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  • Topic: My AML USRA 0-6-0 Review

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    • July 21, 2013 6:53 PM EDT
      • Warwick, RI
         
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      What a piece of _ _ _ _ !!

      That's all my review would have said if I wrote it after the first 5-minutes of operation :-)
      I listened to others that stated before running this engine to make sure I removed all the drive rod screws and put some lock tight on them, so after picking up some blue lock tight that is exactly what I did.
      I am not a technical person on everything trains, so my review will be pretty basic. The engine was shipped very nicely packed...almost to nice, I thought I was going to do damage to the engine trying to get it unpacked!
      Plenty of weight for the engine, I know some have mentioned adding weight, I don't see the need for my railway as when I ran it today it handled everything fine. Has a few little delicate pieces that you need to watch out for when handling...but then, so doesn't every other locomotive that I own.

      Before I set the train outside I went through and lubed everything up with some light oil, my only issue that I noticed (which may or may not end up being a big deal) is that the wheels on the tender don't roll well at all. They seem very snug from the electrical pick ups that press on the back side of the wheels. Maybe in time they will free up a little and roll easier? Guess time will tell.

      So for actual running performance..
      I put the engine out on the track and powered it up slowly on it's first pass around, wanted to make sure it would have no issues handling my 8' diameter curves and it worked perfect. Nice and smooth and ran very well at very low speed.
      So, seeing how everything was going well I decided to hook up my H-L-W passenger cars that I have (which I think looked great with this engine).
      Wouldn't you know, the train makes two complete laps around the railway and STOPS...I quickly run over to check it and don't see anything readily noticeable as to why it would have just stopped. So I did the normal thing when a engine stops....slid the train forward a few inches to see if it was a track/conductive issue. Train started to move again, makes it through another curve and stops again..slid the train, again it was moving but it wouldn't be for long.
      This is where had I of written this review after the first 5-minutes of use, I would not of used some happy joyfull words to describe it!

      So before getting to frustrated with it, I stopped, went inside and cooled off for a few minutes. I also got to thinking about what it could be causing the issue and my only thought kept coming back to the multipin connector that connects the tender to the engine. I had a hard time getting it to line up, and when it did line up I was not sure how hard I could press the connectors together without breaking them, so when I thought I had it all the way in I let it be. Well...come to find out, it wasn't in all the way! After removing it and resetting it in again I was finally able to get it to snap into place.
      That apparently was the issue because the train ran flawless for the next 5-hours!
      Beautiful, smooth running, and very quiet. This is a great running locomotive, I was very pleased with its performance...so much I may want to get another one, especially at the price they are selling them for!
      Here are a few pictures from today.







                     

    • July 21, 2013 6:59 PM EDT
      • Warwick, RI
         
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      Short video of it pulling the passenger cars:


      [youtube]http://youtu.be/u5GMborMR64[/youtube]

    • July 21, 2013 8:22 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Vinny,

       

      Congratulations on a fine looking loco. I'm glad you got the initial bugs worked out. Too bad the stock cars didn't work out for you though.

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • July 21, 2013 9:05 PM EDT
      • Warwick, RI
         
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      Joe Zullo said:

      Vinny,

       

      Congratulations on a fine looking loco. I'm glad you got the initial bugs worked out. Too bad the stock cars didn't work out for you though.


      Hey joe, it didn't turn out to bad with the cars. I manged to sell them to another LSC member for a good deal. I have plenty of rolling stock that will look good with this engine.
    • July 21, 2013 10:18 PM EDT

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      Fill the socket with Labelle teflon grease, will make the connector work much more easily. (iz that gud engrish?)

       

      Watch the tender brushes, keep them clean and use a THIN coating of "conducta-lub" on the backs of the wheels... every so often clean the backs of the wheels with alcohol, and then re-lube.

       

      If you see any buildup on the brush holders or the backs of the wheels, then you have lubed too much or not cleaned often enough.

       

      I love mine, it's just got some maintenance.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • July 21, 2013 10:30 PM EDT
      • Warwick, RI
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      Fill the socket with Labelle teflon grease, will make the connector work much more easily. (iz that gud engrish?)

       

      Watch the tender brushes, keep them clean and use a THIN coating of "conducta-lub" on the backs of the wheels... every so often clean the backs of the wheels with alcohol, and then re-lube.

       

      If you see any buildup on the brush holders or the backs of the wheels, then you have lubed too much or not cleaned often enough.

       

      I love mine, it's just got some maintenance.

       

      Greg


      I will look into the Teflon grease, for right now I just left the tender connected and slid the entire train onto a board to bring it back in the house. I was afraid I was going to break the socket with how hard I had to push them together to get it to fully connect.
      Will the wheels on the tender roll freely in time or do they stay very stiff?  I need to get some of that lube you mentioned for the brushes. I wonder if it is the same stuff I used to use on the brushes of my R/C cars when I used to race them?

    • July 21, 2013 10:38 PM EDT
      • Burbank, CA
         
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      Vincent D'Agostino said:
      Greg Elmassian said:

      Fill the socket with Labelle teflon grease, will make the connector work much more easily. (iz that gud engrish?)

       

      Watch the tender brushes, keep them clean and use a THIN coating of "conducta-lub" on the backs of the wheels... every so often clean the backs of the wheels with alcohol, and then re-lube.

       

      If you see any buildup on the brush holders or the backs of the wheels, then you have lubed too much or not cleaned often enough.

       

      I love mine, it's just got some maintenance.

       

      Greg


      I will look into the Teflon grease, for right now I just left the tender connected and slid the entire train onto a board to bring it back in the house. I was afraid I was going to break the socket with how hard I had to push them together to get it to fully connect.
      Will the wheels on the tender roll freely in time or do they stay very stiff?  I need to get some of that lube you mentioned for the brushes. I wonder if it is the same stuff I used to use on the brushes of my R/C cars when I used to race them?


      Can you say ball-bearing wheelsets? Seriously, the tender trucks on Accucraft products roll like bricks! My Accucraft #346 tender trucks were re-bearing'ed by Phil Dippel of Phil's Narrow Gauge. No comparison to the OEM trucks. Yoy can also replace the stock wheelsets with Accucraft's ball-bearing wheelsets. Easy drop-in job.

      This post was edited by Gary Armitstead at July 21, 2013 10:39 PM EDT
    • July 21, 2013 10:45 PM EDT
      • Burbank, CA
         
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      "Fill the socket with Labelle teflon grease, will make the connector work much more easily."

      Greg,

      I might have to try this. I have found the plug on my Accucraft C19 is very difficult to plug-in and remove. I try to keep the tender and engine plugged in all the time.

      So this grease will not short the plug?

    • July 21, 2013 10:49 PM EDT
      • Warwick, RI
         
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      Gary Armitstead said:


      Can you say ball-bearing wheelsets? Seriously, the tender trucks on Accucraft products roll like bricks! My Accucraft #346 tender trucks were re-bearing'ed by Phil Dippel of Phil's Narrow Gauge. No comparison to the OEM trucks. Yoy can also replace the stock wheelsets with Accucraft's ball-bearing wheelsets. Easy drop-in job.


      So the ball bearing wheel sets will help even with how the brushes press up against the backs of the wheels?

      One other question, what the heck do you do with the round loop that is cast into the coal tender!? 

    • July 21, 2013 11:39 PM EDT
      • Burbank, CA
         
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      Vincent D'Agostino said:
      Gary Armitstead said:


      Can you say ball-bearing wheelsets? Seriously, the tender trucks on Accucraft products roll like bricks! My Accucraft #346 tender trucks were re-bearing'ed by Phil Dippel of Phil's Narrow Gauge. No comparison to the OEM trucks. Yoy can also replace the stock wheelsets with Accucraft's ball-bearing wheelsets. Easy drop-in job.


      So the ball bearing wheel sets will help even with how the brushes press up against the backs of the wheels?

      One other question, what the heck do you do with the round loop that is cast into the coal tender!? 

      Vinnie,


      Check the Accucraft E-Store and look-up these wheels. You can see the electric pickups on the axle. Different set-up than the wipers.

      Please explain this cast "round loop".

    • July 22, 2013 7:47 AM EDT
      • Warwick, RI
         
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      Gary Armitstead said:


      Please explain this cast "round loop".

      You can see it in some of the pictures I have posted, but it is located in the coal load of the tender.
      Looks like a key ring that they soldered in the middle of it. I know I can probably snip it out of there, but trying to see how others took care of it.
      Look on the coal load and you will see the ring:

    • July 22, 2013 8:22 AM EDT

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      The loop on the coal load is to help in removing coal load from Tender, I have found that you don't really notice it much after a while. All AML newer engines have it.

       

      Nick

    • July 22, 2013 9:08 AM EDT
      • Austin, Arkansas
         
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      Hi Vinny,


      Very nice review. Your H-L-W passenger cars look great with that loco.


      Jerry

    • July 22, 2013 9:40 AM EDT
      • UK/Ontario/Oregon
         
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      I like this loco a whole lot.  Very partial to smaller locos, us.  Pity it never came over here, IMO, as I'm certain it would have found a place on a number of US/Canuckian layouts.

      tac, ig, ken the GFT & The Fox Hollow Banjo boys 

    • July 22, 2013 9:42 AM EDT
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      Nick S. said:

      The loop on the coal load is to help in removing coal load from Tender, I have found that you don't really notice it much after a while. All AML newer engines have it.

       

      Nick

      If anybody notices it and asks, tell them it's a train control system aerial used by the switchyard management system.....

      tac, ig, ken the GFT & The Fort Rock NHS Boys 

    • July 22, 2013 10:46 AM EDT

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      tac Foley said:
      Nick S. said:

      The loop on the coal load is to help in removing coal load from Tender, I have found that you don't really notice it much after a while. All AML newer engines have it.

       

      Nick

      If anybody notices it and asks, tell them it's a train control system aerial used by the switchyard management system.....

      tac, ig, ken the GFT & The Fort Rock NHS Boys 

       

       

       

      :)

      This post was edited by Nick S. at July 22, 2013 10:48 AM EDT
    • July 23, 2013 12:39 AM EDT

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      I was initially disappointed with the carbon brush pickups, but thought there must be a reason to not use ball bearing pickups.

       

      After discussions with BB manufacturers, heavy electrical loads through BB's tend to pit the races and the conductivity goes to heck.

       

      That's why the ball bearings on the Aristo "prime mover" are NOT conductive and do not function for power pickup (steel races, ceramic balls).

       

      So, I live with them. Drag on a tender is not as bad as a lot of drag at the end of a train from a caboose.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


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    • July 23, 2013 3:04 AM EDT
      • UK/Ontario/Oregon
         
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      If it was good enough for Edison, it's good enough for AML.  Innovative they sure ain't.

      LED lighting?

      What's THAT?

      I got that wrong, just make it 'lighting'.....

      tac

    • December 19, 2013 7:54 PM EST

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    • January 24, 2014 10:30 PM EST
      • Lewiston, NY
         
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       You wouldn't know if this has a flywheel inside would you? I missed the K4 and I'm looking at this one.
      How's it holding up?

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