Sunday, October 25, 2020

DC&L RY Number 3 and 4 Back in Service

 I have been very slow to replace/return the two WOW decoders in two separate engines that I have. Both were purchased and installed at the same time and both failed at the same time. The fist is a GrandtLine porter that I build when I was 1in high shcool and rebuilt several times adding DCC in the last rebuild. Tight fit for the speaker, decoder, and stay alive. The Flying Zoo Climax also has a very tight fit for both the decoder, stay alive and small speaker. They were a BEAR to get in there. All those blasted wires and tight spaces! So, when the decoders sound failed, I checked with the folks at TCS about the issue, sure they are under warranty, just send them in. Problem - taking them out and putting new ones in was likely to cause breakage on the models and require more effort than I wanted to put in. So, they have sat for, well, a long time. 

So, instead of removing them, sending them in, and then installing them when they came back, I ordered new decoders and decided to swap them out. Get it over with in one difficult time. 

 The Porter

No. 3. is a plastic GrandtLine porter. I replaced the TCS WOW decoder with a new Tsunami 750. Soundtraxx decoders work so much better with those German Faulhaber motors. I think the 50:1 gears in the motor make them difficult to control. No idea but I have similar problems with PSC shays that use the same motor. The Tsumani 750 is slightly smaller than the WOW decoder and accepts the TCS stay alive. So, having slightly more space allowed for a much easier re-install than expected! Up and running in a little under an hour!

Flying Zoo Climax 
Replacing the TCS WOW decoder on the Climax was even easier! I forgot that the wires on WOW decoders have a wire harness for both ends! I just unplugged each and plugged the new one in. Very easy. The biggest problem with both of these installs was getting the wires just the right length. Not too short, not too long, and getting them all soldered together in a tight space with them moving all around. Since I didn't need to cut any wires or solder for this replacement - BIG SIGH of relief. Back up and running! Sounds GREAT. Amazing sound for such a little speaker. I think TCS has improved their motor control, as the engine ran great with no changes to motor control CV's. 

Bottom line. I'm really happy that I dug into this project. I'm happy to get both fine looking and fine running engines back up and running. Now, to send those two TCS decoders back for warranty, hope they will still fix'em, I have two engines waiting. 
Here's a short video of the engine on a runby
Cheers - Brian



Sunday, October 11, 2020

Albion- Upper Valence and LED lights

 I decided to tackle a project that I have been putting off for a LONG TIME. I've needed to put the upper valence and LED lights over the Albion module. I managed to get them up over the upper Wiscasset Yard module but thought with the odd shape, Albion would be a challenge. Not too bad. Last of my LED's.

 Here is mid way through. The framing.

Next is the nearly completed project. Still some painting and other items to finish.

Both together
Upper Yard with backdrop painted


Friday, October 9, 2020

October Coal Train

Some Coal Train Action in October, just before the leaves changed

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Log Train on the DC&L RY

 Welcome to September! I've done some small scenery work on the DC&L RY the last week or so and taken some time out to run  a train or two. Here are some shots that I recently posted on the O scale Narrow Gauge Facebook page. Seems like there really isn't an On3 page on Facebook. That's just fine. I'm back to looking at photo's to see what's missing from scenes and trying to tackle getting those item done.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Git er Done Mode!

 So, a while back I was going to take some pictures while operating the DC&L RY, a nice shot of a log train at Hawley Junction waiting for the local to pass by. Great shot till you noticed the unfinished bridge and scenery in the background! It finally got to me! I had torn out a completely good and functional bridge on the logging line because I wanted something more "back woodsy". That was likely two years ago? 

So, I said let's just get it done and work quickly, worry about quality later! So, here we have it, the completed log bridge on the logging line. I think it came out ok, good enough for now. At least it looks finished.

At the same time, I decided it was time to fix my "mock up" of the logging camp which I had moved down the mountain.  While it is still in "Git'er done" mode, it's coming along nicely. A bit small but that's all the space I have  for it. I think it gives the overall feel of a logging camp. More little details and scenes will help it fit in a little better over time.

Finally, while cleaning up a bit, I found a passenger car kit that I bought off ebay in 2000! Yikes! in the box for 20 years! So, Git'er done or get rid of it. It is a Star Models resin kit. Had some serious warp in the bottom casting. I got it out using hot water and weights but it creeped back in a bit before I got it glued. "Git'er done" meant I went with it! I now realize that the roof has to be glued on. Interior or no interior. That is the dilemma..............let's think about that a while............

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Wiscasset Yard to Albion

I recently took a little time to do some switching on my On2 Modules. Track work on the Wisscassett yard has been completed for a while and I have been using some car cards and switch lists. Working out the "kinks" like finding out that the guard rails are a little too close to the rails and need to be moved a bit. 

A whopping two car train and combine takes about 40 minutes to run from the Wiscasset yard to Albion and back. Interesting that such a short train can provide such fun. 

Here's the No. 7 setting up the train. That's the original car shed that was located in the Upper Yard in Wisscassett. While it was gone by 1910, I felt is was a better fit for the module than the gaint coal shed that came much later than the time period I model.

The train pulls into Albion, passed the coal shed. Wait, that combine doesn't look quite right?
 Spotting Cars
 Crossing the road to Tilton's Potato House.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Arroyo Tank Car Revisted and More

I recently finished up, i.e. painted, a couple of On30 projects that have been ongoing.

First is the new Arroyo Tram tank car. The model is my version of the Gilpin Tram tank car that was built in the C&S shops. The tank car was used to haul water to mines that had "bad" water for their boilers.

I also finished up and painted a Chivers Finelines flatcar, freelanced but based on the Gilpin cars. My last such kit. Sorry to see them go out of business.

Modern Cars........

Here are two all steel ore cars based on the old Roundhouse or Model Die Casting ballast cars. Years ago, I had seen a kit-bashed version similar to these. I have no idea where I found the picture but I liked it and picked up a kit to bash.

Long time later........I bashed this up so quickly that I bought a second one on ebay, super cheap. The only difference between the two is how I did the ends and where I located the chain turning mechanism to open the drop bottom doors.

I wanted to use trucks that have brakes that hang from the trucks, as per Gilpin style but SlimRails or the "new" Chivers Finelines closed down a few years back. So, while looking at Tichey archbar trucks, I wondered if they could be modified? Yes! A fairly easy and quick conversion though I had to wait between steps for the adhesive to dry completely. I think they came out very nicely and plan to modify a few more. I was even able to use the brake shoes that come with the truck kits.

The Chivers Finelines trucks are on the left and my modified Tichey's are on the right. Yes, I used smaller wheels to get the right coupler height but one could easily use larger Kadee wheelsets. The picture is mid production, so only one set of brakes is shown. The finished and painted trucks are in the picture of the completed car above.