Thursday, April 11, 2013

Signs of Progress

Frank has made up a first roundel for IRMA as a test, so today I brought it to the Museum to try out.  It appears to be the right size and should work fine on nearly all of the signs we'll want to attach one to.  Of course, they will all have different numbers.  "391" is just the last three digits of 4391.

I left the sample with Dave Diamond, who was very satisfied with it.  He thinks the best way to attach them will be with an adhesive.  For these pictures, I used masking tape, which lasted long enough to snap a photo!

The Wednesday guys keep working, of course.  Henry and Jonathan have  put a first coat of primer on the 36's train door.  It looks good, and we should be able to install it in a few weeks. This is the outside surface, and the inside is painted also.  Thanks again!

Today was cold and damp and drizzling most of the day, so painting was not an option.  I spent most of my time working on the 36's electrical system. The first grid box has several bad elements and needs a complete overhaul.  So I needed to drop it from the car.

For future reference, here are the connections before they were disconnected.

Removing the box is not that hard to do, except that all the nuts and bolts were badly rusted.  I let it down onto a bucket for a platform, then onto the ground.  Here you can see several repairs that must have been attached at Cleveland.  Evidently they didn't understand the concept of "running points" and "resistance points". 

In any case, I'll want to take the grid box to the shop.  I'm hoping the shop guys can schedule it at some point.  We have several grid box experts who know just what to do.

And here's where it used to be.  The five grid boxes are hung from two wooden beams, which had started to rot.  So a couple of ordinary 2x4s were sistered onto them, as you can see here.  I'm not real happy with this solution, so that's another thing that may need to be addressed.  I'm leaning towards replacing the sisters with hardwood, but am open to suggestions.  (Hey, I'm always open to suggestions.  I've got a trash can right here!)

And I installed the next contactor in the series, the one on the right.  It's been about a year since I worked on this, but it all comes back in a hurry.  This box is under the car and opens inwards, so working conditions are very cramped.  But I'll try to keep the whining to a minimum.  

The next problem that cropped up is that evidently this classy old C6 controller with the original style handle needs some adjustment.  I could hear it hissing while trying to test the new contactor, and after removing the cover, could see the arcing taking place.  So that needs to be worked on also.

In any case, we're making progress.  Of course, we can always use more help!


Anonymous said...

The sistered 2x4's will keep things up in the air for now, but my vote is to replace the original beams before the car is considered for running. That may be sooner than I am aware of. Probably white oak beams which we can make in the wood shop, although that would mean a bigger job to drop all the boxes to replace the beams. The bright side is that you might discover other issues needing attention before they move to failure mode.

Always here to help.

Bob Kutella

Randall Hicks said...

Bob: You may well be right. As I think about it, though, maybe the boxes wouldn't have to be disconnected. If they could just be let down a few inches onto a platform, the beams could be replaced and then the boxes bolted back onto the new beams without breaking all the connections. We can talk it over sometime. Thanks!