Adding Resettable Polyfuses to Aristocraft Heavyweight Passenger cars to protect against internal shorts:
On two separate ocassions I've had an Aristocraft Heavyweight almost go up in smoke. (i.e. wiring completely melt into a pile of copper and plastic)
This was caused by the light bulb
base hot glued to the top of the roof coming loose and shorting
across the two power wires running along the length of the car top. The first
time this happened the car immediately started billowing
after the light switch was turned on and in the short span of about 5 seconds
(the time it took to react to turn it off) the internal wiring was ruined.
The car had to be completely disassembled, rewired and have the on/off switch
Picture of some of the damage in the original short on the first car.
In those cars that I've been able to get the roofs off of I've added a lot more hot glue to the bases to ensure they don't work loose. However, some roofs are near impossible to get off even trying to work the retaining tabs back with a long screw driver. Because of this I finally decided to go ahead and add resettable polyfuses (each with a 1.3amp trip current) to each of the power wires going into the bottom of the car at each truck. This will protect against light base short and truck to truck shorts in the event of a derailment but have enough flexibility to not trip unintentionally.
To install the fuse is simply installed inline between each power pickup wire and the wire going to the inside of the car.
BEFORE and AFTER:
If you own Heavyweights (or other type of lit passenger car) I highly recommend you take the time to do this modification.
for the fuses:
Return to Garden Railroad Modification page.