Repair Advice -- Hook Coupler on LGB Battery Operated 0-4-0

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, October 05, 2017 12:19 AM

OK,

Finally got the drill bits and finished this.  Here are few closing observations.

I first tried to bend the brass to shape, clamp it all in place, then drill the holes.  I was able to do this on one side by clamping everything together and using needle nose pliers to hold the side to which I was drilling.  The plan was to then hold everything in place, remove the clamp, then use the needle nose to hold in the other side.  For reasons not clear to me, I just couldn't make this work, and I ended up wrapping the would-be-coupler around the drill bit and snapping the brass.

The second go around, I first drilled the holes in the strip that would form the backing, again clamping it in place on one side, and holding it with pliers on the working side.  I then cut a new strip of brass, measured the broken loop coupler to ensure I left enough brass to bend to shape, measured in from the edge that new brass strip, clamped the marked strip to a piece of scrap wood, and then drilled the holes.  Then I mounted one side of what would become the loop coupler, bent it to reasonable shape, and mounted the other side. The repair, while not sightly, worked!  

As you can see below, I mounted it a bit low, so it does depress the hook a bit...

...but this does not stop "Christmas Thomas" from pulling short trains of "field wagons" around the Triple O!

Thanks again to the guidance and advice on this.  A very little 0-2-0 is pretty thrilled to have a ready-to-go "choo-choo" available to him at any time...provided someone can reach up and "Christmas Thomas" from his safe storage spot!

 

Aloha,

Eric

 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 12:33 AM

OK,

Got the brass, nuts, bolts and washers.  Cut the brass to size using my Dremel  (perhaps not the best tool) and bent the loop to shape. Not the straightest cut, but, for the project, it'll do. Clamped everything in position to drill and...discovered that my bits won't bite on brass!  Who knew?  Well, I for one know now!

Back to the hardware store...

Have a great week everyone!

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, September 17, 2017 1:32 AM

Thanks Greg, for the clarification.  I am mulling it over...

Back to the more immediate fix. I bought the brass, bolts, and nuts to fix "Christmas Thomas" per Mike's suggestion.  Today was a day for rail clamping and forestation, so no progress on the repair front.  Should get to it that week.

After that, I will pull apart the DOA engine's, get some photos of what I have, and open up a new thread to forward and gather ideas.  

Thanks to all for the guidance!

Aloha,
Eric

 

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Posted by Greg Elmassian on Thursday, September 14, 2017 11:49 AM

I think you are asking if a voltage dropper could be made so it drops different amounts for different directions.

Sure, the circuit shown is a cool trick to use the minimum number of diodes for dropping voltage symmetrically. Basically the drop is done with the "string" in the center, and the full wave bridge applies it no matter the polarity.

So, what you do is make 2 "strings" of diodes, but one string has more diodes in it than the other, for more voltage drop. Then you put these 2 strings in parallel with each other, but one is "opposite direction" from the other...

 

So on one polarity, the voltage goes through one string, reverse the track polarity and the voltage goes through the other string.

 

Greg

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, September 14, 2017 2:07 AM

ttrigg

Sorry about redirecting your post, but I'm interested in using Greg's idea to solve a problem of my own.

 

 

No worries!  I had the same question.  I opened this up to redirection by mentioning my intentions to get "Little Thomas" up and running again!  I had intended to open a thread on the subject when I was ready to get going; I don't like to start threads on projects that I will not start in the relatively near future.  Now, it seems I am committed...Yay!

Eric

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Posted by ttrigg on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 6:16 AM

Greg:

Thanks for the rescue, I was on thin ice there.

Quick Question: Is it possible to make this 'directional'? Situation, My streetcar on the bridge to the top of the falls goes up at a nice relaxing speed. The down hill run is approaching a blood curdeling roller coaster ride. Remember this bridge has a 17% grade and is powered by an auto reversing unit. On occasion I send a rail truck with a pair of 10ft flat bed trailers up the bridge to 'deliver supplies' to the chateau. Truck can pull or push a single trailer with no problem. Due to the location of the track insulator the truck can only pull the 2 trailers up the bridge. If there is the slightest bit of 'snail snot' (or other debris) on the 20 inch radius 'S curve' I have a derailment. I'm thinking this could be installed in my control panel in the positive (downhill) wire? I have no idea what kind of voltage we are talking about other than the LGB starter pack power supply is at 35%.

Eric:

Sorry about redirecting your post, but I'm interested in using Greg's idea to solve a problem of my own.

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Posted by Greg Elmassian on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 5:03 PM

"voltage dropper" is easy to do, you don't want a resistor, they do not provide a constant voltage drop and they make heat... plastic melting heat!

see the section on "voltage dropper"

 

https://elmassian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=185&Itemid=353

 

Greg

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Posted by ttrigg on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 5:41 AM

I don not wish to speak to that of which I know not. Check with the 'electronics guys', there should be a resistor (or some other electronics part) that can be inserted in the wireing harness that will reduce the amount of electrical power to the motor. Thus preventing 'burn out' when the command of 'Full Speed Ahead' is given. Obviously this will result in slower speeds under normal operations. To my eye this engine looks more like a 'yard goat' than a main line engine, so slower speeds would be more appropriate. 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 2:51 AM
Did some snooping... HLW has 12 V motors. My throttle packs put out 18 V, which translates to 14-16 V at the rails. I usually go about 70-75% of max voltage, so that is in the ballpark, but the kids like to fire things up...Sizewise, these bricks could be the answer, though. Hmmmm...
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, September 11, 2017 1:41 AM

ttrigg

As for the DOA, I do not recognize that particular model and cannot find a pic of it... 

Whoops!  Bad typing...Should'be been Model 2076:

 

 This would be a freelance project with an endstate that would be credible for a mildly prosperous 3ft gage line like the one that ran out here in the late 19th and early 20th century.  I found a photo of a really cool Navy owned 0-6-0 working Pearl Harbor around that time to serve as a rough guide should when I undertake the project.  Sounds like I might look at some bricks tonight before turning in!

 

Aloha.

Eric

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Posted by ttrigg on Friday, September 08, 2017 10:50 AM

As for the DOA, I do not recognize that particular model and cannot find a pic of it. If it has just 4 drive wheels is it possible that you could reconfigure the unit to hold a brick from HLW? Brick is a wheel set with motor and drive train. Will run entirely by itself. Have a look at some postings from Vic Smith. He has bashed up a number of DOA's and built non-standard prototyes using the bricks.

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Posted by ttrigg on Friday, September 08, 2017 10:34 AM

I vote for Mike's suggestion. As if you were taking votes. If you completely replicate the size and curve of the plastic loop, the brass will have some ability to deform ever so slightly and absorb the impact that would cause the plastic to fail again. I have been concerned for years about the stress lines in the plastic loop in my own case, but so far it still holds up.

By the way, the term '0-2-0' is inclusive from a diaper clad who has just master verticallity through grand parent.

I'm printing the post to include in my 'book of repair hints' should I need to do this again. Thanks Mike for a very good option. 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, September 08, 2017 12:56 AM

Gents,

Thanks.  I think I am going to go with Mike's suggestion for brass.  Given my "0-2-0s," as Tom calles them, this seems like the most permanent fix.  I am assuming a good set of tin snips would work to cut the brass?

 

As for the DOA loco, also a stripped down LGB model 2976,  (The crew named "him" "Little Thomas."  Noticing a trend?), the internals disappered when my Dad tried to fix this guy in 1979.  It is literally a shell and a chassis.  I am looking at this old iron horse as the basis for a larger project, using its restoration as a means to acquire some modeling skills.  When, if, and how I go about it is dependent on what I can find to repower it.  Probably something for a different thread!

 

Eric

 

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Posted by emdmike on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 5:04 PM

I would remake the coupler out of sheet brass and mount with small bolts/nuts with washers on the back side(inside the frame) or even a complete sheet of brass inside the plastic to stregthen the mount.  That should fix it forever.    Mike

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Posted by chocho willy on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 3:19 PM

Eric, Tom's idea on repairing the coupler sounds good and pretty much permanent, but I would worry about the strength of the plastic, just predrill the holes or install with machine screws and nuts. As for the DOA below is a web site that you can look up parts by engine/car # with exploaded diagram, might help, usually it's some thing like bad contact springs on the wheels and is a real easy fix, good luck Bill http://lgb.vanelten.nl/Database/

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Posted by ttrigg on Monday, September 04, 2017 11:44 AM

I had a similar situation a few years back. Mine was caused by improper attachment to 0-5-0. I got some square stock styrene to reinforce my 'glue up'. Using some CA glue I reattached the loop to its original position. Once that was firmed up I cut 4 small segments of the square stock styrene very slightly larger than the height of the loop. Two were glued inside the loop adding more surface contact for the loop, gluing to both the inside of the loop and the engine body. The other two pieces went on the outside of the loop gluing the outside of the loop to the engine body. This has worked well for me, for at least 8 years. But then again I did not have a fleet of 0-2-0's to contend with.

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Repair Advice -- Hook Coupler on LGB Battery Operated 0-4-0
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, September 04, 2017 2:03 AM

Aloha,

Another week, another vector check!  This time it involves actually cutting into motive power, so I wanted to make sure I was on the right path before I really did something regrettable...

The kids have a small, battery powered LGB 0-4-0 that mysterioulsy appeared during the grandparents' visit.  Shockingly, it went 2+ years before the little engine, dubbed "Christmas Thomas" took a hit from the youngest member of our crew, sacrificing himself for his more powerful brethren, as he chugged along, losing his rear loop coupler in the process:

I opened "him" up to see the depth of plastic I had to deal with:

 

It looks rather substantial, but I was worried a simple fix, like drilling two holes on either side of the old coupler mounting and bending some wire into shape might overstress the plastic over time.  Am I overenigineering the problem?

I had also considered using a HLW mini, some thin sheet metal and a simple bolted joint and permanenlty mating the mini to "Christmas Thomas;"  however, I fear torsion stresses from two year old would doom the idea.

Finally, I am weighing a third option that might spruce up old "Christmas Thomas" a bit with this repair.  I am not sure if "bumper" is the right term, but I have seen numerous examples of trains with wooden beams bolted to their fronts.  I had thought maybe emulating this practice and using a wire coupler loop might both improve the looks and provide some support, taking stress off the plastic.

This thing has a ridiculously small motor (2 x minis or 1 x light, standard car), so I have little margin for added weight, but, as I have a similar locomotive (MINE!) from 1976 that is dead as a door post, I am not opposed to a repair that builds some skills I could apply later to raise my old tank engine from the dead.

I am open to any other suggestions with the caveat all repair materials have to come from a hardware store.  The last hobby shop out here carries no model RR stuff.

Thanks as always!

Aloha,

Eric

 

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