S-Helper Service General Notes Notes

Paint

Don Thompson recalls that the Chinese factory used automotive paints on their freight cars. All plastic bodies were made out of ABS. Brian Jackson reports that he has had success removing paint from a composite hopper using 91% isopropyl alcohol. He reported that he started seeing results in a few minutes, and large amounts of paint came off after about 30 minutes of soaking.

Switcher Electronics

This covers the eight-pin DC shorting plugs. Don Thompson reports that there were two kinds. They will both work, but one will cause the engine so run in the opposite direction.

For some reason, the factory on three road names of the first run of the SW9 locomotives, wired the motors to the wrong socket. The fix was a DC shorting plugs with the motor lead pins wired correctly. These plugs have a glob of hot-melt on top. You can see red wires in the hot-melt.

It happened again with an entire run of the SW1 locomotives. The factory, again, sent DC shorting plugs to fix this problem. For this run they used "baby-blue" wires.

Note that AC and DCC locomotives were unaffected.

The first photo shows the normal DC shorting plug for engines without a speaker (part #653-X00???).

The second photo shows the version with the red wires for engines without a speaker.

The third photo shows a normal DC shorting plug for engines with a speaker (part #653-X014R4).

Wheels

Don Thompson mentioned that all of their wheelsets were double insulated. This includes locomotives, freight cars, cabooses, and tenders. Don provided these diagrams (all measurements in millimeters):

Scale Wheels Diagram
Scale Wheels Contour Diagram
Scale Wheelset Diagram
Scale Axle Diagram
Scale Axle Bearing Diagram

Disassembly

For any of the box cars, stock cars, or reefers that S-Helper Service produced, there are four tabs on the roof over the body bolster that hold the roof to the body. Note that before you attempt to remove the roof, the roof walk supports need to be detached from the roof walk. Cars with the brake wheel above the roof, need the rod lodging it to the underframe detached first.

Production Numbers

Don Thompson provided us with these production numbers and approved their publication on the NASG web site:

Cars

Box Car: USRA Single-sheath
4,824
19 road names
Box Car: USRA Double-sheath
6,514
17 road names
Box Car: USRA Steel Rebuilt
22,554
40 road names
Caboose: Extended-vision
7,560
20 road names
Hopper: Composite Two-bay
3,972
14 road names
Hopper: Offset Two-bay
3,100
12 road names
Hopper: Panel-side Two-bay
6,680
12 road names
Hopper: PS-2 Covered Two-bay
21,553
47 road names
Hopper: PS-2 Covered Three-bay
7,992
24 road names
Hopper: USRA Two-bay
8,606
22 road names
Hopper: USRA Rebuilt Two-bay
3,272
13 road names
Flat Car: 53'
8,416
33 road names
Flat Car: 53' with Trailer (TOFC)
9,089
20 road names
Flat Car: 48' Bulkhead
6,288
16 road names
Ore Car
6,000
n/a
Refrigerator Car
34,110
87 road names
Stock Car
14,320
25 road names

Stand-alone Trailers

35' Vertical Ribs
7,561
12 road names
35' Horizontal Corrugations
1,848
14 road names

Locomotives

2-8-0
2,000
9 road names
F3 A-unit
2,000
10 road names
F3 B-unit
1,800
10 road names
F7 A-unit
2,000
6 road names
F7 B-unit
1,000
6 road names
NW2
690
23 road names
SW1
2,900
14 road names
SW8
600
4 road names
SW9
5,131
4 road names

At the time of S-Helper Service's unexpected shut-down due to the Sanda Khan situation, they had under development: Fish-belly hoppers (11 road names), ICC Bay-window cabooses (10 road names), and E7 locomotives (9 road names).

Couplers

Scale Coupler Installation Guide

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