A big American diesel for the SaTR

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gregh
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A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by gregh » Mon May 11, 2020 10:12 am

Quite a few years back I bought a USA Trains F3 diesel from a friend’s Estate.

This is a short description of how I converted it for use on the Sandstone and Termite.

Externally there is virtually no change. I added the lettering along the sides by printing onto glossy photo paper and gluing on. I named it for my late mate (and Knighted him!)
21-2.JPG

It comes with two motor blocks, but I always consider that an overkill, so I removed the front one (for a future scratchbuild). I kept the side frames and used a piece of wood and some plastic wheels for the front bogie. I also removed the lead weight over the rear, powered bogie as it has rubber tyres and I didn’t want to ever stall the wheels.
IMG_9451dummy front.JPG

I ripped out all the existing wiring and circuit boards for the lighting. Then fitted a 3000 mAh 12V LiPo battery, Hobby king 2.4 GHz receiver and speed control. And a Talking Electronics sound board. BUT I also used a Picaxe circuit between the receiver speed control signal and ESC, to introduce a delay, so that the revs build up before the loco starts to move. (Later I’ll do a video so you can hear the effect.)

It had a speaker mounted facing down in the fuel tank but it did not provide enough volume, so I mounted a bigger one in the roof so the sound can get out through the long wire ‘grilles’.

So imagine it is 1953 and the loco is newly delivered to the SaTR.
Arriving with a goods train at Sandstone.
IMG_5197.JPG

There is also a “B” unit but I have never converted it to RC or added sound. Since as a pair they are single ended and too long for a turntable, together they are ‘useless’. It awaits some major work to produce a different looking loco.
horseshoe trestle IMG_8275s.jpg
Greg from downunder.
The Sandstone & Termite's website: http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/satr/satr.htm

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Andrew
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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by Andrew » Mon May 11, 2020 12:58 pm

They've really got something about them, those classic American diesels...

That's a very impressive loco, and looks very at home on your line. I look forward to the video to experience the sound effects too...

Cheers,

Andrew.

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by gregh » Tue May 12, 2020 7:31 am

Andrew wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 12:58 pm
They've really got something about them, those classic American diesels...
That's a very impressive loco, and looks very at home on your line. I look forward to the video to experience the sound effects too...
Andrew.
Thanks Andrew.
Jut to complete the description, here's a pic of my 'neat' wiring inside. Since there wa so much room, I made no attempt at tidiness.
loco21 full inside caption.jpg
Greg from downunder.
The Sandstone & Termite's website: http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/satr/satr.htm

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by Jimmyb » Tue May 12, 2020 9:33 am

Well it does look very impressive, not sure it would fit into my railway, but i like it :love10:

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by invicta280 » Tue May 12, 2020 10:33 am

Impressive beast. It looks heavy.

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by Andrew » Tue May 12, 2020 11:35 am

Jimmyb wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 9:33 am
not sure it would fit into my railway, but i like it
That's what I was thinking! Don't think I can stretch history that far!

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by tom_tom_go » Tue May 12, 2020 12:30 pm

I have always liked the look of F3 diesels and given their introduced to American railways was in the 1940s they must of seemed very futuristic at the time.

I was given a great book called 'The Twilight of Steam' which contains pictures of the last days of steam locomotives in America where there are images of dirty old steam engines running alongside streamlined F3 diesels.

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by gregh » Wed May 13, 2020 10:17 am

Jimmyb wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 9:33 am
Well it does look very impressive, not sure it would fit into my railway, but i like it :love10:
I'm not sure it fits with my railway scene either, but it does look good. Will probably go back and sit on the shelf now, and get a run when the grandkids come around.
Greg from downunder.
The Sandstone & Termite's website: http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/satr/satr.htm

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by gregh » Mon May 18, 2020 7:13 am

Here’s a video showing the loco being ‘delivered’ from the USA, tested on goods trains first and then being allowed to take over the Mail train.
(there’s a short segment of experimental ‘chroma screen’ supposedly taken from inside the cab too. I grabbed a picture of the inside of a cab of the web.)
So come back to 1953…...



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The Sandstone & Termite's website: http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/satr/satr.htm

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by Andrew » Mon May 18, 2020 11:12 am

I really enjoyed that, thank you!

The cab shots worked really well, I thought, and the final scene was just great, I had to watch it several times. I really like your "posh" passenger rake too, very smart!

Andrew.

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by invicta280 » Mon May 18, 2020 5:36 pm

Very good video. Nicely put together.

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by philipy » Mon May 18, 2020 5:54 pm

Brilliant Greg, Thank you.

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by gregh » Wed May 20, 2020 12:15 am

Andrew wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 11:12 am
I really enjoyed that, thank you!
The cab shots worked really well, I thought, and the final scene was just great, I had to watch it several times. I really like your "posh" passenger rake too, very smart!
Andrew.
It took many 'takes' to get that final segment of the train coming through the 'cave'. I'm still learning with a new camera. It has 40x zoom so I can get shots I could not get 'into' before. But I still can't get the focus to work as the train gets closer to the camera.
I'd like another carriage for the Mail train but can't face the work of cutting all those windows out of styrene any more. So it will remain 3 carriages.

Thanks for the comments.

PS The cab shots using 'blue screen' method were done using really old Windows Movie Maker on Win7. The later MM on win10 doesn't allow it. So I can't do them anymore. Rats.
Greg from downunder.
The Sandstone & Termite's website: http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/satr/satr.htm

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by Lonsdaler » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:58 am

gregh wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 12:15 am
Andrew wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 11:12 am
I really enjoyed that, thank you!
The cab shots worked really well, I thought, and the final scene was just great, I had to watch it several times. I really like your "posh" passenger rake too, very smart!
Andrew.
I still can't get the focus to work as the train gets closer to the camera.
Totally agree with what Andrew said. :thumbup:
Are you using 'auto mode' on your camera? If you switch to manual focus for the shots where the train moves towards, or away, from you, you would be able to 'rack' the focus manually, assuming your camera has a focus ring or similar. You should be able to find help for your model online - the instruction manuals are pretty dire generally.
Phil

Thursday? So am I, let's have a cup of tea...

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Re: A big American diesel for the SaTR

Post by gregh » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:41 am

Lonsdaler wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:58 am

Totally agree with what Andrew said. <E>:thumbup:</E> <br/>
Are you using 'auto mode' on your camera? If you switch to manual focus for the shots where the train moves towards, or away, from you, you would be able to 'rack' the focus manually, assuming your camera has a focus ring or similar. You should be able to find help for your model online - the instruction manuals are pretty dire generally.
Thanks for the comments Phil.
I bought this new camera, Nikon Coolpix B500, six months ago, mainly for the ability to zoom while videoing.
It is quite good for still photographs with all the options on Auto and Manual. BUT when videoing, there are few choices for focus. Either fixed at start of video, or varying based on centre screen. (I think!!) I wanted to be able to zoom on an approaching train but on zoom, the depth of field is reduced. So it has problems focusing, especially if the train is not in centre of field.

Anyhow, I continue to experiment.
Greg from downunder.
The Sandstone & Termite's website: http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/satr/satr.htm

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