Sunday, May 22, 2016

Finally My Two 73 Class Locos Make the Roster

Yesterday I had to cancel my attendance at Anthony’s usual Operating Session as the boss was working on the canteen at my son’s school in the afternoon and would not be home to late.  She was representing the Cricket Supporters manning the canteen at the Brisbane Eisteddfod at my son's school hall.  All this meant that I was to stay home with the not so littlies. 
So I thought I would make the most of this enforced time at home and head down to the shed.  Last week I promised to get stuck into my two Auscision 73 class locos.  They have been sitting languishing around the shed with decoders half installed in one and none in the other for a couple of years.  So I first turned my attention to 7305 which has two decoders in it.  When it was last handled by those checking out how I got two decoders into the loco, a wire fell off from the front light board.  So for over 12 months it has sat there lonely.  So I thought I would try and remember what location on the front light board the wire came off from.  I tested the loco and it certainly ran.  The front and rear headlights worked and the front and rear, white and red marker lights all worked.  The rear number board lights worked.  So I guess that narrowed down the issue to be the front number board lights.  I grabbed another light board and tested what position on the light board lit the number board lights.  Aha!  Location identified!  I tried to add a bit of solder to that location on the light board and then also added some more solder to the wire that will connect to the light board.  On the second attempt it was successfully joined.  I then tried to stuff the decoder wires into the loco and put it back on the test track.  Oh oh! The loco now did not move.  What had I done?  So pull it all apart again and everything looked good.  So I thought I would remove one wire to the motor and see if one of my heatshrinked joins had gone bad.  I cut one of the joins, removed the heat shrink and that looked fine.  But as I was resoldering the wires back together, I noticed that the wire to the motor had some adrift from the factory installed sheatshrink.  I had certainly picked the correct wire to troubleshoot.  So I removed that heat shrink from the motor terminal, and re-soldered the wire to the top motor connection and reapplied some heatshrink.  Back onto the test track and the loco now ran.  So back to trying to squeeze the wires back under the body.  Eventually this was complete and everything seemed to work, except that the front number board lights still do not work.  I have no idea why, but at this point I do not care.  So this loco is now operational and located at South Brisbane Interstate.  One down, one to go.
Yesterday I also pulled the cover off 7304 and sat down to work out what lights I wanted to have operational.  I had a 4 function NCE decoder, and I was certainly not going to deploy a second decoder in this loco.  So I decided it would be front and rear headlights and front number boards and rear marker lights.  Why?  Because I could.  Last night I drew up the diagram of what would be connected to where, and this arvo I soldered everything up.  First the front and rear headlights.  Now I could not remember if I needed to add a resistor to the circuits.  Even though I had just finished working with the other loco only seconds ago.  So I tested the loco on the test track.  Hmmm.  Front headlight would not light.  I reversed the loco’s direction and the rear headlight lit alright, but immediately went dark in a puff of smoke.  I guess I answered my question and I needed a resistor. Doh!  So that light board was consigned to the spare parts box, and out came another light board.  I remembered to add a resistor and then reversed the wires on the front headlights.  Back to the test track and both front and rear headlights were now working.  I then connected the front numberboard lights and then the rear white marker lights.  These had to be soldered to the underside of my N scale NCE decoder.  Back to the test track and everything was OK.  So I fitted the 73 class shell back on and everything was good. 
Now as I moved this loco back to a siding in South Brisbane Interstate, I realised that the removable hatch on the back of the first loco’s long hood was not sitting properly.  So I went looking for some white glue, as I was going to the add two small drops and put a weight on the hatch and let it dry.  With only a small amount of white glue, I’d be able to remove the hatch if I had to again.  However, upon my return, I could not find the hatch.  It went walk about. 
I have looked everywhere and still cannot find it.  I suppose it will eventually turn up.  If not, I will see if Auscision has a spare one when I next order a loco or some rollingstock off them.
So after this sad story I then cut up about another 50 balsa wood sleepers and stained then and left them to dry.  Yesterday I also stained a few (16) wooden posts made from round kebab sticks and other round timber that I had hanging around.  I will use these posts to hang some gates from when I get around to making some.  They will be installed in various fencing runs around the lineside on the layout.

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