I scored a C&O Yellowbelly Hudson in great cosmetic condition. While it did run in command, it wasn't really what I'd call a good runner. Time for some improvements.
First step, send it off to Pat @harmonyards for a Pittman motor transplant. I also picked up the Vision Line Hudson cab interior to dress up the large empty hole in the cab, these models had no cab details! Pat did a great job of installing the Pittman with a real driveshaft, the cab interior was fit perfectly in place, and he even cleaned up the wheels on the scale pilot to look more like the prototype. WOW, really looking good!
Got it back and Started the electronics, lighting, and smoke unit upgrades. First up, I mounted the smoke unit and the ERR Cruise Commander to make sure they'd fit inside the shell. After some tweaking and trimming of internal stubs in the shell, all was well.
That out of the way, I started wiring up the lighting in the shell. A total of 19 LED's are used for all the lighting, (1)Headlight, (2)Number boards, (6)Ground lights, (2)Cab Lights, (4)Flickering Firebox, (4)Lighted gauges. All of the wiring terminates in an 8-pin connector for connecting to the chassis. This makes it a breeze to take this one apart, three screws and one plug! I bench tested all the lighting to make sure everything was wired right to the connector.
For the curious, here's the wiring diagram for the shell lighting.
Then it was on to the chassis wiring, everything fit pretty easily this time, not like some upgrades I've done. Not shown is the IR sender on the drawbar, I added that after the picture. This will use the totally wireless IR link between the locomotive and tender. Naturally, this upgrade includes the Chuff-Generator and Super-Chuffer II, gotta' have good looking smoke!
Here's the fully finished locomotive, note the headlight, number boards, and ground lights are all on here.
A better view of the ground lights illuminating the drivers. These are automatically controlled and will go off at around 10 scale MPH.
The cab view, note the lighted gauges and the flickering firebox with multiple colors. Of course, the cab lights are also on as we're stopped, they go off when we start to move. Finally note the purple glow on the drawbar, that's the IR sender for the tender serial data stream.
None of my steam conversions are complete without good looking fan driven smoke!
Next installment, on to the tender. I'm busy mounting axle wiper strips, pickup rollers, and the electrocoupler. Then I'll move on to the internal electronics.
*** to be continued ***