Author Topic: Trolley Projects  (Read 7322 times)

bparrish

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Trolley Projects
« on: May 06, 2016, 06:20:25 PM »
So I'm starting this thread because I have gotten caught up in making old trolley models run again.  Most of the trolleys offered in the 1950's and early 60's had pretty cool superstructures but the drive mechanisms were boarder line junk.  Most had 3 pole motors that only ran at the speeds we recall with the Athearn Hustlers; about 300 scale miles an hour.

I'll start with a project that I began yesterday and then go back and put up some photos of other trolleys that have been saved.  I'll add some discussion about drive options available today and after that ........... who knows.

For now....

Below is a base plate that will fit a current production Labelle Sacramento Northern combine.  It's rather generic and I'm going to modify it to be closer to a Chicago Aurora and Elgin car.  The trucks are what make this a bit interesting.  Labelle offers a drive unit and side frames but I found the trucks shown below in a local modeler's junk box. I could not walk away from them.  I have no idea the manufacturer but is sure isn't Suydam.

The sub frame is brass stock and the step up at one end is to allow for the worm drive in the one truck.  The powered wheels are driven by a clock work gear train down one side of the truck frame. I converted the old brass wheels to current production Precision Scale wheels and all are insulated.  This is necessary because I run some of my trolleys on a common rail and pole power supply.  It is really tough to insulate the poles from the body so I run the body connected to the pole and the wheels completely isolated.  It works pretty well.

I'm part way into the wooden superstructure so that will come along in a time.

The motor shown is a NWSL motor and it will be cradled in on an angle so the U-joint shaft is straight from the motor to the worm shaft on the truck.

see ya
Bob







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bparrish

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2016, 06:30:42 PM »
The photos below are of last week's project where I retrofitted two Tenshodo Spuds into an old Kawai box motor that looks a lot like a Chicago Surface Lines freight motor.

The side frames are ancient Red Ball castings that are bolted to the Tenshodo bolsters.




The switch shown below allows this box motor to run on two rail track with the pole down or common rail with the pole being the hot side.  Running with the pole down is the only practical way of using any of these models in an operations session.  You can't make the driver reverse the poles every time there is a direction change.  All of the trolleys are fitted with DCC when completed.



The finished box motor with the superstructure repairs.


This is the wiring diagram that allows the two operations methods.
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bparrish

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2016, 06:47:38 PM »
This is a project from several years ago.  I found an AristoCraft Birney model on ebay.  When it arrived I quickly determined that this would NEVER operate on my railroad. It had a 3 pole motor and a wooden roof, and a pole fat enough to be O scale. It also scaled pretty large for HO.

So it sat for about five years.  Then one day a modeler put up a photo of a Birney car that was converted to a diner.  That was it ! ! ! !





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bparrish

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2016, 01:58:10 AM »
Here are two photos of a little cutie ! ! !  Can modelers say that word ? ? ?

I've never been quite sure who manufactured these but they turn up on ebay from time to time.  My trolley modeler friend in town always calls unknown products from Japan as being made by the J.A. Pan company.  I always find that funny.

It is only about 2 and 3/4 inches long and is only two wheel drive.  I did get a decoder into it but the weight had to go on the bottom.

It can't jerk the fuzz off of a peanut but it is fun when I roll it out during an ops session.

It is the only trolley with the original motor.  I couldn't get anything else in there.

see ya
Bob



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Zephyrus52246

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2016, 07:40:24 AM »
Some neat projects, especially the 'critter'.  LokSound has sound decoder files for trolleys, ever thought of putting sound in one?


Jeff

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2016, 08:26:48 AM »
Bob, Jeff,
               Pretty cool projects for sure! I've been all eyes since the first post.  You had me at brass! ha.  Jeff is right Several good decoder makers have different good sounds for trolley's, electrics, etc.  I just put in an electric Econami for a customer a couple months ago, and are currently working on two larger ones and later this summer will start two more for him as well plus I have a couple street flat car and electric crane cars to do towards the end of the year! All with sound of course.  Here's a sample with sound.  Thanx Thom...

   
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 11:22:53 AM by tct855 »

bparrish

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2016, 03:42:47 PM »
So I found the original photo that was up on the forum that started me on the Aristo Craft

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bparrish

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2016, 03:48:35 PM »
So here is what we are up against. 

The J.A. Pan Company sent us tons of these cool trolleys with marginal (read junk) motors.  Below are a few examples.

Most are three polls that need six or more volts and 200 + amps to get them started.

In the main.... most any of these can be converted to a can motor.  A few require an entire new base plate to hold all of the stuff needed to make them go. Example is the Kawai shown first with the two Tenshodo Spud units. It was easier to take a .020" strip of brass and start over.



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bparrish

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2016, 03:57:42 PM »
The first practical trolley motor that was US built was the Pennsylvania Models company in the 50's.  This was later pulled into Bowser and was modified and up dated.

These vertical motors ran reasonably well and if converted to nickle silver wheels actually run really well.  The down side was that the motor needed to be completely disassembled to get it onto the sub frame plate.  These motors were VERY sensitive to alignment.  That is the upper insulated brush plate carried the  upper shaft bushing and had no real aligning device to the lower bushing.  Thus when reassembling, the only way you could feel if the shaft was free was to leave the brushes out and watch if the armature would spring back when turned manually from the magnet lobes.  If it was that free then it had really good low speed operation and did not heat up much.  It could take numerous tries to get it right when tightening it all up with the two body screws.

The later Bowser drive has solved all of this with what looks more like a Diesel model with a U-joint from a body mounted motor.

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bparrish

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2016, 01:33:54 AM »
This four wheel trolley is made by Orion and imported by NJ International.  The dates on this are unclear but probably during the 1970's.  The drive mechanism is much improved over earlier products and it had an open framed five pole motor that tried to run pretty good.

My experience with open framed motors in not good when mixed with DCC and decoders.  I'm not sure what goes on but decoders will try and last for an  unpredictable time and then the smoke leaks out.  I wrote on compressed smoke some weeks ago.

The only thing I can sort out is that the open frame motor with the indirect magnet must have a lot of back EMF or just plain response hysteresis that the decoder at some time in the future gets tired of and goes to sleep.

It's not a function of stall amperage as I stall test all motors before lashing up to DCC.  Nothing over an amp and a half.  Most finish at about .8 of an amp in the small stuff that I run.

This little got a 15 mm can motor and it runs acceptably.  it only has four wheel pickup so it is sort of fussy for no apparent reason.  The down side of these models and other small products that use a KTM style drive is that the spur gears tend to crack after some time.  They are pressed onto a knurled spot on the axle that tends to put them in a load. Hence the cracking.

This particular model has a 13 tooth spur gear and I don't have an indexing wheel that can get to a multiple of 13.  I resorted to NWSL and it took an inquiry that is available on their home page. Dave Rygmyr runs the company and is pretty accessible when you call.

He had a gear that matched perfectly.  An hour at the bench and this trolley was modernized.



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Donato

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2016, 11:43:56 AM »
All this is really very educational.
Thanks,
Donato

Biding my time till I can start my layout and build nice stuff like all you folks .... (said with envy). :-)

ACL1504

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2016, 03:52:30 PM »
Bob,

Great stuff here. I love the lighted Trolley Cafe. Just wonderful. Thanks for sharing the info with us on the trolley motors, very interesting.

Tom ;D ;D
If you hate plan A, you are certainly not going to like plan B!

Tom Langford
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Zephyrus52246

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2016, 06:07:17 PM »
Fascinating all the different types of motors/drives for those trolleys.


Jeff

bparrish

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2016, 01:26:29 AM »
So this is a Cincinnati prototype two motor trolley.  Called a two motor as it has only one traction motor in each truck.  The smaller wheel was placed out under the vestibule to lengthen the wheel base for a smoother ride in what would otherwise be a relatively short car. Rough rides are why the Birney safety cars were never real popular and an early casualty to complaints by riders.

Curiously the model manufacturer turned the trucks around and ran the large wheels on the outer ends of the car.  I think it was an issue of practicality in making the model work at all.

The manufacturer is unknown other than another entry from the J. A. Pan company.   I've seen a number of these but never an original box.  I got this one in a batch of stuff that turned up from a local collector.

The one had a fairly good open frame motor suspended in the passenger area above the floor.  It was mounted on an angle and had a rubber tube drive to only one truck.  Thus this trolley only ran on one pair of wheels.  Further this model was really given to torque load to one side when power was applied.  This is sorta like the torque steering that a lot of early front wheel drive cars were fraught with......... especially Chrysler K cars when the sub frames started to sag a bit.

I wanted to have at least two axle drive so powering both trucks was a requirement. I was given a pair of later model trucks that both had a gear set.  I changed out the wheels to nickle wheels from Precision Scale and insulted all wheels for the reasons noted above.

Then I had to find a really short can motor with some torque so I chose a 15mm x 15mm can motor.  I put NWSL U-joints out both ends.  I also made up bronze wipers for all wheels so it has 8 wheel electrical pickup.  It actually tries to run pretty well.

To turn down some of the truck torque loading I moved the body mount bolster .040" toward the little wheel to apply a bit more weight on the non powered wheel set.  It gained me some stability. 

The electric pickup wipers are my own invention.  It is a 1/8" square piece of .020" no hole PC board.  On one side I solder two Kadee bronze centering springs from their #5 kits, one going in each direction.  Also soldered to this is a wire that will go to the decoder harness.  I then super glue this to the underside of the truck bolster and load the bronze wipers to the wheels.  This works really well as I insulate all wheels from the trucks and body as noted above.

This one is waiting for the paint shop.










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bparrish

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Re: Trolley Projects
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2016, 04:33:27 PM »
This next was a fun project that I finished in January.  In fact I completed two at the same time.

Bruce, tolley modeler here in Boise, had amassed enough parts several years ago so as to be able to build two of these.  They are only marked EJH - England.  I know nothing else of them and in fact I never saw the original drive mechanisms for them.  The sub frames were gone and we only had the two super structures to start with. 

We had two Tenshodo Spud drives and two NWSL Stanton drives so they got distributed out to each of these as pairs.  When two drive trucks are used in these models they become surprisingly strong.

The one for Bruce is a pole only to common rail and mine was designed for two rail, no pole operation.  Mine is lettered for my Boise Nampa and Owyhee railroad and his is marked for Avery Power and Light which is his wholly owned sub division of the electrified Milwaukee across nothern Idaho.

These little guys finished at under four inches long.

Shown below is the underside of the Stanton drive from NWSL.  Look carefully and you can see the markings M1 and M2 on the retainer plate. 
This is where the motor wires come to the retainer plate. The retainer is the PC board as they have designed this power truck. They have very good low speed operation and everything is wired to this retainer.  What is necessary is a dab of super glue or epoxy over these M1 and M2 solder joints.  They hang down a bit and if you are operating in DCC and the loco derails, one or the other of the M tabs can touch the rails.  Decoders will absolutely lose it if track power signals come to the motor side of the decoder wiring.  I let the smoke out of a T1 decoder before I figured this out.  I contacted Dave Rygmyr and NWSL and he acknowledged that it was in fact an issue they had not considered in the original design.  I have not seen one of his current products so I don't know if he is sealing off the M tabs in regular production now.  Check if you use these drives.



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