Pete Hall has been busy working on HO scale steam locomotive models. He sent photos and details on how he adds a speaker and extra weight to the boiler. Here’s Pete with more.
This began with a task to install sound in a CB&Q Mikado. The tender cavity is small because of the deep coal bunker, so the electronics fills that space and precludes installing my standard 27mm speaker. I decided to install a 691-1291 Bowser twin-sugar-cube speaker in the boiler.
The 691-1291 is an excellent speaker with remarkable range and volume. Putting it into the boiler has the advantage of putting the sound where it was generated, up forward. Of course, installing the speaker in the boiler conflicts with installing the cast cylindrical weight that comes with the model. I started searching for places to by other shapes of lead weight.
Frank Hodina suggested where to buy sheet lead, McMaster-Carr. I bought a sheet of 1/16 inch, cut a piece 2 x 3 inches, wrapped it around a dowel, and inserted it into the boiler. The cast cylindrical weight weighed about two and a half ounces. The sheet lead replacement weighed a bit more, nearly three ounces. I gained both weight and room inside the boiler. I can add more lead sheet if needed as there is a little room left on either side of the gearbox, or even inside the firebox.
I used various pliers to expand the sheet lead inside the boiler until it fit snugly, leaving room for the gearbox to fit into the cavity. I sanded the square edges of the speaker enclosure until they were rounded. The speaker was inserted into the boiler from the smokebox end and held in place with Canopy Glue.
In this image, you can see the dull gray lead sheet, the end of the white speaker enclosure, and its red and yellow wires that are held in place by gray mounting tape. The other electronic device is the current limiter for the headlight LED. This solution works remarkably well.
Many thanks to Pete Hall for sharing more steam locomotive upgrade ideas. Who would have thought the sheet lead would weigh more than the cast part that came with the loco?
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