Saturday, May 12, 2012

Several Steps Forward, One Step Back

Frank and I were both out at the Museum today, with the main intention of getting cars ready for inspection and revenue service. The good news is that the 319's compressor seems to have been cured, and after putting the brushes in, we were able to operate it successfully. The car still has some air leaks in the plumbing that need to be fixed, but it can operate in switch moves with no problem. So we ran it outside and set it on another track.

At one point Frank got drafted to help the B&G guys put the awnings on the diner annex. Summer will be here soon!

After the 319 was switched out, the 308 was next in line. But when we started to pump up, the compressor blew a fuse! @#$%^! It worked fine a week or two ago! It appears the field coils are low. The armature still seems to be fine, so we're hoping there's no damage, but for today we decided not to try it again. I hopefully put a light bulb in it before I left. That fixed the 319's pump, and we can only hope it works again.

But anyway, we ran the 319 back and coupled up to the 308 so we'd have brakes, and ran both cars outside. We then switched places so the 309 is at the door. It will be moved over the pit on Sunday, and this week we'll do inspection. We then need to decide what the second car will be. In any case, it was fun to operate again! We also went out to 14 to check on the 321.

Today was Boy Scout day, and we had a huge crowd of Scouts and other visitors. The 409 and 431 were running in regular service, and it's nice to see them out. Just like Wheaton!

Let me show you some of the other things we acquired over the week with our rental truck.

The most important would be the rebuilt wheelsets for the 972. Here they are with their shiny new tires in Barn 4. Work is continuing on the trucks, so operation of the veteran streetcar is getting closer!

And this is the bead blaster that Nick bought at the auction. The best thing about it is that it's obviously an authentic Santa Fe device!

And our esteemed Executive Director also bought this toy train mounted to a switch stand. Sure looks authentic to me. I'm told that when properly relettered, it will be a donation box. Got any spare change?


Anonymous said...

Compressor field coils can usually be repaired. If the light bulb trick does not work and as long as the windings have not been too damaged by a high current fault, you can pull the coil and strip the outer insulation and rewrap it. After a dip and bake, it should be a good as new.

Best regards,
Randy Anderson
Kenansville NC

Randall Hicks said...

Yes, we would hope that at least the armature hasn't been damaged, and it should be much easier to find a good spare field coil in one of our junk compressors. But first, of course, we would have to drop the compressor and tear it apart, and I would sure like to avoid that!

And let me mention that compressors should always be connected so that the hot wire feeds into the field coils, and the ground wire goes to one of the brushes, usually the upper. That way, if a field coil shorts to ground, you will not burn up the armature. I'm sure Randy knew that, but we're always trying to be educational.