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Mystery Substance

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  • zscale@retrograde.net
    My railroad has acquired a pair of locomotives, one of which is eight years old, and the other is probably ten or twelve years old. The twelve-year-old looks
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 3, 2000
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      My railroad has acquired a pair of locomotives, one of which is eight
      years old, and the other is probably ten or twelve years old. The
      twelve-year-old looks like it's been in service. Judging from the
      pristine paint around the screw on top of the eight-year-old's
      boiler, I'm going to assume that if the eight-year-old has ever been
      run, it's never been oiled.

      To be safe, I'm going to assume these two locos have old, thickened
      oil, and I'll give them a thorough cleaning before oiling them.
      Thanks to this list for previous discussions on the subject.

      Something I haven't seen before: from the rear, the older loco's coil
      looks nice and shiny overall, but there are patches of white residue
      on the portions of the coil that form the junctures between the three
      spindles (I doubt I got the terminology right). They look a bit like
      the white salts created by corrosion, but I wouldn't expect to find
      any corrosive agent in a loco, and the white stuff is uniformly
      limited to certain symmetrical portions of the bronze coil. What
      could have caused these white deposits? Heat or humidity, perhaps?
      Ionization? Gamma rays? Martians?

      -- Andy Hunting

      P.S. While digging around in the z_scale archives, I came across this
      statement by Jeffrey MacHan, which made me smile -- esp. considering
      my present circumstances (my flat looks like a lumber-yard) :

      "Building a layout is so difficult precisely because we are
      struggling against a law of physics. In fact, the universe does not
      want us to build a layout."
    • kim@blueneptune.com
      Andy, Hi, I have seen the white substance in some of my locomotives, the white (creme looking) substance is put by the motor manufacturer to keep the coil
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 3, 2000
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        Andy,
        Hi, I have seen the white substance in some of my locomotives,
        the white (creme looking) substance is put by the motor manufacturer
        to keep the coil wires from shifting. They are usually put at the
        three junctions of a three pole motor. When I saw that first I
        thought it was the wires that got burnt to ash and hardened...... Do
        not remove it the motor wire might get cut if you try to remove it.
        Good Luck.
        Kim

        --- In z_scale@egroups.com, zscale@r... wrote:
        >
        > My railroad has acquired a pair of locomotives, one of which is
        eight
        > years old, and the other is probably ten or twelve years old. The
        > twelve-year-old looks like it's been in service. Judging from the
        > pristine paint around the screw on top of the eight-year-old's
        > boiler, I'm going to assume that if the eight-year-old has ever been
        > run, it's never been oiled.
        >
        > To be safe, I'm going to assume these two locos have old, thickened
        > oil, and I'll give them a thorough cleaning before oiling them.
        > Thanks to this list for previous discussions on the subject.
        >
        > Something I haven't seen before: from the rear, the older loco's
        coil
        > looks nice and shiny overall, but there are patches of white residue
        > on the portions of the coil that form the junctures between the
        three
        > spindles (I doubt I got the terminology right). They look a bit like
        > the white salts created by corrosion, but I wouldn't expect to find
        > any corrosive agent in a loco, and the white stuff is uniformly
        > limited to certain symmetrical portions of the bronze coil. What
        > could have caused these white deposits? Heat or humidity, perhaps?
        > Ionization? Gamma rays? Martians?
        >
        > -- Andy Hunting
        >
        > P.S. While digging around in the z_scale archives, I came across
        this
        > statement by Jeffrey MacHan, which made me smile -- esp. considering
        > my present circumstances (my flat looks like a lumber-yard) :
        >
        > "Building a layout is so difficult precisely because we are
        > struggling against a law of physics. In fact, the universe does not
        > want us to build a layout."
      • zscale@retrograde.net
        ... manufacturer ... Thanks. It s good to know that motor replacement won t be part of my new-loco maintenance program! None of my other steamers, including
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 4, 2000
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          > Hi, I have seen the white substance in some of my locomotives,
          > the white (creme looking) substance is put by the motor
          manufacturer
          > to keep the coil wires from shifting. They are usually put at the
          > three junctions of a three pole motor.

          Thanks. It's good to know that motor replacement won't be part of my
          new-loco maintenance program! None of my other steamers, including
          the other (probably younger) 2-8-2, have the white substance.

          > When I saw that first I
          > thought it was the wires that got burnt to ash and hardened......
          Do
          > not remove it the motor wire might get cut if you try to remove it.
          > Good Luck.

          Like you, I thought it was a very fine powder like ash, burnt dust,
          metal oxide, or corrosion salts. I brushed at the white stuff with a
          cotton swab to see if any would come loose, without result. So I left
          it alone -- I'd rather not touch those fine coil wires with anything
          sharper than my elbow. :-)

          -- Andy
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