Sunday, July 17, 2011

More Decoder Work and Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Tuesday Nighters this week was at Warren's. place  We had a good turnout. Warren was showing off his layout changes and after we moved from the layout area to congregate around his table and cave a cuppa and very nice supper, Brendan was showing off some miniature surface mount LED's - white and red and various surface mount and miniature 1/8 watt resisters. We all decided to share in an order for some of these components that Brendan was going to order. 
Last Friday I was able to get to Jaycar just before closing and I picked up a selection of resistors to use on my 44 Class.  I finally decided on the 180 ohm resistor for both the front and rear headlights.  That was just right.  I then attacked 8028 that I purchased off from Darren, by installing a decoder in it.  I have yet to install LED's in this loco as I'm out of them.  I need to wait for Brendan's order - hopefully at the next Tuesday Nighters.  I then put the decoder in my repainted (and I use that term loosely) Bergs whitemetal 8011.  I had two LED's left over and they are installed on the front and rear headlights on this loco.  I still need to install the cablights in this loco.  The 8028 runs quite well and slightly better than my 8011.  Of course 4425 with sound also runs very well.  So I have two new locos for the roster and one emergency one for small trains in 8011.  I still need to put decals on this loco as well.  Just as I re-read this post - I think I know where I have stashed a couple of LED's  I might be able to fit those headlight and cab lights this week after all.
I have also spent time this weekend installing a decoder in a Powerline 81 Class from Geoff (PK's mate) at the Club.  The decoder to power the motor was very simple to install and runs quite well.  Upgrading the installed lights was a pain in the neck.  The wire used on the lights is solder resistant.  No matter what I do I cannot solder to these wires.  I was trying to have the front and rear headlights wired up to F0, and the front white marker lights and rear red marker lights wired to F2, while the front red marker lights and rear white lights wired to F3.  I just cannot solder the common wires at the number one end together.

Today an old mate and sometimes Tuesday Nighter only at my place, David, came over with a box of locos for me to install decoders into.  These were ebay wins.  Two of the locos turned out to have DCC decoders already installed. One was a BO-BO wheel arrangement from Bachmann (I think) and had a TCS decoder inside, and another was a Bachmann Class 47 and had a 21 pin decoder ready to run - my first glimpse at a 21 pin decoder. I tested both locos on DC and they ran very well and very smoothly.  I opened the locos up and Voila decoders.  Although at first I did not realise that the Class 47 actually had a decoder in it.  It was very small.  I thought it was a plug, but it was a 21 pin decoder.  When this loco was put back on the track, the damn thing would not move. I reset it, poked it, prodded it, did lots more and still no go. The lights worked that was all. So I pulled those darn plastic tabs off that retains the wire for the motor connections and applied jumpers direct from my DC power pack to the motor wires and the motor turned. I'll beat this pommy thing I thought to myself. I soldered those motor connections and Bob's your uncle. It ran well.  I hate that dodgy connection method.  Hard wired soldered connections is the way to go.

After this slight distraction, we tested 5 more locos (mostly Hornby) to install decoders into. That is most of the nights this week and possibly next weekend gone. 

On the home front - My daughter is having a clean out and tidy up of her room, as she wants it repainted, re carpeted and probably some new furniture. She has decided to throw her 'Dolly' out. She received Dolly soon after she was born and it has been in her life ever since. Dolly was originally longer than my daughter was tall.  Dolly used to go everywhere with her. In the car, to bed, watching TV, out into the yard, on holidays, you name it - Dolly has been there.  Dolly has even run trains in the shed.  I'm not sure how many times Dolly has been sewn back together.  Stuffing has been coming out of her head for quite some time.  She is also looking very anemic, compared to when she was much younger.  She has also been spewed on, been through the washing machine many times, and been hung out to dry.  I think she spent about 12 months just sitting at the foot of my daughters bed - still in view and getting the occasional hug before bed.  I must admit I have not seen her for quite some time now, so she had been put away.  Dolly was the second daughter we never had.  We tried to replace (or supplement) Dolly with a lookalike doll quite a few years back in pristine condition but she was just not Dolly.  This one was named Molly.  Dolly also had a cousin Polly that used to live at Grandma house.  But being 9, I don't think my daughter needs Dolly anymore.  I still think I do!  However, Dolly went to the bin today.  Fairwell Dolly!

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