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Author Topic: Dapol A4  (Read 67450 times)

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Offline Roy L S

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #75 on: March 28, 2012, 09:12:14 pm »
How about the temperature of the motor after a run?

Warm, but certainly not plastic meltingly hot like my first B1!

Runs fine, but as yet a little "coggy" at very low speed, I am sure this will improve with more running.

Regards

Roy

Offline Elvinley

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #76 on: March 29, 2012, 05:26:49 am »
Thanks for the info Roy.

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #77 on: March 29, 2012, 08:56:09 am »
Warm, but certainly not plastic meltingly hot like my first B1!

Runs fine, but as yet a little "coggy" at very low speed, I am sure this will improve with more running.

Warm to the tender sides means the motor itself is getting pretty hot, which is not exactly brilliant. Do you have an ammeter wired in and could tell us what the current consumption is?

Best regards,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

Offline Elvinley

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #78 on: April 07, 2012, 05:18:19 pm »
My A4 arrived today. Here are my thoughts (also posted in RM Web):

First impressions: The loco looks very attractive in it's case with a new Dapol all over blue sleeve over the clear plastic box. When this is removed the loco sits in it's plastic casing with grey foam packing pieces instead of the old yellow ones. The new packaging looks much more appealing than before and the loco within looks very impressive.

What you get: Within the container is the loco itself, 2 sheets of information, 2 magnetic couplings, spare traction tyres, a bag of spares and detailing extras (including a spanner, spare cardan shaft, Dapol buckeys, screws, coupling, vac pipes etc). The loco is in a see through tray which is similar to the type Dapol have always used for steam locos. The loco has a packing piece on the chimney which just lifts off.

Instructions: There is no advice to run the loco in (maybe this goes without saying now?) The loco needs to have it's motion oiled as per the diagrams, but does not need the gears oiled for another 30 hours. The instructions contain info about DC, DCC, controller types and the warning not to use an electronic track cleaner as discussed here before.

Running the loco: After oiling as instructed the loco is placed on the track and a slight amount of power from a Gaugemaster controller is applied. The loco moves off steadily in both directions and nothing is out of place with the wheels or motion. The loco runs with no wobbles or stutters but does have a rattle to the sound of the mechanism. After running for approx 20 mins the temperature of the tender is checked. The sides are warm, but not hot. The complex valve gear runs well, though the crosshead moves in a slightly odd way over the slide bars. The slow speed is extremely slow and steady, but still noisy. A couple of my recent larger locos (Farish A1 and Dapol Brit) have a problem on my railway over a series of points and this loco stutters also, even though it has plenty of pickups. Everwhere else the pickups work perfectly.

Loco livery and finish: The shade of green is maybe slightly light, but not by much. It is definitely lighter than the Farish A4 or A1 and a similar shade to my Ixion BR Manor. The finish is generally good. My only complaint about this would be that one of the handrails is cut off with an angle and the colour of the wire shows rather than the green of the handrail at the very tip. This is only noticable as it glints in the light but will be easily disguised by a dab of paint. The application of lining etc is excellent and there are no noticable glue marks. The nameplate is ok, but not the best quality. The whistle and safety valves are painted and I believe they are plastic rather than metal fittings, but this could be incorrect. Inside the cab, the detail and painting is excellent.

Pulling ability: After about one hour of running-in I tested the pulling power of the loco; unbelievably powerful is all I can say at this point. The loco was pulling no less than a rake of 20 MK1s and Staniers around some tight curves straights and gentle curves and was showing no real signs of struggling. Only on my tightest curve did it slow slightly for a split second. I do have more coaches, but thought this would be long enough for anyone to get a good idea of its pulling power!

Conclusion: The loco needs to be run in further and so a full conclusion cannot be reached as yet. I do not feel that the loco has the best possible finish, and the sound is quite unpleasant but overall it is a decent loco. The rattling sound is possibly partly caused by the need to have plenty of sideplay in the tender wheels. Possibly there is a fault with my loco and others are quieter than this or maybe it will quieten down with more running as my Brit has. Personally, I don't have any problems with any possible shape issues that have been raised, but this isn't a priority for me; to me the loco looks right. The power of this A4 is beyond dispute and is something I found very impressive. How does the mechanism compare to the farish A1? The Farish loco does not have the power that this has, and I have had problems with pickup reliability and squeaking noises, but the Farish loco is a silent runner mechanism wise. In comparison to a Farish A4, the loco is a massive improvement in details, but maybe not so much in livery and finish. The Farish A4s can be made to run quietly and smoothly, but do not have the power of the Dapol loco. After further running the tender seems to be cooler to the touch. Although the instructions say the tender top is removed by simply unclipping, I cannot free it for the life of me! As a rating for now I would give it an overall 7/10, this may increase with more running in.

Comparison between the Farish and Dapol models (the Farish loco has replacement bogie and front details):




« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 05:52:49 pm by Elvinley »

Offline Zunnan

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #79 on: April 07, 2012, 06:38:17 pm »
The first photo shows the shape issue perfectly. Look at the Dapol (lower) A4 and the top of the cladding is almost dead straight from the cab all the way to the first lining ring over the cladding. The Farish model however visibly changes angle between the 3rd and 4th ring and the whole cladding then visibly begins to curve downward towards the nose. This is part of what makes it (the Dapol A4) look wrong to me when standing 4 feet away, and with my eyesight I can barely see the finer detail at that distance. Out of interest, can you post a photo of the Dapol A4 front end buffered up to a coach so we can see the relative buffer heights?
Like a Phoenix from the ashes...morelike a rotten old Dog Bone


Offline Elvinley

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #80 on: April 07, 2012, 08:07:04 pm »
Hi Zunnan,

Very, very slightly lower than a Mk1 or Stanier's buffer height. Really hard to see any difference.

Has anyone here successfully removed the tender top?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 08:13:43 pm by Elvinley »

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #81 on: April 07, 2012, 09:54:26 pm »
Ian - many thanks for a most comprehensive review :thumbsup:

Offline Mustermark

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #82 on: April 07, 2012, 10:08:46 pm »
Nice review. Thanks for taking the time.

I love that little glimpse of the layout.  The vegetatn is excellent and the wall with the drian holes is superb.  Great spot to photo those beautiful engines. :thumbsup:

http://www.marksmodelrailway.com
I'm a personality prototype... you can tell, can't you.

Offline Elvinley

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #83 on: April 08, 2012, 07:38:32 am »
Thanks a lot. I have found the A4 runs slightly quieter with a drop of Power Lube on the tender bearings. It still sounds pretty rough though.

Offline 4x2

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #84 on: April 08, 2012, 12:40:24 pm »
Haveing seen and heard Ian's Dapol A4 in action (any excuse to sit and watch trains go around on his brilliant 'Elvinley' layout !) I have to say I agree with his reveiw completely... The Dapol A4 is very well detailed and does look the part (a few minor issues, but i really don't think they are important - unless you like counting rivets... :evil: to me it looks every inch an A4).

To my mind the biggest issue is the noise ! The loco runs nice and smooth, but the motor and tender wheels sets make such a racket it just spoils the experience... Even more so as Ian was also running his various other Farish A4's which were virtually silent ! Ian added a bit of Peco Electrolube to the tender axles and this made a huge difference, but was still louder than even the Dapol/Ixion manor that he also ran that night. I do think that it will get better as the mech beds in over time, removing the tender to access the DCC socket is tricky as the Dapol instructions are very poor in this respect ' Just unclip the tender body' it says - try it ! Both me and Ian tried and it wouldn't budge, a screwdriver would have been the next step but we decided to leave alone for now !

Overall it is a great looking loco, runs smoothly but noisily, I would agree with Ian's 7/10, but if it quietens down after running in I may give it 8/10. I mostly model US stuff, but I would buy one if it's Garter blue with a 'certain' type of ducks name on it.... Come on Dapol - you know we want it !  ;D
If it's got rails... you have my full, undivided attention - Steam, diesel and electric, 'tis all good !

Mike

Offline Elvinley

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #85 on: April 08, 2012, 02:09:44 pm »
Unfortunately it has started making a horrible screeching noise a bit like the old pancake motors used to make. A little oil to the motor bearing often helped with the OO locos that did this, but we are warned in the instructions not to do this. It may have to be another dapol loco that goes back. Sigh!

Offline 4x2

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #86 on: April 08, 2012, 05:41:56 pm »
Unfortunately it has started making a horrible screeching noise a bit like the old pancake motors used to make. A little oil to the motor bearing often helped with the OO locos that did this, but we are warned in the instructions not to do this. It may have to be another dapol loco that goes back. Sigh!
oh dear....  here we go again ! ::) Sorry to hear thats the case, hope it gets sorted quickly !  :thumbsup:
If it's got rails... you have my full, undivided attention - Steam, diesel and electric, 'tis all good !

Mike

Offline Donkey

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #87 on: April 08, 2012, 05:51:44 pm »
Oh no that's terrible news  :(. Hope you persevere with returning faulty loco's until you get a good 'un. After loads of bad luck in getting a good B1 I eventually ended up with a beauty so it does pay to persevere.

Marty

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #88 on: April 08, 2012, 06:24:08 pm »
, but I would buy one if it's Garter blue with a 'certain' type of ducks name on it.... Come on Dapol - you know we want it !  ;D

What's that then - DONALD ??? :evil:

Offline 4x2

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Re: Dapol A4
« Reply #89 on: April 08, 2012, 06:52:56 pm »
, but I would buy one if it's Garter blue with a 'certain' type of ducks name on it.... Come on Dapol - you know we want it !  ;D

What's that then - DONALD ??? :evil:
I should of put a tenner on that you'd say that !!!  :smiley-laughing:

Well done newportnobby - good to see your still on form ! :thumbsup:
If it's got rails... you have my full, undivided attention - Steam, diesel and electric, 'tis all good !

Mike

 

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