Sunday, February 18, 2018

NYC&HRRR Programming

No exciting pictures this time.

Today's agenda, as well as last nights after I posted, was to figure out how to make the head end selector switch work properly.

My first error was in using S1.  I found I got a response with S2.  I think S1 is intended to be speed, so the sabertooth does not like using it for direction. 

The second error was with trying to nest if statements.  A small blurb in the user manual said use U1 to do one set of the statements.  Well after a bit of work I finally got it working.  U1 is direction, controlled by both S2 and A2. 

Now onto the new issues,  a link in one of the motor chains has broken, I need to fix that.  good thing I have another master link.  Note to self order more so I do not run out this summer.

I still need to grease the axle ends.  Install the odometer.  Install brakes.  Make new top.  etc etc...  but I am back to a running locomotive, after I fix the broken chain.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Work Continues on Loco 2.

I installed the lag bolts from the frame into the milk bottles.  Well 3.9 of them.  Two of them got tight during installing, so I switched to hand tools after starting with the impact driver.  Sadly I did the second one first, and when I went back to the first it snapped.   Most likely at the joint between the threads and the shank.  So it is only into the milk bottle about 3/4 of an inch.  As it is it is adding rigidity to the corner post.  It will hold up if someone pushes on the body that slides over the top, but either way, solid bolt or broken one will have damage in a major crash or derailment.

I also mounted the battery charger again.  as well as the remaining motor and power wires to the sabertooth.

In the past the mount for the charging plug was loose.  It would occasionally fall out the door.  I mounted the holding bracket on a piece of oak screwed and glued to the battery charger plywood base so I can get my fingers under the plug to pull it free.

Setting the batteries on the loco has a good ride height and each corner goes up and down with added and reduced weight.

The radio system functions as it did before.  It is interesting, when the handheld if shut off the speed ramps to zero quickly, when the receiver is shut off the speed ramps to zero about 5 times slower.  The first has to be in the radio receiver programming, the second in the sabertooth's.

I will have to reprogram the sabertooth to accommodate the head end choice switch, which is now non-functioning.  But the other 4 "switches":

Switch 1 - Master Slave
Switch 2 - TX power
Switch 3 - Head End Selection
Switch 4 - Foot Pedal Override
MU plugged in or not

0,1,0,0,0 -correct - Not responsive to radio volts and amps show on screen
1,1,0,0,0 -correct - Responsive to radio 0 to speed step 4.  Deadman pedal responsive 0-16
0,0,0,0,1 -correct - Speed & direction controlled by MU pendant. 0-8mph it would be nice if top speed was dependent on deadman pedal position like with the radio system but it is not.
0,0,0,1,1 -correct - Speed & direction controlled by pendant, 0-8mph
0,1,0,0,1 -correct - Speed & direction controlled by pendant.  Radio shows voltage & amp, does not control the speed or direction
1,1,0,0,1 -correct - Not fond of how this works.  Direction responsive to radio, speed responsive to pendant but does adjust very slightly with radio, radio can not stop the locomotive.  basically what I am doing is having two things as master, the pendant and the radio system, so I know the system may fail in that condition.   Later we can switch to i2c for the MU system and we can have better responses.  IE two masters will result in neither one running.

I also realized I forgot to put grease behind each bearing on the journals.  Now to do that I need to undo the chains, drop the axles, add the grease and reassemble.

Also on the to do list is adding in an odometer.  I have to make a mounting bracket and mount the display.  This can be done the same time as I do the greasing.

If I want to I can add a headlight hidden behind the lumber door.

I may also add brakes to the loco.  Mechanical brakes are more important to me than air brakes, but I may set it up for both.  The compressor would be in a riding car. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Loco 2 Pedestals

The past few days Nancy has painted the pedestals.  Tonight I bolted them to the frame.

I found out I am short two square head bolts.  I hid hex head bolts under the plywood of the battery holders. 

While I was mounting everything I thought it would be a good idea to lift the motors up slightly to tighten their chains.  The issue I found is that the ends of the motors are aluminum... and the bolts are steel, two of the four holes are stripped out on one motor. I replaced one of the bolts with a longer one, that should hold into a few good threads, and I put a block under the bolt so it would not slide down.  The other one I stopped at tight hoping it will hold.  I chose to leave the other motor alone.  

Tomorrow I will continue by hooking up the electrical.  I have a bicycle odometer that I may install also.  Though I have no method of mounting the sensor so it is doubtful I will.

Monday, February 12, 2018


Tonight I cut ends for each of the barrels with a scissors and paper.  I copied one end of each barrel to a piece of wood and cut that on the bandsaw. It took a bit of fiddling, and trimming to get the ends to slide into place.  On one of the three samples I poured glue in and forced sawdust into the gaps, the other two I left alone.

While at work I saw some .045 welding wire.  It was too short to work for this project, but it might work.  That wire is a little more brittle than I would like.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


A common load on the Jeffrey Co. trucks is small wood kegs, most likely of hardware. 

A few years ago I bought a keg for modeling purposes.  It like most kegs I have found have an inner diameter of 10 inches and an inner height of 16 inches, 11x17 outside dimensions.  I have seen wire wraps and band wraps, or a combination of both.

I have wanted to have a load of kegs since I began planning the SBT. 
I was thinking of the wood from Adam's that is taking up space in my shop.  It is from a branch that overhung the driveway, so when it is cut it has lots of tension and warps and twists.  I also milled it very thin, at 4/4 and it dried as thin as 3/4 with twist.  So it is best used for small projects.  Short lengths and narrow widths glued back together. 
At first I was thinking of a box, cutting board, more picture frames, or a shoe shelf.  But then it occurred to me that I want barrels.  I was thinking I needed to make the barrels out of scale wood, which would have been difficult for my skills. 
But by having the barrel wide in the middle I have plenty of glue area and the project became much easier.  These first barrels are just feasibility studies.  For show barrels I would be more selective in my staves.  The wormholes and other defects are out of scale.  With each barrel I improved my process.  The last one with one end thinner for longer allows for an open top with contents lower in the container.

Now I need to find some .030 wire for the wraps.  Maybe scraps of welding wire?  I also need to add ends to the barrels.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Drill Press and Loco 2

I had a scare today.  The drill press turned on on its own while I was 5 feet away from it.  The motor power switch has not had a detente since I got it.  I decided it is time to fix that... I removed the switches, searched the internet for suitable replacements and then swapped the two switches for the motor and the light.

Yesterday I picked up the replacement pedestals from a laser cutter.  They fit wonderfully.  I drilled the mounting holes for each one individually so that the chain would be tight and the pedestals would not slide like when it was slots.

Then they were sanded and readied for painting, which Nancy is helping with.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Loco 2

 Tonight I finished up the wiring.  The new block went in quite easily.

Then I drilled six extra holes along the bottom if I want to add additional switches.  Or to zip tie the MU wires in place.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Loco 2

Continuing with the wiring I added almost all the remaining wires that were on Loco 2.  This involved some soldering, reverse engineering the MU connections, because the wire colors are different than the standard.  (By opening up the simple throttle that can attach to the MU I was able to deduce the wires that connect to the loco end of the wires by using the continuity feature of my tester.)   I would be finished with the wiring but I decided on the second to last wire that I am not a fan of the wrap the wires around the screw terminal block that I chose.  Tomorrow I will exchange it for a screw down and pinch the wires type.  After a test I will tidy up the wires with some zip ties, mount on the engine and move on to the next project.

Which will still be Loco 2.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Loco 2

Tonight I continued the installation of the electronics.  I drilled and mounted the four switches along the bottom, dead man override and forward direction on one side and radio power and MU master slave on the other.

I also mounted the headlight module, even though I do not have a headlight.

Last was starting to run the wires between the components.  I am trying to do as neat and organized job as I can.  It would be nice to hide the wires in a box, but I did not plan for that.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Loco 2

Tonight I spent some time planning out the wiring for loco 2.  Where to put the switches and what style to use.