Sep 15, 2020
Very nice effect!
That's just WRONG. I got into N scale because I wouldn't have to worry about things like this. Amazing, but just wrong.
That is really creative. Great for operating sesions!
How about a smoke generator under the body shell exhausting just above that journal?
Yes, and now to make it work randomly, and with smoke from the journal!
LOL That beats my old method of car errors. I had a couple of automated inspection stations on my layout and when your train passed it you had to choose a card from a stack monopoly style and read it. Most of the cards just said "All Clear" on it but occasionally there would be a card that said "hot journal 35th axle" or "hanging equipment # car" If you got one of these cards you had to stop your train and radio in to the dispatch. For the hanging equipment cards the operator could pull another card that would say things like tree branch remove and continue. or Brake system damage set out car at nearest siding, or something like that. The hot journal cards were usually were just a setout and then dispatch would send a wheel crew out to fix it for another train to pick up later. We had quite a bit of fun with it, and there was usually at least one event per session, but sometimes we would go many trains before seeing an issue.
I also saw at a Japanese train dealer circuitry that imitates the flash of a pantagraph on the overhead wire.
Seen that for a welding arc, before. Tried to even build a circuit for it but I couldn't get the randomness right.
I considered doing something similar using a D100 die. Roll a 100, pull a card. Otherwise, keep going. Can't be too specific because what if there is no 35th axle?
This car is done using some Fox Valley 33" .540 wheel sets, red 0402 SMLEDs from Streamlined Backshop, and a TCS FL4, with a TCS KA4 to keep things working smoothly if it hits dirty track. The decoder actually sits on top of two 1/8 oz tungsten weights to help with power pickup. The KA4 keeps the car lit for three or four minutes without power. There's an LED on each side, with function 5 on purple, function 6 on green, and function 7 lighting up both. Reason for two is so that the hotbox can be viewed from either side, in either direction. Using F5, F6, and F6 allows me to free up F0, F1, F2, F3, and F4 for loco lighting, brakes, Rule 17, etc. I won't be experimenting with smoke. I don't want to deal with the fluid, refills, disassembling the car, spills, or getting residue on the track, scenery, or other equipment. While I had the car apart, I removed the truck mounted couplers from the trucks, and body mounted some MTL 1025s. I cut the trip pins off which is my usual habit.
I experimented with firebox flicker effect, but was never really satisfied with it. Plus, hot iron glows but doesn't really flicker. I ended up setting the decoder up for an extremely long Mars effect, with the brightness settings as dim as possible. Further, the max brightness duration is set as short as possible. The Mars pattern is so slow that you can't really tell that it's a pattern unless you sit there and stare at it. I don't think the changes in intensity will be as sharp when viewing the car as it moves on a train. My intention is that in an operating session, the dispatcher could activate the hotbox if desired, which would force the train crew to reduce speed and set the car out at the next siding. Could also throw it into a train on an N-Trak layout and give spectators something neat to notice as the train rolls by.
The rule then was the last axle of what ever train you were pulling. Most of my trains on that layout were 6 to 10 cars on average so there usually was a #35. I tried to make it something in the middle of the train so the operators had to think a bit on setting the car out.
That's what you get for using metal wheels !!!
If I could get enough 33" axle sets from Fox Valley, almost all of my rolling stock would have them.