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Re: [z_scale] Tender power pickup - the easy way

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  • bjkronen@aol.com
    ... Can I share an old N scale trick that is fast, works, and never fails - for tender pickups. 1. Remove wheel/axles from one of the tender trucks/boogies.
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 4, 2001
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      Kim, and the list:

      > I am planing on making more
      > tender pickups and it is time consuming to make the brass pickups.

      Can I share an old N scale trick that is fast, works, and never fails - for
      tender pickups.

      1. Remove wheel/axles from one of the tender trucks/boogies. It is
      important you keep track of which wheel is in electrical contact with the
      axle (one is insulated).

      2. Get an N scale coupler spring (any soft spring that is at least twice the
      diameter of the axle will work great)

      3. Deform the spring in the middle, so that at rest, the profile of the
      spring looks a bit like a "V". Just enough bend so that if you look "into"
      the end of the spring, you can't see the other open end because of the
      deformity in the middle. Don't spread the turns of the spring if you can
      help it. Important: the finished spring should not be long enough to touch
      both wheels at the same time. If its too long, snip off a turn or two on
      each end.

      4. Solder a tiny, flexible, stranded wire to the turn at the center of the
      "V" at a tangent (not pointing to the center of the spring). Don't leave a
      huge "glob" of solder. Just enough to insure electrical and mechanical
      connection.

      5. Wrap the spring around the axle. The axle should turn freely and not
      bind on the soldered wire, or any turn of the spring. But the "wings" of the
      "V" should be in constant contact with the axle. Hard, binding contact is
      NOT your objective. Just a soft, continuous contact by at least one turn of
      the spring on each end.

      6. Affix the wire to some part of the truck/boogie with rubber cement, in
      such a manner that the wire keeps the spring off center just a bit, with one
      end barely touching UNinsulated wheel. Just don't ever allow the other end
      of the spring to touch the side of the INSULATED wheel. Some folks like to
      drill a tiny hole in the frame of the truck/boogie to run the wire though,
      rather than glue it in place, to insure the spring never touches the
      insulated wheel. Your choice.

      7. Do the same thing to the other axle.

      8. Put both axles back in the truck/boogie making certain the insulated
      wheels are on the same side.

      9. Repeat steps 1-8 for the other truck, making sure the insulated axles are
      on the OTHER side of the truck/boogie.

      9.. Connect the flexible wires from these power pickup points to the
      locomotive in such a manner that it doesn't bind the loco-tender joint or the
      truck/boogie movement. Rubber cement works just fine for most situations.

      Done. The soft springs will last 100 years riding on the tender axles
      without cutting into them or draining mechanical power through friction with
      the axle or wheel. No cleaning is necessary, since it is self wiping. An
      occasional drop of alcohol or Atlas Conductalube will keep the axle and
      spring nice and shinny and conducting all the power you can ask for.

      And since there are no mandatory holes drilled, its all removable to protect
      the "collector" value. And its a lot easier than manufacturing wipers
      soldered to a home-made pc board, fabricated berrilium-copper wipers, etc.

      One of these days I'll stop buying trains and buy a digital camera, so I can
      keep up with Dave and his excellent photos and cut my email word count in
      half.

      Enjoy.
      Bill Kronenberger
      Houston
    • Jay & Anne Greer
      Hi Bill, I ve been there, done that and had forgotten that! It always works! Thanks for the reminder from us all! Jay Greer/Der Wegmann
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 4, 2001
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        Hi Bill,
        I've been there, done that and had forgotten that! It always works! Thanks
        for the reminder from us all!
        Jay Greer/Der Wegmann


        > From: bjkronen@...
        > Reply-To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2001 13:23:01 EST
        > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [z_scale] Tender power pickup - the easy way
        >
        > Kim, and the list:
        >
        >> I am planing on making more
        >> tender pickups and it is time consuming to make the brass pickups.
        >
        > Can I share an old N scale trick that is fast, works, and never fails - for
        > tender pickups.
        >
        > 1. Remove wheel/axles from one of the tender trucks/boogies. It is
        > important you keep track of which wheel is in electrical contact with the
        > axle (one is insulated).
        >
        > 2. Get an N scale coupler spring (any soft spring that is at least twice the
        > diameter of the axle will work great)
        >
        > 3. Deform the spring in the middle, so that at rest, the profile of the
        > spring looks a bit like a "V". Just enough bend so that if you look "into"
        > the end of the spring, you can't see the other open end because of the
        > deformity in the middle. Don't spread the turns of the spring if you can
        > help it. Important: the finished spring should not be long enough to touch
        > both wheels at the same time. If its too long, snip off a turn or two on
        > each end.
        >
        > 4. Solder a tiny, flexible, stranded wire to the turn at the center of the
        > "V" at a tangent (not pointing to the center of the spring). Don't leave a
        > huge "glob" of solder. Just enough to insure electrical and mechanical
        > connection.
        >
        > 5. Wrap the spring around the axle. The axle should turn freely and not
        > bind on the soldered wire, or any turn of the spring. But the "wings" of the
        > "V" should be in constant contact with the axle. Hard, binding contact is
        > NOT your objective. Just a soft, continuous contact by at least one turn of
        > the spring on each end.
        >
        > 6. Affix the wire to some part of the truck/boogie with rubber cement, in
        > such a manner that the wire keeps the spring off center just a bit, with one
        > end barely touching UNinsulated wheel. Just don't ever allow the other end
        > of the spring to touch the side of the INSULATED wheel. Some folks like to
        > drill a tiny hole in the frame of the truck/boogie to run the wire though,
        > rather than glue it in place, to insure the spring never touches the
        > insulated wheel. Your choice.
        >
        > 7. Do the same thing to the other axle.
        >
        > 8. Put both axles back in the truck/boogie making certain the insulated
        > wheels are on the same side.
        >
        > 9. Repeat steps 1-8 for the other truck, making sure the insulated axles are
        > on the OTHER side of the truck/boogie.
        >
        > 9.. Connect the flexible wires from these power pickup points to the
        > locomotive in such a manner that it doesn't bind the loco-tender joint or the
        > truck/boogie movement. Rubber cement works just fine for most situations.
        >
        > Done. The soft springs will last 100 years riding on the tender axles
        > without cutting into them or draining mechanical power through friction with
        > the axle or wheel. No cleaning is necessary, since it is self wiping. An
        > occasional drop of alcohol or Atlas Conductalube will keep the axle and
        > spring nice and shinny and conducting all the power you can ask for.
        >
        > And since there are no mandatory holes drilled, its all removable to protect
        > the "collector" value. And its a lot easier than manufacturing wipers
        > soldered to a home-made pc board, fabricated berrilium-copper wipers, etc.
        >
        > One of these days I'll stop buying trains and buy a digital camera, so I can
        > keep up with Dave and his excellent photos and cut my email word count in
        > half.
        >
        > Enjoy.
        > Bill Kronenberger
        > Houston
        >
        > "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
      • jcubbin@optonline.net
        Bill, I ve been reading where this additional tender pickup will help specifically with the stall issue in turnouts. Have you found that it does indeed help?
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 4, 2001
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          Bill,

          I've been reading where this additional tender pickup will help
          specifically with the stall issue in turnouts. Have you found that it
          does indeed help?

          John
        • D. A. Karp
          That sounds like a great idea, Bill! Do you mind if I include your suggestion on my Power Pickup page (credited of course)? -David ...
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 4, 2001
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            That sounds like a great idea, Bill! Do you mind if I include your
            suggestion on my "Power Pickup" page (credited of course)?

            -David




            At 01:23 PM 3/4/2001 -0500, Bill Kronenberger wrote:
            >Kim, and the list:
            >
            >Can I share an old N scale trick that is fast, works, and never fails - for
            >tender pickups.

            ___________________________________________
            http://www.creativelement.com/z/
          • Ole Rosted
            On Sun, 4 Mar 2001 13:23:01 EST, you wrote: Bill: [snip] ... [snip] The easy way ??? ... I don t know what camera Dave has. May I suggest that you buy a
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 4, 2001
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              On Sun, 4 Mar 2001 13:23:01 EST, you wrote:

              Bill:

              [snip]

              >3. Deform the spring in the middle, so that at rest, the profile of the
              >spring looks a bit like a "V". Just enough bend so that if you look "into"
              >the end of the spring, you can't see the other open end because of the
              >deformity in the middle. Don't spread the turns of the spring if you can
              >help it. Important: the finished spring should not be long enough to touch
              >both wheels at the same time. If its too long, snip off a turn or two on
              >each end.

              [snip]

              "The easy way" ???

              >One of these days I'll stop buying trains and buy a digital camera, so I can
              >keep up with Dave and his excellent photos and cut my email word count in
              >half.

              I don't know what camera Dave has.

              May I suggest that you buy a Nikon Coolpix 990. You'll need it to
              take photos of "easy" procedures like the on described. 3.3 M pixels
              and macro from 2 cm!!! + a lot other fine facilities like aperture &
              shutter priority or manual.

              I would have on now if I could trade in my Olympus c-920z. It's still
              under warrenty but they don't take digital cameras as trade ins :-((((


              regards Ole
            • D. A. Karp
              ... I use a Nikon Coolpix 950, which I got before the 990 came out. Both are terrific cameras. I used the 950 to take all the pictures on the Do it Yourself
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 4, 2001
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                >I don't know what camera Dave has.

                I use a Nikon Coolpix 950, which I got before the 990 came out. Both are
                terrific cameras. I used the 950 to take all the pictures on the "Do it
                Yourself in Z-scale" website.

                >May I suggest that you buy a Nikon Coolpix 990. You'll need it to
                >take photos of "easy" procedures like the on described. 3.3 M pixels
                >and macro from 2 cm!!! + a lot other fine facilities like aperture &
                >shutter priority or manual.
                >
                >I would have on now if I could trade in my Olympus c-920z. It's still
                >under warrenty but they don't take digital cameras as trade ins :-((((

                Why not sell it on eBay?


                ___________________________________________
                http://www.creativelement.com/z/
              • bjkronen@aol.com
                ... You are welcome to do so. But my credit would have to be limited as bringing an idea from larger scales to Z scale since the fix was over 30 years old
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 4, 2001
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                  Dave:

                  > That sounds like a great idea, Bill! Do you mind if I include your
                  > suggestion on my "Power Pickup" page (credited of course)?

                  You are welcome to do so. But my credit would have to be limited as
                  "bringing an idea from larger scales to Z scale" since the "fix" was over 30
                  years old when I learned of it 10 years ago.

                  Regards,
                  Bill Kronenberger
                • bjkronen@aol.com
                  ... It helps in all scales for those situations where the wheels of the locomotive are running on plastic instead of metal rail (i.e., turnouts, crossovers,
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 4, 2001
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                    John:

                    > I've been reading where this additional tender pickup will help
                    > specifically with the stall issue in turnouts. Have you found that it
                    > does indeed help?

                    It helps in all scales for those situations where the wheels of the
                    locomotive are running on plastic instead of metal rail (i.e., turnouts,
                    crossovers, double slip switches) or even a dirty spot on the rail and can't
                    connect to the power source.

                    In Z scale, where steamers only pick up power on the first and last drive
                    axle it becomes very important. And for tiny locomotives like the 8800, the
                    first and last wheels can both be on plastic at the same time. The more
                    power pickup points you have, the less chance the locomotive will stop on you.

                    It doesn't have to be a locomotive-tender combination. You can "marry" a car
                    of your choice to something like an 8800 and use its metal wheels and axles
                    for power pickup too. If you use something like a flat car, plan to add just
                    a bit of extra weight to it, to insure its wheels are pressed down well on
                    the track, and the stresses of the wire to the locomotive doesn't derail it.
                    Lots of folks add weight to the tenders too, for the same reasons.

                    Anyway you do it, when the locomotive looses connection to track power, the
                    tender (or married car) will certainly provide power to keep the locomotive
                    running quite nicely.

                    Even when your track is not perfectly clean. But that's a topic found in
                    another set of emails in the last few days. That problem is even easier to
                    fix.

                    Regards,
                    Bill Kronenberger
                    Houston
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