Some weeks ago I became interested in doing some N scale modeling. I had an old Bachmann set I acquired in the late '80's, and since my 'reinterest' I've acquired a few new cars and a locomotive. A recent thread started me thinking about weight of rolling stock, so I dug out the NMRA recommendations for N scale - 1/2 ounce plus 0.15 ounces per inch. I checked the cars I had and found that all but three were very light - mostly around 1/2 the recommended weight. So, I added weight to bring them all up to around 80-90%. I have observed that tracking is much better - everything runs much smoother.
I also decided to check pulling power on the two locomotives I have now. I found that the brandy new Kato F7 will not pull 10 cars up a 2.5% grade
- the wheels slip - very audible. I pulled out the old Bachman F9 I have from about 1987 - differences noted: it does make a lot more noise than the Kato, and requires significantly more throttle before it moves. But (with one pair of traction tires) it pulls 10 cars up that 2.5% grade without even slowing appreciably.
I'm aware of "Bullfrog Snot" product which one can apply to wheels for more traction - is that basically the only option? I'd be happy replacing one pair of wheels on the Kato with traction tires. If the 'Snot' is the only realistic option, can someone tell me how you hook up the loco to turn the wheels while the stuff cures (according to their online instructions)? I see that they have a pair of alligator clips connected to a power pack to spin the wheels - but I don't see where the clips attach to the loco.