I left the Class 40 with the bogies wheeled and the loco test pushed through some of the yard throat point work. Since then, pick-ups have been added and the loco rendered operational, though not without some trials and tribulations.
My clever plan for the pick-ups proved a bit too clever for its own good. The mounting bus-bars were just fine as were the simple phosphor-bronze wire pick-ups for the inner wheel sets but those for the outer driven axles gave lots of problems with shorting out on the bogie mounting units. This resulted in a brief period of near despair when I thought I had blown the DCC chip or the control unit or both as on first power application the whole thing went completely dead after moving only a few millimetres and the hand set had a flashing display I just couldn't get rid of. Perhaps old bods like me just shouldn't try to mess with new technology. In the end, it turned out I had simply failed to press the reset but had tried unplugging, cancelling and all sorts of futile actions.
The solution involved moving the pick-ups to the outer side of the wheels and re-bending them to try to clear the mountings at the extremes of the suspension movement. In the end, I also had to file some mouse-hole shaped cut outs in the mounting stiffeners on the under side.
This appears to have finally solved the shorting problems and I now have a fully functioning chassis - at least up and down my short, straight, test track. I'm intending to give it a longer running in session on the North London Group circular test track next Monday. In the mean time, I also attached the Bachmann cosmetic bogie frames. making quite an improvement to the appearance of the loco and providing mounting points for the Alex Jackson coupling hooks.
Still got most of the piping and other details recovered from the Lima project to fit to the new frames. The Bachmann moulded plastic air pipes on the bogie front plates have proved particularly fragile and vulnerable to handling damage and will be replaced by the brass wire versions I made for the Lima.
Since sorting the electrical problems, I have to confess to the rather childish pleasure of running the sound, repeatedly going through the start-up sequence and then leaving the loco idling for ages with that characteristic warbling whistle, so redolent of these locos. I imagine the sound will be switched off after a few laps of the test track, to avoid me being pummeled to a pulp by angry NLG members, driven to distraction!
Here is the loco in its current state:
I've just been advised that the painting and weathering of my BR Standard Class 2 tank is now finished, ready for collection tomorrow. David Clarke has sent some photos showing the result. I have to fit the windows, coal and a crew to finish it off. It looks like some minor adjustments to the return crank positions might also be required, although it might just be the angle of the photos and crank positions. We'll see:
Thought I might have a go at the Rumney Models sprung chassis for a couple of BR 16T mineral wagons I've had for a while. Just preparing to start shows just how little I know about wagons. Help! They look trickier than locos.