Lighting

Some time ago, probably in Model RR magazine they talked about "Constant Lighting" for locomotives or even passenger cars. Anyone know how to do it?
Is there a kit of some kind or whatever? Even the style were the lights are one even when not moving or parked.
Also I've noticed in my "B" units there are usually portholes. In normal use would there have been any light showing from these "window" portholes?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tim Coyle wrote:

There are a number of answers of varying complexity: - DCC does the job automatically by applying 15-18 volts AC to the rails full time. - A diode bridge in the motor circuit will provide 1.5 volts for head and tail lights on DC powered locos. - three extra diodes will provide directional lighting. - Coaches and unpowered vehicles can have a reasonably simple capacitor and voltage regulator circuit for (say) 6 volt bulbs. The problem there is that more amperage has to be supplied to provide the wattage at the lower voltage and some track voltage must be lost as heat. - If your controller uses PWM (12 volts chopped to give the effect of lower voltages) then a diode and capacitor in each vehicle will provide full voltage. - I use either 12 or 15 volts PWM as above plus a zener and transistor to switch coach lighting on and off. (12 volts off/15 volts on) - High frequency AC superimposed on DC traction current. DC motors have too much impedence to be affected by high frequency AC but light bulbs don't mind at all. A choke is required to block the AC from the controller and a capacitor in series with a bulb will block DC traction current. Most published circuits are near the top of the audible range, due to the limitations of older transistors, but frequencies up to 30khz are quite practical today. (drive the dog/cockroaches crazy!)

I doubt if A or B units would show light from the portholes normally.
Regards, Greg.P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Were portholes on first-generation diesels mainly an ornamental feature?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mark Mathu wrote:

The light can be on in the cab, but there is a door between there and the machine room/engine room. That room, with the portholes, would have lights with an on/off switch. The driver should have no reason to be in the machine room while in motion unless he is confronted with an inevitable head-on collision.
Regards, Greg.P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greg Procter wrote:
> The light can be on in the cab, but there is a door between there and > the machine room/engine room. That room, with the portholes, would > have lights with an on/off switch. The driver should have no reason > to be in the machine room while in motion unless he is confronted > with an inevitable head-on collision.
There are a number of *very* good reasons to be in the engine room of an F-unit or other carbody diesels whilst the loco is in motion, none of them connected with an imminent collision.
As one example, FTs had manually-operated radiator shutters in the intake ducts, which could only be operated from inside the engine room. The also had local control panels in the engine rooms, which included alarms for low lubricating oil pressure, hot engine, wheel slip and hot journals. These required periodic inspection by the fireman while running.
AFAIK more modern F-units had automatic radiator shutters, but the local control panels remained much the same. At any rate, it was common practice on US railroads, and elsewhere, for the fireman to go back and check on the condition of the units while running.
Also, any carbody diesel with steam generators for train heating would require the fireman to go into the engine rooms while running to regulate them.
One other reason to go into the engine room while running - on carbody units that's where the toilet was.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mark_newton wrote:

Wow!
That sounds rather "hit and miss"! It's likely to be like the red light on the car dashboard that tells you your engine has just overheated/run out of oil/stopped generating.

Ok, we didn't get Diesels here in NZ until the 1950s, by which time the indicator dials and knobs were all extended to the drivers cab. My mistake!

So did the F units have light switches in the engine room for such occassions, or were they on all the time?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

One of the "*very* good" reasons to be back there...the crew toilet was usually in the back corner of the carbody, back by the steam generator (if there was one).
--
===========================================================
Norman Morgan <> http://www.norm-morgan.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Norman Morgan wrote:

Sure, but we all need to be concerned for the train crew's well being if the lights are on permanently! ;-)
Regards, Greg.P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I can only guess that you rode in F units in the very late 70s or early 80s. Long after they were gone from any kind of regular service on the nation's rail system. They must have been rebuilt or refurbished machines like the MBTA F units that were rebuilt from GM&O F3s; the so-called F-10s. Federal law had mandated chemical toilets by that time, which could have been installed in the nose compartment. None of the F units I ever rode in on several different railroads, had anything other than the dry hopper that I described in another post. Every one of them was in the back corner of the loco. We were very Spartan in my day. If you wanted some water to drink, you'd better bring it with you, and so it was for almost everything.
Froggy,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Froggy @ thepond..com wrote:

More like the mid 60's and later. "F" units were in decline, but still in service lots of places. It was certainly BEFORE holding tanks or chemical toilets were common on the passenger cars (post Amtrak's beginnings).
And, Yes, the F-units were certainly spartan by modern standards.
As regards the toilet, even the F-unit hopper was pretty civilized compared to a steam loco ... THERE, you just used the coal scoop, and heaved the waste into the firebox! Like I said, even the early Diesels were a LOT more creature friendly than the steamers.
But also keep in mind that in the steam era, over much of the country, there was NO indoor plumbing. Everyone used outhouses, or just 'the bushes' as needed. It was a different time, with different standards of comparison.
Dan Mitchell ===========
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

LOL, Yeah, I know, I was there.
Froggy,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm not sure about locos in the Southern Hemisphere, but I'm pretty sure that the toilet in the F series Diesels was in the nose (not in the engine room).
Peteski
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It was on the engineer's side in the rear corner of the unit. E units had the "hopper" as it was so euphemistically called crammed in among the train boiler equipment. If you had to "use it" you found another way if you could.
Remember Peteski, the thing was a dry hopper. It was literally nothing but galvanized steel, sheet metal cone, with the big end up, kinda like a funnel. There was something that was reminiscent of a toilet seat on the top of it, and the other end was a hole in the floor; that's right, just a hole in the floor, nothing more than an outhouse on wheels. There was no partition, no door, no curtain.....nuthin'. You just plonked your butt down on the thing and did the necessary right in front of anybody else that might be in there, or come wandering through. Rather primitive, I always thought. Not only that, but you had better remember to bring your own "accessories" or you would find yourself up s * * t creek without a paddle, so to speak. In short, they were miserable and disgusting, and were relegated to use only in the direst of emergencies, which of course only made them even worse.
Road switcher type locomotives had the appliance in the short end, if they had it at all, which some did not.
Froggy,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That sounds nasty! Actually, when I used to travel on Polish Railways in the 70s, those had a slimilar toilets in the pass. cars. When you "flushed", it opened up and you could see the roadbed moving under you. Of course, there were signs which stated not to use the facilities when stopped at the station...
When I used to walk the tracks, I sometimes came upon "gifts" left by passing trains. Ah, those were the days...
Maybe I was thinking of the more modern diesels (like F40PH).
Peteski
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It was, which is why we almost never used them. Froggy,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Froggy @ thepond..com wrote:

That sounds about right for the very early units. Most of the "F" units I was in had some form of chemical toilet (porta-pottie) in the nose. It likely varied from railroad to railroad. This was even before many passenger cars often had such. All the early passenger cars just had a 'hopper' for a toilet too, and this persisted on some cars into the first Amtrak years.
I recall seeing passenger car trucks COVERED in human waste and toilet paper. :-(
It must have made working on the underneath running gear a real joy! I suppose a good steam-cleaning would get rid of most of it. And, how about the track and roadbed?
Different times, different values.
Dan Mitchell ===========
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thus the conductor's old refrain: "Passengers will please refrain from using restrooms while the train is in the station!"
--
===========================================================
Norman Morgan <> http://www.norm-morgan.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greg Procter wrote:

Sort of true, though routine running maintenance on the mechanism was possible on the "covered wagon" carbodies, and was not uncommon. Also, it was not at all uncommon for crew to pass through the units as needed. On passenger trains the front doors on the "A" units allowed for direct access to the train.
Thus the interior lights (quite dim) might well be on at times while the train was moving .. not to mention just fogetting to turn them off.
Dan Mitchell ===========
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Daniel A. Mitchell" wrote:

Ok, I've already eaten my slice of humble pie ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've always wondered what SOP was in this case. I thought They'd exit stage right or left.
--
Dana Miller

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.