This weekend I spend a lot of Saturday installing a TCS decoder into an N scale Big Boy for a friend. I quick google of the loco revealed that the TCS website has a page on installing a decoder into this loco. The loco's owner already had purchased that particular decoder in preparation. While the instructions were fairly easy to follow, there is not much room in those locos for a decoder. The loco was huge. I removed the tender so I could handle it more easily. The Loco came apart easily. Well, some of the items referred to in the instructions were hard to find. But I eventually got found what I needed to install the headlight and the decoder. Would it run? No way. The front drive train would work and the back drive train wouldn’t, then I’d fix up the back drive train and that would work and the front drive train would stop working. N scale is not my friend. With my eyesight deteriorating, it was hard to see that small N scale stuff. The whole series of drive train issues related to the fact that the insulation that you need to put under motor to isolate the motor from the metal frame, which is connected to one side of the wheel pickup, gets put out of alignment due to the thickness of the insulation tape. On Saturday morning I had to cut out a section of the metal frame to make room for the decoder. That took a while, but worked. After I spent a number of hours yesterday morning on the decoder installation, I then went to a party, and when I came back I spent a few more hours on the installation at night. Finally I spent another 2 hours this morning. However, with the help of some styrene and super glue, I got it working. I had to sacrifice the lead weight on top of the motor. It ran quite well on DC on my hand laid 4 rail test track. The track is two sections of HO track with a third rail added to cater for N scale and a fourth rail added to cater for 12mm 3’6” locos. I then bit the bullet and tried it on DCC. The front headlight went on and off when controlled, and it ran forward and backwards, but the loco was quite noisy in DCC mode. It may need a good run in.
This afternoon I went down the shed and spent some time working on the electrical wiring to South Brisbane and Park Road Siding. I have started installing the main bus from South Brisbane Working back and ran out of wire. I had planned on picking up another 10 meters of wire this weekend, but didn't get out to Jarcar to get any.
The guys are coming over on Tuesday Night so I had planned to spend some time vacuuming the shed a bit following all the construction work associated with the top deck around Park Road Sidings and South Brisbane Interstate. Well at the end of the day, I decided to pack up and go and play cricket with the kids out the front instead of vacuuming. Did I mention that I hate vacuuming? I can at least do it on Monday night or on Tuesday afternoon. I also need to clean the benches, the coffee cups and put out a new tea towel as well. No rest for the wicked!