Tuesday, February 14, 2023

UN-Blogging of the lazy mind

Oh boy...how do I restart...

There are unfulfilled promises of further comments on the HO nickel silver caboose ladders.  Unfortunately these remain unfulfilled.  They are now available from Leadville Designs. 

More on the SP tenders for the Bachmann 2-8-0 project will be on the SP280HO.groups.io site.  I now have 4 tender options. 

  • A 100-C-1 Sunset Brass Vanderbilt tender which I finally managed to open and check that it can be modified to have a small decoder or the LocoFi receiver.  I have some more body repairs to do and repaint and decal the tender
  • A 100-C-? Bachmann Vanderbilt tender which needs re-assembly and decision whether it will house a DCC decoder or another LocoFi receiver I will need to buy. The tender is actually a UP not SP prototype but is close enough with the oil bunker top for the "stand-in" C-? SP Consolidation.
  • A 90-R-7  Heavily modified rectangular tender with high narrow oil bunker. I am still working on the modifications using styrene shapes. When I finally get the shape right, I will use Archer rivet decals to model the surface correctly.  I have been working with Arnold Menke and obtained his drawings for the 90-R-7 preserved in Bakersfield 
  • A 73-SC-1 3D printed shell that I have working with Ken Harstine to develop to fit over the Bachmann rectangular tender underframe. I am also working on a version that is lower to match the height of the Sunset whaleback tender that came with my Sunset C-9 Consolidation. 
On the Port Costa layout there have been a few baby steps.  I have been working on the ground cover for the area south and east of the roundhouse and am starting on details for this area. 

The area was almost completely bare of vegetation being hardened adobe clay and still is as a parking lot. The steam pipes and servicing supplies about the garden tracks are a modeling challenge. 

The SP tender development has re-awakened my interest in the LocoFi Wifi Control system and  I have been playing with using the new LocoFi version 3 receivers I plan to use in Bachmann 2-8-0's and Mehano 2-6-0 M-4's. I already have one of the earlier receivers installed in a Stewart/Kato SP F-7 and plan to experiment with batteries to be mounted in B units.

I have recently built a Wifi locomotive receiver/controller test facility for the LocoFi units. I have an ESU tester for DCC decoders.   the design wasn't original but I have plans to expand it to cover testing planned configurations with commercial Keep Alive/Stay Alive devices without having to mount them in a locomotive. 

The lever connectors are used to easily change LocoFi receivers on the test stand. The fan has since been removed as it burned out not being rated for high enough amperage. I need to work on setting up one of the 12 volt motors seen in the background as the normal test load and adding a LED light stand for testing forward and reverse lighting.  

I have already successfully tested the receiver with the motor block from a dismantled Bachman 2-8-0 that is awaiting the parts to model the Harriman style angled cylinder block and Stephenson style simple running gear. 

The light from the blinds created a reflection on the Fire tablet which I am using for the LocoFi Android app. I visibly checked the belt and mechanism under the block to see the power was turning the motor. The LocoFi equipped Stewart/Kato F unit can also be seen on my workbench. LocoFi is still working on changes to the Android app for steam engine functions as opposed to diesel.  

This LocoFi test stand project being successful, it will now go back into hibernation until the rest of the Owl Mountain Harriman 2-8-0 Stand-In conversion parts become available.  

The turntable and the water tank are constantly in my thoughts. The mainline trackage is the other very big project.