Sunday, 23 September 2012

Tenterfield Tall Timber Company

Tenterfield Tall Timber Company (A Tale of 2 Shays)

The TTTC's total loco fleet sits at Tenterfield Loco Depot. No.6 sits on the Middle Road awaiting the arrival of a sound technician and a painter wouldn't be bad idea either to remove the identity of the previous owner. No.5 sits on the Fitters Road and a NSWGR 13 class is in the background on the Knock Out Road.

The area surrounding Tenterfield have been a great source of timber for many years and I understand that this was the cargo on the last freight train out of the town!

This together with a great love of any steam loco that has cylinders that are not fundamentally parallel to the railway line caused “the man with the moustache that twitches” to issue an edict that Tenterfield must have a Shay to haul timber to the mill!!!!  What mill, I haven’t got the Shell depot yet!

Next thing there was a Bachmann 80 ton 3 truck Shay and a sound decoder, all I had to do was put them together!

So the next few photos show how this was achieved. The photos are fairly self explanatory so I won't bother adding captions. These locos already have a PC board in the rear water tank (maybe it’s the only water tank!) which can be retained if you are using a non-sound decoder.

 As we were using sound decoders I decided to slice the PC board into 3 pieces.
The front part was kept as it contained the 2 & 4 pin plugs for the electrical leads from the front of the loco. The 2 pin plug is the track pick-up and the 4 pin plug is the motor and front headlight.
The back part was kept as it contained the rear headlight.

Both of these boards also contained mounted screws for securing the PC board to the body of the tender. The middle part of the PC board was removed as this is where the speaker needs to be installed.
The speaker was a ½” round Soundtraxx. I constructed a styrene box to install the speaker in, which seems to work OK.
Obviously I had to do some serious drilling in the bottom of the tender to let the sound escape. I also took the opportunity to install a sound cam to determine if this option was worth the bother.
I glued the decoder and supplied capacitor to the inside top of the water tank. Everything seems to fit in OK. You have to remember not to make the speaker box too high or it may cause some problems.

 We ended up doing 2 of these (traffic must be on the increase already). One, TTTC No.5 has worked perfectly and that included using the axle cam for sound syncing. However, I’m having a couple of teething problems with the 2nd loco, TTTC No.6.

Firstly it stops for no reason, and then goes again, which it didn't do in pre-DCC days! Initially I thought this may have been a short circuit but it doesn’t trip my NCE Power Cab so I think it is probably an open circuit or bad solder joint. I’ve re-soldered all the joints in the tender where the decoder is so I may have to look further afield. Whatever it is, its bl##dy frustrating!

The 2nd problem is that there is a clicking sounding generated when the sound is on. This may be because No.6 has a light to simulate the red glow of the firebox. That is the only difference between the 2 locos so I’m guessing there may be some magic electronics connected to this that is hidden in the main part of the loco. Hopefully the next update will have some good news on this issue.

 To all those trekking to Liverpool next weekend, remember before you hand that plastic over; “Is it a WANT or a NEED!”
Argg what the hell just do it!  

Until then enjoy your modelling.

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