Author Topic: BLI Mike initial impressions  (Read 6028 times)

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mike_lawyer

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2019, 09:45:10 PM »
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    3800 class

  Yes, these will be made available to the public.
 First thing that I need to do, is get a prototype made of the frame and get all the bugs worked out to run smoothly as possible. The frame will take Kato mike parts (drivers and gears) and will be cast out of lead free britannica metal. Motor will hopefully be the one Kato uses in the FEF's, (note to self to get a couple ordered). I'm going to try to etch the drive rods and valve gear myself for the prototype and if that doesn't work, I'll have them done.  Once I have a good running chassis, the boiler shell will be printed with one of the photons. Some of the details will be on the etched sheet with the rods and valve gear. Tender will use Bachmann trucks and tender frame and shell will be printed also.





I would probably buy 10 chassis if this comes to fruition!

mmagliaro

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2019, 11:31:37 AM »
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What do the tender pickups look like under the BLI 2-8-2 tender?  Are they axle-point with cups like the Kato?  Or something else?

jdcolombo

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2019, 12:53:53 PM »
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Hi Max.

They are axle point.  Wires are soldered directly to the sideframe pickups; there is no "finger" that contacts a strip inside the tender.  Photo:

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So far, the power pickup on this thing has been pretty much bulletproof.

John C.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 12:56:11 PM by jdcolombo »

mmagliaro

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2019, 04:12:32 PM »
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That is an interesting development (soldered wires to the axle point/cone pickup plates).
I have done similar things to the insides of Kato tenders when I got fed up with the truck "thumbs" not maintaining continuity to the strips in the floor, although I did it by soldering wires to the tips of the thumbs inside the tender.  Other folks say that soldering the wires without having the floor strips undermines the design because it doesn't keep positive pressue on the axle points, especially on uneven track. 

I suppose having the solder points exposed on the trucks like that allows one to repair it by resoldering without opening the tender if a wire breaks.  If the wires were soldered inside the tender, you'd have more work to do in order to repair a broken joint.

Do they still have pressure strips in the floor, or some kind of other spring mechanism to push down on the truck plates from inside the tender?  I always thought that would be the best design of all - have the pressure strips, but back them up with soldered wires so you get the floating pressure and also a soldered wire for guaranteed continuity.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 01:34:18 AM by mmagliaro »

jdcolombo

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2019, 10:22:37 PM »
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Hi Max.

There is nothing pushing down on the trucks.  The decoder takes up the entire tender floor, and is basically mounted flush with the floor (with just enough clearance for the wires coming from the trucks underneath).

But as I noted, electrical pickup on this model is excellent.  And I've hard-wired the trucks on Bachmann and Kato tenders with the axle-point-cup design and ditched the phosphor-bronze pickup strips with no ill effects.  I figure that as long as the tender itself has sufficient weight, the tender will press down on the trucks for good electrical contact (I've been known to add a bit of lead sheet to a tender shell to get the weight up if I think it is too light).

John C.

Maletrain

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2019, 10:25:06 AM »
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I fail to see a cause for a problem with direct wiring the tabs instead of using springy phosphor bronze pickup strips. The truck's axle point cups transmit the tender weight through the tender truck wheel axle tips no matter how the weight gets to the axle point cups.  The is simply no other physical path to bear the weight down to the rails through the wheels.  So, electrical pick-up to the axle point cups should be the same, either way the weight gets to them.

On the other hand, soldering those axle point cups to the decoder seems to be much more sure than a rubbing connector between the axle point cups and the phosphor bronze strips.  Some non-rubbing, slip connector in the link to the decoder might still be a problem, if one is there to allow easy disassembly of the trucks from the decoder.  A little no-ox on that connector might be a good idea.

spookshow

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2019, 04:36:00 PM »
+1
Anybody know what the two little plastic detail parts in the spare traction tire baggie are for?

Thanks,
-Mark

mmagliaro

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2019, 07:19:34 PM »
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I fail to see a cause for a problem with direct wiring the tabs instead of using springy phosphor bronze pickup strips. The truck's axle point cups transmit the tender weight through the tender truck wheel axle tips no matter how the weight gets to the axle point cups.  The is simply no other physical path to bear the weight down to the rails through the wheels.  So, electrical pick-up to the axle point cups should be the same, either way the weight gets to them.

On the other hand, soldering those axle point cups to the decoder seems to be much more sure than a rubbing connector between the axle point cups and the phosphor bronze strips.  Some non-rubbing, slip connector in the link to the decoder might still be a problem, if one is there to allow easy disassembly of the trucks from the decoder.  A little no-ox on that connector might be a good idea.

In general, I agree with you, because within the slop of the truck parts, all the wheels will "sort of" stay in contact with both the rail and the axle cup.  But over uneven track, when the trucks and body are partially lifting or leaning, some wheels will lift a little, or at least have minimal pressure on them.  Remember, no matter how much weight is on the tender, because the track isn't perfectly flat,  MOST of that weight is resting on only 3 or 4 wheels and the other wheels are just grazing.

The sure way to make sure all 8 wheels always stay in good contact with the rails is if they each have independent spring-loaded pressure on them.  I think Kato understood this and that's why they built those tenders the way they did.  Unfortunately, it does introduce a weak point where the truck "thumb" has to contact that pressure strip in the tender floor.

ncbqguy

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #38 on: July 31, 2019, 07:56:47 PM »
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I don't have either loco but there are supposed to be fill-in inserts for the cutouts on the inside of the cylinder chests (there so the pilot truck wheels can swing on tight radius curve).
Charlie Vlk

propmeup1@verizon.net

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #39 on: July 31, 2019, 08:11:35 PM »
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I have a light on order, Southern green. Once i see if i like I i'll get a heavy to make a Reading M conversion.

spookshow

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2019, 06:17:30 AM »
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I don't have either loco but there are supposed to be fill-in inserts for the cutouts on the inside of the cylinder chests (there so the pilot truck wheels can swing on tight radius curve).
Charlie Vlk

Thanks, Charlie. I see the cutouts now.

-Mark

altohorn25

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2019, 06:27:57 PM »
+3
Testing out one of my new Milwaukee Road (Class L3) BLI Mikados; pulling a 40 car refrigerator car train around the layout. I still need to weather both of these of course. I still need to find the correct CV to adjust the chuff speed; this speed is the only throttle setting that lines up the chuff with the side rods currently. Before I weather these, I think I may move some of the details around to make them even more Milwaukee Road specific (the bell should be off-center on the Milw L3 Mikados).

Nate Pierce
Modutrak - Wisconsin Division
www.modutrak.com

brokemoto

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2019, 11:58:23 PM »
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This is the BLI and the MP.  I have swapped out the MP stock tender for a B-mann SPECTRUM USRA standard.  The BLI is on the left.






Here is the BLI:





Here is a close up of the locomotive.  It appears as if it were jacked up in the back, like a race car.  In contrast, the old RR USRA heavy Pacific and Mikado appeared to be jacked up backwards, like a funny car.




For comparison, here is the MP with a B-mann SPECTRUM tender substituted for the MP:






I use DC.  The thing requires a high amount of voltage on DC.  The sound is fine for my purporses.  It runs well out of the box.  It runs smoothly.  The slow speed control is excellent.  Slow running is what I want from this,
 I will still, of course, run it in.  Still, I find the "sports model" look a bit bothersome.  Is anyone else's looking like this, or should I send it back to MBK for a replacement if they have any left)?

I am not crazy about flexing wires soldered to pivotting trucks.  Those joints tend to come undone.  This does seem to be typical of DCC, though.

Thus far, this thing has not shown the annoying tendency to stall that the Centipedes showed.  The problem with the stalling was that the whole thing had to reset and start to move, again.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 12:03:45 AM by brokemoto »

Maletrain

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2019, 08:22:22 AM »
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I am trying to figure out why the BLI looks "jacked up" when compared to the MP version.  It is hard using just these photos, but is looks like the angles of things like the bottom of the firebox point to the same place on the drivers in both.  So, I am getting the impression that the BLI's shell is not seated too high in the cab area.  It almost seems to be an optical effect of having more light visible under the cab in the BLI than the MP version.

brokemoto

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2019, 08:53:32 AM »
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One more thing occurred this morning.  I am still putting it through break-in running.  I use DC.  In this case, I was using a MRC 2800.  It was running in reverse.  For the first time, the whistle sound came ON.  The problem was that it would not stop.  I stopped the locomotive, then re-applied power.  There was no whistle sound.  I am complaining more about the whistle sound's getting stuck than I am about no whistle.

I do like the sound on this one better than that on my MRC/MP eight wheeler.