The Ridge is located under magnificent
gum trees in our backyard, trees the Americans call eucalypts
(and sorry, Californians, they are native
to Oz, you guys just imported them! ) Only
problem with them is they drop copious amounts of bark and leaves all year
round so when I want to run my trains I'm faced with at least an hour of
sweeping just to have a clear track, never mind cleaning the track to run
power. For that reason I've long had a little B/mann Porter, much modified
and running battery power, to just switch on and let circulate when I couldn't
be bothered going to all the hard work of dragging out the transformer,
controller, extension cord etc etc etc.
However, since acquiring my 'Annie' I've
had a yen to do more than just occasionally run the good stuff.
(About now I can hear our friends Tony W and TOC muttering R/C R/C R/C......
but frankly as good a friend as Tony is, I just plain can't afford his
stuff, besides he tells me that the Annie isn't a good candidate for his
system due to its 7-pole motor...)
Anyway, a few months back I came across
a circuit that offered slow-start, slow-stop control of a loco running
from a nicad battery pack. I made the circuit up and installed it the Porter,
was impressed with the extra control but the transistor used generated
so much heat that I had to install a heatsink bigger than the battery!
And even then the heat generated drained the nicad much faster than it
should. Then my clever son Terry (who designs
circuit boards for Australia's largest electronics company....clever little
Vegemite!) suggested modifying the circuit
to use a MOSFET in place of the transistor, therby eliminating the heat
problem. He added a couple of bits to the circuit, gave me a shopping list
for Dick Smith's (our version of Radio Shack)
and turned me loose with the soldering iron.
This is Terry's circuit:
And this is what it looks like installed:
The control switches mount through the
front of the tender:
And this is what it looks like ready to
The power feed from the new circuit plugs
into the loco using the backup light socket below the backhead: