Athearn HO RS-3s are here

ThomasDerwin
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Joined: 8:00 AM - Aug 08, 2003

9:12 PM - Nov 06, 2007 #1

The Athearn HO RS-3s in the first delivery scheme (orange hood tops) arrived at the Hobby Gallery today. Steve told me the script heralds are centered on the cab this time.
It's a Phase 2b body, not Phase 2a (battery box louvers horizontal when they should be vertical), but the price sure beats Overland's.
Have fun,
Tom
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NHJJ4
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NHJJ4
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Joined: 5:18 AM - Aug 18, 2003

1:47 AM - Nov 07, 2007 #2

Well,
A while back When Athearn got the MDC tooling a few of asked them to Tool a second set of Battery boxes as they are seprate parts but heck no was the reply.
They wouldn't even consider the cab movement to a correct place.
But it beats the pant's off the other models you can get.
Waiting on my Pusher to give me a total for the bill.
My buddy the PRR nut is getting 1 also.
Jim
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Joined: 4:21 AM - Mar 05, 2003

2:11 PM - Nov 07, 2007 #3

Tom,
Actually, the MDC/Roundhouse/Athearn RS-3's are Phase Ib, the most common RS-3 phase.
IIRC, the differences and numbers are as follows:
Phase I (21 units): No louvers on engine doors
Phase Ia (215 units): Vertical louvers on battery box
Phase Ib (714 units): Horizontal louvers on battery box
Phase II (3 units): Car body filters (no louvers)
Phase IIa (42 units): Car body filters (no louvers)
Phase III (245 units): Vertical Car body filters
The NH had both Phase Ia and Phase Ib. The original order of 20 had the vertical louvers (Ia), the second order of 25 had the horizontal louvers (Ib).
And Jim, when I asked Athearn about doing other phases for the RS-3's, they replied with "maybe", not "heck no."
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ThomasDerwin
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Joined: 8:00 AM - Aug 08, 2003

8:07 PM - Nov 07, 2007 #4

Thanks for the correction, Paul, along with all the phase info.
Wanted to share the good news before they sold out and got the phases wrong working from memory.
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NHJJ4
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NHJJ4
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Joined: 5:18 AM - Aug 18, 2003

11:45 PM - Nov 07, 2007 #5

Well,
It was a few years ago. And Remember that
NOBODY would ever make a DL-109 in anything but Brass !!
it would still be easy to make them your self. And You can get the boxes.
Jim
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ThomasDerwin
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Joined: 8:00 AM - Aug 08, 2003

7:56 PM - Nov 14, 2007 #6

Steve at the Hobby Gallery told me that Athearn is sold out of these; he found out when he tried to order more. They sure flew off the tables at the reunion show. Suggest you move quickly if you want any, as whatever's left would be on dealers' shelves.
Also, anybody else notice a quality difference where the 525s run better than the 520s? The 525s I test-ran were smooth. The 520s had issues: one with intermittent power pickup, another with a truck that clicked and hopped every 6 inches or so (more armature wire in the gearbox?), and a third that ran fine long-hood-forward but locked up completely after returning short-hood-forward for about 2 feet. Some of the 520s also had minor paint scuffs on the fireman's side that none of the 525s had. I'm guessing that the 520s were assembled by one group of people and the 525s were done by a different (and better) group.
Have fun,
Tom
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Ron High
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Joined: 4:08 PM - Jun 06, 2003

12:08 PM - Nov 15, 2007 #7

There is a helpful discussion on the Atlas rr.com HO forum that has some good suggestions for improving the performance of thes RS-3`s.
go to the forum and search for Athearn RS-3 then find the topic improving Athearn RS3 performance . The most interesting suggestion was by Jim 6 about shortening the motor brushes it has instructions and photos showing how to do this.I tried this on an RS3 and it did improve the running quality .
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Joined: 4:21 AM - Mar 05, 2003

2:31 PM - Nov 15, 2007 #8

In addition to the "Jim Six Fix" (cutting 1/3rd of the motor brushes off), on the Model Railroader forum, there's the 2-26 method. "2-26" is an electrical lubricant and comes in a spray can. You spray some into a little cup or whatever, then dip a cotton swab in the 2-26 and apply it to the motor armature (with no power applied) making sure not to snag any cotton on the workings. Now let it dry overnight (at least) as 2-26 is a tad flammable.
According to those on the MR forum that have tried it, it noticably improved the performance of any of those Athearn open frame motors. One person has gone for over a year without reapplying it yet still sees the performance improvement.
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NHJJ4
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NHJJ4
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Joined: 5:18 AM - Aug 18, 2003

1:05 PM - Nov 22, 2007 #9

I have a question,
I got a note From Brian last week at OMI.
I guess they are doing a limited run of NH RS-3s for the "Caboose"
2 paint jobs, 3 numbers each.
Did NHRHTA help with the detail with these models?
Will they have all the bells & whistles?
Jim
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Chris Adams
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Joined: 5:15 PM - Jun 20, 2003

8:01 PM - Nov 22, 2007 #10

If you can't get them from the Hobby Gallery, I think Athearn RS-3s are still available at Tom's Trains in Wethersfield, CT.
www.tomstrains.com/
Chris
http://www.thevalleylocal.net
Modeling the New Haven's Valley Line in October, 1947
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