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Thread: Weekend Update (1st Dec 2017)

  1. #1
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    Post Weekend Update (1st Dec 2017)

    Please update us on the progress you have made on your MRR projects this week (commencing: 1st Dec 2017).

    This weekly thread is to post little snippets about your layout/project progress.
    This is not be a substitute for your layout build thread, but just a mini update on what you got done for the week.

    You can link from your layout build thread to your posts in this thread as a part of a more extensive post there, or visa-versa (post to your build thread and link to that post when contributing to this thread.

    Click on a post's #number (right-hand end of the post header) to get the URL to that particular post in your browsers address bar.
    Copy and paste this as needed.

    So, fellow nSn'ers, what have you been up to this week?

  2. #2
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    Jan 2017
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    Finally got a chance to install a decoder in my Kato Operation North Pole loco, F40PH. I purchased the one made by TCS as it has automatic red marker lights when the loco is going in reverse. I normally go for Digitrax since they are typically $10 cheaper than the TCS stuff.

    I've done many decoder installs, including a few hardwired ones, but this one was absolutely a nightmare despite TCS' instructions on their website. Took me a whole hour, which is incredibly long for my standards. Half the time was trying to get the shell off without breaking it. The usual "drop method using the jewel case" does not work due to the pilot and rear deck is NOT part of the shell.

    A few notes for future reference in case anyone buys an ONP set. They don't tell you this on their website.

    1. When TCS' website say to spread the front left and right rear of the shell to remove it, this is with the reference that the loco is on its wheels! Not upside down on its shell! Thus I had so much trouble removing it. On those corners there is a clear inside piece that has a notch that hooks on to two matching tabs on the metal halves.

    2. When you wrap Kapton tape to the "long bus bars", you can only wrap a single layer AND you need to trim it flush on the inside edge. In other words, the outside edge is insulated against short but the inside edge is not (not necessary). Even with Kapton's thinness, any extra wrap on an edge will make the strip too thick and big to fit back into the slot. With a single wrap and cut flush, you still have to give it a good push (with a toothpick) to seat it back into the slot on the gray plastic "frame".

    3. My copy of the decoder already have some of the material removed in the front of the PCB. A trial fit shows that it's perfect to go into the light tube housing. But, I filed it even a little more just to be sure.

    4. You will have to solder the motor tabs on to the contact pads on the decoder. The clip just doesn't hold them down reliably. I say this as both my Kato F7A/B didn't require soldering and the clip held the tabs down just fine.

    5. When reassembling the shell, most lightly the front won't seat down properly. That's because the front of the decoder is not aligned with the light tube housing properly. It turns out you can move/rotate the decoder a little to the right or left. Try to figure out which direction you need to do it and give it a little movement. If it doesn't work, try the other direction. Sooner or later you'll find a position where the front of the decoder fits right into the light tube housing, allowing the shell to seat properly.

    6. TCS' website say to set CV35=2 and CV51=16. This will set the red marker lights to come on in reverse. But the rear headlight comes on full bright and it's very annoying! If you then try to turn it off with the typical headlight button (F0), the red marker lights will also go off! However, you can set CV34=4 which will remap the rear headlight to F1 (the 1 key on a Digitrax throttle) and make it independent of the red marker lights. Now you can just hit F1 to turn off the rear headlight without affecting the red marker lights.

    Last edited by kingmeow; 1st Dec 2017 at 11:46 PM.

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  4. #3
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    Spent good part of the day today making a platform for my O-scale under-the-tree layout. Here it is still being testing in the middle of the floor but I made it modular so that you can take it apart into 3 sections (chest latches hold together the sections -- although layers also overlap each other to give some stability).

    Happy that I was able to get two independent cabs running and got my activation track section in there so kids can play with coal and log dump cars. Anyway, next I need to get some crossing gates working (hoping to get a little audio recorder/player working with sound effects) as well as a signal tower and maybe an operating switchman. Also need to move it under the tree


    EDIT: Added accessories and moved it under the tree. Cabinet latches worked well to get the various segments locked in that last 1/2". I can appreciate how people make modules now...

    Last edited by Mac; 4th Dec 2017 at 10:07 PM.

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  6. #4
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    Zombie Hill, Vermont
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    Steam excursion show-casing my shiny passenger cars, being pulled by B&M 2803

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  8. #5
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    Zanesville, OH
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    With our club's annual show this coming weekend, I've been busy trying to get as far as I can on my modules.
    I am using paper towels soaked in glue to help cover up some gaps. I put a base layer of paint down, I'll go back and add ground foam and add color variations later this week.

    Dumas VW has expanded! They now have a show room for parts and cars! (sill need to work on the signage)

    A look down main street. I still have some building kits to complete, but they will be built after the show.

    Finished two tank cars for a Thomas freight special!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by RailKing50; 5th Dec 2017 at 02:58 PM.
    Bo D.
    B&O Keyridge Subdivision
    I'm not allowed to run the train, the whistle I can't blow. I'm not allowed to say how fast the Railroad Train can go.
    I'm not allowed to shoot off steam, nor even clang the bell. But let the damned Train jump the track, and see who catches hell!

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