What did you do to your trains today?

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For the loco-tender connection, I went with a tiny piece of wire tie folded into a "chain link" (which can be opened or closed at the top/bottom). It's loose enough to provide the best articulation while still keeping the tender away unless the loco is at a very sharp angle, like when the tender pushes it sideways when running "off-rail". It reduced the stalling compared to the pin type I previously tried (screw or skewer), but didn't stop it entirely. One of the tender's front wheels was reglued, which also helped. Apart from certain track joints that cause it to "jump" and realign itself, I won't have to add extra weight to the front. Too bad it won't be strong enough to also pull a train, unless the coaches would be very light and/or loosely coupled. However, the tender did manage to push my unfinished smoking engine (which currently weighs 80 grams) despite the underpowered gearing, so I won't really know until I've built one coach.

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Also ran it with the light feature on for the first time, and it looks brilliant for a separate coin cell, minimum voltage and no resistors; especially in darkness. It took a few tries to get the footplate to press the battery down and make a stable connection, (unintentionally) resulting in a cool firebox effect when not looking at the headlamp. There were no voltage drops or cutoffs even when it ran over the bumps, giving a steady light throughout the whole circuit. Worked fine even when I turned the lights on and off while it moved. It also naturally projected the cab windows as it chugged around, which would've made silhouettes of the crew had I put them in.

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There are times when the "laziest", most low effort technique is actually the most practical. Trying to fit the coupling rods how I wanted only worked on one side, while the other side could've potentially broken the guide bars. Rather than making a new crosshead like it initially had, I extended the rods to make them slide in and out of the cylinders; drilling holes in the sides of the OG plastic cylinders cracked one and got the screw trapped in it, so both were removed and replaced with new cardboard ones. The old guide bars were retained but are no longer functional (merely glued to the sides). Unlike my previous "valve rod" methods, it happens to give the illusion that the rods really are connected to the front drivers like they are at the rear.

Now it will need the details it had before the rebuild, as well as some new ones it didn't have. I should perhaps rebuild the tender chassis again and find how to make its front wheels stay on without a real bogie. With the size of the spark arrestor, I also thought about replacing the coal load with wood (a pile of cut up matchsticks). Good thing I won't have to give up after the frustrations I've had with it.
(This post was last modified: 12-24-2023, 02:51 PM by DalaGStanator.)
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  • generic_truck_69420, Super
I recently added new rubber tires to my Talk N Action Gordon that I got from Mike a few years ago. His rubber tires to be honest we're getting pretty old so I retreaded them.
Making Customs, Filming Videos and looking for the purest engines. That's how I roll here on Blue Plastic Tracks.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TB90Prod2
(This post was last modified: 12-27-2023, 05:37 AM by Trainboy90 Productions.)
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I've now found and acquired a power bank of the exact type I planned to use for the 5V smoking locomotive, complete with its own cable. I didn't know its measurements when I built the tender chassis, but the length and width are just right for the base. Even the walls I prepared are only a little taller. Since it won't be a permanent installation, I'll no longer have to repeat the dumb mistake of using my laptop as a 5V power source. One time when I tested the same engine, all my USB ports were unfortunately ruined forever. It could essentially fit into any other train or building that would require 5V for whatever reason. The fact it's rechargeable also defeats the purpose of buying more than one unit, unlike most dedicated batteries. That said, I will have to keep its original cable intact and find another old USB plug (not the "ex-charger" I use for testing/jumpstarting).

Update: it seems I won't be able to use the whole power bank (shell and circuit) the way I thought I could. Even after a full charge, the thing refuses to power a motor, LED or heating element through the 5V (USB) output. It's also not very good at charging a smartphone, which is what it's designed to do. However, taking the bottom off revealed a single 18650 battery (unmarked, possibly 3.7V) that can be removed like any other cell, without any wires or anything besides the charging circuit. That alone can do anything the circuit prevents it from doing, so my only real use for the power bank is to recharge the cell if needed.
(This post was last modified: 01-29-2024, 10:18 PM by DalaGStanator.)
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  • generic_truck_69420, Super
I've just checked how my "liberated" Salty performs on track, with slightly disappointing results. He will run fine going light engine, but succumbs to the vibrating/slipping DU when pulling a small number of trucks (about three +a brake van). Not really as frequent without the shell, though. His original traction tyres don't have flat spots and the gear doesn't seem to be cracked. To fix the shaky DU and press it down more firmly, I could try adding a lump/strip of Blu Tack under it.
(This post was last modified: 02-29-2024, 04:32 PM by DalaGStanator.)
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First actual run of the modded ex Annie chassis, pulling the same load as Salty on a similar track setup. While it runs more smoothly than him despite the weird traction tyres, the OG DU seems a bit weaker on 1.5V compared to other "Thomas types". In addition to its lower speed, there are points where it will "shut down" as before due to voltage drops even though the wiring is fine. Reinstalling the rear counterweight didn't help much. Can't really replace the DU since I don't want to trim the negative contact on my only good spare one, and the one with the stiff switch has an incompatible drive gear. Even replacing it with the corresponding TOMY part didn't help. Some of the shells I made for this chassis in 2021 make it perform better than others; the best being the Class 08, followed by the orange diesel. In a funny way, the Daisy shell somehow makes the chassis "act" like her and the switch can't stay in the on position. Then again, they were all designed when the chassis wasn't working and she didn't seem to have that problem.
(This post was last modified: 03-01-2024, 01:07 PM by DalaGStanator.)

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