how to make a 'pickup' wagon

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alex3410
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how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby alex3410 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:54 am

i have an 0-4-0 pug that stalls on points etc and was wondering how would i go about making a 'pickup' wagon for it to solve this issue?

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I love this little loco but its constant stalling means its not really ran :(

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Bufferstop
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:15 pm

You could just wait until Hornby's shunter's truck hits the shops. It's probably a model of the GWR one. Other companies just used a flat wagon, possibly with footboards added.
Making one yourself is easy, the most difficult part is finding some wire flexible enough to bend without affecting the running. Get some phosphor bronze strip, Squire's, Eileen's, etc. then a block of spare plastic so that you can form an H shape with the plastic at the centre, and a miniature 2 pin connector. Solder the wire to two pieces of phoshfor bronze, with the wire just off centre. Then using the heat from the soldering iron push the two pieces of phosphor bronze into the ends of the plastic. Glue the H shaped assembly under the centre of the wagon, route the wires in a large gentle loop under the wagon. Connect the wires to the miniature connector and two more wires to the other side of the connection so that the connector will be under the buffer beam of the loco, and the other ends of those wires are connected to the ones from the loco's pickups. It sounds long winded but is quite straightforward. I'll get some photos of the process and post them to this thread.
John W
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D605Eagle
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby D605Eagle » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:40 am

little wire tip. Go to a well established non chain computer shop and ask them if they have any old wired mouses they dont want any more and offer a few quid to take them off their hands. When you strip the oustside insulation off the lead you have ususally 7 or 8 very fine, super flexable wires. Just great for doing match truck pickup projects etc.

Bigmet
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby Bigmet » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:49 am

I would go a different route on the pick ups. Bachmann used to produce all their wagons with split axle wheelsets. (These were the Mainline range derived products that they launched with, shiny moulded chassis with the larger plastic screw on coupler, still quite easy to find s/h.) Arranging pick up off the pinpoints means no additional friction, and there is no fiddling about with wiper contact pressure. Using brass pinpoint bearing cups in drilled holes in the wagon axleboxes gives the pick up point; once these fit, they can be removed and linked each side with a fine copper wire soldered to the flange face.

The wagon I would choose from RTR to go with a non-GW steam shunter would be one of the small three or four plank opens from Hornby. These are (decent) models of small pre-group wagons that were very commonly adapted to make a tender for a small shunting loco. The end nearest the loco was typically removed for easy access from the cab, footboards might be added. The class 03 and 04 shunters apt to disappear from track circuits were given runners adapted from old conflats. By happy chance the original version of conflat from Bachmann came with split axle wheelsets, so a little modification and it's done.

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Bufferstop
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:55 am

If you use wire from an old mouse you need to be very careful to avoid it fracturing. No sharp corners and a large loop to absorb any movement. Believe me I once had a technician working for a week solid, modifying rodents with broken tails.
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pete12345
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby pete12345 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:07 pm

Bigmet wrote:I would go a different route on the pick ups. Bachmann used to produce all their wagons with split axle wheelsets. (These were the Mainline range derived products that they launched with, shiny moulded chassis with the larger plastic screw on coupler, still quite easy to find s/h.) Arranging pick up off the pinpoints means no additional friction, and there is no fiddling about with wiper contact pressure. Using brass pinpoint bearing cups in drilled holes in the wagon axleboxes gives the pick up point; once these fit, they can be removed and linked each side with a fine copper wire soldered to the flange face.


This is a great idea for wheel pickups. Switching to brass wheel bearings might even reduce friction in some cases. Certainly better than most wiper pickups you could arrange. With something like a DMU you could fit them to the whole train without much hassle.
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D605Eagle
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby D605Eagle » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:57 pm

Bigmet wrote:I would go a different route on the pick ups. Bachmann used to produce all their wagons with split axle wheelsets. (These were the Mainline range derived products that they launched with, shiny moulded chassis with the larger plastic screw on coupler, still quite easy to find s/h.) Arranging pick up off the pinpoints means no additional friction, and there is no fiddling about with wiper contact pressure. Using brass pinpoint bearing cups in drilled holes in the wagon axleboxes gives the pick up point; once these fit, they can be removed and linked each side with a fine copper wire soldered to the flange face.

Think you'll find early Bachmann wagons had plastic wheels. Dapol did a split axle design, but they were very rarely properly concentric.

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Peterm
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby Peterm » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:58 pm

How about the spring shaped pickups from DCC Concepts along with steel axles.
Pete.

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Bufferstop
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:21 pm

I've used the "coiled wire round the axle" pickup with Lima wheels where only one side is insulated, but have had problems reliably bridging the insulation on Hornby and Bachmann wheelsets. Perhaps some kind third party will produce a pick up and connector set for use with Hornby's promised shunter's truck. Or are Hornby hedging their bets, if the Sentinel diesel turns out to have a problem with pointwork they can then flog everyone a shunter's truck with pickups to improve running.
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Bigmet
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby Bigmet » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:03 am

D605Eagle wrote:Think you'll find early Bachmann wagons had plastic wheels. Dapol did a split axle design, but they were very rarely properly concentric.

The Dapol item is a horror. Spindly stub axles into a thicker plastic centre section. Never seen a good set. Definitely one to avoid!

All the early Bach wagons I have - just a few each of vans, tankers, iron ore hoppers, and a couple of trainloads of conflats - definitely came with split axles. Now, the early coaches that I bought - mk1 non-gangwayed and Thompson types - were a real mixture, some on plastic wheels with steel axles, some split axle. Maybe I just didn't see any plastic wheeled wagons through buying only a small selection of types? Sounds like the message is, inspect that early wagon first if you want it for split axle wheelsets.

Also worth a look on Bachmann's product list for the 108/105/Derby lightweight non-driven wheelsets as spares as these are wagon diameter: these are all split axle as Bachmann have gone very sensibly for low friction all wheel pick up on these models. Wish they would think about that for loco tenders, if they are planning to add pick ups to these...

b308
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby b308 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:29 am

You are better off making the wagon so it can be disconnected from the loco, I would suggest the following as the best way, I used these connectors with my U57 HOe loco:

http://www.expressmodels.co.uk/cgi-bin/ ... #aEX_2fMC2

beeman
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby beeman » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:10 am

A 'pickup' wagon is an encumbrance however one likes. There will / has always been a prob with 4 wheel loco's, Like the Hornby/Triang Jinty with the smaller middle wheelset which did not contact the rail. Lima's answer was to allow the middle set to 'float' with a leaf spring on the axle centre. Hornbys version similar on the J94 Saddle Tank, both having pickups fitted. My remedy for the old Jinty has been to pivot the rear wheel set slightly by vertically elongating the chassis axle 'bearings' and fitting an adjustable screw under the motor to bear on the axle center allowing it to seesaw slightly. In effect attempting to create a 3 point contact, Many of the more serious do this with wagons calling it 'compensated suspension'.Another method I use on an automated shunting setup is to make 2 springy brass 5 thou radius shaped pickups under the middle non contacting 'drivers'.There is space for this, so these rub on the track,.it also had the pivot on the back axle and works well. With any loco it will ALWAYS be beneficial to have as many pickups as possible, whether tender or pony truck fitted where possible. Hand on Heart.I get virtually NIL probs with this as all mine treated. I feel sorry for the Posters who rant about 'Stay Alives', If they have the ability to fit these they should have ability to fit extra pickups.eliminating the need to spend money better spent elsewhere. The current similar locos are much better than the older, But, sorry to say, there is no 'magic fix' for those who unfortunately do not have the 'needed skills' to modify, other than to get the track as good as possible and use live frog points.I would also think the coiled wire/spring round the axle pickup is no better than a 5 thou brass 'wiper' or brass handrail wire pressing on the axle or inner wheel face, so no need to separate wheels/axle, Success in experience & results decides, for me at least. Beeman.
PS. should have suggested also sometimes helps if a small piece of card is inserted into the bottom of the gap, check rail/frog may stop a wheels dropping into, OK for where only one loco may be 'working', and useful to me with the Jinty. but not always suitable where various locos due to varying flanges.
Last edited by beeman on Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:37 am, edited 4 times in total.
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whynot
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby whynot » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:19 am

alex3410 wrote:i have an 0-4-0 pug that stalls on points etc and was wondering how would i go about making a 'pickup' wagon for it to solve this issue?

Image

I love this little loco but its constant stalling means its not really ran :(


FWIW, I'm surprised that this loco stalls on points - I have two that run near enough perfectly SO LONG as the track is clean. Or are you using insulfrog points? They are a no-no for such small wheelers.
dave j
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b308
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby b308 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:43 am

More to the point is to ensure that the track is laid flat and level and stays that way after the scenics have been applied... Believe me you OO scale guys have it easy, try a 4 wheel loco in N or 009/HOe, they really are a test of your track laying!

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Bufferstop
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Re: how to make a 'pickup' wagon

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:01 pm

The ex Dapol pug suffers all ways round. its light weight coupled with a higher resistance low current motor make it sensitive to higher wheel to rail resistance, this isn't helped by Peco's practise slimming down a significant length of the point blade. The small diameter of the wheels means one is effectively floating in mid air as it crosses the gap ahead of the frog, and may even result in the diagonally opposite wheel being lifted from the rail. It's enough to stall the pug even when all four wheels are in physical contact. As someone said a very long time ago "what happens to a wheel when it arrives at a crossing is affected more by the manner in which it arrives there, than than it is by the characteristics of the crossing alone". Or to cut the BS from that sentence, if it stutters when the wheels are on the point blades, likes as not it will stall at the frog. It is possible to get a decoder, inside the body, but probably not a capcitor of sufficient size to be useful for stay alive, the vertical position of the motor beneath a low cab roof rules out a flywheel, so something with an extra set of pickups is favourite.
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