Eastern Tn logging on the DG CC & W RR 1928

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by Bill Nelson, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Very cool thinking. Are you going to make this DCC?
  2. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    At this time it is being built for straight DC, however I now like to run two leads off of the motor, a lead off of the frame, and a lead off of as many insulated wheels as I easily can. that way when I inevitably have the motor wired backwards, it is easy to swap around. also that makes it easy to add lighting, or to add a decoder later.

    When I rebuild the NWSL Sierra #18, I'm thinking I will put a Tsunammi sound decoder in it. It had a Modeltronics sound unit in it back in the 1970s, so I have already butchered the tender. Later on I might add a Tsunami to the Ma & PA 2-8-0, but I'm feeling kind of cheap right now and don't want to spring for more than one Tsunami right now,

    I already have two standard gauge sound locomotives to play with at the club, a proto 2000 USRA 0-6-0, which is a very fine locomotive, and a Broadway Paragon 2 Y-6b. as well as my new HON3 Blackstone C-19, which is a very good running and sounding locomotive, with a Tsunami factory installed

  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    SMLA-1 M&P wring #2.jpg I have added two wipers to the 2-8-0. both made from .015 phosphor bronze wire; which is a good size for Ho. as the size increases the stiffness does as well and the springiness decreases. I'm not fully satisfied with the fit of the wipers, but they are close. from here I will need to drop the axles, and fine tune them with the wheels out, so there will be the right amount of contact when the wheels are reinstalled. a tricky process, but electrical pick up is the Achilles heel of many locomotive mechanisms.

    I want good contact without causing too much drag, and this is a pretty good size for a compromise. on lightweight HOn3 locomotives, where drag is more of a problem, I am likely to use .010 wire. This locomotive is has a good strong motor, and a good drive system, so drag won't be much of a factor.

    The front wiper picks up off of the front insulated driver, and the second picks up off of the two center insulated drivers. I'm studying to see if there is room to add a third wiper for the rear insulated driver.

    I have also found a way to re route the wire off of the cover plate (My addition- I like to get the electrons into wires as soon as possible), so that it is both much less visible and is tucked safely away

    The white and brown striped vertical wire next to the motor is the frame wire. the bare copper wire off of the rear wiper pad is the insulated wire (there is a jumper to the front pad). If I don't add a wiper for the rear insulated driver, then all I have to do is to experiment to find out which way to hook up the motor termianls so that the locomotive runs in the same direction as my others; add the two wires and a plug that will go to the tender, which will eventually be wired for pick up off of the insulated side as well (can't have too much electrical pick up ). I like to get as much of the electrical path as possible into wires, my theory old brass doesn't conduct electricity well!

    Should I wish to add DCC at a later date a decoder could be placed in the tender, and the power wires to the motor could be run with a separate plug. The brass castings for the headlights on this locomotive are primitive solid chunks, so If I want to make provisions for lighting I need to replace them or drill them out.

    This locomotive has some real potential, it is very handsome, has a good mechanism, and I have packed a lot of extra lead into it, so it will be a heavy SOB, and hopefully will be a good performer on the 3.3% ruling grade on my valley division.

    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  4. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    SMLA-1 M&P brking n.jpg I have run #1 on the test track, to determine witch direction this locomotive will go (double heading is important to my future operation plans).

    after establishing which direction it should go I hooked up jumper wires to the motor leads, and noted which orientation got me the proper direction of travel. I then wired the motor to the ground and insulated leads, and added wires to a two wire plug that will go to the tender, to get the insulated and the ground pick ups from the tender (once they are built) to the locomotive. I will endeavor to get wires attached directly to the trucks, so on the ground side I will only have the rolling contact point between the frame of the truck and the axle, before those pesky electrons get herded into a wire, where they will be safe from the resistance they otherwise would have encountered at the truck / bolster, and at the slip joint to the tender. remember old brass does not conduct electricity well.

    With the locomotive wired, I test fit the body. with the shell on it it runs off of the rails without the tender, indicating that my insulated pick ups are working , and the boiler didn't short anything out. I now have it upside down in a primitive cradle made out of a supermarket Styrofoam meat tray; powered off of the tender plug, and I am running the **** out of it to break it in.

    So far I have only one disappointment, the motor is such a tight fit that it touches the boiler structure on both sides, this transmits all the drive train noise into the boiler. the mechanism is quiet without the boiler on, but it is noisy with the boiler on. This is too bad. the next smaller motor is considerably smaller, and with the extra lead, this locomotive can use the power of the larger motor. Thankfully the slow speed operation is verry good, and it doesn't get real loud until it is run at higher speeds. If I were building this as a sound locomotive, or didn't have the 3.3% grade @ Tom's bend to contend with , I would consider shoping for a smaller motor. The basic rule is the bigger the motor the better low speed capability is, and I like them slow!
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  5. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Track planning again

    I have been playing on the narrow gauge with my new Blackstone C-19 with sound. (see a review in the narrow gauge section).

    Unfortunately, the C-19 is not stout enough to get up the outrageous grade up to Gegokayoosa.. there is no good way to gentle that grade, or to add much narrow gauge, so I am studying plans for radical rebuilding of my RR again. The original design problens that forced my mess of a RR are still there, so so far I have not gotten enthusiastic enough to tear anything out, but Crooked Creek (My sawmill town) State line (Dual gauge staging) and Gegokayoosa, narrow gauge return loop, are the only sections of my RR that I am thoroughly happy with, although the rest of it looks really good, there isn't enough room for my rod locomotives, and narrow gauge locomotives to play.

    Once again I am studying what other possibilities my space might provide in three levels with a helix tucked into a closet, I might be able to make a RR that is rod locomotive friendly, which my current RR is not.

    Bill Nelson
  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    SMLA_1  a 2-8=0 pr pnt.jpg I am inside taking a break from cleaning off the front porch, and did a little work getting the Ma & Pa 2-8-0 ready for the paint shop.

    in the photo the locomotive body , the tender frame and body, are in a margarine tub (clean) with some ivory liquid, waiting to get boiling water poured on it. The locomotive frame is already painted.

    after getting several baths with boiling water, it will get soaked in vinegar for a half an hour or so to lightly etch the brass, get more baths of boiling water , be allowed to dry . and then after masking a couple spots to preserve the electrical path, it will get some paint!
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  7. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Bill,

    Glad to see you working away and getting things done. I like the idea also of a three level RR with a helix.

    Hope you are staying somewhat cool up in the RR room.

  8. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    The old window unit from your place quit working a couple of years ago. I put in a unit Emily had at college, due to her allergies, and it is getting weak, so the RR room is somewhat warm

    the bench work shapes needed for my RR room make getting the design tricky, a lot of things will have to be simplified to make it work; I'm not sold yet, but I'm working on it.

  9. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    SMLA-1 Ma & Pa 2-8=0 w pnt #1.jpg 2-8-0 progress

    I am p the 2-8-0 together after getting it out of the paint shops.. I still have electrical work to do in the tender, mounting the locomotive-tender plug, hard wiring the ground side of the tender trucks, and and getting electrical pick ups installed and wired for the insulated side of the tender trucks, this locomotive is packed with lead, and should be a hoss.

    It needs to get a red roof, a green cab and a front coupler It would be nice if it double headed nicely with some of my other rod power, we will see.

    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    SMLA-1 Ma & Pa cab #1.jpg another green cab!

    The first green cab I did was on Dr Tom's #1 when I rebuilt it and painted it. Later, as I reworked a lot of my narrow gauge locomotives, the State Line RR locomotives got green cabs. I have considered blue cabs for the Marietta and north GA. locomotives, but not acted on that crazed impulse yet.

    The green cab trend has crept into the standard gauge now, and I may add this look to many of my standard gauge locomotives that have wood cabs, we will see, I do like the look. this one needs a second coat in places the green doesn't cover the black well.

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  11. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    dead short

    getting ready to work on the tender wiring, I did some tests on the locomotive, only to find there is a dead short with the boiler installed, careful study shows the edge of the boiler contacts the insulated pad on the gear tower, so I will have to remove the boiler, and do some judicious grinding with a dremil to ge the needed clearance.
  12. Big Al

    Big Al Member

    That is an awsome build!!!....and just for the record...My Dad was born in 1928
  13. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member


    I always liked this color scheme.....very classy. The green really picks up the tree colors (spring/summer) and really works well I think for mountain railroads in steam.

    My $.02.

    Doc Tom
  14. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I like the way they look with my green open platform coaches.
  15. Big Al

    Big Al Member

    Is that a Shay?
  16. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    This latest project is a Ma & Pa 2-8-0, which has the classic good looks and round builders plate of a Baldwin locomotive.

    the locomotive on the bridge in my identification photo is shay # 15 a PFm/United Hillcrest Shay I bought new back in 1968. I wore out it's original motor, and rebuilt it with a gear reduction motor. At 12 volts it probably does about 10 scale MPH

    I have two narrow gauge, and five standard gauge shays on my roster though, as well as a couple climaxes, and three Heislers. 2/3 rd of my RR is too steep for rod engines. looking through my long thread , should show glimpses of them somewhere.

    Bill Nelson
  17. Big Al

    Big Al Member

    Very cool....HO?......G.......
  18. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    The lions share of my projects are in Ho, and Hon3, I have a couple projects in On3, and some stuff in G , most of which I inherited from my dad, but most of my G scale stuff has gone to Dr Tom, since a move pushed him outside.

    I have a very long main thread, and lots of minor threads strung around I have some interesting builds in the your unique equipment thread in the logging and mining section, some stuff in the scratching and bashing section, and an Hon3 engine shops in the narrow gauge section. I try to document projects step by step to show the techniques used, check it out, and share your projects, this site needs more participation.

    Bill Nelson
  19. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    SMLA -1srt #1.jpg SMLA-1 clearance markings#1.jpg SMLA-1 clarance cut.jpg I'm getting ready to tackle the short I took a photo of the assembled locomotive, the contact is on the pad for the insulated wipers. It is not clear, but you can see the solder that holds the wiper to the pad just to the left of the red wire ( witch will need to be painted black) I have scratched the paint to either side of the contact as a reference to show exactly where the grinding will need to happen.

    In the next photo the body has been taken off of the frame, I forgot how tight a fit that motor is, and I am ready to apply the dermil

    next shows the cut made with a dremil with a grinding disk, like a cutting disk, but thicker and stronger so they don't explode when you look at them hard.

    This dermil has the flexible lead on in, not really needed for this cut, but my other dremil is set up for chain saw sharpening, and my chain is dull, and I have some trees down in the yard, so I want to leave it set up for chain saw use.

    I need to do some touch up painting (including that red wire, and then get it assembled, and perhaps I can get back to the tender wiring

    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  20. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    SMLA-1 2-8-0 elec con--- 1.jpg Progress

    The notch I cut in the bottom of the boiler opening was sufficient to allow enough clearance to prevent the short, and the locomotive ran with the tender disconnected, the pick ups on the 3 insulated drivers doing their job.

    Next I added the tender, the red wire from the locomotive hooks up to the insulated pick ups, so I soldered it to the tender frame. The locomotive runs very well with the tender hooked up. the factory slip joint on the draw bar is now discontinued, the draw bar is a mechanical link only. Those slip joints are often problematic on old brass, and I like to get the electrons into a wire instead.

    I'm liking the way this locomotive runs, it is noisy at higher speeds due to the hard contact between the motor and the boiler shell, but that is an inevitable sacrifice made when the largest possible motor is shoehorned into the locomotive, and the general rule is (assuming a good mechanism) the bigger the motor the better the slow speed, and I like them slow.

    Next I need to drill a hole through the tender floor, and design and build some insulated tender truck electrical pick ups, but that can wait, as it runs now that will be gravy ( you can't have too much electrical pick up). probably the next thing I need to fo is to get a coupler on the pilot, in the hope that this locomotive will double head well with some of my smaller rod engines, this thing weighs a lot with all of the extra lead packed in it, and with the biggest motor possible it may be a hoss.

    I my studies of possible re deigns of my RR my hope as to be able to make most of a redesigned RR with a 2% ruling grade, excepting a branch with an existing 3.3% grade. Math tells me that won't happen with the space I was panning on sticking a helix in. that helix looks like a 3.% grade would be necessary to get the separation in the helix, so the cost and benefits of a rebuild will have to be recalculated again.

    bill Nelson
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015

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