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Topics - Terry

Pages: [1] 2 3
1
I had this working years ago, but cannot get it to work now. Last time I used a Napa 537 relay. Thst broke and Now Napa doesn't have the 537 so I got a 550 which they call the replacement.

Here's the relay:

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Here's the terminals:

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From testing X goes to Power on the transformer. There is a thermal strip that makes the contacts change from L to P. When the power goes X - L the thermal strip is powered and moves the contacts to P which disconnects the thermal strip andit flops back to L. 

P is pilot.  On a car this is the turn signal lamp on your dash. It is on when the turn signals are off.

When I connect transformer leads to X and L, I get the thermal strip to open and close a few times and then the circuit breaker throws on the transformer. Leads to X - P or P - L do nothing.

To wire this to a hiway flasher you connect power to the X.

P and L both go to the bulbs (2 and 3 on the signal), then you connect ground to the ground on the signal #1.

This way there is no short as the current from X-L goes through a bulb. That is true. But it does not throw the contact over to P. Adding resistors and using different voltage bulbs doesn't help.

I had a diagram years ago and it said on it that it didn;t look like it would work when wired up as shown, but it did.

Maybe I don't have it wired correctly?

Here's the diagram:

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You'd think you could just go online and get a diagram, but everything I can find is about converting the signals to LEDs and soldiering up electronics or buying crap from china on eBay and putting it together.



2
Collector Corner / Lionel 156 Station Platform 1939-1949
« on: November 18, 2020, 11:30:29 PM »
The 156 is an O gauge station platform with bakalite base and roof, diecast pillars and plastic fence with clip on litho signs. It was made from 1939-42 and then again from 1945-49 when it was replaced with the plastic 256 platform.

All stations had green bases and red roofs. Color variations are likely due to fading rather than variations. The earliest and postwar stations had aluminim colored posts like the two below:

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Upper station is prewar, lower is postwar as the Fleer bubble gum sign second from left was only made in the postwar period.

In 1940 the posts became gray due to the war in Europe raising prices for aluminam paint. Two versions with gray posts are shown below:

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The upper station in the photo above has black finials. These are very rare. Here's a comparison of the two types of finials:

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Lots of different signs were made. The picture below shows signs from the different platforms. The signs on the left are postwar and may not have come on the 156 station platform originally.

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Prewar stations come in corragated boxes with inserts. Postwar stations after 1947 came in orange classic boxes without inserts. All stations were originally packaged with an extra fence section to put between stations in a brown envelope. 



3
Layouts / Christmas Layouts
« on: November 18, 2020, 03:39:14 PM »
I just set up a little layout on my front porch. That's a genuine Mr. Christmas tree from the mid 1960s. I even have the original box!

The lights and tree were in my step-mother's Goodwill pile.

Trains are just junk from my bins. I'll find a loco when I sort more junk on Friday.

This makes a good screen for the wood I have on my porch. That's the sheets for the standard gauge layout.

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I'll go out tonight when I put the car away and get a night time photo.

Let's see your Christmas display.

4
How To and Technical Information / Lionel e-units
« on: November 18, 2020, 02:29:29 PM »
This information is for three position e-units with a single winding on the field.

If the motor runs in one direction but not the other. . .  sequence is forward -neutral - SHORT or NOTHING - neutral - forward, then a wire to a brush and the field wire are reversed. I did this last weekend.

The E-unit has three wires coming off the lower contacts. There is also a wire from the center rail pickup to the lug beside the lever.

  • If two are the same color and the third wire is a different color, the odd color usually goes to the field. 
  • If there are three different colors and one is green, green is the field. This is shown in one of the photos below.

This Postwar F3 e-unit has the green wire on the upper left. Green to field, yellow and black wires to brushes.
 
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Here's a diagram of the wiring of an e-unit:

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Wire colors to brushes are not the same for all e-units.

If the motor runs once and then not at all, the drum might be in upside down. That sucks, but it's how we get good at changing them.

Another reason the motor may run once, then not at all is loose connections of the wires. Make sure you check the field connection. You check field by connecting a wire to the ground, and then the other lead into the green wire above. Should buzz and short.

Check for bent fingers on the e-unit. Sometimes a finger will break off. This happens from bending the fingers while replacing the drum, or can happen because the drum is defective.


5
Collector Corner / 1957 Lionel 2373 Canadian Pacific F3 AA set
« on: November 14, 2020, 10:48:09 PM »
I bought these today. They are neat.

These were cataloged in 1957 only. The Canadian Pacific F3s come in the brown and gray scheme shown here usually being brown paint on gray molds, but some rare versions have both the gray and brown are painted on orange molds.

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The decals on the nose are almost always damaged. They are applied over the voids for steps and door details and just don't survive being touched. The decals below are a little better than usual.

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Also, many of these locos are found with the nose cracked at the light. This happens because the worker who put the lens in pushed it in to hard, and after years of stress, it cracks.

The Canadian Pacific 2373 was sold only in an AA unit like the  one shown here.

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These are later units so they have the portholes filled in and the louvered roof vents along with armature type couplers.

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The powered unit has two motors and a horn.  The dummy unit has only a light.

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This is a very powerful loco. It was sold in sets with 3 aluminum vista domes and an observation. Two passenger cars were available separately to make a five car set.

Here's a video of the loco pulling the cars from the Santa Fe set.  The horn works well.


6
Collector Corner / Lionel 56 Park Lamp Post 1924-42 and postwar
« on: November 13, 2020, 08:14:01 PM »
Lionel called this the Park Lamp Post.

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Colors in pictures are in order of manufacture from left to right  Dark  or #10 gray), mohave, pea green, copper bronze, and 45N or accessory green. 45N green was also made after the war. Copper bronze supposedly only came on the 922 lamp terrace, but you can find them loose.

There is also an aluminum version from about 1939. I have one, but it's not come out of the moving boxes yet. The TCA book lists two versions of the gray, but all mine are the same color.


7
Collector Corner / Lionel Town Stations # 127 and 137 1923-42
« on: November 13, 2020, 07:50:26 PM »
I'm going to start wiring these into the layout so I decided to post picturtes of them now. There are a bunch of versions of this small station. Here's a few.

I think this order is in the order that they were made. The 127 was introduced in 1923 and cataloged until 1936. In 1937, the station got upgraded with the automatic stop feature and became the 137. The 137 was cataloged until 1942.

The 127 Station:

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Maroon roof, dark mustard sides, flat light gray base (TCA book calls this flat Hiawatha gray), Stephen Girard green windows, wood grain doors, dark green trim, brick litho chimney,  and brass sign. (I added window plastic to this one decades ago.)

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Dark red roof, dark mustard sides, #10 gray base,  Stephen Girard green windows, maroon doors, dark green trim, brick litho chimney, and brass sign.

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Bright red roof, ivory sides (same color as 514R reefer), #10 gray base,  orange windows, maroon doors, peacock trim, brick litho chimney, and brass sign.

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Bright red roof, white sides, light mustard base,  yellow windows, yellow doors, 45N green trim, white chimney, and brass sign.

The 137 Station:

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Bright red roof, white sides, light mustard base,  yellow windows, yellow doors, 45N green trim, white chimney, and nickel sign.

Note that the 137 has three binding posts on one end of the station. The earlier 127 stations do not have exterior binding posts. All connections are made inside.

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Bright red roof, white sides, hiawatha gray base,  yellow windows, yellow doors, 45N green trim, white chimney, and nickel sign.

This station was also made for IVES. Basically the same as the Liobnel 127, but the plate over the doors says "The Ives Railway Lines" rather than Lioneltown.

The IVES Version:

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Bright red roof, ivory sides (same color as 514R reefer), mohave base,  yellow windows, dark red doors, peacock trim, brick litho chimney, and brass sign.



I'm sure the 127 comes with a mohave base. If you have variations not shown here, post pictures below and I'll add them to this post.

8
General Discussion / Lionel Macy's Red 10 Set under the Christmas Tree
« on: November 10, 2020, 09:50:55 PM »
I just found this old video I made of the Red 10 going around the Christmas tree. I think it was 2011 or 12.


9
I started hooking up the controls for the switches on the layouts and ran into a problem. My switches were all made before 1942, and are old. Some of the diecast bases are broken or warped. I went through a bunch of switches and made up the best of them for the layout, but they still aren't great.

I just cannot get the switches to throw well at lower voltages. On the south side of the layout I have passing sidings that I want to have trains alternate though with relays. I have to have 100% reliability to run two trains in opposite directions on the same track. (If you've seen the layout I built for Thom B., you know what can be done with relays. I'll write about this in a future article. )

I checked a bunch of different Z transformers and found one that puts out 26 volts. I serviced it for the layout. I wired the station sidings and the switches. Then I rewired a bunch of 022C controllers and hooked up the switches.

With the Z transformer set at 16-20 volts the switches do not always throw. They don't SNAP and lock. At 26 volts the switches throw quite well.

EVERYTIME.

The problem is the indicator bulbs on the 022C controllers smoke. They smoke a lot and burn fingers when touched.

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In the pictures the controller that is perpendicular to the group is the one I'm testing.

I have 24V bulbs in the switch machines. They don't seem to be a problem. At least not yet.

I have a box of resistors, so I decided to see if I could cut the current to the indicator bulbs, but not the switch machine.

It was actually quite easier than I made it.

The first thing I tried was to cut the metal on the bottom. This metal bar is connected to the centers of the two bulbs. Then I put a resistor in the gap I made.

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Being more interested in being done than using all my tools, I first tried cutting the base with some Kadee track pliers. These things will cut almost anything, but they don't cut switch controller bases.

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So I used a reinforced cutting wheel on a Dremel Moto-Tool.

While this was easy to do, it didn't work. The bulbs were dimmer, but the switch machines didn't get enough current.

I cut apart another 022C on the inside and ran resistors to each bulb. The resistors were different sized so I could decide which size to use if it worked.

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It worked, but meant I had to take up the controllers I'd already installed on the layout.  While I left some play in the wires, there just isn't enough play to cut around the bulbs with the Dremel. To put a controller on the layout, I have to lay on my side and stick my arm under the layout from the side up to my shoulder and then pull the one wire I want without pulling any other ones.

The first method was much easier, and can be done without taking the controllers off the layout.  There had to be something wrong. Probably something simple that I was overlooking.

So I spent some time looking at the 022c with the resistor on the bottom.

At this point I knew the dark brown resistors I had would work. After looking at the first controller I modified, I noticed the wire connection was on the wrong side of the resistor. I can change that with a short shunt and some shrink tube. The shunt is the red wire in the photo below.

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Here's the test controller sitting above the normal ones at 26 Volts :

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Fantastic.  I can cut the air gap in the bottom and shunt that wire on the layout.


10
Collector Corner / An odd Postwar Trestle Bridge
« on: October 24, 2020, 12:35:35 PM »
I got this bridge the other day from the original owner.

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I thought it was a Junior Bridge when I saw it, but I looked at it closer after I got it home and it's not. The metal is too thick and it's constructed with rivets rather than spot welds.

The gusset plates are stamped and have holes for the rivets. Here's some close ups of the construction:

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There are holes in the bottom of the bridge that line up with Lionel track.

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I got this with an assortment of postwar Lionel trains. The oldest was a 1948 era 2026 loco; newest was a 44-tonner from the late 1958. That's why I date this as a postwar bridge.

Based on the way it's made, I bet it was manufactured rather than a one-of-a-kind made by a father. I've never seen  this before.

Here's some pictures with Lionel 315 and 316 trestle bridges:

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It's the same 2 foot length as the Lionel bridges.

Here it is with an American Flyer bridge:

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11
Collector Corner / Lionel 1940 027 Promotional Outfit 7003 W 1688 Loco
« on: October 21, 2020, 12:31:06 AM »
Here's another boxed set I bought today. Promotional outfit 7003 from 1940. A promotional outfit was an uncataloged set availible to any retailer. Mostly low end sets without uncouplers or whistles.

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This set features a dull black 1668X loco with matching 1689T tender. I'm not able to see any reason this loco would get an X designation on the box, but there is an X visible after the last L in "Lionel" on the label panel.

The cars are a 1679 naroon roof Baby Ruth boxcar, a 1680 orange shell tank car and a 1682Red NYC caboose. The cars and the tender have latch couplers and blackened journals.

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Loco and car boxes are shown below. Note the X on the 1688 box.

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The set box is a plain cardboard affair sealed with Lionel tape and a Lionel Label affixed to one end.

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Paperwork with the set is a lubrication sheet dated 5-39, an O27 1067E set instruction sheet dated  6-40, and the original receipt showing a purchase date of 12-13 but no year. The set was $5.98

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The set came with a 1038 30 watt transformer. The transformer box is dated March 1940.

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To read the month you subtract the number of dots in the date code from 12 and then convert to months. This has nine dots so it's the third month. The large number "40" in the middle is the year.

There is no date code on the setbox:

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To round out the set there is an OTC lockon, some track locks, two sections of straight track, and 8 curves.

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Because this is an 027 set everything need to run the train fits in the set box. There was an envelope with the lcok, two wires and a small tube of grease, and some kind of filler - probably just plain white newsprint wadded up.

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A search on Google brings up this same 1940 set, and a 1941 version with a brown NYC caboose, an aluminum 1680 SUNX tank and a 1689T tender with rubberstamped Lionel Liners rather  than the engraved nickel plate. The 1941 set has box couplers, the 1940 has latch.

12
I bought this nice boxed set today from the original owner's widow. It might have come from Quackenbush Company in Patterson NJ. There are two layaway cards for other toys in the box.

Here's the set:

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The owner added a 119 tunnel and a Type A transfomer to the set. There is probably an 068 warning signal missing from the set.

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The loco is a Terra cotta 248 without handrails. It comes with one of the two flags and the remains of the original 390-76 flag packet.

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Loco has a later style motor with gear cover. The Greenberg book calls this a type 8 motor. :

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Cars have standard frames with nickel journals and 4-wheel oil labels.

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Set box is dated 1930 and has Label that says "Special 1" on end:

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Box is for cataloged set 234 and dated 1930.

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Here's the set box, and train boxes with train:

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Here's the contents in the box. Ten sections of straight and eight curve for a nice oval. Everything fits with enough room for the boxed 068 warning signal.

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I'm not sure of the correct number of straight tracks that came with the set.

Type A Transformer was sold seperatly, and came in a box is dated 1931.

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The most recent Greenberg O gauge book shows this set on page 163 and again on page 165 with a loco that has handrails. This loco has a differnt pick up plate than the one shown on the loco without handrails in the book.

The 234 set from 1930 came with the three cars shown above and a 258 Steam loco and tender.  I bet this set did come with all this straight track because a set with few sections of track would have fit into set box 294 which had a 252 and tyhese three cars with 4 sections of straight track.

Or maybe since the 234 set was not cataloged in 1931 Lionel was just using up left over boxes?

Neat set.

13
General Discussion / Train Show Updates
« on: October 17, 2020, 08:27:51 PM »
I went to a slot car swap meet today that invited train people. It was in a ballroom in a resort hotel. The hotels are hurting and giving away space cheap. 

I am usually leery of these upscale meets in rooms with carpet and cloth table covers, but the promoters were really nice.

They had bagged breakfasts with a sandwich, a fruit cup, a yogurt, and a cupcake for the table holders during set up, along with large urn of coffee and bottles of water and OJ. ALL FREE!

The room was huge and mostly empty. Maybe 40 tables of cars and trains in a room bigger than a football field. I think the promoter makes money by charging $30 for admission while sellers are setting up. It's $5 after 9AM. There weren't a lot of buyers. Mostly it seems to be the sellers trading among themselves so they work out OK.

I had fun hanging out with the train people, and I sold some crap. One of the guys gave me 5 Lionel Prewar 072 switches. That should help me get all the ones on the layout working. I spent $10 on a log car because I know someone who would have bought it if he was there. Otherwise I spent nothing.

I saw some people grab some great deals, but I didn't see anything I wanted.

During the show, some of the sellers were talking about doing short parking lot flea markets. Toys, trains, slot cars whatever just out of the back of the truck, or a from table you brought with you.

There's an empty K-mart near me that has a car show every Saturday. No one runs it.  There is no organization, the car nuts just know to show up. The first time I went with my old VW, I parked and started hanging out, and later the VW people told me they parked on the other end, so when I went again, I parked near them.

These might be good. I know I would go just to hang out with train people for a few hours.

After I got home, I got a message from one of the local HO clubs saying their show for the end of Nov. is on. The church they meet in is allowing them to have the show as long as they tell people to wear masks.

I think it's opening up.


14
I've been doing switches for my layout, and shot some pictures of the motors so I can share the way I clean the switch machines. The motor shown is an early prewar motor. Later motors have different slide assemblies and contacts, but function the same.

The 711 and 022 switches use the same motor, the only difference is the base and the rail diameter.

Here's instructions for 022 switches in a PDF.

After taking the switch machine off the switch, take the top off the motor. There are two different types of screws - the machine screws have the same threads all the way down the screw and go into the switch itself. The other screws have tapered threads and go into the plastic cases. The tapered threads are easy to spot because they usually have lines perpendicular to the threads. You might have lock washers on your screws.

Make sure when you put the switch back together you pay attention to the screws. You can force the wrong screw in, but will crack the mounts on the motor case.

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Once you have the motor off, check to make sure the machine has no rust, corrosion, or damage. Check the cast ring the lantern goes on to make sure it is not broken. If the lantern ring is broken, or there is rust or any damage to the switch machine I don't fix it. Lionel postwar 022 switches are so cheap today that it is not worth the hassle of trying to get reliable performance out of a damaged switch.

Here's a nice looking switch machine:

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If the switch motor is OK like the one above, clean the four contact areas circled in red on the picture below. These are momentary contact areas. When the switch is energized the slide moves breaking contact. I use an abrasive pen, you can use tuner cleaner or rubbing alcohol on a q-tip  or a bit of a rag , or an ink pen eraser. 

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The areas marked with red Xs are where connections are made with pins that do not move. The two center ones are for the positive current and don't need to be cleaned if you are using the fixed voltage pin. The four corners are for the current from the non-derailing rails. A simple wipe for these is enough. If the non derailing feature doesn't work when you test it, you can spend more time examining these connections.

The next thing you do is check the spring that holds the lock down. It rarely breaks, but sometimes it's off or gone. It's shown in the photo below in the proper position.

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Then check the wire from the bulb base to the fixed voltage pin. (Later motors have the wire routed differently usually they are OK, sometimes the early motors like this one have damaged insulation on this wire.

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That wire is OK. If your wire is damaged, you can repair it with electrical tape or replace it.

The next step is to clean the movement and check operation. NEVER USE OIL ON THE SWITCH MOVEMENT. It will attract dust and cause problems. I brush the switch down with a dry brush and the use a dry toothbrush on the areas circled in yellow to insure there is no dirt blocking the movement.

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Work the switch back and forth by hand with a lantern inserted into the lantern ring. If there is any resistance it will be in one of the areas circled in yellow above.

Once the movement is fluid, put a drop of dielectric grease on the four slide contacts. I put a small drop on two of the contact plates and then use a finger to move to it to the other plates. This is an optional step, but I've found the grease helps the switch contacts work for longer. The LGB brand shown works good and has a smaller hole than the Permatex brand availible at any auto parts store.

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You can also see the abrasive pen I use.

Then connect power leads to a fixed voltage pin and the base and test the switch with by touching the center post to an outer post. If you have small screwdrivers with a palm brace like the one shown below, you can just roll the brace back and forth and the switch should throw each time.

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Next we'll look at the base of the switch.


15
Collector Corner / Lionel Postwar 6561 with tan cable reels?
« on: August 28, 2020, 12:47:21 PM »
Here's something for you postwar collectors. This set came from a woman in Sun City. Her Brother had Lionel trains, he died, and the trains ended up in her garage. She sold them to me.

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It's a 2026 loco with a 6466W tender that was in a 2466W box with the number overstamped to 6466W. The tender says 6466W on the bottom, but has the 2466 style electromagnetic coupler. That could have been changed by someone with a screwdriver, but the wires look right.

No one cares about the tender.

The interesting thing here is the 6561 flat with cable reels. I've never seen that color cable reel before.  Here's some close up pictures.

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What do you think?

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