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Model Railroading > Out of the darkness


Date: 05/20/20 19:53
Out of the darkness
Author: railstiesballast

BNSF 5653 (an Athearn) emerges eastbound from Tunnel 1.
There is a brief flash of sunlight before going under the highway overpass.
Who knew that they made long Zoom lenses in HO?
(Or that you can stop the action and put your iPhone in harm's way?)
Note that my HO Southwestern Pacific has enlarged the tunnel for double stacks, notching the once circular top arch.
Just like a day at work in 1:1.




Date: 05/20/20 20:24
Re: Out of the darkness
Author: SantaFeRuss

Very nice! I want learn how to install operating ditchlights on my Athearn C44-9W locomotives like you have. as it difficult? Any suggestions? I have  6 of them that need the ditchlights.

SantaFeRuss



Date: 05/20/20 21:58
Re: Out of the darkness
Author: bnsfsd70

I like the notched-out tunnel portal!  Very nice attention to detail.

- Jeff



Date: 05/20/20 22:11
Re: Out of the darkness
Author: railstiesballast

Ditch lights are not (for me) easy.
It would not surprise me that there are some you-tube resources out there.
I think that some research will put you on to some pre-wired Kato ditch lights. I have only begun to use them.They save the work of the first two sentances.
The ones you see, like most of my fleet, are Details West metal castings, laborisly bored out to clear a pre-wired 402 Surface Mount Diode.
I coat the SMD and the interior of the casting with AC cement for insulation, before assembly.  The SMD is held in by a little dab of white glue like Canopy cement so I can pull it out after softening the glue if I have to.
I paint the exterior of the casting, leaving the rim natural metal, then attach a lens (they usually come with the lights.)
Running the wires down through the running board or anti-climber and then back along the underside of the body required a little groove to keep the body from resting on the wires and being too high.
Some of my installs simply put the ditch lights on the same function output as the headlight because I used a cheap decoder with only the F0 output.
Or you can run it off of an output that you can switch on or off with a function button.
You need to get the decoder set up so that they will not respond unless that unit is in the lead, I sometimes battle with CV 21 and 22 to get that right.  Don't ask me for advice on that.
These are running at a low power (current) compared to some I have done and others I see.  The really bright ones burn out digital images.
P.S. I find Kato does very well at phone in or e-mail orders.
Good luck, have fun.



Date: 05/20/20 22:55
Re: Out of the darkness
Author: amtrak706

How to install ditch lights: Step 1, sell the locomotives on ebay. Step 2, get ScaleTrains Dash 9s to replace them. Now you have working ditch lights plus a much better locomotive overall.



Date: 05/21/20 00:18
Re: Out of the darkness
Author: SP4360

Step 3. Take out a second on the house to replace your fleet with Scale Trains power.

amtrak706 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How to install ditch lights: Step 1, sell the
> locomotives on ebay. Step 2, get ScaleTrains Dash
> 9s to replace them. Now you have working ditch
> lights plus a much better locomotive overall.



Date: 05/21/20 08:11
Re: Out of the darkness
Author: SantaFeRuss

railstiesballast Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ditch lights are not (for me) easy.
> It would not surprise me that there are some
> you-tube resources out there.
> I think that some research will put you on to some
> pre-wired Kato ditch lights. I have only begun to
> use them.They save the work of the first two
> sentances.
> The ones you see, like most of my fleet, are
> Details West metal castings, laborisly bored out
> to clear a pre-wired 402 Surface Mount Diode.
> I coat the SMD and the interior of the casting
> with AC cement for insulation, before assembly. 
> The SMD is held in by a little dab of white glue
> like Canopy cement so I can pull it out after
> softening the glue if I have to.
> I paint the exterior of the casting, leaving the
> rim natural metal, then attach a lens (they
> usually come with the lights.)
> Running the wires down through the running board
> or anti-climber and then back along the underside
> of the body required a little groove to keep the
> body from resting on the wires and being too
> high.
> Some of my installs simply put the ditch lights on
> the same function output as the headlight because
> I used a cheap decoder with only the F0 output.
> Or you can run it off of an output that you can
> switch on or off with a function button.
> You need to get the decoder set up so that they
> will not respond unless that unit is in the lead,
> I sometimes battle with CV 21 and 22 to get that
> right.  Don't ask me for advice on that.
> These are running at a low power (current)
> compared to some I have done and others I see. 
> The really bright ones burn out digital images.
> P.S. I find Kato does very well at phone in or
> e-mail orders.
> Good luck, have fun.

Railstiesballast your information is very helpful. Thank you. I will educate myself and give it a shot. Amtrak 706 and SP4360 you two are funny. Easier said then done to replace the Athearn units with Scale Trains versions. Most of my Athearn C44-9W's are custom painted to my freelace railroad. I have replaced a couple of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe units with the Scale Trains C44-9W versions. The Scale Trains dash9's are indeed very nice. Thanks folks.

SantaFeRuss




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/20 08:19 by SantaFeRuss.



Date: 05/21/20 20:10
Re: Out of the darkness
Author: atsf121

Wow!

Posted from iPhone



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