Which was the Mars light?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Whistleblower, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. Whistleblower

    Whistleblower New Member

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    I'm modeling mid-20th Century D&RGW - for their F7A units, which headlight was the Mars light? -- upper or lower? And if you know, did D&RGW dim rear-facing (non-Mars) lights, or turn them off completely?
  2. 2slim

    2slim Member

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    Whistleblower,
    Howdy fellow Rio Grande dude! Well I'm not 100% certain but I read someplace that most roads had the Mars or Gyra lights mounted in the upper position partly to make them more visable and that the mechanics of the light unit were too heavy to be mounted on the front door. Now having said that I'm sure that wasn't always the case and I'll probably get corrected. Tell you what, I'll ask this question on the Yahoo D&RGW group and see what that gets us, (plenty of old Grande guys on that group). I'll keep you posted. So tell me more about your modeling and stuff.

    2slim
  3. 2slim

    2slim Member

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    Whistleblower,
    Think I got a answer:

    Top - single clear gyrating Mars light
    Bottom - 7 individual bulbs as-delivered; later converted to recessed twin Pyle

    For the original 7-bulb configuration you could try drilling the pattern in
    a blank styrene or brass disc, then use the smallest Details Associates
    lenses. If they are too large try fiber optic stock.

    For the converted twin Pyle start with the Details Assoc external twin Pyle
    conversion and file it to fit into the headlight casing.

    Enjoy,

    Jim Eager


    In case your wondering Jim has authored, (and co-authored) several excellent books on the Rio Grande and is a fine historian on the subject.

    2slim
  4. Whistleblower

    Whistleblower New Member

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    Thanks a bunch! Does your contact know the answer to the question about dimming vs. turning off the steady light in reverse running?
  5. 2slim

    2slim Member

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    Yea, he didn't respond to that one, only to say "what do you mean, reverse running?" I took reverse running to mean if an ABA set was working as helpers, how would the lights on the end A unit be displayed. My guess would be a dimmed, (rule 17) lower light and lit numberboards. But that would be if the hack was steel underframe, if not, then the helpers would be cut in front of the caboose and then it would be lights out on both A's. In fact, I have the Rio Grande Oddissy DVD and on many trains the crews would cut the helps in ahead of the steel cabooses out of habit. So what part of the grande are you modelling? I presume HO? And if your concearned with lighting you must be using DCC.

    2slim
  6. Whistleblower

    Whistleblower New Member

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    HO is correct. I'm not in DCC yet, but will be shortly. That's the reason for the question - I'm planning to install a Soundtraxx decoder/sound unit in the A unit, and I want the lighting to be prototypical. Thanks again for all your help.