Friday, August 1, 2014

Sea change

I found an oopsie while laying track around the Pennsy Marine facility this evening. Turns out there was no drop in bench work to allow for any marine things to reach the repair facility.
Before: There is no water at the marine facility.
Before: Fortunately this is a layout full of modules.
After: The sea change resulted in a standard 1-1/2" drop. I don't know how I determined that was where the tide was back in the summer of '13 when I started installing modules, but that's what it is.
After: A nice little chunk of harbor now allows vessels to reach the Pennsy Marine facility.
And the "main line" is now in from soup (Weehawken) to nuts (Port Authority Pier), and I am closing in on the golden spike. Sounds like a ceremony is in order soon. Where should it take place?

Micro Tsunami overheating

The CVP CONVRTR chip and AirWire 5000 battery installation can be deemed a success at this point. What is not so successful, is that the micro-Tsunami crapped out after about 15 minutes of running yesterday. It restarted after a few minutes of what I assumes was cooling down. Today I attached an aluminum heat sink to the flat bottom of the decoder using some ArcticSilver 5, which is a high-density polysynthetic silver thermal compound. After getting everything back in the shell with some shifting around of the individual pieces, I ran the locomotive for about 45 minutes with no problems. I'll declare victory on the overheating problem for now.

Things are shaping up nicely, and I can see doing more installations soon, now that I have a feel for the components. So far, I have run the locomotive for about an hour on a single battery charge. The set up is a Tenergy 1-4 Cells Li-PO/Li-Fe Balance Charger + Tenergy 11.1V 1000mAh Li-Po Airsoft Stick Battery Pack from

Connection from the decoder to the CONVRTR chip and battery. Just two wires substituting for the track pick up and decoder signals.
ArcticSilver 5 thermal compoind from the Rat Shack. $12.

'Tinting' the heat sink rubs the compound into the micro-grooves and pits of the heat sink surface. Just use a hard (clean) piece of plastic to scrape back and forth on the surface. Try not to get finger oil into the mix as this degrades the thermal conduction. I don't think it is that critical here, but a good practice nonetheless.

The heat sink bound tightly to the micro-Tsunami with Kapton tape. I ended up having to remove the back of the speaker baffle and relocate the capacitor to over the trucks to fit the shell on completely. The capacitor needs better securing, because it is hitting the drive gear every so often making a bit of a grinding noise and adding unnecessary load to the motor.