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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I picked up a NIB pair of GP9 units painted as Florida East Coast which runs nearby. They are from circa 1985 and suit my conventional layout and otherwise completely postwar collection. Using a modern board and speaker, I recently customized the 8064 motorized unit with sounds and LEDs but the dummy was dark. This looks odd when running the trains. (see this post for more on that upgrade).

Using a 2328-173 collector assembly and 2328-170 insulator, I was able to add lighting to the dummy so it matched the powered unit LED lighting.

Electrifying the dummy was more challenging than I expected. The metal used in the collector did not adhere to solder and I had to come up with a way to attach the collector to the metal chassis without shorting the collector and chassis. Details follow:

The collector has three holes that line up perfectly with the chassis. The plastic insulator has three protruding sleeves that fit the holes and stick up through the holes.
IMG_5420.JPG

Attaching the collector meant using a pop rivet. The only hole large enough for a 1/8" rivet is the middle one. The hole in the collector/insulator is large enough but I had to drill out the hole in the chassis.
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In order to get solder to stick on the collector, I had to rough up the finish by walking a 1/8" drill all over the inside surface. It was ugly but it worked. With the center hole being used for a rivet, I had to go down to a 22ga wire and lace it through the small hole in the assembly and then through the chassis to get it into the cab in such a way as to minimize interference with movement of the truck through 27" curves. In order to make sure the rivet head did not short out the collector, I cut a round insulating washer from a paper insulator scavenged from childhood 027 track (glad I kept some around).
IMG_5426.JPG

The silver chassis paint does not conduct electricity. To resolve this, I added a grounding screw by drilling into the chassis and tapping it for a 6-32 screw bolt. Voila, le ground (that's french for "IT WORKS").
IMG_5427.JPG

Once I had track power inside the shell, I used a 5mm warm white LED where the original tungsten lamp snapped into the shell. All the lighting parts are from EvanDesigns.. I attached the 5mm LED this by first hot gluing a 5mm mount to the shell then snapping in the LED. For the rear, I hot glued a 3mm orange LED to the top of the shell with the LED wires bent so the lamp stands off the shell and lines up better up with the lenses. This gives it a headlight look through both lenses.

For wiring, I like the shell to be easily removed and so I used socket/plugs. Thinking ahead, I used a Y-harness on the chassis side so there's a socket for the shell and a spare socket for future upgrades in the dummy (maybe a fanned smoke unit).
IMG_5428.JPG

Done (for now)
IMG_5439.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice work. They look good.

Got a picture of the insulator? I got the basic idea but, a picture is worth more than a thousand words.
This is the best I can do. Click the image blow it up. I think the paper insulator is critical as I expect the pressure of the rivet compresses the plastic insulator sleeve a bit. It also gives some mechanical support to the solder joint. I'd enlarge it to improve that if I did it again.
Collector Cross Section.jpg


Scuffed up collector to make solder adhere. Detail of insulator is from traindoctor.com
IMG_5421 copy.jpg
 

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NIce. I've had to install those double center pickups on several locos, too. Your installation is quite nice.
 

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Thanks for the lighting lesson for unpowered units, Earnest. I'm going to use it for a couple of my unpowered units. Never realized that adding the collector, etc., could include dealing with non-conducting, sprayed metals. I always assumed just adding a truck with a collector would be the way to go, but this fix is also inexpensive, unlike collector trucks.
 
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