Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/429

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

of the car. The reversing shaft is also provided with a number of segments, but these are not so easily seen, although they can be discerned on close examination. The wires from the cable e e e and also wire d d are attached to the stationary pieces with which the segments carried by the two shafts make contact when the latter are moved around by the motorman. These wires can be seen back of the main switch shaft, and also above the board located

PSM V56 D0429 Interior of an electric rail car controller.png
Fig. 21.—View of Interior of Car Controller.

at the lower left-hand corner. All these wires enter the controller through an opening in the bottom.

In addition to the apparatus shown in Figs. 18 to 21, electric cars are provided with a safety fuse and a lightning arrester, the object of the latter being to protect the motors from the destructive effects of lightning strokes. The object of the safety fuse is to protect the motor from injury when the current becomes too strong. An electric current in passing through a wire generates heat, and the stronger the current the greater the heat. If the wire is large and the current weak, the heat developed may be insufficient to raise the temperature to a noticeable degree; but, on the other hand, if the wire is small or the current very strong, the heat generated may be capable of raising the temperature of the metal to the fusing point. In fact, the incandescent lamp operates upon this principle; the carbon filament is traversed by a current of a strength sufficient to heat it to a point where it becomes intensely