Thursday, February 7, 2013

SDS Tanker.

As I am a lover of tankers, I decided to purchase a couple of SDS tankers at the Armidale Convention from Gwyder Valley Models.  They are a very nice model indeed, well detailed and a fair price.  The only down fall to them I believe is that they are too light and clean!!!

I added some shot gun shot to the tank, glued in with white glue.  I prefer to fill by feel rather than follow the NMRA guideline of weighing wagons according to length.  I like a heavy feel and think that the locos should work.

Now to the weathering. I referred to photos of a tanker in the 80's, as that's the era I model.
Firstly, I airbrushed on some grimey black.

Next was to dry brush some rust around the tank straps and bogie springs.

 Then airbrush on some more rust on the main tank area.

Then using some gloss black, I brushed on some oil/spill marks around the fill are of the domes.
Then of course spray the model with Dull coat to seal and tone down the rust. 

The finished model.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Problems with the Soundtraxx Tsunami AT1000

I have been doing quite a few decoder installs lately, with the decoder of choice being the Tsunami AT1000.  These are great decoders and easy to install. However they can be a bit long and make the job harder when it comes to finding space for them in the loco.  One problem I have now encountered on 3 different decoders is a power drop in and out.  The symptoms are, during the loco running it will stop and start constantly as though you have dirty wheels.  After a long process of fault finding and trying new things I finally sent the thing back to Soundtraxx.  They repaired the first one under warranty, however there are terms and conditions to that.  They informed me there was a soldering joint issue.  2 months later I helped a friend with an install to a 44 class.  Again the same problem,  so I tried another decoder I had to see if it was OK, again for a third time the same problem.  So I contacted Soundtraxx to see what this soldering fix may be and if I could do this myself?  After a detailed email explaining the solution I decided to send them both back for repair as I attempt it at my own peril.  A friend sent me an email from rail page the other day with someone having what sounded like the same problem, so I thought I would give you all the solution as it seems to be a reoccurring problem.

The black arrow shows the resistor which is the issue. If this resistor is not sitting completely flat this is the cause. On mine one was sitting proud less than 1mm on one end, the second was completely vertical! Keep in mind Soundtraxx will repair free under warranty ($25 shipping!!) or you can have a go yourself, but unless you are extremely good at soldering and have a steady hand don't do it!

Another problem I had the other day was a short in the loco....  This loco had been working fault free for months then all of a sudden was creating a short circuit.  Upon removal of the body this is what I faced.  The front pickup wires had melted together! I'm not sure what caused this but it was an easy fix, just replace the pick ups and your away. 

The melted wiring.