Author Topic: Brass Tender Electricity Pickups  (Read 935 times)

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carlso

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Brass Tender Electricity Pickups
« on: July 30, 2013, 04:43:00 PM »
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I was going to post this in VonRyan's thread regarding dcc in a Key brass loco. I high jacked that thread and apologize to him for doing so but perhaps some usable info.

My next project on my brass Key challenger is to add 5 wheel pickup to the tender. Here is what I am thinking...........



On the bottom is the tender floor and chassis with only one axle sitting in its cradle. You can see the back side of the wheel has the plastic insulator that protrudes enough to keep the wheel from contacting its cradle. Above that is the stock metal plate that keeps the axles in place. Above that is a light board from something I dismantled ( ? ? ? ). I plan to trim it down to the same size as the metal plate and then solder PB wire whiskers onto the traces and let them gently contact the back of the wheels. The light board material is the same thickness as the metal plate. I will then solder decoder wire, red/black to appropriate trace and route the wire through holes already in the floor. I will have to be very careful regarding the lengths of the whiskers as I don't want to restrict lateral movement of the axles. Five extra pickups should help quite a bit.

Any thoughts? Will it work? In the other thread Max stated that brass tender pickups are difficult. I would agree.

Carl
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

mmagliaro

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Re: Brass Tender Electricity Pickups
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 06:04:10 PM »
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Did I say brass tender pickups were difficult?   I don't think they are really any harder than any other tender, but that's probably
because for any tender, I rip out any existing pickup mechanism, put Kato or Bachmann trucks under it, and solder fine wires
directly to the truck pickups, so I bypass any issue with a brass tender floor, or any other wiper/contact mechanism.

Your centipede tender, however, is another kettle of fish.  Your idea for a PC board with bronze whiskers is probably as good as any.

A cheapie solution might be to just live with 5 wheels on one side, and then flip the front truck wheelsets around so they
serve the opposite rail, and isolate that truck from the tender frame with some plastic.  A fine wire attached to that truck frame could then carry the other rail from 2 wheels.    I know, 5 and 2 ain't as good as 5 and 5, but it would still be a help.

I have thought about these centipede mounts on and off, but never had one I needed to fix.  A full-on fix would be to
remove that axle block, cut it in half the long way, removing half of it out of its middle, so you end up with
two 5-axle-long strips with the slots in them.  Then you get more wheelsets, cut them all in half and join only
"live" halves back together with short lengths of styrene tube in the middle.  Put it all back together with one
axle block isolated from the frame by a sheet of thin plastic, and now you have full 10-wheel pickup with no wipers.
(But this is a lot of work.... ;-))


superturbine

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Re: Brass Tender Electricity Pickups
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 09:07:12 PM »
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Good topic Carl,

Just thinking outside of the box.....
Buy the Athearn challenger tender frame and mill the frame to accept the Key tender body.

robert3985

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Re: Brass Tender Electricity Pickups
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2013, 04:52:48 AM »
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Good topic Carl,

Just thinking outside of the box.....
Buy the Athearn challenger tender frame and mill the frame to accept the Key tender body.

That's a good idea, 'cept big Athearn tender parts aren't available.  Ya gotta buy the whole tender and it's over a hundred bucks.  Least that's what one of my train buddies was telling me.  Maybe Athearn has changed its policy with this latest run of Challengers.

superturbine

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Re: Brass Tender Electricity Pickups
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2013, 07:51:13 AM »
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I bought just the frame with wheels for $35.00 appox.

robert3985

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Re: Brass Tender Electricity Pickups
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 07:17:34 PM »
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I bought just the frame with wheels for $35.00 appox.

That's good to know!  Maybe they'll sell me a tender shell now  :)

carlso

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Re: Brass Tender Electricity Pickups
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2013, 04:44:20 PM »
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As an update - I was contacted by Athearn today and they are shipping me the tender frame with all wheel sets. Price is under $30.00, for the parts, plus mailing.

Thanks Jason for the idea. I'm going to make this Key Challenger run well or die trying.

Carl
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

superturbine

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Re: Brass Tender Electricity Pickups
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 08:30:14 PM »
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Sweet deal Carl,

This will make a great running engine!

Mike Madonna

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Re: Brass Tender Electricity Pickups
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 11:04:38 PM »
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Hmmm.... this has me thinking about that 220-R tender behind those Nakamura ACs!  :D
Mike
SOUTHERN PACIFIC Coast Division 1953
Santa Margarita Sub