Someone asked me recently why their Lionel train won’t slow down, and when I asked for elaboration, I learned the train wasn’t responding to the throttle on the transformer.
Usually I see the opposite problem, but this one is an easy mistake to make. Fortunately the fix for it is also easy.
Continue reading Lionel train won’t slow down? Here’s the fix.
I’ve told you about the best way to fix plastic toys, but it dawned on me the other day I’ve never mentioned diecast. Diecast toys don’t break as often as plastic, but it can happen. The good news is that you can fix them too.
In my example I will be fixing a Lionel 671 train from 1946, but the same technique works with anything made of diecast metal of any age.
Continue reading How to fix diecast toys
As a landlord, I’ve dealt with some difficult tenants, and I’ve noticed they all tend to use very similar tactics. Setting boundaries is a necessity to keep things under control, and in the end keep all of your tenants happy while keeping yourself sane.
Continue reading Setting boundaries with difficult tenants
I had a Marx 999 that didn’t run well when I pulled it out of storage. When pushing it along the track a few times didn’t yield any measurable improvement, I decided I’d better take it apart and give it a thorough cleaning.
In this case, I worked on a Marx 999, but everything I did applies to any other O gauge train Marx made except for the very late 490 locomotives, whose motors don’t seem to have been designed to let you do any more than replace the brushes.
Continue reading Marx 999 repair and service
A neighbor asked me about a recommendation Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte made a couple of weeks ago about securing your IoT household “smart” devices, like doorbells, thermostats, televisions, and anything else that wasn’t traditionally computerized, by putting it on a guest network.
The short answer is yes, it’s something you should do. It doesn’t make them perfectly safe, but it’s the best you can do, so you should. But I would do it a bit differently from Gibson–I think the ideal setup has two guest networks.
Continue reading Use guest networks to secure IoT “smart” devices
The Lionel 2034 with the bent cab had another problem. It would run, but only in super slow-mo, and that was when it would run at all. If I was really patient, sometimes I could get it to run a little after a few minutes, but it had minimal pulling power even then.
The motor needed some maintenance, but it didn’t need any parts. Here’s how I fixed it in less than an hour.
Continue reading Fixing a Lionel 2034 that ran super slowly
I had a Lionel 2034 engine that had, at some point in its life, suffered a fall off a table, most likely onto concrete. The result was a severely bent corner on the cab roof.
But a fall off the table doesn’t have to be the end of the line. It’s possible to fix this injury.
Continue reading Fixing a bent Lionel 2034 die-cast roof
I lost an afternoon troubleshooting a Websense non-issue. A web site related to Salesforce wasn’t working, and any time something like that happens, Websense goes on trial. About all I can do is make sure it’s a fair trial. Such is the life of a proxy administrator. And in this case, Websense was innocent–the guilty party was a dirty, no-good domain squatter.
It’s a business model. And people wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work.
Continue reading Why domain squatting works
I was working in a vacant house the other day and noticed the previous tenants never changed light bulbs. When I went to change them myself, I saw why. Everywhere I saw a burned-out bulb, it was a light bulb stuck in a ceiling fan.
Here’s the cause, and here’s how I fixed it.
Continue reading Fixing a light bulb stuck in a ceiling fan
I don’t come across burned-out light bulbs in Marx trains very often, but it can happen. When you need to replace a missing or dead bulb, you have some options.
Marx, like its competitors, used a standard E10 screw base in all of its trains and accessories that I know of. It’s best to never say never with Marx, but standardizing on E10 was cost-effective so I doubt there’s any variance. The question is what voltage.
Continue reading Marx train light bulbs