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Railroad Construction In Kleefskill, NY

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  • And here we are with Switch Stand Test #2! This is an S scale NJ International Low Ramapo switch stand. The mast really seems too high for a low stand, but I think it looks OK. For those wondering where the name 'Ramapo' came from, aside from the Ramapo River and Ramapo Mountains in Southern New York State, the prototype was made by the Ramapo Iron Works in that same area. The mechanism is a real jewel and the throw handle moves with the position. It also has working red and green 12v lantern lights, too! The key to getting switch stands to operate with turnouts is to drill another hole in the throw bar of the stand as close to the stand as possible to shorten the throw distance. I'll get this one installed and see how it works out. Stay tuned!




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    • I began installation work on the NJ Int'l Ramapo switch stand by figuring out where the shortest throw distance would be. Typically, this is the point on a lever closest to an end. After marking this point on the throw lever, I drilled out a new throw rod hole in the steel lever. Mounting the stand and getting the working mechanism to clear the ground is one thing. Getting the lever to clear whatever it's mounted on is another. The solution was to epoxy the stand to large pieces of styrene stock. One length was notched out using a cutting bit in my roto-tool prior to adhering it onto the styrene 'beams'. Now the lever has full swing. Next comes the installation of the throw rod mechanism.






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      • :up:

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        • Thanks, Tyson, but...

          This one went down in flames, too. :erm: I did get an understanding of why this thing doesn't work, though. First, this stand is S scale...as in S scale standard gauge. I'm trying to use it on S scale narrow gauge. The distance between the point rails and the stock rails on my turnouts isn't long enough to completely rotate the switch stand...regardless of how close to centerline I drill the hole for connecting the throw rod. And, of course, this means that the target and lantern won't rotate the full 90 degrees needed. [!] OK, so candidate #3 is now being considered. I called the famous Sn3 manufacturer PBL and spoke to the owner, think his name is Peter. He told me the same thing. He said they make the 'Star' type switch stands in brass that are designed for Sn3. Soooo.....stay tuned!

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          • Russ,

            Sorry to hear that the NJI switch stand didn't work out for you. It really would have looked great on your layout. Any other progress on the layout, or are you concentrating on getting the switch stand nailed down first? Keep us posted on version #3 when you tackle it!

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            • Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winnah! I called PBL, the Sn3 manufacturer to get an idea of what their 'operating' switch stands were like and I was told that they do, in fact, operate. At 9.95 a pair as a brass kit, I was somewhat skeptical because two other attempts had failed. :erm: This first shot is the kit...the whole, entire kit from which two switch stands will be produced. Okaaaay. I followed the instructions to the letter and the construction was small and fussy with some easily lost and very bendable parts. After getting it together, I then followed the instructions for mounting and monkeyed around with it. It works! [:-bigmouth] The trick is to have a freely rotating crank lever with the throw wire almost aside the vertical stand shaft. This allows the shaft and targets to rotate almost 90 degrees. PBL accomplished this with extremely precise brass castings as can be seen on the sprues below:



              This is the final install waiting for the appropriate 'landscaping'. It is in the 'main clear' position.




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              • Oooops...don't worry, I'll trim the turnout motor wire protruding up through the throw bar.

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                • Congrats, Russ. It is a neat looking stand to boot.

                  As for the turnout motor wire protruding up, don't cut it too short. Must allow for some expansion/contraction with humidity, etc. There is nothing more frustrating than a wire that ends up just a wee bit short. Yes, I've been there. :erm:

                  I have some non-operating switch stands on my layout and they do look great. However, as careful as I am in not knocking them over, I somehow do.[:-ashamed]
                  Bruce

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                  • All right Russ! Looks like you've nailed this one with a great looking (and working!) switch stand. It sure must have been fun removing, cleaning, asembling & painting all of those itty-bitty pieces!

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                    • Russ, your persistence paid off! The switch stand looks great. The two others weren’t failures, look at it like Edison did, you discovered two ways that wouldn’t work.

                      George
                      Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man. Landing is the first.

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                      • Great looking stand Russ!

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                        • That is the million dollar question -- how to protect these nice switch stands during an op session.

                          Wondering!

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                          • Yes, the stands look great Russ. I have found that operators are pretty careful when hand-throwing turnouts when they know that there are more delicate parts nearby. Keep up the fine work! :up: :up:
                            Mike Hamer

                            Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

                            http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca

                            http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca

                            http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

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                            • quote:


                              Originally posted by dlwrailfan1


                              That is the million dollar question -- how to protect these nice switch stands during an op session. Wondering!



                              Well, you could put glass jars over the top of them (just kidding) but it's a non issue with me because I am the sole operator and this is for a small layout. This type of detail is for people who like to 'model' track. These are also used on larger layouts, too, but caution has to be excercised...that's the key. For a layout that sees a lot of visiting operators, this wouldn't be the way to go in busy areas.

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                              • I've had one of the non-operating Sequoia high switch stands on the main track of an HO module for 10 years, during which it's survived probably 100 transport/setup/track-clean/operate/visitors-grope/takedown cycles. The key reason for its survival is that I drilled the center of the casting for a piece of .025 music wire. I soldered the target to the wire, and cut it long enough so it's embedded the full depth of the 3/4" plywood roadbed.
                                James

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