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    • December 3, 2019 11:27 AM EST
    • The power pickups are on the back sides of the drivers, and the drivers have plastic centers, so I don't think that is an issue Sean. (Also if there was a short through the wheels, it would have shown up already)

       

      So the power path is:

       

      Rail >> wheel tread >> brush >> spring >> brush holder >> metal "collector" rod    on each side... for each wheel.

      Rail >> skate >> spring / skate bracket >> rod  ... for the skate on each side.

       

      What is fishy is that he's  getting nothing, and that means neither the wheel pickups or skates are getting power... too much of a coincidence these 2 independent systems fail at the same time (likewise BOTH brushes fail too), so the common denominator is the "collection rod".... I think he's not getting connected to that properly.

       

      Greg

    • December 3, 2019 10:06 AM EST
    • Do the wheels have a plastic bushing were it mounts to the axle ?

    • December 3, 2019 2:22 AM EST
    • @Greg.   Thanks again.  When I have it all stripped apart again, which is where this is looking like it's going, anyway, I will take a shot of the top of this thing to better show how the motor interfaces with the bars and where the proposed jump needs to go.  It would not go to the motor directly, but, yes it could possibly impact disassembly.  No fun.  I should have some time to do that all later this week.

       

      Eric

    • December 3, 2019 12:38 AM EST
    • I would not solder the motor in place, it will make it a bit harder to debug.

       

      So you have the meter on continuity, good.

       

      So, for example, start on the engineer (right) side. You should get continuity from the skate to the rod, where it sticks through the chassis... check that... if that works check each wheel to the rod... if you don't get continuity, you can break it down... wheel to brush holder, if that works, then brush holder is not contacting rod..

       

      What is completely fishy is, reading as best as I can, you do not have anything from either wheel or skate to the rod... so maybe you are not contacting the rod... seems very strange of these 3 pickup points on each side, none of them work.

       

      Resist the impulse to jumper here and there in hopes of finding the problem, that will not guarantee a result. Work methodically and start from one point and then go to the next in the chain... somewhere the path is broken.

       

      Greg

    • December 2, 2019 11:14 PM EST
    • Greg & Rooster,

       

      Yes, this whole thing is, in fact, fishy.  Elecricity and the straight saw cut are my two great mysteries in life, but this should be a simple DC circuitry issue of getting the electrons to flow from "+" to "-" across a relatively simple circuit with a single load (Leave motor theory out of it for now!).

       

      I am, to be clear, using my multi-meter, set to the convenient setting that makes a "Beep!" if there is electrical connectivity.  In effect, if I go from skate to rods, I get a "beep."   If I go from brush to rods, I get a "beep."  If I put the whole thing together and go from where the wheel would contact the rail, I get nothing.  For that matter, I get nothing if I put one probe on the side that would touch the rail and the other probe on the side that  to rods, I get nothing.  As I explained to  Bill Barnwell via pm, it is as if the wheels had a thin, invisible insulator covering them.  I may give it a work over with a "greenie weenie" Scotchbrite pad.  

       

      Since my photo of the top of the chassis was too poor to  post, I should be more clear in my description.  The buses both hook up through the chassis along the centerline.  Just outboard of both buses are a set of posts (you can make them out to the right of the original picture where they penetrate and bend to hook in place) that serve to make contact with the motor tabs.  We used flathead screwdrivers as temporary jumpers and some test leads off a power supply and clipped to the buses to verify we can get power through the buses to the motor and make it work.  

       

      Anyway, I think we will solder a jump across the posts where they penetrate the top of the chassis to the other rods that bring power to the motor via the skates and just see if we can get this thing rolling on its own power, as you suggested, Greg, to at least see if we can isolate the fault a bit better.

       

      Might be a day or two, but I will keep all hands posted!

       

      Thanks as always,

      Eric

    • December 2, 2019 8:11 PM EST
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      Seems that this should be very simple.

      There are 2 bus "rods", each one touching 2 brushes and a skate.

       

      So, if you check continuity between one rod, and the corresponding skate, is it right? (I assume you are using a meter on ohms scale), if that does not work, you can debug the l shaped piece.

       

      Then you should check each brush housing...  if this all works, then the rod to the 3 contact points is working. Then you can work outwards.

       

      Something is fishy. On the other side of the block, do you connect the inner 2 rods (track pickups) to the motor?

       

      If your debugging gets this far, just put the loco on the tracks with power and see if you pick up your DC voltage from those 2 rods. Maybe your problem is not track pickup but connections further down the line.

       

      Greg

       

      Greg,

       

      I am wondering why you have to come to the conclusion that something is fishy ?  We have a + and - which = a POSITIVE and NEGATIVE ....Correct me of I am wrong which I'm sure you will but he did make the motor block work?

       

       

      There is a + and a - to everything.

       

       

       

       

       

      This post has been edited by Rooster: correcting for post counts and punctuation

    • December 2, 2019 3:04 PM EST
    • Seems that this should be very simple.

      There are 2 bus "rods", each one touching 2 brushes and a skate.

       

      So, if you check continuity between one rod, and the corresponding skate, is it right? (I assume you are using a meter on ohms scale), if that does not work, you can debug the l shaped piece.

       

      Then you should check each brush housing...  if this all works, then the rod to the 3 contact points is working. Then you can work outwards.

       

      Something is fishy. On the other side of the block, do you connect the inner 2 rods (track pickups) to the motor?

       

      If your debugging gets this far, just put the loco on the tracks with power and see if you pick up your DC voltage from those 2 rods. Maybe your problem is not track pickup but connections further down the line.

       

      Greg

    • December 1, 2019 1:32 AM EST
    • As promised, here is a more detailed look and update.

       

      Below is a picture of the chassis with its bottom plate off:

      At first, I thought it was a simple issue of the pick-up shoes.  I had placed the L-shaped brass pieces in the wrong way, and the wire bus was not making contact.  We fixed that, screwed the chassis back together, jumped those poles on the top side, and...nothing.

       

      We did conductivity checks across all component, as mentioned in my previous posts, reassembled it and...again, nothing.  That is when Oldest Daughter suggested the long bus bars that carry power to the top of the chassis may not be remaining in contact when we buttoned the thing up.  So we tore it all apart and reassembled it as show, with the busses under the L-shaped brass brackets that take power from the pick-up shoes.

       

      After buttoning up the chassis again, we put it on the test track, jumped the bus bars to nearby posts that are the motor contacts, and it lurched down the track.  Yay.  Sort of.  We still could not get power from the wheels.  We tried cleaning the back of the wheels with rubbing alcohol, but that didn't work. either.  All stop.

       

      After turkey the following day, my father-in-law suggested holding a piece of paper under the wheels to look for air gaps between the wheels and their contact points.  No air gaps.  He was able to show continuity from the front to the back of the wheels by rubbing the test probe back and forth on the back side.  He suggested we try using a soft metal cleaner, and then we turned-to on seconds.

       

      So that brings us to tonight's questions:

      1. Should we install that jump, put Little Thomas on the tracks, and let a few loops around the Triple O clean the back of the wheels?
      2. Or should we polish the wheels a bit?  If so, with what? 

      I have much older engines, including some garage finds, that sat for years and started without a hitch, so I am a bit perplexed.

       

      Hope you all are having a good weekend!  For those in colder climes, stay safe and stay warm!

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

    • November 29, 2019 10:29 PM EST
    • Update:

       

       

      The Motor arrived!  Oldest Daughter and I installed it and...

       

      ...and discovered we still have much to learn.  We have to make a small jump to bring power from a pair of posts that penetrate though the chassis to the motor pick-up posts.  The harder part is determining why power won't flow from the outer part of the wheels to the inner where they contact those spring loaded shoes, all of which will pass electricity we discovered.

       

       

      Oldest Daughter exclaimed, "This is going to make me an engineer whether I like it or not!"  All I could thing was, "Good...goooooood...my young...apprentice!"

       

      Pictures to follow to better illustrate where we are.

       

      Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

      Aloha,

      Eric

    • December 2, 2019 2:59 PM EST
    • Answer from Caitlin & Theresa Precision Scale Co.:

      "That number is not in our system so it must have been an older import and is no longer available."

    • December 2, 2019 1:33 PM EST
    • Could be that they put things up there to see if there is enough interest to build them.

    • November 30, 2019 1:39 AM EST
    • Also lists a 1:20.3 Mack railbuses.  Those were vapor ware from way back.  Something serms odd about the listing.

    • November 29, 2019 3:35 PM EST
    • (Didn't want to clutter Tommy's thread.)

      I was poking around looking for a brass crane, and I found this enigmatic listing for

      Gauge 1 Steam Precision Scale Co. PSC-99157-1 Southern Pacific 4-2-4T C.P. HUNTINGTON.

      Uncle Dave says to "Reserve Now" and PSC is reorganizing.  Maybe I'll send PSC an email to ask.
      https://www.uncledavesbrass.com/BR-L-IMP.HTML

    • November 29, 2019 10:48 AM EST
    • Thanks, I'll try that next time, but I will say the way I did it sure left a lot of junk at the rust sites.

    • November 28, 2019 3:52 PM EST
    • Yes, used an airbrush and tru-color paints. Worked like a charm...

    • November 28, 2019 2:26 PM EST
    • Jim, when you did the rust on your truck did you use an airbrush? Had terrible problem with salt too well adhered using a rattle can, of course yellow is semi transparent so I had to use quite a bit to cover.Bill  

    • November 28, 2019 11:53 AM EST
    • Rivets and weathering look great, Bill. Thanks for letting us know what you are learning as you go.

       

      [edited to fix a typo]

    • November 28, 2019 10:48 AM EST
    • Moving along, decided I would try the rust look using rock salt, didn't quite go like the youtube but good enough. Used an oil base rattle can and think it would have probably worked better using acrylic air brush paint. The problem I had with the oil base was it stuck down the salt too well and wound out having to soak it in water for about 1/2 day and still had to scrape some of it off but it gave the result I was looking for so live and learn, using individual rivets, although a pain to install worked out well , had bought some self stick ones thinking I could bypass the gluing step but that didn't work out either. Found that the beads wouldn't come off the shipping paper and left gooey mess around them and found it very hard to position correctly. Got a little paint on the cab and trying to get it to look like old faded wood, and still have a ways to go. Will up date when I get something else done, Bill

      rusty sidewood bunker

    • November 26, 2019 11:43 PM EST
    • Boy sometimes one thing leads to a bunch of other things.  Long story short I was looking to put Phoenix sound in this 4-2-4T.  I have an extra??  Phoenix P8, but that requires constant power so is not the right sound board for the 4-2-4T.  But wait, I also have an old Airwire G2, 14.4 battery and an RCS install kit.  I always wanted to change my Aristo RS3 from track to battery power and it has a track power Phoenix PB11 with reed switches in it.

       

      I pull apart the RS3, take the Phoenix P11 out and dry fit it into the tender of the 4-2-4T and put the P8 into the RS3.  Now I am waiting on the 1” speaker from G Scale Graphics which shipped today.  That's quick because I ordered this morning.

       

      So along with this 4-2-4T build, I have an Aristo RS3 to add airwire, Phoenix sound, battery and LED’s (I don’t like the yellow lights) AND the sound board for the horse car shipped today. 

      I also found my stash of fire wood which I will use for the 4-2-4T tender.

       

      Here is the fuel tank of the RS3 with the P8, the red tender with the P11 dry fitted and some fire wood.

       

       

      Having fun and running trains.

       

      Tommy

      Rio Gracie

    • November 26, 2019 7:05 PM EST
    • Rooster ' said:
      Mick Benton said:

       

       

       

       

      Mick,

       That pic taken about 1910 shows where the model I'm working on will reside in the structure behind the car.  http://www.mechanicsburgmuseum.org/

       

      Once again the model is for educational purposes only and NOT finished nor prototypically correct or to scale. Only trying to capture the flavor and "HOPEFULLY" peak interest within the generation behind me.  I was blessed with A LOT of information over the years from many now deceased elders that knew I had a historical fetish with a "gift" to work with my hands. They shared with me so now I'm passing it on along with other things. (Make sense?)

      This stuff needs to be passed on or it will be lost! So if a model as opposed to a picture helps with passing it on then I have won!  There are a LOT of things I cannot answer (headlight configuration (note the bracket on the roof where it was moved to the railing) , losing two out of the 4 catenary poles,etc) and I'm sure it didn't have a brass railing either but I'm doing it because I can and learning skills along the way. BTW the "plow,cowcatcher " is on the model.

       

      I'm rambling but enjoying sharing. When the 5th generations from now dust off the memory chips saved from LSC (and figure out how to make them work like a 45 record)  I hope they can carry on the historical end as it's bottomless!

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Thanks Mick !