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Author Topic: 3-Truck Shay Static Display (lights but no motor action)  (Read 1271 times)
Brainech

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« on: March 26, 2018, 02:24:12 PM »

I have a 55-ton 3-truck Shay, DC version.  I want to set it up for static display (no motor action needed), but hopefully with the lights on via DC voltage applied to the display track.  In an attempt to disable the motors, so far I have disconnected the orange and gray wires on pins 3 & 4 on connector J1 on the circuit board, and this did indeed result in the motors being cut off.  When I put voltage on the track now, I get the cab light and the firebox light, but no headlights.

Can anybody shed any light (no pun intended!) on how the headlights are powered?  I assume the circuit board has some kind of constant lighting circuit built into it.  Is current flow to the motor circuit required to get the headlights to come on?  Just wondering what my options here might be.  Also wondering if I disconnected the motor wires right at the motors instead (with those pin 3 & 4 wires hooked up again) if that would make any difference.

So, in summary, I'm looking for a way to get the headlights on without turning the motors and without the motor current draw, as I'm using an HO DC cab to power the track and it won't supply enough amperage to drive the motors.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2018, 10:02:13 PM »

HI Brainech,

Not sure about the connections, but I assume you increased the voltage to the track up  enough to trigger the lights.  They are definitely linked to the motor circuit, since the headlights front and rear change depending on the polarity.  If you raised the voltage enough to trigger the lights and they did not come on, then I would disconnect the wires from the circuit board to the motors tracing the wires from the motor to the board.

Loco Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway-Missouri Western Railway
Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
Colorado RR Museum-Brakeman-Engineer-Motorman-Trainman
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
StanAmes


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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2018, 07:26:39 PM »

There are several possible approaches.

You could install a decoder and use F0 to turn on the headlight.

Since this is a static display you could remove each truck and place a piece of tape on the motor connections.

On the top of each truck are 4 plungers.  2 go to the track and 2 go to the motor.  Place a piece of tape on the 2 motor plungers and the motor will not move.

You could also place the shay on rollers.  Then you could see both the motion and lights.  The shay does not draw much current when it is not pulling a lot of cars.

Hope that helps

Stan
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Brainech

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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 05:22:34 PM »

Thanks to the guys who replied.  I think I've found the solution that works for me.  After studying the wiring diagram, I saw that the track voltage from each truck and the wires to the headlight are called out and accessible on wires going to the circuit board in the fuel bunker.  So I disconnected the track wires coming from the front truck and connected them directly to the headlight wires, bypassing the circuit board on both of those circuits.  i left the orange and gray wires on J1 disconnected so the motors remained disabled.  I did put a 1K-ohm resister in series with the headlight circuit to limit the current flow there, although the headlight did appear to work OK without the resister.  I think the end result got me where I wanted to be, i.e. the headlight and cab/firebox lights come on full in the 6-12v range (DC), and the motors remain disabled.  So a simple 12VDC power supply to the track should give me what I need for the static display.  Next I plan to put it in a clear case with a narrow row of trees on a hillside behind it.

My layout is HO, but I was intrigued when I ran across a guy on eBay who said he had bought up the last remaining stock of these Shays from Bachmann and was selling them for only $350 or so.  At that price I couldn't resist.  I built a low trestle to display it on.  With the addition of crew figures from RailRoadAvenue, installation of all the Bachmann-supplied details, the noted wiring changes, the trestle, some decals, and a weathering job, I'm happy with the way it's coming out.  Now to find a good place for a 3-foot-long display case....

Carl
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2018, 07:17:02 PM »

Hi Carl,

Glad it worked out!!   Better watch out you will be building large scale track for it to run on before long Grin

Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway-Missouri Western Railway
Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
Colorado RR Museum-Brakeman-Engineer-Motorman-Trainman
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
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