Author Topic: SP 6000 project & Golden State  (Read 6460 times)

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nickelplate759

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SP 6000 project & Golden State
« on: September 20, 2020, 06:13:50 PM »
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Yes, I know that BLI sold E7s prepainted for the Golden State, but I bought an E7A and two E7B units (one powered, one dummy) way back when they were still Precision Craft Models, and I'm too thrifty cheap to junk them.  So, it's finally time to make them into SP 6000 for the Golden State.

It shouldn't be too hard - Microscale has the decals, and the Precision Craft E7A has the angled numberboards and  interchangeable details so that the vents and headlights can be correct.     Nevertheless, there have already been some challenges.

Progress so far:

1. Pickup:  On advice of several folks here, I switched out the wheels on the powered units that had traction tires for wheels that don't.  Since one of my E7B units is a dummy, it was the donor and now has two axles with traction tires.

2.  DCC: I kept it simple, and put in Digitrax DN146IP boards in both powered units.

3. Lighting: Oops - NOT simple.  All I wanted was a lower headlight and upper Mars light.  From the factory,  only the upper light position has an LED, but the lighting board has solder pads for another light, and can be turned upside down to put the the headlight in the lower position.   How hard could it be to add an SMD 0603 LED to the solder pads?   Hah!

After destroying 4 LEDs because I thought they didn't work, I began to suspect that something was amiss in addition to my clumsiness.   I pulled detached the lighting board from the main board and started tracing circuits.   Should have done that first!

The lighting board has 3 wires to it:  Orange, Red and White.  Apparently their factory wasn't familiar with DCC standard colors.   Tracing the connections on the main board to the decoder I determined the following:

PCM ColorDCC color
RedBlue
OrangeWhite
WhiteYellow

Then I traced the lighting board - the Red and Orange wires (Blue and White) were backwards!  The factory LED still worked because it was also backwards!

Here's the back of the lightboard before I fixed it:


Here's the front of the lightboard with the original LED removed, ready for me to solder on two new ones:


I took a break to curse for 3 minutes, and then switched the Red and Orange wires and soldered on 2 SMD LEDs and everything finally worked.     I installed the board upside down from its original position so that the headlight is the lower light.


Had to program the (DCC) Yellow wire (normally F0R) to not be the backup light;  I set it to turn on and off with F1, as follows:

CV34 = 4 (otherwise F0 (forward/revers) interferes with the yellow wire)
CV35 = 2  : F1 turns on and off the yellow wire
CV50 = 34 : Yellow wire is Mars light, controlled only by Function (non-directional)


4.  Paint:  This is where I stop today.   All shells got a base coat of Tru Color silver.




« Last Edit: October 04, 2020, 09:34:12 PM by nickelplate759 »
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

u18b

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2020, 07:57:45 PM »
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Sorry you've had some problems.

I'm a little confused (it's probably me).

If the positive dcc wire - which you say is red

and the negative - which you say is orange

Why would the LED blow?  Since they are directional diode, why not simply not light up?

Is it because they are small SMD?
Ron Bearden
CSX N scale Archivist
http://u18b.com

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

nickelplate759

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2020, 08:13:58 PM »
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They didn't  blow.  I thought they did because they didn't work after I installed them.  Figured I had toasted them while soldering.  I couldn't remove them without breaking them..  Turns out the board wiring was the problem - the LED I was adding was effectively connected between the Yellow and White (per DCC standard) wires - no way it was going to light up!



« Last Edit: September 20, 2020, 08:47:02 PM by nickelplate759 »
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

nickelplate759

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 08:07:31 PM »
+5
minor progress - here's the E7A in silver paint.  Tru Color silver sure is nice paint!
Red comes next, then decals.   I'm going to do the silver rectangles under "Southern Pacific" with silver decals rather than trying to mask them.



George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

Skeebo

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2020, 11:06:00 PM »
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Don't paint it yet! You are missing three grills up high toward the rear, aft of the third large grill. These grills are very clear on all SP E7A and B's, even in other paint schemes. Check out Southern Pacific Historic Diesels volume 3, or SP  Trainline Spring 1999, no 59.

     Jim S.

nickelplate759

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2020, 11:52:24 PM »
+1
Don't paint it yet! You are missing three grills up high toward the rear, aft of the third large grill. These grills are very clear on all SP E7A and B's, even in other paint schemes. Check out Southern Pacific Historic Diesels volume 3, or SP  Trainline Spring 1999, no 59.

     Jim S.
They didn't come from the factory that way:
[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

Good thing, 'cause I don't want to kitbash the grills.
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

Skeebo

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2020, 09:31:25 AM »
+1
You are right, they were delivered without them, but my sources indicate they spent a month on SP property before being modified and all SP E7s were modified within 8 months.

     Jim

nickelplate759

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2020, 10:14:48 AM »
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Well dang!
I was going to respond that since these units didn't last long in their Golden State colors (I have a picture of 6001 marked "circa 1949" already in the Daylight scheme, but still pulling the Golden State) that maybe they got repainted at the same time as they got their vents, but no, I found another picture - in color no less - of 6002 with the vents and still in the Golden State scheme.  More digging turned up several more from 1948 or so.

Nevertheless, after much pondering, I'm not going to add the vents.   I've already made a bunch of more consequential compromises on this train:
1. I'm already mixing cars from different dates in the train (and a couple of stand-in cars) that never ran together, or never ran with the Red & Silver E-8s.  My train isn't correct for ANY date, so what's one more anachronism?
2. An awful lot of my Golden State cars (including all of them from Centralia, and even the 1:1 restoration of Golden Trencher) have red ends instead of the correct silver ends.  And very few of them have the full-width diaphragms.
3. I care more about the passenger cars than the engines. I've built several cars for this train and will probably do a few more (like the PRR pool car Imperial Terrace - got halfway through that and ruined the paint job - starting over!).
4. I'm not an SP modeler per se, (see signature), I just like this particular train.  It's mostly about a not-too-difficult way to get a passable model.  If it ran on the NKP I might make a different choice.

I genuinely appreciate your help. I honestly hadn't noticed the vents with the Golden State scheme before you pointed them out and if  I came up with an easy way to add the vents without cutting the shell I might change my mind.

Meanwhile, I'm having fun!

« Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 12:02:51 PM by nickelplate759 »
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

haasmarc

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2020, 11:13:13 AM »
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You could use a decal to simulate the vent.
Marc Haas
Keeping the Reading alive in N scale!

nickelplate759

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2020, 11:32:45 AM »
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You could use a decal to simulate the vent.
Tell me more.   Just a gray rectangle, or does someone make a screen decal?
Come to think of it, maybe I could print a screen decal on my laserprinter.   Hmm...

what do the screens really look like?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 12:04:23 PM by nickelplate759 »
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

haasmarc

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2020, 05:24:05 PM »
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I don't know what they look like.  I am not an SP guy, but Skeebo is.  Maybe he can help you.

But yes, that was what I was thinking.  Just do a laser printed decal in black.  Maybe add some shading if you wanted to be fancy.
Marc Haas
Keeping the Reading alive in N scale!

DKS

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2020, 05:32:40 PM »
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Just do a laser printed decal in black.  Maybe add some shading if you wanted to be fancy.

Shading on a laser printer results in big dots (a laser printer either prints or it doesn't, so grey is printed as a dot pattern). You'll either have to use very fine lines, or use an inkjet.

SP-Wolf

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2020, 08:41:22 PM »
+5
I went a little overboard.

This unit depicts a B unit in 1955
I cut out the area. made a frame from styrene and backed it with fine mesh




Here is an A unit on my Golden State - circa 1950-ish


Thanks,
Wolf

nickelplate759

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2020, 12:23:03 PM »
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Here are some further SP E7 questions:   The Golden State units were delivered with red Mars lights.  I've never been clear how these were used, other than a general indication that they were used for warning indications when the train was stopped.     
 
Were they ever changed to white, and if so was it before or after the engines were repainted from the Golden state scheme (circa 1949)?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2020, 12:25:11 PM by nickelplate759 »
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

JMaurer1

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Re: SP 6000 project (Golden State)
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2020, 04:39:35 PM »
+1
Wolf going overboard...there's a surprise!
Sacramento Valley NTrak