#### For those using pennies for weight in cars...

enobiko <deanpayne@...>

I know that the U.S. Mint started using zinc (?) sandwitched between
copper for pennies, beginning in the middle of 1982. I weighed 10
pennies of each type: the copper ones weigh 31 grams, the zinc/copper
plated ones 25.5 (varies somewhat). So, if you use pennies glued
together as a cheap weight, not all pennies are the same. This is
just barely above a trivial difference, and can make the difference
between getting the NMRA weight and missing it by a bit. FYI.
Dean Payne

John F. Cizmar

enobiko <deanpayne@att.net> wrote:I know that the U.S. Mint started using zinc (?) sandwitched between
copper for pennies, beginning in the middle of 1982. I weighed 10
pennies of each type: the copper ones weigh 31 grams, the zinc/copper
plated ones 25.5 (varies somewhat). So, if you use pennies glued
together as a cheap weight, not all pennies are the same. This is
just barely above a trivial difference, and can make the difference
between getting the NMRA weight and missing it by a bit. FYI.
Dean Payne

To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
STMFC-unsubscribe@egroups.com

Dean,

F.Y.I. You can buy plumbers 21/2# sheet lead (36"x36") in the Chicago area for about the same price/lb. as the pennies. I find it easier to use. Wire solder is about 3X lead or the penny method.

John F. Cizmar

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Don Valentine

Quoting enobiko <deanpayne@att.net>:

I know that the U.S. Mint started using zinc (?) sandwitched between
copper for pennies, beginning in the middle of 1982. I weighed 10
pennies of each type: the copper ones weigh 31 grams, the zinc/copper
plated ones 25.5 (varies somewhat). So, if you use pennies glued
together as a cheap weight, not all pennies are the same. This is
just barely above a trivial difference, and can make the difference
between getting the NMRA weight and missing it by a bit. FYI.
Dean Payne

The question then becomes how many of us wieght our rolling stock to NMRA
standards to begin with? I don't. Never have and never will as I feel there is
no need for so much weight. It also seems that if one pays a little more
attention to trackwork, rather than exacting car weight, they don't need to

On a similar vein, what have people had for experience with the new Kadee
#58 couplers? One acquaintance with a large shop in a major metropolitan area
tells me they sold like hot cakes for three months and then died. Then the
why the stick answer seems to be that they uncoupled too frequently without
reason when trains were running. This seems to me to be more of a problem
with track problems in the vertical plain but perhaps not. Obviously the
closer to scale a coupler becomes the smaller the pulling fact becomes. Does
anyone have any thoughts on this?

Take care, Don Valentine

Dave Nelson <muskoka@...>

-----Original Message-----
From: John F. Cizmar [mailto:jfcizmar1966@yahoo.com]
Chicago area for about the same price/lb. as the pennies. I find
it easier to use. Wire solder is about 3X lead or the penny method.

California (yeah, I know the comments already, no need for more). I went
looking for stick on weights one day (a.k.a. A-Line weights), visting every
tire shop and autoparts store I came across on a 10 mile drive along a
street filled with such establishments. All but one said the same thing:
they can stick them on my wheel rim but they cannot let me stick them on
anything else I own (because the state will be all over their butts if they
do). Finally found one place who agreed this was all nonesense and I bought
a box of strips at his cost (\$13/box).

Dave Nelson

Don Valentine

Quoting Ray Breyer <rbreyer@cesinfo.com>:

Don,

I personally love the new Kadee #58s! I got back into the hobby at
the same time the new plastic Kadee clones came onto the market, and I
decided to give them a try. They all sucked. The Accurail ones were
the
best of the bunch, but they don't always like to mate with Kadees. So
out
everything went, and I started buying #5s for my fleet. Then, at about
the
same time I was getting into proto freight cars, the Kadee #58s and
scale
Accumates came onto the market. Given my bad luck with plastic
couplers,
I've ignored the Accumates, but have given the #58s a run for their
money.

Virtually all of my cars now have #58s on 'em (300+ and growing fast),
and I
have yet to experience a single "mystery uncoupling". I've even run 40
car
freights on a modular layout (lots of bad rail joints) without a break.
On
the rare occasions they DO uncouple, it's completely the fault of bad
trackwork.

Are there more scale couplers on the market? Yup. Sergeant makes a
working
coupler that's supposedly exactly to scale, and I've heard the Accumates
are
close to scale. But...Accumates are plastic and only come in one shank
size, and the Sergeants are expensive, delicate, and need to be
completely
assembled and painted. So for me, the #58s are the best solution.

Kadee has stated that they can't keep up with production of the #58s,
and
I'm constantly having to put them on backorder. I'm sure that given
time,
Kadee will come out with modified #58s, to offer most if not all of the
conversion varieties that their "standard" knuckle style now has.

Thanks for the imput, Ray. Your experience with substitutes for Kadee's echos
my own, which is why the dealer mailings for our Dominion cars note that the
included features include "Kadee (accept no substitute!) couplers". We could
offer the car with either #5's or #58's but that would drive the dealers nuts.
Thus I'll see what other comments are hdeard for the next week or so and then
make a decision.

Take care, Don Valentine

Don Valentine

Quoting Dave Nelson <muskoka@attbi.com>:

in
California (yeah, I know the comments already, no need for more). I
went
looking for stick on weights one day (a.k.a. A-Line weights), visting
every
tire shop and autoparts store I came across on a 10 mile drive along a
street filled with such establishments. All but one said the same
thing:
they can stick them on my wheel rim but they cannot let me stick them
on
anything else I own (because the state will be all over their butts if
they
do). Finally found one place who agreed this was all nonesense and I
bought
a box of strips at his cost (\$13/box).

Ah, yes! What was it the famous bard, Lucius Beebe, wrote about California?
Quting directly from The Provocative Pen of Lucius Beebe it was, "It is akin to
a nuthouse run by the inmates turned loose!". But one must ask why it was
necessary to elect them all to public office after turning them loose!

Keep smiling, Dave!

Regards, Don Valentine

thompson@...

Don Valentine, perhaps enviously with today's weather, wrote:
Ah, yes! What was it the famous bard, Lucius Beebe, wrote about California?
Quting directly from The Provocative Pen of Lucius Beebe it was, "It is
akin to
a nuthouse run by the inmates turned loose!". But one must ask why it was
necessary to elect them all to public office after turning them loose!
Californians aren't nuttier than other Americans, Don; they just don't
hide it, like New Englanders do. <bg>

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history

Ray Breyer <rbreyer@...>

Don,

I personally love the new Kadee #58s! I got back into the hobby at about
the same time the new plastic Kadee clones came onto the market, and I
decided to give them a try. They all sucked. The Accurail ones were the
best of the bunch, but they don't always like to mate with Kadees. So out
everything went, and I started buying #5s for my fleet. Then, at about the
same time I was getting into proto freight cars, the Kadee #58s and scale
Accumates came onto the market. Given my bad luck with plastic couplers,
I've ignored the Accumates, but have given the #58s a run for their money.

Virtually all of my cars now have #58s on 'em (300+ and growing fast), and I
have yet to experience a single "mystery uncoupling". I've even run 40 car
freights on a modular layout (lots of bad rail joints) without a break. On
the rare occasions they DO uncouple, it's completely the fault of bad
trackwork.

Are there more scale couplers on the market? Yup. Sergeant makes a working
coupler that's supposedly exactly to scale, and I've heard the Accumates are
close to scale. But...Accumates are plastic and only come in one shank
size, and the Sergeants are expensive, delicate, and need to be completely
assembled and painted. So for me, the #58s are the best solution.

Kadee has stated that they can't keep up with production of the #58s, and
I'm constantly having to put them on backorder. I'm sure that given time,
Kadee will come out with modified #58s, to offer most if not all of the
conversion varieties that their "standard" knuckle style now has.

Ray Breyer

-----Original Message-----
From: newrail@sover.net [mailto:newrail@sover.net]
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 10:49 AM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] For those using pennies for weight in cars...

On a similar vein, what have people had for experience with the new Kadee
#58 couplers? One acquaintance with a large shop in a major metropolitan
area
tells me they sold like hot cakes for three months and then died. Then the
why the stick answer seems to be that they uncoupled too frequently without
reason when trains were running. This seems to me to be more of a problem
with track problems in the vertical plain but perhaps not. Obviously the
closer to scale a coupler becomes the smaller the pulling fact becomes. Does
anyone have any thoughts on this?

Take care, Don Valentine

Kevin Lafferty <KevinHLafferty@...>

Try a junk yard.

Kevin Lafferty

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Nelson [mailto:muskoka@attbi.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 1:34 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [STMFC] For those using pennies for weight in cars...

-----Original Message-----
From: John F. Cizmar [mailto:jfcizmar1966@yahoo.com]
Chicago area for about the same price/lb. as the pennies. I find
it easier to use. Wire solder is about 3X lead or the penny method.

California (yeah, I know the comments already, no need for more). I went
looking for stick on weights one day (a.k.a. A-Line weights), visting every
tire shop and autoparts store I came across on a 10 mile drive along a
street filled with such establishments. All but one said the same thing:
they can stick them on my wheel rim but they cannot let me stick them on
anything else I own (because the state will be all over their butts if they
do). Finally found one place who agreed this was all nonesense and I bought
a box of strips at his cost (\$13/box).

Dave Nelson

To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
STMFC-unsubscribe@egroups.com

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

Don Valentine

Quoting thompson@signaturepress.com:

Don Valentine, perhaps enviously with today's weather, wrote:
Ah, yes! What was it the famous bard, Lucius Beebe, wrote about
California?
Quting directly from The Provocative Pen of Lucius Beebe it was, "It
is
akin to
a nuthouse run by the inmates turned loose!". But one must ask why it
was
necessary to elect them all to public office after turning them loose!
Californians aren't nuttier than other Americans, Don; they just
don't
hide it, like New Englanders do. <bg>

I love it, Tony (or aren't you supposed to spell it "Toney" in Ca.?),
but I've had absolutely no complaint with the weather here today so there
is no envy at all.

Take care, Don

tchenoweth@...

A coupler height gauge is a must. Once they are adjusted I've never had a car
uncouple. I'm been using them exclusively since they were available, with the
exception of #78 on the resin cars where possible and #2100 for Kadee cars.
Tom Chenoweth

enobiko <deanpayne@...>

OK, good point. The question becomes, what standard do you weigh
your cars to? I use the factory weights on styrene kits and have no
problems. When they don't come with weights... I got my RC Mather
reefer about 95+% of NMRA, and it feels heavy! I have some resin
kits that are going to need weighing, what to do? 75% of NMRA?
Weigh them as much as my styrene kits? Which ones, Accurail, Proto?
Dean Payne

The question then becomes how many of us wieght our rolling
stock to NMRA > standards to begin with? I don't. Never have and
never will as I feel there is > no need for so much weight. It also
seems that if one pays a little more attention to trackwork, rather
than exacting car weight, they don't need to worry about the weight.

Take care, Don Valentine

thompson@...

As many have independently discovered over the years, it isn't so much
the exact AMOUNT of weight per car, but the CONSISTENCY of weight per car,
that affects car tracking and performance. One could certainly choose a
number different that the NMRA recommendation, as long as one is
CONSISTENT. I believe the NMRA number is chosen to be tolerant of mediocre
trackwork, so if you really believe <g> that your trackwork is superior, by
all means standardize on a lower weight per car.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>

I don't want to stray too far from freight cars per se, but in my
experience heavier cars on good track will resist stringlining much
better than lighter cars. Now if most of the weight of our models
was in the underframe and trucks, that might not be true. But they
do tend to be more top-heavy than the prototype and our curves are
vastly sharper. Tony is right that inconsistency -- manifested as
light cars mixed with heavy cars, or poor rollers mixed with good
rollers, or worst a high center of gravity light car with good
trucks dragging heavy cars with bad trucks, is gonna lead to problems

Tony Thompson wrote

As many have independently discovered over the years, it isn't so much
the exact AMOUNT of weight per car, but the CONSISTENCY of weight per car,
that affects car tracking and performance. One could certainly choose a
number different that the NMRA recommendation, as long as one is
CONSISTENT. I believe the NMRA number is chosen to be tolerant of mediocre
trackwork, so if you really believe <g> that your trackwork is superior, by
all means standardize on a lower weight per car.

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@attbi.com>
Sterling, Massachusetts

Don Valentine

I probably should have a small scale such as that offered by A-Line
or something similar or perhaps try my Lyman powder scale for something
The few I've checked seem to run 3 to 3 1/4 oz. for 40 ft. cars and,
while not operated all that much of late, have not given any problems
over the years. With new kits like those from Branchline with the machine
nuts for weights the first thing I do is take the nuts out to the shop.
They are far more useful for an occasional farm machinery repair than
for coming loose and rattling around inside a car where they might do
some damage. Maybe what we need is scale loads of crates, barrels,
pallets of goods, steers, hogs or whatever to add the proper weight.

Take care, Don Valentine

Quoting enobiko <deanpayne@att.net>:

OK, good point. The question becomes, what standard do you weigh
your cars to? I use the factory weights on styrene kits and have no
problems. When they don't come with weights... I got my RC Mather
reefer about 95+% of NMRA, and it feels heavy! I have some resin
kits that are going to need weighing, what to do? 75% of NMRA?
Weigh them as much as my styrene kits? Which ones, Accurail, Proto?
Dean Payne

The question then becomes how many of us wieght our rolling
stock to NMRA standards to begin with? I don't. Never have and
never will as I feel there is no need for so much weight. It also
seems that if one pays a little more attention to trackwork, rather
than exacting car weight, they don't need to worry about the weight.
Take care, Don Valentine

To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
STMFC-unsubscribe@egroups.com

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

Don Valentine

Quoting thompson@signaturepress.com:

As many have independently discovered over the years, it isn't so
much
the exact AMOUNT of weight per car, but the CONSISTENCY of weight per
car,
that affects car tracking and performance. One could certainly choose a
number different that the NMRA recommendation, as long as one is
CONSISTENT. I believe the NMRA number is chosen to be tolerant of
mediocre
trackwork, so if you really believe <g> that your trackwork is superior,
by
all means standardize on a lower weight per car.

I agree on the consistency, Tony, but suspect the track the NMRA
weight standard was designed for how many decades ago was probably Atlas
snap track with brass rail. I think you get the point.

Take care, Don Valentine

Steven Delibert <stevdel@...>

----- Original Message -----
From: <newrail@sover.net>
I probably should have a small scale such as that offered by A-Line
or something similar or perhaps try my Lyman powder scale for something
The wife's cheap little kitchen scale which she uses for her diet measuring,
or an even cheaper home-office type postal scale from the "5-and-dime"
(hah!) work just fine for these purposes.

Steve Delibert

thompson@...

Don Valentine said:
I agree on the consistency, Tony, but suspect the track the NMRA
weight standard was designed for how many decades ago was probably Atlas
snap track with brass rail. I think you get the point.
The point, Don, is that one can readily view recently built layouts with
nice commercial nickel-silver code 70 track, which is rough as a cob
because the builder didn't understand or couldn't accomplish smooth
trackwork. Brass rail has nothing to do with it, though you're right about
the snap track with its short lengths.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history

Don Valentine

Quoting thompson@signaturepress.com:

Don Valentine said:
I agree on the consistency, Tony, but suspect the track the NMRA
weight standard was designed for how many decades ago was probably
Atlas
snap track with brass rail. I think you get the point.
The point, Don, is that one can readily view recently built layouts
with
nice commercial nickel-silver code 70 track, which is rough as a cob
because the builder didn't understand or couldn't accomplish smooth
trackwork. Brass rail has nothing to do with it, though you're right
the snap track with its short lengths.

Tony Thompson
I don't think we are in disagreement here, Tony. I cited snap track
with brass rail only to note the age of the NMRA weight standard which, to
the best of my knowledge, has never been vevisited or considered for an
upgrade. As far as the "commercial nickel-silver code 70 track", as opposed
to rail, is concerned isn't it really little more than 36 inch or 1 meter
snap track? To me it is if you don't lay it on a smooth roadbed. Perhaps it
is just difficult for me to understand that there may be people in this hobby
who are astute enough to want the most scale coupler they can get but can't
lay a proper scale track.

Take care, Don Valentine

Ned Carey <westernmd@...>

note the age of the NMRA weight standard which, to
the best of my knowledge, has never been revisited or considered for an
Don and Tony (and anyone else still listening)

I don't get it. What advantage is there to lighter cars? Yes you possibly
could get away with lighter cars today but how do you benefit? OK yes some
heavy duty club layouts may reduce wear but that's not an issue for 99% of
us.

Experience, anecdotal evidence and common sense say that heavier cars will
be more reliable. While lighter cars could work, don't you want "more
reliable"?

The only disadvantage that I could possibly see is your locos don't pull as
much. Who cares? Just double or triple head them like the prototype. Most
modelers have more engines than they can justify anyway. Here's a reason to
run them. Mike Brock has sometimes chimed in on this issue to say that steam