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 The Coos Bay and Willamette Valley Part two

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
railman28 Posted - 07/09/2019 : 10:35:06 PM
I am building a layout here, I might seem that all I do is build Steam Engines but, their is a modest model railroad being built too.
Here is part one;

This is the current track plan;

For the last two years I have been focused on build two detailed models of 1870's Moguls that are currently hard at work in 1886. The Girls works hard but are well maintained. I am using the wagon top Moguls of the Virginia and Truckee RR as my prototype drawing heavily from Engine number 4 and 13. In build these two engines I have been relying on 3D drawing and printing on a backbone of conventional model making techniques.

Let the fun continue...
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
masonamerican Posted - 09/02/2020 : 5:41:33 PM
Sorry to hear about the Current keeper problems. I have one mounted in my MEW 2-8-0. When I have it assembled I’ll test it and we can compare it.

jbvb Posted - 08/10/2020 : 10:21:24 AM
I've never tried to do this myself, but the symptoms you report make me think the Current Keeper is either connected to the wrong points in the decoder, or somehow has a very high-resistance connection. It shouldn't take more than maybe 10-20 seconds to charge up, and it should be able to discharge quickly to keep the decoder on the job when passing over dirty track or an unpowered frog. The directions I found say to connect it to the DC side of the rectifier bridge, where it should see full track voltage at whatever current the diodes are rated for. But the picture with those directions only shows an unmodified circuit board. If you aren't sure which is the DC side, it is opposite where the track power comes in. The polarity of diodes can be checked with many inexpensive voltmeters.
railman28 Posted - 08/10/2020 : 01:05:43 AM
I continue to tune-up my Mogul. While I've gotten the pilot truck to clear the cylinders it's now hitting the coupler mounting screw head. In lengthening the pilot it now exerts a leverage action that lift the front driver a bit off the rail so with the pilot truck is place it has very poor traction. I redesign the casting to eliminate this. If Shapeways can print this, I should know in a couple of days now and I'll have the pilot in September. In the mean while I tried a new (to me) product, Bullfrog Snot. It's a rubber product that you coat one of the drivers with. When it drives you have a Traction Tire. It has helped dramatically!! The engine is back to pulling 7 flatcars up a 2% grade. I have had to improve electrical pick up on the tender.
The current keeper in the Bachmann American continues to disappoint.
I am continuing to work on my trackwork. When I built my 3-way I tried to do too much in too little space. I started to lay a new 3-way, This one With in norms. In testing it looks/works good. A vast improvement. Today I removes the bad three-way and a Standard right hand #5 that no longer will work in it's old position. That process looks promising.

No picture yet.

Bottom line, Bullfrog Snot works.


railman28 Posted - 07/26/2020 : 02:33:44 AM
A quick up date; The front truck now clears the pilot. And The Bachmann American I added the Current keeper too is doing better. I just let it sit on the tracks and soak up juice for an hour while I test ran the mogul. Maybe that what the current keeper needed and maybe the decoder had to learn to talk to the current keeper but the engine will now craw over frogs on speed step one. I'm still getting occasional stalling when I use F9 for a grade crossing but most of the time the usual whistling is no problem.

railman28 Posted - 07/24/2020 : 4:49:33 PM
Dave, Mike, Thank you. The Current Keepers connect to the decoder directly, not to any P/U wires so I would think that the decoder controls the charging/discharging of the capacitors. I think I need to add all wheel pick up to the tender.

Michael Hohn Posted - 07/24/2020 : 4:31:24 PM
Yes, they are like batteries but I think they charge and discharge more rapidly.

deemery Posted - 07/24/2020 : 4:22:26 PM
A capacitor should act like a short-lived battery, I believe. But I wonder if the capacitor isn't getting fully charged before you run the loco.

railman28 Posted - 07/24/2020 : 4:10:56 PM
Originally posted by deemery

Bob, that doesn't sound right! The capacitor shouldn't exhibit any (human) noticeable delay. I wonder if that indicates a problem in the rest of the electronics?!?


Thank you Dave, Confirming this blacksmith's opinion is extremely helpful to me. When the engine can sit for a half hour it does better but are capacitors like batteries?


deemery Posted - 07/24/2020 : 3:29:42 PM
Bob, that doesn't sound right! The capacitor shouldn't exhibit any (human) noticeable delay. I wonder if that indicates a problem in the rest of the electronics?!?

railman28 Posted - 07/24/2020 : 1:02:34 PM
Bill it seems to happen at some of the same spots. Frog points for example. I thought the Current-keeper would take care of them but it takes a fraction of a second to kick in in which time the engine stalls for a moment. I was hopping for better.

Bill Gill Posted - 07/24/2020 : 08:39:50 AM
Bob, That is a weird situation with the whistle and stalling. Did it happen at different
places along the track or did you always wind up blowing the whistle at the same place, say on a curve (horizontal or vertical)?

This well is outside my range, but could there be some temporary short circuit either in the locomotive or the decoder itself whenever the whistle is
activated that draws enough current to stall the motor?
railman28 Posted - 07/23/2020 : 8:44:25 PM
Dave, that's good.
Andre, yes, and it's only the engine with the current keeper in it.

I removed the front pilot as I thoughtfully plan out it's adjustment but as a 0-6-0 I tested her pulling power. She did alright. She pulled 7 flat cars up my 2% grade. That's more than acceptable. I continue to play with the decoder CV's. I found a better whistle and after trying several exhaust options I'm currently using Light #1. Decoder pro is such a great tool.

OK Hogger Posted - 07/23/2020 : 09:01:16 AM
That's a new one to me about DCC: Stalling when the whistle is used. Unlike the old motor driven air whistles of Lionel tenders, in DCC it's only an electron activating a digital sound file. That should be absolutely negligible electronic consumption in view of taking current from the motor.


Good news on the slow speed. Good news on the easy fix for the pilot truck fouling the cylinders.

deemery Posted - 07/23/2020 : 08:46:10 AM
> It stales when I try and use the whistle.

Poor steamer? :-) :-)

railman28 Posted - 07/23/2020 : 02:39:41 AM
So far I 'm a bit disappointed with the performance of the Current keeper. It does help some but as much as I hoped. When I'm a running the engine slowly It stales when I try and use the whistle. I don't what that's about yet.
I installed a decoder, a Tsunami 2 into my mogul and have spent a enjoyable evening testing the engine and adjusting the sound. When first installed the little mogul sounded like a light USRA Mikado. It was a good sound, just not a little mogul. It now sound a little heaver than my Americans. It now has a one chime whistle and no dynamo. The chuff rate is closer too now. Best of all, no magic smoke.

In testing the moguls on curves and through turnouts exposed a flaw. The pilot truck is too close to the cylinders causing it to pop of the track on curves. I believe it's going to be an easy fix. Overall the model is running super. At speed step one it creeps along at about 4 sec. a turn of the driver.


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