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    • January 21, 2020 2:55 AM EST
    • MyLocoSound has now released a universal soundcard for trams and streetcars. It contains a selection of sounds including three bells/gongs, seven horns and air whistles, three brake compressors, conductors buzzer, rail and brake squeal and two motors. They work for both modern and heritage vehicles. The sounds came from the Crich and Seaton Tram Museums in Britain, some heritage streetcars in the US and several city light rail systems. The new soundcard can be seen and ordered off our web site at www.mylocosound.com or direct from G Scale Graphics in the US and Canada.

      Regards
      Peter Lucas
      MyLocoSound

    • January 20, 2020 1:28 AM EST
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      Looking good Pete.... I am both hardware and software engineer, double major, anything to avoid going to social sciences classes ha ha!

       

      Been around long enough to remember the "Bad days" of static sensitivity, where you could blow up your ram chips putting them in the motherboard.

       

      Greg

      Saw a demo from 3M where you touched a terminal on a machine then a discharge terminal till you felt the zap. 

      Then a chip had its performance checked then was given a zap with a charge that could not be felt by the person handling it and its performance was tested again and the damage done was incredible and the handler felt nothing.

      This was when the F/A18 was entering service and we were testing/repairing the CCT boards. We used to refer to being "wired for sound" (sorry Cliff) when working at the anti static stations.

      Ahh the good old days when you had to find the fault, as compared to today where the aircraft tells you whats wrong.

    • January 20, 2020 1:17 AM EST
    • Pete Thornton said:

      For pcb's that have bare backs I recommend mounting the component on a thin sheet of styrene.  Regular double stick foam tape works well.

      The sound board has "regular" foam double stick on the back, with the cover tape on it on the outside, so I don't think that's going to cause problems. I got out the little shiny plastic insulator bag that one of them came in and cut it in half - the RX is inside it with plenty of air space, and the ESC is in the other half.

       

      If "double stick foam" is the same stuff that is known a "double sided tape" in Australia then I will offer this word of warning.

      I have just (today) unpacked my locos that have been packed away in boxes for just over a year and the adhesive on the double sided tape on a few has failed completely; they were stored in a a room inside my house till I moved and in a cool, shaded environment at the new place.

      I will be re visiting the mounting in the near future before trying to run them, and will keep an eye on the new tape..

      The adhesive appears to have dried out and will not stick to anything even my fingers which it used to do when I was mounting boards.

      So far all the NiMH that were packed with a full charge have held their charge well and are recharging OK.  The LiPo's had a storage charge in them and appear OK as well.

      Now all I have to do is lay some track to run them on and that is in the works.

    • January 19, 2020 3:36 PM EST
    • Hello Pete.

      I don't know anything about the Rx you are contemplating other than it is a manual bind type.  You will of course need to gain access to it for binding.

      Those are non standard servo pin sockets so may create a problem when used with servos or ESC connections.

    • January 19, 2020 11:18 AM EST
    • Looking good Pete.... I am both hardware and software engineer, double major, anything to avoid going to social sciences classes ha ha!

       

      Been around long enough to remember the "Bad days" of static sensitivity, where you could blow up your ram chips putting them in the motherboard.

       

      Greg

    • January 18, 2020 2:55 PM EST
    • If you are talking about the silver-grey bag, that is static conductive and should never be used when the board is powered. Likewise pink bags are usually static conductive. This is not a dead short, but can cause issues with microprocessors.

      You want an insulator.

       

      Greg

    • January 18, 2020 2:00 PM EST
    • For pcb's that have bare backs I recommend mounting the component on a thin sheet of styrene.  Regular double stick foam tape works well.

      The sound board has "regular" foam double stick on the back, with the cover tape on it on the outside, so I don't think that's going to cause problems. I got out the little shiny plastic insulator bag that one of them came in and cut it in half - the RX is inside it with plenty of air space, and the ESC is in the other half.

       

    • January 17, 2020 5:43 PM EST
    • Just a note on insulation, on some boards, notably ESCs and decoders, you want to allow a little air flow on the output transistors. I favor a sheet of styrene as Tony states over double stick tape that conforms to the surface and is an excellent thermal insulator.

       

      Please note this is just for components that can generate heat.

       

      Greg

    • January 17, 2020 4:27 PM EST
    • Greg has a valid point.

      Any bare metal can cause a problem.

      For the bare servo pins on the RX I will be supplying no charge push on dummy servo plugs, without wires, that will cover the bare pins.

      For pcb's that have bare backs I recommend mounting the component on a thin sheet of styrene.  Regular double stick foam tape works well.

    • January 17, 2020 2:46 PM EST
    • as long as you don't let the magic smoke out, all is well!

      But I need a smoke generator. 

      Point taken.  These boards are (mostly) too expensive to not give them adequate protection.

       

    • January 15, 2020 2:47 PM EST
    •  

      Indeed I see:

      clear heat shrink on the RX

      clear heat shrink on the esc

      something on one of the triggers

      but

      nothing on the MLS board

      bare pins exposed on the receiver

      nothing on the other trigger board..

       

      Just stating what I see, but I will say that the clear heat shrink should not have issues like the ones described for conformal coatings, and you do indeed have to watch that with conformal coatings.

       

      The amount of exposed metal still makes me a bit nervous, but as long as you don't let the magic smoke out, all is well!

       

      Greg

    • January 15, 2020 6:08 AM EST
    • Pete Thornton said:

      insulate all those loose boards

      Insulate? What for? 

      Actually, all of them except the sound board are encapsulated in plastic as if they have been dipped. You can see the slight sheen in the ESC and the RX.  The sound board is sitting on a metal rod, so there's some double-sided foam tape underneath holding it in position and insulating it. With the top (aggregate load) on, the boards are much more carefully arranged, with the SSSS tucked in the side of the sound board.

       

      I was looking around for something to put in the top of the sandbox, as I am missing the curved lid.  I found a couple of knobs off a track light bracket which are a perfect tight fit, and have a mesh-type texture inside the lip. I like it!

       

       

      And a little video which shows off the sound system and all those whirring valve rods!

       

       

      Pete,

      A word of caution.

      I would not put the insulation properties of a conformal coating (dipped in plastic is generally poly-urethane) in good stead, it is usually at its thinness at the point of the soldered component leg.

      From personal experience of many years in the aircraft electronics field, I have seem many a board failure due to vibrations rubbing through the coating and exposing the solder joints which then shorted out.  

      I use an insulation covering over the solder side of all my boards as a precaution, I use the plastic that is used for covers of reports available at a stationary store (also makes good window glazing).

      I have also read somewhere (can't say where) that double sided tape is not a very good insylator.

       

    • January 14, 2020 10:55 AM EST
    • insulate all those loose boards

      Insulate? What for? 

      Actually, all of them except the sound board are encapsulated in plastic as if they have been dipped. You can see the slight sheen in the ESC and the RX.  The sound board is sitting on a metal rod, so there's some double-sided foam tape underneath holding it in position and insulating it. With the top (aggregate load) on, the boards are much more carefully arranged, with the SSSS tucked in the side of the sound board.

       

      I was looking around for something to put in the top of the sandbox, as I am missing the curved lid.  I found a couple of knobs off a track light bracket which are a perfect tight fit, and have a mesh-type texture inside the lip. I like it!

       

       

      And a little video which shows off the sound system and all those whirring valve rods!

       

       

    • January 13, 2020 6:48 PM EST
    • Pete, how do you insulate all those loose boards from each other when you actually run the loco?

       

    • January 13, 2020 5:13 PM EST
    • Yes, my little 4 coupled LGB locomotives are all skateless. Chloe could not pull 3 open cars up my 2.58% grade with the skates, she could barely pull herself up. Without the skates she can pull the 3 cars with power to spare. My other little engine pulls 2 2 axle boxcars, 2 2 axle gons and a heartland 2 axle caboose up the grade without the skates.

    • January 13, 2020 11:49 AM EST
    • There's a thread on GSC about installing a microprocessor and a single cell in the boiler to replace the weight, with a 12V amplifier to drive the motor.  That does take some electronic knowledge, but removes the need for a trailing car!

      https://www.gscalecentral.net/threads/battery-esp8266-based-remote-control-and-automation-for-an-lgb-24140-kjf-loco.314042/#post-578056

      In that thread there was a comment about these little locos having more traction without the skates.  As I didn't want to preclude future track power, I put a stainless rod underneath to hold them up, with insulation of course, though the tracks I run on have no power - ever.

       

       

      I also heard the latest version of this loco is the LGB 24141, which is double the price.

       

    • January 13, 2020 8:40 PM EST
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      The battery holders worry me a bit,

      I've purchased the 18650 holders from a number of different sellers on ebay and found all to work well. They hold the batteries tight.

      I made 2S packs and installed them on all my passenger cars. I epoxied the holders to the bottom of the cars after removing the original 9 volt battery holders. I've been running these for a couple of years now and not one battery has fallen out or even became loose, they're hanging upside down. As a mater of fact, I have to pry them from the holders. it's pretty hard to remove them with just your fingers.

       

       

       

      I'm very happy with my battery setups. No flickering lights. No track cleaning. No special block or reversing track wiring.

      Just like the real thing, the locomotive carries it's own fuel.

       

      Adam

    • January 13, 2020 8:00 PM EST
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      I've found similar failure modes in lithium packs

       

      I thought your RR equipment was strictly DCC?

    • January 13, 2020 6:44 PM EST
    • I've found similar failure modes in lithium packs, I get more from laptop packs than tools, but same experience, although the electronics around the laptop cells is sometimes more sophisticated, and some do indeed have "taps" between the cells.

       

      I typically mark the terminal voltage, and I have a charger that will monitor the amount of charge in mah that goes "into" the cell. When the cell stops accepting a fair amount of charge, I dispose of the batteries.

       

      The battery holders worry me a bit, but probably better than soldering to the batteries themselves, and I don't have the spot welder to put new jumpers on.

       

      My experience that with name brand batteries, they wear more evenly, and ones that have no name on the outside, it is often just like you say, a single cell in the series array.

       

      Greg