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Nigel's Workbench - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue May 5th, 2015 06:08 pm
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BCDR
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It's been a while since I've been able to get any new projects started (and looking at the projects that need finishing that will be some time in the future), but I have a simple one that doesn't require too much in terms of tools, etc. The workbench is a tray on the kitchen counter until I build a new one, no drill, mill or lathe, so KISS does apply here.

I have a brass body (by Ajin of Korea) for a "Gas-Electric" ("Doodlebug"), popular in North America (and Canada and Australia) from the mid 1920's on. Passenger/mail/freight or mail/freight towing a passenger car, they were used on lines where steam was uneconomical. Railways made great efforts at this time to keep US mail delivery contracts, without one many lines would have been shut down. Gas in this case was petrol, and after a few fires and loss of life nearly all were converted to diesel electrics by the 1950's. There are several running on preserved lines today. Transmission was unusual, completely electrical, and controlled by a) changing the exciter field of the generator (the electromagnet windings), and b) changing the current to the traction motors (series/parallel).  The first was automatic, the second was driver selected depending on the load.

I model the Great Northern Railway in the North West of the US in HO (not the UK or Canadian ones) 1915-1929. Locomotives in RTR plastic do not exist, hand-built brass from Korea and Japan is the only source. Bachmann USA do a gas-electric in Great Northern orange and green, but its not typical of what the Great Northern used.

I came across the body at a show 3 years ago. No motors, interior or windows, it's a typical brass body built by Ajin in Korea in the late 1960's-early 1970's. After a year trying to source brass power bogies (trucks) I gave up and decided that modern bogies would have to be the way to go.

There are several makes out there (Tenshodo's, Black Beetles, BullAnts come to mind) but I decided in the end to go for Stanton drives, which are DCC ready and have a stall load of 0.4 amp. Running 2 motors from one DCC sound decoder is not going to be a problem as many are above 1 amp (an ESU V4 is 1.1 amp). Getting the right sound will however be fun, and will require a custom set of sound files.

First photo shows the top with wiring. Wiring is NMRA compliant, and black/grey and red/orange are currently shorted to allow DC operation. The large lump on the right is the coupler box for Kadee's and will be removed. 6'6" wheel base and 33" wheels as the in the prototype. Semi-finescale wheels. No sideframes, they still have to be sourced from an HO tram.



The second photograph is the underneath. Note the built in self-resetting fuse to prevent power spikes. The wipers are quite robust and essentially provide lateral springing. Delrin gears, so they run very quietly. Maximum weight per drive is 1 lb (450 gm) so the light weight brass body will probably require a bit more weight over the drives.



Ajin body and a GN blueprint of what I want to model on the next post as I have to decrease the definition (and file size!).

Nigel




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 Posted: Wed May 6th, 2015 01:51 am
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BCDR
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Photos of the Ajin built body (This was an Oriental Limited model).





Driving end. The gas/petrol engine and generator were in the cab just behind the driver. 6 cylinders and around 12 liters. I should model it. The large doors were for freight and mail. Space a plenty for the decoder and speaker, which can be next to the engine. Nice rivet detail, which as far as I can see matched the prototype. I didn't count, that's one society to which I do not belong.



Driving end where the large brass motor would have gone. I'll need to put a strip of brass over the space so the Stanton truck can be attached. Those 2 holes are tapped, the brass strip for the Stanton will be screwed in place as I don't fancy getting my fingers in there to tighten the nuts on the fixing bolt. The black blobs are where Ajin sealed the solder with mastic/paint. Good idea, there are no failing joints that I can find 40-50 years later.



Trailer end. I will need to open it up for the fixing bar (as at the driving end). No idea of the thread, looks to be 2-56 but this was Korea in the 60's and 70's and Ajin went years ago........could be a process of elimination or just  do a new tap.



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 Posted: Wed May 6th, 2015 11:23 am
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Marty
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Another interesting build to follow.

Cheers

Marty



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 Posted: Wed May 6th, 2015 04:43 pm
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Hi Marty,

Let's hope so. Progress could be slow until I get a workbench and drill sorted (over the summer). Looking at the prototype blueprints I will have to move the stove chimney back into the passenger area, a bit of desoldering, filling (with solder, bit more robust than filler) and drilling a new hole for the pipe should do it. Lots of details to source, seats, stove, engine and generator, but there is an ex-GN diesel railcar in almost original condition in a museum, so reference material is available.

The big issue I'm facing are the cosmetic frames for the power trucks, basically heavyweight tram or inter-urban frames should be fine. Either that or some frames from an express reefer (Roundhouse REA) or a Bachmann gas-electric. They're cosmetic, whatever works will be glued to the sides of the Stanton trucks.

Nigel



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 Posted: Sun May 17th, 2015 01:21 am
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BCDR
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Progress of sorts. One of the Ajin models I'm motorizing came up on eBay last week (and sold for nearly $500). This one was complete and with the box. A nice shot of the under-gear from both sides and the bottom of the model was posted. The poster (cybersell4U) kindly gave me permission to use some shots here (and they are cybersell4U's copyright, so please do not reproduce).

Ajin used a piece of brass as the bottom that was fixed in place with 4 screws, one at each corner. Onto this the various under-body bits were soldered. That large rectangle to the upper left is the fuel tank, below which is the battery box. Control gear for the airbrakes on the bottom with tool box far right, compressed air tanks for the brakes and to start the motor above. Rudimentary brake cylinder in the middle. The drive truck(bogie) is to the left, vertical motor, steel worm, brass and steel gears, hence the "coffee-grinder" noise. Electrical pick-up by wipers in the wheel tread. The wheels were insulated from the truck/bogie. The other pick-up is via the trailing truck/bogie, it's that thin wire touching the back of the wheel. The opposite wheels were insulated, meaning that the whole body is live.

The fuel tank may be questionable, as most gas electrics built in the 1920's had a chassis comprising 2 steel beams some 12" deep running down the middle to at least the bogie/truck bolster or even to the coupler box (that rectangle at the far right), and lateral stringers to keep everything in place in the middle with diagonal stringers at the corners. I have inquired of the museum in Montana which has an ex-Great Northern gas electric, as well as the museum here in Montreal which has a gas electric in storage. I hope they'll give me access to take some photo's as it's just across the river. [Plus I want to take some photo's of the Dominion of Canada A4 since it's visit and repaint].





The above is a side shot showing (from left to right) the fuel tank, and the 2 compressed air tanks. An exact copy of the bogie (truck) sides is probably impossible, but those from a Roundhouse REA reefer are very close. More on that in the next post. The fuel tank will probably have to be fabricated from brass or sourced from an N-scale diesel locomotive.



The other side showing (right to left) the battery box, air-brake controls and toolbox. The steps for the doors at the right hand side are available as etches, although they are easy enough to make from thin brass wire.

I'm measuring up the size of the brass sheet, cutting that and drilling some holes for the holding screws and motor mounts is next after the cosmetic bogie/truck sides, as well as sourcing the battery box, tool box and air tanks. I'm hoping that the fuel tank from an N-scale diesel might serve (SD40/60 or similar), otherwise it's scratch building time. But after I have done some research on the underframe layout and brake system.

Nigel



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 Posted: Sun May 17th, 2015 03:48 am
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Hi Nigel,

Some neat modelling well underway. :thumbs

Looking at the 'ebay model', am I right in saying that the engine is located inside the rail motor and not slung under the floor ??

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Sun May 17th, 2015 04:18 am
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Marty
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Nice to have some reference material to work from. Especially some preserved examples you can visit and hopefully measure? Another railway related outing, what could be better.


Cheers

Marty



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 Posted: Sun May 17th, 2015 06:29 pm
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Hi Gary,

Correct, engine/generator in the driving compartment along with the radiator and radiator fan. The Winton engine was around 11 liters, in-line 6 cylinder, maximum rpm 1000, idle around 400. Not that noisy. The engine alone weighed 4,270 lbs, add to to that the generator/starter and it was probably close to 3 tons. Lots of torque, and way beyond the capacity of what was essentially a passenger car framed vehicle.  The driver was  on the right in front of the starter motor. The cross-positioning would have spread the weight across the underframe and in addition was directly over the bolster of the driving truck. The blueprints cryptically say "Underframe: Steel". OK.....I'll post when I get copyright permission.

The air compressor was on the LHS of the cab, that would have kicked up a racket when running. The fan in the middle for the radiator had a 7 HP motor, that would have been noisy as well.

Lots of research on this project, and and a fair number of construction/detailing challenges. Can I do that engine in HO?

Nigel



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 Posted: Sun May 17th, 2015 07:32 pm
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Hi Marty,

Far and few, far and few, are the lands where the doodlebugs live. [Apologies to E. Lear].  I wish I had the travel budget. The one running in VIC on the old Ballarat line looks interesting (Daylesford Spa Country Railway). BIL lives in Ballarat, I am tempted, I am so sorely tempted...

Thank goodness for the internet and the people who run the museums and preservation railways. Many individuals have been most helpful in providing hands-on experiences of running them, as well as technical details.

This is an EMC gas electric, EMC became EMD, a division of GM, EMD is now owned by Caterpillar. "You want information from when? 1926? That's 90 years ago!". Not surprisingly most original documentation was scrapped long ago. GE at one time in the 1950's had a complete Winton gasoline engine and generator in their museum hall in New York State. Three emails so far, not one answered. Perhaps a phone call. If they have documents that would be worth a day out. If they still have the engine....

Another day, another challenge.

Nigel




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 Posted: Mon May 18th, 2015 08:01 am
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Hi Nigel,
Apart from the Bell, the Australian DERM's seem to me to be almost identical to what you have as a model can be seen on this Web Site having been converted to Diesel Electric rather than Petrol(Gas)/Electric.
http://www.victorianrailways.net/motive%20power/derm.html
Cheers from Oz
Trevor

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 Posted: Mon May 18th, 2015 10:40 am
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Hi Nigel,

Thanks for the extra info. In New South Wales, we had similar designed units classed as CPH Rail Motors. They also had trailers none as CTH. These were propelled by 75 HP Thornycroft engines and 95 HP Leyland 6 cylinder petrol engines. Some were fitted with 150 HP Leyland engines and at a later date the the NSWGR also tried the Winton and AEC engines, again 6 cylinder. Later in life there was a change to run the GM Detroit Diesel 71 Series engine and they also introduced MU controls to the No.2 end. All the engibnes were slung under the chassis with radiators mounted on the roof at the No.1 end (drivers end). 

http://www.westonlangford.com/images/photo/113766/ - CPH/CTH/CPH Crossing from the Up to the Down lines.  

Before I walked the earth, my father lived in the white house between the signals, when he was a Station Assistant at Heathcote.

Cheers, Gary.

 

 



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 Posted: Mon May 18th, 2015 04:12 pm
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Hi Trevor,

Dead ringer! OZ probably has a disproportionate number of gas electrics (even though they are now diesels). BIL is ripping his house apart at the moment, after he's finished a trip may be warranted. EMC contracted the St. Louis Car & Body company for the bodies, Winton for the engines and GE for the electrickery, so the gas electrics produced in the mid-1920's by EMC  looked pretty much the same. Lots of kits sent to OZ.

I've started taking photo's of the underbody of passenger cars when visiting railway museums/preservation railways. All those 2/3 side shots are pretty but not helpful for modelers. Hopefully I'll be crawling around the one at the local museum soon.

Nigel



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 Posted: Mon May 18th, 2015 04:19 pm
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Hi Gary,

Thanks for the photo, what a great modeling project. Hopefully no low bridges with those radiators on the roof. What gauge is that? Looks like 5' 3".

Nigel



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 Posted: Tue May 19th, 2015 10:29 am
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Hi Nigel,

The gauge in New South Wales is 4' 8 1/2", whereas the Victorian 'Derm' runs on 5'3". There are three gauges across Australia, the other being 3'6", used in Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania. As for the height of the radiators, they were not a problem anywhere on the network of NSW lines. I do have a HO scale kit (built) of the CPH railmotor somewhere, great models for small rural branchlines.

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Tue May 19th, 2015 03:41 pm
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Hi Gary,
Just looked wide, must be from looking at all that 16.5mm track in OO.
Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Aug 5th, 2015 01:42 am
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I found some time to work on the under-body for the gas-electric. This is a trial effort in styrene, just to see how it will look. I've located sources for most the brass bits underneath (toolboxes, air tanks, brake gear), no success for the fuel tank in brass, so that will have to be an etch and solder job. The body sits a tad high on the underframe, even although I left off the nylon washer. I will need to build a stepped under-body in brass to drop the height around 1mm.

The under-body plate is styrene sheet cut to shape (2 sheets), reinforced with square styrene strip, and holes cut for the pickup leads and motor pivots. 4 holes, 2 at each end, for the mounting screws. The motors have cosmetic frames from the spares box (ex-express reefer). They should be longer to hide the motor units more. Bit of styrene sheet should do the trick. The fuel tank was made from 3 pieces of rectangular styrene solvent welded together, and filed to shape. Strapping was made from thin styrene strip solvent welded to the body of the tank. The cosmetic underframe came from a cattle car kit. Air tanks were styrene tube with styrene sheet ends and styrene strip strapping. Tool/battery boxes came from an old Lima passenger car, as did the smaller tank. No brake gear as the spares box had nothing suitable. Currently in a coat of grey primer.

Next up will be wiring a DCC decoder, non-sound at the moment as I'm waiting for one with a suitable sound file to be released. Plus making an etch of the fuel tank body and ordering the various brass bits. Plus sorting the interior (seats, partitions, windows, that 4-ton gas motor and generator). Plus I have to give the body a soak in stripper to remove any varnish and get it painted in dark green (or MOW light grey or mineral red post 1953 as it was used as a rail detector car from at least 1941 on if not before). I must do a bit of research on rail detector equipment.

Photos tell the story.

Nigel















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 Posted: Wed Aug 5th, 2015 07:20 am
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Marty
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Very neat work, I like the strapping particularly.
cheers
Marty



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 Posted: Wed Aug 5th, 2015 11:59 pm
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Hi Marty,

Thanks. Getting the right amount of curl in the strip is the trick. Then it stays in place while being solvent welded (MEK/butanone based).

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Aug 12th, 2015 02:05 am
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Hi All,

It's Tuesday, so it's spaghetti! Multicolored!

Wired up the 2 motors for DCC with an 8-socket wiring harness (into which the decoder will plug, no hard wiring), and used a hefty choc-bloc connector for weight and ease of use (the two objects at either end are steel nuts for additional weight). The weight is now up to 225 gm. I'd like another 100 gm.

I extended the wires from each motor (tin, twist, solder, heat-shrink, all color-coded) as they were not long enough. All the wires are twisted together (3 for each color, 1 from each motor and one from the harness) and held in one choc-block terminal. The plug currently has a DC blanking board inserted. This way I can take the motors off if necessary without lots of desoldering and resoldering. I'll get another block and add it at one end for the function wires (lights). With a bit of imagination they look like seats from the outside. The wires will be fixed in the channels using small pieces of styrene sheet glued over them. I used clear heat shrink for the ends of the unused function wires. Loop the wire at the end, 2 cm or so of heat shrink, barrel of the iron, et viola no risk of any shorts from exposed wiring. Heat shrink is all 1/32", 2:1, black, grey, red, orange, transparent. Pictures tell the story. I'm tempted to get one of those circuit board/decoder setups for the final version where the wires are looped to the terminals on the board and held in place with small plastic sleeves.

Checked it all out on the rolling road with the DC powerpack, all good. Decoder decision time. I have an ESU V4 with GWR/BR diesel railcar sounds that is not being used at the moment, about the same engine size, I'll give that a try after testing with the el cheapo Digitrax HO decoder. 

Paint and window treatments next. More later.

Nigel












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 Posted: Fri Aug 14th, 2015 01:59 am
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Hi All,

I was looking forward to a quiet afternoon finishing off a few projects when Finagle and Murphy came for tea.

First up was one of the Cascade tunnel electric boxcars - 2 essential thrust washers went who knows where, all on hold until replacements come next week.

Next up was the realization that the wiring of the gas electric meant that I would not be able to fit the body to the chassis. The photo below shows what I mean. The cross member across the body slots into the gap in the chassis below, right where the wires from one motor cross to the choc-block terminal.




The solution was some micro-2 pin plugs and wires as shown in the next photo. These are from Miniatronics, one lead black, the other black with a grey stripe. I popped a short section of heat-shrink on the ends as a memory jog. This means I can disconnect, run the wires over the cross member, reconnect, and  fit the chassis to the body. The white dots should mean a foolproof connection.



Next up was the decoder. I tested everything again with a blanking plug with DC, ran fine. Swapped a Digitrax D123 in, nothing. The decoder was not recognized, no manufacturer code, no decoder code, no addresses, no CV's, nowt. Now this decoder worked fine the last time it was used, so I checked the wiring. Turns out that the orange wire had come adrift from its pin on the plug when swapping from the blanking plug to the decoder. A couple of the other wires were also coming adrift. El cheapo. Quick solder, refitted the decoder, everything worked fine. Finally tested the ESU decoder and speaker, that worked fine as well.

Last up were some windows for the body. I drew these up in CorelDraw, printed them on overhead acetate. They'll go on shiny-side out. I used a 30% grey as background, and a mottled tan for the blinds. Bars went over the mail/luggage compartment and the toilet.



Painting the body is next.

Nigel

 



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