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I've got a fair number of prewar locos that either didn't come with whistles or have no room to install same.  So, I decided to do something about it using an unsuspecting 2602 baggage car from 1940, a DC whistle from an old HO whistling station and a Lionel solid state whistle controller...

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As I've noted elsewhere, these things work best when the vanes spin to push air past the whistle holes (in this case, counter-clockwise):

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I chose the 2602 because it's relatively hefty and (I figured) simple to install a whistle. 

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Little did I know I was in for an exhausting slog through a puzzle box...

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Well,  I can always put that stuff back later.  Now to fit the whistle...

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H'm.  That's not going to work so well.

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OK, on to plan B...

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I've discovered that a lot of these motors are surprisingly sensitive.  The brown whistle, for example, kept cheerfully tooting simply from the stray voltage the Lionel horn board put out.  (This is usually not a problem with stations, as they are on-off with a mechanical switch.)

My scrounging habits paid off, as I picked up a whistling freight house for $10 a couple years ago for just such an occasion...

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Note the diode rectifier on top.  Since this is a tender whistle, this can be a drop-in installation for a later whistle tender with the round hole in the floor for air intake. 

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In this case, the diodes cleared the roof.

If they hadn't, I would have pulled them and just wired the motor direct.  I may go back later and do just that, if they cause voltage drop issues down the line...

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I ditched the prewar light socket for a bracketed job from Amazon, the idea being to drive the whistle board from the contacts...

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Again, the bulb cleared the roof with plenty to spare. 

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Velcro is good stuff.

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Whups.

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Like I said, Velcro is good stuff. 

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A slight mod to the socket.  Turns out the socket wasn't grounded to the bracket. 

Well, it is now. 

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The completed socket harness.  The black and red wires will go to their counterparts. 

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Now putting the pieces back together.  The fact I managed it while breaking only one tab is a minor miracle.  It also gives me fresh respect for the clever designers in Hillside...

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Wiring harness connected.   

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Static trial a success!  Always test BEFORE reassembly when you're pulling goofball stunts like this. 

Don't ask me how I know... 

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For the benefit of you Norma Bates Kitteh fans, she did show up to supervise briefly.

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I did not include details of the reassembly, because this is a family forum and kiddies shouldn't oughta hear that kind of language. 

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Anyhow, everything buttoned up fine!

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Another static test just to make sure.

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Here's one of the reasons for this project in the first place.  Thanks to the Forumites, I was able to track down a repro headlight socket for this 1930 vintage 258:

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Note the tender.  No way I was gonna stuff an air whistle in there, and Lionel didn't provide speaker vents in 1930 for some unexplained reason.  That stamped coal load is cool, though...

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The socket installed.  Note how the tabs fold out to hold it in place. 

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A light base and wire from Train Tender. 

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Again, this is a family forum, so details of how I wired the headlight to the manual reverser in the cab area are omitted.  I did recycle one of the lugs from the whistling station for the headlight wire. 

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Ain't she cute? 

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And the triumphant test run! 

Another victory for the mad scientists at the Razorback Railroad, Traction and Scrapple Company! 

Mitch

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Mitch

My answer to having bought most of my steam engines without coal tenders or with coal tenders without whistles was to install two whistles from coal tenders in two building with open windows in two spots on the layout.  I did the same with diesel horns by using two Bachmann Oil Tanks with diesel horns.  This worked out well as I have only a few diesels with horns and they are hard to keep working with batteries.

It is hard to tell where the horn or whistle sound is coming from, especially if running 3 to 5 trains at the same time.  But of course, if a engine is right in front of the engineer he knows the sound is not from the train.  Your placing the whistle in a car in the train is more realistic in that case.  I like both solutions to the whistle problem work better than keeping whistles and horns on 30 or engines working.

Charlie

It is hard to tell where the horn or whistle sound is coming from, especially if running 3 to 5 trains at the same time.  But of course, if a engine is right in front of the engineer he knows the sound is not from the train.  Your placing the whistle in a car in the train is more realistic in that case.

I do temporary tabletop layouts at train shows and such, where it isn't always practical to have a wired external whistle/horn.   

Mitch

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