Steam electrical connector
What is your favorite electrical connector to tie the tender and the locomotive together?
I’ve been using the Soundtraxx DBX-9000 and frankly it is very difficult to disconnect without damaging the wires.
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I avoid all wires between the locomotive and tender. I've seen DCC installs with a stout bundle of wires and the loco can only travel on straight track.
With analog DC is has been simple, install the PSC push together drawbar, HO-3117; when properly installed it is an extremely strong connection (won't pull apart)
and makes excellent electrical contact. I always get a chuckle out of modelers who have problems with wireless drawbars after they paint the model
(and the drawbar, pin. bolsters, etc...) Most brass imports have a clear coat on the drawbar and drawbar pins and tender truck bolsters from the builder.
If the clear coat is not removed the modeler blames the poor electrical connection on the drawbar.
On 2020-06-10 11:18, Paul Champlin wrote:
HO and Sn42
On 6/10/2020 2:18 PM, Paul Champlin wrote:
I make electrical connections between the locomotive and its
tender in either of 2 ways:
1. My preferred way is with any locomotive whose prototype used a
mechanical stoker. I use a length of 1/8" OD tubing to represent
the stoker tube and run as many as 6 wires through it. Of course,
the tender cannot be uncoupled from the locomotive even if the
draw bar is dropped. I have had few occasions when the tender
needed to be separated. The trick is to make one or both round
openings (where the tubing goes into the locomotive and tender)
large enough so that the tubing does not derail the tender on
sharp curves. I use prototypically close coupling of the tender
to its locomotive.
2. My other method is to use a matched pair of mini connectors with the female side mounted in an opening in the front of the tender, usually below the coal deck. With the wires between the cab and the tender painted black, it does not look too bad.
An aside: I have one of the Proto 0-6-0 switchers which came from the factory with a multi wire connector between the locomotive and the tender. This connector substitutes for the usual draw bar. If I could buy a few of their connectors, I would use them on locomotives with out mechanical stokers.
Dapol in the UK has announced a DCC snap fit no wire connector for tenders on RTR new steam (SECR Class D 4-4-0 with tender). This locomotive has a lot of technical innovations including a slide in and out decoder and cube speaker mounted in the smoke box (for 18 pin decoders). Just open the smoke box door (held on by tiny magnet?) and slide in the electronics. This is for a rather small 4 mm scale locomotive. Would make decoder speaker upgrades really easy. See https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/148319-locomotion-rails-of-sheffield-announce-secr-d-class/page/7/
Perhaps a lot of this technology can in future be transferable to North American outline steam. A plug in decoder and speaker in the smoke box would solve a host of problems with upgrading old brass particularly with Vanderbilt tenders.