Mantua 0-6-0 "goat" switcher question

I have been lurking here for quite a while and have been quite impressed with the expertise that you all seem to have. I finally
have a question that I'd like to ask: What is everyone's opinion of the latest incarnation of the Mantua 0-6-0- goat switcher as now produced by Model Power? Pros and cons? Value for the money? Any comments wouls be appreciated.
Michael Valinis
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snipped-for-privacy@osu.edu wrote:

I would expect the 0-6-0 from Model Power to be from the Mantua tooling. I note that Model Power doesn't have an ad in the December Model Railroader which is odd. Looking on the net I find it now has a plastic boiler, diode lights, a DCC plug and is ready to run. The old Mantua's were always good runners with acceptable but not outstanding details. It probably isn't as finely detailed as a Bachmann Consolidation, but it ought to be nice enough to run and enjoy running.
David Starr
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My only concern would be the relatively short wheelbase. I have an 0-4-0 and electrical pickup is a real problem especially through turn-outs. But you probably only have 3-wheel pickup, unlike some of the bigger locos that seem to pick up electricity from almost every wheel on a particular side of the track. It would be nice if they could add some electrical pickup in the tender trucks as well... that would give you "some" additional pickup as well.
My 0-4-0 is so short that it has a real problem not going crooked . I've always like the looks of those really small Camelbacks, but the performance isn't quite there in my experience with its smaller cousin.
dlm
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Exactly what we have used one for on the club layout. If it can make it around the layout everything should be able to.
Paul
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I have both an 0-4-0 and an 0-6-0 from Mantua. I have installed a DCC decoder in the former and improved the electrical pickup by adding a pickup to the right side loco wheels and the left side of the tender. That improved the electrical pickup a lot but I am still not happy with the running quality of the loco. I plan to install a Soundtraxx sound-only decoder in the tender so I plan to replace the OEM gear train with a NWSL conversion. From what I have read, it makes a superb running loco out of a so-so one. Both of mine have the Mantua can motor. I have not done anything to the 0-6-0 yet.
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??? Have they changed the drive train? My 0-4-0 was one of the original ones and has a small open-frame motor in the engine. The way your reply is worded, I'm almost thinking that there is some kind of motor in the tender; is there?
I messed with additional pick-up shoes but never could get anything to work like I'd want. I think the only hope for that particular engine with that short of wheelbase would be to have electrical pick-up on ALL wheels. Even then, you souldn't have that much. Mechanically, the engine seemed to run OK, but I haven't ran mine for many years.
Electronically, I'd like to see someone develop a circuit board that has a tiny electrical storage capacity on it. It would save about a second's worth of power so that if contact was momentarily broken, the engine would keep on going for a small distance. If power were cut to the track, it would do the same, but only for a brief period. I'm not an electronics kind of guy; I have no clue how something like that might work, but it would help these engines with poor pick-up.
dlm
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Dan Merkel spake thus:

That's easy: it's called a capacitor, and I think you might still even be able to buy them at Radio Shack. A small electrolytic cap (couple hundred μf) wired in parallel with the motor will keep a small charge long enough to do what you describe.
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David Nebenzahl spake thus:

Hmm; I just realized that while this will work to make the loco coast across dead spots, it will also prevent it from ever coming to a sudden stop when power is removed. (Unless you don't mind that; it's actually more prototypical.)
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

It would also slow the acceleration of the loco and alter the maximum speed, particularly on a resistance controller or PWM.
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David Nebenzahl skriver:

Bad solution.
First of all you need a bipolar capacitor, or it explodes when you run backwards (and smells like fish).
Second, a capacitor has a very low inpedance when you try to charge it. That will result in a very high current consumption when trying to charge an empty capacitor. High currents makes smal sparks and makes the wheels "dirty". When the wheels are dirty the capacitor needs to work even more and the sparks gets more often.
You get the point ?
Klaus
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Klaus D. Mikkelsen spake thus:

Hey, perfect for that dockside module, eh?
Yes, I thought of that: what a guy would actually need to do would be to use *two* capacitors, each with a diode in series, like this:
http://www.geocities.com/bonezphoto/misc/MotorCoaster.gif
So far as the initial power drain problem that you pointed out goes, you might be able to fix that with a currrent-limiting resistor in series with both capacitors to limit the initial inrush current. Someone wanna play with this?
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

How do the capacitors charge/discharge? With that circuit they can do one or the other but not both. Putting the capacitors in series with each other(+ to + or - to -) with a resistor of about 5 ohms and parallel across the motor should do the trick.

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David Nebenzahl skriver:

Yes :-)

You charge the capacitors, but you never discharge them.
It is muchc more easy to convert to DCC and get the Decoders with capacitor backup.....
Klaus
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"Klaus D. Mikkelsen" wrote:

In what sense is it "easier"??? ;-)
Regards, Greg.P.
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Greg Procter skriver:

You get everything readymade just to plug in - and it works. The decoder needs only 1 capacitor, as it "changes polarity" after the capacitor.
Klaus
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Klaus D. Mikkelsen spake thus:

So does the capacitor basically act as a small battery, and allow the loco/decoder to operate over short dead sections?
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David Nebenzahl skriver:

Yes.
And for the sound and light and.. and... and....
Klaus
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Dan Merkel wrote:

Dan:
The most important thing is to keep the track and wheels clean. I find that my Booster, even with 4 wheels, picks up very well in most cases, and the biggest pickup bugbear is a switch with an insulated frog. To solve this problem, you can pick up speed and coast over :) but the best solution is to power the frog, which is fairly easy to do with an Atlas switch having a cast-metal frog and not so easy with a plastic frog.
The trouble with storing energy is that you need more than a tiny bit, even in HO. I doubt those DCC caps store enough to run the motor for 1s -- I'd imagine they served more as backup power for the decoder. I don't know for sure; I use analog DC.
Ahem. Now for the necessary disclaimer. O DREAD GODS OF DCC, STRIKE NOT THE POOR INFIDEL WHO DOTH NOT KNOW YOUR OMNIPOTENT POWER. That should buy me time.
To power a motor with a reasonable 0.5A current draw for 1 s, you'd need to store 0.5 coulomb of charge. A 0.08 farad capacitor, fully charged from a 12 volt supply, could store that much, but as the capacitor discharged, the potential across its terminals would decrease from 12 volts. The effect would be similar to a flywheel, and the size would be comparable to a pretty big flywheel. An 0.08 F cap is not so small.
Cordially yours: Gerard P.
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The new Walthers catalog has the Model Power / Mantua 0-6-0 with a list price of $79.99, and the Proto 2000 USRA 0-6-0 at $225.00 in the standard DC version. I do not have the new Model Power loco, but I have run and repaired a couple older Mantua and Tyco 0-6-0's. Assuming the basics features are similar to the original Mantua, I would say the Model Power loco is at least 35% as good as the P2K. But looking in the latest Model Railroader at the discount mail order ads, I see the P2K 0-6-0 can be had for $99.99. Using that ratio, the Model Power loco is no where near 80% as good a value.
The P2K is very smooth running out of the box, is well detailed, is a correct model of a widely used prototype, and has electrical pickup on all engine and tender wheels. The Model Power unit falls short on all of these factors. Using the P2K 0-6-0 as the yard switcher at our local monthly op sessions, I find it is as smooth and as reliable as any Kato drive Diesel switcher.
Are you specifically after a model loosely representing an 1890 vintage eastern anthracite road camel-back switcher? If not, I'd strongly recommend the P2K. Geezer
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Geezer wrote:

I saw the Mantua 0-6-0 advertized on the web for $42.something-or-other yesterday. I'll agree with Geezer that the P2K 0-6-0 is a nicer locomotive, but for more money.
David Starr
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