December 4, 2012
Picked up my first piece of brass off eBay: An unpainted NYC Wood sheath "19000-series" caboose, manufactured by Ajin. I'll have to paint it and detail it. Another NYC caboose project to add to the list...but at least I can run it as is at the rear of a train.
After receiving the caboose, I discovered that I needed 0-80 x ~9/32" (0.156") long screws to install the Kadee coupler boxes. Course, I could only find them in either 1/8" (too short) or 1/4" (way too long). The wheel sets also don't spin as freely in the metal truck journals as they do in plastic ones. So, it looks like some cleaning and lubing the brass journals with Labelle #108 oil is at hand.
November 18, 2012
With the help of the Loksound Select decoder manual and a fellow MRRer on the MR forum, I installed this keep-alive module in my new Stewart Baldwin VO-660 switcher sound chassis. I picked up the sound decoder/chassis from M.B. Klein for a whopping 55% off MSRP. The parts for the module came from Digi-Key. Total cost of the conversion: $2.70.
The keep-alive module has a huge 2200uF cap to store enough current in the event that dirty track and/or wheels interrupts power to the decoder. It was a bit of a challenge to squeeze the cap into the cab. I had to remove the molded interior from the cab and the cap JUST fit - with VERY little wiggle room front-to-back.
The module is working well so far and it's A LOT cheaper than purchasing a pre-made ESU Power Pack keep-alive module, which may not have fit anyhow underneath the shell. And the sounds of the Loksound Select decoder are terrific. I just love the playable horn and the clear bell.