Model Trains

I did some more work on my servo controls for the Protothrottle over the holidays. I wanted to fine tune the live steam mode a bit more and clean up a few bugs. There are three servo modes- couplers, ESC and Steam. In the Steam Mode, Channel 0 is the throttle, Channel 1 is the direction. Both of these follow the direction and throttle controls on the PT. You can adjust high and low limits and reverse each servo. Here is a screen shot of my programmer:

The electronics are very simple, one board and a 3.7v lipo.

Here is a quick video of the servos on the bench:

Here it is fired up and running outside:

And a video of a complete run around the layout loop:

Rail Truck

Picked up a used rail truck for $75. Nice little fellow, all metal. Looks like it was modified by the previous owner to look like one of the old ‘goose’ rail cars from the 20s. I think that’s a bit of an overkill so I took it all apart down to the motor and cut out a new back end from sheet styrene.

I’ve been working on some repaints and touch up for my growing fleet of used locomotives. First shot is an old Aristo F1 unit. It started out as a Southern Pacific, I disassembled it down the the gears and stripped the paint off the shells. Did the same with a B unit (it used to NH paint)

I’m trying to get at least close with this paint scheme on the cab units and the Chessie scheme of mostly orang-ey kinda of yellow on the others. I also like the all blue with yellow letters like this S4 scheme. I have an S4 new in the box but that is a future project.

For the paint, I am a rattle can sort of person so a quick trip to Lowes got me very close I think. Here is a list of what I’m using:

Strip 91% ISO alcohol in a very big plastic bin
Primer Rusoleum Universal Grey
Yellow Nose Paint Krylon Gloss Sun Yellow
Light Blue Krylon Matte Vintage Blue
Dark Blue Krylon Satin Oxford Blue
Chessie Yellow Rustoleum Caterpillar Yellow
Flat Black Krylon Flat Black

Finally finished. Well, more or less. Needs a bit more stain on the back and a porch. That’s later. For now, all the junk in my main Shop is going to go in here, then I’m going to do a deep clean on the Shop, then by spring, this will become the train display/storage/staging shed.

Gilbert Fixes

Finally found some time to fix up Gilbert, the winter was pretty hard on it. I added a water tower and cleaned up the buildings a bit. Still needs some ballast work but it’s coming along.

A very generous fellow named Darrell Lamm gave me this locomotive. For free. Just so I could test my receivers in it! It is a very nice model, all metal, with an already installed Lok Sound DCC decoder. Amazing. The only problem is that it is one size smaller than the scale I run, I have no place to run it. Anyhow, despite being O scale instead of G, this locomotive has plenty of room for my stock Protothrottle Receiver. Battery, Receiver, DCC Amp and a 5v power supply. Since I don’t really have any O scale track (one three foot section is all I own), I will probably sell this at some point, not sure.

I originally built this as an office for the RV Park but it doesn’t seem quite right in the role, so I made it a Post Office in my new town of Proffit VA. I’ve got it installed and wired into the solar grid.

Blu Phone Sends Bluetooth to control Aristo U25B with Soundtraxx TSU-4400. 2200 mAh Lipo battery, Full range TangBang speaker with passive radiator. Rewired the lights for LEDs. Good speed and power on the U25 at 14.8v.

Since my Python Apps do not work on any Android Version greater than 6, I am working on re-writing them in Android Studio. At first I was not particularly thrilled that I had to re-write everything but now I’m starting to really like Android Studio. I’ve decided to add additional functionality so that I only need one App. The name of the bluetooth device (the locomotive name) will now allow the app to ‘configure itself’ when the locomotive is chosen on the phone. If the locomotive uses a TSU-4400 SoundTraxx decoder, the appropriate screens will come up for that. I am also going to allow the main screen to be programmed, change the icons and what function codes are associated with them.