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  • Topic: Challenge Accepted - Large Scale Fantasy Locomotive

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    • November 29, 2019 10:29 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      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 1, 2019 1:32 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      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

    • December 2, 2019 3:04 PM EST
      • Be Nice or STFU
         
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      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

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    • December 2, 2019 8:11 PM EST
      • Rooster Works "Area 69" ,
         
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      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 11:14 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      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 3, 2019 12:38 AM EST
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      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

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 3, 2019 2:22 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      @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 10:06 AM EST
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      Do the wheels have a plastic bushing were it mounts to the axle ?

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    • December 3, 2019 11:27 AM EST
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      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

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 3, 2019 2:45 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Could be some kind of varnish on the back side of the wheels. I wouldn't think so, but I have seen some rather odd things in older equipment.

      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

      Another thing I have seen, is I get tree sap on my rails, and even though they look clean, I can not pick up power from the rails. I have to remove the sap by running a razor blade along the rails at a low angle. This removes the almost clear sap in little chips. Maybe you have some of this sap, or something like it, on the wheel treads.

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    • December 3, 2019 7:38 PM EST
      • Rooster Works "Area 69" ,
         
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      Eric Mueller said:

      OK,

      The ho'oilo (rainy season) is nigh, and it is time to go from the garden to the lanai as the frigid 70-degree weather descends upon O'ahu...

      Seriously, after "Rooster" offered the requisite detail parts to resurrect a shattered LGB M2075 shell my kids named "Little Thomas," I ran out of excuses to put off an effort to turn this:

      Into a side tank approximation of this (photo courtesy of "Rooster" from an overview of the Oahu Sugar Co.):

      I had hashed this idea around privately previously with Bill Barnwell and on the GR site, and the advice at the time was "Neat project, but not now" as dollars were better spent on tools and basic things to get the Triple O running.

      OK, so why this locomotive?  It is for strictly sentimental reasons.  "He" was a Christmas gift in 1976 from my late grandmother, and "he" did hard service until about 1980 when the battery motor died.  At that time, my brother and I got our first proper LGB sets, and this old fellow served as our hand operated "switcher" until the collection went into storage for a quarter century.  When the Triple O came into being, the newly christened "Little Thomas" found service in checking clearances, and he now serves as the "Kid-zilla Sponge" along with some HLW minis.   A big theme of the Triple O is connecting past to present, and if I can get the kids involved in bringing "Little Thomas" back to life as a functioning locomotive, it'll be a neat way to tie together four generations (Dad played with him, too, back in the day!) in one project.  Even better, the last of our Nisei grew up on the cane fields here, and if "Little Thomas" can come back as something evocative of that era, that would help "him" serve as a binding agent between two families.  All pretty cool stuff, if not horrifically applicable to making this work beyond providing motivation.

      Now for the reality.  This thing is a shell.   There are no interior parts.  Its hull won't hold an LGB can motor, so it has to use a powered tender, or I have to fit it on something else.  To boot, the rod is broken, but I am amenable to putting sideboards on the old boy to make it look like a partial tram conversion.  "Rooster" graciously opened his parts bin to me for bells, lights, and the like.  I figure the hard part is making something evocative of a boiler backhead.   Add to this I am still learning the language of steam locomotives (They don't have condensers like ships?  My bad...), so I am not even sure what I should stick back on!  

      On the other hand, I have a few aces in my sleeve.  For one,the plantations used a variety of locomotives in every conceivable wheel configuration, so everything is fair game.  There are even examples of tram engines out here, so putting sideboards on to hide the missing rods is a possibility.  The plantations threw away nothing, and they used them and reused them for as long as they could, with Hawaii's earliest locomotives having run almost until the end of railroad operations on the plantations. I figure that gives me license to be accurate to the spirit of the era and its iron horses if not accurate to an exact plantation or prototype. More practically, I do have a good hardware store and a plastic model focused hobby store in town, and an R/C aircraft focused hobby store near my office (Both are the last of their kinds, out here).  My only practical  limitations are that I minimize shipping and that the project not be detailed beyond the point the family cannot become involved with its restoration (part of my anti-computer game crusade).

      That has been enough "butt modeling" for tonight. I'll throw up some other pictures as the week goes on to frame the issue a bit.

      Thanks for letting me bend your ear!

       

      Eric

       

       

       

      PAGE 1

       

       

      QUOTE :

       

       

      OK,

      The ho'oilo (rainy season) is nigh, and it is time to go from the garden to the lanai as the frigid 70-degree weather descends upon O'ahu...

      Seriously, after "Rooster" offered the requisite detail parts to resurrect a shattered LGB M2075 shell my kids named "Little Thomas," I ran out of excuses to put off an effort to turn this

       

       

      Eric,

       Do you still know which thread that I offered what you asked for?

       

       

       

       

       

       

      This post has been edited by: Rooster

    • December 3, 2019 7:47 PM EST
      • Rooster Works "Area 69" ,
         
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      This post has been edited by Rooster: Edited to take the in•ap•pro•pri•ate crap I wrote out of this post and  Will email the tracking # tomorrow Eric.

    • December 3, 2019 9:23 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      @All.  Thanks.  I will tear it all down tomorrow and report my findings.  Maybe I'll get lucky and cleaning the wheels will do the trick.

      @ Rooster.  We pm'd back and forth a bit. I can copy / paste / repost if you need me to, and I will look for your e-mail. There may be something on a string I think you started about large scale fantasy locomotives sometime in late 2018, I think, and that kicked off this whole project.  The project has been quite a ride, so I and - WE - are grateful for kicking us over the edge.  Almost there...

    • December 4, 2019 8:21 PM EST
      • Rooster Works "Area 69" ,
         
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      Eric Mueller said:

       

      @ Rooster.  We pm'd back and forth a bit. I can copy / paste / repost if you need me to

      Nope,

       

       

      as it's all good ....LSC rules ...always has always will !

    • December 4, 2019 9:04 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Ladies & Gentlemen of Large Scale Central:

       

      It is my pleasure to report shattered LGB m2075 (D-cell battery powered) returned to service today as Mueller & Koito Sugar Co. #7 (track power).  Details on the last leg of troubleshooting to follow, but a consist that last saw service together under its own power in 1979 is happily making the rounds through my garden.

       

      40 years in the making, and lots of help from my colleagues here on LSC, but, from an electric / mechanical standpoint, we have all achieved success!

       

      More to follow!

       

      Eric

       

       

    • December 4, 2019 9:31 PM EST
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      Good news for all

    • December 5, 2019 8:04 AM EST
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      ____________________________________

       

       

    • December 5, 2019 11:20 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      OK,

       

      Let me try to close out the technical bit.  Oldest Son and I started to strip Little Thomas down with the plan to follow Greg's general guide to isolate the fault.  My description of the top of the chassis was  poor, so I am including a photo below.  The screw drivers point to the posts that take power to the motor.  This should show why I was talking about a jump:

      We made a little test circuit so that the light bulb would better show what we were up to when we ran into our anticipated problems...

      ...and for reasons mysterious all six pick-up points tested out.  I would've thought operator error with the probes, but my father-in-law got the same results with the same tool.  And this is why I barely passed electrical engineering back in the day.  Electricity, straight saw cuts, and magic...all pretty much the same in my book.

       

      Anyway, we next manufactured some jumps from the female connectors we had lying around from some failed project or another.

      We have learned over the course of this project to make nothing permanent until you are assured of success!  These connectors slipped over the poles.  We ran the chassis bare, and that proved the concept.  It also proved we needed to crimp on our jumps (still reversible!) and that we needed to add some weight.  

       

      We borrowed the kitchen scale, and Kid-zilla joined us as we weighed a functioning LGB m2075 and then played with my collection of salvaged fishing weights to get Little Thomas trimmed.  Ultimately, we used a dive weight that had ripped, making it unsafe for diving, but perfect for Little Thomas. 

      A bit of tape and some cajoling later, and we were ready to assemble "him."

       

      Next came the moment of truth.  We coupled Little Thomas to the various cars that came down through time with him to the present.  Only a small gondola is no longer in service, its chassis having disappeared at some point, but its remains ride in the low sided gondola:

      I wish I could embed a video from OneDrive to show "him" come to life...this time permanently...for the first time in 40 years, but I hope a snapshot of the crew will suffice to show we were successful!  

       

      All that's left is the detailing!  I'll post the results, then all that is left is to publicly thank all of you who've lent to bringing this relic (the locomotive, not me!) back to life!

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

    • December 6, 2019 8:08 AM EST
      • Phippsburg, Maine
         
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      Well done!  It looks like the team is well pleased with the results!

    • December 6, 2019 8:36 AM EST
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Huzzah! Well done to you and your crew. It looks good. Please try and post a video.

      As I understand it One Drive is a file hosting service. If you up load your video to it can you supply a link to the video? If so the link can be shown here on LSC. I have had no luck embedding it though.

       

      Here is an example

       

      https://1drv.ms/v/s!AhnvlCjauKJMhGUydFjxt4rq-FvI?e=4J1zoI

       

       

      This post was edited by Joe Zullo at December 6, 2019 9:19 AM EST
      ____________________________________

       

       

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