock

@PatKelly posted:

Thanks everyone!!  This crash course in Beepology is a godsend for my progressing small layout needs. I started a bit of Google search; I'll delve deeper into OGR search for more details. Curious...I'm wondering if anyone has ever custom-painted their Beep for an obscure shortline or something other than one of the scads of factory road names...

I have a Beep custom painted in the New Haven McGinnis colors. There is a photo somewhere on the forum. I'll try to photo it again tomorrow. 

The shells on mine are a little hard to get off as well, but not too bad after you get them off a few times.

First time, you need to use a flat tool like a butter knife, and just get it under the edge of one side of the shell, right under the peg hole in the body, and gently pry it while pulling down on the frame on that side until the peg leaves the hole and the body shifts upward on that side just a bit.  Then, switch to the other side, and do the same thing.  And then, using two hands, reach down over the top of the shell and get your fingernails between the body and shell on both sides, pry outwards, and shake until the frame drops away.

After you have gone through this a few times, the plastic gives a bit and it becomes easier to remove the shell.

Something else to watch out for.

When RMT sold out its inventory of remaining shells for the later (upgraded) models, unscrupulous people bought one of the modern shells, and one of the old inventory original lousy Beeps, and then put the newer shell on the older Beep frame, to try to trick people into thinking they are getting one of the upgraded Beeps NIB.  I have seen three instances on Ebay where someone advertised a brand new Beep in box, sporting one of the later shells, but when you take a close look at the box, it does not say anywhere that it includes a motorized unit.   It is clear that the box just housed the later shell they bought!

These are being listed at attractive prices, to bait the hook.

Mannyrock

Well, . . ., one motor or two in the RMT first run aside, the early (pre-mid 2015) are not what I would ever recommend that someone buy.     Before I got "educated" on all of this, I bought a NIB one from a dealer during the time of the RMT liquidation sale, and I had to put the throttle on my transformer all of the way to the top to get it to run at a medium low speed, which meant that I couldn't run any other loco on the layout a the same time.    I sent it back to dealer the very next day for a full refund.

I wonder if it is possible, that the very earliest Beeps by RMT did have just one motor, and that after finding out how slow the things ran, RMT went to two motors and "warehoused" all of the very early run because of so many returns.    When they did their clearance sale this year, I think they sold everything "Beep" that was left in their warehouse, including the earliest ones.

I noticed that in the clearance ad, they were actually selling the frames with engines only, without shells.  So, it is also possible that they had a large crate of the old unsatisfactory frames and engines in the parts inventory, and then just put their left-over shells on these and sold them as NIB Beeps.

Mannyrock

It's actually easy to see if a BEEP is a single motor, one wheelset will be free-wheeling.  If it's a dual-motor unit, all the wheels are driven.  The reverse board is one factor as Chris states, however the motors are apparently different as well.  I've taken a few BEEP chassis and test run them without any electronics, just a bridge rectifier.  The older chassis is a lot slower than the newer ones, so that eliminates the reverse board as the primary factor.

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