Adding pickup contacts to N scale

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by bigphil, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. bigphil

    bigphil New Member

    Hi Everybody,
    I'm new here but have been fooling with N scale stuff on and off for several years. I have a couple of older Bachman 0-4-0 switcher type steam locos that have pick ups only on the 2 pairs of drive wheels. These refuse to run through the plastic frog of my switches unless you blaze through at high speed and they still jump even then. So I want to add pick up wheels on the tender. I did a search and found an article on doing this on HO scale stuff using some kind of commercial connector for a wheel wiper. I'm guessing that would be too big for N scale use.

    Anyway, has anyone here ever done this. I'd appreciate any help.
  2. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    do the other two wheels on the loco have traction tires? if not, wouldnt it be easier to add a strip to make contact with those instead of adding them to the tender?

    EDIT:: Welcome to the gauge.
  3. bigphil

    bigphil New Member

    No none of them have traction tires and they are close enough together that both pairs of wheels sit on the plastic frog at the same time. So I need a pick up spaced away from them a bit. That's why I figured the tender would be the best bet.
  4. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    Yes, you can certainly do this. I believe the best parts are the Kato tender wheelsets, which you can buy as spare parts and substitute on to your tender. These are properly insulated at the centres. A couple of strips of phosphor bronze appropriately placed can then take power from these -- use more than one set for the most reliable operation. You may be able to get them from Atlas, I don't know. Atlas have a more reliable spare parts service I think. Ask at your local hobby shop or favourite online store.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I saw somewhere that a person used the springs inside a #5 Kadee coupler for the wipers.

  6. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    These are wipers I installed on a Bachmann 0-6-0. The wipers are from a 70s era Bachmann F9. They fit without any modification other than soldering wires to them. I also added some weight in the tender.
    Only 2 wheels per truck pick up power through the axles. I have tried all wheel pickup with wipers to the wheels but it created more drag. and limited the amount of cars the loco could pull and didn't add much more reliability.

    Attached Files:

  7. bigphil

    bigphil New Member

    Did you cut the brass wipers yourself? If so with what? I've tried before with limited success because the brass deformed pretty badly when I cut it. Maybe I need to give it another try...
  8. bigphil

    bigphil New Member

    I think this is the one I found in the search I mentioned in my original post, but it is for HO.
  9. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    The wipers I used are a stock Bachmann part.
    I have cut my own wipers from .003" phosphorous bronze sheet with scissors or a paper cutter.
    They do deform when you cut them (curl up like a pigs tail) and need to be straightened out.
    I solder a wire in the center, feed the wire through a hole drilled in the truck and glue it in place.

    Attached Files:

  10. bigphil

    bigphil New Member

    Oh, yes I see you said that now. I should read more carefully. Anyway, I'm inspired by your additional photos to give it another try. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

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