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Model Railroading > NWSL Stanton Drive, opinions

Date: 02/23/15 18:47
NWSL Stanton Drive, opinions
Author: J.Ferris


Has anybody used the NWSL Stanton Drives? I would like to know how well the operate and if they are worth the price.

Thanks in advance.


Date: 02/23/15 19:55
Re: NWSL Stanton Drive, opinions
Author: fbe

I haven't tried the new Stanton drives yet but I have a couple of the old PDT version and they are smooth and reliable. I might give the Stantons a try on some old Suydam electric switchers one of these days.

Posted from Windows Phone OS 7

Date: 02/23/15 19:58
Re: NWSL Stanton Drive, opinions
Author: SteamTrainJunkie

I found some guys review, here it is .

I purchased a couple Staton Drives about a year ago. I'm building an On30 coal mine and wanted to use a single Stanton Drive as the basis for a battery powered Westinghouse mine locomotive. That required the Stanton drive to function on its own without a second Stanton coupled to the same locomotive. The results were not encouraging and I have since abandoned the Stanton drives for my application.

Because I'm molding a mine I wasn't too worried about top end speed. What I needed was excellent low end performance. I experimented using the Stanton Drives on DC and DCC with Digitrax and Zimo decoders. Both Stanton Drives I purchased and tested gave similar results in each power configuration. The minimum sustainable speed was 12 to 15 smph. I needed to see under 5 to even consider using them. Even at 15 the drive was not what I would consider smooth. After considerable break in time the performance above 30 smph did smooth out pretty well, but speeds below 30 remained noticeably jerky. Pulling power was quite good for the size of the motor. I was able to add a fair amount of weight to the Stanton Drive by modeling the batteries in lead. That allowed a single drive to pull a dozen Bachmann On30 die cat metal mine carts with minimal wheel slip at starting. Each of the Bachmann mine carts is about equivalent to an MNRA weighted 40ft. freight car in HO.

My project was quite a bit different than a normal HO application, so you should take this with a grain of salt. I never tested the two Stanton Drives together. They may have better slow speed performance if they're run as a pair. But, by themselves I did not find their performance even close to satisfactory.

Date: 02/23/15 20:32
Re: NWSL Stanton Drive, opinions
Author: pmack

Since we're not talking about actual experience with them, I've only seen them on one model on a different forum. I was curious and asked the owner and he said they were much better than the old power truck NWSL used to have.

Date: 02/24/15 13:06
Re: NWSL Stanton Drive, opinions
Author: rnb3

Here is my experience with a Stanton Drive.

I recently completed a locomotive crane project in 2 rail O scale. This was a conversion of a 3 rail unpowered toy to a self-propelled scale model. The crane functions (boom up and down, turn left and right, etc.) do not work. I chose a custom Stanton drive for the power. As this model is O scale, the drive was custom made for me by NWSL using O scale wheels and oversized axles. All of the rest of the drive’s specifications fall within the standard catalog offerings. My drive is controlled by an S-Cab R/C system using a LiPo battery for power and a Tsunami DCC decoder for sound and control. I can run the crane using full R/C or switch to traditional DCC control through the rails. Power for the motor is always from the battery.

Mounting the drive was very easy. Adding the simulated truck side frames was also pretty straight forward. Wiring the drive for DCC is straight forward as it is designed for DCC. If using straight DC, just connect the pickup wires to the motor wires and it is all done. All of this is accomplished below the model frame, leaving the shell/body empty for details, weights, or as in my case, batteries and R/C stuff.

From a performance stand point, this is the best no-flywheel mechanism I’ve used. The gearing and fit is well done, the motor is strong for its size, and the craftsmanship is top notch. Slow speed is decent if not a little fast but smooth. Of course this is most apparent during starts and stops. I wish it would run a little slower, but without a flywheel the mechanism is pretty close to its limits. I have been working on a “cogging” issue that turned out to be a DCC decoder issue and not related to the actual mechanism. I have put some time into dialing in the CV settings that feed the Back-EMF control, and have begun to find success smoothing the motor out at the lowest speed settings. I’m still refining this and expect to fully eliminate the “cogging”. During tests on the layout, the crane was able to push/pull three O scale hopper cars weighing 16 oz. each up a 2% grade. Normal usage will be just one gondola that serves as the boom tender.

I plan on using more of these drives in the near future to power a couple On30 diesels. These will use two drives each, leaving the cab free for some visual eye candy detailing that O scale is famous for and the hoods empty for hiding more batteries and speakers! The drives are a little pricey but I think worth it. Your mileage may vary!

Rick Bacon
Windsor, CO

Date: 02/24/15 13:55
Re: NWSL Stanton Drive, opinions
Author: HB90MACH

I have two locomotives equiped with them. NCE is the dcc system. I have steep 3.5 percent grades. They do good under the old blue box athearns. Smooth quiet and respectable pulling.

Date: 02/24/15 21:17
Re: NWSL Stanton Drive, opinions
Author: pmack

rnb3 Wrote:
> Here is my experience with a Stanton Drive.
> I recently completed a locomotive crane project in
> 2 rail O scale. ...

More photos or a new thread? I'd like to see more.

Date: 02/25/15 05:56
Re: NWSL Stanton Drive, opinions
Author: rnb3

pmack Wrote;

> More photos or a new thread? I'd like to see
> more.

There is more on the crane here;


Rick Bacon
Windsor, CO

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