Another Round...

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Flymo748
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Re: Another Round...

Postby Flymo748 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:07 pm

Tim V wrote:I'd tap in "control, control" to set the 511 for 128 speed steps.

Thanks for the tip. I was aware that the 511 could do 128 speed steps. However I haven't yet reached the point in the User Guide that tells me how to change it.

If it's that simple, then even a numpty like me can manage it :-)

Tim V wrote:You could consider a Sprog, then you don't have to keep a spreadsheet of CVs, the computer will keep it for you...


That's interesting to know. I have toyed with the idea of a Sprog. However it didn't strike me as a "must have" at this point. I'll go away and have another look at it. Particularly as my laptop travels everywhere with me, so would always be available for on-the-fly programming.

Thanks very much for the tips. In terms of dipping a toe in the DCC water, I think that I've reached the point of immersing my heel...

Cheers
Flymo
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John McAleely
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Re: Another Round...

Postby John McAleely » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:59 pm

Tim V wrote:You could consider a Sprog, then you don't have to keep a spreadsheet of CVs, the computer will keep it for you...


And sliders, knobs, tick boxes and (shock!) decimal numbers. It's definitely the way to go.

nigelcliffe
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Re: Another Round...

Postby nigelcliffe » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:24 pm

Not to mention a Sprog reading CV's massively quicker than the ZTC controller; the ZTC is amongst the slowest CV reading devices I've ever used - takes an age to read a single value. It does give you lots of time to type values into your spreadsheet, but might get a bit boring if there are a few hundred to record....

- Nigel (biased as I write a few minor parts of JMRI, which is the usual software of choice to use with a Sprog, but not the only option ).

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Flymo748
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Re: Another Round...

Postby Flymo748 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:27 pm

John McAleely wrote:
Tim V wrote:You could consider a Sprog, then you don't have to keep a spreadsheet of CVs, the computer will keep it for you...


And sliders, knobs, tick boxes and (shock!) decimal numbers. It's definitely the way to go.


Okay, so with you and Nigel weighing in, I'm convinced :-)

Now just tell what I should specify in the order...

Cheers
Flymo
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nigelcliffe
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Re: Another Round...

Postby nigelcliffe » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:51 am

A Sprog II with power supply. £45 plus £10 for power supply from maker in Aylesbury.

You only need a Sprog II for 4mm locos. The only significant difference with a Sprog 3 is "more track amps" (and more expense for bigger power supply) which is fine for big O-gauge locos, or if you intend to run an entire layout from the Sprog plus laptop, but unnecessary for one or two locos at a time in smaller scales.

As well as the software drivers for the Sprog, you also need a copy of Java on your computer (www.java.com), and a copy of JMRI (www.jmri.org). Both are on the CD with the Sprog, but you can download and try both for free without the Sprog.
JMRI installs one huge program on your computer, the default install (on Windows) places two startup icons on the desktop. These are DecoderPro3 and PanelPro. The install for Macintosh or Linux is slightly different to Windows, but once installed the program is the same.

Once you get the Sprog, recommend you set the preferences for "DecoderPro3" to "Sprog" and the preferences for "PanelPro" to "Sprog Command Station". This makes swapping between the two modes of using a Sprog quicker. (See Sprog manual for details of the differences between the two modes )


- Nigel

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Flymo748
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Re: Another Round...

Postby Flymo748 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:06 am

nigelcliffe wrote:A Sprog II with power supply. £45 plus £10 for power supply from maker in Aylesbury.

You only need a Sprog II for 4mm locos. The only significant difference with a Sprog 3 is "more track amps" (and more expense for bigger power supply) which is fine for big O-gauge locos, or if you intend to run an entire layout from the Sprog plus laptop, but unnecessary for one or two locos at a time in smaller scales.


Thanks Nigel - you've just saved me 25 quid with that. I'd otherwise have ordered the more recent kit, and paid more for it. I checked the power supplies that I already have, and needed something to provide the juice, as I didn't have one that output 12v DC.

I've just popped the order through and will look forward to the Sprog turning up. Expect stupid questions when it arrives!

Now to start popping a chip into my Y14...

Cheers
Flymo
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Flymo748
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Things to learn about DCC: #38

Postby Flymo748 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:31 pm

If you notice that one wheel is wobbling sideways slightly when rotating, don't try and check it with a metal back-to-back gauge whilst it is still on the rolling road.

Because you will then remember that even though the power is off at the controller, the track is still live with 16V AC. And you will get a little crack and a spark when the circuit is shorted by the introduction of said gauge...

Ho hum, live and learn, etc.

Cheers
Flymo
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Flymo748
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Getting it all right...

Postby Flymo748 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:05 am

Sounds familiar to you?

Well, there's been something that has been nagging away at me ever since the GER tram locomotive was finished. The Great Eastern experts that I know have been good enough not to point the error out to me, for which I thank them for avoiding relentless leg-pulling. However SomethingHadToBeDone and last night I put the world to rights.

This is the locomotive as I previously left it:

GER Y6 tram - small image.JPG


And this is it this morning:

IMG_6969.JPG


When I originally painted it, I was also painting the nameplates for my industrial Pug at the same time. So I sploshed some black paint into the Y6's number plates, polished them back, and carried on with the weathering... Forgetting until it was all finished that GER number plates are distinctively red as a background, and not black.

As all of the reference photos that I work from are in black and white, I didn't twig to it as I was going along...

Anyway, all it took to put matters right was some careful puddling of buffer beam vermillion into the plates last night and then leaving it overnight to set hard. This morning, with the paint safely dry, I used a couple of small sanding blocks, first at 3200 grade, then at 4000 grade, to polish the paint from the brass and allow it to stand out.

Then the number plates stood out like a sore thumb (struck by a particularly large hammer...) compared to the weathered finish of the rest of the locomotive, so I used the same Citadel Miniatures black wash to tone them down slightly.

It's only a small change, but I'm really pleased with how it looks. I now actually can declare the locomotive "finished"...

Cheers
Flymo


Last edited by Flymo748 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Armchair Modeller
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Re: Another Round...

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:21 am

That looks exquisite - though I am tempted to ask if it hovers, rather than run on wheels ;)

Terry Bendall
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Re: Another Round...

Postby Terry Bendall » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:37 am

And hopefully we can persude Flymo to put it in the display case at Scaleforum, if not in the Chairman's Cup as well.

Terry Bendall

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Flymo748
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A quart in a pint-pot

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:41 am

That's what it felt like after making the decision to change from DC to DCC control...

As I have a liking for small locomotives, fitting a DCC chip will always be a challenge, and even more so when the locomotive is virtually finished. You may recall that my little L&Y Dapol Pug has transformed itself into an industrial locomotive (with the aid of a coat of brick-red paint) and was waiting only nameplates and a final weathering.

As befits this very ingeniously designed kit from High Level, the innards of the model are entirely packed with motor. Additionally, due to the way that the build goes together, access to much of it is difficult without doing a partial "unbuild" to reach the interior components. On the plus side, at least I had successfully wired up the loco for DC operation and knew that it ran reliably. This is how the underside looked in DC mode:

Extra pickups 001.jpg


There's not a huge amount of room in there to fit any type of DCC chip...

Fortunately help was at hand from other Scalefour Society members. When I visited the Norfolk and Suffolk Area Group a couple of weeks ago, I took the Pug along with me. I was helped enormously by NSAG member and DCC guru Nigel Cliffe who was present. As he spends much time putting DCC into 2mm finescale locomotives, then the Pug gave acres of room in comparison.

Nigel suggested taking out one of the spacers used to mount the pickups and slipping a small DCC chip in under that. His initial recommendation was for a CT DCX75, which is small enough to slip into the space. I promptly ordered a couple of these.

I started work on the DCC conversion by taking out both of the spacers to make room for the chip to go in. Because of the presence of the end of the compensation beam and various fixing screws, I couldn't quite slip the chip in under just one spacer. However it did fit very neatly in place between the frames when both old spacers were removed:

IMG_6954.JPG


To avoid any possible shorts, the chip itself has been wrapped in some plastic masking tape. It's the little red package that has tucked neatly under the end of the compensation beam. To make sure that it didn't dislodge when the Pug is in use, I used the tiniest amount of superglue to fix one end in place. The thick red and black wires are the original ones to the motor from its DC days. The very thin grey and orange wires that are just visible are the ones from the DCC chip to the motor. These have been soldered to the motor wires (after cleaning up the old soldering gunk on the ends...) and covered in heatshrink tube.

I then installed the replacement spacer to mount the pickups on. This was slightly wider than the original ones, and was located centrally between the wheels.

I always have trouble with wires becoming detached whilst trying to solder pickups to the same piece of copper-clad, so I decided to create some positive location for these wires. Using a fine drill (size didn't really matter in this case...) I drilled two small holes to take the ends of the red and black DCC wires.

IMG_6972.JPG


The ends of the wires were then inserted to hold them in the correct place, and soldered securely.

IMG_6975.JPG


From here it was just in to the home straight, which unfortunately for me always is a long and painful one... I really am no good at fitting pickups on locomotives! I can just about manage it, but they are a bit hit-and-miss. The next "clean" build that I start on a locomotive is going to be and experiment with split frame collection...

With the aid of fine-nosed pliers, and a lot of patience, I designed and made the pair of three-dimensional wires that can be seen here. They seem to fit well, and work effectively so far.

IMG_6981.JPG


And that was it. A successful DC to DCC conversion. I hauled out my ZTC controller, connected it to six inches of test track and the Pug moved under its own steam. It's a little jerky, which I think is the pickups needing to bed in. The motor or wheels have not been touched during the conversion, so I shouldn't have disturbed those. It could really do with a few minutes running on a circular test-track to loosen it up. I'll have to see what sort of opportunity offers itself.

Many thanks to Nigel for all of his advice and confidence that this could be done. Now to finish the weathering and put it safely to bed.

Cheers
Flymo
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nigelcliffe
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Re: Another Round...

Postby nigelcliffe » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:08 am

I think the pickups will work much better if you bend a 360 degree circle in the wire between the fixed point and the wheel to create some more "spring". Your originals had this sort of thing. They also look to be fatter than the phos-bronze pickup wire that I use.

Lack of space ? There's room for stay alive circuits in there. Just a matter of soldering some fine wires onto the chip :D
http://www.nigelcliffe.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... scale.html

- Nigel

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Flymo748
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Re: Another Round...

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:55 am

nigelcliffe wrote:I think the pickups will work much better if you bend a 360 degree circle in the wire between the fixed point and the wheel to create some more "spring". Your originals had this sort of thing. They also look to be fatter than the phos-bronze pickup wire that I use.


I agree with you that the 360 degree method that I used before gives more flexibility. It was a toss-up over whether I tried to recreate that arrangement with the new pickups or go with the straighter ones.

These have the advantage that the tangent with the wheel is pretty much vertical, so it doesn't impede the rocking axle's up and down movement much. As ever, I'll see how it runs, and to change the pickup style if necessary.

The wire is 0.35mm straight ph/b from Eileen's, BTW. I don't *think* that I have anything thinner in the toolkit.

Cheers
Flymo
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Flymo748
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In passing...

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:11 am

...I mentioned the weathering that needs to be finished. I realise that I haven't posted any pictures showing the current state of this.

The initial rather raw body colour has had a first coat of black wash over it, to bring up the detail. It has also nicely toned down the brick red to a much more workaday colour. This is actually now very similar to the prototype colour photo that I have been working from. This is of an industrial saddle tank locomotive, working in an ironstone quarry.

At this point I'm happy with the basic colouring, and the next step is to work up all of the detailed weathering of different types of oil mark, rust, coal, etc, etc. Plenty of reference photos will be called into play for this as well.

IMG_6988.JPG


IMG_6996.JPG


However in the meantime I'll be re-fitting the driving wheels to my Y14. They've just had the red lining applied around the rim. I was going to leave it off, and go for a road-dirt filthy look to cover the absence of the lining. I changed my mind :-)

IMG_6999.JPG


I must polish the ultramarine paint from the treads first though. A much easier job to do with the wheels off the loco than on it.

Cheers
Flymo
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nigelcliffe
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Re: Another Round...

Postby nigelcliffe » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:17 pm

Flymo748 wrote:
nigelcliffe wrote:I think the pickups will work much better if you bend a 360 degree circle in the wire between the fixed point and the wheel to create some more "spring". Your originals had this sort of thing. They also look to be fatter than the phos-bronze pickup wire that I use.


I agree with you that the 360 degree method that I used before gives more flexibility. It was a toss-up over whether I tried to recreate that arrangement with the new pickups or go with the straighter ones.

These have the advantage that the tangent with the wheel is pretty much vertical, so it doesn't impede the rocking axle's up and down movement much. As ever, I'll see how it runs, and to change the pickup style if necessary.

The wire is 0.35mm straight ph/b from Eileen's, BTW. I don't *think* that I have anything thinner in the toolkit.

Cheers
Flymo


I'd predict that the straight (and thick) pickups will momentarily break contact as the wheel rotates. You'll struggle to see it, though running in a dark room might show up the tiny flashes of sparks.

My usual wire is 33SWG, which is 0.25mm diameter, occaisionally I'll use 36SWG, but that's very thin and too flexible for most uses. My coils are from the original Eileen's in Leeds, with a phone number before the "01" went on the front of everyone's numbers !


- Nigel

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: Another Round...

Postby Mark Tatlow » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:23 pm

It is my understanding that wrapping chips in tape where they do not come pre-fitted with it is to be treated with caution on the grounds of over-heating? Those that come pre-wrapped are designed for the heat load, those that are not aren't.

I appreciate the practical need for this and it is one of the reasons that some people prefer other makes than Lenz (who are the main manufacturer who do not pre-wrap them).
Mark Tatlow

allanferguson
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Re: Another Round...

Postby allanferguson » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:30 pm

That's a lovely wee engine, and very evocative of the prototype. I particularly admire the weathering, which I've never had the courage to apply to a pristine paint finish. Anent the pickups, I would agree with Nigel re lack of flexibility. What I have found, though, is that flexibility in the fore and aft plane (as you have in your original configuration) also means flexibility in the vertical plane, leading to short circuiting on the brake rigging, and on the bottom of the mainframes. I've dealt with this by using plastic sleeving on the pickup wire, but it's not very sightly.

Allan F

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David B
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Re: Another Round...

Postby David B » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:45 pm

allanferguson wrote: What I have found, though, is that flexibility in the fore and aft plane (as you have in your original configuration) also means flexibility in the vertical plane, leading to short circuiting on the brake rigging, and on the bottom of the mainframes. I've dealt with this by using plastic sleeving on the pickup wire, but it's not very sightly.

Allan F

I have used a thin smear of araldite along the bottom edge of the frames, before painting, and that prevents shorting. I have not had the problem with brake gear yet - a delight to come, perhaps.

I have also used the fine Gem control tube on the pick-ups, which is fairly inconspicuous, to insulate them.

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Andy W
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Re: Another Round...

Postby Andy W » Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:02 pm

Lovely engine Flymo.
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Flymo748
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A little more catching up...

Postby Flymo748 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:41 pm

A little more of what I've been up to...

The last progress report on the Y14 was that the chassis had been dismantled, and the wheels repainted and lined. Now it is time to start putting things back together. First, I decided to make the pick-up mounting plates demountable :-)

This requires soldering some captive nuts to the frame spacers for them to be mounted on:

IMG_7101.JPG


The painted coupling rods can also be seen in the background. Together with brass ends to them, they look very smart. Or they will do until they are weathered into a proper working condition.

This is the chassis back together:

IMG_7108.JPG


The DCC chip will slide into the smokebox, followed by the motor itself as it did when it was running on DC.

I can't remember what gauge guitar string I used for the original CSB wires. This time it's 14 gauge, which initial tests by the push of a finger indicate is not too far away from the truth. This time around, I've started a document on the computer to list the CSB wire weights used in all of my future locomotives...

The next step will be to fashion some pick-ups and solder them in place. Then I can see if it is a smoother runner than before I dismantled it!

Cheers
Flymo
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Flymo748
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Another addition to the toolkit...

Postby Flymo748 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:15 pm

Whilst I remember! This has been a most invaluable tool to use today:

IMG_7114.JPG


It's a small (8cm in length) LED torch. We picked up a couple of these in a pound shop in Douglas on the Isle of Man during this year's TT. In case <ahem> we needed to find our way back from the pub...

Earlier today, I was trying to re-thread the CSB wires through the appropriate mounts and bearings in the middle of the Y14 chassis with not much success. Future note to self - don't put a frame spacer directly above a hornblock as you won't be able to see the tiny hole in the bearing when you've put the wheels in place.

As all modellers know, good light is the key to accuracy and quality work. Despite it being daylight, and having two spotlights mounted on my workbench, I just couldn't see what the end of the CSB wire was doing. Then I remembered this torch in my desk drawer.

By putting the chassis upside down in its cradle, I could hold the torch in one hand and using tweezers in the other, I guided the wire through its hole first time. After the previous frustrations, that was a result!

Not expensive, easy to obtain, and well worth it for those tricky jobs. I recommend to the audienceit as a crafty tool to have available...

So I must remember this dodge for the next time that I need it. Or design my chassis a little better. Ho hum...

Cheers
Flymo
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Will L
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Re: Another Round...

Postby Will L » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:42 am

The difficulty in getting your CSB spring in has come up twice in the last few days. A long time ago we discuses on her somewhere how necessary it was to get the fixed fulcrum points on the chassis and the moving points on the axle boxes to line up in a nice strait line. While experience suggests that as far as performance is concerned was that not having them in strait line wasn't a significant issue, getting the b*****s in was a different matter where having them in a nice strait line makes a world of a difference.

How to achieve this happy state of affairs I covered, in passing, in this post An Aside About Knobs

Will

DougN
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Re: Another Round...

Postby DougN » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:45 am

Ahhh now Will. I have seen where I went wrong with the CSB's I wasn't using the avonside chassis jig... Next time I will!
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

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Will L
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Re: Another Round...

Postby Will L » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:47 pm

DougN wrote:Ahhh now Will. I have seen where I went wrong with the CSB's I wasn't using the avonside chassis jig... Next time I will!


Did I say that?

Will

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Re: Another Round...

Postby DougN » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:37 pm

No but it will help setting the chassis up more accurately next time...
Doug
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