Author Topic: N scale searchlight signal build thread  (Read 3500 times)

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C855B

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Re: N scale searchlight signal build thread
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2020, 07:54:59 PM »
+2
A couple of handy vids demonstrating a "bare" H-2. This assembly is called a "relay", but it's the lighted thingamajig where the real work is done. You can see the damper weights clearly as they move in the "bowl" as the aspect changes. First is standard Y-R-G, second is Y-R-lunar;



A sharp eye will catch that the relay with the lunar roundel has a broken bowl. Sadly, that happened during shipment to me. Still works for my purposes.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 08:38:32 PM by C855B »

GaryHinshaw

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Re: N scale searchlight signal build thread
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2020, 06:23:25 AM »
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Thanks Mike - this is straight from the source!  The transitions here seem pretty fast.  I'll have to try and make a video of the Signalman transitions following the same sequence to see how they compare.  Casually, the green <-> yellow transitions seem pretty good, but I have not been able to get a good bounce-to-red yet (haven't tried too hard, mind you.)  Do you have an example of this signal flashing? :)

My signal build stalled over the weekend due to getting sidetracked on a container standardization project.  I'll get back to it shortly.

C855B

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Re: N scale searchlight signal build thread
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2020, 11:07:06 AM »
+1
No on the flashing thing, I don't have an official flasher relay in the arsenal. Should think about doing something, tho'. If there's anything special in doing a simulation, it's useful to know that the bulb is under-driven. It's a heavy-duty filament probably good for long life at 16-18V, but is supplied at 10V to last nearly forever. The upshot there is at a ~1.5-second flash rate, the filament barely has enough time to heat-up and cool-down, so does a fade-in/fade-out as seen in that first video.

C855B

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Re: N scale searchlight signal build thread
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2021, 10:32:19 PM »
+4
Finally... promised artwork for @GaryHinshaw - standard bare US&S dwarf with short half-visor, and a double-dwarf:

US&S H-2 dwarf, short visor: http://www.everywherewest.com/Signal_Heads/H-2_1.2_Dwarf_Short_Visor.stl
US&S H-2 dwarf as above, double: http://www.everywherewest.com/Signal_Heads/H-2_1.2_Dwarf_Short_Visor_Double.stl

To my amazement these printed just fine on my Photon. I had concerns about the bracket on the double. The double has a notch in the top of the lower case to accept wires from the upper head for pass-through. I guess I'll find out if it works once I try to wire it up - the bottom notch on the lower case may not be big enough to pass 8 wires. These are designed to fit on a Showcase Miniatures dwarf base.



GaryHinshaw

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Re: N scale searchlight signal build thread
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2021, 04:44:21 AM »
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Thank you Mike! You're a true mensch!  And now I don't need to ask you to print and mail me any samples.   :lol:

Sadly, I've become so preoccupied with my printer that I never finished painting and installing the targets on the demo signal above.  I need to get that done and get the signal on the layout before it gets damaged sitting on my dining room table any longer...  :facepalm:

sp org div

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Re: N scale searchlight signal build thread
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2021, 02:00:52 AM »
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Nice work guys
I really like how it all comes together there Gary. Nice write up too.
Those long hoods are the bomb! (props Mike).
It all started years ago with the Dan Crews version here.
Hopefully all this sticks around long enough to work through lingering sections of layout construction...

Jeff

GaryHinshaw

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Re: N scale searchlight signal build thread
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2021, 10:19:27 PM »
+8
From the time flies files

The last substantive update from me in this thread was Dec 8 2020.  My Photon Mono arrived a week after that, which started me down the (delightful) rabbit hole of home 3d printing.  The first efforts were a bunch of rolling stock projects, which put this signal project in the hole for quite some time. 

Fast forward a few months to summer 2021 and the prospect of hosting ops sessions for VanRail 2021 in September got me back into the "Shed" to take stock of the layout and I decided that getting more signals into service was now a priority.  For better or worse, the Delta variant ended up forcing us to cancel VanRail - and let me breathe a big sigh of relief.  But I have kept the signal fires burning and have a bit of an update to post now.

Since I was pretty much up to speed with my own printer, I decided to try loading and printing Mike's .stl that he so generously posted/hosted above.  However, when I loaded it into the Photon slicer software, all I got was a single ring, presumably one component of the full .stl file.  (??)  When I loaded it into TinkerCAD, I got the whole part, but as a single shape that couldn't be edited.  (The story would probably be different if I loaded it into a real CAD program.)  Here is a screenshot of the part as loaded by TinkerCAD:



Note the funny holes where the support tube meets the signal head.  It seems to me that, even if I could load it into the slicer, the Mono would faithfully reproduce those holes.  (I also have no doubt that Mike's original file does not have these holes.  It's just a translation issue somewhere.)  Rather than bugging Mike some more to try and fix this, I decided to draw up my own because there were a few design changes I wanted to make in order to streamline the assembly process.  So I ended up drawing new heads:



(I think these render better because they're native to TinkerCAD, not because they are better designs.)  The main functional change from Mike's design is to make the back door fixed to the head, and to insert the LED up through a hole in the floor.  This gives me a bit more control over where the LED sits within the box.  One minor issue I've been having is that the red die on the RR-CirKits LEDs is on the bottom of the chip, and it gets partially obscured if the LED is too far forward in the housing, causing the red aspect to be a bit dim.  The revised geometry forces the LED towards the rear of the box.  (It also does away with the task of gluing the tiny door part onto the head.  That part has the nasty tendency to fly like a tiddlywink!)

For the dwarf head, I made the base an integral part and added a post that glues into Wutter's base board:



These printed parts look a bit crude under extreme close-ups like this, due to the layering in the print, but compared to the original Showcase heads, these are a dream (that's a quarter in the foreground):



(And not to take anything away from Showcase!  I give them huge kudos for marketing their kits.)  The other obvious change I made was to make the target plate and support bracket integral to the head for the mast-mounted heads.  You can see some close-ups of these in the Weekend Update.

I'll post and document these files as soon as I can get a few minor details cleaned up.  Thanks for looking.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2021, 06:37:09 AM by GaryHinshaw »

C855B

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Re: N scale searchlight signal build thread
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2021, 11:11:01 PM »
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Fabulous work, Gary. Yes, your mods cut a lot of the fiddly and frustrating hand work out of the equation.

[...sigh...]

It looks like a Photon Mono is in my future. My lowly original won't be able to hold the detail like this, especially thin cross-sections like the target and braces. (When I get back into the hobby in a couple of weeks. It's been a non-MRR summer.)


GaryHinshaw

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Re: N scale searchlight signal build thread
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2021, 11:53:55 PM »
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Yes, your mods cut a lot of the fiddly and frustrating hand work out of the equation.

That was a high priority!  It'll give me a fighting chance of finishing the infrastructure portion of my layout build before I kick it.

Last time I checked, the Mono was on sale for $189.... You definitely won't regret it - and I'm forever grateful that you pointed me to it back in December.  It's been more than a game changer for me.  8)