Lionel 197 radar tower ??

KRM KRM is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
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October 10, 2013 5:01 PM

Did Lionel ever make a 197 radar tower with a motor instead of the vibrator system? If so what is the part number? Thanks. 

Kev.

 

The North Bluff Above Marseilles Illinois.

 
 
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October 10, 2013 5:32 PM

No, but they should have based on the new mechanism for the control tower that came out probably 8-10 years ago.

 

I got tireed of waiting and kit bashed a radar tower and control tower so that I now have a non-rotating control tower and a radar tower with a small "house" on top of it to take advantage of the motor. 

 

Others have done their own mods using Faller motors (recently discussed here - searching for "Faller" should bring it up).

 

-Dave

 
 
 
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October 10, 2013 6:43 PM

The radar tower is a neat accessory but that vibrotor is not the best.  There should be 4 rubber grommets on the feet which does help but it is still noisy.  

 This first picture is without the rubber feet, which I magaged to find at York after I took the photo. 

IMG_3082

 

 

The 'real' radar tower at the Reading, PA airport! It's been there for decades. I believe the rectangular piece at the top is relatively new.  

IMG_0048

 
 
 
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October 10, 2013 7:24 PM

Kev,

This thread may be of interest.  I used a motorized screwdriver to convert from vibrator to motor for less than $10 and under 2 hours work.



http://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/t...67#20013610727651167

Ed
 

Home of the Union Eastern, Thomaston & Williamstown Railroad - http://www.uetwrr.com

 
 
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October 10, 2013 7:53 PM

On a related note, the newest version of the 192 Lionel Control Tower features a can motor rather than the old vibrotor. Much improved operation.

 

TCA, LCCA

 
 
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October 10, 2013 8:48 PM

Thanks for the information guys, I have been looking for something to place on top of a mountain I am building for the layout. I built a level area to place it and have run power to that area. I want something with motion for the grand kids to enjoy. I am thinking now that a 192 may work as a fire watch tower in that position on the layout. I also considered the cell tower, wind turbine, water tower and rotating beacon. I do like the radar tower but don't think I like the vibrator system it has. Another thought would be an observatory. Anyone ever see anything like that?

Other suggestions??

Thanks,

 Kev

 Does anyone have a video of a new 192 operating?

 

Here is where it would sit.

DSC02869

 

The North Bluff Above Marseilles Illinois.

Last edited by KRM October 10, 2013 9:17 PM
 
 
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October 11, 2013 7:46 AM

To piggyback on this thread.  I picked up a Lionel HO version of this tower.  Looks and works great but the radio antenna is missing.  Does anyone have a spare or know where I might find this Lionel HO part?

 

Thanks

 

100_5611

 

PRR by Lionel

Eastern PA Mountains, between Oley and Boyertown

 
 
 
 
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October 11, 2013 7:58 AM

Originally Posted by Johnsgg1:

 Lionel HO version of this tower.  Looks and works great but the radio antenna is missing.  Does anyone have a spare or know where I might find this Lionel HO part?

 

Thanks

 

 


No, but based on the larger version antenna, I'd opt to get an appropriate piece of styrene rod (Evergreen or Plastruct), taper the end, paint it black....bodda-bing, bodda-boom.

 

I have the very same Disney O tower...which is the one I converted with a Faller motor drive system.  Works great!!

 

KD

 
 
 
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October 11, 2013 8:30 AM

Here is an alternative that is not as invasive a change.  I took a 1/8"or 3/16" (don't remember which off hand) short aluminum rivet and pushed out the pin.  You now have a better bearing surface and the antenna steel pin fits into the rivet perfectly.

 

Than I drilled out the center of the coil with a 1/8" or 3/16"drill.  Need to do this carefully as the coil can spin.  You could remove from the base if you need to.

 

I pressed the rivet into the coil and reassembled.  Rotates much better, and my unit never has failed to start rotating on its on, even after sitting on the layout for a year unused.   G

 

MTH Authorized Service Center and Technician

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January 20, 2014 10:08 PM

Having trouble visualizing your solution.

Do you have any pictures or diagrams of what you did?

 

Thanks,

Roger

 
 
 
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January 20, 2014 11:06 PM

Originally Posted by Johnsgg1:

...I picked up a Lionel HO version of this tower.  Looks and works great but the radio antenna is missing.  Does anyone have a spare or know where I might find this Lionel HO part?

You might have to make one.

 

Use the 140-28 rotating cup(with post ground off) and the 3540-5 antenna assembly, pretty much as Lionel did it.  The 140-37 adhesive washer and 140-32 drive washer are the "motion" parts of the assembly.

 

Rob

 
 
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January 21, 2014 8:45 AM

For the HO whip antenna,I would try Dennis Waldren, In Sparta, NJ.

 
 
 
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January 21, 2014 10:03 AM

Originally Posted by bimmer050:

Having trouble visualizing your solution.

Do you have any pictures or diagrams of what you did?

 

Thanks,

Roger


Roger, Attached is a picture.  A short aluminum rivet has a head that is beveled.  The pin that goes through looks like a finish nail and it mushrooms the other end to fasten against an item.  I just push that pin out backwards, now you have a hollow rivet.

 

Drill the 1/8 or 3/16" hole, which ever rivet size it is, into the core of the magnet.  Using the hole the radar antenna pin goes into.  Now push the rivet into that hole and reassemble.

 

I just started the antenna up after sitting at least 2 years.  The antenna immediately turned at a consistent rate.  Below is the rivet pressed into the magnetic core.  The radar antenna plug into it.  You still need the washer you see in the upper left of the picture.  This becomes a better bearing surface for the antenna to ride on.  No hum great motion, great reliability.  G

 

 

IMG_0358

 

MTH Authorized Service Center and Technician

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Last edited by GGG January 21, 2014 10:06 AM
 
 
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January 21, 2014 10:52 AM

Before any changes are made to the original 197 rotating mechanism, it might pay to try the following:

 

Find a drill bit that just fits the hole in the center of the magnet.
Use it as a reamer to clean out all the accumulated muck and rust by either turning the bit in the hole with your fingers or a pin vise. (I would recommend against using a power tool).  Again, the idea is to clean out the hole, not make it any larger.

 

Clean off the pin.

 

A tiny bit of dry lubricant would be OK, I use Dri-Slide.

 

I find that this usually will get accessories with this sort of mechanism working well.

 
C.W. Burfle
 
 
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January 21, 2014 1:36 PM

Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for your prompt replies!

You've given me a number of options to look into.

I think I'll try the cleanout first and then graduate to the rivet solution if cleaning and lubrication doesn't do it.

 

Question for GGG: the short aluminum rivet you used, was it from a hardware store or from a hobby shop?

 

Roger 

 
 
 
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January 22, 2014 9:46 AM

Hardware store.  I would buy an assortment bag.  I did what CW mentioned but that isn't specific to this model.  The problem is the antenna is top heavy and will cock inside the surface slightly.  Without a good bearing surface it sticks.  Once modified mine runs at significantly less voltage, and can sit idle for several years and start right up.  G

 

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January 22, 2014 8:03 PM

I got one of these from BArry's Train Shop, even with a new Lionel drive washer, operation was iffy. I bought six MTH drive washers, they have six drive nubs versus three with Lionel, and it works much better. I always wanted one of these, so I am happy. 

 

Luke

 

Port Clinton, home of the Reading and Northern RR.

 
 
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January 23, 2014 12:51 AM

Hi Everyone,

When I bought the radar tower and set it up, it disappointed me so much I packed it away and never looked at it again; that was over 10 years ago? Just dug it out to see what's going on with it and to try the cleanout procedure and lo and behold, the radar tower was like new, so no gunk or rust was to be found.

 

I did find, however, that

1. There was lots of play between the radar antenna pin and the hole in the drive magnet.

2. The drive magnet hole will fit a 7/64" drill bit but a 1/8" bit will not slide in. I think I'm going to try the rivet solution next.

3. The drive washer has 3 fingers; I found a seller on EBAY that has 6-finger repro drive washers. I think I'll try those too.

 

Thanks to all for your ideas! After I get this solved I'll tackle the non-linear solenoid action on my 3662 Milk Car from 1956.

 

Roger

 

 
 
 
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January 23, 2014 5:23 AM

 

quote:
3. The drive washer has 3 fingers; I found a seller on EBAY that has 6-finger repro drive washers. I think I'll try those too.



 

I find that there is a big difference in the quality of the drive washers that are available. I've serviced a lot of searchlight cars with rotating housings, IMHO, the OEM Lionel ones work best.

 





quote:
2. The drive magnet hole will fit a 7/64" drill bit but a 1/8" bit will not slide in. I think I'm going to try the rivet solution next.




 

I have a set of numeric drill bits (wire gauge), they have a wider range of sizes. I couldn't tell you which size I use. They come in handy for all sorts of things. My better set came from Craftsman many years ago. Harbor Freight has inexpensive sets including fractional, number and letter bits, they go on sale from time to time.

 

 

 
C.W. Burfle
Last edited by C W Burfle January 23, 2014 5:27 AM
 
 
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January 23, 2014 1:25 PM

Hi C.W.,

 

Thanks for your input on the drive washers. My 494 Rotating Beacon with the 3-fingered washer has been reliable since 1957 although granted it is only run at Christmas time. 

 

It's entirely possible that the Radar tower with its 3-fingered washer will be just fine once I stabilize the antenna pin/magnet hole issue. I'll take it a step at a time.

 

Roger

 
 
 
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January 31, 2014 3:07 PM

Hi Everyone,
 
Just wanted to post an update; my radar tower is a 1988 version, #6-12749 which I guess is an MPC product. The problem was that the hole in the vibramotor was much too big for the pin at the base of the antenna.
 
Operation was noisy, and when I turned the voltage up past 14V the antenna jumped out of position and stopped. The antenna would fall out of its socket when I tilted the tower past 30-40 degrees from vertical because of the slop in clearances.
 
The closest I could find to the correct rivet size was 1/8". After removing the rivet pin from the rivet, I drilled out the hole in the rivet a bit so the radar antenna pin would fit. Then I drilled out the vibramotor magnet with a 1/8" drill and inserted the rivet.
 
I can tilt the tower now almost past 60 deg from vertical and the antenna still stays put. There is much less play between the antenna pin and the magnet with the rivet in place. I can run the antenna all the way up to 18V and the antenna keeps spinning instead of jumping out of its drive mechanism. It's still noisy, but what can one expect for only spending $2.95 plus tax for a box of 20, 1/8" rivets? Anyone need a few? I have 19 left I can't use.
 
Thanks for all your help on this! 
 
Roger
 
 
 
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February 1, 2014 6:46 AM

I told you  It is amazing the Lionel Engineers back in the day didn't figure that out.  After playing with mine forever trying to get it to work as designed, I realized it needed a better seating surface.  The 1/8 rivet was a perfect fit on mine.  A simple $.05 part would have prevented a redesign.  G

 

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March 11, 2014 11:27 PM

I fixed both my windmill and radar tower with six finger washers.  Removed all glue residue and did not bother to glue the new ones on.  The inner circle fit snugly around the cylinder of the coils.

 

 

Jim

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Last edited by jimmysb April 3, 2014 9:37 PM
 
 
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March 11, 2014 11:52 PM

I replaced the stupid vibramotor with a regular rotating motor I ordered from Walthers. Silent and smooth ever since. 

 
 
 
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March 12, 2014 12:37 AM

Originally Posted by SeattleSUP:

I replaced the stupid vibramotor with a regular rotating motor I ordered from Walthers. Silent and smooth ever since. 

Do you remember the # of the motor you ordered.  Thank You

 
 
 
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March 12, 2014 3:16 AM

It's Walthers Part # 272-180629. 
 
The motor is taller than the stock Lionel motor so you'll need to fabricate a new housing. Basically you something that is just slightly larger than the motor. I found a travel size shampoo bottle at the grocery store that was the perfect size once I cut the top off. You'll need to add some sort of padding around the motor to hold it in place (I used these foam stickers my kids have but electrical tape wrapped around would also work). Once you have the motor it will make more sense on how it all goes together. Strongly suggest taking the motor with you to the store and looking at travel sized shampoo bottles. I converted mine last Fall and it's been working great ever since. 
 
There's a whole thread on this located here: http://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/t...59#21984675509108359
 
Several other forum members helped figure this out. It's a good afternoon project. 
 
Originally Posted by Balto:
Originally Posted by SeattleSUP:

I replaced the stupid vibramotor with a regular rotating motor I ordered from Walthers. Silent and smooth ever since. 

Do you remember the # of the motor you ordered.  Thank You

 

 
 
 
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