Walthers Plymouth ML-8 in DC version
#1
Thought I'd share some info on this.
All the reviews I found on line were for the DCC equipped model, which looks to operate very nicely.
I wasn't sure whether it would operate alright on DC, couldn't find any specific info on that.
My layout is DC, and I'm just not ready to convert my locos to DCC just yet.

Saw this DC version at Pacific Rim Hobbies in Port Angeles WA, and got to test one. I ended up buying it. I also tested a Trackmobile model, but it only had one end with an operating coupler. Physically, the ML8 is a nice little model. As a tiny switcher, it will most likely be used at slow speed moving only a couple cars. The DCC videos look great, but what about DC?

Some observations on the DC version:
This model prefers clean track.
I use Code 83 atlas snap track and snap switches. There are some pickup issues in switches between points and frog. The demo track I tested at the shop was wired for both DC and DCC; it had feeder wires soldered to every rail joiner. I suspect my performance would improve with more consistent power in the moveable points. Also the short wheelbase allows for it sometimes not riding straight along the rails. The little critter can be rotated slightly when setting on straight track. This can affect electrical pickup.

I've run it a bit over an hour total in break in mode on my own layout.
Following that, here are the timed performances as follows:

7 volts: 18.6 mph (scale)
6 volts: 16.3 mph --runs ok thru snap switches
5 volts: 12.8 mph --usually runs ok thru snap switches
4 volts: 7.8 mph --some stalls in 11 trials, usually ok if going thru the straight part
3.75 V: 6.0 mph --some stuttering on straight track; stalled 2 out of 6 runs, between points and frogs.

Speed was estimated by stop watch over 35 inches, with turnouts at each end.
Calcs based on multiple runs, using this formula from a Bachmann forum:
Scale MPH = ((L x F/12)/5280) x 3600/T; where
L is length of travel in inches
F is scale factor (e.g. 87.1)
T is time in seconds

If I knew the DCC model one could be run on DC ok, I probably would have gotten the DCC one if only for the keep-alive capacitor. But I do like the loco, I'll just have to nurse it through switches with a little more power. It's a very attractive little thing. Actually, amazingly tiny next to regular rolling stock.

Hope this is useful.
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#2
That's a nice review. I remember engines running like that when I was running HO.
Believe it or not, the shorter G scale engines run like that too. Smile
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#3
Hillyard999, thanks for taking the time to post this. though it is not likely I will buy one of these it is great that you reviewed it. I think it might just be something I will do for some of my models when time allows. Sharing this information honestly is always a good buying tool.
Charlie
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