Monday, January 14, 2013

USRA Gon Kit - Finished in RDG

This kit was reviewed in pretty good detail in O Scale Trains Issue #58.  This kit with the ends the way they were...had to be done in brick service for the Reading.  I had no other options after long research.  Special Thanks to Rich Yoder for providing me some good detailed prototype history, photos, and a decal source.

I had a lot more photos of the kit and felt like sharing.  I have no particular details to add.  It was a fairly easy kit.  Hardest part was the research, as is usually the case.


I reviewed this diesel in a decently full extent in issue 59 of OST (this is a great magazine to subscribe to if you're interested in detailing and building your own stuff).

Here are some more photos that never made it into the magazine.  This is NOT a stock model.  There were a lot of super-detailing additions done to it.  The magazine review details those.

I do not know how I'm going to DCC this engine.  I'm currently waiting to hear how easy it will be to upgrade to PS3 and if it adds DCC, since its already a 2R engine.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Digitrax DT402 On/Off Switch Upgrade

I got tired of taking the batteries in and out of the throttle.  I saw someone else do something similar to their throttle, so I went ahead and ordered the parts and did it in about an hour or two.

I also went ahead and bought some rechargable 9V batteries from in addition to the microswitch.  Here are some photos of the brand, and that it provides enough juice to the throttle.

 Opening the throttle is a pain, but this is what it looks like.  The idea is to take one of the wires from the battery contacts and run the switch in series with it.

 For the most part I used an exacto and a zona saw to cut out that notch that allows the switch to fit in snug into the notch.  I glued it as well with gel loctite ACC.

 This photo shows how I ran the wiring around behind the connectors as well as reinforced the switch with either .01" or .02" styrene strip glued in place.

I made sure the bend the wires so they don't interfere with battery placement in and out of the space after you put the controller back together.

I also put some Kapton tape over the area to ensure the wires cant short through whatever battery may be placed into the space.
Picture of finished switch in place.
 Picture of how much the switch sticks out.  Didn't need to adjust my throttle holder.
 The brand of battery from  Had to buy a charger too.  Somewhat pricey, but should economically do better over time as long as these last.
 Proof that this brand provides enough juice to the remote.

A new round of 'O' Woodland Scenics Buildings

There was a new round of buildings from Woodland Scenics.  This set of 3 included a bike shop, a country store, and a billiards/barshop corner store.  I found myself in Chicagoland and picked up the only one I thought would fit in my industrial mini-city for about $89 after taxes from Menards. (A huge savings off the 129 or 139 MSRP despite needing to add my own LEDs to light it up).  Menards appears to team up with WS each year and has their own version of the buildings produced with alternate paint schemes.  Probably helps WS with tooling costs.

Anyway, here are some shots of the building I got.  Going to work to get the menards off the glass.  Not sure what I will do for the interior yet...that is a bit down the road.