Made some good progress on the wagons this weekend. Although I was pretty far along before, things were a bit over designed on the swing down version. I moved the fulcrum and actuator and simplified the over all design. Things are now reliable and repeatable. In anticipation of car bodies, I went ahead and made the decals for the gondola sides.
Lionel Strang and I had an exchange on the Model Rail Radio recording the other day, in which I mentioned Canadian snow, and he responded by citing the salt in Utah. . . This was enough to make Lionel the purveyor of my future salt works.
A lot of the work went into refining the pick up scheme. I ended up going with Bachmann trucks. The wheel backs are flat, and the frames are stiff. Although there are more detailed side frames out there, the power pick up on fiddly side frames was just too unpredictable. For this scheme to work things need to be bullet proof. The spiral wind of phosphor bronze worked great, and with a little neolube on board, things are not too bright. I only wish I figured that out before I custom cut dozens of folded flat wipers. Oh well. . .
Wagon chassis #'s 301 and 307 are destined for actual car bodies. Made a shot at cutting those last night, but did not get far enough to assemble. Time for a breath. I am going to customize the servo boards, but only when the wagon is closer to final assembly.
Design work continues on the vertical drop coupler, and a flat car design. Waiting for some servo board kits, which I can bash a bit more easily. . . . looking forward to the time when I can put the soldering iron to rest though. Getting car bodies painted will be good.