N scale "What's on your workbench?"

Mark Watson Oct 28, 2009

  1. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Well, it was asked about the use of a Workbench. Where things get worked on. I even have a piece of real railroad track for metal working.
     
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  2. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    Just finished my "COVID project", Penn Central DL109 #716. There was an actual PC 716, but it was orange and used as a portable generator for work trains. It was THE LAST 109 in the World and was scrapped. :( Mine has fared much better. It's painted kinda' similar to an E unit and will be pulling MY version of "The Dummy" commuter train. FIRST locomotive I ever "modified" and painted !!! :)
     
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  3. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    Next up is Kato E8B for Penn Central. Yes, I know they didn't have 'em. They had E7Bs, but found no pics of them being black with mating worms. Either way I would have been wrong, so... :p !!! Already primed and painted, will throw decals at it this weekend.
     
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  4. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Finally finished this Denver Rio Grande GP30 for a customer.

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    This locomotive got super detailed, painted and weathered twice thanks to the US Postal system. Customer received it in pieces, returned it to me and I stripped it and started over. Finally glad to call this project DONE.
     
  5. wpsnts

    wpsnts TrainBoard Supporter

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    Workbench construction update.

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  6. Burlington Northern Fan

    Burlington Northern Fan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hallmark Brass FT’s in D&RGW Black and Yellow
     

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  7. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    that desk is way to clean . how in the world can you get things done on that.:D:ROFLMAO: just kidding around. nice locos
     
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  8. Burlington Northern Fan

    Burlington Northern Fan TrainBoard Supporter

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    OCD does that…
     
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  9. John Raid

    John Raid TrainBoard Member

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    Now that I have a turntable I decided I should super detail a couple of grey engines and make them green. And my workbench is far from clean.

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  10. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    I received a set of GP60Ms from Jim Reisling's estate the other day and have gotten busy to make them work for me. They came with digitrax decoders which function fine for digitrax but as usual and even with setting the starting voltage as low as possible they won't start rolling till speed step 4. This is a problem if I want to run them in a consist with my other locos as they all start to roll at 1 so have ordered a couple lokpilot decoders. This was of course after I ensured that my test lokpilot decoder did in fact clean up that issue. Not only that but got rid of the buzzing noise when the motor was operating as well as worked out any tendencies to lurch which was also noticeable with the digitrax. At first when I got them and ran them I was concerned they might be well worn/run but with the decoder swap they are as smooth as my other FVM locos which are also ESU equipped. I would have liked to have done sound as I've a couple of those decoders already but not wanting to hack up the frames to make room for a speaker in the tank area.

    Jim had wired in some LEDs for the ditch lights which these locos need as the factory light piping is poop. So saved me the work there but he did have them both on a single circuit where I like to keep them separate so I can run the alternating light effects. So a little cutting and splicing now has me ready to wire up as soon as my decoders make it in.



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  11. wpsnts

    wpsnts TrainBoard Supporter

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    Starting to fill the empty spaces.
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  12. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Wow! Those shelves look like they could hold up 1:1 scale railroads!
     
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  13. GEfan

    GEfan TrainBoard Member

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    I am still getting to grips with a lot of the US modelling things (being a UK modeller) but have a couple of Fox Valley Models BNSF locos here, that currently have TCS PCB replacement decoders in. I'll be interested to see how the Lokpilots fit in and wire up if you could possibly a do a couple of pictures? Interesting comment about wiring in LEDs for the ditch lights. Thats something I haven't thought about. A couple of FVM GP60Ms for yard and local trip work are on my 'wish list'!

    Richie
     
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  14. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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  15. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    I'll definitely post pics once I get the decoders installed. Unfortunately I am one of those modelers that gets really nit-picky about details and when a feature is offered but not realistic I get all buggy about making it that way. The ditch lighting suffers a bit on these models as they are so dim you can't see them or they are very anemic. Fortunately using some pico LEDs with pre-soldered magnet wire it's easy to run your own provided you are confident in your micro soldering skills. You can use the existing housings and the LED's are small enough to fit right up in there once you break apart the cab, underside decking at the front pilot area and remove the light piping. I do recommend painting the inside of the housings with silver paint to minimize light bleed through the housings as they do tend to be translucent when the LEDs are lit in stock form.

    Here is a pic of the wires running from the cab area back. If you look closely you can see I soldered in an SMD 750 ohm resistor on the negative lead of each LED where I can tuck them in between the frame and the shell there in the nose.

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  16. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    Turnouts. Fastracks turnouts. Loaned out my #6 jigs in exchange for #8 and building turnouts at a relaxing pace. I have yet to settle on a plan so am just getting things ready. Benchwork goes fast so having turnouts, wiring, track, and DCC supplies ready will be a plus once I settle into a plan.
     
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  17. GEfan

    GEfan TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Freddy,
    Thanks - I know what you mean. It never used to bother me either with the British models, but with the US ones, yes I am inclined to try and do similar, although I need to practice the skills! For a newcomer I think its probably too easy to just go with what is provided, but as I start to put the layout together, getting more realism there while it is still a relatively small loco fleet (21 locos) seems a logical step - plus I can do things in between designing the laser cut baseboards.

    Good tip on the silver paint, I'll remember that. I have not come across pico LEDs before, I presume they are very small LEDs? This may be a daft question, but why do they have magnet wire? I am assuming that is magnetic for some reason?

    I presume the resistor is needed to stop blowing the LEDs out? Pleased you mentioned that as most of our UK decoders now have power adjustment on the lighting functions that mean its not needed anymore. I presume the yellow tap is Kaplon tape? Nice neat wiring there Freddy.

    Apologies if this is the wrong place to ask, but there are motor/function decoders like Zimo/ESU/Lenz/Digitrax and then the drop-in board decoders from Digitrax/TCS - has anyone found any significant pros/cons to using either or is it simply that the drop-in boards are easier and involve less wiring? I decided not to go down the sound side of things, as I dont fancy having to mill the solid chassis out to get speakers in! So I am purely talking about the non-sound motor decoders.

    Richie
     
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  18. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    Yes they are very small SMD LEDs. The magnet wire is just a single strand of copper wire coated with enamel for insulation. It's small size allows it to easily fit between the shell and chassis when the loco is assembled. https://www.ebay.com/itm/253141727000.

    Correct. One can adjust the light intensity through the decoder board but as far as I am aware the outputs are full track voltage and therefore require a voltage drop resistor to prevent the lights from burning out. Definitely the case for ESU. I have tapped into onboard lights of some of their "drop in" decoders which already use a voltage drop resistor so in those cases it's not necessary.

    Drop in boards do eliminate some of the wiring and I will use those when I can for that reason. ESU only makes non sound decoders (lokpilot) with standard connections or wire so nothing with a manufacturer specific footprint at this point that I am aware. Where FVM is concerned their boards use the 6 pin standard connector so I use the lokpilot 59827 board which is as 'drop-in' as one can get lol. I find that ESU and zimo have the best motor control while allowing the quietest operation and as such prefer to use those even if it means custom wiring to make them work. TCS, NCE and digitrax work fine and have a large offering of drop in decoders but I haven't been able to figure out how to tune them to get the same type of performance I get from ESU/Zimo. In those cases I opt to wire in a decoder rather than use a drop in provided there is room in the loco. I do have a few locos that use TCS, NCE etc. so I am not a total brand snob but given the price and performance of ESU I will opt to spend a little bit more effort to make those work when I can.

    One other advantage to me when using ESU is that I have their programmer and use their cabcontrol system for my layout so setup and operation is as easy as it can be. My cab control automatically detects ESU decoders when I place them on my layout track and if it's the first time the command unit gives me a prompt to accept them into the loco list using whatever name and address I assigned to the decoder with my programmer. It doesn't get any easier than that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2022
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  19. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    Here are some pics with the lokpilot 59827 wired then installed. When setting up the wiring to the LEDs in the ditch lights I offset the solder joints so I need only to run a single piece of shrink tube to cover. With them being offset I don't have to worry about the solder joints of each conductor touching the others. I could solder directly to the board but I'd prefer to keep the factory shrink on the decoder and since they supply wires for all their aux outputs I just tap into those instead.





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  20. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Working on gluing items that need to be repaired.

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