Piko Drovers Caboose

R

RkyGriz

Registered
13 Feb 2019
117
42
Silver Springs, Nevada
Hi, all. I recently got a great deal on a Piko Drover's Caboose on Ebay. Less than half the retail price. It is slightly used, but in mint condition.I must also add that this is a very high quality model! The only thing about Piko cabooses that I don't care for is that they do not have interior lighting from the factory. It does have lighted lanterns that use LED's ,metal wheels, and power pickups. It is also prewired to accepy their lighting kit,which is plug-and-play thanks to the factory installed wiring.My problem is that the factory lighting kit costs close to $47.00,after shipping, which to me , is expensive,limited budget at the moment, and all. So, my solution is to go cheap! I make my own LED lighting solutions for my various Bachmann passenger cars and cabooses to upgrade them from standard bulbs to LED lighting. These consist of up to six 5mm warm white LED's assembled into two separate sets of 3 each with a 100uf 25 volt condenser placed at the end of each set to prevent flickering. I also solder in a KBP307 bridge rectifier, which allows the LED's to operate in both travel directions , as LED's only operate when current in one direction, if that makes sense to some of you. You can't just place LED's in your passenger cars, and have them operate in both directions! These light sets are very basic, but they work! Another thing is that the LED's that I buy are the prewired variety. They already have the resistors and wires soldered to them at the factory, so I don't have to mess with that part. I just have to make sure that the LED's that I buy can handle up to 18 volts , but I have found that 12 volt LED's work just fine as long as the train doesn't run at full throttle for long periods of time. In fact I had to reorder the LED's for this project. I bought 40 of them on Ebay for $7.40. They're coming from China, so it'll probably be at least 2 weeks before they arrive. In the meanwhile, I have included a few photos from the auction so you can see what this Piko caboose looks like. It's Southern Pacific. I don't have any other trains with that road name,but it should fit in with my South Pacific Coast rolling stock and motive power, as the SPC was taken over by the SP in the late 1880's. From Wikipedia regarding the SP take over:"By 1887 SPC was a major California transportation concern; and Southern Pacific paid six million dollars to merge it into their California transportation system." So, yes, an SP caboose could have "possibly " been used on the narrow gauge SPC if an SPC caboose had been repainted as an SP caboose. And that's the story that I'm going with! LOL!
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kim

kim

retired at last
27 Apr 2015
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Blackpoo
They do make a nice drovers caboose. Be aware that the bogies are not connected together, the rear one feeds the marker lights and the front one the interior light, so you will probably get flickering lights. I am not a lover of swipe pick ups so I have replaced a wheel set on each bogie with lgb roller bearing pick up wheels and wired the bogies together by soldering onto the brass pick up strips.

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R

RkyGriz

Registered
13 Feb 2019
117
42
Silver Springs, Nevada
No worries! I figured out the marker lights were on a circuit of their own. I've ripped all of the electronics out of it,with the exception of the leads that go to the trucks. I plan on joining three 5mm lights onto 2 independent electrical circuits,with the marker lights on the rear one. I've added resistors to the wiring of both marker lights to prevent burn outs . I'll also be adding 2 condensers that should hold enough charge to prevent flickering. I'll see how these Piko wipers work,and,if they cause problems, will probably wind up changing them for something better. You mod looks good, so I may even do that as well,should there be a problem with the factory parts.
Thank you for the advise !
 
Riograndad

Riograndad

Model Railroading, boats and oil painting,
6 Jul 2013
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Northampton UK
I used the Piko light unit in my C&S car,as I recall was about £35,I wish I had used LED units and batteries due to the fact that the "drag" on all 4 axles is really bad and so mine is rarely used and needs a large loco to pull any length of train,in fact I was very disapointed with the car as i bought it new,I added a couple of cowhands in mine for good measure so the interior had some interest when lit!!Just don`t wake em up!!
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R

RkyGriz

Registered
13 Feb 2019
117
42
Silver Springs, Nevada
That looks good. I may do something similar while I wait on the shipment of LED's that are coming from China.I ran out of LED's ,and had to re-order. I get the round, clear 5 mm LED's, and paint the lenses over with white nail polish to diffuse the light. Works pretty good! I bought 40 prewired warm white 5mm LED's for $7.40 (US dollars).It costs me less than a U.S. dollar to add lights this way to any car. I looked into the Piko kit for this caboose, and found it to be way over priced for what you get. I've modified all of my Bachmann passenger cars and cabooses with these same LED's. The cars worked on battery power with standard, incandescent lights that are prone to burn out, or even come loose in their receptacles ! The two cabooses came with no lighting at all,so they had to be modified ,and the trucks changed to Aristocraft caboose trucks that I bought for a very good price on Ebay . The Bachmann freight trucks that they put on their cabooses do not come with provisions for track powered lighting.
 
stevedenver

stevedenver

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24 Oct 2009
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Nice caboose.
I never really realized that they are, in their own way, better proportioned than the lgb version.


RGD, who makes the sleeping cowboys. I like those,
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Tamworth, Staffs.
I now have to look-up the lyrics of 'Rhinestone Cowboy', to see if 'sleeping cowboy' can be made to fit? :rolleyes::shake:
 
R

RkyGriz

Registered
13 Feb 2019
117
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Silver Springs, Nevada
This really is a nice, well built caboose. It's definitely a high quality item. Perfect for adding passengers ,crates of freight, or luggage . Maybe even a horse, or two, to go with those cowboys! The sky's the limit. Let your imagination run wild.
 
kim

kim

retired at last
27 Apr 2015
713
80
68
Blackpoo
Be very careful when removing the roof, the feed wires to the marker lights are extremely thin and breaks at the joint to the bulb very easily. Please don't ask me how I know this.
 
R

RkyGriz

Registered
13 Feb 2019
117
42
Silver Springs, Nevada
Thanks! I have had the caboose apart for over a week now,waiting on the new LED's to arrive from China. I modified the factory LED's for the caboose by adding an in-line resistor to the power wire on both LED's. I removed the Piko circuit board from the caboose, as it is unneeded for my LED installation. The lantern leads will be soldered into the same wiring circuit that the main lighting will operate from as I will be installing one capacitor on each lighting circuit to prevent flickering.
 
Riograndad

Riograndad

Model Railroading, boats and oil painting,
6 Jul 2013
1,676
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Northampton UK
Nice caboose.
I never really realized that they are, in their own way, better proportioned than the lgb version.


RGD, who makes the sleeping cowboys. I like those,
Well Steve,,,,,,,I did,they are modified standard figures,one as I recall is a PIKO (seated) and the other is a cheapy Chinese item,some heat to rearrange legs and some plasticard hats finished off with a repaint and some dusty jeans,some rolled up material as bed rolls to take up any difference between the figures and the seats;);)
 
Riograndad

Riograndad

Model Railroading, boats and oil painting,
6 Jul 2013
1,676
312
65
Northampton UK
This really is a nice, well built caboose. It's definitely a high quality item. Perfect for adding passengers ,crates of freight, or luggage . Maybe even a horse, or two, to go with those cowboys! The sky's the limit. Let your imagination run wild.
If you can find any,Schleich make a good selection of horses that go with our scale,I have two western saddles( as seperate items) to go into either the drovers caboose maybe over the seat backs or into my custom horse car,another roundtoit job.;)
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Riograndad

Riograndad

Model Railroading, boats and oil painting,
6 Jul 2013
1,676
312
65
Northampton UK
Sorry about the quality of the pics but took a couple of the Schleich western saddle ready to go into my caboose(a roundtoit),I will have to cut off the blanket from the items as the blanket suits the horses back and not the saddle,just some food for thought and may be of some use for you.;););).They were bought as separate items.
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R

RkyGriz

Registered
13 Feb 2019
117
42
Silver Springs, Nevada
Well, I was browsing the G Scale listings on Ebay last night, and I found a pre-made lighting kit that was so nice that I decided on the spot to go ahead and buy it. It comes with 16 warm white LED's (including 2 LED's for the lanterns,which I hope that they'll fit!),and is made for the LGB Drover's caboose, which is almost identical to the Piko.At only $39.00, it's cheaper and, nicer, than the lighting kit made by Piko. Sorry, Piko, but this is a better deal. Now,I'll just save all of those parts for my passenger cars! From the sellers' description( Which I copied,pasted, and then edited to take up less space):
LGB DROVERS CABOOSE COMPLETE LED HARNESS WITH (16) LED'S TOTAL. FREE ANTI FLICKER BATTERY PACK.INCLUDES LED'S FOR LANTERNS.3 BOARDS PROVIDE UNIFORM "SOFT WARM WHITE" LED LIGHT.LATEST VERSION IS ALL WHITE BOARDS FOR TRUER COLOR IN ALL 3 AREAS.(6) LED's in MAIN CABIN, (4) LED's in CUPOLA (4) LED's in BAGGAGE AREA(2) LED's FOR LANTERNS.SCREWS PROVIDED FOR MOUNTING TO LGB ROOF.WIRE FOR POWER DROP TO WHEELS.GUARANTEED FOR LIFE.
 

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tac foley

tac foley

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11 Apr 2017
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Near Huntingdon, UK
Nice caboose.
I never really realized that they are, in their own way, better proportioned than the lgb version.


RGD, who makes the sleeping cowboys. I like those,

FAR, far better than the LGB offering - not that I would openly say so in writing, y'unnerstan'. Last time I wrote something like that here I got banned for causing dissent among the red box foamers.

Doh, done it again.....tsk tsk.
 
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maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
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Just got back to working on my "drovers' caboose", the Rio Grande models UK conversion kit for the AMS J&S passenger car. Got a new lighting system for that too. Better known as the D&RGW's "Pagosa" combine. Generally reckoned to be the influence for the LGB & Piko models. It's a lot bigger and longer in real life than either of those would scale out at. But then there were a lot of variations on the drover's caboose theme around north America but this one comes closest. Better start my own thread, sorry for butting in. Max

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R

RkyGriz

Registered
13 Feb 2019
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Silver Springs, Nevada
Hi,Max! That is gorgeous! I wish I could afford those kind of cars. I salivate every time I see the AMS passenger cars offered on Ebay. They are so nice, and look more realistic than the Bachmann,and several other brands of passenger cars are!
Thank you for sharing your awesome Drovers Caboose !
Andrew
 
Bill Barnwell

Bill Barnwell

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30 Sep 2017
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I added flickering LED's in the passenger section, and installed a partition in between it and the cupola end of my kalamazoo combine kit bashed one, so now the flickering stove lights up the cowboy end and a 10mm white one lights up the other and it's battery powered. I'm with RGD the figures make the seen in all of the models
 

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RkyGriz

Registered
13 Feb 2019
117
42
Silver Springs, Nevada
Good job,Bill! I have a Kalamazoo drovers' caboose that I've been working on. I intended it to be somewhat of a replica of the Virginia & Truckee #24(formerly the Nevada Copper Belt #3) caboose, but I then bought the USA Trains version, which is much nicer, and so I shelved the Kalamazoo for the time being. I bought a very nice Kalamazoo D&RGW 4-4-0 a few months ago, so I may pull the caboose out of my storage, and reconfigure it for the D&RGW.
 

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