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    • March 31, 2020 5:21 PM EDT
    • Thanks Pete. I did that about 12-14 years ago with a brush in my living room. It really looked great before I clear coated it which took away a lot of the dry brush effects, but from the right angle where you don't see the gloss (it was a matte clear), it looks pretty good.  While it was on the bench I wiped it down. On the cranks and rods I lost a bit of the paint from the oil.

    • March 31, 2020 12:58 PM EDT
    • Very authentic looking rust on that old loco. Nice work!

    • March 31, 2020 12:56 PM EDT
    • Jon my only point was the joysticks on the throttle, not servos or necessarily receivers.


      Glad you found a way to rekindle your interest.



    • March 31, 2020 10:22 AM EDT
    • I recently pulled my 2 Cylinder live steam Shay from moth ball storage, where it has been for 10 years, for a run around the railroad in a recent snow fall. This rekindled my interest in live steam and prompted me to look into improving it's performance.  Jason Kovac at The Train Department offers a number of simple upgrades that don't require getting into more complicated adjustments like timing.  Specifically, Jason offers two control valve upgrades; one for the finicky gas valve that is difficult to adjust and fails to hold it's adjustment for the duration of a run. The second is a steam valve that offers finer throttle adjustment that promises to improve low-speed performance.


      I ordered them up and they arrived on Monday.  Last evening I began the task of installing them.  First up was the Gas Valve shown here below the stock valve...


      Jason's replacement consists of a thread adapter that screws into the existing valve body using a high temperature thread sealant, then a new needle with a much shallower taper, finer adjustment thread, and two O rings.  Installation is a matter of removing the old, inserting the adapter and then screwing in the new valve using the knob.  On some locos this is very simple, but the Accucraft Shay gas tank is very close to the rear cab wall preventing the old valve from being removed.  The cab superstructure / water tank needs to be detached from the deck to allow access. There are 8 screws. Two at the rear of the tank, two on top of the T-Boiler and 4 under the deck attaching the rear cab wall to the deck which are removed from underneath...


      With the screws removed, I was able to shift the superstructure to allow access to the valve stem. Fortunately, the home made Johnson Bar/ Servo link was flexible enough that I did not need to detach it...


      Once the valve was in and everything back together, I realized that the replacement shaft was too long and wouldn't allow the valve to be opened more than a crack before conflicting with the cab wall. So everything came apart again so I could cut 2mm from the shaft with my Dremel.  Jason's site does mention that the length may require trimming.

      With the modified gas valve installed and the super structure replaced again, it was time to move on to the steam valve. The photo below shows the stock valve on top and the replacement on the bottom. The replacement has a much finer needle, more adjustment threads, and two O rings...


      This valve is a very simple swap. Just unscrew the existing one using the knob, swap the knob to the new valve, then screw it back in. No conflict with the super structure at all. Here is everything put back together awaiting the battery box and RC gear...


      Once everything was opened up, it seemed like a good time to swap the RC batteries. The last time they were replaced was 2010. Still plenty of life left, but a royal pain to chnge so I did it anyway! I cobbled this battery box together from two boxes so batteries would fit in the tank with the servo...


      The wood load at the right hides the radio gear and power switch...


      Gee, look at that. Model airplane parts used for a train. How ridiculous!!!


      Battery case closed up and back in place ready for the tank top and load to be installed.  Operational testing is scheduled for today.


      Two more upgrades I am considering is a servo for throttle control and a pop style safety valve.  Need to get a mini servo and experiment with placement.

    • March 25, 2020 2:15 PM EDT
    • Okie dokie.

    • March 25, 2020 1:21 PM EDT
    • Ken Brunt said:

      Jon, that link gives you the most expensive version, they do have less expensive ones. 

      Thanks.  Based on a recommendation from my son, who took college classes in video design & production, I have downloaded the free version of DaVinci Resolve. It has some high-end audio tools which is really what I am looking for as a feature.  Better yet, it does collaborative projects and since he is stuck home and unemployed, thanks to Lyft being a horrible company,  he and I are going to work up some professional looking videos for the C.V.S.Ry. website and Facebook page.

    • March 25, 2020 12:11 PM EDT
    • Jon, that link gives you the most expensive version, they do have less expensive ones. 

    • March 24, 2020 9:15 PM EDT
    • The edited video is done



      I really need to get a better editor, I kind of gave up on this one (Movie Maker).

    • March 24, 2020 11:16 AM EDT
    • Trying embed again.

    • March 24, 2020 10:18 AM EDT
    • Yesterday we had a nice little early spring snow storm. Since I'm home, thanks to coronavirus, I saw this as a great opportunity to fire up my live steam Shay for the first time in probably 5 years.  I worked diligently over the weekend to ready all the track and ran the Shay light once around late Sunday to test it.


      Yesterday morning I readied my camera car and set out to film the Shay from front and back as it traversed the layout. I'm deep into the editing process for a video that will be posted to the railroad's Facebook page which is available to view without creating a Facebook account.


      I took very few still photos, but here are some of the highlights and an out-take reel  from the video...


      The video is hosted on Facebook, and is public, but I think the only way I can present it here is via link, so here it is:




    • February 24, 2020 11:45 PM EST
    • Joe Zullo said:


      What transmitter and receiver do you recommend to get to be compatible with the eBay seller's servo package?

      I have little experience with this kind of R/C. I use the Revo system in my R/C battery powered locos.

      Hi joe, I answered this but somehow it never posted. Sorry this answer has taken so long. With the systems available now, most all, even the cheap ones will offer good performance. I would recommend the Tactic 4 channel trans, a 4 channel receiver, and the switch harness with dry cell battery pack. Later on you could go with rechargeable batteries if you want. I don’t know of a trans made now that offers a right stick that isn’t self centering so the trans will have to be opened up, the centering spring removed, a friction spring installed, and I add a centering notch so the gimbal will stay in neutral until moved. Tower hobbies sells the Tactic systems and all the pieces should cost more than $50 or so. The servos offered on eBay with the Ruby mount will fit the Tactic system because it uses the Futaba type J plug. They Tactic system will also accept the JR/Hitec standard servo plugs. Horizon Hobby also sells Tactic systems too.


    • February 23, 2020 12:27 AM EST
    • Changed my Ruby over to inside admission and it’s running really good but still a little better in reverse. When I get a chance to get back to it, I’m going to try and adjust it again. Going to drill the ports out to .073 also as it makes the engine easier to time plus supposedly adds power. 

    • February 21, 2020 1:31 PM EST
    • Thanks,

      Saved it for my future build.

    • February 21, 2020 12:09 PM EST
    • Me too, but there is (should be) a button on the right hand side that says DOWNLOAD and you can get the file.

      (the site is not set up to be able to fire off a PDF viewer automatically it seems)


      If you have trouble I can download the file and email to you.



    • February 21, 2020 11:41 AM EST
    • Pete Thornton said:

      It’s running in reverse much better than forwards and I spent a considerable amount of time (hours) adjusting and timing it on air yet it won’t quite run right.

      That's a common problem for the Ruby.  There's a bunch of instructions on MLS about fixing the problem of inside versus outside admission. "Optional Step 3 - Setting Ruby Valve Timing for Inside Admission (Hottmann Method) - By Dave Hottmann" is part of a document I have that I will send you or upload - it's a PDF with lots of photos called "Ruby Adjustments" by Dave Hottman.


      Let's try this:


      I tried your link and got: 

      The API information has not been configured.


    • February 21, 2020 8:23 AM EST
    • Ted,

      What transmitter and receiver do you recommend to get to be compatible with the eBay seller's servo package?

      I have little experience with this kind of R/C. I use the Revo system in my R/C battery powered locos.

    • February 20, 2020 10:33 AM EST
    • Some updated pictures.

    • February 23, 2020 3:10 AM EST
    • I also added a couple models from Peter K's collection to my stable, and one from Michael Torrie.   From Peter's I originally picked up the Pearse Switcher for my wife, the Climax then the Baldwin B1 from Aster.  Decided I didnt like the Climax and resold it on ebay for what I had in it.  I then picked up a super clean Aster GWR Pannier Tank locomotive from Michael Torre who is selling a couple of his engines thru Southern Steam Trains(Jim Pitts) website.  He also has a nice Aster USRA Mikado from the original(Japanese made/built) run.  Both the Baldwin and Pannier run like Swiss Watches.   Both are alcohol fired, which I am really taking to and enjoying over gas firing.  My wife loves the Pearse with its new Chessie System lettering my friend made for it and the RC control.  Our profit sharing bonus arrives right after my birth day, so one final engine from Peter's estate, the Aster GER 0-6-0 to become a "Thomas the Tank" will join the stable.  I will also pick up a brass brake van kit and some coal wagons for the Pannier and GER to pull.   Here are some pics to enjoy, the Climax had its own thread, GER wont arrive till mid March.     Mike





    • February 21, 2020 8:05 PM EST
    • very nice loco! thanks for the pictures!! gives me some ideas