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Thread: tinkering on a kato heavy mike

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    Default tinkering on a kato heavy mike

    I have taken up a project on a kato 2-8-2.
    the plan is to get it under a qhq l1. Given my current pace it may be a while.

    First some news. I have cracked gear carriers on the driver/axles. ummm....
    Given the construction details of the axle, a normal mike in normal use may never have any problem.
    Lets hope the crack does not propagate through the gear. I think the cracking might be an issue
    if you have traction tires and a large pewter boiler with plans to haul a lotta coal hoppers.


    on to my project. I decided to re-gear it and have a worm-wheel and counter gear from a b-mann 2-8-0

    kato has 18t worm-wheel and 12t counter driver is 24t total gear reduction is 36:1
    the replacement is 22t worm-wheel and 10t counter --> driver is 24t total gear reduction is 52:1

    After some measuring and looking things over...
    I milled the frame to clear for the new gear and then spotted to make sure on my measurements.
    I drilled and threaded a hole to hold the bearing pin for the worm-wheel.

    then discovered the new gear interferes with the #2 driver gear. I didn't use any swear words!
    I decided I can thin both gears with no issues. I have removed from both gears about .25 mm
    it was during the disassembly for thinning I found the cracks...

    I am going to make plastic carriers for ball bearings on the worm-shaft.
    that should allow for good fit with the new worm-wheel and deliver power without overheating the motor.

    I took a couple of pictures. I'll load them up on the morrow (I hope...)
    I decided the axle news was important enough to post now.

    victor

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    photos I took yesterday first
    start-k-mike.jpgnew-worm-wheel.jpgoutside-k-mike.jpg

    to fit the larger worm-wheel the gear the idler gear boss has to be undercut.
    I modified an end mill to do that job

    today I did a lot of finding ways to do what I wanted.

    I have the loco running as I write.
    ball bearings are on the worm-shaft and pushing the tender.


    I have a hard time stopping to take photos and it does not help if I am not sure how or if the idea will work.
    more picture will be taken now that I have a sense of how to make and show the pieces and process.

    I have to share some of the day's considerations.
    I do not recall where I got this particular collection of mikado parts, I suspect the bay. knowing me it was a 'parts' loco.
    I have a vague recollection that I replaced the motor as 'the fix'. I guess a bit later ... set it into the project box with the ghq kit.
    I digress.

    today, the motor was determined to short on the frame so I used the usual solutions the DCC guys do.
    kapton tape stuck to the frame, then I discover the tender front truck was melted a bit... missed that problem... grrr.

    after a lot of little things like cleaning the tender pickups chasing various short circuits,
    I found it nice to have this loco on the track.

    At this point I am evaluating the result.
    the low speed seems good, buuuut the electrical pickups are finding fuzz on the rails?
    The driver bearings are not yet settled so I think there may be a tight spot or two.
    Or the worm may not be in the sweet spot.
    I could not decide on a slow speed number because it would roll a few driver revolutions,
    Then stall and a tap on the tender would get it back to crawling.
    It runs at a very steady 20 SMPH and at full speed it has an electric motor whirr/whine.
    top speed I'll time with a stopwatch later. I guess not over 100 smph.

    off to sleep.
    victor

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    A seriously impressive undertaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by victor miranda View Post
    total gear reduction is 52:1
    That's sweet, I wish I had that in the D&H #1402 I just finished building. Once you work out the bind/pickup problem it should manage to creep along super slow.

    Keep that camera to hand
    Thanks, Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcook View Post
    Keep that camera to hand
    Definitely, please take photos!
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    I took a short vid of the chassis before I started tinkering to improve it and
    to take photos of the parts I made and modified

    insert video here? :-D
    https://youtu.be/-372Clzl2Q4

    I made: the worm-wheel bearing post.
    a pair of bearing carriers.
    I modified: the chassis to allow the bearing carrier to fit and drilled a hole and tapped for the post.
    the bearing carrier retaining clip at the top of the chassis.
    I thinned the #2 driver gear by .25mm to allow gear to swing past the worm-wheel.
    thinned the worm wheel by .25mm to allow the driver gear to clear.

    I expect I add more posts for the parts and methods I used to create or modify them

    Now for some rambling I think I have to get said...
    I have tried for years to show simple and easy things to do for improving locos.
    my problem was that I want locos that manufacturers tend not to build.
    to get what I want, I have been building and testing and studying n-scale locos for overall performance.
    There is no way I can make n-scale chassis without a metal lathe and a small milling machine.

    effectively, I slowed buying n-scale locos that were disappointing and got the tools and tooling instead.

    what follows is my using those tools to make these changes to this chassis.
    If you want a Kato Mike to run well, it often needs only a good cleaning ( most locos are this way)
    modifications rarely fix 'problem' locos. Consider that I had a loco with a short in it, that problem I fixed after I modified the frame.

    If you want to do what I am showing, you can do it other ways and files are quite good at doing what needs doing.
    I suspect that an exacto knife is my biggest friend, so keep in mind there are lot of ways to get this work done.

    the slowspeed issues you may have noticed in the video are caused by the worm and worm-wheel being too close.
    I fixed it by adding a 10 thousands strip to the underside of the front bearing carrier. ( I wanted to add a 5 thous strip to each carrier
    and I could not find that sheet of styrene. )

    so chassis is ready for the qhq kit to proceed.

    I know this is down a ways in a long post,
    keep in mind what you want to get done, I want a loco that can shunt cars and move trains in a reasonably realistically way.
    the change to the gearing is with all that in mind, I feel a kato mike is a damn good loco and that what I plan
    is past what the stock components can be expected to handle. so If you have a mike that overheats while hauling
    at traction tire limits for a few hours, just install the ball bearings on the worm-shaft. that will likely give you an excellent hauler.

    victor

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    forumers

    The post/pin/bearing for the new worm-wheel is made from a 5mm long piece of 1/16 inch brass rod.
    I threaded 0-80 on one end for about 2.5mm and I cut and polished the other 2.5mm lenght of the rod
    to fit into the worm-wheel's 1.5mm center hole.
    I also cut a slot for a screwdriver to install the post.

    the worm-wheel is big enough that in order to clear it, I had to undercut the idler gear boss/bearing-pin/nub/post
    the original is about 6mm and the new one is about 7mm
    all of about a half a mm.
    This is the reason for the screw-in post. The wheel will not slide into place past the idler gear post.
    I believe I cut an additional .2mm deep for the new worm-wheel and the rest of the pocket was cut
    to make room.

    I was not able to calculate where the new center was so I made my best guess and cut .75 mm
    in each direction. The cutter is 6.3 mm as I recall. I decided I could try again if something interfered.

    I used a clock making technique for marking the center of the post.
    I inked the pocket where the wheel rests and put a pointed rod into the wheel center
    then a moved the wheel on an idler to create a mark in the ink for the drill.

    the other line for the "x marks the drilling center" was former centerline.
    I drilled a little outside of the arc made by the gear,
    this allows a little space off the gears so they can swing freely.

    drill and tap 0-80 and hope all is good... there are fixes but I'd prefer to avoid that.

    chassis-after.jpg

    having done that work I can now state that the
    center of the pin is .... go find the notes... brb.
    is 3.90 mm from the bottom of the worm bearing carrier stop.

    I strongly recommend you check your work before you commit the drill.
    a cross check is the "bottom of the worm bearing carrier stop, " according to my notes, is 6.6 mm from the top of the frame.
    also, the bottom of the 1.5mm pin is very near the bottom of the old worm bearing nub.

    victor
    Last edited by victor miranda; 9th Feb 2019 at 01:05 AM. Reason: trying to be clear about locations

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    well, who needs sleep?

    I forgot to mention I did a timed run for top speed
    and got lets call it 75 smph at 12 volts and 130 mA
    after my lifting the worm It seemed a little faster but that is about it.

    on to the bearing carriers.
    ta dah!
    bearing-carrier.jpg
    I bought 1.5 id by 4mm od by 2 mm wide ball bearings off the bay.
    I have no real assessment of the quality. I have run these for a long time in a couple of other projects.
    they can be replace and I think they are a standard size.

    my lathe has WW collets and I cinched a styrene rod that measures 4.67 diameter
    according to my digital caliper/yardstick.
    I drilled it with a 3.98 mm drill that I think was part of a tap and drill set
    and cut the resulting tube to form rings 1.5mm long.
    I glued a .5mm thick square (6.5 on a side) to the tube. once dried
    I rechucked the tube and drilled the square to create a 2mm pocket for the bearing.
    then I glued another square to the other side to keep the bearing in the pocket
    and I drilled a 2mm hole in the center for the shaft to run through.
    the total thickness came out at 2.6 mm ... I blame thick plastic glue.
    I let them dry/cure and milled the frame to allow them to slide down in the slots

    I measured the frame slot at 4.1mm and I decided the bearing carriers were 4.8mm.
    so I tried to trim off .35 mm from the bearing guides
    If you look at the frame photo in the previous post you can see where I trimmed.

    my bearing carriers did not slide into place so I filed flatspots on each side and they went most of the way.
    I removed flange material around the bottom side and left the top flat so I would know where the top should be.

    I clipped a little off this part where it presses on the bearing carrier
    it still presses just not popping up
    bearing-tie-down.jpg

    I assembled the chassis and did some testing and evaluating
    once all that was done.

    Other notes of interest here.
    I have tried a lot of things to hold or clamp the Mike frame in a milling vise.
    I have to remember to crank of the clamping wrench to keep the part still and to use light cuts.
    After this bunch of cutting, I think making a specialized fixture to hold the frame may be a good idea.
    This is because I think the frame may have crept away a little while cutting. it is the only explanation for what I thought was a generous cutting plan.
    There is no reason to question my measuring stick or the operator!!

    victor

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    Hay Victor, You're on a roll with this project. Now you've got to pop the body on and take a video for all of us to see the fruits of your labor in action

    Thanks for documenting this rebuild for us.
    Thanks, Tom

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    clearly, you have not seen the results of my rattle can work...

    why am I laughing?

    the work I am writing about was done over a day ago.
    the posts are to share the how to.

    believe me, I hope my painting the model doesn't go horribly wrong.
    then I need to find 50 cars.... enough track... the nerve to post a video
    staring "Mr. Paintsags"

    I'll face the music after I get it painted.

    victor

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    @victor miranda

    The whole nScale.net community is eagerly waiting to see your results -- no pressure!

    Seriously, you do fine. If the paint job doesn't come out to your satisfaction, then strip [the paint] and try again. Easy-peasey...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose2013 View Post
    If the paint job doesn't come out to your satisfaction, then strip [the paint] and try again.
    Sound advice from Mr. Moosie. Just as long as you stick to the part about the paint

    Quote Originally Posted by victor miranda View Post
    I'll face the music after I get it painted.
    I assure you the music will be sweet, as doing something is better than doing nothing !!
    Thanks, Tom

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    ahem, everyone has an Achilles heel.
    I have painted many things... to say it never come out as I'd like would not be an exaggeration.
    I have only a tiny jar of DGLE so a repaint will require a new container of paint, (does modelflex come in gallon cans?)

    This is not unfounded fear, rather what my efforts have brought me.
    my best overall paint job was a WW2 tiger. it is darned tough to get wrong.
    and then the decals fell off....

    The loco is only one color (If dulcote is not a color...)and some decal work. If I get that far without
    a visit from a horror of war, I'll post it.

    Truly, a good and strong, reliable running loco is what I want.
    Some where around here, I have a very pretty PRR h-8/9/10 consolidation that could run better.

    my doom awaits. :-D
    Last edited by victor miranda; 9th Feb 2019 at 03:16 PM. Reason: had to fix DLGE

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    @victor miranda

    Ya'know, you're among friends here and there is sure to be members who can & will help guide you to improve the paint & decal work so you'll be that much more satisfied. A nice aesthetic to go with the fine running!

    Or just send it to someone that has developed those skills...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    at some point I decided I could learn to paint and purchased a double action air brush. umm...

    my best job was on an HO slot car, I recall spraying a cloud of paint and waving the car in the cloud.
    an auto body mechanic and painter I knew said there is a knack involved and most people can learn it.
    his next word included comments about the price of auto paint.

    I expect I may well take a couple of sprays at it and at some point declare victory and go on to the next learning opportunity.
    the loco has a nice texture, I expect it will hold paint well

    victor

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    hoo boy I am gunna open a can-o-worms....

    have a mike parts stash and I must have more elsewhere cause I am unable to locate the pilot and trailing trucks I thought I had.
    and the pilot deck...

    I could raid another loco I suppose

    I am on a treasure hunt through my collection of bitz n pryzes... If you have a spare deck, I may have other parts you need.

    I was looking at the ghq kit and I landed solidly back at why I have not built this thing.
    one reason it that the tender shell does not fit the kato tender.... or I have to cut the tender floor in ways I really do not want to cut.
    I guess I'll find out if epoxy will hold the rest as solidly as I'd like.

    victor

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    I decided I am going to make a pilot.
    I fount a few pilot trucks
    and no trailing trucks not attached to whole locos.
    I have a b-mann kw truck so I think I'll find a way to attach that.
    I'll see if I can get a couple more.... there is an atlantic project 'round 'ere somewhere.

    victor

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    So far so good, Victor! Loved watching that run slow and easy. Bad paint can be so well hidden by some weathering and such, so don't be shy!
    Northern Pacific and Black Hills RR in N, of course!!
    Aian, CEO, COO, Engineer, Gopher and everything else!

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    Quote Originally Posted by victor miranda View Post
    the tender shell does not fit the kato tender.... or I have to cut the tender floor in ways I really do not want to cut.
    Can you post a photo of the shell next to the tender chassis so we can have a look at what's involved ? Too long, too wide ?
    Thanks, Tom

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    pilot:
    I decided to make one because the kit requires me to chop off almost
    everything I consider good about the thing.
    Which is mostly the way the coupler mounts. the rest of the deck
    is nice. I have to screw a coupler on in any case.
    And since I can't find one to buy, the danged thing has become valuable.

    ... note to self get pic of homemade pilot...
    what!?! I haven't finished cutting it out!
    We will get a picture soon.
    as well as one of the tender parts...

    I added the traction tire driver and set up 18 boxcar/bricks plus a caboose to be pulled.
    Half have their brakes set, apparently.
    the loco is running at about 20 smph and using 180 mA at 4.8 volts.

    this is about the the pulling limit for it. Currently the bare chassis with a 1/4 oz weight near the front.
    'Cause it tends to lift the front driver when transitioning to straight track.

    I was expecting a bit more bare chassis pulling.
    the low reported number of cars is because about 6 of them are heavy and for some reason do not roll freely.
    I blame frozen journals.

    I think I'll test these cars against a Mike with a traction tire set.

    tomcook you mentioned the D&H project...
    I have not commented on that thread because a lot of what I thought when I read it were
    considerations that I thought would sound mean or conceited or meant to stop you from your project.

    that RR 0-8-0 chassis is a complete bite to get running well.
    and the rowa berk is much the same.
    you can improve the pickup... use a b-mann of preferably a kato mike tender.
    you can put a good 5 pole motor in it.
    and it will still leave you wanting for improvement.

    if there were a way short of cutting a new chassis to change the gear ratio
    and get the motor in, and I mean inside the chassis, you end up at
    living with what you get.

    at this point improvements end up being a discussion of what it costs.

    To shift this back to the kato mike, I am sure I paid very little for the parts
    thinking that I would not need to invest the price of a whole mike for the ghq kit.
    that thinking may well have been a mistake. cause I have spent a good amount replacing/fixing
    my bargain.
    Given my experiences with the atlas/RR 0-8-0 relative to running qualities,
    Were I were giving the D&H loco a shot, I think I woulda hunted the b-mann consol for its chassis.
    much more accessible gear train if nothing else.

    With your skills I think the motor and chassis work will not be a problem.
    :-D however, that atlas/rr 0-8-0 is a tough place to start the chassis re-work learning.

    I have to learn to do what you make look easy. building an n-scale model and painting it.

    victor
    Last edited by victor miranda; 11th Feb 2019 at 08:08 PM. Reason: typos..

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    Quote Originally Posted by victor miranda View Post
    We will get a picture soon
    Aha, 'We' I wondered what the secret was to your impressive workmanship, now I know, there are more than one of you beavering away

    Quote Originally Posted by victor miranda View Post
    tomcook you mentioned the D&H project...
    I have not commented on that thread because a lot of what I thought when I read it were
    considerations that I thought would sound mean or conceited or meant to stop you from your project.
    As with all my builds, criticism is as welcome as prase. Err, almost. I'll be coming back to the D&H #1402 and its problematic chassis just as soon as 'The Mallet' is finished. Might be quite some time as even the mallet has been temporarily shelved due to a reallocation of limited time
    Thanks, Tom

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