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Messages - Matthew (OV)

Large / Re: Loose counterweights on K-27
January 18, 2008, 02:36:24 PM
Quote from: Tony Walsham on January 17, 2008, 08:01:00 PM
Yesterday Stan Ames said there was nothing wrong with the counterweights.

Interesting.  I know there have been several reported instances of this particular issue, and that a related end-user modification has been developed that modifies the part of the locomotive in question to optomize its performance.  I have requested that that correction be applied to my locomotive, along with some of the other modifications that have been discovered to be helpful while it's having some other work done prior to arriving on the Slate Creek.

I suspect, once the various official channels have been cleared, that the modification will be publicly available.  Until that time, those who want to apply for such a modification, or how to accomplish it themselves, should probably check with the usual sources of such things.

In the event that it's determined that there is actually a problem, I will be ahead of the game, having already chosen to have installed an optional modification that would, coincidentally, fix a problem of the type being described here if indeed it's a problem.

Matthew (OV)
Large / Re: K-27 Smokebox color
January 18, 2008, 02:21:57 PM
I did the graphite thing on my Shays when I redid the smokestacks.  I cheated a bit and mixed the graphite powder with a dab of flat black paint to make it really sticky ... and then brushed more graphite over it while still wet/tacky.  Afterwards you can dry brush it till it shines...

I'm playing with some graphite powder + plastic compatible oil mixes too.

Matthew (OV)
Large / Re: 38 Ton Shay Sound System problem
January 18, 2008, 12:47:47 AM

Matthew (OV)

PS.  If putting the cylinder head on is causing the problem, they're probably both bent up too high.  Press the bottom one down, then the top one, so that they're not touching, but still bent down a bit.  It may be that the whole sound break is loose or misalligned on the back of the cylinders, so if you follow the above instructions to remove the engine assembly, you'll be able to see and correct it.
Large / Re: 38 Ton Shay Sound System problem
January 17, 2008, 08:48:50 AM
Try this:

With a small flat bladed screwdriver, gently pry off the cylinder heads (3) on your Shay.  The chuff contacts are little copper fingers found directly below.  As each piston rises, it pushes the two fingers together.  The three cylinders are wired in parallel, so that closing any of the three sends the "chuff" signal to your sound board.  Often, these fingers will be bent so that one or more are stuck together permanently, resulting in the problem that you have.  You can use your screwdriver to GENTLY lift the top finger up a bit, bending it slightly until it's no longer permanently in contact with the one below it.   You can test it by disconnecting the drive shaft at the square universal joint, turning on the sound, and slowly rotating the crank to see that all three are hitting.  The chuff is triggered when the piston approaches the top of its travel, so if one isn't working you can tell which one it is.

Some people have the opposite problem, where you get a "chuff chuff (blank)" pattern ... in this case the fingers (on one cylinder)  are bent too far the other way and aren't making contact at all ... or in some cases have had one finger break off.  (if it's two, it'll be "Chuff-blank-blank" or three "blank-blank-blank" ... get it?) The same kind of bending (except in this case down instead of up) can be applied to fix this, unless it's broken off, in which case you have to get a set of "sound breaks for a shay" from Service, and change them out. 

The important thing is to be very gentle and judicious with your bending so you don't fatigue and break the finger you're adjusting!  This is a very thin piece of copper, and just a little pressure will do it!

If you're using a phoenix, there is an adjustment that automatically doubles the chuff for the prototypical six exhaust beats per revolution of the crank ... or you can leave it at three, and hear more distinctive chuffing at normal operating speeds if you like. 

The transistor fix for the K27 simply inverts the chuff from "normally closed" to "normally open" for the way most large scale sound systems see their chuff pulsing....  with the Shay it's a lot simpler fix, and not related to the transistor discussion at all.

Matthew (OV)

PS.  Oh, and tighten up the screws you loosened!
Large / Re: My K-27
January 13, 2008, 01:53:27 AM
If you like the new Sherman Pippin figure on the page, the fellow who made that sells them, and several others:

There's also


Just to mention a few notable ones.

So... you have quite a choice.

Matthew (OV)
Large / Re: My K-27
January 11, 2008, 01:05:50 AM
There's an old rumor out there that the small engineer fellow is a scale representation of Sherman Pippin, locally famous engineer of the 1:1 ET&WNC.  Initially designed for the 10 wheeler, Mr. Pippin was chosen because of his small stature, and authentic presence in the 10 wheeler cab... or so the story goes.  In a 1:20.3 locomotive, the larger scale of the locomotive and Mr. Pippin's generally small stature tend to amplify each other.

So, if you believe that much, and want to know more about the fellow, you can look at and judge for yourself.  Down the bottom of the page is a link to a fellow over on MLS (and from Hawaii, of all places) who's making a slightly upscaled version of the same guy if you like his looks, but just wish somehow he was a bit bigger.... you can see a side by side shot of the prototype Sherman and his model next to the link.

Matthew (OV)
Large / Re: Next
January 09, 2008, 10:40:51 PM
Well, if we're gonna do a 2-6-2, how about WP&Y #4?

Matthew (OV)

(Personally, my new pet steam project will be WP&Y81/SVRY #19, but as long as it's not the return of the Vulcan, I'm cool...)
Large / Re: Dampen Track Noise
January 06, 2008, 11:59:13 PM
One way to dampen the noise is to put some kind of sound absorbing padding under the track and above the benchwork.  That way the benchwork doesn't amplify the noise.  (Listen to a real train going over a long iron bridge, and you'll immediately hear the difference from the track insulated by the ground, and the track resonating to the bridge!)

I used carpet underpadding on mine, available from the local carpet store pretty cheaply ...

Cuts down on the noise a great deal.... and still leaves enough in the near field to be entertaining.

Matthew (OV)

Hooked up like that, does the "dummy" board have to be plugged in for the lights and things to work?

Matthew (OV)
Large / Re: K-27 Curve Diameter
January 02, 2008, 09:50:59 PM
Since he probably won't be on till later ....

Discussions up to now make the minimum RADIUS to be four feet (48") ... making the eight foot a DIAMETER value.  The original question here was for diameter, which is why he answered that way.

And to re-iterate... the locomotive will look much  better as the curves grow larger ... so use the biggest one you can manage.
Large / Re: K's with PLOW
January 01, 2008, 04:34:18 PM
83096 (the post wreck 455) has one too.

Previous discussion has indicated that the plow is part of the pilot.... and not something easily changed (which makes them a lot like their 1:1 counterparts, where changing the pilot is a large shop job; the plow is often left on year round as a result!)

Perhaps you could find someone with a plow version who would trade pilots with you ... for example, someone with a 464 who wanted the road pilot?

Matthew (OV)
Large / Re: 455 arrives at RGS East
January 01, 2008, 04:28:32 PM
Actually, put some of it on the board too ... I'd love to see as well.

Matthew (OV)
Large / Re: Master List ?
December 25, 2007, 11:45:50 PM
Heh.  Easy.


Stephenson:  Well, can't find an animated one, but it doesn't have the slide for reverse and the outside eccentric crank; it's located inside, so you get a much simpler looking engine outside the axles and frames, like this:

Matthew (OV)
Large / Re: 455 arrives at RGS East
December 24, 2007, 04:26:25 PM
Ho ho humbug!

(This photo removed by the committee to ensure tasteful painting of locomotives!)

Besides ... it was supposed to be a bumblebee EBT 12, I think, not a Bumblebee K27 lettered as EBT 19 ....

A little more Eggnog, Lee, and you'll feel better!

Matthew (OV)
Large / Re: Master List ?
December 24, 2007, 01:40:44 PM
See how well that works?   ;D

And... if nobody asked questions, those of us who know answers woudn't have any use for them.... so ask away!

Matthew (OV)