• Life-Like Proto 1000 Budd RDC-1

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: stilson4283, 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak

  by Otto Vondrak
 
So I guess the Budd RDC-1 that was released years ago was very popular... I can't find them anywhere! Not on eBay, not at train shows... I need two RDC-1's for a project I'm working on, and I don't want to use the Athearn models. If anyone spots some of the Life-Like Proto 1000 Budd RDC-1's, please let me know... Any road, any paint...
  by N-Trizzy2609
 
Proto 1000 is re-releasing them this April. I already put my name down for two PRSL RDC-1s to convert into SEPTA.
  by Cadet57
 
N-Trizzy2609 wrote:Proto 1000 is re-releasing them this April. I already put my name down for two PRSL RDC-1s to convert into SEPTA.
Yeah a price higher than the first run Protos ;)

Guess that "metal finish" is plated platinum or something. Too bad there won't be a B&M version, not like they weren't the largest operator of RDC's or anything....
  by ApproachMedium
 
Otto I dont know if you have the time for it but keep your eyes open on eBay. They do turn up. A friend of mine has been working on a PRSL RDC project for a bit and was able to get a couple of them. It took a while to find them all though.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
I'll keep my eye peeled... In the meantime, could anyone answer me this... What is the length of an Athearn RDC from coupler to coupler? An the length of a Life-Life unit? I am designing a passenger platform and want to accommodate two cars.

-otto-
  by ApproachMedium
 
You want real inches or scale? My buddies are at the club and I can get measurements Friday or Saturday. I only have the P1K models though.
  by green_elite_cab
 
N-Trizzy2609 wrote:Proto 1000 is re-releasing them this April. I already put my name down for two PRSL RDC-1s to convert into SEPTA.

Actually, the PRSL RDCs all went to NJ transit. Most of them recieved some sort of NJT disco stripe or NJ DOT circle. Only the Reading Company's RDCs went to SEPTA. In fact, many of SEPTA's RDCs didn't even belong to the Reading. They were transplants from other conrail roads, such as the New York Central, and Lehigh Valley.
  by glennk419
 
green_elite_cab wrote:
N-Trizzy2609 wrote:Proto 1000 is re-releasing them this April. I already put my name down for two PRSL RDC-1s to convert into SEPTA.

Actually, the PRSL RDCs all went to NJ transit. Most of them recieved some sort of NJT disco stripe or NJ DOT circle. Only the Reading Company's RDCs went to SEPTA. In fact, many of SEPTA's RDCs didn't even belong to the Reading. They were transplants from other conrail roads, such as the New York Central, and Lehigh Valley.

I believe ALL of Septa's RDC's were inherited from The Reading although The Reading did obtain several used units from other roads, particulary the Lehigh Valley pair, nos 40 and 41. At least one unit was lettered for the PA Dept of Transportation while under SEPTA operation (or destruction, take your pick).

As far as the LL Proto 1000 models go, the do show up on eBay once in a while although the RDC-3 seems to be the most prevalent.
  by glennk419
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:I'll keep my eye peeled... In the meantime, could anyone answer me this... What is the length of an Athearn RDC from coupler to coupler? An the length of a Life-Life unit? I am designing a passenger platform and want to accommodate two cars.

-otto-
Otto, the Athearn RDC's come in at 10.5" coupler to coupler which would equate about a 73 foot car length minus the couplers. The Life Like models come in at 12.125" coupler to coupler which makes the model dead on to the prototype's 85 feet. Both were measured with Kadee #5's installed.
  by CNJ999
 
Hey there, Otto. As of this morning there are TWO Proto 1000 RDC-1's up for bids on eBay. Admittedly, these are the first that I've seen in a while. If it matters, both are also DCC equipped. However, this latter fact I would expect will result in them eventually going for higher than normal prices.

CNJ999
  by ApproachMedium
 
$75 is not bad for an RDC-1. There is also a C&O one on there too.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
glennk419 wrote:Otto, the Athearn RDC's come in at 10.5" coupler to coupler which would equate about a 73 foot car length minus the couplers. The Life Like models come in at 12.125" coupler to coupler which makes the model dead on to the prototype's 85 feet. Both were measured with Kadee #5's installed.

Thank you, thank you. Very much appreciated. So in theory, I need 24.25" inches of platform if I want to hold two cars. Platform I'm using is 10.5" long. Good thing I got three kits!

http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/322-121

-otto-
  by jwhite07
 
Reviving a very old thread here, but an appropriate place for my inquiry:

Wanting an RDC for my layout and very deliberately not wanting either an Athearn (too short) or Rapido (too expensive) one, I got on evilBay recently and found a P1K RDC, fully aware that it was not DCC-equipped, for a very reasonable price. When it arrived, I unboxed it, put it on the test track, and it runs like a top with my ancient Tyco power pack.

Now, to equip it for DCC. Granted, I had not done any investigation about what it takes to get DCC into one, but I figured it would not take all that much effort. Maybe I was wrong? The DCC conversion articles for this model that I have found all talk about cutting traces on the board and soldering each of the eight individual wires on a decoder to the board and even removing diodes and soldering jumpers and extra resistors and a whole lot of other rather drastic measures. Really?

Am I capable of doing that kind of stuff? Yes, I am. I know which end of a soldering iron not to touch, and in fact, very few of the locomotives I own came with DCC out of the box. I've put six-function decoders, full LED lighting, and even sound into Athearn Blue Box, Atlas Yellow Box, and other legacy locomotives many times. It's usually a pretty straightforward process that I'm very comfortable with. But do I want to go through all this PC board surgery and whatnot on this RDC? Not particularly - even finding that one resistor specified can be a pain. Not like you can just jump in the car and run down to Radio Shack... more likely you'll find it online, pay a buck for the resistor, and $10.95 for shipping. Nah, there's got to be a better way out there.

I have not yet taken the shell off and looked around the innards yet, but before I do, a few questions - what is so important about that PC board that everything I see online about DCC conversion of this model specifies keeping the thing and doing moderately serious hacking on it? Couldn't I just rip the whole PC board out altogether, figure out how to isolate the motor, and hard wire a decoder to the track and motor leads as if it was an old Athearn? Also, was there really never a "drop in light board replacement"- type DCC decoder ever made for a LL P1K RDC, and if there was, what was the manufacturer and model number? Anyone have firsthand experience with any of the above methods who can comment? Thanks!
  by ApproachMedium
 
I have done quite a few of these RDC cars. I dont recall removing any resistor? thats only if you want to change from bulbs to LEDs, youll need a different resistor. You could rip the board out, the motor is already isolated, but if you did all that how are you going to keep all the wires and junk up and out of the way? If you have one of the ones with windows you can actually see inside the car, then youll want that board to keep everything tucked up and away. Either way, i found that solidering to the board to be fairly straight forward, the pinholes are marked with the same numbers as the wires would be for an 8 pin decoder. These were the first trains i did my own DCC installs in. There was never any light board replacement made for these cars.
  by jwhite07
 
Thanks, AM! Kind of odd that there was never a drop-in DCC replacement, but they can't do them all I guess.

My main concern was there was something on that board that the RDC couldn't "live without", and/or that the motor could not be easily isolated from frame/track power. Now that I've opened it up, I can see that as you said, the motor's already isolated, and there's really nothing special about that board other than it provides directional lighting for the incandescent bulbs at each end. I am going to pull out the incandescent bulbs and install LEDs (headlights, markers, and ditch lights on both ends!) anyway, so the plan will be to just go ahead and yeet that whole board and install any decoder of my choice. There's plenty of space above the windows to keep decoder and wires out of sight, and the one I have is an RDC-3 with the baggage/RPO compartment, so I have no excuse if any wires are visible afterwards!