April 17, 2015

Aquia Line in the Media



Paul visiting the layout for a work session a few years ago
This month Model Railroader ran an article about battery powered locomotives in model railroading. Veteran author and model railroader Paul Dolkos wrote the article. Paul is not a battery power user so he brings an unbiased perspective to the issue. In fact, one could even say he was skeptical about the need and utility of battery power. He interviewed several model railroad battery users and presented a nice overview of the subject.

In reading his text, one could get the impression that my battery conversions have not been that successful. That is not the way I feel about it. He quotes me as saying words to the effect that, "sometimes the locos don't charge due to dirty pickup or other issue." While I may have said that, I have since learned how to avoid that issue. As proof, I can say that my battery locos have not run out of charge since they returned from the NMRA show at Atlanta. That is over two years ago. Admittedly, I have not had any extended op sessions in that period, but the batteries have performed well.

As I mentioned last month, I am looking at the keep alive circuits as an alternative to battery power. The main reason is ease of installation and packaging. Trying to cram the required components of the Stanton system including a BPS, battery, DCC decoder and speaker into a O scale 4-4-0 is not an easy task. I am hoping the keep alive equipped decoders will fit more easily. Since I already have DCC on my layout, it is not much more expensive to add the DCC decoders with keep alive circuits to a loco.

On March 13, Tim Harrison of the Model Railcast Show interviewed me for two hours about my model railroad escapades. It was a fun interview, though next time I need to check some of the things I say, as I made several factual mistakes mostly due to faulty memory or just talking so fast I got tongue twisted.  Here is a link to the podcast.  The podcast is also available on itunes. I suggest you get a beverage of choice and take a swig every time I make a mistake. Just don't drive afterwards if you select an alcoholic beverage.

Here is some errata I picked up:
Malcom McLean - started container revolution
Maersk Triple E is 400m, not 440m
Britain and Russia invaded Iran in WWII, not Britain and France (I misstated this a couple times. I was getting Russia, Germany and France mixed up.)
Russo-Japanese War was 1904-1905. Japanese casualties were high but not 600,000. Estimates are about 50,000 -70,000 Russian and 80,000 -86,000 Japanese losses.


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