Heljan 6-wheel Bogies: Pickups and Power

There are several options for arranging power pickups and you may have your own preference.

If you are using wheelsets with one 'live' wheel, you can use the 'American' system in which each bogie is 'live' to the rails on opposite sides of the loco, and simply connect one wire of each polarity to the pivot screws of the bogies.

If you do require wiper pickups, we describe here a method, using the original pickup strips, which we have applied successfully.

Remove the undertrays and wheelsets from the drive unit.

Pickup mountings Using a razor or piercing saw, make a vertical cut, flush with the side of the drive unit, about one-third to half way down through the residual stubs of each of the sideframe mounting pillars.

Degrease thoroughly the phosphor bronze pickup strips, and the sides of the drive unit around and between the stubs of the sideframe mounting pillars. Roughen those areas of the drive unit by scoring with a sharp knife.

Re-bent pickup strip Unsolder the wires from the pickup strips, and clean any lumps of solder from the strips.

Rebend the strips as shown. Take care, as the strip will quickly become brittle if overworked.

Glueing pickup strips Using quick-set epoxy, glue the strips into place, locating them in the sawn slots at the bases of the sideframe pillar stubs.

Allow time for the glue to set and gather strength.

Refitted wires Re-solder the pickup wires to the tags on the strips: refer to your notes concerning which wire goes to which side.

Offer up the wheelsets into the units, ensuring that they are in the correct slots and orientations, and adjust the pick up strips to bear lightly on the insides of the wheel rims.

Re-fit the undertrays to the drive units, securing the wheelsets in place.