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Monday, November 30, 2009

Tour the Southern California Traction Club

The SCTC displayed it's HO trolley modules setup at the NMRA L.A. Division meet at the South Coast Botanical Garden in Palos Verdes CA a couple weeks ago. This is my first show with the club. I pretty much spent the entire time video taping the layout in action, amassing about an hours worth of video. I was able to distill that video down to about 8 minutes for your viewing pleasure:

The Southern California Traction Club modules feature spectacular cityscapes, fully detailed scenes, long mainline running, multiple trolleys operating from live overhead, and a whole lot more. So sit back and enjoy the ride. Yes sir! Enjoy the ride!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Niles Project ~ Headlight and Retrievers

Apparently, in the early days of trolleys, headlights were not standard equipment.

Since nighttime photographs were difficult and therefore rare, no photographs in my collection depict any of the Niles cars with headlights. For years I figured that either the cars didn't run at night, or they ran without headlights. But studying my collection closer reveals:

1. A bracket. And some wear and tear just above it. It could very well have been a headlight bracket and that it was often used.

2. A builders illustration including a headlight. It also depicts how the headlight sits low and rests on the front bumper (?).

3. Historical conformation of just such an arrangement. Pacific Electric 1001, which still exists today, sports a same sort headlamp. It fits onto a braket and you can see how a cord extends from it and has to be plugged in.

Precision Scale Co. Incandescent Headlamp For Interurban Cars #31004 seems to fit the bill quite nicely. The sprue on the back has to be cut off and then I filed the back for a good fit on the car. While I'm at it, I'll add the retriever fabricated from a 3/64" brass rod.

So now we are good to go with some night time running. Yes sir! We're good to go!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Birney Project ~ Boom! Boom! Out go the lights!

Dammit! My worst fear has come to pass. I blew out all the light bulbs. F!

Deciding to take the plunge into the world of DCC, I managed to blow out all 10 light bulbs. I thought it was going to be a simple matter of replacing the Utah Pacific Constant Lighting Unit with a decoder. But no. Apparently a resistor is needed between the bulbs and decoder. The total rating of the bulbs have to be under 100 millowatts and how bright the lights shine depends on the resistor. The size resistor needed can be determined from the website of the manufacturer of the decoder, but not on the instructions that come with the decoder. I didn't know that so... pffft! Blown bulbs.

This disaster blew the wind out of my sails. I focused on other aspects of life for a while. Then, after a sufficient time of pouting, I'm back. Birney has been disassembled, blown bulbs ripped out, and new bulbs installed.

Sorry about the lack of posts for a while, but I'm back on track now. Yes sir! Back on track!