The NB2 Locomotive

(by Island Pond Railroad)


The NB2 Locomotive

Note: This is NOT a "shifter". You may have seen a similar looking product with that name, This is not it. This page highlights recent updates to the NB2 configuration. These include...

  1. Lowering the coupler height by 5/8".
  2. Simplified shell to chassis cabling.
  3. Moving the Bell, Horn, and Controller Box.
  4. Adding the status lamps, train line switch, and fuse.
  5. Increasing the gear reduction.
  6. Adding an SD card for faster firmware updates.
  7. Changing the FPGA board to a cheaper model.
  8. Fixing problems with the high current chassis.
  9. Replacing the battery strap.


New Coupler Height

The coupler height was lowered by 5/8" by removing 5/16" from the top and bottom surfaces of the equalizer bars where they cradle on the coupler tube and the truck sideframes. This required that the side plates and plow mounts be redrilled to their new positions.


New Bell and Horn Location.

Previously, the horn and bell were mounted inside the locomotive shell. There is really not enough room there, so both were moved to the chassis in the unused battery bay.

Because the bell and horn assemblies were relocated, it was necessary to change the wiring harness between the shell and chassis. At the same time, the connectors were relocated to make them easy to connect once the shell is in place.


The Control Panel

Control panel changes include addition of six status lamps and the trainline switch and fuse. Status lamps tell what mode the locomotive is in and report any faults detected.

The other switches on this panel are Forward/Reverse, Brake/Release, and the 100 amp main power switch.


New drive sprocket and controller location

This photo shows a much larger reduction sprocket than in older photos. (60 teeth versus 35). This makes the locomotive half as fast, but it can pull twice as much. Sorry kids. It's not the rocket it used to be.

Also notice that the controller is now mounted heat sink side up instead of on one side as in earlier photos. This is because that is the only way I could make it fit under the shell after raising the drive train to accomodate the larger sprocket.


The SD card

I needed an easy way to update the NB2's firmware. Each time, I had to recompile the FPGA code, remove the controller box from the locomotive, remove the FPGA board cover, plug in the Altera USB Blaster, and reflash the configuration device.

So I added this SD card. Now all I need to do is put the new firmware on the SD card and plug it in to a slot in the underside of the controller box.

New Battery Strap

I also added this quick release battery strap. That battery weighs 38 pounds. It's a lot easier to move the engine on or off the track without it.


The Original NB2 Page is here
Using an Alltrax controller in the NB2, Go HERE