Opinions: Athearn Genesis Challenger

Now that it's been out for a while, I'd like to hear opinions from buyers
about this model. I'm interested to hear about the "level of detail" vs. the
amount of cast-on parts, if there are any really horrible features, etc.
Frank Eva
DCC Models
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Reply to
DCC Models
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There is a review in this months MR (January 2005).
Ed
in article ebnpd.92048$ snipped-for-privacy@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com, DCC Models at snipped-for-privacy@unpublished.com wrote on 11/25/04 7:50 AM:
Reply to
Edward A. Oates
I read the article and today I went down to the Train Shop in Santa Clara, CA, and picked mine up (UP 3985, price $259.99 + tax).
The article is correct, especially about the quick "attack" on the chuff sounds. But I find that some of the one time sounds (air release, brake squeal, sand release, water injector, blower hiss) release to quickly at the end of the sample, like they just get cut of too fast. It's a minor quibble.
The sound volume has two positions using CV52, loud or soft. You make finder adjustments using a small screwdriver in the tender. (no disassembly required, just remove a hatch). Since I don't change the sound much, other than on/off, that's OK, but many folks might like a CV for the individual volumes like the QSI controller which BLI uses. The Genesis decoder is from Model Rectifier Corp and only overall volume can be controlled. The other feature I'd like is the two position volume control to be one of the twelve functions. There are two on/off buttons (double click F0, or F12), so one could be used for volume control.
Ed
in article BDD09891.66E8% snipped-for-privacy@unearthlylink.net, Edward A. Oates at snipped-for-privacy@unearthlylink.net wrote on 11/29/04 9:13 AM:
Reply to
Edward A. Oates
What do you think of the tooling and the add-on details?
Frank
Reply to
DCC Models
I'm not a rivet counter, but it all looks good to me. The MR article mentioned some detail problem with the fact that both the front and rear loco drivers swivel (to accommodate down to 18" curves), and that prevent some steam pipe or another from connecting as they should. But it all looks good to me.
An operating front coupler is included as well.
Ed
in article pWRqd.1422$ snipped-for-privacy@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com, DCC Models at snipped-for-privacy@unpublished.com wrote on 11/29/04 7:39 PM:
Reply to
Edward A. Oates
The 'extra' articulation of the Athearn Challenger is typical of all the mass market articulated models from BLI, P2K, Lionel, and Rivarossi.
The Bowser and Mantua models are/were correctly articulated, as are 'brass' models. This makes them look better, but they require larger radius curves.
Dan Mitchell ============
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
Think about this: A 33 inch radius curve on an HO model railway is a reasonably broad model railway curve. Nearly all locomotive models will negotiate such a curve with no problem. On a prototype railroad this represents a curve of 479 foot (146 M) diameter. Such a curve can be expressed in its degree of curvature as a 24 degree curve. This is approaching the limit for 4-axle North American locos. Such a curve would only be found in extremely tight and restricted areas such as very old industrial switching areas like docks and wharves and in places like engine terminals where a track encircled the roundhouse, for example. The locos would not operate coupled in most cases and would be restricted to "walking" speed. I would venture to say that there is no prototype articulated steam locomotive made for mainline, class-1, North American railroading, that could negotiate such a curve.
Someone else can reveal what the minimum curvature was for a Yellowstone, or a Y6b, or a 4-6-6-4 Clinchfield Challenger, or a Southern Pacific AC-12, or any number of articulated machines, But at anything beyond ten degrees, they started getting very restricted as regards to what they might be coupled and how fast they may travel.
Now; A ten degree curve, which is regarded as a moderately sharp curve on the prototype, equals an HO scale curve of 79 in (2 M) radius. Rather broader than most model railway curves. Hence the need to double articulate large, multi-engined, HO scale steam locomotives. ........F>
Reply to
Captain Handbrake
[...]
The CPR had a 23 degree curve at Boston Bar in the Fraser Canyon, British Columbia, for a while. This was the tightest mainline curve on a N. American RR. Can't recall when it was broadened, but it's gone now.
The need for tight curves is the reason the B&O Docksider 0-4-0T was built. IIRC, it could negotiate street-car curves (ca. 50ft radius), but then the coupler issue appears. On very tight curves, cars were coupled with draw bars inserted into the knuckles of the couplers. If you examine older pictures you will see that the knuckle had a slot in it for this purpose. I recall seeing such couplers as late as the 1950s in Edmonton.
IIRC, some long-wheelbase locos actually spread the rails and derailed when they were run on curves approaching the alleged design limit. Recall seeing a photo of a UP 4-12-2 in such a predicament.
[...]
The correctly articulated model engines will generally run OK on 36" and larger curves, but they don't look good IMO.
OTOH, a train gliding around a curve is one of the great sights of railroading. Hence, John Armstrong advocated "cosmetic curves" of 72" radius and larger wherever possible. He also pointed out that a yard built on a wide curve not only looks better than a straight one, operationally there is no problem if the radius is 72" and higher, and if restricted to shorter cars and engines, you can get away with a yard on a 36" curve.
HTH
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
begging ignorance -- what is the mathematical relationship in railroading between radius and "degree of curve". My trig fails me here!
Reply to
MikeH
"A measure of the sharpness of a curve. It is the angle through which the track turns in 100 feet of track. The number of degrees is equal to 5,729 divided by the radius of the curve in feet." From
Reply to
Bruce Fletcher
On the prototype, the tracklayers could rarely manage to get access to the center of the curve. Even if they had, they rarely had a compass big enough, or even a long enough piece of string line to draw the curve, so they worked out other means of creating continuous curves. This "degree of curve" seems to be a US invention and someone, somewhere has a table of equivalents or a formula of conversion.
20 degrees would seem to equal about 290 feet of radius from the example below.
Regards. Greg.P.
Reply to
Gregory Procter
A one degree curve has a circumference of 36,000 feet. One degree of angular displacement for every 100 feet of distance along the circumference. 360 Degrees X 100 feet/degree = 36,000 feet. Use the known radius in inches of any model curve to determine the circumference of the complete circle: 2 X the radius, X Pi then divide by 12 Then multiply by 87.0857 ( for HO scale) This number (N) is the circumference of the prototype circle in feet that corresponds to the model curve Divide 36,000 by this number (N) and you have the degree of curvature represented by the model curve.
---------EXAMPLE--------
A 33 inch radius curve: 33 X 2 = 66 inches 66 X Pi = 207.3451 inches 207.3451 divided by 12 = 17.2788 feet 17.2788 X 87.0857 = 1,504.7329 feet 36,000 divided by 1,504.7329 = 23.9245 degrees, which is another way of saying 23 degrees 55 minutes 28 seconds OR just 24 degrees
There are much "shorter" ways to do it, but this way shows all the steps and the reasons for taking them. There are also several other ways to get the same answer, but this, I think, is the simplest because it involves nothing more esoteric than simple, four-function math. A calculator with a "Pi" function makes it a no-brainer.
If you want a real no-brainer try this: divide 789.5083 by the curve radius in inches
789.5083 divided by 33 = 29.9245 which approximately equals 24.
If all you care about is the answer, this will do fine.
In fact, it is a tiny bit off because, although highway curves are measured with a 100 foot arc, railway curves are measured with a 100 foot chord. the circumference of a one degree railway curve is actually a tiny bit longer than 36,000 feet. For model railway purposes though, it is an insignificant amount and the figure of 36,000 is plenty close enough. Especially when you consider that we do not lay our curves with a transit and compass, but most often with a ruler or marked stick.
........F>
Reply to
Captain Handbrake
I'm sure someone will give you the exact formula. The degree of curvature is the angle of offset (the amount you swing the transit) to determine the next staking point on the curve using a 100ft chain. It's a North American thing, since it cuts to the chase: how to lay out the curve if you haven't got a large enough compass. :-)
The Brits and Yurpeens use radius or diameter, but they have to convert those figures to - you guessed it - how many degrees to offset the next length of chain as the curve is staked out on the ground. Takes a fair amount of arithmetic. I did it one late spring in a surveying course, years ago when I thought I wanted to be an engineer.
John Armstrong listed degrees of curvature and corresponding radii in actual feet and scale equivalents on page 42 of "Creative layout Design". If there's enough interest, I'll post the table here.
HTH&HF
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir

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