On SRman's Workbench

Discussion in 'Workshop Benches' started by SRman, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    In a fit of impulsiveness, I bought a Silver Fox class 123 DMU conversion kit from their eBay store. I have always had an interest in the DMUs as an aside to the usual London and Southern-influenced stock, and have done quite a few conversions over the years. I had a class 121 'bubble car' long before Lima brought one out. I have class 104s converted from Hornby 110s, a class 120 converted from class 117 components with Craftsman brass etched overlays, and have done several conversions of Lima's class 117 to provide DMS cars rather than having two DMBS cars in a set.

    With this list of previous conversions in mind, plus future class 119 and 129 conversions still in their boxes, I have now set up the class 123 Swindon Intercity unit to be done. This will accept several compromises, not the least of which is that the 123 units did not really have mark 1 side profiles, but had a flatter upper section and shallower windows. However, the layouts of the internals and external windows and doors was very, very close to those of the equivalent mark 1 coaches. The set will be a 4-car unit with this formation: DMBSO + CK + SO + DMSK. I used mainly bargain bin coaches from Bachmann, but was only able to get a CK and SK in blue and grey (saving repainting of the centre coaches). You may notice that one of these needs to be an SO rather than a corridor SK. I dismantled one of the maroon SOs that I had bought, and swapped the roofs and interiors (the roof vent layout is different between SO and SK), and fitted B4 bogies while I was at it.

    The driving motors should have B5 bogies, but I will accept the B4s for now, but when I next order something from Replica Railways, I'll pick up some B5 side frames. I forgot to do this when I ordered a motorised chassis (64' with 12mm wheels), plus some other unrelated bits and pieces for use in other projects.

    One minor irritation is that the maroon SOs, as bought, came from earlier Bachmann moulds and had prominent transverse ridges on their roofs, while the blue and grey corridor pair (as bought) have smooth roofs.

    No further work has been done on the conversion other than that described above and the fitting of B4 bogies to the remaining two coaches.

    Here is what I have for now. There were extra conversion bits to be used in the Silver Fox box not shown here.

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    P_20191026_092955_vHDR_On
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20191026_092934_vHDR_On
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
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  2. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    A tiny bit more preparatory work on the class 123 DMU: I have removed all of the weights from the Bachmann coaches (it really isn't needed as they have more than enough weight in their construction) and removed the end handrails and corridor connections from the outer ends of what will be the driving coaches. The driving ends are actually going to be completely replaced by the resin components, but removing the connections will make it easier to cut off the coach end while retaining the headstocks and buffers.

    What is going to be the DMSK (Driving Motor Second Corridor) has had its underframe trusses removed and the battery boxes shifted, then the resin engine/transmission and fuel tank components glued on. I forgot to mark the position of the centre screw on the coach underframe, so had to guess where to drill an access hole in the resin base - I missed twice, but no real harm done. This particular coach has one body fixing screw at what will be the cab end that won't budge. I have stripped the head of it in trying, but will end up drilling it out completely when the time comes to dismantle the coach for the side modifications. For the DMSK, I have to remove one window bay on each side to the rear of the centre door, then shift the forward portion back to join it, then add the resin cab moulding, so the side ends up with the cab bit, four windows, door, then three windows, a door and a toilet window.

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    P_20191027_174838_vHDR_Cropped
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr


    The DMBSO (Driving Motor Brake Second Open) is going to require a lot more work to incorporate the motorised chassis.

    Thinking out loud here (so to speak!): I intend to use one of the Replica Railways motorised chassis (they refer to them as RPCs), but as an alternative, I do have a Hornby class 121 I intended for conversions, possibly to power the intended class 119 unit. If the RPC has sufficient power and traction, I may even be able to use a half-chassis with only one motor, thus hiding it in the van section and still allowing full seating for the open saloon section. That would free up the other half of the RPC to power my currently unpowered class 456 EMU.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
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  3. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    Some further work on the class 123 DMSK, which will not be motorised. I have cut the side sections and butted them up, trimmed the roof (although a tiny bit more may need to be removed, cut a section out of the seat unit, removed the coach end at the cab end, and posed the resin cab at that end. Nothing has been glued and filled at this stage, there is still a small amount of fettling to do. The parts are shown just after cutting, and assembled loosely in a way that gives an idea of how it will look once completed.

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    P_20191029_180336_vHDR_On by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20191029_183951_vHDR_On by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
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  4. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    Another small step in creating the class 123 DMU. This is the first fitting for the DMBS casting. A little trimming is still required, and the underframe will have to be drastically altered to allow the motor chassis to be fitted.

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    P_20191112_220609_vHDR_Cropped by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
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  5. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    A recent European loco purchased was this Swedish SJ RC3 Bo-Bo electric locomotive. I got it at a very reasonable price, otherwise I would not have countenanced buying it because is is a Lima model, with the construction common to the majority their British diesel models, i.e. it has a pancake motor on one bogie with diagonally split pickup and the horrible brass wheels. However, for all of that, it is probably the best running Lima model I have ever come across, with excellent low speed control on both DC and (subsequently) DCC. It was worth purchasing and converting to DCC.

    I was even luckier in that the motor brushes are already completely isolated from the power bogie frame, so hard-wiring a decoder was simplicity itself. I connected the red wire of the chosen decoder, a Zimo MX600 with its 8-pin plug cut off, to the electrical pickups on the power bogie, adding a red heat-shrink sleeve to the bare wire coming up from the pickups. The black wire was attached directly to the unpowered bogie's brass clip. The orange and grey wires were soldered to each brush clip, and the loco was tested on the programming track. It worked perfectly, and very, very smoothly first go. It even went in the right direction for what I wanted to be forwards.

    The model comes with directional lighting using diodes and bulbs. The lighting wires and diodes were removed from the dummy bogie's clip at the same time as I was soldering the black wire to it, and the light's return wire removed from the motor bogie pickup wire where it was attached. After testing the motor wiring, I could now wire the blue wire to both bulbs and the white wire to what would be the leading bulb (I like the unpowered end to be the "front"), and the yellow wire to the trailing bulb. Once again, I tested this on the programming track, and all worked perfectly when Function 0 was selected.

    The loco was programmed to its running number, 1058, and sent around the main lines with a suitable train, where it is seen here.

    All in all, I am pleased with it for what was a very low budget acquisition.

    I will in the future do something about the light bleed where the body halves join, and give it some rudimentary cab interiors, which will also prevent the headlights illuminating the (empty) cabs as they do at present.

    The coaches are from Roco and NMJ (a Norwegian firm I hadn't heard of before), and are of a very high quality.

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    P_20200126_113209_vHDR_On by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
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  6. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    As many of you know, I am also into model buses; here is the latest one off the workbench, with a couple of minor finishing touches still to come. It is a Little Bus Company resin kit of a 1936 London Transport country area forward-entrance STL (AEC Regent type). The strange doorless entrance took up two seating bays and was supposed to be draught-free ... it wasn't! The early greens varied somewhat and didn't weather well in service, but LT eventually settled on the more familiar Lincoln green for its country buses. I have tried to capture the look of the early lighter green livery as best I can with very little accurate information available.

    Note that this bus has been 'borrowed' for use on Green Line route Y1. These buses were intended for such use but deemed unsuitable, but were used when certain Green Line routes were reinstated during the War. Buses were known to be substituted for coaches on Green Line services many times to cover for failures or shortages. Green country buses were preferred, but red buses did appear on occasion

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    P_20200201_230619_vHDR_On
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20200201_230641_vHDR_On
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr


    What's missing? I have not yet added registration number plates or fleet numbers, and the half-drop opening windows (three per side upper, two per side lower deck) will be represented with microstrip on the appropriate windows.
     
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  7. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    Another Bratchell kit lobbed in yesterday in the post. This is another class 319 4-car EMU, this time in Thameslink livery (the previous one is in Network South East livery). Such is the construction of the Bratchell kits that one can get something incomplete but runnable in a short amount of time. The body shells and windows go together very easily with minimal filing, while the unpowered bogies take a little longer. I already had the Replica Railways motorised chassis waiting in the wings, and previous exerience with Bratchell's class 455 and 319 units meant I knew what to do to get a quick force fit in the Motor Pantograph coach. This involves cutting off the running boards along the sides of the chassis, and then filing/sanding the sides down slightly until the whole chassis just fits between the sides of the body shell.

    So, here is unit 319 388 posed after a short test run on Newton Broadway. It is still minus all the underframe equipment, and the motor bogie sideframes need to be shortened by 1mm each side to match the Replica wheelbase. I modified and shortened the coupling extension arms and fitted much finer Bachmann couplings to close up the inter-coach gaps. This was successful but needs just a couple of minor adjustments to even up the gaps, after which I will have to apply the same mods to the other four Bratchell units I have built.

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    P_20200219_182129_vHDR_On
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20200219_182207_vHDR_On
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  8. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    A while ago I bought a Bachmann Ivatt 10000 (ex-LMS) diesel locomotive in green, lined orange and black. This was the only livery easily available (and not at ridiculous asking prices), but I really wanted it in the earlier black and silver livery as running on the Southern Region, and to go with my existing weathered 10001 in that livery. 10001 had to have the extra lamp irons and (dummy) marker lights added, whereas the green 10000 already had those, seeing as it kept them after the Southern stint (10001, as bought, was modelled as she was prior to going to the SR).

    I bit the bullet and started repainting 10000 into black and silver a few days ago, and have just about completed the transformation now. I have added the BR crests, based on a photo taken at Bournemouth on the Internet. Once that has properly set, I will varnish the locomotive to protect the transfers and the silver paint, which can be a little less hard-wearing than some of the other colours. I also need to replace the missing horn at one end. I'll probably give it a very light weathering after all that.

    Both of these locos have been fitted with Soundtraxx Econami BR Diesel sound decoders, using class 37 sounds but with different horns selected, but they need better speakers fitted to complete that side of things.

    The photos show 10000 as bought, then after the transformation to an earlier time, together with 10001.

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    P_20181226_132459_vHDR_On
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20200227_232650_vHDR_On
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20200227_232708_vHDR_On
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
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  9. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    I got the hair dryer out today, and set the last of the Electra Railway Graphics SouthWest Trains vinyl overlays on the remaining coach of my Bratchell Models class 455/9 unit. For the first time ever, I can see all four coaches together in the same livery.

    This and the Thameslink class 319/3 still have no underframe equipment fitted, but both are fully runnable on the layout. I will have to apply the closer coupling arrangements to this unit, having worked it all out on the two class 319 units already.

    [​IMG]
    P_20200229_125116_vHDR_On
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
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  10. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    I have been wrestling with a couple of Hornby class 56 locos lately. The first has sound but the lights were defective, and the second had seized solid, as well as not having its lights.

    Dealing with 56 127 first, I had reblown the Hornby ESU v3.5 decoder with legomanbiffo sound, a slightly cut-down project to fit it on the decoder. I had given up on the lights as I could not get a flicker from them at one end, no matter how much I tweaked the contacts or fiddled with the wiring. I decided a while ago to order a lighting kit from Jason Edmunds (Stickswipe on eBay), who is always very helpful. He offered to split or combine lighting functions for the marker lights and headlights - I chose to have headlights on with the markers. However, I wanted to separate the tail lights out so it would be more realistically able to haul trains with head/marker lights on but no tail lights. Also, I dithered for quite a long time, trying to work out how to run the wires from the lights to avoid them showing in the cabs or behind the grilles. I ended up threading them around over the doors (so they can still open) over the side grilles at the radiator end, and then down behind the bulkheads, using 3-pin plugs to allow the body to be removed without too much disturbance to the wires. I put the blue positive return wire to the centre pin to ensure I could not accidentally short the lights out - it wouldn't kill them if I connected white to yellow by accident.

    I connected the head and tail lights at the #1 (radiator) end as per usual - white to head/marker lights, yellow to tail lights. For the #2 end, I resorted to soldering the yellow and white wires to the aux outputs on the 21-pin connector. The blue went to the normal connection on the PCB. To test all this out without accidentally killing the expensive sound decoder, I plugged in a much cheaper (non-sound) Hatton's 21-pin 4-function decoder and it all worked as it should, so the ESU decoder was restored to its rightful place. The first photo shows the soldered connections with the decoder removed and sitting on the speaker.

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    P_20200512_160954_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20200511_220757_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr


    The second class 56, 56 049 in railfreight red-stripe grey, was a different proposition. It was bought second-hand many years ago and worked fine apart from the usual bugbear of dodgy lights (hence I got it quite cheaply). I went to run it a few days ago and it sat humming but not moving. On dismantling, I found that by removing the bogie tower tops, which just spring off their locating lugs, I could test the motor without the drive to the bogies, which proved the motor was fine but the bearings on the tower tops had seized solid. The whole lot was swimming in an unknown oil, some of which had congealed and completely glued the worms and bearings. I removed these and soaked them in a combination of IPA and methylated spirits for several hours, and ceaned up some of the excess oil from the bogies and gear train. On reassembly I applied a small amount of oil to the drive shafts where they slide in and out of the shafts from the motor and flywheels and to the bearings at either end of the worm drive. On test on DC power with a blanking plug in place, the motor and shafts turned smoothly enough, with a little bit of bearing shriek from the towers. I unclipped the tops again and cleaned the worms and bearings again, then put it all back together, with the same result. Not entirely right, but at least it runs smoothly enough, but with some intermittent noise.

    Turning my attention to the lights, I found they were all capable of working, but weren't contacting the pads properly. A few judicious bends in the springy contacts resulted in some promising flickers of light, so with a little further tweaking I got them all working again.

    I ran the locomotive for a few hours on the rolling road, in both directions, on DC. It improved but still shrieked intermittently. Anyway, I decided it was sufficiently working to reinstall a decoder, this time upgrading slightly to a Lenz Standard+ v.2. Further running on the rolling road showed no improvements, but I chose to accept it as it is for now. Hopefully the proper modeller's oil will penetrate the bearings and shafts and quieten down properly with more running. The photo shows the locomotive before I fixed the lighting.

    [​IMG]
    P_20200604_200557_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr


    I have been reluctant to post too many photos recently because I am running out of space on the free Flickr site. I have to find another free hosting site or pay for an ongoing subscription. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
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  11. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Lovely models. Your a brave man going anywhere near these printed circuits. I can just about see the components. :avatar: big powerful brutes.

    Nice one

    Toto
     
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  12. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    It does take a bit of courage, Tom. :D

    That's one of the reasons I'll solder to the pins but never to a decoder. Even changing speakers where they are wired directly to a decoder, I will always cut the wires part way along and resolder the new ones there, away from both the decoder and the speaker.
     
  13. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    I hadn't realised Google Photos automatically picks up photos I post elsewhere. Not sure I like them doing this without my knowledge, but may be useful for the future. Testing here with the class 56 from the previous post opened up for inspection.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/FrstSf4okcn7XEnbA

    So far after a few attempts I can only get a link to the image rather than it showing up here.

    Trying something else now:

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    OK ... maybe not!


    Trying imgbox:

    [​IMG]

    This seems a lot more promising.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  14. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    Here's a project I started many, many years ago, but is now undergoing a little renovation and improvement. It is a 3-car class 117 from Lima. The original conversion included making the dummy DMBS into a DMS by replacing the guard's van portion with a section from a spare DMBS body bought for the purpose all those years ago. The improvements also included removing the gangway connections and replacing them with blank panels, and repainting the added sections to match.

    Flush glazing followed all this, although if I was to redo that I would try to mount it slightly more inboard of the window recesses as the vacuum-formed curved edges do show a bit here. I also modified the couplings to bring the cars much closer together, and replaced the ridiculously tiny Lima buffers with decent turned brass ones.

    The latest improvement done today was to replace the Lima chassis in the DMBS with a much more modern DCC-ready one from the Hornby class 121, bought cheaply a while ago with this purpose in mind. This required a small modification to the shape of the end going int the brake van end as the 121 has a shaped ledge for the 2nd driving cab, whereas the 117 needs a flat end with a slight recess over the buffer beam, easily achieved in just a few minutes with a file and a cutting disc in the Dremel. I have not yet painted the new buffer beam red at the driving end, nor have I weathered and painted the underfloor detail on the new chassis, but these tasks will follow soon.

    Better headcodes with the correct character typeface will also be fitted soon.

    I also have a lighting kit I can install to provide head and tail lights at each end, but that will also require some pickups and a decoder in the DMS car. Technically these units in green should not have tail lights as such, but should have an oil tail lamp hung on the rear of the cab.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    When the Heljan 1366 pannier tanks became available at bargain prices at Rails of Sheffield, I grabbed the cheapest one I could, with a view to adding it to my industrial fleet. As it happened, the livery I got was GWR green and it was the class leader, 1366. I checked that it ran properly, then chipped it with a Bachmann (Zimo) 6-pin decoder.

    I have now started painting it into a blue scheme to fit in with my other industrials. There's a bit more to do, but I think it looks quite attractive in this BR steam era express passenger blue. At this stage, I have retained the GWR numbering, both with the cabside plates and with the buffer beam numbers. I am undecided as to whether to keep it this way or to renumber in my industrial scheme. It's not that important!

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  16. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    I have put the body shells together on the class 310 I purchased from Andy Sollis recently. I probably won't do much more for the time being, but having done this makes it a little easier to deal with the construction at my leisure. The body shells are posed here for dramatic effect - I did make sure there was no power in the tracks first, though - brass bases! I didn't check to see if I had the 1st class end driving car at the right end, I'll worry about correct formation when I have completed the construction and painting. I could prime the shells at any point, but it would probably be better to fix the door hinges, handles and grabrails, and the roof details first.

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    P_20200624_220536_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20200624_220529_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
  17. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    My Hornby Stephenson's Rocket train arrived today from Kernow Model Railway Centre. A quick test on DC showed it to be a bit of a rocket, but it worked fine. Then I set about finding a decoder for it.

    A DCC Concepts 6-pin wired harness decoder was tried and worked fine, but would not fit into the barrel. A rethink was in order. I had a Bachmann direct plug in 36-568 decoder (actually a rebadged Zimo) and I know these work rather nicely in other installations. This decoder has rather long and soft pins, so having tested it and established it worked nicely in Rocket, I very carefully bent the pins over into a 'U' shape, using a metal ruler and a flat file to keep the pins straight and parallel. This allowed me to plug it so it sat straight over the Hornby socket and pcb, becoming so compact that not only did it all fit back into the barrel, I was able to stow the blanking plug in there too so it doesn't get lost.

    The first two photos hopefully show this more clearly than my words can. I know the tender is off the rails as I was trying to get a better angle for the decoder view. The third photo shows the whole train in service, after a lot of cursing while trying to couple it all up without accidentally uncoupling the previous vehicle at the same time. Shaky hands didn't help! I have made no attempt to make it a scene from Stephenson's time, with much more modern stuff in view. [​IMG]

    I hope this may help anyone who has had difficulty with selecting a suitable decoder for their 'Rocket'. It opens up the field a bit.

    One other observation with mine: the stiff wires between loco and tender have a tendency to lift the leading tender wheels off the track. I'll have to see if I can come up with a reliable fix for that. It is rather sensitive to dirty track, so I will have to send the track cleaners around before I can run it properly all the way round the layout.

    [​IMG]
    P_20200722_133733_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20200722_133810_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20200722_141053_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
  18. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    I finally got around to converting a Fleischmann BR 89 0-6-0T locomotve to DCC. This was the locomotive I originally intended for use with the Christmas train. I used an ESU LokPilot v5 Micro decoder, which has enough power handling for this locomotive and fits neatly into the notch at the top of the pancake motor between the motor housing and the metal plate that houses the rear light bulb. I had replaced the motor front plate with a fully isolated one to make the conversion easier.

    I have not wired the lights at this stage as I have to be careful with the live chassis, but the front light is still wired directly to the track (through the right-hand pickups and return through the chassis). This means that at present, the front lights are permanently on while the rear ones are not operational at all. I will rewire them eventually, maybe even substituting some 5mm LEDs to reduce the potential power strain on the decoder.

    I also found a solution for replacing the Fleischmann couplings and setting the replacement Kadees at a perfect height for coupling to adjacent vehicles - those Oxford Diecast self-tapping securing screws are very useful for a lot of things. Eventually I want to put the continental loop type couplers, but don't have any suitable ones at present. Using the Kadees means that the adjacent vehicle has to have an NEM pocket so I can just plug in a Kadee (#20 used here).

    One final thing regarding the running qualities. The BR 89 ran nicely striaght off, but tended to jerk on starting. I used the ESU self-tuning facility to good effect. Programming on the main, set CV 54 to 0, then select function 1. The locomotive takes off rapidly for a couple of feet while the decoder sets its parameters. After that, it runs very smoothly and controllably indeed, with only a little 'cogging' evident at speed step 1 (more a characteristic caused by the motor type and gearing).

    Also on the workbench is the commencement of ideas on the remaining green coach. I'm not sure if my artistic abilities are up to what I have in mind, but this is a start. there is a little more to do yet. Sorry about the surrounding clutter.

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    P_20200726_095621_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20200726_095709_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

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    P_20200726_095512_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
  19. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    Some further work on the Christmas coach: I am mostly happy with the way it is going, but the reindeer need more work. The one on this side is not too bad, but the one on the other side started off looking like a labrador with antlers. I have improved it, bit both need further work. It's not brilliant, but from viewing distances I think it can pass muster.

    Christmas in July has passed, but the whole train, with some added figures, will be complete for December this year.

    While I had it in pieces, I took the opportunity to paint the interior as well, although it can barely be seen.

    [​IMG]
    P_20200805_224802_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
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