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The Random Thoughts Thread

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3 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

That's true. These newer vehicles just don't have the "soul" the older ones have. Plasticware for a plastic age.

Here's the number shots. I see what you're saying. The H1 "white" wasn't snow white but it wasn't as "off white" as the H4 paint. The H1s were definitely the darkest inside (besides the Gloucesters). So dark that it was very difficult to take photos without flash in them. hell, even if you had flash it was still hard.

IMG_20200205_120626.jpg

The interior brightness of the H1s is kind of tough to pin down because the way we experienced it was not what Hawker-Siddeley intended.  Originally, the H1 interior lighting had a strip of fluorescents along the top and bottom of the enclosures that held the advertising cards and the rest of the interior was planned around that amount of light coming out of them.  People complained that it was much too bright so the TTC removed one of the rows of bulbs and knocked the lighting down by half which meant from that point on the H1s were a lot darker inside than they were originally.

The interesting thing is despite that happening when the H1s were new, the trend in Toronto and elsewhere has been to crank the interior lighting right up over the last few generations of vehicles.  Look how bright the new streetcars and the Toronto Rockets are inside and it's so bright that it's uncomfortable plus with the way the windows are slightly tinted on those, seeing out at night or while underground is very difficult.

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9 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

That's true. These newer vehicles just don't have the "soul" the older ones have. Plasticware for a plastic age.

Technically all subway cars since the M1's would go under the plastic age (plastic walls, window frames, door panels, etc), and I actually much prefer those as opposed to cars with incandescent lighting and lincrusta or wooden interiors (let alone wooden bodies), those just feel far too vintage for my liking (as if reminiscent of the 19th century). As much as I love the 1970s faux woodgrain styling (which is actually plastic), I definitely don't like real wooden interiors. Technically the Gloucesters were also part of the "plastic age" (unless the interior walls were metal), but they definitely feel less "plastic" and a lot more on the vintage side than the M1-T1 cars, hence why I prefer any of the latter (in this regard I even prefer the Toronto Rocket over the Gloucesters). Funny enough, the H1 interior never looks old in any pictures, it always looks smooth and shiny, the H4 interior actually kinda feels older than the H1.

I just can't believe that while Toronto got the "plastic" M1's and H1's in the 1960s, and New York got equally "plastic" cars in the 1960s like the R32, R38 and R42 (which, like all other NYC cars as well as the Gloucesters, and unlike the M1-T1 cars, have metal window frames and openable windows), Russian subways built in the 1960's look vintage as hell even compared to the G's. A lot of people have an appreciation for that vintage style, but I've come to the conclusion that I hate it in its entirety (can't believe I once thought it would look good in an H1-4!). Gotta give Kiev credit for rebuilding that archaic interior into something comparable to the modern designs of today (all the original equipment was also replaced with modern technology).

10 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

Here's the number shots. I see what you're saying. The H1 "white" wasn't snow white but it wasn't as "off white" as the H4 paint. The H1s were definitely the darkest inside (besides the Gloucesters). So dark that it was very difficult to take photos without flash in them. hell, even if you had flash it was still hard.

Nice photos. I'd still say the H1 color is better described as cream, and the H4 walls are about as "white" as the H6 floor.

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9 hours ago, 81-717 said:

Technically all subway cars since the M1's would go under the plastic age (plastic walls, window frames, door panels, etc), and I actually much prefer those as opposed to cars with incandescent lighting and lincrusta or wooden interiors (let alone wooden bodies), those just feel far too vintage for my liking (as if reminiscent of the 19th century). As much as I love the 1970s faux woodgrain styling (which is actually plastic), I definitely don't like real wooden interiors. Technically the Gloucesters were also part of the "plastic age" (unless the interior walls were metal), but they definitely feel less "plastic" and a lot more on the vintage side than the M1-T1 cars, hence why I prefer any of the latter (in this regard I even prefer the Toronto Rocket over the Gloucesters). Funny enough, the H1 interior never looks old in any pictures, it always looks smooth and shiny, the H4 interior actually kinda feels older than the H1.

I just can't believe that while Toronto got the "plastic" M1's and H1's in the 1960s, and New York got equally "plastic" cars in the 1960s like the R32, R38 and R42 (which, like all other NYC cars as well as the Gloucesters, and unlike the M1-T1 cars, have metal window frames and openable windows), Russian subways built in the 1960's look vintage as hell even compared to the G's. A lot of people have an appreciation for that vintage style, but I've come to the conclusion that I hate it in its entirety (can't believe I once thought it would look good in an H1-4!). Gotta give Kiev credit for rebuilding that archaic interior into something comparable to the modern designs of today (all the original equipment was also replaced with modern technology).

Nice photos. I'd still say the H1 color is better described as cream, and the H4 walls are about as "white" as the H6 floor.

The Gloucesters were most definitely NOT of the plastic age. 😂 Those babies were mostly steel (except the G2s) and build in the 50s just before the plastic age came about. The walls inside were not plastic. I liked the lighting in those though. I compare it to the difference between using those CFL or LED bulbs without the yellow filter and bulbs and those newer LED ones that more resemble incandescent. Just had a nice warm feeling to them. Plus those seats were really plush. The door panels on the M1s were not plastic LOL. Where are you getting this info? They were aluminum. I got a pic of those doors from the inside if I can find them. The wind screens on all cars are not plastic. They're more a kind of fiberglass or really dense particle board with maybe a layer for the colour like todays furniture which is particle board underneath and vinyl for the pattern. That's the same material that was used for the ceilings in the Gloucesters and other wall panels. Same with the M1s (except the ceiling which was metal). The only plastic on the M1s was the window frames. See pics below.

Those NYC cars, even though they are stainless steel instead of aluminum were built really well but to be fair, they went through two major overhauls. So that's why they're still around almost 60 years later. (R32). I guess it depends on what materials were available to them at build time and the objectives of their respective agencies. Early on the TTC wanted the lightest cars possible. They only went with the Gloucesters because the PCC subway cars were too expensive. I love those Moscow subway cars. They sort of look like half PCC/Half G2 Gloucester subway cars. The rebuild looks pretty nice too.

Well if you wanna get anal. 😏

Cream would be more yellow as the surface vehicle version of "cream" paint. I'd still say it was white. Same shade they used on buses before the Novas. It wasn't as white as the Novas.

IMG_20200206_074858.jpg

IMG_20200206_074918.jpg

16 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

The interior brightness of the H1s is kind of tough to pin down because the way we experienced it was not what Hawker-Siddeley intended.  Originally, the H1 interior lighting had a strip of fluorescents along the top and bottom of the enclosures that held the advertising cards and the rest of the interior was planned around that amount of light coming out of them.  People complained that it was much too bright so the TTC removed one of the rows of bulbs and knocked the lighting down by half which meant from that point on the H1s were a lot darker inside than they were originally.

The interesting thing is despite that happening when the H1s were new, the trend in Toronto and elsewhere has been to crank the interior lighting right up over the last few generations of vehicles.  Look how bright the new streetcars and the Toronto Rockets are inside and it's so bright that it's uncomfortable plus with the way the windows are slightly tinted on those, seeing out at night or while underground is very difficult.

Didn't know that. I've seen some fixtures for those at Lansdowne division and they looked like any other that was used system wide. About when did they remove the second row of lights? Maybe the colour scheme they used was to compliment that lighting which explains why those cars felt so dark inside.

I don't really like the surgical lighting either. I guess they want decent lighting for the security cameras.

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2 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

The Gloucesters were most definitely NOT of the plastic age. 😂 Those babies were mostly steel (except the G2s) and build in the 50s just before the plastic age came about. The walls inside were not plastic. I liked the lighting in those though. I compare it to the difference between using those CFL or LED bulbs without the yellow filter and bulbs and those newer LED ones that more resemble incandescent. Just had a nice warm feeling to them. Plus those seats were really plush.

True. Then again there are some cars that are far more modern (1980s) that also have a mostly metallic interior (walls, window frames and ceilings(?)), i.e. the R62 and R68.

2 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

The door panels on the M1s were not plastic LOL. Where are you getting this info? They were aluminum.

IMG_20200206_074858.jpg

I know the doors themselves are metal, and the M1s and TRs are the only ones to have them unpainted silver on the inside, but I was referring to the panels on both sides of the doors on the M1-T1 (the white bits on the M1s) - I'm pretty sure those are plastic on the H/T1 cars, so naturally I assumed the same for the M1.

2 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

The wind screens on all cars are not plastic. They're more a kind of fiberglass or really dense particle board with maybe a layer for the colour like todays furniture which is particle board underneath and vinyl for the pattern. That's the same material that was used for the ceilings in the Gloucesters and other wall panels. Same with the M1s (except the ceiling which was metal). The only plastic on the M1s was the window frames. See pics below.

Interesting. Now that I think of it, did the H1-4s also have metal ceilings like the M1s, and the H5-T1s & TRs have non-metal ceilings?

2 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

I love those Moscow subway cars. They sort of look like half PCC/Half G2 Gloucester subway cars. The rebuild looks pretty nice too.

Those were the E-cars, which had several modifications throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, some of which were more like the Gloucesters than the original E-cars. But my favorite are the 81-717s which came out later (late 1970s onwards), some of which have faux woodgrain plastic (brown or cream) interiors similar to the H-cars. Those plastic interiors just have a nicer, smoother texture, especially the second one which is so smooth it's actually shiny (come think of it, I'm not sure whether it's plastic or metallic). Some of the modern rebuilds are even more plastic (even the metal window frames are gone), those are truly part of the plastic age.

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5 hours ago, 81-717 said:

True. Then again there are some cars that are far more modern (1980s) that also have a mostly metallic interior (walls, window frames and ceilings(?)), i.e. the R62 and R68.

I know the doors themselves are metal, and the M1s and TRs are the only ones to have them unpainted silver on the inside, but I was referring to the panels on both sides of the doors on the M1-T1 (the white bits on the M1s) - I'm pretty sure those are plastic on the H/T1 cars, so naturally I assumed the same for the M1.

Interesting. Now that I think of it, did the H1-4s also have metal ceilings like the M1s, and the H5-T1s & TRs have non-metal ceilings?

Those were the E-cars, which had several modifications throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, some of which were more like the Gloucesters than the original E-cars. But my favorite are the 81-717s which came out later (late 1970s onwards), some of which have faux woodgrain plastic (brown or cream) interiors similar to the H-cars. Those plastic interiors just have a nicer, smoother texture, especially the second one which is so smooth it's actually shiny (come think of it, I'm not sure whether it's plastic or metallic). Some of the modern rebuilds are even more plastic (even the metal window frames are gone), those are truly part of the plastic age.

I see. The door panels (windscreens) are actually as I described before. I've seen damaged ones and that confirms it. It is some kind of hard pressed particle board or fiberglass. If they were solid plastic, those metal bars wouldn't last very long screwed into them as they wood with particle board anchors. The surface however is vinyl or plastic. Just like the DIY furniture today. My desk is actually the same and as about as thick as those screens. Also, if they were plastic they'd be considerably warped from years of heat. Think those old red slides they used to have at the pre-nanny state public jungle gyms. 😂

Yeah those cars H5-TR probably have similar panels. It's all about saving weight and thermal properties. 

Nice. Isn't there some other subway somewhere on the planet that has the EXACT same subway cars? I can't remember where but I think they were unpainted silver on the outside. I wonder if it is really cheaper to buy new cars instead of rebuild seeing as so many agencies have rebuilt and modernized their own cars. The TTC retires their subway cars very early comparatively. 

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On 1/20/2020 at 2:28 PM, Wayside Observer said:

7FAFF7CF-9099-4739-B878-D09FB1174241.thumb.jpeg.f13910feef509ccc1b2bfc3afba15dc8.jpeg

That photo reminds me of this O scale R&T model that I have:

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I guess that I will not have to paint it! :rolleyes:

Edit 07feb20: Or put windows in it! ;)

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9 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

I see. The door panels (windscreens) are actually as I described before. I've seen damaged ones and that confirms it. It is some kind of hard pressed particle board or fiberglass. If they were solid plastic, those metal bars wouldn't last very long screwed into them as they wood with particle board anchors. The surface however is vinyl or plastic. Just like the DIY furniture today. My desk is actually the same and as about as thick as those screens. Also, if they were plastic they'd be considerably warped from years of heat. Think those old red slides they used to have at the pre-nanny state public jungle gyms. 😂

Ah, I see. When you said windscreens I thought you meant windshield, so I was confused :P I would've thought that wooden/particle board materials would be more susceptible than plastic to deformation caused by heat and moisture though (during the spring some of the wooden doors in my house would expand slightly and no longer close properly).

9 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

Nice. Isn't there some other subway somewhere on the planet that has the EXACT same subway cars? I can't remember where but I think they were unpainted silver on the outside. I wonder if it is really cheaper to buy new cars instead of rebuild seeing as so many agencies have rebuilt and modernized their own cars. The TTC retires their subway cars very early comparatively. 

Which ones are you referring to specifically? Lot's of subway systems throughout Russia and eastern Europe use(d) the same Russian-built cars (particularly 81-717s) built by the same manufacturers, some of which may have been customized for a specific subway system, either in terms of trivial design elements (color/paint, etc), or more significant things like the equipment used or being designed to use a narrower track gauge (Russian subway cars built for Budapest).

TBH I think the only reason all those transit systems rebuilt all those old Russian cars several times is the same reason why the TTC did the same with the GMs and was about to do the same with the T1s. I'm sure those transit agencies would love to replace them with new trains (and no doubt a lot of the public are sick and tired of seeing and riding 81-717s in all their entirety), but even though a lot of them do have other types of trains, they still opted for a rebuild of the classics. Actually, in the case of Budapest, there are some conspiracy theories surrounding the rebuild of the old Ev-3 and classic 81-717 cars into the 81-717.2K. The transit system went with the rebuild due to cheaper cost, but there were rumors that while the contract was a rebuild on paper, in reality the old cars were scrapped and the "rebuilt" cars were actually brand new extras left over at the factory. For what it's worth, the Russian subways are also designed to last 35 years, and unlike the E*-cars (the remaining ones in Moscow are over 45) I don't know any single 81-717 that actually made it to 40 (the ones in Budapest lasted 38-39). The only thing ensuring long-term longevity of the 81-717 series is the fact that the production line kept going through the mid 2010s.

Edited by 81-717
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15 hours ago, 81-717 said:

Ah, I see. When you said windscreens I thought you meant windshield, so I was confused :P I would've thought that wooden/particle board materials would be more susceptible than plastic to deformation caused by heat and moisture though (during the spring some of the wooden doors in my house would expand slightly and no longer close properly).

Which ones are you referring to specifically? Lot's of subway systems throughout Russia and eastern Europe use(d) the same Russian-built cars (particularly 81-717s) built by the same manufacturers, some of which may have been customized for a specific subway system, either in terms of trivial design elements (color/paint, etc), or more significant things like the equipment used or being designed to use a narrower track gauge (Russian subway cars built for Budapest).

TBH I think the only reason all those transit systems rebuilt all those old Russian cars several times is the same reason why the TTC did the same with the GMs and was about to do the same with the T1s. I'm sure those transit agencies would love to replace them with new trains (and no doubt a lot of the public are sick and tired of seeing and riding 81-717s in all their entirety), but even though a lot of them do have other types of trains, they still opted for a rebuild of the classics. Actually, in the case of Budapest, there are some conspiracy theories surrounding the rebuild of the old Ev-3 and classic 81-717 cars into the 81-717.2K. The transit system went with the rebuild due to cheaper cost, but there were rumors that while the contract was a rebuild on paper, in reality the old cars were scrapped and the "rebuilt" cars were actually brand new extras left over at the factory. For what it's worth, the Russian subways are also designed to last 35 years, and unlike the E*-cars (the remaining ones in Moscow are over 45) I don't know any single 81-717 that actually made it to 40 (the ones in Budapest lasted 38-39). The only thing ensuring long-term longevity of the 81-717 series is the fact that the production line kept going through the mid 2010s.

I believe that's what those are called, windscreens. Maybe there's another word for them but I do believe they're there to keep wind from blowing on people sitting either side of them. As for the material, again, a lot of furniture today is made the same way. Desks, dressers, etc. All particle board covered in vinyl. Our cupboards are basically the same and they haven't warped. They're in the same condition as when they were installed. 

Budapest I believe is the place. You just reminded me of it. Didn't know those cars were that popular. 

Interesting info. I guess it depends also on how much of a nostalgia culture the agency has. Of course a place like NYC is going to keep their trains around for a long time because the subway is a culture there. Other places probably just wanna justify their capital budgets. :rolleyes:

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23 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

Budapest I believe is the place. You just reminded me of it. Didn't know those cars were that popular.

Yeah, they're about as popular over there as the GM's were in North America. Budapest's cars aren't silver on the outside though - the classic ones were blue and the rebuilt ones are black and white. Maybe you're thinking of the 81-717.6K in Moscow which is painted gray & blue like the 81-760. The 81-717.6K only looks more modern than a classic 81-717, but is basically mechanically identical. The 81-717.2K on the other hand looks almost identical to the 81-717.6K (besides the colors) but actually uses modern technology.

23 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

Interesting info. I guess it depends also on how much of a nostalgia culture the agency has. Of course a place like NYC is going to keep their trains around for a long time because the subway is a culture there. Other places probably just wanna justify their capital budgets. :rolleyes:

To be fair I don't think NYC subways have a 40-50 year lifespan out of nostalgia either. Nostalgia is definitely there in terms of preservation of most types of cars, but they don't need to last that long to be saved. I wonder where they will store all the car types that will be retired in the future.

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Well this is an interesting conundrum.  Actually, it poses quite a conflict. I picked this little beauty up because it was cheap and it’s a neat piece of Canadian-made militaria that was built by Bach-Simpson down the road in London, Ont.

ABCB776B-C141-40FF-8CAD-222523F3EB38.thumb.jpeg.d15a31b460f34906c6688b20bbd44d0d.jpeg
 

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This is what an enlisted grunt would’ve used to do complicated electronics that you just can’t do in the army back in the day.

FFF1950F-CEC2-4FCF-B868-3C4CA6449612.thumb.jpeg.c92ac3105993affcf79c986f21897a2b.jpeg

Bach-Simpson still exists in London today and this is where the interesting part comes up:  Bach-Simpson is a subsidiary of Wabtec now, and every self respecting foamer out there knows the pedigree of Wabtec and sister company Wabco.

So, the great question:  Is this device foamer complicated electronics that you just can’t do, or foamer approved equipment, or both at the same time?

I’m going to go away now and ponder that while I try to divide stuff by zero and contemplating other deep existential questions like, “Does Metrolinx do anything useful?” and “Will the Union Station Revitalization project be completed within my lifetime?”

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6 hours ago, 81-717 said:

Yeah, they're about as popular over there as the GM's were in North America. Budapest's cars aren't silver on the outside though - the classic ones were blue and the rebuilt ones are black and white. Maybe you're thinking of the 81-717.6K in Moscow which is painted gray & blue like the 81-760. The 81-717.6K only looks more modern than a classic 81-717, but is basically mechanically identical. The 81-717.2K on the other hand looks almost identical to the 81-717.6K (besides the colors) but actually uses modern technology.

To be fair I don't think NYC subways have a 40-50 year lifespan out of nostalgia either. Nostalgia is definitely there in terms of preservation of most types of cars, but they don't need to last that long to be saved. I wonder where they will store all the car types that will be retired in the future.

I see thanks for that. I'm gonna check out some more video on YouTube. I always liked those cars.

That's true about NYC. Their car orders are HUGE. Like hundreds and sometimes over 1000 cars. So any way they can save money they will. Money that they would also need to maintain or repair infrastructure. But NYC for the most part kept their cars for about 50 years. Some even lasted 60+ years like the Q-Type. As for retired cars, will they dump those in the ocean again? They could probably make another borough artificially with all those. 😂

6 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Well this is an interesting conundrum.  Actually, it poses quite a conflict. I picked this little beauty up because it was cheap and it’s a neat piece of Canadian-made militaria that was built by Bach-Simpson down the road in London, Ont.

ABCB776B-C141-40FF-8CAD-222523F3EB38.thumb.jpeg.d15a31b460f34906c6688b20bbd44d0d.jpeg
 

2A2B7E47-A95B-4045-96D6-9D62FCC5FF1B.thumb.jpeg.d53c384d5396d42c2899a9a674daaa83.jpeg

This is what an enlisted grunt would’ve used to do complicated electronics that you just can’t do in the army back in the day.

FFF1950F-CEC2-4FCF-B868-3C4CA6449612.thumb.jpeg.c92ac3105993affcf79c986f21897a2b.jpeg

Bach-Simpson still exists in London today and this is where the interesting part comes up:  Bach-Simpson is a subsidiary of Wabtec now, and every self respecting foamer out there knows the pedigree of Wabtec and sister company Wabco.

So, the great question:  Is this device foamer complicated electronics that you just can’t do, or foamer approved equipment, or both at the same time?

I’m going to go away now and ponder that while I try to divide stuff by zero and contemplating other deep existential questions like, “Does Metrolinx do anything useful?” and “Will the Union Station Revitalization project be completed within my lifetime?”

Nice piece. And I love the leather case. Simpson Logo almost looks like the department store logo. I wonder if there's a connection there. As for your question, that's a tough one. If it was built before Wabtec took it over then it has no historic foamer connection, but then again, I had a White Westinghouse fridge once and a Westinghouse clothes dryer. Both of which could be foamer approved (thank god they've long since been discarded lest I have photographers with huge zoom lenses trying to get shots of the logos through cracks in my doors and windows). My final verdict is NO seeing as that device can disprove many foamer-fables and foam-theory as you've demonstrated more than once.

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4 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

Nice piece. And I love the leather case. Simpson Logo almost looks like the department store logo. I wonder if there's a connection there. As for your question, that's a tough one. If it was built before Wabtec took it over then it has no historic foamer connection, but then again, I had a White Westinghouse fridge once and a Westinghouse clothes dryer. Both of which could be foamer approved (thank god they've long since been discarded lest I have photographers with huge zoom lenses trying to get shots of the logos through cracks in my doors and windows). My final verdict is NO seeing as that device can disprove many foamer-fables and foam-theory as you've demonstrated more than once.

Apparently the resemblance in logos is purely coincidental.  I haven't yet been able to figure out when Wabtec acquired Bach-Simpson.  Apparently B-S was building a lot of stuff for the railway industry even while they were independent which I guess is why they were an attractive buyout target for Wabtec, and that further muddies the waters...if the rail stuff was so compelling that Wabtec bought the company, does the meter get grandfathered...  The appliances you had almost fall into the reverse situation.  Were they made by Westinghouse before Wabtec and Wabco were spun off into independent companies?

I agree with your verdict of NO.  Not foamer approved on the basis that device can be used to disprove foamer-fables and foam-theory for sure.  The high voltage option on the back is great for that.  To use it, you crank the knob on the front over to the 600 V AC or DC selection (foamer bonus) to enable the high voltage scaler and measure up to 6,000 volts, AC or DC.  That takes you through traditional low voltage DC electrifications right through 1,500 V (Ottawa LRT, some interurban) and 3,000 V (interurban) plus the AC side of the substation rectifiers used to power any of those.

It does need some restoration work though.  It didn't feel light enough so I was kind of suspecting the worse case scenario.  I took the back off the meter and sure enough, there were military issue four AA batteries and a single D cell in there to provide the power for the Ohms function that were probably there 40+ years.  The leaked crusty mess was unbelievable.  I wish I took some pictures but force of habit got me and as soon as I saw the leaked batteries, I dug them out with a screwdriver right into the nearest garbage can to prevent them from doing anymore damage except there was no rush and I could've taken pictures because that ship had sailed and that damage was already done - a long, long time ago.  Unfortunately, one of the battery holder clips for one of the AA cells had been fully surrounded by leaked acid and when I scooped that battery out, most of the clip came with the crusted acid.  I was able to save the rest, at least prevent them from breaking so hopefully I can clean up the contact surfaces, but I'll have to get some thin sheet metal and cut a replacement with a pair of tin snips at some point.

4 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

And I love the leather case.

The leather case is classic, for sure, but the one I truly love is the roll top desk case that my Simpson 260 is in.

D32BC59D-6152-44EF-8FCD-C7BB6C1776A0.thumb.jpeg.58ffb96463459582f1e45c22d327a080.jpeg

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It’s something you have to see and use first hand to truly get how cute this garage door or roll top desk case is when you open and close it.  Anyways, this is another Bach-Simpson meter but it’s a 269 Series 7 so it’s surprisingly decent. I’ve never pulled it out of the case so I haven’t looked at the back. At least some of them were made in the US and badged for the Canadian market after manufacture in London was discontinued. I don’t have any dates or anything for that. Information on Canadian equipment companies from back in the day is damn hard to find and a lot of what little there is, is not on the Internet.

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14 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Apparently the resemblance in logos is purely coincidental.  I haven't yet been able to figure out when Wabtec acquired Bach-Simpson.  Apparently B-S was building a lot of stuff for the railway industry even while they were independent which I guess is why they were an attractive buyout target for Wabtec, and that further muddies the waters...if the rail stuff was so compelling that Wabtec bought the company, does the meter get grandfathered...  The appliances you had almost fall into the reverse situation.  Were they made by Westinghouse before Wabtec and Wabco were spun off into independent companies?

I agree with your verdict of NO.  Not foamer approved on the basis that device can be used to disprove foamer-fables and foam-theory for sure.  The high voltage option on the back is great for that.  To use it, you crank the knob on the front over to the 600 V AC or DC selection (foamer bonus) to enable the high voltage scaler and measure up to 6,000 volts, AC or DC.  That takes you through traditional low voltage DC electrifications right through 1,500 V (Ottawa LRT, some interurban) and 3,000 V (interurban) plus the AC side of the substation rectifiers used to power any of those.

It does need some restoration work though.  It didn't feel light enough so I was kind of suspecting the worse case scenario.  I took the back off the meter and sure enough, there were military issue four AA batteries and a single D cell in there to provide the power for the Ohms function that were probably there 40+ years.  The leaked crusty mess was unbelievable.  I wish I took some pictures but force of habit got me and as soon as I saw the leaked batteries, I dug them out with a screwdriver right into the nearest garbage can to prevent them from doing anymore damage except there was no rush and I could've taken pictures because that ship had sailed and that damage was already done - a long, long time ago.  Unfortunately, one of the battery holder clips for one of the AA cells had been fully surrounded by leaked acid and when I scooped that battery out, most of the clip came with the crusted acid.  I was able to save the rest, at least prevent them from breaking so hopefully I can clean up the contact surfaces, but I'll have to get some thin sheet metal and cut a replacement with a pair of tin snips at some point.

The leather case is classic, for sure, but the one I truly love is the roll top desk case that my Simpson 260 is in.

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It’s something you have to see and use first hand to truly get how cute this garage door or roll top desk case is when you open and close it.  Anyways, this is another Bach-Simpson meter but it’s a 269 Series 7 so it’s surprisingly decent. I’ve never pulled it out of the case so I haven’t looked at the back. At least some of them were made in the US and badged for the Canadian market after manufacture in London was discontinued. I don’t have any dates or anything for that. Information on Canadian equipment companies from back in the day is damn hard to find and a lot of what little there is, is not on the Internet.

Cool. I can't really tell by the pictures; How big are these two units and how heavy are they? Forgive my ignorance, but is it dangerous to test high voltages like 600 volts through those? Also could you see what brand those batteries were? Or were they just unmarked? Leaked batteries are the worst. My most recent victim of leaked batteries was a nice Minolta SLR (it was the first one with auto focus I believe and a bunch of other electronic stuff). The battery compartment was crusted over and that may have cause it to stop working. Thankfully with machines like yours, they're so robust that you can fix the contacts yourself. I wonder, is there any way to power it besides batteries? I have never seen a case like that roll-top before. What's it made of? Plastic? I also dig the old "chicken head" knobs on those. I am going to keep my eye out for something like this. I'd hate for an elegant device like this to go to waste. 

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6 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

Cool. I can't really tell by the pictures; How big are these two units and how heavy are they? Forgive my ignorance, but is it dangerous to test high voltages like 600 volts through those? Also could you see what brand those batteries were? Or were they just unmarked?

They were marked for the military.  I couldn’t tell who OEMed them but they were bilingual marked for Canadian Forces.  I guess it’s one way to secure your supply chain’s official issue stuff and a (probably weak) disincentive towards employee takehomes.  The meters weigh in around six pounds or so.  I put them on my kitchen scales and bottomed them out.  I took some pictures for size for you.

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2D1F17E1-3C1E-4D6A-B22E-78CBC8FBE5AB.thumb.jpeg.e49d80e0aed8e00d7ff2a9722a09a7eb.jpeg

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Measuring 600 V with these or higher with the jacks on the high voltage option on the 635 isn’t a problem.  The meters themselves are rated for up to 1,000 V against ground.  They do predate the Cat I/II/III/IV type ratings on modern meters but people used these safely for that kind of work for many decades.  Keep in mind they were originally to be used on vacuum tube and industrial gear where many hundreds of volts was typical run of the mill stuff.  The biggest issues with doing it safely are using the right probes that are rated for that kind of work plus safe working techniques.  Specifically, at the high end of the voltage ranges on the HV option, you want to connect and disconnect the meter with the device being tested off so you aren’t drawing an arc or at risk of shorting/grounding something out getting the leads on and off of it.

 

6 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

I wonder, is there any way to power it besides batteries? I have never seen a case like that roll-top before. What's it made of? Plastic? I also dig the old "chicken head" knobs on those. I am going to keep my eye out for something like this. I'd hate for an elegant device like this to go to waste. 

The beauty is, these meters don’t need batteries to take voltage or current measurements.  Getting them mounted in their cases or removed from their cases is a chore so I haven’t put batteries in them which means resistance measurements don’t work but they’re otherwise good.  
 

One of my outdoor thermometer readers bailed out so I decided to check the batteries in it so let’s give these old beauties a spin:

7BC41C4A-5C48-4034-A604-F139E0E89D7E.thumb.jpeg.376dd8d0d28dbda0c95080e6ff380ef8.jpeg

The 635 says a bit over a volt.

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The 260 agrees.

3EBA2092-9595-49B8-AFAF-DD36FE541828.thumb.jpeg.34f38fc3f8ec15ce629dff9e58d21047.jpeg

And as a sanity check, so does one of the fancy pants DMMs on the bench.  Oh, the display on the spectrum analyzer is from troubleshooting my audio analyzer...needed to see how pure the output is.  It had been parked for a while and it’s developed a couple of annoying output problems.   I need to pull it out and pop the cover off and check a few test points to see what’s going on...assuming the anti-electronics foam crowd doesn’t show up and go all Fahrenheit 451 on my workshop.

 

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On 2/8/2020 at 2:17 PM, 81-717 said:

To be fair I don't think NYC subways have a 40-50 year lifespan out of nostalgia either. Nostalgia is definitely there in terms of preservation of most types of cars, but they don't need to last that long to be saved. I wonder where they will store all the car types that will be retired in the future.

Speaking of NYC, the R42s have their final run on Wednesday, and the R32s will be gone by March. 

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18 hours ago, Streety McCarface said:

Speaking of NYC, the R42s have their final run on Wednesday, and the R32s will be gone by March. 

Yes, I heard the news today. I am seriously contemplating whether I should fly over there for 1 day to see the R42s in service for the first and last time. Where did you hear that about the R32? I thought they still have a year or 2 or 5 left (but I guess that's the R46s).

Edit: I'll be there for the R42 last run. Just really hope the posted date and time of the event is not subject to change, my arrival and departure to/from NYC is timed perfectly to the current schedule (I'll have just over 2 hrs before the start and after the end of it).

Edited by 81-717
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12 hours ago, 81-717 said:

Yes, I heard the news today. I am seriously contemplating whether I should fly over there for 1 day to see the R42s in service for the first and last time. Where did you hear that about the R32? I thought they still have a year or 2 or 5 left (but I guess that's the R46s).

Edit: I'll be there for the R42 last run.

Recent change by the board, they are mothballing them in case the 179s (or 211s) have problems later on. Hopefully they learned their lesson from the R160 fiasco that getting rid of all your old cars without fully burning in the new ones will lead to problems later on. 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

They were marked for the military.  I couldn’t tell who OEMed them but they were bilingual marked for Canadian Forces.  I guess it’s one way to secure your supply chain’s official issue stuff and a (probably weak) disincentive towards employee takehomes.  The meters weigh in around six pounds or so.  I put them on my kitchen scales and bottomed them out.  I took some pictures for size for you.

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Measuring 600 V with these or higher with the jacks on the high voltage option on the 635 isn’t a problem.  The meters themselves are rated for up to 1,000 V against ground.  They do predate the Cat I/II/III/IV type ratings on modern meters but people used these safely for that kind of work for many decades.  Keep in mind they were originally to be used on vacuum tube and industrial gear where many hundreds of volts was typical run of the mill stuff.  The biggest issues with doing it safely are using the right probes that are rated for that kind of work plus safe working techniques.  Specifically, at the high end of the voltage ranges on the HV option, you want to connect and disconnect the meter with the device being tested off so you aren’t drawing an arc or at risk of shorting/grounding something out getting the leads on and off of it.

 

The beauty is, these meters don’t need batteries to take voltage or current measurements.  Getting them mounted in their cases or removed from their cases is a chore so I haven’t put batteries in them which means resistance measurements don’t work but they’re otherwise good.  
 

One of my outdoor thermometer readers bailed out so I decided to check the batteries in it so let’s give these old beauties a spin:

7BC41C4A-5C48-4034-A604-F139E0E89D7E.thumb.jpeg.376dd8d0d28dbda0c95080e6ff380ef8.jpeg

The 635 says a bit over a volt.

64526D7A-9C38-484A-9094-C85A3E95E53D.thumb.jpeg.aea40bfdce6e20e6cfcb6e62a80c59c0.jpeg

The 260 agrees.

3EBA2092-9595-49B8-AFAF-DD36FE541828.thumb.jpeg.34f38fc3f8ec15ce629dff9e58d21047.jpeg

And as a sanity check, so does one of the fancy pants DMMs on the bench.  Oh, the display on the spectrum analyzer is from troubleshooting my audio analyzer...needed to see how pure the output is.  It had been parked for a while and it’s developed a couple of annoying output problems.   I need to pull it out and pop the cover off and check a few test points to see what’s going on...assuming the anti-electronics foam crowd doesn’t show up and go all Fahrenheit 451 on my workshop.

 

Thanks for those photos. They're about as big as I thought they were but I thought they'd be heavier considering the vintage. The top photo on the left gives an idea of how thick the leather is. You don't get leather like that anymore LOL. I always wondered how devices this small could handle so much voltage without getting ridiculously hot or frying the components. So if a foamer wants to check if we're lying about there being 600V coming out of the 3rd rail, he can grab one of these and check it for himself? That's cool but I'd rather use this for home use. Especially since you said they don't need batteries. What were the batteries for then? 

Cool analyzer. I'd love to have a device like that to clean up my audio paths for my turntables for ripping. What's the floppy disk drive for though? 

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1 hour ago, Downsview 108 said:

Thanks for those photos. They're about as big as I thought they were but I thought they'd be heavier considering the vintage. The top photo on the left gives an idea of how thick the leather is. You don't get leather like that anymore LOL. I always wondered how devices this small could handle so much voltage without getting ridiculously hot or frying the components. So if a foamer wants to check if we're lying about there being 600V coming out of the 3rd rail, he can grab one of these and check it for himself? That's cool but I'd rather use this for home use. Especially since you said they don't need batteries. What were the batteries for then? 

Cool analyzer. I'd love to have a device like that to clean up my audio paths for my turntables for ripping. What's the floppy disk drive for though? 

Well, the question of handling that kind of voltage without getting hot or burning up comes down to how well insulated they are electrically and loading/sensitivity.  Insulation-wise, that’s never really been a big problem.  You just pack more insulating material on the conductors and thicken it up and in this case, they’re adequately insulated up to 1,000 V. Sensitivity on these Simpsons isn’t bad either so they’re not going to hugely load down your circuit and draw a lot of current off to get hot with dissipated power.

You’d absolutely be able to measure the 600 V off a subway third rail with one of these.  To do it safely?  Set it on the highest DC range.  I’d ditch the stock probes and make something with good quality cable that attaches with a clamp to the running rail that handles the ground return and connect that first. Then I’d make a second probe that either clamps or has a large alligator clip or a long insulated handle with a point probe to touch the third rail with and I’d definitely be wearing CSA insulation rates work boots and gloves as well.  And then watch the pointer move along the scale tracking the movement of the third rail voltage as it fluctuates with loading from trains taking and releasing power.

The batteries are for measuring resistance.  To measure an unknown resistance you either apply a known voltage and then measure the current it causes to flow to determine resistance, as is done in one of these, or apply a known constant current and measure the voltage that develops across the unknown resistor.  It’s a practical application of Ohms Law, but to do either a constant current or a constant voltage, you need a power source to supply it and that’s where the batteries come in for the Ohms function.  The permanent magnet meter movement doesn’t need them to measure voltage or current by itself.  The 635 uses a D for most ranges as does the 260 but for the high resistance ranges, the 635 uses four AA batteries and the 260 a 9 V just to get some voltage across larger resistance values and cause a workable, measurable current to flow.

The floppy drive was actually common for a period of time on test equipment as a way of getting data in and out, for storing presets and calibration constants and measurement results, that sort of thing.  I’m sure stuff exists with 5.35” or 8” floppy drives but I’ve never encountered any.  I do have several things that take 3.5” disks though.

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Tek digital scope’s got one.

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Vector network analyzer’s got one.  If you buy a set of calibration standards for one of these, they usually come with the constants printed out or on disk to make the setup easy.

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The logic analyzer’s got one as well for getting all kinds of data for disassembles, symbol lists, you name it in and out as well as for data and configuration information. It’s also got a 540 MB hard drive in it too.  The 3.5” floppy drives in test gear were really common in stuff built after they became widespread and only really went away on newer gear once CF cards became common and more recently, USB sticks.   Of course, on Sony gear, they had to use their proprietary memory sticks, as one would expect from Sony....

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The other day, while reading 50 Years of Progressive Transit, I came across an interesting anecdote about Peter Witt car 2894.

In February 1963, several days before the opening of the University subway, the Upper Canada Railway Society requested that the TTC put car 2894 in regular Saturday service on the Dupont line, to allow local railfans a chance to ride and photograph one of the cars before they were removed from regular service (and before the Dupont line was removed from service, too). The TTC obliged, and the car made two round trips before being relieved by a PCC, marking the first time a Peter Witt car had left the carhouse for regular service on a Saturday since 1954.

I wonder what kind of result I would get if I requested a specific vehicle come out in service today? :P

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2 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

The other day, while reading 50 Years of Progressive Transit, I came across an interesting anecdote about Peter Witt car 2894.

In February 1963, several days before the opening of the University subway, the Upper Canada Railway Society requested that the TTC put car 2894 in regular Saturday service on the Dupont line, to allow local railfans a chance to ride and photograph one of the cars before they were removed from regular service (and before the Dupont line was removed from service, too). The TTC obliged, and the car made two round trips before being relieved by a PCC, marking the first time a Peter Witt car had left the carhouse for regular service on a Saturday since 1954.

I wonder what kind of result I would get if I requested a specific vehicle come out in service today? :P

The TTC did the same thing in the early 90s when the Lansdowne trolleybus system was shut down the first time and extended electric bus operation by a day into the weekend so people could take their last rides and pictures.  The second and final time Lansdowne trolley uses were shut down after the 6 Bay and 4 Annette last gasp with the Edmonton BBCs it finished up quietly as scheduled in the dead of the night and that was it.  All of this was before the subway accident in 1995 when the TTC became institutionally nasty.

What kind of result would you get today?  Probably none, maybe not even a reply to say no.

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Something I won't ever understand. One of my coworkers is addicted to decaffeinated coffee. He drinks like 8 Cups of it a day and always craves it. I thought it was caffeine that's an addiction. I guess I was wrong. 

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Speaking of foamers, I had a really unpleasant interaction with one from Bratislava that really left a bad taste in my mouth.

There is a trolleybus in storage at one of their tram yards that is officially indicated as a historic vehicle, but in reality may be too far gone to save (a decision has not yet been made, and scrapping has not yet commenced). This bus is wildly unpopular in the community; I became a pariah when I defended the decision to designate it historic (on a value basis, not a condition basis - I accept not everything can be saved, but we also should not be letting purist manchildren dictate what should and shouldn't be kept). I was in contact with someone from the Bratislava transit community recently, someone who absolutely loathes this bus and everything it stands for, who indicated that they ("we") might end up stripping the bus before they begin restoration work on another bus - not to salvage parts, or anything, but just to lessen its chances of being restored even more. I have no way of verifying if this person was screwing with me, or if they really are going to end up doing this, or if that is even their decision to make. I don't know the ins-and-outs of how preservation works in Bratislava, maybe they have volunteers to restore buses, I don't know.

For all the shit that I give Toronto transit and the community, the one thing I'm glad about is that there's no danger of some deranged foamer being able to tear a CLRV to shreds because they have some kind of personal vendetta against the vehicle. The thought of these idiots being able to interfere in preservation decisions makes me sick.

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