Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Mehano Steam locos

  1. #1

    Default Mehano Steam locos

    Hey guys. I was able to score this pretty little Pacific on eBay last week.



    Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to be brand new. The wheels do not show any evidence of previous track time, and the loco itself is very clean and free of dust. Everything is nice and shiny.

    Well, I dug out my old Tyco DC controller, wired it up to my track and deployed the new loco.

    Just a hair nudge of the throttle to a little over zero and this thing is flying around the track. It doesn't have much in the way of speed control, but I am loving this steamer so much I had to break out what few horn-hook cars I have left to give this thing something to pull.

    So if I remember correctly, Mehano locos are very similar to, or exactly the same as IHC locos. Is it possible to install decoders into these locos?

    Next question, this particular locomotive doesn't seem to use its tender for any type of power pick-up except for the tender's reversing light. (There are no wires or metal contacts between the loco and its tender) Is it more beneficial for DCC steamers to use their tender for power pick-up, or does it not matter?
    Steve

    Lego Railroader, Minecraft Traincrafter

  2. Default

    Yes, it is more beneficial to have all the pickups you can make/add, but especially if you begin to run DCC with decoders in the engines, and most especially if you have sound decoders driving amplifiers and speakers in the tender. Dirty track is much more an irritant in DCC than in DC. Also, if you have the room and like wide sweeping curves and long turnouts, say #10's and on up, you will find the long frogs, if gapped, to present a real problem for a steamer with only the drivers picking up power.

    If you stick with DC, keep your turnouts in the #5 - #8 range as I do (actually mine are all Peco #6's with some hand laid #8's), you should be fine, although keeping the rails near those frogs clean will be that much more critical. Or, power the frogs. Some commercial turnouts have powered frogs. Almost none of the commercial DCC-friendly turnouts have powered frogs, if any.
    Crandell

  3. Default

    That is a nice looking engine! I think you may be right about it being an IHC (Anyone else recall when they were AHM?) clone. It sure looks familiar, and those "pizza cutter" flanges are what you'd expect on an IHC product.
    Bob Harbison
    ModelRailroadForums.com Host

  4. #4

    Default

    They are a good starting point for a kitbash or superdetailing project. I too , got one cheap, remotored it, added tender pick ups and a DCC decoder, some details, paint and made the tender an oil burner. Not a bad WM Pacific,,especially when you consider what a brass one would have cost me!!
    Karl
    NCE über alles!!!
    www.kjbond.com

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Selector View Post
    If you stick with DC, keep your turnouts in the #5 - #8 range as I do (actually mine are all Peco #6's with some hand laid #8's), you should be fine, although keeping the rails near those frogs clean will be that much more critical. Or, power the frogs. Some commercial turnouts have powered frogs. Almost none of the commercial DCC-friendly turnouts have powered frogs, if any.
    Thanks for your answer Selector. I am currently using Kato roadbed track, and since I have DCC diesels, I have the switches in the "Non power routing" setting so perhaps because of this I don't notice any power problems aside from some headlight flicker. They're the standard sharp turnouts like typical train sets have, but I have some of their #6's on my shopping list for later this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    That is a nice looking engine! I think you may be right about it being an IHC (Anyone else recall when they were AHM?) clone. It sure looks familiar, and those "pizza cutter" flanges are what you'd expect on an IHC product.
    Thanks Bob. When I was looking at the pictures, I thought for sure this engine would HATE my code 83 track, but I've run it around my little loop a couple of times and it seems to have no problems with my switches. I realize the oversized flanges are a due to the nature of our hobby, (and I am not much of a rivet counter) so I can forgive and ignore unless they become an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by kbkchooch View Post
    They are a good starting point for a kitbash or superdetailing project. I too , got one cheap, remotored it, added tender pick ups and a DCC decoder, some details, paint and made the tender an oil burner. Not a bad WM Pacific,,especially when you consider what a brass one would have cost me!!
    I was hoping you'd respond, chooch. I've seen some other posts about your work repowering Mantua engines and others. Have you run into a speed control issue as I have explained? Like I said, I just nudge my DC throttle a hair off zero and my pacific goes zero to sixty in a couple miliseconds. Also your loco there is looking great.

    The other question I have is about replacing the dummy coupler on the pilot. I'm not yet sure if these engines have problems with metal Kadee couplers or not, but it looks like I will have to install a coupler pocket anyway.
    Last edited by DakotaLove39; 06-08-2013 at 11:25 PM.
    Steve

    Lego Railroader, Minecraft Traincrafter

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DakotaLove39 View Post
    I was hoping you'd respond, chooch. I've seen some other posts about your work repowering Mantua engines and others. Have you run into a speed control issue as I have explained? Like I said, I just nudge my DC throttle a hair off zero and my pacific goes zero to sixty in a couple miliseconds. Also your loco there is looking great.

    The other question I have is about replacing the dummy coupler on the pilot. I'm not yet sure if these engines have problems with metal Kadee couplers or not, but it looks like I will have to install a coupler pocket anyway.
    I saw that issue as soon as it hit my test track,,,,but between replacing the motor with a Sagami can, and installing a DCC decoder,,those problems went away As far as a front coupler,yes, you are gonna have to install a pocket of some sort, but it's doable!
    Karl
    NCE über alles!!!
    www.kjbond.com

  7. Default

    If your power pack was one of the cheaper packs with just a crude speed control, that may explain the jack rabbit start. Many of the locos produced the past 30 years have much better motors than what was originally available. These motors if not a "true" can motor, have many characteristics of can motors, and need a finer motor controller than that type of power pack you seem to have.

    I have an IHC loco that runs extremely well. I haven't even thought about adding a new motor to it, although I may work on the gears. I have an MRC TechII pack that I check my engines with prior to DCC installation, and mine ran very well.

    These engines do run well, considering what they can be bought for, and with some re-detailing, turn into fine additions to a loco stable.
    Carey
    Playing at expert again!!
    Keep it Between the Rails
    Alabama Central Homepage
    NARA Member #128
    SER & NMRA Lifer

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cjcrescent View Post
    If your power pack was one of the cheaper packs with just a crude speed control, that may explain the jack rabbit start. Many of the locos produced the past 30 years have much better motors than what was originally available. These motors if not a "true" can motor, have many characteristics of can motors, and need a finer motor controller than that type of power pack you seem to have.
    I suppose that's possible, but I have four other locos that didn't exhibit such behavior when I ran them DC with the same power pack.. I don't have any other DC controller to use either.
    Steve

    Lego Railroader, Minecraft Traincrafter

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •