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Author Previous Topic: Rebuilding the Royal and Edisto Railroad Topic Next Topic: Tubular Diaphragm Question
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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/05/2010 :  09:05:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, George, Mike. I don't think this machine would have broken if I hadn't been prying the contacts with a small screwdriver, trying to fix an open circuit to the frog in one position. I've re-used a bunch of Kemtron machines which are even older with no problem so far.


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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/11/2010 :  10:38:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I made a good deal of progress last week, but not much that was photogenic. Mainly it was bulk-fabricating parts for hand-throw switch mechanisms (lots of drilling & tapping) and installing several of them.



This is the first time I've done a slide-switch mechanism with a layout-edge rod to actuate it. The rod I used is 1/16" brass, which I think will be rigid enough. I'm going to have to figure out what to use for a knob.

I've got enough of the unfinished switch backlog dealt with that I've resumed work on closing the mainline loop. I won't complete it until I've got the diode matrix for the west end of staging installed.



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Neil M
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 07/12/2010 :  06:19:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi James,
I have the same setup for throwing switches on my layout and for knobs on the end on I just cut 1inch sections of 1/2inch pine dowel, rounded the ends slightly and drilled a hole that was a tight fit for the wire (wire coat hanger in my case - didn't cost anything and pretty stiff).

I had been planning to glue the knob on with epoxy but didn't need to.



Built a waterfront HO layout in Ireland http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22161 but now making a start in On30 in Australia

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LVRALPH
Fireman



Posted - 07/13/2010 :  07:17:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
James, very nice!


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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/13/2010 :  11:00:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Ralph. Neil, have you had any problems with clothing getting caught on your knobs? I was thinking I should use a knob that didn't project that much from the fascia.


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Neil M
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 07/13/2010 :  1:04:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No, i don't get caught up on the knobs on my layout but then my layout it very small so I don't end up brushing past it.

I think that whatever shape of knob you use there is a possibility of banging against it in tight spaces. I have seen some modellers make smaller panels recessed in their fascia that have the knobs on them, meaning that the knobs don't stick out past the front face of the fascia.

Or of your fascia isn't very high you could make the turnout controls a wee bit below and flush with the fascia. That would save the work on the fascia (if it is already installed) but it probably wouldn't look as neat



Built a waterfront HO layout in Ireland http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22161 but now making a start in On30 in Australia

Country: Australia | Posts: 2448 Go to Top of Page

LandNnut
Fireman



Posted - 07/14/2010 :  05:40:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit LandNnut's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Could you please show us more photos? How does the mechanism connect to the turnout? What does it look like topside?
L&N nut
Jon



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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/14/2010 :  07:11:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jon, the points are silver-soldered to the tops of the 3/32" brass rods that go through the roadbed. They run in the 1/8" brass tubes that the feeder wires are soldered to, and are threaded 3-48 on the bottom. I am 300 mi. from my pictures and have to check out in a short while, but I did post pictures in the Model RR Construction track/roadbed thread, and IIRC I put a link here, maybe on page 2 or 3. More when I'm on the Acela this afternoon.

[[Edit]] It's at the bottom of page 6 of "Subroadbed, roadbed and track" sticky thread.



Edited by - jbvb on 07/14/2010 4:08:17 PM

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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/17/2010 :  10:38:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
First thing this weekend, I ballasted the commercial turnouts at the west end of my staging. As it happens, I'd never done that before, and the trouble I had keeping ballast out of the throwbar and points really made me think about all the hand-laid turnouts I've done recently: With hand-laid, once I get the mechanism right and control set up, it works. But ballasting commercial track gives you another opportunity to screw up what you just got working...

But ballast, particularly cinders, is not photogenic. What is photogenic, maybe, is how I built my diode matrix today: I needed to map 9 pushbuttons onto 8 twin-coil machines. I worked it out on a spreadsheet some time back and the last of the parts arrived last week while I was in NJ. The natural layout worked out to be 2 1/8" x 3 1/8".



The PCB connectors I got from Digi-Key have pins on .156 centers. Alas, all the prototype board I had around expected .100 centers. I broke the last of my 'resharpened' carbide drills trying to make them fit, so I finally used sprue nipping pliers and a hobby knife to slot out between pairs of holes. I stuck the connectors in place with contact cement, but they get held with solder in the next step:



I started out using some old tinned buss wire, but whatever they'd used had a higher melting point than my 60/40 solder. I switched to 24 GA solid copper for the rest of the cross-wires.



I did get all the diodes pointing the right way, but I found and fixed three bad joints testing with the "diode check" function of my DVM.

Tomorrow morning, before it gets too hot up there, I'll start running feeders. Once those switches work, only six inches of track are needed for the Brass Spike ceremony.



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Grubes
Crew Chief



Posted - 07/18/2010 :  06:39:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
James,

Great work on the electrical front. Sometimes it's the non-photogenic projects that contribute most to making the railroad run as desired.

Dave



Edited by - Grubes on 07/18/2010 06:40:03 AM

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Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/19/2010 :  11:27:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That sure is a great looking control panel, James...the envy of many a modeller. It will most certainly add to the layout in giving it a finished professional look!

Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/20/2010 :  1:10:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Did someone hide a moron magnet in my car? Last night on the way home someone tried to replay my summer 2009 accident by coming out of a side street (stop sign) without looking. I had a bad feeling and slowed down and was able to dodge him.
That was good luck, as my wife was sitting where the last guy center-punched me. Also luckily, the guy coming the other way stopped short as I crossed his lane to the shoulder. Today I biked 8 mi. to the train station: smaller, more agile target.

In non-photogenic model RR news, I worked off the tension by wiring up the diode matrix. Two sets of points are sticky from ballast but *try* to throw. Alas, one coil appears not to be getting juice, so the DVM will be accompanying me under the layout, probably tomorrow night.



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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/21/2010 :  9:47:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
With apologies to Bret Harte:

What was it that the engines said
Pilots still a ways from touching...



I fixed a couple of bad connections, cleaned out more ballast and adjusted one machine. Now everything works, but alas, I'm not getting enough oomph from some buttons. Perhaps I've got high-resistance joints, perhaps I need to feed the capacitor discharge unit more than 16VAC. Maybe I'll build some switches now.



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Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/22/2010 :  08:48:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi James, sure glad you avoided the 'near miss' in your car. I hope you get the electical issue figured out soon as well. Hey James, I visited your website and saw a couple of really nice steam locomotive shots from your model railroad. It would be great to see them posted in the photography section for this month's theme on steam. More people would be able to see your fine modelling skills! Just a thought!

Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

Edited by - Mike Hamer on 07/22/2010 08:49:24 AM

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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/29/2010 :  11:41:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
How to make trackwork photogenic? Run a train past it? At any rate, I've got the switches on the siding at Newburyport West about half done. You can see the first "fascia knob" control in the lower left (except that I haven't chosen a knob style yet). I've got to build more fascia before I can install controls for the new switches.



I completed the main line on July 23, and I've spent a bit of time running trains since then. I'm happy with the way several design decisions came out:

Grades: The ruling grade is around 1.2%, which happened to be westbound through staging. It turns out that my 8-coupled steam can just manage the longest freight that fits in staging, 28 or 29 cars.

Mainline configuration: The main is mostly double track, with single track segments through Bexley Arch (stand-in for Salem Tunnel) and across the Merrimac River drawbridge. I can run two passenger trains in opposite directions without a lot of stress. It remains to be seen how well I've emulated the web of running tracks and leads the B&M used to let switchers work while the commuters streamed past.

DC + DCC: What I use depends on what I want to run. I don't think I'll be mixing them much until things are complete enough for guest operators. DCC works best if I'm running two trains myself. DC lets me bring out the exotic (to me) equipment that hasn't gone to a Hub show in years.

As might be expected, the track needed more shaking down for long freights. So did the cars; the freight shown is mostly older equipment that I pulled out of module service as I completed my 'Green Dot' exhibition fleet about 10 years ago. Several cars need a trip to the workbench, once I get the taps and dies put away. Wiring and panels have been (knock wood) fine, except that I need to spend another hour with the diode matrix one of these evenings.

I've got some work ahead of me before I can just leave a train orbiting and railfan it, but it sure feels good to take a break from work and run something for a lap or two. Maybe I'll even finish some scenery this fall.



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