Bill and Tom's EXCELLENT ADVENTURE in Logging and Mining

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by Doctor G, May 28, 2009.

  1. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    That would be an interesting thread to follow along.

    Doc Tom
  2. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I got a spring cut down to size to make a good trailing truck spring for the Bowser 4-4-2, next I have to build it some auxiliary electrical pick ups. this photo shows the massive size of the ancient and honorable Pitman motor I can use parts of this motors frame, it's bearings, and the shaft and worm if I can find the right motor to remotor it with something that pulls less amps, so it can be run with a decider.

    in the photo is an Hon3 2-8-0, and an ancient ken kidder porter mogul, that just happened to be on the work bench.

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  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I spent the 2nd football game rebuilding Dr Tom's old Southern railway heavy weights. I resolved some coupler height wheel and truck issues, we will have to see how they behave at the club, but hopefully we have another full size combine, coach and observation car.

    I may bring my 5 car Southern open platform train to the club as well. at least until my RR rebuild gets a little farther along.

    with the photo, I couldn't help but have a little fun withe the available power.

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  4. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

    At the Clarksville club I've started to take on the daunting task of rebuilding the east end of the yard ladder and the trackage going to my Wistuckesee Paper Company. I've ripped up everything up to the main tracks and I'm seriously considering ripping up a good portion more just before it heads down the helix to the lower yard since that area is infected with nasty and questionable trackwork. Currently I'm still studying the area to see what I can and can't do with it, so no plans yet (that and I just pulled the pics from my phone). Here's a list I've established of givens and druthers:
    -NO MORE #4 TURNOUTS IN THE YARD! #6's will be the standard.
    -Handlaid turnouts are preferred, only under certain circumstances will commercial ones be used
    -Inaccessable turnouts will be controlled by pushrods, accessable ones will be controlled by the Caboose Hobbies thingers (can't think of what they're called)
    -A dedicated caboose track somewhere is a must
    -Both steam and DEE-ZUL service areas (since it's a club, gotta cater to both tastes)
    -A name for the yard (it's currently and probably has been the Big Yard since it's birth)

    That is all for now.


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  5. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    With the handlaid turnouts, you can't control the frog with the points with DCC, and we will not have dead frogs. so the caboose hobbies throws are out, we could use DPDT switches as ground throws, like I did on my rr or use the blue point controllers like I used in Patterson.

    We need to find a source of plain printed circuit board
  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I spent the morning, after getting some shopping done, and dropping my chain saw off for repair (I broke my chain brake), working in the engine shops. I fabricated some electrical pick ups from phosphor bronze wire, and got them soldered on to the insulated side of the Bowser Atlantic and the Mantua 2-6-2 that I an building for the club, as well as my Mom's old porter mogul.

    I got the wires attached and set up for dc ( in a way that can easily be altered of DCC later, on the Atlantic and the 2-6-2, so both of those locomotives will run without a tender now.
    Next will be to rebuid the tenders with all wheel pick up if I can, and get them back to the club for evaluation .

    I'm doing a bunch of electrical pick up work in order to be in practice when I go to add them to Tyler's monster locomotive, so I can do as neat and effective job there as possible

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  7. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Very cool. I like pictures like this, they definitely say a 1000 words. :)
  8. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    And as I have stated on my Narrow gauge engine shops thread, and elsewhere, added electrical pick up is the easiest and cheapest way to improve most old models, and some modern ones.

    ideally you want pick up from all the drivers, and all the tender wheels (the trailing and leading wheels are trickier, and any drag can cause them to be more prone to derail, so I generally leave them alone)

    a small square or rectangle of Pcb (printed circuit board ) is glued to the cover plate. or elsewhere on the frame with JB quick (5 minute steel filled epoxy) the phosphor bronze wire (available from Micro mark, and shipped in Tichy train group modern cars as brake line (that I leave off, cause I'm lazy), is bent to shape, soldered to the pad, and tweaked until good wheel contact is made, tested on the ohm setting of a mutimeter. solder a wire on, and boom, you have electrical pick up on the insulated side. I have even done this on the ground side of old brass, to get the power into a wire quick, as often old brass does not conduct electricity well across joints, and a thorough cleaning might damage the paint job.

    I used to be able to get blank PCB at radio shack, now they Just sell cell phones, and they look at you like you have antennae coming out of your head if you ask for blank PCB board, or a thee pole three position rotary switch. Clover house sells PCB ties, and I might have to start using those, when I run my current supply down,

    next to rebuild two tender's electrical pick up ;maybe three there is that ancient and honorable porter mogul on my work bench, my Mom wouldn't let me play with it when I was eleven, my now it is mine Muha ha ha haaa!

    Bill Nelson
  9. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    render electrical pickups, the first step

    I took a PCB tie, and used it to cut up six little approximately square chunks of printed circuit boards. I used J B Quick to epoxy them to the truck frame. On the tycho/ Mantua 2-6-2 I put PCB pads on each side, as I had replaced the trucks with MDC archbar trucks, as the originals had **** detail, **** wheel sets, and rolled ****; so I didn't want to have anything to do with them. The MDC truck frames are plastic, I replaced the wheel sets with some wheel sets salvaged from some old central valley trucks that had inexplicably developed some equalization issues in thier old age, and would not track for ****. the Central valley wheel sets are all metal, and with the proper wipers will pick up pretty well off of both rails.

    I only used pads on the insulated side of the Bowser trucks, and will for now rely on the metal truck frame and the contact with the tender to transfer power on the uninsulated side. I will usually do wipers on both sides, but the locomotive runs pretty well without the tender, so I will cheat for now; I can always add more wipers later. I am hoping to have both of these locomotives operational at the club on Monday night.

    with the practice I get working on electrical pick up on these dinosaurs, I will be ready and confident to start electrical pick up work on Tyler's massive locomotive, as the third step toward getting it back into operation, this time with DCC and sound!

    on an unrelated note, hunting for parts for this project I found a big chunk of PCB , that I can cut up to use on the switches for the Big yard latter (we really need a Tennessee sounding name for a place name for the big yard).

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  10. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Bill,
    Here are a couple of names for the Big Yard:

    Tennessee Yard (the actual BNSF yard in Memphis is called this)

    Brimstone Yard (always loved the name for the Brimstone RR in Eastern Tennessee)

    Great Gulch (sounds like Tennessee don't you think?)

    Thanks for all you are doing to make the yard a workable part of the model RR.

  11. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member


    As Dr. Tom said I like Great Gulch as a name for the big yard. It has that Tennessee style and kinda has a Gorre and Daphetid ring to it. I also wanted to suggest for a name Nashborough yard as it also has a Tennessee flavor to it and that was the original name of Fort Nashborough. That's just my two cents on that.

    Bill, it's good to see progress on that 2-6-2 and the Atlantic. One thing I'm curious about is the Digitrax sound decoders and how they sound. I've heard mixed reviews about their sound quality but at around $50 I'd imagine its about the same quality as the MRC decoders that were put in the Roundhouse 4-4-0's and 2-6-0's. The only neat thing about them is that for the price you can load your own sounds into them... IF you have the right programmer for them. If the quality isn't as shabby as I fear, I'd consider using them in some of the WRRy's steamers.

  12. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    I like the sound of Nashborough Yard too. Why don't we run it by the guys at the club this Monday???

  13. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    We ciold stick a digitrax sound decoder in something and test it if you like, I was thinking a sound decoder would be good for that Southern 2-8-0, that is inexplicably wearing the Green and gold passenger livery. it runs very well and is quiet.

    I bought a MDC sound decoder for the Mantua 2-6-6-2 that is burred deep in my shops, I have done a lot of fork to increase it's weight, stuffing it with chunks of Tungsten welding rods. The tool truck I bought the welding rods from was like " I don't know if you want these, they are expensive. I told him, they are for model train weights, they are heavier than lead, and the only things heavier are gold and platinum. the 2-6-6-2 needs ome more tungsten added ito the cab to balance it ( it is nose heavy), and it needs more and better electrical pick ups.

    I bought the MDC sound decoder on sale, but it was a dumb expenditure as it sounds so bad compared to the tsunami, tsunamis sound great.
  14. macwatch

    macwatch New Member

    Radio Shack pcb

    Bill- my local Radio Shack still has the blank PCB stock and they even know where it is- if you want I will pick up a sheet of it and send it your way...

  15. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member



    Pick me up 3 sheets (With major projects at the club and at home in the planning stage I will want lots) , pack it up with the C-21 fragments, and post it here, tell me cost of stuff and shipping, and I'll get you a money order for that amount +25%.

    The huge turning radius of the Balboa On3 C-21 will have been greatly affected by the tender. I don't have a tender, and will have to build one. since I'm not aiming at the D&RGW, I can fool around with the tender design, and perhaps get a more useful minimum radius.

    I will try to bring some homabed samples to the club on Monday, and a belt sander and an orbital sander, so we can start prepping the roadbed for the far yard throat @ fort Nashburg, and hope like hell we can come up with a plan that allows for an incoming and outgoing tract to the locomotive servicing area, a supply track, to allow for delivery of coal and sand, and possibly a smaller coach yard ( no real room for a good passenger terminal, unless we cannibalize the first or last three tracks of the big yard).

    In the next week or so, I can try to fire up the sawmill and start knocking out the ***** load of ties that will be needed. start thinking about ballast, as the easiest way to get neat ballast is to glue it down with the ties, when there are no rails in the way. we will also need to start to plan for stuff like spikes, and blue point switch controllers, making estimates of what we will need and buying more, suddenly we have Tyler and Eric interested in learning how to hand lay track, if we get three of us capable, we can train others easily, and that could make a big difference in the club, once you know the basics, you can build an odball switch much faster than you can find, buy and install one.
  16. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Mack has the printed circuit board en route, along with an ON3 basket case Balboa C-21, that he was going to pedal for me on E-bay; until I decided that the prices on the locomotives were so far down, the basket case was probably worth more to me than I would get for it.

    We did some sanding on the subroadbed, and the homasote surface of the yard, cleaning off old ballast and scenic material, and other wise making an epic mess.

    We tested Tyler's monster locomotive ( see the Whiskey river thread in the HO section) and had issues with the DCC, either a low battery condition, or an intermittent short in the throttle circuit. the throttles would go all blinky, and we would loose control, untill we rebooted the whole system.

    I took the Bachman 2-8-0 in Southern passenger livery hove for some work. I have already made massive wiring repairs to this locomotive. Next I am going to replace the digitrax decoder with a Soundtrax tsunami (medium steam) have another of these locomotives at home, and I may install the removed digitrax decoder in it (if I can figure out where the short is that only shows up on DCC.

    alo on my work bench are some L&N passenger cars that belong to Dave. when the couplers were moved to the body, they were installed high. Also the trucks were originally pinned on , but the pins have been lost, and the pins have been replaced with nuts and bolts, but the nuts and bolts are too small, and allow the trucks to wobble around, causing all kinds of tracking problems. I have fixed similar problems with some Southern passenger cars from Tom's old collection; and will try to apply a similar correction to Dave's L&N cars.

    Hopefully we can replace the battery in the DCC next Monday night, and if that doesn't correct the problem, we need to inspect each throttle plug, looking for a short If any of the wires are crossed on the throttle pug circuit, it shuts down the whole system. I have fixed similar problems at the club twice, in spite of having no idea what I'm doing.

    DCC supporters claim the wiring needed is simpler than that needed for block systems, but they are clearly delusional. it is cool to be able to operate two trains right next to each other, but clearly the only real reason to go with DCC is the sound capability.

    Bill Nelson
  17. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Sr 622

    I have removed the steel weight from the bottom of the tender floor. it will be replaced with lead weights strategically placed to savoid the speaker and decoder placement.

    I am using a small razor saw to cut off the mounting studs for the steel weights odd flush in order to have a flat floor of the tender frame to drill holes through and mount the speaker on.

    then I will have to construct a speaker enclosure.

    The biggest chore will be tracing the wires. many of them had broken at the tender plug, and I did a lot of repairs, , so the wiring is not standard. naturally I don't have my notes as to what wire goes where. with this locomotive one must be careful as Bachman did some stupid things building this, for instance both tender leads are red; that isn't bad in itself, but on this locomotive, one tender truck picks up on the right rail and the other on the left, so there are two red wires from the tender floor, and they are of opposite polarity.

    my other similar locomotive is Dc, it runs on DC, but shorts out the DCC system at the club, I will have to check and see if I hooked those two wires together on that locomotive 's rebuild.

    the other green and gold 2-8-0 might get the digitrax decoder and live at the club, while the sound equipped version may go back and fourth between the home layout and the club.

    Bill Nelson

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  18. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Lookin good Bill.

  19. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I had a busy day yesterday, I had Sat morning off, for once, and got to sleep on Friday night like a normal person (this was not sufficient to make me a normal person, buy any measure). I got two truck loads of fire wood on the front porch; one from the drying shed, and one from a big pile I had cut from last summers windfalls on the north side of the house. The latter had all blown down in the summer, been cut up three or four weeks ago, and has been under tarps since. For once the tarps didn't blow off, and the wood is much more seasoned than I thought it would be. I figured half would go to the front poarch, and the other half would go into what is left of the back to back chicken shack for next year. it all was good enough for the front porch though.

    My wife did laundry, I did dishes, and cleaned up the kitchen, we went down to Gallitin to buy a antique mable top table for our guest bedroom, which when rebuilt, will be as fancy as the master bedroom, although smaller, as we will carve some of it out to make a 3rd bathroom.

    Then we went to the Hockey game, and saw our Nashville Predators crush the hated San Jose Sharks 6-2.

    I'm resting today, but I did drill out the tender floor of the SR 2-8-0 for the speaker holes. and start to measure and cut some heavy styrene to make a speaker box. I will need to solder on some speaker wires, and then I can start to build a speaker enclosure. the guys on the HOn3 chat list say a speaker enclosure greatly improves the quality of the sound.

    once the speaker is wired in , and an enclosure is built, I will have to disassemble the locomotive, and start tracing wires to figure out where all of those wires come from and where they go.

    One problem we may run into a lot of DCC systems are not stout enough to program sountrax decoders, and we might need to get a booster to get the system programed.

    time for a nap


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  20. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I have the bottom and sides of the speaker box built. I have the speaker wired so any current induced into the speaker wire will cancel itself out. there is enough space above the speaker box to allow the decoder to sit right on it, and clear the tender shell.

    Next I will have to start dealing with wires, and I'm not looking forward to that.

    Bill Nelson

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