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Author Previous Topic: Franklin Junction Layout Progress Topic Next Topic: NMRA AP Civil Eng.Certificate  Support Thread
Page: of 95

vzjtothalo
Engine Wiper



Posted - 07/12/2014 :  3:51:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ah say, wuhst ah've seen in fawty yeahs. Gotta triple head there.........


Country: USA | Posts: 145 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/21/2014 :  09:43:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's been a busy couple of weeks since my last update. Not much visually to show, but still progress.

A big motivation for me was a recent visit to Ken McCorry's Northern Division Railroad. One word... WOW! Ken is an extremely gracious host and took the time to show us the entire railroad, and afterwards, we had a great BS session.

What made this visit particularly interesting to me is that I model the same area as Ken does, albeit a much smaller area of it and in a much smaller area as well! But it was fun to visit someone else who shares the same interests. I stole a lot of great ideas from Ken's layout. So it was a very motivating trip.

As most of you probably know, the mere size of Ken's layout is impressive, but after seeing it first hand and up close, what was even more impressive was the state of completion and how well done it all is. The scenery is what really grabbed me. Truly amazing! Thanks again Ken!

So with this new level of motivation, and now that the 'loop' is finished and the layout is 'running', it's time to tie up some loose ends, and at the same time, finish up some of the switching areas.

The next big project on the horizon is the installation of turnout controls for the mainline on the lower level. I am still waiting for my order of buttons to arrive, which I expect this week, but in the mean time I am prepping for installation. Earlier I mentioned that I would be installing the turnout controls so that they are recessed into the fascia of the layout. I am using PVC end caps to do this. This means drilling a hole in the fascia so that the end cap can be mounted and a hole drilled in the center where the button will be mounted. The first problem is the external size of the end cap is an odd size, so Bruce took these home and is milling these down to a more common size, allowing us to use a standard size hole cutter to drill the hole in the fascia and mount these caps. I will photograph this process and post pictures of these in a few days to better illustrate what I am doing.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been going back to tie up some loose ends on the overall project. One such project was the ceiling in the room, which I had never finished. I had run short on ceiling tiles when I originally put the ceiling in and have since acquired more. Painting these things black is not a fun project, but I finally got them done and installed. That project is now officially finished.

I've also been laying out some of the switching areas, but am having a difficult time picturing some of the scenes, so I've hit sort of a road block there. Nothing at this point is going to be permanent as I know that as time goes by, I will be moving things around in each area to accommodate buildings, scenes, etc., but I still need to at least get a general idea of what I want before I lay track in a given area. That process continues.

So as not to impede progress, I've turned my attention to finishing Northumberland Yard. I laid out the classification yard a couple of years ago and then moved on to other projects, but the time has come to finish it up and get it up and running. So that's my next area of focus. I need to finished the A&D Yard, install feeders to get it powered up, install switch machines and then lay out and install the engine servicing area. I'm looking forward to getting this area up and running so we can start test running some of the trains as I finish other areas around the railroad.

So that's where we are at this point in time. Thanks for following along!


Mark

Edited by - MarkF on 07/21/2014 6:28:24 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 13119 Go to Top of Page

chrisbconaway
New Hire



Posted - 07/21/2014 :  9:35:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark, thanks for the tour the other night! I like the way that you have been able to separate the different scenes. I look forward to the first OPS when you get there..... no pressure!



Country: USA | Posts: 24 Go to Top of Page

keystonefarm
Section Hand

Posted - 07/21/2014 :  11:20:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarkF

It's been a busy couple of weeks since my last update. Not much visually to show, but still progress.

A big motivation for me was a recent visit to Ken McCorry's Northern Division Railroad. One word... WOW! Ken is an extremely gracious host and took the time to show us the entire railroad, and afterwards, we had a great BS session.

What made this visit particularly interesting to me is that I model the same area as Ken does, albeit a much smaller area of it and in a much smaller area as well! But it was fun to visit someone else who shares the same interests. I stole a lot of great ideas from Ken's layout. So it was a very motivating trip.

As most of you probably know, the mere size of Ken's layout is impressive, but after seeing it first hand and up close, what was even more impressive was the state of completion and how well done it all is. The scenery is what really grabbed me. Truly amazing! Thanks again Ken!

So with this new level of motivation, and now that the 'loop' is finished and the layout is 'running', it's time to tie up some loose ends, and at the same time, finish up some of the switching areas.

The next big project on the horizon is the installation of turnout controls for the mainline on the lower level. I am still waiting for my order of buttons to arrive, which I expect this week, but in the mean time I am prepping for installation. Earlier I mentioned that I would be installing the turnout controls so that they are recessed into the fascia of the layout. I am using PVC end caps to do this. This means drilling a hole in the fascia so that the end cap can be mounted and a hole drilled in the center where the button will be mounted. The first problem is the external size of the end cap is an odd size, so Bruce took these home and is milling these down to a more common size, allowing us to use a standard size hole cutter to drill the hole in the fascia and mount these caps. I will photograph this process and post pictures of these in a few days to better illustrate what I am doing.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been going back to tie up some loose ends on the overall project. One such project was the ceiling in the room, which I had never finished. I had run short on ceiling tiles when I originally put the ceiling in and have since acquired more. Painting these things black is not a fun project, but I finally got them done and installed. That project is now officially finished.

I've also been laying out some of the switching areas, but am having a difficult time picturing some of the scenes, so I've hit sort of a road block there. Nothing at this point is going to be permanent as I know that as time goes by, I will be moving things around in each area to accommodate buildings, scenes, etc., but I still need to at least get a general idea of what I want before I lay track in a given area. That process continues.

So as not to impede progress, I've turned my attention to finishing Northumberland Yard. I laid out the classification yard a couple of years ago and then moved on to other projects, but the time has come to finish it up and get it up and running. So that's my next area of focus. I need to finished the A&D Yard, install feeders to get it powered up, install switch machines and then lay out and install the engine servicing area. I'm looking forward to getting this area up and running so we can start test running some of the trains as I finish other areas around the railroad.

So that's where we are at this point in time. Thanks for following along!



Mark glad you guys enjoyed your visit. An idea on setting up a switching area. I made cheap mockups of buildings using foamcore and moved them around until they were locate dwhere I thought they should be. If using any of teh Walthers buildings use their footprint size as the basis for your mock ups. Use the cheap white foam core a really sharp Stanley knife and some hot glue and you will have mock ups all over the place. You can even draw doors, windows identifying signs and loading doors on them as stand ins for awhile. -------- Ken



Country: USA | Posts: 63 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/22/2014 :  09:07:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Glad you enjoyed the tour Chris. We are getting there!

Ken, you are reading my mind! Yes, that's what I was planning to do. Rick (Harsco) has a great eye for this stuff and loves doing these mockups. Heck, some of his 'mock ups' look as good as permanant buildings! It will be a while before I get the layout fully populated, but in the meantime, I'll need something to help define what is going to be where and make sure it looks right, so I like the idea.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13119 Go to Top of Page

dnhman
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/28/2014 :  12:24:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark, I have been "offline" RRLF for quite a while but I did go back to see your improvements, Nice going

Cheers!, Joe

Country: USA | Posts: 1095 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/29/2014 :  12:02:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Joe! We are getting there!

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13119 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/10/2014 :  11:08:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A little bit of an update. Since my last post, I finally received the buttons for my main line switch machine controls that I had been waiting for. About the same time, Bruce took the PVC end caps that I purchased and milled down the outside diameter to 1 1/4” so we can use a standard hole saw to install them. While he had them, he also painted them flat black. Once I got them back, I then mounted the buttons to the end caps and pre-wired them for installation. These are now done and ready for installation. Once I start installation, I will post pictures of these buttons and how we made them.

Of course, since I am ready to install these buttons, I had to finish installing the buss to supply machine power. So I spent a lot of my time under the railroad, finishing up the remaining wiring, including the buss to supply the tortoise machine power.

Another project that got me sidelined over the past week was the track wiring. While running an engine around the layout, I noticed that there was a short when the locomotive crossed a specific gap coming out of the helix. My first thought was that the boosters were out of phase, but after switching the leads, it was apparent that wasn’t my problem. Making a long story short, I soon discovered that my upper level is actually one big reverse loop, so when the engine entered or left the upper level, there was a resulting short. Fortunately I had an extra reversing unit on hand which I installed on one of the blocks in the helix and that problem disappeared.

I did start work on Northumberland, but there isn’t much progress to report there, yet. That will be my next big project, unless I get sidetracked again, which tends to happen a lot these days!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13119 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/11/2014 :  12:47:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Today I began installing the buttons to control mainline turnouts and this turned out better and easier than I envisioned! I mentioned that I would post pictures of how I installed the buttons so if anyone was interested, they could use this idea as well.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, originally I had planned to place local control panels around the layout for switch machine control. The problem was that the machines are spaced fairly far apart from one another, and there are only a couple of controls needed in any given area. I felt that perhaps a control panel was over kill. So I came up with the idea of simply mounting the buttons in the fascia for local control of the machines directly below where the turnout is located. Easy to locate; it's directly below the turnout. No indicators needed; your looking directly at the turnout.

I also wanted to recess the button in the fascia to avoid accidental throwing of the turnout, or worse yet, damage to the button. I remembered reading or seeing this idea somewhere, but for the life of me I can’t remember where, but I decided to use PVC end caps that would create a housing for the button recessed in the fascia. Here’s how I did it.

First, here is a picture of my tortoise machines, buttons and the PVC end caps waiting for the assembly to begin. The PVC end caps are 1 inside diameter, a nice size to fit a finger!



The problem was that the outside diameter of the end cap is an odd size, so fellow forum member SteamNut came to the rescue, as he usually does! He took the end caps home one night and using his lathe, milled them down so that the outside diameter is 1 ¼”. At the same time, he spray painted the insides black. Here is the finished product.



Once I got them back, I mounted the DPDT pushbuttons to the cap. Here is a view of the back side of the cap.



And a view of the finished button assembly from the front.



I then prewired the buttons at the work bench and then began the installation. First, using a 1 ¼” hole saw, I cut hole in the fascia. Then I applied a bead of construction adhesive to the outside of the cap and slipped it into the hole from the back, twisting it slightly to spread the glue around the hole. Putting it in from the back further spread the glue but prevented it from oozing out the front, making for a nice neat installation.



And there you have it! Easy to install. Easy to find. Easy to use!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13119 Go to Top of Page

Brunton
Engine Wiper



Posted - 08/11/2014 :  07:02:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Pretty slick, Mark!


Country: USA | Posts: 480 Go to Top of Page

Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 08/11/2014 :  09:21:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mark,

Like the PVC end cap button protector idea. Pretty slick.

Bernd



Country: USA | Posts: 2116 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/11/2014 :  10:35:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Mark and Bernd!

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13119 Go to Top of Page

BandO Boy
Engine Wiper



Posted - 08/11/2014 :  10:36:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit BandO Boy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very cool... looks great... have seen some who have used old 35 mm film canisters in the same manner... sounds like Steam did all of the dirty work!... am curious if the milling meant that the entire wall thickness was 'thinned' and whether any type of lip was left at the open end... great job -

Best regards -
Jim Fawcett
Scotch Plains, NJ

http://oldmainline.blogspot.com

Country: USA | Posts: 153 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/11/2014 :  6:16:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Jim! Maybe that's where I got the idea. I do remember the 35mm canister idea.

Yes, Steam did do the dirty work, but he has the lathe and I don't. But steam does enjoy a challenge! Overall, thinning down the walls of the cap to a more standard size made the job easier as now all I had to do was use a standard size hole saw. As far as a lip goes, looking back, I guess we could have done that. Leaving a lip would have made for an even more cleaner looking installation. A good tip, but too late for me.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13119 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 08/11/2014 :  8:25:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The recessed button on the fascia has a nice neat look.

George



Country: USA | Posts: 13672 Go to Top of Page
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