April 3, 2012 - M.T.H. Electric Trains has begun shipping our DCC-ready HO Alco FA diesel engines equipped with our NMRA DCC Compliant board. This attractively priced diesel features our high-quality diesel drive train capable of running at very slow speeds. Unlike a lot of DCC-ready locomotives available today, the M.T.H. HO Alco FA DCC-Ready diesel contains high quality lighting features that make operating sessions realistic and fun. Check out how M.T.H. HO DCC-Ready engines operate by clicking on the video icon of the HO SD70ACe DCC-Ready model to the left.
As you watch the video, you'll notice that the lighting is bright and clear. Each locomotive's instruction manual contains no directions for replacing light bulbs in your diesel. That's because there aren't any. We use specially designed and controlled LEDs to create realistic lighting effects that occur automatically. All the lights for this model are LED’S, including the headlight, two number boards, two ditch lights and a tailight.
By equipping the locomotive with an NMRA compliant DCC-Ready receiver receptacle, you're ready-to-run using any DC power supply and are ready to quickly update your locomotive to command control with any DCC decoder. M.T.H.'s HO DCC-ready models feature directionally controlled LED's for lighting effects. We've even included board locations for DCC decoders to drive the Number boards and Ditch Left and Ditch Right LED's. Most importantly, these locomotives are compatible with any DCC decoders that use the standard 8-pin NMRA connection.
Each M.T.H. DCC-Ready engine has pre-installed jumpers that allow for out-ofthe-box operation. However, you can remove these jumpers to change the lighting to your liking. You can shut off the Ditch Lights or the Number Board Lights by removing the jumpers on the engine's circuit board. It's all explained in the easy-to-follow operator's manual.
Running your locomotive is a snap. Set the engine on the rails, and apply DC power. As you increase power, at about 3 volts, the lights will come on and she'll move out! Reduce the throttle until the engine stops, flip the direction switch, and then increase the throttle again. Continue increasing the voltage all the way to 16 volts DC for maximum speed.
Though each model is equipped with a headlight, operating ditch lights, and number board lights that are fully automatic in analog DC operatiing environments, we've included an Alternate Lighting Supply Jumper in case you have a DCC decoder that doesn't have an appropriate lighting supply line. Most all current DCC decoders have a lighting supply line so in most cases you won't need this jumper installed. If you have programmed your DCC decoder correctly and you still have no lights then you will need to install this jumper.
The American Locomotive Company, one of the nation's premier steam locomotive builders, joined forces with Schenectady, New York neighbor General Electric to build the first standardized diesel-electric locomotives in the 1920s. But when the diesel revolution began in earnest after World War II, dependability problems with Alco's model 244 prime mover doomed the company to forever playing second fiddle to industry leader EMD.
The brawny good looks of Alco's FA and PA cab units, however, have endeared them to railfans and modelers for more than half a century. Designed to compete with EMD's FT four axel freight locomotive, the FA-1 contained many of the same design elements but used a new 12-cylinder 244 engine. With its distinctive flatnose cab and ribbed grille enclosed headlight, the FA-2's were considered by many rail fans to be more handsome and powerful looking then its F-3 and F-7 competitors. By pairing up with General Electric in the 1920's Alco inevitably condemned itself to ride on the coattails of EMD's F-series line.
Built by Alco and EMD in New York between 1946 and 1959, the FA-1 was designed primarily to haul freight, as they did not have the space at the rear of the engine compartment to accommodate a passenger-service steam generator. Externally as well as mechanically the FA-1, designed by Ray Patten, appeared very similar to the ALCO PA models built around the same time period. Distinguishable from the FA-2, the FA-1's shutters were at the far end of the carboydy, this was later changed to accommodate the steam generator that would be placed behind the radiator.
M.T.H. is proud to present the HO FA-1 in the unmistakable colors of Great Northern, Baltimore & Ohio, Union Pacific, Pennsylvania and Lehigh Valley. These streamlined diesels will bring beauty and power to any HO layout. Each Alco FA-1 AB diesel set includes one twin-motored A unit and twin-motored B unit. The A unit has full directional lighting and both units contain Kadee couplers.
The suggested retail price for these DCC Ready models starts at $159.95.
Each DCC Ready model includes the following features:
Directionally Controlled Headlights
Intricately Detailed ABS Bodies
1:87 Scale Proportions
Metal Wheels and Axles
(2) Scale Operating Kadee Couplers
Detailed Truck Sides, Pilots and Fuel Tank
Powerful 12-Volt 5-Pole Skew-Wound Precision Flywheel Equipped Motor
Lighted Cab Interior
Illuminated Number Boards
Lighted Marker Lights
(2) Engineer Cab Figures
Operates On Code 70, 83, & 100 Rail Curves
Unit Measures:7 1/6” x 1 3/8” x 2 1/16”
Operates On 18" Radius Curves
WHERE TO BUY
The DCC Ready version of the Alco FA diesel can be ordered through any M.T.H. Authorized Retailer.