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Friday, July 18, 2008

Birney Mania!

Having worked my butt off, I now require a procedure to have it reattached. This procedure, known technically as a “vacation” takes about two weeks to complete, and will commence immediately!

This Birney project is at a good stopping point anyway (if a project coming to a stop could ever be a good thing). I’ve done as much as I can at the moment while I’m waiting for parts orders to come in.

A very important component I’m waiting for is this: Hollywood Foundry has announced that they are putting into production a “Ready-to-go” chassis for HO 4 wheel Birneys! According to their website, this chassis will feature:

* Fixed 28mm wheelbase, suited to 8 foot wheelbase Brill 21E trucks

* Mashima 1015 motor with 15:1 gearing, both axles driven.

* Cast brass Brill 21E sideframes.

* Etched brass life preservers under both ends.

* Operations mode switching between 2 rail DC, DCC and common rail with trolley pole switched overhead.

* Provision for LED head-lamps and interior constant brightness lighting.

* Choice of HO Gauge (16.5mm) or HOm (12mm)

Perfect timing on that announcement! Any later and I would have missed it.

So it’s with some disappointment that I have to box up this project for a while. I never really gave Birney cars much thought until this one showed up on eBay for cheap. I knew that San Diego Electric Railway had Birneys on their roster, so I bid on it ~ and won! My excitement for the project grew as I researched this funny little car. Coincidentally, even my Yahoo groups HO Traction Modeling and Interurbans (and of course Birney Cars) were having a flurry of Birney topics! Then came the announcement from Hollywood Foundry! It was in the stars! I was on a real high, feeding off my infatuation of the Birney car to keep this project moving forward. So, yeah, it sucks, but I got to box it up.

The thing about boxing it up is, that it will be out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Then when the day finally arrives when the chassis shows up in the mail, I’ll open up my Birney-in-a-box and I’ll experience a renewed rush of Birney Mania, yessir! Birney Mania!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Birney Project ~ Marker Lamp Holders

Noticing that the headlight for this Birney has a tube to mount the headlight bulb in, I thought I would use a similar method for mounting the marker lights.

I simply cut a ¼” lengths of brass tube stock and soldered them in place. The bulbs fit perfectly in the tubes but stop at the cutout. I’ll have to fashion some sort of clear lens.

A similar technique was planned for the destination sign but using square tube stock, but now I’m leaning towards just mounting the bulb just behind the sign so that it not only lights the sign but also the interior of the car. That way it will cut down on the number of bulbs on this trolley. As it looks now, what with 2 headlights, 4 marker lights, 2 destination signs, 2 route sign bulbs (on the roof), and maybe 1 more interior light in the center of the car, that’s 11 bulbs for this little guy! That’s a lot of lights. Yessir! A lot of lights!