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Author Previous Topic: BGM NA Locomotive Kit Construction Logs Topic Next Topic: BGM NA Kit General Discussion Area
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mccarronau
New Hire



Posted - 10/20/2004 :  06:55:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit mccarronau's Homepage
I am building the BGM NA to On3 standard. Photos will be taken shortly of the progress so far, but to describe: only the cab floor and running boards have been assembled. I have test assembled the brass frames with additional spacing to accommodate a three foot gauge, but final assembly of the frames has yet to be completed. I delayed soldering both tanks onto the running boards as I wanted to first install a DCC sound chip. I have acquired this now, so will proceed with assemble of the tanks and hand rails, leaving sufficient breathing space so that the DCC chip does not over-heat during operation. All for now - 20OCT04 Keith

Country: Australia | Posts: 20

speedlimit20
Section Hand



Posted - 10/20/2004 :  12:57:16 PM  Show Profile
Hi there Keith :

Looking forward to your photos of progress.
It took me a while to get the hang of the forum, where everything is and how to use it. A lot different to the yahoo groups. In particular, i was struggling how to insert my photos in-line and after a couple of failed attempts, had some good advice given by forum administrator MikeC under the topic heading of BGM NA Kit General Discussion Area.

DCC Decoders
Can you give us a rundown on the dcc decoders that you are using? Have you used these sound decoders before and are you happy with their sound and performance?
I've seen your comment on yahoo groups about putting them into one of the sidetank hollows, but have you given any thought as to the best way to have that sidetank removeable? If that is what you intend to do.



Country: Australia | Posts: 95 Go to Top of Page

speedlimit20
Section Hand



Posted - 10/20/2004 :  12:57:16 PM  Show Profile
Hi there Keith :

Looking forward to your photos of progress.
It took me a while to get the hang of the forum, where everything is and how to use it. A lot different to the yahoo groups. In particular, i was struggling how to insert my photos in-line and after a couple of failed attempts, had some good advice given by forum administrator MikeC under the topic heading of BGM NA Kit General Discussion Area.

DCC Decoders
Can you give us a rundown on the dcc decoders that you are using? Have you used these sound decoders before and are you happy with their sound and performance?
I've seen your comment on yahoo groups about putting them into one of the sidetank hollows, but have you given any thought as to the best way to have that sidetank removeable? If that is what you intend to do.



Country: Australia | Posts: 95 Go to Top of Page

Mario Rapinett
Fireman



Posted - 10/21/2004 :  09:57:12 AM  Show Profile
Keith..... Geeze Man...you've hit the big time... your own forum....... good stuff...

I have about 50 questions....... will need over the coming months......

No i have no Na kit, but you know me.... I get the answers first, before I do anything...saves alotta time.......

Seriously.... the Na forums are gunna help alotta people over the coming months.

Well done you guys

Big M

PS.... just learned how to the use icon. Geeze I gotta get a life or get a new hobby..








Country: Australia | Posts: 5768 Go to Top of Page

Mario Rapinett
Fireman



Posted - 10/21/2004 :  09:57:12 AM  Show Profile
Keith..... Geeze Man...you've hit the big time... your own forum....... good stuff...

I have about 50 questions....... will need over the coming months......

No i have no Na kit, but you know me.... I get the answers first, before I do anything...saves alotta time.......

Seriously.... the Na forums are gunna help alotta people over the coming months.

Well done you guys

Big M

PS.... just learned how to the use icon. Geeze I gotta get a life or get a new hobby..








Country: Australia | Posts: 5768 Go to Top of Page

mccarronau
New Hire



Posted - 10/24/2004 :  08:36:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit mccarronau's Homepage
Gents,
I thought I would give posting a photo a go, just so you could see where I am up to in this NA construction adventure.



This is my first try at taking a photo and posting it pronto, so it is a little rushed, not a true representation of real progress and is somewhat set-up for pictorial effect. To explain: The smoke box, cylinders, etc, are just stacked together for looks. They have not yet been assembled. The frame has been lightly screwed together with two brass washers on each spacer, as extra spacers, as I am building to On3 standard. When I tested them for fit the frames are still a little too close. I dropped a set of On3 freight wheels between the frames just to see what clearance there might be, but it was obvious there was not enough room between the wheels and the frames. Using a set of loco wheels (when I acquire or make up 3 foot axles) will require a bit more room. I have, therefore not bent the two frames to locate either side of the cast-on detail on the cab floor, as discussed in earlier postings. Another consideration is that I have ordered one of Bernard Snoodyk's brass cab floors, which he has built to accommodate the 3 foot gauge frame. I will wait until it arrives before commiting myself to a soldered, "permanent" frame sub-structure. One job I have to do is to un-solder the white metal cab floor that I was so keen to attach a couple of weeks ago. It will be a good test of skill, but I think the look of the brass floor will be worth the extra effort.

The MRC sound decoder has just been placed inside the tank and the speaker and its cabinet (a plastic pill bottle cap) is sitting on the cab floor just to show their relative size. I have soldered the right side tank to the running boards, but I intentionally left the other off, because I had not decided on the location of the decoder. Reading Rick's discussion of attaching hand rails, etc before soldering the tanks onto the running boards, I am glad I have not proceeded further. His idea makes sense, and thus the instant value of a builders log!!!! Thank you Rick.

OK, let's try another photo:




There - that's not too hard. This photo shows the MRC "HO Gauge Synchronized Steam Sound Decoder" sitting inside the tank. The HO decoder is rated at 1.5 AMPS, so it is no slouch when it comes to powering an O scale locomotive. I have yet to decide where to place the wiring, etc, but that will come in later discussion, I think.

While I am on a roll, lets load another photo (love this!):




A close-up of the decoder and some information about it. I have listened to the decoder while it was attached to a test unit at Garry Spencer-Salts shop in Blacktown. It is the Series Two model - I believe the series one did not get a very good report. This Series Two sounds pretty good for the money (BTW I paid $120 for this unit, but I believe you can get them for $95 elsewhere - so shop around). The unit comes with a speaker and has 12 sound functions. I think it is value for money (provided you pay the right price!!!)
Well, that's all for now.



Country: Australia | Posts: 20 Go to Top of Page

mccarronau
New Hire



Posted - 10/24/2004 :  08:36:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit mccarronau's Homepage
Gents,
I thought I would give posting a photo a go, just so you could see where I am up to in this NA construction adventure.



This is my first try at taking a photo and posting it pronto, so it is a little rushed, not a true representation of real progress and is somewhat set-up for pictorial effect. To explain: The smoke box, cylinders, etc, are just stacked together for looks. They have not yet been assembled. The frame has been lightly screwed together with two brass washers on each spacer, as extra spacers, as I am building to On3 standard. When I tested them for fit the frames are still a little too close. I dropped a set of On3 freight wheels between the frames just to see what clearance there might be, but it was obvious there was not enough room between the wheels and the frames. Using a set of loco wheels (when I acquire or make up 3 foot axles) will require a bit more room. I have, therefore not bent the two frames to locate either side of the cast-on detail on the cab floor, as discussed in earlier postings. Another consideration is that I have ordered one of Bernard Snoodyk's brass cab floors, which he has built to accommodate the 3 foot gauge frame. I will wait until it arrives before commiting myself to a soldered, "permanent" frame sub-structure. One job I have to do is to un-solder the white metal cab floor that I was so keen to attach a couple of weeks ago. It will be a good test of skill, but I think the look of the brass floor will be worth the extra effort.

The MRC sound decoder has just been placed inside the tank and the speaker and its cabinet (a plastic pill bottle cap) is sitting on the cab floor just to show their relative size. I have soldered the right side tank to the running boards, but I intentionally left the other off, because I had not decided on the location of the decoder. Reading Rick's discussion of attaching hand rails, etc before soldering the tanks onto the running boards, I am glad I have not proceeded further. His idea makes sense, and thus the instant value of a builders log!!!! Thank you Rick.

OK, let's try another photo:




There - that's not too hard. This photo shows the MRC "HO Gauge Synchronized Steam Sound Decoder" sitting inside the tank. The HO decoder is rated at 1.5 AMPS, so it is no slouch when it comes to powering an O scale locomotive. I have yet to decide where to place the wiring, etc, but that will come in later discussion, I think.

While I am on a roll, lets load another photo (love this!):




A close-up of the decoder and some information about it. I have listened to the decoder while it was attached to a test unit at Garry Spencer-Salts shop in Blacktown. It is the Series Two model - I believe the series one did not get a very good report. This Series Two sounds pretty good for the money (BTW I paid $120 for this unit, but I believe you can get them for $95 elsewhere - so shop around). The unit comes with a speaker and has 12 sound functions. I think it is value for money (provided you pay the right price!!!)
Well, that's all for now.



Country: Australia | Posts: 20 Go to Top of Page

Mario Rapinett
Fireman



Posted - 10/24/2004 :  09:18:04 AM  Show Profile
Keith , you waited years for this kit....nice to see you working on it.

Saw Bernard Snookdyk yesterday. He had the brass plates for the Na.

I've moved and will contact you later this week

"M"



Country: Australia | Posts: 5768 Go to Top of Page

Mario Rapinett
Fireman



Posted - 10/24/2004 :  09:18:04 AM  Show Profile
Keith , you waited years for this kit....nice to see you working on it.

Saw Bernard Snookdyk yesterday. He had the brass plates for the Na.

I've moved and will contact you later this week

"M"



Country: Australia | Posts: 5768 Go to Top of Page

speedlimit20
Section Hand



Posted - 10/24/2004 :  8:49:00 PM  Show Profile
Hi Keith and other NA fans :

You reckon my photos are good?
Touche! Yours are fantastic mate, very clear and sharp and wonderfully composed. Great stuff.

It took a while to get the hang of inserting photos in-line but with some help from MikeC, our administrator, in the NA general forum test topic, we have instructions to help others who may want to post images. Fun, eh?

Your On3 Wheelsets
I'm particularly interested in how you go about converting the engine to On3 and i guess that the wobbly wheel syndrome may not directly affect you. Are you going to try and re-gauge the kit's wheelsets or are you going to search out new axles and wheels and refit the cranks to those? Or maybe another plan?

DCC Installation
Thanks for all the very informative feedback on the MRC sound decoder. With the soundtraxx DSD units being off the market and their intended tsunami replacement units seemingly held up forever, plus the price difference, maybe the MRC unit is the way to go.
It looks from your photos that the decoder will fit nicely into one of the sidetanks. I was going to pick on the same left hand tank as you seem to be doing to install the decoder. There is quite a bit of plumbing that i'm going to add around the air pump on the right hand tank and maybe this side should be avoided if there is any intention of having the tank removeable for access to the decoder.
John H said that he has added DCC sound to his 1st run kit engine, so maybe he would give us feedback on how he installed his.
The speaker and enclosure seems to be the main issue for installation. Where is that going to go?



Edited by - speedlimit20 on 10/24/2004 8:51:09 PM

Country: Australia | Posts: 95 Go to Top of Page

speedlimit20
Section Hand



Posted - 10/24/2004 :  8:49:00 PM  Show Profile
Hi Keith and other NA fans :

You reckon my photos are good?
Touche! Yours are fantastic mate, very clear and sharp and wonderfully composed. Great stuff.

It took a while to get the hang of inserting photos in-line but with some help from MikeC, our administrator, in the NA general forum test topic, we have instructions to help others who may want to post images. Fun, eh?

Your On3 Wheelsets
I'm particularly interested in how you go about converting the engine to On3 and i guess that the wobbly wheel syndrome may not directly affect you. Are you going to try and re-gauge the kit's wheelsets or are you going to search out new axles and wheels and refit the cranks to those? Or maybe another plan?

DCC Installation
Thanks for all the very informative feedback on the MRC sound decoder. With the soundtraxx DSD units being off the market and their intended tsunami replacement units seemingly held up forever, plus the price difference, maybe the MRC unit is the way to go.
It looks from your photos that the decoder will fit nicely into one of the sidetanks. I was going to pick on the same left hand tank as you seem to be doing to install the decoder. There is quite a bit of plumbing that i'm going to add around the air pump on the right hand tank and maybe this side should be avoided if there is any intention of having the tank removeable for access to the decoder.
John H said that he has added DCC sound to his 1st run kit engine, so maybe he would give us feedback on how he installed his.
The speaker and enclosure seems to be the main issue for installation. Where is that going to go?



Edited by - speedlimit20 on 10/24/2004 8:51:09 PM

Country: Australia | Posts: 95 Go to Top of Page

johnhu
New Hire

Posted - 10/25/2004 :  01:12:35 AM  Show Profile
Hey all,

Sound in the NA's. Well I like to do things a little different, so here goes.

When I did the first run loco, the only sound decoders were the Soundtraxx ones. I've not heard an MRC one, so can't compare the sound.

I don't like the motor drive characteristics that the original Soundtraxx decoders have (I like decoders with "silent drive" and BackEMF features). To overcome this I always use a seperate decoder for the motor drive and lights with a Soundtraxx DSX (sound only) unit for the sound.

Confused yet. Yes there are basically two decoders in my NA (plus the speaker). One for the motor and lights, and another for the sound.

As the motor is a good quality can motor, and has a very small stall current, you can get away with the tiny decoders available. I used one of the Digitrax DZ series decoders (length is just over 1cm, that sort of size). It's small enough that I mounted it on the top of the gearbox with double sided tape.

The DSX was mounted on the inside of one of the side tanks, with the speaker mounted inside the coal bunker of the cab. A simple two pin plug connects the body (including the sound decoder and speaker) with the pickups on the chassis. This enables me to easily seperate the body from the chassis if needed.

I used one of the "edge-port" speakers. This is basically a small box (Shaped like a matchbox in proportion, but smaller), with a speaker inside. There are openings along the small "edge" of the box to release the sound. This opening is set to shoot the sound up and out of the top of the coal bunker. (The top is covered by a small piece of black sponge foam, with some real coal pieces glued onto it).

Volume wise, I have to keep it turned down at home, yet when turned up, it can still be heard by the audience in front of the layout at an exhibition. I plan on doing the same thing for my second run one under construction.

Hope this helps

John Humphrey
Perth WA



Country: Australia | Posts: 23 Go to Top of Page

johnhu
New Hire

Posted - 10/25/2004 :  01:12:35 AM  Show Profile
Hey all,

Sound in the NA's. Well I like to do things a little different, so here goes.

When I did the first run loco, the only sound decoders were the Soundtraxx ones. I've not heard an MRC one, so can't compare the sound.

I don't like the motor drive characteristics that the original Soundtraxx decoders have (I like decoders with "silent drive" and BackEMF features). To overcome this I always use a seperate decoder for the motor drive and lights with a Soundtraxx DSX (sound only) unit for the sound.

Confused yet. Yes there are basically two decoders in my NA (plus the speaker). One for the motor and lights, and another for the sound.

As the motor is a good quality can motor, and has a very small stall current, you can get away with the tiny decoders available. I used one of the Digitrax DZ series decoders (length is just over 1cm, that sort of size). It's small enough that I mounted it on the top of the gearbox with double sided tape.

The DSX was mounted on the inside of one of the side tanks, with the speaker mounted inside the coal bunker of the cab. A simple two pin plug connects the body (including the sound decoder and speaker) with the pickups on the chassis. This enables me to easily seperate the body from the chassis if needed.

I used one of the "edge-port" speakers. This is basically a small box (Shaped like a matchbox in proportion, but smaller), with a speaker inside. There are openings along the small "edge" of the box to release the sound. This opening is set to shoot the sound up and out of the top of the coal bunker. (The top is covered by a small piece of black sponge foam, with some real coal pieces glued onto it).

Volume wise, I have to keep it turned down at home, yet when turned up, it can still be heard by the audience in front of the layout at an exhibition. I plan on doing the same thing for my second run one under construction.

Hope this helps

John Humphrey
Perth WA



Country: Australia | Posts: 23 Go to Top of Page

mccarronau
New Hire



Posted - 10/25/2004 :  08:04:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit mccarronau's Homepage
Gents,
Regards the DCC, listening to the sound chip in a test setup, the chuff is as good as any I have listened to. It even has a "Conductor" that calls out "All aboard!" This is a bit absurd on a logging train, but would be good on a passenger consist.

My thoughts with the wheel arrangement are to try to disassemble the supplied wheels, turn up some wider axles to accommodate a three foot gauge and then to re-assemble each axle. The leading and trailing trucks might have to be manufactured out of brass, but I think I could do that. At least I am willing to have a go at doing that - time will tell whether I have the skill required. I am not sure how the wheels will go during disassembly, because of the plastic centres. I have been drawing what I believe an axle puller/wheel press might look like, and again, this might be something that has to be manufactured first. if anybody has a good design for a wheel puller/press I would love to see it.


Frame width. On30 gauge = 16.5 mm. On3 gauge = 19mm. I thought it would be a simple matter of separating the loco frames by the difference, 2.5 mm and all would be well. When I put washers between the supplied spacer bars and the frame sides, a set of On3 freight wheels barely fitted between the frames, so a pare of driving wheels would bind. I think the frame setup will have to be a trial and error affair. I am still waiting for the Bernard Snoodyk cab floor to arrive, but as he has made allowance for a three foot gauge, I am keen to see just what spacing he has made to the support webbing under the floor.

All for now.



Country: Australia | Posts: 20 Go to Top of Page

mccarronau
New Hire



Posted - 10/25/2004 :  08:04:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit mccarronau's Homepage
Gents,
Regards the DCC, listening to the sound chip in a test setup, the chuff is as good as any I have listened to. It even has a "Conductor" that calls out "All aboard!" This is a bit absurd on a logging train, but would be good on a passenger consist.

My thoughts with the wheel arrangement are to try to disassemble the supplied wheels, turn up some wider axles to accommodate a three foot gauge and then to re-assemble each axle. The leading and trailing trucks might have to be manufactured out of brass, but I think I could do that. At least I am willing to have a go at doing that - time will tell whether I have the skill required. I am not sure how the wheels will go during disassembly, because of the plastic centres. I have been drawing what I believe an axle puller/wheel press might look like, and again, this might be something that has to be manufactured first. if anybody has a good design for a wheel puller/press I would love to see it.


Frame width. On30 gauge = 16.5 mm. On3 gauge = 19mm. I thought it would be a simple matter of separating the loco frames by the difference, 2.5 mm and all would be well. When I put washers between the supplied spacer bars and the frame sides, a set of On3 freight wheels barely fitted between the frames, so a pare of driving wheels would bind. I think the frame setup will have to be a trial and error affair. I am still waiting for the Bernard Snoodyk cab floor to arrive, but as he has made allowance for a three foot gauge, I am keen to see just what spacing he has made to the support webbing under the floor.

All for now.



Country: Australia | Posts: 20 Go to Top of Page

mccarronau
New Hire



Posted - 10/30/2004 :  10:14:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit mccarronau's Homepage
Saturday 30 Oct. I collected the brass NA cab floor from the post office this morning. Bernard has done an excellent job of constructing the floor. He included some additional detail - side steps, coupler lift bar, stand and chain. It is well worth the $50 cost. He also includes some very good advice regarding assembly and what to look out for.

Now, where did I put the soldering iron?

Keith McCarron
Blaxland



Country: Australia | Posts: 20 Go to Top of Page
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