John’s been in touch with a very helpful piece on model train coach lighting:
Thank you for all you do for the most amazing hobby and for all the tips and advice given.
Below is a short tip that some might find helpful.
Wheel Contacts for coach lighting
I have loads of carriages and wheel sets where both wheels are insulated from the axel. So as not to have to replace all the wheel sets, I have tried various options for picking up current for coach lighting I have tried contacts on the wheel rim – too much drag; I have tried electric paint between the axle and wheel rim but that does not last; I have looked on the internet but not found anything that is really helpful.
So, my solution may be of use to some out there:
The wheel sets have a small rubber bush fitted to each wheel that insulates it from the axle. Using a drill press, I drill a small hole in one bush on each axle. The drill size needs to be small (0.5-0.75mm) so as to drill against the axel through the rubber bush and through the wheel.
Insert a piece of copper wire extracted from an electrical cable – it needs to be a tight fit (wiggle it round and back and forth, until it goes through).
Trim it off leaving about 0.5mm protruding each side. Using a par of pliers on each end of the piece of wire and crimp the wire to ensure a really tight fit.
Check the gauge of the wheels as they sometimes do move on the axle during the work. The small piece of copper wire cannot be seen behind the axle box and you have good contact.
I have successfully installed lighting in fifteen carriages.
A big thanks to John for sharing his model train coach lighting tips.
Now on to Bob:
I was moving the tructrain out of my way the other day and it looked so good when I was running it that I decided to take some pics of it.
So here it is running on track 2 over the lift bridge passing through part of the town toward two crossings; and past the ice cream stand I had previously posted.
The PRR style signal bridge does not give accurate indications. I configured it to show stop when the bridges raise.
I activated the raised bridge circuit to make the signal look better in the pics.
The left hand signal on the bridge is actually showing a turnout position for track 1 on the other end of the bridge.
The green light signal is showing another turnout on track 2. My son who is an engineer had some angst about that one!
I used a different configuration on the other end of the bridge for the bridge up signal.
There is a lift bridge in the Newark, NJ area that I passed at times during my commute. I always wanted to get a picture; but a main truck route runs right next to the bridge. Just before the bridge is a smash board that drops when the bridge is raising.
I always wanted to model that, and thought about using an HO crossing gate; but then decided to use a Lionel Banjo signal, as seen in a still shot.
All the single mast signals also are turnout indicators. Many of the turnouts are crossovers so the signals help me stay out of trouble.
I wired the turnouts to throw together so the dual signal changes as well. The red roofed station platform is at least 70 years old. I added a close up still shot. It’s made out of wood with a metal mesh on it. I don’t know if my Dad made it or picked it up somewhere. It looks like it’s closer to Standard gauge, but it’s a keeper.
The Girard station is tin and was made by Marx. It is also up there in years as it was on my original layout as a boy. As you can see the layout isn’t quite finished to say the least; although I got quite a bit done these last few months.
Keep all the great information coming!
Bob in Colts Neck Crossing, NJ”
And now on to Hall of Fame member, Rob.
Embarrasssingly, he sent me this ages ago, and it got buried in my inbox.
It’s a wonderful vid on how he takes his fab videos. Have a look:
That’s all for today folks.
But please do keep ’em coming: it’s getting very thin on the ground here, and I don’t want to have to feed you on a diet of reposts.
And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to stop dreaming and start doing.