Hope this is the right place to post this, rather than in the TMCC forum. Came by a good deal on a "new" Williams 5000 K4, which hopefully will be here by summer if the ponies FedEx is using to transport it don't die along the way (already taken a week and just crossed the Mississippi, going coast to coast). 

Obviously, this unit will need some upgrades (especially after seeing the 50's era computer sized reversing "board" in the tender in another post on here). Fresh off of rebuilding an MTH camelback that was missing its electronics, I figure the ERR TMCC and Railsounds Commander boards are a given. Don't suppose anyone's got any package discounts like Boxcar Bill used to offer?

After those, I guess an electro-coupler would be a good addition. Anyone know offhand one that would work well and mount to the Williams tender (and, of course, that's readily available)?

I hear the Seuthe smoke units in these aren't the best. Pretty happy with the output of the MTH one in the camelback, are those available from MTH (part #?), or would I need to hunt one down on ebay? Of course, providing it'll fit... 

If I understand correctly, the "smoke" (feature) connection on the ERR boards simply lets you turn it on and off via a controller such as a Cab 1, correct? I'll probably replace the Williams 4 wire connections with a tether (if the loco board end can be mounted conveniently) just to clean up the looks a bit, and if I don't need wires for the smoke unit, I can stick with a simple 4 wire tether.  

Original Post

6BFAF8A3-279B-4528-BD8A-BBB57FB28707If you really want to go nutz, you can chop the nose down to a more scale like length!

6C7AFF17-872F-4CDA-9150-CA43ED3710A939C40963-CDEC-4B5E-847E-3CD13B40A18DB996CAC1-9670-4ED2-B963-15D71909FB56

I cut about 1/8" out between the cylinder and drivers and then later another 1/8" off the nose and out of the boiler behind the smoke box.  Looks much better even though it is still too long lol. Don't think I would cut up a nice one though.  I have three so not such a big deal.  The flanges are huge on those also.

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

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Nice work, Dennis. 

If you can find a Williams loco for short money, they are a good value. 

My Williams K4 is now in the expert hands of Gunrunnerjohn, who is converting it from stock conventional to PS3 and an MTH fan-driven smoke unit. I really like the Williams brass steamers too, and this will be the 3rd one that Gunrunnerjohn has converted for me in the last 6 months. 

Magicland, I hope you have better luck with FedEx than I did. They damaged my Crown Edition GS4 and refused to make good on it. It was obvious that they dropped something very heavy on it, but somehow that wasn't their fault. I'll never ship via FedEx again. 

 

John

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Send the stuff USPS and put a piece of 1/4" plywood on the sides.  I think that will be my new shipping standard for anything that is fragile like brass locomotive.

One issue you'll run into with the Williams K4 is the limited space for the tether connector in the locomotive.  I have to ditch the standard connector board and use an in-line connector secured in place with JB-Weld and move all the wires to it.  Fortunately, there is a matching 10-pin connector available that will fit, it's just a wiring job to move all the wires from the old connector to this one.  Obviously, these guys hadn't seen DCS upgrades when they build these.

Dennis Holler posted:

  Need to find me an E6 to go with the rest.

You mean like this?

Lionel E6 #6-18095 [1)

Item # 6-28005, circa 1999, made in Korea. Got this in un-run condition for $200.00.

Looks, runs great and is a real race horse; very quick, like an E6 should. 

Mark in Oregon

 

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Strummer posted:
Dennis Holler posted:

  Need to find me an E6 to go with the rest.

You mean like this?

Lionel E6 #6-18095 [1)

Item # 6-28005, circa 1999, made in Korea. Got this in un-run condition for $200.00.

Looks, runs great and is a real race horse; very quick, like an E6 should. 

Mark in Oregon

 

Mark, I was lucky  last year and scored an 6-11224 Lionel E6. This was right after Lionel announced the most recent E6 so I think a few people were selling this version to buy the newest one, but I like this one a lot, it even has whistle smoke!  I think otherwise, it is the same exact castings as yours.

 I'd like to also get a Williams or other Brass one, but there seem to be 10 times the Williams K4's listed for every E6 lol

IMG_1801

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

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Dennis Holler posted:

Would it be possible to adapt the mth tetherless drawbar, or would that be a major project by its self?

That would be a significant undertaking, but obviously anything "can" be done.  I'm not sure even where I'd begin.  You have to do a lot of mechanical chopping, and I don't know there's enough room to actually get it done.

BlueComet400 posted:

Nice work, Dennis. 

If you can find a Williams loco for short money, they are a good value. 

My Williams K4 is now in the expert hands of Gunrunnerjohn, who is converting it from stock conventional to PS3 and an MTH fan-driven smoke unit. I really like the Williams brass steamers too, and this will be the 3rd one that Gunrunnerjohn has converted for me in the last 6 months. 

Magicland, I hope you have better luck with FedEx than I did. They damaged my Crown Edition GS4 and refused to make good on it. It was obvious that they dropped something very heavy on it, but somehow that wasn't their fault. I'll never ship via FedEx again. 

 

John

Wish I had another shipping option than FedEx, it was either that or local pickup, and while I wouldn't mind a nice road trip to California, it would be cost prohibitive. Engine was supposed to be here today, but it's just made it to western PA. FedEx is still saying delivery on the 20th (only 2 weeks from when it shipped), as they probably need a nice nap and then to hand if off to the USPS for another day or two of delays. 

Glad to hear an MTH fan-driven smoke unit will fit, now I'll just have to see if I can track one down. 

Magicland posted:
Glad to hear an MTH fan-driven smoke unit will fit, now I'll just have to see if I can track one down. 

Here's the MTH smoke unit in the Williams K4.  I JB-Weld a spring on the bottom to keep it pressed against the top, and I solder a brass extension tube on the nipple of the smoke unit to direct the smoke out.  This one is actually for a different locomotive, I'd probably cut it down a bit for the K4.

The spring and the screw-out extension allows me to remove the smoke unit for service.

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"especially after seeing the 50's era computer sized reversing "board" in the tender in another post on here" 

These locos were made in the late 80's - early 90's, so there's nothing "50's" about the electronics; in fact, consumer "electronics" barely existed in the 1950's. 

But big? Oh, yeah.

Samhongsa (Williams and Weaver) brass locos are gems, only a little rough around the edges. 

Okay, I'm a bit confused. Opened up the engine today, and it looks like the center 2 pins where the tether connects are BOTH connected to the pickups for the center rail. Where the heck is the common? I don't see any wires running to either of the tender trucks. Does the tender base ground to the outside rails somehow? Do I just connect the AC common terminal on the ERR board to the tender base? And is the smoke unit and headlight DC? It looks like they connect to the motor leads, which should be DC. If I'm not mistaken, aren't the MTH smoke units AC? Just wondering, in case I decide to replace the Seuthe unit with one. Also going to be a lot of fun figuring out how to mount the MTH 10 pin tether connector board to the engine...

I'm going to go through this same thing with the tether, but looks like there is room down there.  I'll fabricate a brass bracket to hide/mount the green board.  I suspect GRJ has long since worked through this scenario on upgrades he's already done.

Not sure what you are meaning with the wiring, usually for any three rail the center rail collectors are all connected together (assuming there are more than one) and the wheels are all ground so to speak to the outer rails. So yes, unless something were changed, the tender base should be grounded to the outside rails naturally.  You could add third rail collectors to the tender to improve operation, but that mainly assures you don't loose power over switches and such. Do a search for tether and there are some older threads and pictures showing various installations and even some part numbers...  GRJ has covered most of this, although, we'll still have some detail questions along the way.

One thing I would like to figure out is adding lighted markers to the boiler and pilot.  I know both Lionel and MTH have had those features and we may be able to get those as spare parts to add, but I think there used to also be another supplier that offered some version of lighted markers and so I am wondering if anyone has used any of those sources to upgrade and add lighted markers with the ERR upgrades.  Again, this was probably covered in a thread somewhere lol.

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

Dennis Holler posted:

I'm going to go through this same thing with the tether, but looks like there is room down there.  I'll fabricate a brass bracket to hide/mount the green board.  I suspect GRJ has long since worked through this scenario on upgrades he's already done.

Not sure what you are meaning with the wiring, usually for any three rail the center rail collectors are all connected together (assuming there are more than one) and the wheels are all ground so to speak to the outer rails. So yes, unless something were changed, the tender base should be grounded to the outside rails naturally.  You could add third rail collectors to the tender to improve operation, but that mainly assures you don't loose power over switches and such. Do a search for tether and there are some older threads and pictures showing various installations and even some part numbers...  GRJ has covered most of this, although, we'll still have some detail questions along the way.

One thing I would like to figure out is adding lighted markers to the boiler and pilot.  I know both Lionel and MTH have had those features and we may be able to get those as spare parts to add, but I think there used to also be another supplier that offered some version of lighted markers and so I am wondering if anyone has used any of those sources to upgrade and add lighted markers with the ERR upgrades.  Again, this was probably covered in a thread somewhere lol.

On the MTH 4 pin tether engines, 2 of the pins are for DC (+, -), while the other 2 pins are for AC, hot and common. On this engine, the 2 center pins are both AC hot, there's no common. If I connect the AC common from the ERR board to the tender base instead of the tether, as long as it connects to the outside rails electrically, it should work, just wasn't sure if it did, as there's no visible connectors or wires. 

As for the tether board, the board itself is thicker than the original, and it's sandwiched between the frame and the cab. I think one or the other will need to modified to accommodate it. If it's placed in the same orientation as the original, the connector sits too high for the hole at the back of the cab (and since the traces are on the opposite side as the original, the wire connections would be on the bottom). It's going to be "interesting", to say the least. At the moment I may just shrink wrap the original wires to make a proper "tether", and stick the original board back in there, especially if the smoke unit and light are running off of DC. 

Any tips on how the front of the boiler comes off? I can't see any visible indications (screw, slot, whatever), and I don't want to just start prying on things hoping to get if off and breaking off detail in the process. 

There is a screw up from the bottom through the cylinders, remove the front truck to see it then the two screws under the cab and it should come off.  Yes, I know it is tight, the 10 pin does not slide in where the 4 pin was,  so I'll mod mine somehow. It's close though so I think with a little work it can be made to fit.,  I'm thinking about trying to make mine have a removable cab shell so I can detail the cab interior, but not sure I am good enough to make a clean job of it.

If you mean boiler front, I'm not sure if it is just friction, glued or lightly soldered, but it will pop out.  Might be easier once you get the boiler off the frame and you can poke from the inside.  Just be gentle, that brass is thin and you could do some real damage if your too heavy handed.  Once the boiler sections come unsoldered, it is fun to put it all back together.  I made a brass inner ring for mine and then used hose clamps around the outside and went at it with my propane torch.  Was able to do that without softening the next course or the detail parts.

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

I'm not sure on the original wires to the QSI reverse unit.  I could pop one of mine open for comparison tonight if you want though.  The first one of these I got had a dead revers so I put an American Flyer E unit and a rectifier in it and it works fine.  It was a temporary fix 5 years ago lol.

100_1827

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

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Dennis Holler posted:

I'm going to go through this same thing with the tether, but looks like there is room down there.  I'll fabricate a brass bracket to hide/mount the green board.  I suspect GRJ has long since worked through this scenario on upgrades he's already done.

There was NO room for the standard 10-pin tether board in the Williams K4, the clearance is VERY tight and the floor of the cab is right there.  I ended up using the Hirose DF3 10-pin mating connector and epoxying it in the gap.  Obviously, I had to move the wires from the harness connector to the new connector.  Since there was no room for the PV diodes, they're skywired to the motor and the purple wires connect to the other end.

Ignore the missing motor, after I was all done with the upgrade, I found out the motor was bad!  It has a short to the case, and needless to say, this really annoyed the PS/3 electronics!  I'm waiting on the new motor to wrap this one up.

Dennis Holler posted:

John, Did you ever find a solution to adding whistle smoke, rather how to control it?  I think there is room for that feature in the Williams K4.

Well, the old ERR Sound Converter was a perfect board to tap off the whistle logic, but that died with the old ERR.  I am planning on someday building a small board that will tap into the serial data and just drive a whistle smoke unit, it's somewhere in the planning.

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Thanks for the pictures, I  remember now seeing your reference to the Hirose parts now that I think about it.  I was going to consider either raising the cab floor or modifying the frame to fit the 10 pin.  I certainly agree yours is a better solution for upgrades without or with minimal mods to the frame.  I have a spare MTH 10 pin to experiment with but if I can't come up with a reasonable solution, will follow your lead.

Did you end up replacing with an RS 550 or the 555?  just curious, I remember some older comments on those motors and I need to replace one as well.  There seem to be a few different variations available from Mabuchi.  Or would you suggest a different  motor?

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

I'm using the RS-555SA motor as a replacement.  The old motor was a 5-pole motor, some of the Williams have had the 3-pole motors.  If the old motor wasn't bad, I'd have used it.

Aaand, THIS is why I use glasses, and check things with a meter... Seems I was incorrect about the Williams board having the center 2 wires both connected to "hot" (there's a fine space between the pads for the center 2 pins of the socket, which I didn't see at first). One of the center pins connects to the engine's frame via the screws that hold the board in place. Figured it would be like the MTH boards which have a wire connected for common, but no. Good thing I figured that out before applying power! Of course, it saves me drilling and tapping for a grounding screw on the tender. Now to figure out what size those teeny, tiny screws are that hold the shell on the tender so I can order nylon ones and isolate it.

Yes, you are correct, I was just looking at one of mine last night and noticed the same thing and thought of your comment, just hadn't posted yet.  You beat me to the punch lol

Those screws are stupid small, I've lost several myself. I'm tempted to re-tap 2-56 or so on some of them and replace with steel or SS screws... or nylon if I need them insulated.  And John is 100% correct, using the MTH 10 pin board in  the loco will be a test as it definitely will not fit that location without some serious changes to either the frame or the cab floor.  I've got some ideas but they are not plug and play.

You need to show some pictures

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

My solution was the simplest way I could come up with and still keep a standard tether for the MTH upgrade.  Fits perfectly.

Totally agree John. Since mine was a basket project and I shortened the front already, I am taking a stab at the rear frame geometry by lowering it about 1/8” to get it closer to prototype height. It’ll still have the unprototypical hump over the rear wheels but the tail will be lower related to the cab floor. This obviously causes a mountain of refitting/ modifying of various parts but what the heck, this one was junk to start with so its perfect to experiment on.

Certainly not something I would do just for an ERR uptrade!!

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

Dennis Holler posted:

Yes, you are correct, I was just looking at one of mine last night and noticed the same thing and thought of your comment, just hadn't posted yet.  You beat me to the punch lol

Those screws are stupid small, I've lost several myself. I'm tempted to re-tap 2-56 or so on some of them and replace with steel or SS screws... or nylon if I need them insulated.  And John is 100% correct, using the MTH 10 pin board in  the loco will be a test as it definitely will not fit that location without some serious changes to either the frame or the cab floor.  I've got some ideas but they are not plug and play.

You need to show some pictures

Sure, now that I've put it all back together! It's going to get opened back up for more work shortly, so I'll take some pics then. Really haven't done too much so far other than swap out the Williams reverse board for the ERR, and put in sound, and run the original 4 wires between tender and engine through shrinkwrap. Got a proto coupler coming in this weekend (grabbed several off ebay), hopefully adding it to the tender will be do-able without too much pain. That'll probably wait until I figure which way I want to go in terms of a replacement smoke unit.

Also have to replace the "lens" on the headlight. When I popped off the front of the boiler, it decided to take a hike. Finding what amounted to a 30 year old piece of cellophane on the kitchen floor proved impossible, so I'll have to make a new one. Headlight is now out too. It worked when it got here, still should unless the "new" 30 year old bulb decided to bite the dust. Wiring had a disconnect that didn't seem to be keyed or marked, but a light bulb shouldn't care about polarity. I'd replace it with an LED, but since they DO care about polarity, and the light is being fed from the motor leads, that becomes problematic unless I want to do the surgery to replace the tether so I can run the light off the ERR board in the tender. 

Really impressed with how nicely she moves at slow speed even on conventional (she did even before my surgery)...

With a 44:1 gear ratio, you can make this one really crawl.  FWIW, I use the MTH tethers for TMCC upgrades as well, gives me plenty of pins.  As for the smoke, I use MTH steam smoke units and mod the resistors for TMCC installations.  Of course, I use them with the Super-Chuffer II and the Chuff-Generator, so I have power for the fan motor.

If you want to put an LED in there, consider a 470 ohm resistor and a bridge rectifier off the motor.  The bridge rectifier will maintain the same polarity all the time to the LED, and the 470 ohm resistor is suitable for at least 12V on the motor.

I hope you don't mean the MTH electrocoupler, unless it's the PS/1 coupler.  PS2/3 couplers are NOT compatible with TMCC coupler drive, they're much too low impedance.

Is there a quick way to check those couplers? I have come by a few fifth hand and so am not sure which I have. Can I measure the coil leads to figure it out?  If so, what range would be a PS1 coupler versus the later PS 2/3?  I'm assuming the PS2/3 were designed to operate off the lower voltage?  Forgive me, but just now starting to delve into the details of these.....  Like putting a 5.0 in a 63 Falcon  with a later Toploader 4spd and 64/65 only Hurst  shifter and gathering the  right flywheel for the 5.0 versus a 289 plus about 20 other details lol   Fun stuff really.

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

gunrunnerjohn posted:

With a 44:1 gear ratio, you can make this one really crawl.  FWIW, I use the MTH tethers for TMCC upgrades as well, gives me plenty of pins.  As for the smoke, I use MTH steam smoke units and mod the resistors for TMCC installations.  Of course, I use them with the Super-Chuffer II and the Chuff-Generator, so I have power for the fan motor.

If you want to put an LED in there, consider a 470 ohm resistor and a bridge rectifier off the motor.  The bridge rectifier will maintain the same polarity all the time to the LED, and the 470 ohm resistor is suitable for at least 12V on the motor.

I hope you don't mean the MTH electrocoupler, unless it's the PS/1 coupler.  PS2/3 couplers are NOT compatible with TMCC coupler drive, they're much too low impedance.

Any specs I should keep in mind for a bridge rectifier, or can I just unsolder the one from the Williams reverse board and use that? Sure wish Radio Shack were still around sometimes. Going to have to google and see if I can find how to wire that up. 

As for the electrocoupler, OOPS! Looks like these are PS2. Grabbed them instead of the PS1 because these had wires. Would it be possible to just raise the impedance by wiring a resistor inline? Do they provide replacement couplers with the PS1 to PS2 upgrade? Or doesn't it matter with the MTH innards? Just got an MTH Blue Comet pacific in today which I believe is PS1), and the tender's coupler is broken, so I was hoping to use one of them for that too (unless I can just swap electronics between the broken one and one of the PS2 couplers, as it's physically broken, not electronically. 

Dennis Holler posted:

Is there a quick way to check those couplers? I have come by a few fifth hand and so am not sure which I have. Can I measure the coil leads to figure it out?  If so, what range would be a PS1 coupler versus the later PS 2/3?  I'm assuming the PS2/3 were designed to operate off the lower voltage?  Forgive me, but just now starting to delve into the details of these.....  Like putting a 5.0 in a 63 Falcon  with a later Toploader 4spd and 64/65 only Hurst  shifter and gathering the  right flywheel for the 5.0 versus a 289 plus about 20 other details lol   Fun stuff really.

If they're less than three ohms, they're PS/2 couplers.  PS/1 and Lionel couplers should be at least 5 ohms.

 

Magicland posted:

Any specs I should keep in mind for a bridge rectifier, or can I just unsolder the one from the Williams reverse board and use that? Sure wish Radio Shack were still around sometimes. Going to have to google and see if I can find how to wire that up. 

As for the electrocoupler, OOPS! Looks like these are PS2. Grabbed them instead of the PS1 because these had wires. Would it be possible to just raise the impedance by wiring a resistor inline? Do they provide replacement couplers with the PS1 to PS2 upgrade? Or doesn't it matter with the MTH innards? Just got an MTH Blue Comet pacific in today which I believe is PS1), and the tender's coupler is broken, so I was hoping to use one of them for that too (unless I can just swap electronics between the broken one and one of the PS2 couplers, as it's physically broken, not electronically. 

Any bridge will do, since you're driving an LED, you don't need anything large.  Wire the two ~ pins to the motor and the + and - to the LED, obviously observing the polarity.  The 470 ohm resistor goes in one of the LED leads, it doesn't matter which one.

You can't use the PS/2 couplers, a resistor won't work.

I keep forgetting the obvious.  If you look at the bottom of a PS/2 or PS/3 coupler (they're the same), they have a patent number on them, the PS/1 or Lionel couplers just have the coil without any text.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

 

Magicland posted:

Any specs I should keep in mind for a bridge rectifier, or can I just unsolder the one from the Williams reverse board and use that? Sure wish Radio Shack were still around sometimes. Going to have to google and see if I can find how to wire that up. 

Any bridge will do, since you're driving an LED, you don't need anything large.  Wire the two ~ pins to the motor and the + and - to the LED, obviously observing the polarity.  The 470 ohm resistor goes in one of the LED leads, it doesn't matter which one.

Great! Had no idea you could pass DC through a bridge rectifier, just thought they were for converting AC to DC. Makes sense if you think about it. Was trying to figure out how to do the same thing via diodes, but that's much simpler, especially since I have a rectifier I can salvage (from the Williams board), and I'm completely out of diodes. Still have some 470 ohm resistors from the LED I put in the backup light on the camelback (also used them for directional lighting in my Williams RDC). Now I'm wishing I'd ordered more than 20. 

Dang it, two of the three MTH couplers I have are the later Proto 2/3.  I assume the ones Scott sells from 3rd rail are for the ERR conversions.

Also wanted to ask before I order stuff, is there room in that K4 tender for the big fatboy speaker and if so, is the sound difference enough to make a difference?  I suppose the real answer lies in well try it out and compare!  lol.  I'm just trying to not miss some fixins  on the first order of components.

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

Magicland posted:

Great! Had no idea you could pass DC through a bridge rectifier, just thought they were for converting AC to DC. Makes sense if you think about it. Was trying to figure out how to do the same thing via diodes, but that's much simpler, especially since I have a rectifier I can salvage (from the Williams board), and I'm completely out of diodes. Still have some 470 ohm resistors from the LED I put in the backup light on the camelback (also used them for directional lighting in my Williams RDC). Now I'm wishing I'd ordered more than 20. 

Well, obviously you can do the same with diodes, four diodes make a bridge rectifier!

Dennis Holler posted:

Dang it, two of the three MTH couplers I have are the later Proto 2/3.  I assume the ones Scott sells from 3rd rail are for the ERR conversions.

Also wanted to ask before I order stuff, is there room in that K4 tender for the big fatboy speaker and if so, is the sound difference enough to make a difference?  I suppose the real answer lies in well try it out and compare!  lol.  I'm just trying to not miss some fixins  on the first order of components.

Anything ERR sells is for Lionel, so they're compatible.

I think the large fatboy speaker will be a long shot, it's probably too tall, the tender is fairly short.  Also, you'll have to do some surgery on the mounting rails to clear a 2" speaker, I used a 40mm one in this upgrade.  Of course, you also have to drill the holes for the speaker as the stock one (at least this one) didn't have sound, so there is no provisions for the speaker.  Finally, you'll have to remote the weight in the tender, it doesn't leave enough room for the board and the speaker.  I ended up gluing the same 8oz of weights to the tender shell to give the tender a little "heft" again.  Without the weight, it pretty easily gets yanked off the rails with any reasonable load.

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