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Model Railroading > Atlas HO Number Boards


Date: 12/02/21 10:57
Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: OnTheSiding

Is there any way to turn off those goofy Atlas number boards?  I would prefer they be not lighted, as they look terrible when lit.  Light leaks out of the corners on black boards and on the white ones the lighting is blotchy and wrong looking, Such a noticeable detractor on an otherwise nice model (Atlas Master U23B).  I have seen this on every Atlas model I have (Geep 7s, SD35s, etc.).  Is there a CV for this?  On prototype units, the lighting is not detectable anyway (during daylight hours) and so I do not know why model manufacturers are obsessed with lit number boards.



Date: 12/02/21 12:01
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: ATSFSuperCap

I would have to check my U23B, but on other Atlas locos I have worked on there is only ONE bulb for headlight and number boards, so you would not be able to turn them off.



Date: 12/02/21 12:03
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: wabash2800

Yes, it is toylike as they shouldn't be seen in daylight. With DCC, they should be on a seperate function, so they can be turned on and off. My Atlas locos use the same bulb to operate the headlight and number board. If you don't mind then permanently off, blacken the backside of the numberboard with thick black paint or tape. If you would like to turn them on and off, you have some work to do. The ones I have, have the clear plastic numberboad and headlight as one assembly.

With DCC, if you go to the trouble of having the number boards as a seperate circuit/funciton, you might as well add step light and frame lights and have them on the same circuit.

Victor



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/21 12:07 by wabash2800.



Date: 12/02/21 12:33
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: OnTheSiding

Yes I have DCC units and yes I would like the lights permanently off (YES they look SO toylike), but I have already broken parts on a couple of Atlas units when trying to take off the shell, and so I am not willing to try to remove the shell of an Atlas model...way too risky and complicated...six tabs on the bottom and handrails to contend with.  Thus, I have thought about fixing the number boards with the shell off but these locos are too expensive to risk breaking.

So, if there is a CV to turn off the number boards, please let me know...



Date: 12/02/21 13:20
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: wabash2800

If the headlight-numberboard assembly is the same as with the Atlas DC units, you are SOL.

Victor



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/21 13:26 by wabash2800.



Date: 12/02/21 14:06
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: ATSFSuperCap

As an alternative to removing just the body shell by prying apart the plastic tabs, you can also remove it by way of removing the catwalk.   On most Atlas models, at least the ones I have worked on, recently SD24's, just remove the coupler pockets then you can lift off, carefully, the entire assembly as one unit, the catwalk and body.    Once you do that it is very easy to separate the body from the catwalk as you are no longer trying to pry inward against the frame, motor etc.    

Richard H.



Date: 12/02/21 14:28
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: wabash2800

The cab should come off too. Atlas makes some nice locos and drives but they are not (and not priced as such) as top of the line locos with detail specific items for a given prototype. (They were even better when they had Kato drives.) One pet peeve of mine in additon to the number board thing was the handrail ending in that big goober hole on the side of the steps of the GP7. Do other Atlas units have that too?

Victor



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/21 14:46 by wabash2800.



Date: 12/02/21 17:33
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: fritzrr

I have been doing some upgrades, repairs and new decoder installs in some of my locos, several Atlas Gp40s and 38s. All have one bulb or led for the headlight/numberboard. Sorry...

Fritz in MD



Date: 12/02/21 19:44
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: OnTheSiding

Good points here, but when you move away from Atlas to the so-called "top of the line" or "better" models, I notice that they are loaded with details...which are often hastily/poorly applied...sloppy work. Yes, I can correct some of these mistakes, but some of these errors take hours to correct...and then there are others that, even with toiling work, I cannot correct.  And then I am left with a model that I do not like...and cannot return because the retailer then thinks I am being "too picky" (on a $250 locomotive).  So, what I like about Atlas is that their models tend to be "clean."  In 20+ years of railfanning, I have yet to see a prototype loco with crooked handrails, and on these "high end" models, there can be other annoying errors, too...and a crooked handrail tends to stay a crooked handrail, not matter how much doctoring one does.  Bowser is about the only exception I have found to this rule--a clean model with good assmbly quality and no toylike number boards--but thier niche seems to be six-axle units and I tend to prefer four-axle units, as I do not have a giant layout...



Date: 12/02/21 19:53
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: OHRY

Maybe stamp collecting?

Posted from Android



Date: 12/02/21 20:33
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: OnTheSiding

Yeah, might have to switch to stamp collecting....



Date: 12/05/21 14:34
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: osp1729

>Is there any way to turn off those goofy Atlas number boards?  I would prefer they be not lighted, as they look terrible when lit.  Light leaks out of the corners on black boards >and on the white ones the lighting is blotchy and wrong looking, Such a noticeable detractor on an otherwise nice model (Atlas Master U23B).  I have seen this on every Atlas >model I have (Geep 7s, SD35s, etc.).  Is there a CV for this?  On prototype units, the lighting is not detectable anyway (during daylight hours) and so I do not know why model >manufacturers are obsessed with lit number boards.

This past week I installed Scale Sound Systems speakers and Loksound decoders in some of my Atlas GP38, GP40-2,  B23-7, B30-7 units.  I too do not like the way the number boards are lit up.  As others have mentioned the number boards and head light lenses are one piece and illuminated by one LED or bulb depending on the age of the unit.  I've been thinking how to solve this same issue and here is what I plan to do.  I am going to cut off the number boards from the head light assembly to separate them from the light tube and paint the cut ends with thick black paint then re-install them.  This should break the light path and leave the number boards un-lit.  Good luck with your efforts.

Shawn



Date: 12/05/21 19:18
Re: Atlas HO Number Boards
Author: OnTheSiding

Thanks so much, Shawn, for the informative response.  I doubt I would be able to pull off what you are planning to do, as I have already had difficulty removing Atlas shells and am rather gunshy about doing so again.  



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