N scale "What's on your workbench?"

Mark Watson Oct 28, 2009

  1. pdavidson

    pdavidson TrainBoard Member

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    About half way through the first round of structure building i need to do. Just finished a Faller concrete plant structure. Decided to take a break and work on something else for a few days so I have been fighting with JMRI Control Panel Editor the past few days. I can operate without it but I want one anyway. I have a working model of what I want but it lacks some of the finer touches I want to use. JMRI documentation lags well behind the current versions and the tutorials you can find on line are not much better. JMRI forum has helped a lot but they probably view me as a pest over there.
     
  2. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    For a plastic frame, these were surprisingly good runners and very willing pullers. IIRC, the front and rear trucks were connected to the motor with plastic tubing, which could destruct into a spiraled lump of plastic if the engine was asked to pull too much. You should be able to tap into the wires for a decoder, but make sure the motor itself is isolated. The big lumps of weight are easily milled if you need space for the decoder, just use a Dremel barrel cutter (105?). I bought three of the cutters, thinking they would not last but an engine or two. One has lasted 15 years and many locos.
     
  3. Sharky_McSharknose

    Sharky_McSharknose TrainBoard Member

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    The plan of attack is to shave the top off the rear weight just enough so the decoder and shell will fit. This will mean the plastic clip that attaches the weight to the truck tower won't fit anymore with the decoder in place. I will have to mount the weight with double-sided tape. I may have the Dremel bit Pete mentioned.

    The speaker will be the ESU 50321. When built with the full sound chamber, it comes out to the same length and height as the LL PA's fuel tank but is slightly narrower. I will use styrene to take up the extra space. For extra rivet counter points I'd like to try to simulate the rounded tank detail the stock part has, but if not then its not a huge loss. The skirting hides most of the fuel tank detail but it is slightly visible through the middle stirrup steps. Especially after I painted it silver to match the prototype, D&H 18 (the LL PA's fuel tank is painted black from the factory). The sound chamber will be mounted with double-sided tape. The speaker wires will be routed through the chassis.

    You can see what I'm talking about with this skirtless (Archer: Hey! Phrasing!) NYC PA.
    [​IMG]

    I'm waiting on a ESU LokSound Micro Select to arrive. I have a LokSound Micro V4.0 already but I'm anticipating I will never remove the decoder from the PA, so I can keep that decoder for a engine with an easier install.

    The wiring is pretty easy on the plastic frame LL engines. I found this video for a motor-only install in the very similar LL E6. I already desoldered the motor from the pickups and added Kapton to where the lower motor brush pickup used to touch the contact.



    I will take pictures of the install when I'm done. Thanks for the encouragement and advice!
     
    Kurt Moose and badlandnp like this.
  4. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

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    An esu decoder for my C&O Mikado
    A 2-8-0 in various stages of bashing
    A scratch built WM station that I need to finish
    A trio of triple hoppers that require decals

    Busy!
     
  5. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    On my layout I have been using those plastic throttle holders by New Rail Models and like them just fine. As my layout has expanded I needed to add a few more but it seems they are no longer made and the ones I found on ebay seemed to cost about 3 times what I remember paying for the ones I have. So I decided to see if I could make something similar from the small scraps of plywood and hard board that I have in a bin. This is what I came up with. First the parts before being glued together.
    ThrottleHolder1.jpg

    Assembled with carpenters glue and sanded. There are a couple of screw holes in the back to mount it. Now just needs paint. ThrottleHolder3.jpg
     
  6. Sharky_McSharknose

    Sharky_McSharknose TrainBoard Member

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    I've made progress on the Life-Like PA DCC+sound install. It's been a massive pain in the... caboose, but I've got the motor and headlight functions working and the shell (barely) fits onto the chassis. I'm going to tackle the speaker by the end of the week. I'll post a seperate after-action build thread when its done. Spoiler alert- Installing DCC+sound into a L-L PA is hard!

    Aside from that, I (mostly) fixed some bad hunting in my Con-Cor/Kato J3a Hudson, and put a few undecorated shells through the paint booth for primer.
     
  7. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    I picked up a few N Scale Kits flatcars. While the cars are interesting enough, I’m planning some exciting prototype based loads.
    F676B2E0-D3E7-442B-B6F7-5E27628161BC.jpeg
     
    badlandnp likes this.
  8. pdavidson

    pdavidson TrainBoard Member

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    My "workbench" still looks like a disaster area but I hit a milestone in my N scale layout construction. Finally at the point where I can seriously run trains across my entire layout including all the spurs. Been working on my current layout about 3 years and have been able to run selected areas but not the full layout. All track (Kato Unitrack) is in place and tested, about 50% of my structures have been built and are sitting (unattached) in their correct spot and a small amount of landscaping has been done. I thoroughly cleaned all my track the last few days in prep for my first official train. By official train, I mean one that uses a JMRI control panel (via PanelPro) and JMRI OpsPro to build a route & train that will pick/drop cars at designated locations.
    Although I am happy to be at this point where I can fully run trains, I now have the rest of the mountain to climb where I need to split my available time between running trains and finishing construction projects such as building more structures, landscaping, wiring up all the lights I included in my building along with working to get all my car inventory up to speed. Most of my inventory is in good shape but I have a lot that needs new couplers and metal wheels.
    Whooooo Hoooo
    Paul D
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  9. TonyHammes

    TonyHammes TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]

    Clearwater River Bridge, Lewiston Idaho. 70% compression



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    HemiAdda2d, Trains, jpwisc and 13 others like this.
  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's really neat Tony -- great job on the bridge!
     
  11. vicsmodels

    vicsmodels TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Tony,
    Great looking bridge, love that sort of modelling. look forward to seeing it finished.

    regards
    Vic Fitzpatrick
     
  12. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    So, is that a swing bridge right in line with a lift span? I wonder what the story is behind that.
    Kind of behind the dike in this image.
    bridge.jpg
     
  13. TonyHammes

    TonyHammes TrainBoard Member

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    The bridge originally had a swing bridge and then 6 sections of truss bridge. The swing bridge was originally built to allow riverboats to access the Clearwater River to the east. The bridge was 15-20 feet above normal river levels. When they dammed the Snake River they built the levee and replaced two truss bridges with the lift bridge to allow for river traffic to go east to include large barges and tugs. They also replaced the south truss bridge with a deck girder bridge over the road.
     
    r_i_straw likes this.
  14. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    I have Kato F3s, F7s, E8s, and E5s (total 16) and 3 LL DL109s to get M/Ts over the holidays. I won't want to see another set of #1128s for 20 years after this !!!
     
  15. pdavidson

    pdavidson TrainBoard Member

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    A suggested approach to the Kato units is the MTL 2001 kit. It includes 2 MTL couplers. It has a 2004 for the front and it is already built up (YEA!). For the rear it includes a 1128 (which I hate and avoid whenever possible). In general, I run my Kato F units as part of a ABA type of setup with an "A" unit on each end. I only do the MTL on the nose of the "A" unit and I leave the Kato coupler on the B units as well as the rear of the A units.
     
  16. pdavidson

    pdavidson TrainBoard Member

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    Finally resolved a motor issue I had with several Atlas Dash 8-40BW Santa Fe locos I have. I wanted to run them in a consist but there was a major mismatch in the motor speeds among the units. One (early production) had a gray motor and it was very fast. Another (more recent production) had a black motor and was VERY slow...even slower than what I would expect from an Atlas scale speed motor. Impossible to speed match them so I decided to re-motor them. After playing around with various motor combo's, I eventually replace both motors with the Atlas 541100 (current production scale speed). The new scale speed motors run much slower than I would like for these mainline locos but they both now run the same so I can consist them. So far, it does not look like I will need to do anything to speed match them.
    Paul D
     
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  17. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    I have 2001 kits, but my 2004s aren't assembled. I don't like 1128s either, but they have gone well... so far !!! As a rule, I put M/Ts on both ends of everything... except snow plows, of course !!!
     
  18. Sharky_McSharknose

    Sharky_McSharknose TrainBoard Member

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    I have installed #1128s in a Kato F7 and L-L PA, and I have one more install to do in a Kato E8. The F7 seems fine, but I may have cut off a little too much of the spring post on the PA because the coupler would droop. It was quite annoying. I had to place a shim behind the M-T C-shaped pocket thingy, which has helped stop the drooping.

    I didn't know L-L made a DL109. Is that a plastic-frame loco? If it is, then it should be easy to convert to a body-mount coupler. I plan on doing that to my PA once the DCC/sound installation is done. That project keeps hitting snags, though.

    The toughest M-T install I had to do was on my E-R A-B Sharks. I followed this website for instructions. https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/nscaletalk/mtl-couplers-and-dcc-for-er-b-39-mann-sharks-t278.html
     
  19. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    Our Christmas layout is on the workbench, uhm, dining table. It needs some snow. I think it will snow tomorrow.

    20181222_171901.jpg
     
  20. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    Sharky, I made 400 of those shims last year so I will never have to make them again !!! Mine are .40 T-shaped plastic. I use them on Kato passenger cars also. I just cut the spring post thing completely off. The DL109 is metal frame, coupler is truck mounted. Most difficult M/T conversion was B-mann 4-8-4 pilot. That was an all-nighter and it came in handy being able to cuss in four different languages !!!
     
    HemiAdda2d likes this.

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