1. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Never a dull moment! Robert have you ever worked with higher wattage (like 400 instead of 40) lasers to cut cold rolled steel or brass. Could make your own handrails.
     
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  2. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    My day job title before retirement was a "Laser Anneal System Specialist" I built 4000W CO2 Laser Spike Anneal tools.

    It takes 1 second to punch through 6mm steel plate before focusing the beam. the beam diameter was 12mm round coming out of the slab laser, but we would focus it to a 75um wide beam and anneal for 200us, spiking the temperature to 1250C then back down in that 200us timeframe. That's microsecond, not millisecond! :D Happily retired grandpa now!

    As far as making my own handrails, I have been looking at 50watt fiber lasers. They can engrave to a 1mm depth, so could be useful for etching brass or stainless steel instantly, no chemicals, direct from Corel Draw!

    So my loco is running on a test loop right now. It seems to run slowly, and can only tow 1 car, however I am using a modified MRC railpower 1300, and the speed is the same at 4 or at 10. Also, at 0 speed the loco still moves. So I put an un-resistored shorty mechanism on the track and it started running too at the 0 setting.

    I tried lubing with Neolube (graphite powder suspended in alcohol), and that sped it up a bit, but still can only pull or push 1 railcar. It's been running 1/2 hour so far.
     
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  3. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    So, here is what my mechanism looks like. I had made some insulators for the powered truck, and it didn't change the running speed any. It's still running on the test loop fine. No stalling or studdering, it just only seems to pull 1 boxcar. With 2, it will run on the straightaway, but slows down to a stop on the turns. To be fair, an out of the box shorty also only pushes 1 boxcar, and stalls out with 2. The wheels don't spin, the motor just stops turning. Might be a problem with my MRC 1300.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    Others have had success improving pulling performance by rearranging the traction tire wheels of the shorty powered truck. Stock they come on the same axel. Swap one wheel to the second axel, but still one traction tire on each side of the locomotive.

    Edit:Looking at some previous photos it looks like you had already made this modification.

    Hopefully things will improve with the shell on. A PWM controller should help. Frank reports much improved speed control going to DCC, likely from Back EMF.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  5. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yeah, I ran it for a couple hours forward and backwards, and it runs the same, very quiet, smooth and slow. But I have an Alco S2 now! I will build up the other one after holiday company leaves, I have friends visiting Idaho this weekend and relatives next weekend, so I have to clean up a couple months of hobby activities all over the house.

    The plan is to get the 2 mechanisms tuned as smooth as I can, and I did do lots of extra insulating to make them safe for DCC. I ordered dremel rubber abrasive bits so I can polish the build lines in hard to reach corners, so I will do extra prep on the shells before priming. I am going to laser cut acrylic light pipes for the headlight and tail light, paint the inside of the cab seafoam green and add an interior light and engineer, and I already have NP decals made.

    I had made a whole sheet of various NP switcher locomotive decals when Lajos Thek produced his etched brass SW1 switcher kits a decade ago, so I'm set for SW1200's, NW2's, S2's, S4's, and RS3's.

    The one last and most important feature required for an NP switcher is a Steam Bell! I am still hunting for a source of them. Factoid: NP was one of those companies that resisted change. When Diesel switchers replaced Steam switchers, they were worried people could not hear the relatively silent diesels and that there would be lots of costly accidents, so they took the steam bells off the retired steamers and mounted them on all their diesel switchers, so people hearing the familiar bells, would recognize rail switching operations were happening nearby.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    See next YouTube I made. If you add weight to the shorty pulling power improves.


    Verstuurd vanaf mijn ANE-LX1 met Tapatalk
     
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  7. shortpainter

    shortpainter TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry guys. I have been away for a while and I am just catching up with the conversation here. Due to the holidays and various other activities, I have not been able to start on the S-2 instructions. I am beginning work on them today.

    Robert Ray has made tremendous headway into the construction. Thank you, Robert, for posting your journey. I hope your posts have helped others. You got everything correct for the most part. The plastic nubs on the powered truck (there the pin goes through) can be trimmed to better fit into the frame. I did not see any change in performance after trimming them. The claw in the back of the frame is there is hold the resistor in place. It needs to be pried open to allow the resistor to fit. This action also tightens the circuit board parts into place so they make good contact with the unpowered truck.

    One thing to keep in mind is the brass prints from Shapeways are almost always bent or twisted. The bar on the frame that holds the pin in place can be too tight for the pin. It may need to be pried open slightly. Also, the walls on the frame that surround the powered truck's gear tower can be bent out of shape. The entire back end could get misaligned during the brass finishing process. These flaws can affect how well the worm and the drive gears mesh. I'll cover all this in my instructions.

    Sometimes I wish there were two of me...

    I hope everyone had a good holiday.
     
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  8. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Today I installed a TCS Z2 decoder. The loco took off like a banshee at speed step 1, so I had to use a resistor in series with the motor. The problem with using a resistor in series with the motor is that you can no longer read CV values. You can program CV's just not read them back, so paged mode programming takes a long long time.

    I set CV2=1 CV6=8 and CV5=16 for start-mid-full speeds. I set CV 3 and 4=0 to kill accel/decel. Runs great.

    Now on to the shell.
     
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  9. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Rob, turn BEMF = Off CV61 = 0
    See BEMF section, page 2. Any combination value in that BEMF section that is Even #, then BEMF is off. For example, Dim + Reverse = 48
    https://tcsdcc.com/sites/default/files/Z2.pdf

    They admitted that they use the HO values so it doesn't work for Z. If it doesn't get any current feedback, it thins the motor is not running so auto increases the Speed Step (internally)

    The resistor you added is basically what ZTrains is selling, placing it in the track power connection.
     
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  10. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Thanks Jeff, I'll try that and see if I it will allow the decoder to read back CV values.

    I worked on the shell again, drilling a mounting hole for a steam bell, hand forming and installing wire grabs, then applying all the etched brass detail. I have to admit it looks very nice. I primed the shell with Tamiya primer, and let it cure inside the house where it's warmer.

    I put such a very light coat on that I am thinking I want to add another primer coat. Maybe I should just paint it, then decal, then clear coat so I don't end up with too many paint layers though?
    Here is the Engineer's side:
    [​IMG]

    The etched brass has great rivet detail, and the shell looks really nice. There are very few crevices with visible build steps, so all the dremel rubber abrasive bit work looks to have paid off. I had to carefully balance the sanding of step lines with the leaving of detail. Overeall, I'm satisfied, but the camera is a bit more critical.
    Here is the Fireman's side:
    [​IMG]

    I had one mishap while gluing on the brass parts. My prototype has the opened pilots with drop steps, where a brakeman can stand during switching operations. While attaching the very first drop step, the superglue grabbed and set before I had time to align it. It started to wrinkle like foil when I tried to remove it, so I just straightened it up as best as I could and left it slightly crooked.
     
  11. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Dang, that looks great!!(y)(y)(y)
     
  12. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    Nice job. The grab irons really make it a real stand out. I'm sure the drop steps got banged around a lot in real life. It's actually more prototypical. Jim
     
  13. rvn2001

    rvn2001 TrainBoard Member

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    That looks GREAT! Nice clean lines. I think it's ready for paint and decals.
     
  14. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

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    This looks absolutely fantastic! I know about the "critical" camera myself. Seems like we mentioned this before. Anyway, the work looks perfect. Great job. :cool:
     
  15. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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  16. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    That is a really clean and smooth shell Rob. I would just paint it. The only reason to put on thicker primer is to hide problems which you don’t have.

    Who would think that Shapeways brass would be this good. It puts my EMD Model 40 to shame.
     
  17. shortpainter

    shortpainter TrainBoard Member

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    Beautiful work, Rob.
     
  18. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I painted the loco Engine Black with some 20 year old Floquil, and the paint is still good. I had to re-draw my decals, because I didn't have an Alco builders plate and the white numbers for the number boards on the front left and right. Also, the stripes are .035" for my NW2 switchers, but need to be .025" for this much finer S2 switcher.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see I have the NP artwork drawn up for the S2, but now I have to build up a Windows XP computer with Corel Draw 9 and the Alps MD1000 printer drivers on it, so I can get back into decal manufacture. I was lucky enough to find all my Alps ribbons and decal paper, and I had purchased a new in box Wyse Windows XP Embedded thin client to use as my decal printer pc, so I have to hunt down an old style DVI or RGB monitor to configure and setup that baby. After I get it setup, I'll install TightVNC on it so I can remote in to print decals from any other PC.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

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    wow! some of the last part of the post read like Charlie Brown's teacher used to sound. me not unnerstand...(y)
     
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  20. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    It's all computer workaround stuff to be able to use a 20 year old decal printer with today's computers. :D
     
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