Building an Accurail kit: 40' L&N AAR Steel Box Car.

By isendev.

 Posted on 2019/06/04 23:18.

 Tagged as: vintage, railwaymodelling.

After a long time, I've returned back to my old hobby of railway modelling. When I was young, I spent countless hours playing with my dad's collection and now, in my forties, I would like to start my own collection with some american model trains.

It is difficult to find such models for sale in Spain, but looking from time to time on auction sites, you sometimes get an offer that is worthwhile. Back in January, I found a set of 6 x 40' AAR (Association of American Railroads) standard box car kits. These kits were made in 1995 by Accurail (Ref. 1524) and decorated with the L&N (Louisville & Nashville Railroad) colors. They are easy to assemble and should not take more than half an hour to complete each of them.

Here are some photos and information about the building process of one of this Accurail box car kits. Note that wheelsets and couplers have been upgraded to Kadee parts.

All kits came in its original box and with all its contents intact. Time to prepare glue and tooling for building one of them.

I've attached the weight to the car box chassis using hot glue and the additional under frame accesories using Tamiya extra thin cement.

Old Accurail kits came with nearly non-funcional plastic couplers (newer kits came with much better Accumate couplers), so I've replaced them with some Kadee #148 Magne-Matic couplers.

Another upgrade: Stock plastic wheelsets were replaced with Kadee 33" diameter smooth backed wheelsets (Kadee reference #520). These new wheelsets come with NMRA Code 110 profile (US National Model Railroad Association standard H0 gauge) and are compatible with my Trix C-Track layout.

Once the trucks were installed, I only had to join the box to the chassis to finish the car.

I think that I'm going to buy some decal paper and try to renumber the box cars. I don't like that all of them have the same road number...

Nikko RC 6V battery pack rebuild.

By isendev.

 Posted on 2017/12/10 13:13.

 Tagged as: diy.

Here are some photos and tips of the rebuild process of a Nikko RC 6V battery pack.

Beware! Do not try to do this if you don't know what you're doing. Batteries are not a joke. Wrong polarity mistakes and short circuits can lead to a fire or an explosion. Take the following information at your own risk.

I've opened the sealed battery case with the help of a Dremel multitool and a cutting disc. It is necessary to be very careful not to damage the battery cells when cutting the sides of the sealed battery case. Inside whe can found five 1.2V AA NiMh regular batteries tied together in series to get the required 6V.

Using strong tape and 5 brand new Amazon's 1.2V AA NiMh 2500mAh rechargeable batteries, I've set up the new battery pack (carefully taking account of original cell's polarity).

To make the cell links, I've used copper braid. Before welding the new links, I've prepared the surface of the poles by gently sanding and tinning them.

Protect the cell links with tape and weld the battery pads from the original pack. Be careful to not make shorts with other cell poles. Remount all in the original battery pack case. I've used more tape to secure all.

Ready to roll and recharge... ;)

Using GoAccess web log analyzer with NGINX logs.

By isendev.

 Posted on 2017/08/10 20:36.

 Tagged as: raspberrypi, linux.

This is another quick note that shows how to install GoAccess web log analyzer with NGINX logs on Raspbian / Raspberry Pi.

What's GoAccess? Taken from its site:

GoAccess is an open source real-time web log analyzer and interactive viewer that runs in a terminal in *nix systems or through your browser. It provides fast and valuable HTTP statistics for system administrators that require a visual server report on the fly.

We will assume that an instance of NGINX is already running on your Raspberry Pi.

First of all, install GoAccess. It's avalaible through the Raspbian repositories.

apt-get install goaccess

Now uncomment the following lines from the GoAccess config file /etc/goaccess.conf, using your favourite text editor.

emacs /etc/goaccess.conf

date-format %d/%b/%Y
log-format %h %^[%d:%^] "%r" %s %b "%R" "%u"

These lines set the default date format to Apache format and the default log format to NCSA Combined Log Format, both used by the NGINX logs. Now, test GoAccess with current NGINX log file:

goaccess -f /var/log/nginx/access.log

And if you want to process all gzipped log archives (this may take a while), use this:

zcat -f /var/log/nginx/access.log* | goaccess

Important: Note that all commands are executed as root. If you do not have access to a root shell (by default you are not allowed to use it), use sudo to execute them (prefix all commands with "sudo").

How to update Oracle Java 8 on Raspbian / Raspberry Pi.

By isendev.

 Posted on 2017/08/09 23:50.

 Tagged as: java, raspberrypi, linux.

This is a quick note that shows how to update Oracle Java 8 on Raspbian / Raspberry Pi.

By default, Raspbian has the following Java 8 Oracle package:

root@rpi3server:~# dpkg --list | grep  oracle-java8-jdk
ii  oracle-java8-jdk 8u65 armhf Java™ Platform, Standard Edition 8 Development Kit

root@rpi3server:~ $ java -version
java version "1.8.0_65"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_65-b17)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 25.65-b01, mixed mode)

And the default Raspbian repositories do not regurarly update this package.

We need to use the Oracle Java Installer from

Install the repository key, from

root@rpi3server:~# gpg --keyserver --recv EEA14886
root@rpi3server:~# gpg --export --armor EEA14886 | sudo apt-key add -

Add the repository URLs to the APT sources config file /etc/apt/sources.list, using your favourite text editor.

root@rpi3server:~# emacs /etc/apt/sources.list

deb trusty main
deb-src trusty main

Update the repositories.

root@rpi3server:~# apt-get update

Use the installer package to automatically update Oracle Java. You must accept the license messages and confirm the installation when prompted.

root@rpi3server:~# apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

Set the updated Oracle Java as default.

root@rpi3server:~# apt install oracle-java8-set-default

And finally, confirm that everything is fine.

root@rpi3server:~# java -version
java version "1.8.0_144"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_144-b01)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 25.144-b01, mixed mode)

Important: Note that all commands are executed as root. If you do not have access to a root shell (by default you are not allowed to use it), use sudo to execute them (prefix all commands with "sudo").