Playing with a toy caboose.

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Fred_M, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I thought about calling this Dollar Store Caboose Upgrades, but the caboose came from a local hobby shop and cost $3. It was an older Bachmann with body mounted couplers and screwed on trucks. I was wanting to build a caboose for my railroad but was hesitating on butchering the nice units I already have in real road names. So, I removed the factory lettering and smoothed down the roof walks. I filled the ladder holes and painted it with Walmart spray paint after washing. I then installed a flashing red LED and 4 AAA NiMH batteries with a 220 ohm resistor, window glass, EZmate II couplers, proto 2000 trucks, a stove pipe from 1/16 tubing, and a fat conductor. I like it and it gives me the confidence to now do better caboose now. FRED

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  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    Hi Fred,
    That's a good looking caboose!
    I see nothing wrong with using a less expensive
    model as a base for a more detailed rig, it's a good
    idea! :D
    On the LED, that's also a slick installation. I am thinking
    that, if you parallel the batteries, and use a 35 ohm
    resistor, your batteries will last much longer!! :) :)
    Am I right???

    BTW, I like that whole bridge and culvert scene,
    quite realistic!!
  3. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I don't think that would work. I'm using NiMH and they put out 1.2 v. The LED/Flasher package requires 3 to 5 volts. I use 4 AAA in series for 4.8v and a 220 ohm resistor for charging protection. When the batteries go dead I charge then with a six volt wall transformer and the resistor keeps the LED safe during charging, but still allows the voltage to be in spec during battery discharge. I have a truck that uses basically the same setup except there are two LEDs and they are on continuiosly. It runs a week between charges, two weeks if I allow them to go clear out. I got a bunch of these AAA NiMH RayOVac batteries from one of them "weekend computer and electronics sales" at the trade center/armory at 2 for 50 cents. They don't have enough umph to run electronics (like wireless headphones and TV remotes) but make great small cheap power souces for trains and penlights. FRED
  4. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    Sounds like you've got it just right :D :D :D

    I'm thinking about trying one of those charging
    off-the-rails circuits. :)
  5. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Those are easy with a LM317 circuit. I just don't like the mechanical parts for off the track chargers:D . I once built a loco/boxcar combo for dirty track running. The box car had NIMH batteries, an LM317 for charging, and a RC CMOS electric throttle. It was attached to the loco with 3 wires (common, power in, power to motor). It only ran forward and I could never keep the batteries charged. Your discharge rates on dirty areas always will exceed your recharge rate on clean areas. So depending on how clean the track was the batteries would last 20 min to an hour, but they would reach a point when you hit a dirty spot the train stopped. Well, if I have to keep the track clean I might as well run DCC or DC, so I gave up. FRED
  6. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    And here's a picture of the module. FRED

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