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Author Topic: Berkshire Upgrades  (Read 7226 times)
robertjohndavis

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« on: January 05, 2008, 11:22:17 AM »

Hi,

I have started upgrading my NKP #759 Berkshire. Last night, I installed a Tsunami with the QSI super-bass speaker. WOW is all I can say.

I replaced the stock LED's (which are weak and yellow) with Miniatronics golden glow LEDs. WOW again. I still need to split the circuit to the front lights so I can make the Mars light work while the headlight stays constant.

With each step it is feeling more and more like 1972 when I first encounter the real #759.

Rob Davis

PS: I am really impressed with this model, especially since it is standard line. The tender is superior to the Proto2000 Berk tender in several ways, including weight, decoder/speaker space and tracking.
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Pacific Northern


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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2008, 07:02:05 PM »

RobertJohnDavis

How well does this engine pull? Have you grades on your layout?
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Pacific Northern
SteamGene

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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2008, 07:27:49 PM »

What alterations did you need to do to install a Tsunami?  Be specific, please.  I have the Kanawha and a Tsunami decoder.  Thanks
Have a great Twelvth Night and don't copy Malvoleo! Grin
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
r.cprmier

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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2008, 10:06:49 PM »

Gene;
Just wing it!

Rich
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Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
SteamGene

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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2008, 10:33:24 PM »

Rich,
I'm trying not to re-invent the wheel.  As of tomorrow my layout will be one year old and not complete.  Any streamlining help is appreciated.
Have a great Twelvth Night
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
WoundedBear
A Derailed Drag Racer


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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2008, 11:08:35 PM »

As of tomorrow my layout will be one year old and not complete.

Gene

Oh, come on Gene....lol...we all know a model railroad is never complete Cheesy

Sid
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grumpy

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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2008, 01:39:32 AM »

Mine is three years old and not completeand will probably never be complete. Also I am not a rivet counter and i use Bachman EZ track.
Don
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SteamGene

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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2008, 01:54:18 PM »

True.  Let me restate.  Not all the subroadbed is down or is all planned track down and wired.   Although with the South River Viaduct installed, the last hurdle is the engine facility.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
MC

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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2008, 06:28:51 PM »

Rob,
I would also be interested in what is necessary to install sound in the K4. Do you have part numbers for the decoder and light.
Thanks
MC.
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robertjohndavis

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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2008, 11:14:38 AM »

Hi

Tried the Berk on my club layout last night. It hauled 14 average freight cars up a 3% grade. It could start with 11 cars on the same hill.

I do not have part numbers on me now, but the conversion is very simple. It took about an hour and required a bit of soldering.

Rob
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SteamGene

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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2008, 05:41:51 PM »

What about sound installation?  One could install the mother of all speakers in the tender, big enough to satisfy Sheldon. 
BTW, the C&OHS has a nice, favorable write up about it on their website.  One problem for the rivet counters is the number of air tanks on the model compared to the cab numbers.  Another is the pilot. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
SteamGene

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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2008, 07:11:46 PM »

Going back to COHS, the K-4 had three air tanks on 2700-2739 and the ones built by Lima were 2740-2759.  Since the Bachmann models are numbered 2724 and 2760, neither is really correct.  What is worse to my eye is the absence of the booster pipe on the fireman's side.  But NKP and PM didn't have boosters.  If your eyes can do numbering on number boards and headlights,  your most accurate model would be to take an unlettered C&O version and letter it yourself.  Then file off the Lima plate and replace it with an Alco one. 
Am I going to do that?  No.  But I think I will add a booster pipe.  I KNEW it missed something.  A pilot of an H-5 might be in order, too. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
robertjohndavis

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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2008, 11:08:59 AM »

Upgrade Details


To install the Tsunami, unscrew the tender shell and remove the Bachmann DCC board and plug. This leaves a standard female 8-pin NMRA plug awaiting your new decoder.

To add the Tsunami Heavy Steam decoder, you have to either wire a new male plug to it, solder the wires direct to the Bachmann female plug (which is what I did) or cut back the Tsunami insulated wrapper, unplug their wire harness and replace with a harness that has a JST plug on one end  and the 8-pin on the other. This voids the Tsunami warranty, but I usually do it if I have a harness on hand.

The tender has speaker holes in the floor under the weight. You can mount a flat round speaker here and as long as you seal the edges with caulk so it is airtight, it might sound fine.

However, I am hooked on the new QSI superbass speakers and they are deep, so they do not fit under there.

http://www.tonystrains.com/technews/qsi_hb_speakers.htm

Thus, I mounted a QSI speaker with enclosure behind the wieghts. Mine faces up to use the tender shell as an amplification chamber. You could also face it down and drill new holes in the floor under the speaker.

You could fit two of these, but it would be tight.

I replaced the LED's with the Miniatronics 3mm Yelloglows which look just like incandescents, no blue hue. They are 10x brighter than the Bachmann LEDs.

http://www.miniatronics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=M&Product_Code=12-310-10&Category_Code=6_4&Product_Count=4

They are easy to install. Simply unplug the factory ones, trim the leads on the new ones, and plug them in. Note, LEDs must be inserted with correct polarity. They will only work plugged in one way. If one doesn't work, reverse the leads and it should.

Bachmann uses one circuit on #759 for both the Mars light and headlight LEDs. My next step is to run a wire from Function 5 output on the decoder to the Mars light so I can controll it individually from the headlight. The Tsunami has a Mars light simulator function that works very well with LEDs if you set the CVs right.

Programming the Tsunami is whole other thing. It is very versatile and FUN!

Enjoy,

Rob Davis
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SteamGene

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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2008, 02:59:53 PM »

Rob - what about capacitors?
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
MC

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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2008, 09:50:39 PM »

Rob, Thanks for the update. Sound like a lot of work to me. I may put it off for a while and run mine without sound.
MC
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