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November 1999 - Page 48


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ing i n the front of the tender that the decoder sl ips i nto. Be s u re you p u s h t h e decoder i n far enough to a l l o w a b o u t h a l f the wiri nJ harness to fit in too. Otherwise the tubing is so stiff it can cause derailments. e v e ryt h i n g tucked i n t h e wiring tubing can pass for a stoker. com p l a i nts a b o u t t h e yellow LED h ead l i g h t. The w i r i n g for the LED is right behind the s m o k e b o x d o o r but the LED i s glued in p lace so w i l l be diffi cult to replace. In addi t i o n yo u ' l l h a v e t o take t h e l o c o m o t i v e a p a rt to g e t t o t h e board if you want to install a light bulb. 48
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5 T here is an open

6 With

7 I 've h e a rd l ots of

(Photo 4). All you have to do is remove the shorting plug and insert the decoder - they even put a slot ( P h o t o 5 ) in the t e n d e r w h e re you can h i de the decoder, and the heat-shrink tubing is disguised as the stoker screw housing (Photo 6). Inside the boiler is a B Uhler can motor that g i ves smooth performance. Unfortunately, the engine is a little on the light side and at my club it could only pull about five cars up o u r 3 . 5 -4% r u l i ng grade. That's about the same as the Bachmann 2-8-0 can handle there. O k ay, t h a t ' s t h e good n e w s , b u t what about problems? First, t h e wires from the engine to the tender are cov ered by a piece of heavy heat-shrink tubing. I f the decoder is not inserted far enough i nto the tender the tubing can c a u s e t h e l o c o t o d e ra i l on c u r v e s . T h e re are a c o u p l e o t h e r things that can cause derailments: I ) i f the screws that hold the pi lot or trai l i ng trucks on are screwed i n too t i g h t i t w i l l c a u se t h e frame t o warp; 2 ) a l s o t h e w i res i ns ide the heat-shrink tubing are stiff. At first Athearn reportedly recommended that owners flex the w ires to get more flexibili ty, but that resulted in some broken w i res. T h i s is a real problem since the loco has to be sent back to Korea for repairs, so don ' t do this - you' re better

off removing the heat-shrink tubing and painting the wires black if you have derailment problems due to this. There has also been at l east one report of the headlight w i res being pi nched i n the boiler, leading t o a s h o r t . F i n a l l y , t h e re ' s t h at h e ad l i g h t . AthearnlSamhongsa used a yellow-green LED that generates strong reactions from everyone who sees it. As you can see from Photo 7 the LED and its wiring i s easy to get to, however, replacing it i s d i f ficult at best - its glued i nto the headlight casting. Replacing it with a bulb w i l l req u i re disassembling the locomotive, dri l ling out the LED, and replacing the resistor on the headl ight circuit board. Obviously I'm going to have to tell you how to take the loco apart so here goes. Let's go through this in stepwise fashion. I ) F irst remove the smokebox door and unplug the leads to the headl ight. 2) Now careful ly insert a small screwdriver into the cab and spread the front side wal l s to disengage the clips that hold them in place. Lift the cab off the boiler. 3) Press a screwdriver tip against the black clips on the sides of the silver firebox and l i ft the boiler at the same time. Once one side is disengaged the other w i l l pop right out too. 4) Remove the large screw under the p ilot truck. 5 ) Lift the boi ler stays from the pilot deck so they face straight ahead. 6) Disengage the steps from the pi lot and s l ide them sideways from the steam pipes. 7 ) L i ft the rear of the boiler u n t i l it clears the motor and s l ide it forward until i t clears the boiler insert. You can now get to the headlight wires and circuit board in case you want to replace the LED with a l 4V l ight bulb. To reassemble the loco just reverse these steps.

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