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 Shorty passenger car offerings and lighting?
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Author Previous Topic: 20 better layout Photos of the UPSocal Desert Rail Topic Next Topic: question for paul regarding atlas track plans
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skipgear

Posted - 2007 March 17 :  11:54:39 PM  Show Profile
Let me start out by saying I am an N-scaler so please forgive my lack of knowlege of HO offerings.

I am trying to put a project together for friend of a friend. He would like to put together a train of UP shorty passenger cars. He likes the look of the older Bachmann cars that are no longer produced. We are not going for accuracy, just a look.

I can find Bachmann cars on the unmentionable auction site, that is not the problem. The issue is I need to light the cars. I need insulated, smooth back, metal wheelsets that fit the Bachmann trucks or preferably new trucks with metal sideframes that I can use for a pickup source. I can make wipers for a smooth back wheel but I still need to update the couplers on the older trucks. This will be run just on a small loop on a much larger layout so I think I will stay with talgo trucks for simplicity of the conversion.

I think the Andrews truck that Kadee offers is pretty close to the right truck for these cars, or at least it will keep the right look. I am not sure how they can be used for power pickup though.

I have already done a lighted Athearn caboose for him using Atlas trucks and phosphor bronze wheel wipers for 8 wheel pickup. I just need to know what parts are going to work best for the passenger equipment considering the Atlas freight trucks are nowhere close to the right answer for these cars.

Any help will be appreciated.

BTW - this is will be on a small DC only section of the layout. The rest of the 16 x 16 layout is DCC.
Tony H


http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showgallery.php/ppuser/4676/cat/500

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jsoderq

Posted - 2007 March 18 :  07:42:11 AM  Show Profile
Boy I am confused here. First Bachmann cars are not shortys. The heavyweights are based on PRR P70s which are 74 feet long. The Pullman iss full length. Second, Bachmann cars are lighted from the factory. Andrews trucks are purely freight car trucks so why would you want them for passenger cars


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skipgear

Posted - 2007 March 18 :  1:23:17 PM  Show Profile
The early Bachmann cars are Shorty's. They were sold under the old time heading. They are roughly 40-50' cars, I am not sure exactly. I'm not talking about the spectrum Heavyweights. These cars were sold seperately early and later only available in the train set with the 4-4-0 American. There are only a combine and a coach available and only a few roads, UP being one of them. They are truss rod cars with celestory (sp?)roofs.

Tony H


http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showgallery.php/ppuser/4676/cat/500

Edited by - skipgear on 2007 March 18 1:25:17 PM

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skipgear

Posted - 2007 March 18 :  1:46:53 PM  Show Profile
Here is a shot of the cars included in a train set.



Tony H


http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showgallery.php/ppuser/4676/cat/500

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wjstix

Posted - 2007 March 19 :  07:36:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit wjstix's Homepage
MDC (Athearn) makes similar cars, only better detailed. Probably be easier to light too - if you are going for track powered lights. Although it's better now with DCC, you probably still get a better result with battery-powered lights.

Stix

BNSF / CP to you...CB&Q / Milwaukee Road to me !!

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TwinZephyr

Posted - 2007 March 19 :  09:16:46 AM  Show Profile
Bethlehem Car Works sells metal trucks that might work well for your project. The Kadee trucks are metal with metal wheels and a plastic axle - not ideal for electrical pickup. Before buying new trucks, you might consider measuring the length of the Bachmann axle and checking to see if replacement wheels such as those sold by Intermountain or Reboxx will fit.

Here's a method for installing wipers; http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/1879/locomotives/wipers/



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riogrande

Posted - 2007 March 19 :  09:32:42 AM  Show Profile
Do you care what time period?

If you mean shorty by a short train, Riverossi cars are close to scale length and some of the cars are copied from UP prototypes and therefore help you make a more accurate and realistic UP train. If you are talking passenger cars which are shortened individually, Athearn makes shorty passenger cars but many of them are based on Santa Fe prototypes so look like them - though they are missing windows etc from being shortened.

Of course if you go back to late 1800's, there are open end platform cars like the MDC and others offered and suggested above.

You can light most cars if you get whiel sets and wipers that mount on the trucks. These let you pull power from the tracks and light the car. Get yourself a Walthers HO catelog and see what lighting kits are available.

If you are worried about blinking lights, there are probably kits that include electrolytic capacitors - those act as a temporary power storage device which feed power to the lights but the momentary intruptions from the rails are buffered by the power stored in the capacitor. They act like a computer buffer in a way, to keep power constant to the lights, yet sparing you the issue of batteries and recharging or replacing them.


Rio Grande - The Action Road
Atlas forum member since 1994

Edited by - riogrande on 2007 March 19 09:36:56 AM

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skipgear

Posted - 2007 March 19 :  9:29:14 PM  Show Profile
Thanks for the input.

If I can find a wheelset that fits the stock trucks, I will probably go that route. As I said, the person I am doing this for cares nothing about protypical accuarcy, he just want's the old time shorty cars. They are to satisfy a grandson's wish. Is there an easy answer to ditch the old hook and horn couplers without body mounting?

I have already lit a couple of cabooses for him and flicker is not a problem at all. The cabooses have Atlas metal wheels, with plastic axles and whisker wipers on the back of the wheel, simlar to but a little neater than the method shown in the link above. 8 wheel pickup in the caboose is pretty reliable, I would assume the same should be true of the passenger cars.

I wish I could get a needle point pickup to work like I build for my N scale projects but the cup is too deep and every effort I tried, just ended up in tearing the phosphor bronze sheet. Below is an example of what I would like to be able to do on these cars. It's not quite needle point but is a close substitute:

[url=http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showphoto.php/photo/20929][/url]

[url=http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showphoto.php/photo/20930][/url]

Thank you, Tony


Tony H


http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showgallery.php/ppuser/4676/cat/500

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Don Gibson

Posted - 2007 March 19 :  10:06:11 PM  Show Profile
Car lighting powered from the track is 'iffy'. Rolling metal wheel on metal track produces 'flickering'.

1.5v AA battery wirh a Tomar mini switch will power 1,5v bulbs economically, however if cost is no object, superior lighting systems are available... LEDs, flicker free hi tech electronics.

http://www.richmondcontrols.com/




Don Gibson
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Bob Rupp-Kilgore

Posted - 2007 March 20 :  08:35:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bob Rupp-Kilgore's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by Don Gibson

Car lighting powered from the track is 'iffy'. Rolling metal wheel on metal track produces 'flickering'.



I wanted to light a "short" passenger train (1 Kato business car and 1 Walther Budd car)using track power. Even though each car had 4 axles that were picking up power, I still got a lot of flickering. The solution was to hardwire both cars together- of course they are now permanently consisted..



www.oldmuleysroundhouse.com

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riogrande

Posted - 2007 March 20 :  09:42:22 AM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Bob Rupp-Kilgore

quote:
Originally posted by Don Gibson

Car lighting powered from the track is 'iffy'. Rolling metal wheel on metal track produces 'flickering'.



I wanted to light a "short" passenger train (1 Kato business car and 1 Walther Budd car)using track power. Even though each car had 4 axles that were picking up power, I still got a lot of flickering. The solution was to hardwire both cars together- of course they are now permanently consisted..



Good point, the more wheels wired together, the more solid the electrical pick up connection.


Rio Grande - The Action Road
Atlas forum member since 1994

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wnanney

Posted - 2007 March 20 :  10:32:45 AM  Show Profile
Hi Bob, you wrote:
quote:
I wanted to light a "short" passenger train (1 Kato business car-----)


I put the Kato White LED lighting kit in my business cars and the Bi-levels and I am having no flickering. Of course I keep the wheels clean and usually run the cleaning car around the layout before each operating session.

The EASY-PEASY lighting kit form Rapido trains is the one to use.

Here is the description form their web site:

quote:
"Easy-Peasy" PASSENGER CAR LIGHTING SET
NO WIRING. NO FLICKER. NO HASSLE. NO PROBLEM.

FOR HO AND S SCALE PASSENGER CARS
ALSO FOR LARGE SCALE CABOOSES, TROLLEYS AND BUSES
Available March 2007

PRODUCT NUMBER 102003 INSTRUCTIONS:

* STEP ONE: Remove from packaging.
* STEP TWO: Insert batteries.
* STEP THREE: Place in roof.
* STEP FOUR: There is no step four. You were done at step three.


Bill
Arizona

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skipgear

Posted - 2007 March 27 :  01:41:32 AM  Show Profile
I thought I would post a picture of my lighting pickup method. I just finished an Atlas caboose tonight and will be working on the Bachmann passenger cars in question latter this week.





They consist of a scrap piece of brass rod and some .008" phosphor bronze wire. I drill two holes matching the diameter of the brass rod in each truck, solder the pb wire to the brass rod, cut it to size, bend it in a V, then turn up the ends so that they don't catch on the back of the wheel. Cut the brass rod just long enough that it will fit through the hole in the truck, leaving enough to solder a wire too on the top of the truck without interfering on the underframe of the car. The wheels will still free wheel, obviously not as good as without wipers but they don't have significant drag. The car rolls down the track with zero flicker. Time will tell if that continues but the other caboose I have done for this gentleman have got probably 20-30 hours of runtime on them with no flicker problems.


Tony H


http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showgallery.php/ppuser/4676/cat/500

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wnanney

Posted - 2007 March 27 :  10:46:41 AM  Show Profile
Is there any problems with the cars jumping track? Just curious as the wire curled up under the truck would seem to present some resistance to the swiveling of the truck. Probably not an issue but was asking.

I believe the best pick up system for lighting is none at all. Use batteries as I have indicated with the Rapido Train web site.

Having said that, I just completed lighting a bunch of Kato Bi-Level passenger cars with the Kato white LED lighting kits and they look awesome. No flicker what so ever but then Kato's pickup system on their passenger cars is first class - QUALITY!! But I am sure they are like any other pick up system that depends on the track for power, if they get dirty they will flicker.


Bill
Arizona

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dstaley

Posted - 2007 March 27 :  11:47:32 AM  Show Profile
If the car is going to be operated on a DCC layout, this is really easy. Go ahead and use whatever pickup method, but use 1.5V lights. The power pickup should be connected to a diode and a 100 ohm resistor (in series) connected to a sizable capacitor, like a 4700 uF or so. After that, use a 1.5V regulator to cut the higher voltage down to 1.5V for the light.

The capacitor will charge up and carry the light through the brief periods where the connection is poor, and the resistor will avoid the inrush current that makes multiple BLI locomotives such a pain in the posterior.


Leading the evolution of another Plywood Pacific to a showcase of Kansas City railroads from my childhood

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skipgear

Posted - 2007 March 27 :  3:40:00 PM  Show Profile
If the Kato HO passenger cars are the same as their N scale counterpart, the pickups do not get dirty. They use a needle point pickup which makes the most friction free pickup possible. The Kato needle point system is the defacto norm for N scale and it is just about maintainance free. Pretty much all quality steam uses that style pickup in the tenders and Atlas and Kato use if for their diesel loco's.

The wires on the trucks are ultra fine and flexible 30 guage from N scale decoder installs. The twist in them keeps the wires close to the point of swivle so that they don't need to move very far keeping the wire from needing to flex.

Eventually, the cabooses will have a decoder installed to control lighting and marker lights. The passenger cars will be on a DC only loop so I am going to do something similar to Dstaley's coments above in them so they light at startup voltage.


Tony H


http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showgallery.php/ppuser/4676/cat/500

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