Monday, November 7, 2016

United 2T Brass Shay with LED lighting, firebox flicker ESU Loksound

I've completed the hardest portion of my old Brass Shay updates, improving the power pickup on this Brass Shay with home aid wipers, added an ESU Loksound micro decoder with Shay files, added LED lighting and fire box flicker. Next is the details and couplers, removing the old lettering, adding a engineer and weathering. I picked this up at a train show last spring for $150.00. It weighs a ton pulls like it!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Soldering an ESU Powerpack to an ESU Loksound V4 Micro decoder

These require you to solder the wires from the cap to the decoder. This issue I had was the diagram in the manual looked nothing like my decoder. Not wanting to test fate by releasing the magic smoke, I threw in the towel and asked tech support for some help. They were gracious enough to send me these pictures. Thanks guys.

Friday, September 2, 2016

The end- Milwaukee Roads North Montana Division.

Photos courtesy of Long Bell Bob from Missoula MT. Very rare pictures of the closing years of Milwaukee Roads North Montana Division.

Just east of Great Falls yard.


Belt Creek Trestle

Small Trestle just before Red Coulee Trestle, notice how the soil has shifted.

Geraldine MT

Square Butte MT.

East of Falls yard across the grain fields.

Local crossing the Missouri River in Great Falls, heading towards Agawam MT.

Moore MT.

Red Coulee Trestle

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Adding Blackstone lighting to an Athearn/MDC Shorty Passenger Car

Having installed LED lighting using various methods, from using an old decoder, lights always on direct from the track, through the resistor, and Soundtraxx soundcar, I was intrigued when I seen the "Long Caboose Lighting Decoder" from Soundtraxx/Blackstone models. (Part No. 8100137) This is meant as a plug and play install straight into the HOn3 Blackstone Long Caboose. 

It's lists at Soundtraxx for $36.00, but my dealer was having a sale so I picked up two for $27.00. What I can appreciate is the resistor and "keep alive" capacitor are already part of the board, all you need to do is solder track power to the two solder pads on the decoder. I had a 4-pack of the Roundhouse passenger cars I picked up at a train show for a very good price (D&R.G.W.) and plan on removing that lettering. 

So lets begin:

I'm starting with the car "Solitude", the roof simply pops off. 

The decoder isn't wide enough to put directly on the ceiling so I glue a couple of lengths of styrene across the roof and applied two sided tape.

Wires presoldered  onto the decoder, and decoder mounted with tape.

The next task was to remove one truck from the car and drill an access hole to route the power wires from the truck. There is a metal weight sandwiched between the car body and frame, so be careful and patient.

After that it was time to drill and tap the truck for 2-56 screws, these will hole my homemade wheel wipers.

Next I added a quick disconnect so I could seperate the roof from the car for maintenance.

My homemade wheel wipes using Kadee coupler springs, I then soldered the wires and screwed them to the truck. One truck is all that is needed, I suppose you wire up both but since the board has a capacitor, the lights shouldn't blink.

I threaded the wires through the floor and soldered in the female quick disconnect, made the connections and put it on the track.

I love the color of the lighting, one down, three more to go!.
It took me about three hours for this installation, I hand-drilled through the floor which took up a lot of time, us a Dremel and be done in seconds. The next step is too install some Woodland Scenics Light Diffusing Window Film so you can't see the workings inside the coach. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Along the old Milwaukee Road-Red Coulee Trestle and Missoula MT 2016

While in Great Falls I made a quick trip out to Red Coulee to make sure all is well. Same as it has been since 1980.

The roadbed swinging to the right entering Red Coulee.

The western approach to the trestle. More ground has shifted in recent years, the was the reason the original concrete approach was tore down and replaced with this wooden structure.

The MILW Depot in Missoula.
 along the Clark Fork river.

Protection for the catenary is still on the street overpass.

More to come...

The Milwaukee Roads Blackfoot Branch in Milltown/Bonner Montana, the prototype for my model railroad.

The Big Blackfoot branch facing west towards the old Mainline and Milltown Dam site.

Looking east up the grade towards the Big Blackfoot river. The Montana Rail Link had used this old grade when the Milltown Dam and reservoir silt removal. Some rails are still in place. 

Looking east upgrade as it passed under I-90 and the MRL mainline.

Remaining trestle on the abandoned Big Blackfoot Branch.

Waltham Montana

Elevator on the Northern Montana Branch line between Highwood and Shonkin MT,

Shonkin Montana along the NMD

Old Milwaukee Road depot, now a private residence.

Lost Lake Montana

NMD division between Shonkin and Highwood.

Milwaukee Road Trestle crossing Shonkin Creek, between Shonkin and Highwood MT.

Old Great Northern depot in Ft Benton MT

Washout just out of FT Benton towards Great Falls,