Monday, October 17, 2016

Sunday update

Frank writes...

Sunday saw me back out at IRM for the afternoon. Things were pretty slow around the car shop, with the regular crew working on catching up with a few projects that had been awaiting attention for a while including some work on one of the spam cans. As for me, the weather was threatening rain so rather than run the 36 and 319 over to the inspection pit lead to do needle-chipping I decided to do some more work on painting the left side of the 150.


And here's a before-and-after example of the result. Fascinating, eh? Yeah, me neither. Oh well, it needed doing. I cleaned off and spot-primed the belt rail along the whole left side of the car (except for the rearmost 20' or so, which had already been done). The next step is to give this side of the car its coat of light yellow, after which the belt rail will receive its tile red stripe. This side of the car will also need one more coat of orange.
After I was done with that I wandered over to "help" Richard, Joel, Greg, and Doodlebug Bob, all of whom were taking a look at our IT Class B locomotive. The 1565 hasn't run in two or three years due to problems with its control system, problems which have been traced to faulty control resistors.
We can't get the correct type but we'll be able to modify available ones to fit. These are all original resistors and we've found on the CA&E cars that the control resistors can be a weak point in the Type M system. Actually I think they're a weak point in Westinghouse unit switch control, too, so I suppose it just goes with the territory. By the way, we were using flashlights because the trolley wire doesn't extend far enough down Track 64 to reach the Class B. One side effect of having so many operating cars in our barns is that many of the barn tracks, some of which were built with wire down only half their length, are practically full of operating cars. Even our own Track 84 has this issue and when we pull the four-car train out, the fourth car from the door has to back-pole the first few feet because the wire ends halfway down the car.
But I digress. And to digress further, Joel suggested a trivia question. What in the world is the box shown above? It's inside the Class B (the yellow arrow below points to it), mounted to the ceiling, and contains six light bulbs. No, it's not there to cast a soft, pleasing glow over the air compressors. Yes, there is a correct answer. If you win, you get a free photo of yourself standing next to the real live Illinois Terminal 1565 on your next regularly scheduled visit to IRM.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Guessing the lights are for dimming the headlight in street running mode, adding them in series.

Joel Ahrendt said...

Course if you are going to guess, you should put your name in to win a prize, but keep trying. The correct answer has not been given yet.

sd45elect2000 said...

Are the light bulbs 125 volt or 32 volt ? Also, does the locomotive have batteries ?

Sorry , I don't know enough about the IT locomotives to make a good guess, assuming they are 32 volt bulbs that is only 190 volt drop however with 125 volt bulbs it's 100% voltage drop. I have seen light bulbs added in battery charging circuits for an MG set using 32 volt bulbs.

Randy Stahl

Frank Hicks said...

Randy, good questions. They're normal 120V (give or take) "street railway" bulbs. No batteries on the Class B to my knowledge. And you guys are on the right track, so to speak...

Art said...

When I was a kid and the Lake St. El ran at ground level next to the raised Northestern track through Oak Park, there was a container of bulbs that looked much like that in question on the ceiling of the viaduct. The lights would flash and a buzzer would buzz as a train approached and the crossing gates would come down. I think the lights were primarily to alert walking pedestrians to the approaching train.

I doubt that answers your question but it does bring to mind a long forgotten memory.

AddisonArt

Jeron G. said...

They're wired in series, so it has something to do with 600. It's a solid box with a couple vent holes, so it's probably for some sort of testing purpose. I'm guessing it's connected with the grid boxes or compressor so you can gauge resistance or load via bulb brightness?

sd45elect2000 said...

I agree, they are in series and 120 volt bulbs so its a 600 volt device. I've seen this setup for arc suppression, lightning suppression, and sometimes just for a pilot light.
Maybe time for another clue?

Randy Stahl

Frank Hicks said...

Alright, another clue: there are two circuits in this box, not just one. And it's not wired in with the grid boxes or compressors.

sd45elect2000 said...

OK, so there's 50% voltage drop, maybe three more light bulbs someplace else? Class lights plus one?

Randy Stahl

sd45elect2000 said...

Make that class lights plus two. Two class lights on each end plus two additional...

Randy Stahl

Frank Hicks said...

Randy, you're correct on the class lights - congrats! The Class B has a separate circuit for the marker (class) lights on each end of the roof. With five bulbs in each circuit, that means the two circuits have a total of six bulbs "left over" - and for whatever reason the IT decided to put those in a closed box hung from the ceiling. Why they did it this way, I have absolutely no idea.

sd45elect2000 said...

Well, light bulbs are still cheaper than high wattage wire wound resistors to this day. Maybe the obvious reason is the correct one.

I apologize to everyone else who wanted to guess, my back ground and experience is a huge advantage ... I just couldn't resist !!

Joel Ahrendt said...

It's all good. At least they used the bulbs on this. The IT regular cars have a resistor on it to take the 600 down to 6v. The marker lights have a flashlight bulb in it that you can still get it today. And Randy, next time you're out, we'll get you a picture in the "B".