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Author Topic: Panograph  (Read 2012 times)
Zgator

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« on: September 19, 2011, 03:56:04 PM »

Being new to serious model trains and in an effort to get the correct parts for my layout, I noticed some trolley cars say no panograph pick ups. Is this referring to the arms on top of the cars or the electrical pick up for the motor in the trolley? Thanks for any help since I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
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ACY

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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 05:03:24 PM »

Some locomotives, trolleys, etc can use a live overhead wire for power, if yours says no pantograph pickup, it means you cannot power it with an overhead wire and must use the rails.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 01:56:54 AM »

Z-

Not being able to use the pantograph isn't a big deal although it can complicate wiring a little. With overhead power you don't have problems with reverse loops and such like. In that regard it's like three-rail trains where the center rail can't be connected to the side rails no matter how hard you try. At the same time, erecting overhead power is pretty delicate work because your catenary must be dead level or you'll lose contact. And, of course, you need to have the upward pressure of the pantographs precisely adjusted. IMHO it's easier to deal with wiring reverse loops than doing the precision work you need on your overhead wires and the pick-ups on top of the rolling stock.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       -- D
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 02:19:06 AM by Doneldon » Logged
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2011, 10:15:36 AM »

The arm on the trolley is called the trolley pole. Pantographs are bigger devices seen on electric locomotives although I am sure that there were trolley cars equipped with pantographs.

If there is a model labled "no pantograph" I would assume you couldn't power it by overhead wire.

Building your own trolley wire is an art and science not for the new modeler. There are European suppliers of catenary systems should you decide to go that route.
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klrrdr

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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2011, 07:23:57 PM »

The LGB two car trolley uses the pantograph pick up system,and I have seen it actually used that way. you had to change out the plastic version for the metal set up.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 02:23:27 AM »

Z-

Most electric railroads had at least a few small locos which were not electric so they could navigate the line for repairs with the power shut off for safety. These were not intended to replace regular locos in revenue service. These were generally internal combustion units (gas-electric or diesel, depending mostly on the era) because it would be far too expensive to run a service facility for occasionally used steamers.
                                                                                                                                                                                -- D
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ebtnut

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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 12:59:50 PM »

In the U.S. street railways almost universally used trolley poles for pick-up.  Most interurbans did too, in part because they often had to use local street lines to get to their in-town depots.  Pantographs were used by a few interubans, and by heavy main line electrics such as the PRR, the New Haven and the Milwaukee Road.  These roads used catenary to support the power wire rather than the simple overhead used by most trolleys.  What hampered use of pantographs for street railways was that the bracket that held the ear casting to which the trolley wire was clamped was an inverted U-shaped, and a pantograph would bang on every cross span.  Today's modern light rail systems do use Faively pantographs and some form of simple catenary support.  In Europe, pantographs were very much the norm for both street lines as well as heavy rail. 
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DWU

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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 09:02:06 AM »

If you dont drink you will by the time your done trying to power from overhead!I consider myself pretty good at what I do,my hat is off to those who have accomplised this feat! I on the other hand decided after hours of defeat,decided to cheat I did it with a Lionel GG1(3rail) I just ran the wires above to look halfway decent but still powered it through the rails,very few ever noticed.
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RAM

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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2011, 07:23:19 PM »

I think  trolley pole would be a lot easier to make.
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ebtnut

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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2011, 03:58:06 PM »

Having done it, stringing working trolley overhead is not for the feint of heart.  It takes time, patience and some exacting soldering work.  One of the biggest issues is the location of the trolley frogs at turnouts.  They need to be essentially level and located at the right place for reliable operation.  I suspect one reason why pantographs became popular in the prototype world is that they don't have to be "directed"at a wire junction.  And the collector is wide enough that the wire location isn't that crititcal. 

That being said, if you are going to model a traditional U.S. trolley system, you'll need to do it just like they did.  Phosphor bronze wire is the usual norm.  You can get the trolley frog castings, along with the other wire-hanging hardware.  Go to some web sites to get a feel for how to approach it.  It can be done successfully. 
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phillyreading

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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2011, 10:26:20 AM »

MTH used to make overhead wire kits for your three rail electric engines and trolleys. It wasn't cheap and can still be found, in either four or eight piece sets.

Lee F.
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