Modifying BTTB BR23

Modifying BTTB BR23

Postby dileTTante » Mon May 02, 2011 5:50 pm

Since things are quiet here I'll post something about modifying BTTB BR23 (BR35). I'm putting decoders into my old BTTB engines and taking advantage of the job to try to improve the models. For the BR 23 I'm adding the decoder and LED lights. There's good space in the tender for the decoder but that means six wires between loco and tender. With LEDs for the headlights the bulb and bracket aren't needed and that leaves space for a decoder so I want to put it there. That means only four wires between tender and locomotive.

The locomotive had tabs on the frame which stuck up through holes in the board along the boiler, and on each side the two red tabs showed up. An easy answer would be to paint the tabs black but I cut the tabs off and filled the holes on each side with bits of black plastic. The fix is visible and I intend to help it with flat black paint. The photo shows the repair but it's not obvious just looking at it. I should fill and sand the repair but with my abilities that's risking making things worse. To fasten the boiler to the frame I am following the method on the Beckmann locomotive - a screw down the chimney and two screws under the cab. The motor in the cab makes for very little clearance. I've figured out a method but have to approach it cautiously. Will show photos about that when it's done.

In the meanwhile I pulled the tender about 3mm closer to the locomotive by replacing the plastic stub with a small screw. The bushing on the screw is a section of ball-point pen ink tube. The tender fastened to its frame with a post at front of the frame poking through a hole in the front, showing more red plastic. I cut off the stub and filled the hole with black plastic. In the photo of the original BR23 from the internet you can see the two red tabs along the boiler and the red tab at the front face of the tender. I added plastic inside to receive two screws from the bottom which hold things together. The back of the frame was held in place by two protrusions which fit into the rear lamps. There were no lights on the tender originally but I have installed two LEDs. The crude dispenser for the Crazy Glue put out too much glue. I cleaned it off but it has discoloured the red plastic as the photos show. I hope some paint and weathering will disguise that. I have to get some white paint to do the inside of the lamp housings.

This is all that has been done so far. Not much but many hours. The changes are minor but already I'm more pleased just seeing the tender a bit closer to the engine.
Attachments
BTTTB_BR23.JPG
original BR23
BTTTB_BR23.JPG (17.86 KiB) Viewed 801 times
DSC01599R.JPG
BR23 some changes
DSC01600R.JPG
tender - lok coupling
DSC01601R.JPG
changes to tender
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Re: Modifying BTTB BR23

Postby ConducTTor » Mon May 02, 2011 7:18 pm

Good work - I want to see how the LEDs work out and also curious of the placement and wiring of the decoder.
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Re: Modifying BTTB BR23

Postby dileTTante » Wed May 04, 2011 3:23 pm

Is anyone familiar with Peho close-couplers? http://www.peho-kkk.de The examples include BR 23 /35 --their photos shown here..
Also there is a web site about the development of Tillig couplers described by the man who apparently designed them. http://www.gaspreistabelle.de/mhouben/bahn/TT-Kupplung.php
Attachments
23_7.jpg
23_7_1.jpg
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Re: Modifying BTTB BR23

Postby dileTTante » Tue May 17, 2011 12:29 am

Here are photos of some progress made with the BR 23/35. They show the new fastenings to hold the body to the chassis instead of the BTTB method. At the rear I had to make detachable clasps to hold down the cab. It would have been easier to glue blocks to the insides of the cab but they would not clear the motor when the shell was removed or installed. So smaller pieces were glued to the cab and the intermediate blocks hold down the shell. Installation is fiddly to say the least. At the front a screw through the chimney fastens to a nut glued on the chassis. The choices were limited by the small number of tiny screws on hand.

The decoder will be glued to the front of the bearing box where the light bulb bracket was fitted. Headlight diodes will go on the floor right at the front corners. It's a tight fit. The flat metal strips which fed electricity to the headlamp will power the decoder. Two wires will go along the top back to the motor and two more go to the rear lamps in the tender. If things don't work out, the decoder can always be relocated to the tender. I powered up the tender lights with DC and they look nice, but I have to wait until I get a DCC system before I can determine what resistor to use with the diodes. Same for the headlights.

Please make some allowances. I didn't clean up things for the photos. It's obvious I would never have made a career as a watch maker. The model has a lot of tidying up to be done and some mistakes to deal with. However these are my first attempts at this stuff and I think in the end the locomotive will look better than before.
Attachments
DSC01773R.JPG
DSC01775R.JPG
DSC01607R.JPG
DSC01776R.JPG
DSC01778R.JPG
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Re: Modifying BTTB BR23

Postby CSD » Tue May 17, 2011 12:41 am

Looking good. What decoder did you install?
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Re: Modifying BTTB BR23

Postby ConducTTor » Tue May 17, 2011 12:45 am

You know, given the fact that the motor is in the loco instead of the tender, I think this is a perfect opportunity for dcc sound. The tender should have ample space for a decent size speaker.
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Re: Modifying BTTB BR23

Postby dileTTante » Tue May 17, 2011 1:18 am

Dare I say it? The decoder is Digitrax DN135D which is basic and cheap. I have another one to go into the BR86. From Germany I got a Viessman decoder which is the same size and basic but not so cheap. That one will go into BR01 I hope. Put Digitrax into the BR 38, too. Just want loco speed control, maybe consisting, and lights.

There may be room in the tender for a speaker. Available space seems to shrink once I try to use it. No proper openings for the sound to get out. The tender has a couple lead weights glued in. Since the tender doesn't drive the loco the weights don't give extra traction or anything. I cut them down to fit in the bosses for the screws which hold the shell to the frame. They could be removed completely for more space if a speaker was put in. Speaker also means extra wires to tender I guess.

Anyway, even if there's room in the tender there's no room in my budget for sound decoders. If I want sound I think I'd put speakers around the layout. What I'll do for now is make a compilation of railroad music to play while running trains. 'City of New Orleans', 'Daybreak Express', 'Steam Train Gallop', 'Pacific 231`, 'Wabash Cannonball', that sort of thing.
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Re: Modifying BTTB BR23

Postby ConducTTor » Tue May 17, 2011 1:45 am

Yeah, sound is expensive. But around 2am I hear that diesel in the distance and I love it. I've decided that any US loco i have or make will have sound. Only the US stuff because I can't afford to equip my whole fleet.
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Re: Modifying BTTB BR23

Postby dileTTante » Tue May 17, 2011 5:20 am

Cheaper alternative --run your trains at 2AM and open the windows.
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Re: Modifying BTTB BR23

Postby ConducTTor » Tue May 17, 2011 6:25 am

dileTTante wrote:Cheaper alternative --run your trains at 2AM and open the windows.


AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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