Oh, boy, what am I doing?
I’ve decided that #10 wants more weight. If Pembroke were flat as a pool table, I could probably get away with it the way it is. However, I wound up building the station tracks on a slight grade, as the prototype was. The unfortunate result is that this little tea kettle struggles to take the passenger car out of the station. Now the passenger car is overweight, and thinning it down might be easier, but more traction in the engine certainly won’t be a bad thing.
For most of the year, I’ve been running #10 with a piece of tungsten in the cab and another on the pilot deck, the latter being sized to fit inside the pilot truck. This improved performance, but I need more. So, I’m looking hungrily at that smokebox full of wires and decoder, and realizing that they are not helping at all.
Because the drivers are equalized, the balance point for this engine is just ahead of the front drivers (1/3 of the way between the fulcrum and the centre of the engine truck). This puts about 2/3 of the weight on the drivers and 1/3 on the engine truck. So, adding more weight to the smokebox means I get to add more to the cab too.
There is no room for wires inside the boiler, and so, my plan is this: remove the front decoder, and run copper tape from the gearbox to the front of the motor. 32-gauge super-flexible silicone wire will run from the gearbox to the tender to connect with the decoder.
So now, I have the engine mostly apart, and I am contemplating the next step – removal of the old decoder. Once that’s done, I’ll be like the pig: committed. It’s taken some courage even to get this far, but committing to temporarily hobbling an otherwise nice engine is taking even more.