Shay - Electrical
System II - Headlamp
Headlights: The Shays of the early 1900s had oil lantern type headlamps. Based on photos and comments in Philip Brogan's book Shay Logging Locomotives At Cass, West Virginia, 1900-60, the switch from oil to electric headlamps occurred at Cass around 1920. The oil lamps on the first couple Cass Shays had large square cases. The majority of the oil headlamps had 16" round cases similar to the later electric headlamps. The round oil lamp had a squat chimney on the top whereas the electric lamp had a smooth top. Some of the oil lamps had number boards on the sides as did some of the later electric lamps. Castings for a Pyle type lamp with side number boards are available from Railroad Warehouse and they also offer an assembled Sunbeam type lamp that is a close match for the round case electric headlamps used at Cass. This assembled lamp is equipped with a 12 volt Halogen bulb that is a mismatch for my 6 volt system. The choice is to model the electric or the oil lamp. If the electric lamp is modeled, then one would want to have a steam powered generator. Castings for a non operating Pyle generator are available from LS Manufacturing.
Recall that limited power is available via a set of D cells under the tender so I decided to try LEDs. A couple of the large LED flashlights were purchased from Harbor Freight to get the LEDs, lens and reflector. The item description from the Harbor Freight website is shown below.
The equivalent resistance of the resistor plus diodes at 4.5 volts input is (4.5 volts divided by 0.4 amperes ) about 11 ohms. Similarly, the equivalent resistance at 3.6 volts input is about 18 ohms.
The technical specification for the Eveready E95 energizer alkaline D cell was downloaded from www.eveready.com. The constant resistance curves were then used to find a typical service life at a 1.2 volts cutoff (3.6 volts for 3 cells) of ~80 hours for a 11 ohm load and ~ 150 hours for 18 ohms. A 100 hour service life is probably a good estimate. If this estimate proves to be accurate then rechargeable batteries aren't worth the effort
At this point I was undecided as to whether to make the number boards or to make the headlamps like the Cass 11 lamp with no number boards. The number boards looked like a pain to make and I was in a hurry. I also knew that If I made them without the number boards I'd regret it later. So, put the project aside and worked on the lawn for a day. Nothing like lawn work to provide motivation to work on the shay! The lamp will be finished in Part III