Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Portland Streetcar Finishing Tip 2 - End Section Corner Posts Modification

Hi All,

We ran across a fit-up issue for the operator's cab side wall glass and thought we would pass along a fix.  There is a blob on the inside of the corner posts that prevent installing the side wall glass.  One way to resolve the interference is to remove the blob with a small chisel.  Be extremely careful as the corner post is thin.  Tony used a fine Dremel burr and groung it out.  I am not practiced with a Dremel so I stuck with a small chisel and took my time.  See the pictures below.

This picture shows the blob.

In this picture the blob has been removed from the cornerpost.

Just another small step, get all the flash and fuzz off.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Portland Streetcar Finishing Tip 1 - Straightening Warps in Castings

Hi All,

Here goes with the 1st Portlabd Streetcar (PSC) Finishing Tip.  I am the first to admit a lack of experience in working with resin castings.  I have worked with epoxy castings but they at a different animal.  But not to worry, my associate on the PSC, Tony has been warping, twisting and otherwise coaxing resin castings into shape for quite some time.  They always seem to have some waves and wows so here is an effective way of correcting them.  Experiment until you get the desired result.  Keep in mind that a second soak may unlock the last correction made.  The advise he offered is;

  • submerge the warped portion of the casting in hot tap water,
  • wait till it is heated,
  • remove the casting from the water and weight the affected zone until it cools,
  • finally, remove the weights and you should have a greatly reduced warp or wave.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Follow up on Type 5 Lighting

I thought I would offer a follow-up on the last post on Type 5 lighting.  This is a link to you tube that shows the car and lights in operation.  The headlight is not as bright in person as the camera captured.  You can see the interior light bar from a low angle when the car passes by near the end of the clip.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

DCC Wiring and LED lighting for a Boston Type 5

Hi All,

I am long overdue for another post.  Here we go.  This time we will dip into the DCC waters, a little.  We will share some pictures of a Boston Type 5 car I have been working on. I added a DCC decoder with the associated wiring and an LED lightbar. The brass model was imported by Ken Kidder from Japan over 50 years ago. I added white metal ends and a new floor and roof. Here is a general view below.

The car has 3.0 mm LED headlights, a Digitrax DZ-143 decoder and a Miniatronics Model 100-YCL-01 Lightbar. The headlights and interior lights may be switched off or on independently.  The headlights also have automatic switching which lights the "forward" headlight depending on the direction the car is traveling in.  Pictures of some details of the installation  and a wiring diagram follow.

This is the wiring diagram I prepared for the car before I started work.  Taking the time to prepare a wiring diagram will allow you to understand the wiring design ahead of time. The decoder instructions will tell you all you need to know about the decoder wiring and functions.  Installing DCC in a trolley with a detailed interior is as much about the routing of the wiring and the plugs locations that allow disassembly for maintenance and repairs as it is about the decoder. Determining the wire routing and plug locations before you start can save you from a rat's nest of wiring.

The wiring diagram will also serve as a record that may be referenced in the future when you don't remember how you wired ther car.

This view shows how the Miniatronics lightbar is mounted to short pieces of 1/8" x 3/16" styrene strip at three locations.  The strips are Goo'd to the underside of the roof and 2 mm screws thread into tapped holes in the styrene styrips. 

This view shows the wiring connection from the roof to the body.  A Miniatronics miniature three wire  plug was used.  Two wires are for the lightbar and the third is for the overhead feed.  The brass clip screwed to the roof takes the strain of pulling apart the plug when the roof is removed. This is necessary because I can't get my hand in to the plug when removing the roof because the wire is tight.  I did not want the wire with the plug to have  much slack because it could hang down and be visable through the windows.

This view shows the wiring connection from the body to the roof including the other end of the Miniatronics plug.  The brass clip soldered to the car body takes the strain of pulling apart the plug when the roof is removed.  The white box is over the power truck.

This view shows how the roof wires are routed and fastened to the windowpost of the car side.

This view shows the connection for the power truck wires.  There are three wires, one for each motor lead and a wire grounded to the truck for track pick-up.

This view shows the DZ-143 decoder mounting under the platform and the wiring that needs to connect to it.  The resistor is in the circuit for the front 3 mm headlight LED.


Thats all fot this post.  Let me know if you have questions.