Dec 11, 2020
Wow! Owen, that's a wonderful plan: lots of switching options, and plenty of storage.
On the evening of Christmas day, we returned home from a family gathering earlier in the day to find the house cooler inside than we expected. Temperatures dropped into the single digits that night. The next morning, with the heat turned up to 75, it was a chilly 58 degrees inside. I managed to get a HVAC tech to have a look later on Saturday and confirmed my suspicions. Auxiliary heater coils failed, so we only have the external heat pump running. System is 25 years old, so we’re going to address some other indirectly related issues and have the entire system replaced in a couple months. (Heat pump does well enough when it is above 20 degrees outside).
Anyhow, the new air handler in the basement needs to be placed where I was finishing a room for my wife’s hobbies. So I let her have part of the planned layout space, and I’ll take over that was originally her space and just railroad right on by the new blower unit when we have that done........ so all construction on the layout has come to a screeching halt..... again.
Back to track planning stage again. I’m going to keep lower staging where it is, so my goal is to finish it. Beyond that is at a standstill until at least March.
I swear it never ends, always something major causing layout work stoppages and redesigns.
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Pat, that sucks. I'm hoping we get through this winter with ours. I was told it was installed in 1996, so it is a little long in the tooth. Track planning is where I've been for a few months now! Good Luck!
Thanks, Dave, we will give a try and see how it goes.
Slow but steady progress on the grain elevator project this past week. Found some supplies needed to continue. The 4 walls of the main headhouse are together and ready for a roof. Silos are coming along. Site prep hasn't started yet. Need to paint the roof sections for the headhouse next. As I continue forward with the grain elevator, I am also going to tackle a few side project. One in particular is getting my loco and rolling stock roster back in order and up to date. For many years, I have been less than diligent about keeping it in order and I really need to change that.
Richard, I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all Frisco N scale manufactured releases and have found over 440 items. To show what I have collected I used black text and what I'm searching for red text. Also on another page have all items listed by date of prototype manufacturing so I can run trains in the right time era.
Work on the electronics in staging has begun in earnest. Still need to build another Railcom IO board for this panel, and a CDU, then onto running wires...and more wires.
Keeping it spaceous...cuz you know, why not? It'll get covered in wires anyway.
Bottom left: ESP32 LCC Command Station (Atani "special"), above it a DCC Specialties PSX-1,
Bottom right: RR-Cirkits Signal LCC, Tower LCC, 3x SCSD-8s, and room for more if needed, mounted on a 3TK2 snaptrack
Upper right: custom LCC Railcom I/O board, designed by Balazs Racz (of OpenLCB fame),
Upper right corner: RR-Cirkits LCC PowerPoint.
Below the panel is a DC 16V, 7.5A laptop PSU, for an Aux DC power bus, Command Station, CDU...
So I got another building done. This one will prolly be used on my little tram layout. It’s an Outlands model, simple and will help build the little city scape part of the module.
Since my update last Saturday I have been keeping busy working on several things related the my layout expansion. Got started on the second set of bridge abutments that will be for the bridge on the WP track. Again trying to get the look of those in my reference photos. I have never really been happy with the color of the concrete paints that I have used over the years and again looking at these same reference photos I am determined to find a better match for what I see as concrete in them. So I have ordered several shades of light grays and will see what I can come up with.
While I am waiting for the paint to arrive I started working on some of the electrical aspects. When I built this layout room 7 years ago I included a conduit that goes under the floor and connects the two sides of the door way. So I pulled in an 8 conductor cable that will be used to carry track power and also a switched track power that will be controlled by an bridge interlock. This will shut the track power off on the bridge and for a few feet on each side if the bridge is not fully closed.
Mounted the PSX circuit breakers under the loop end of the staging yard that be connected to a new isolated block. The PSX-AR has been moved each time the layout has been extended and it will move again. I found out that I did not have quite enough of the type of 16 gauge wire I like to use for the DCC buss to extend it this far so more of that is also on order.
Our truck has been in the shop for last week having power steering fixed and we will get it back tomorrow morning. So I can pick up the HO brick styrene for Ft. Scott Depot scratch build tomorrow afternoon. It really stinks not having transportation for a week.
We got about an inch of snow this morning but it melted pretty quick with temperatures in the high 30's and about two weeks ago we received 7 inches which was the most in several years, 2008 if I remember right.
I've been there a couple times in your ice storms...hopefully never again. What a mess that was.
We don't count snow here unless it gets over 8 inches or so and then it usually isn't bad until it is over 12 inches. Most snow in one storm has been 30 inches and worst snow in a winter was 95 inches. We really need it now as our town's water supply is snow melt off the mountains and we are in the highest level of drought and the mountains have very little snow on them.
In December 2007 the Tulsa area had a massive ice storm that accumulated 3 inches of ice and caused power to go out for 80% homes and businesses. Cynthia and I didn't have power for 2 weeks and some homes were out for a month. Just in Tulsa they lost over 20,000 trees and 29 people died because of the storm. There were numerous house fires also, seamed like the fire trucks were running every 30 minutes for a couple of weeks.
Today, after finishing work (1/2 a day, yay) and lunch, I built a CDU (Capacitor Discharge Unit).
A cruddy looking, dremel cut, PCB traces. Oh well, it works, and I'm happy I could conjure these few components from my component stash from the last century.
Still need to mount it on the staging electrical panel and wire it to all the SCSD-8s.
The yellow LEDs I have don't quite match the color I'm looking for in my Open Hearth Furnace, so, yesterday I programmed a RGB LED to produce a yellow-orange glow to shine through the inspection holes of the charging ports. (Hmm...This pic seems a little yellower than the actual yellow-orange I saw yesterday.)
RGB LED programmed for the OHF yellow-orange glow by ppuinn posted Jan 1, 2021 at 1:51 PM
The prototype Keystone OHF had 5 separate furnaces in their OHF building. My selectively compressed Keystone OHF will be long enough to accommodate 4 separate furnaces, but I am only going to physically model the charging floor and teeming side of 2 furnaces and place a mirror in the middle of the structure to simulate the third and fourth furnaces in the building.
I started this Party with just an imagined interior to my OHF and drew pictures and made some 2-dimensional cardboard and paper mock ups of the interior. This past week, I've moved from the 2D paper/cardboard phase of designing, to designing in plastics and wire by replacing the cardboard/paper mock-up of the charging floor with painted plastic Evergreen strips and sheet plastic.
Charging Floor painted by ppuinn posted Jan 1, 2021 at 1:51 PM
Yesterday, I converted my charging portals from just a drawing into a more substantial (plastic) model, again using Evergreen strips, girders, and sheet plastic. I put together one bank of 5 charging portals for the OHF. When finished, there will be only two banks of charging portals (one bank each for the two furnaces actually modeled in the south half of the OHF building, and 2 more that will be reflections only). The Charging portals before painting:
Charging Ports befor paintinng by ppuinn posted Jan 1, 2021 at 1:51 PM
Charging Ports painted by ppuinn posted Jan 1, 2021 at 1:51 PM
This morning, I worked on the west brick wall of the OHF which will be on the east side of the charging floor.
OHF Brick wall behind Charging Portals by ppuinn posted Jan 1, 2021 at 6:06 PM
This afternoon I tried a test fit of the charging floor, charging portals and the OHF brick wall on my work table.
Temporary Test fit of the Charging floor, Charging ports and OHF brick walls by ppuinn posted Jan 1, 2021 at 1:51 PM
The test fit showed several issues that will need to be addressed before I can install the Charging floor and west wall of OHF #1 and #2 in the south half of the OHF building:
1. the height of the portals above the charging floor will have to be adjusted (too low, because the columns between the portals are too short);
2. the OHF brick wall openings (hidden behind the portals) did not line up well with the inspection holes of the portals;
3. my method for gluing the vertical portal columns to the upper horizontal girder yielded inconsistent spacing between the columns;
4. some charging portal dimensions were off...which further aggravated the problem with inconsistent vertical column spacing;
5. some of the inspection holes were not properly centered, and one was too low;
6. I fashioned the chains for suspending the portals by twisting some 32 gauge magnet wire and coloring it with a black marker, but the number of twists per inch on the first two doors varied a lot more than on the final 3, the chains did not stay glued in place very well, and the marker ink wiped off too easily.
I think all six issues will be relatively easy to address when I make my final version of the charging portals and the west wall of the OHF; however, for now, I'm going to use this (flawed) plastic version to test various ways of securing the cooling water pipes and water hoses to the charging portals and beams. In the next few days, I'll fashion the portal cooling water pipes out of brass rods and the cooling water hoses out of black thread, and will figure out how to attached them to the portals and nearby beams/girders. After I know how the cooling pipes and hoses will look, I'll make and paint the final version of the charging portals (2 banks of 5 portals).
The red showing through the inspection hole of the farthest right charging portal is just a fluke alignment with my red drill bit case, not the red glow of a LED, but it does give sort of a hint as to what the final OHF glow will look like when an LED is installed behind the brick wall.
When the 2 banks of 5 charging portals are finished, I'll add some I-beams, H-columns, and channels to the brick wall of the furnace and between the charging floor and the brick wall. Then, I'll do another test fit of the charging floor, charging portals, and OHF west brick wall to establish the exact placement of the charging track centerlines, so I can correctly position the bridge that supports those tracks from the outside ramp to the inside charging floor.
Dave Working in N-Scale, is I rediscovered, a challenge. Keep it up, looking forward to seeing your continued success. I concentrated on the layout plan - I realized I just had too much track and after looking again and trying to fit in the Walthers NScale Blast Furnace, I gave up and decide to sell same. Attached is the latest which I think will provide good scenery options with switching and continuous running.
Next step, Trim Foam to length, plan to wire and get ready to get track laid.
Any comments, suggestions good or bad kindly appreciated.
Rev 5 -Jan 1 2 Ft Shelf by okane posted Jan 1, 2021 at 7:21 PM[/GALLE
You have too much track at the very back of the benchwork. I would swap the entire setup and move the yard to the front and the turnback main at the back, also making it elevate around the turn by 2-3 inches at the wall.
Do you have any staging tracks?
I do not know what your goal with the layout is so, maybe share that first, if you haven't already?
I think with your goals in mind it will be a good track plan for you. I'd only suggest possibly consider the following ...
.... It would give you an option to bring a train in and then run back around it. Maybe you plan on doing that with one of the tracks above the yard??
Happy New Year everyone, nice bunch of projects going on here.
Since my update last Wednesday I did get my lift bridge interlocking system put together. As shown in the photo, it consists of 5 automotive relays. I know quite low tech compared to what some of you are doing, but I had purchased a bunch of these some time ago for a project and still have some left over and wanted to use them. One relay for each rail of 2 tracks plus a 5th relay that will trigger a signal light on the outside of the door to warn someone entering that the bridge is down. The relay coils are connected through a magnetic alarm contact mounted in the bridge.
I did receive my several shades of light gray paint and while I liked all of them better than the concrete colored paint that I've been using I selected Model Master 4763 Gull Gray Flat for my bridge abutments. These are the pair for the bridge at the rear of the scene, the Western Pacific bridge.
Then I started to play with some techniques that I had seen on YouTube. This involves tapping an almost dry brush against something to splatter tiny drops onto the model. The video showed using black and white but I found that also using shades of brown or even that concrete color gives it a variety of texture. This was my first attempt at this and I think I can do better with practice. This is also going to get some weathering. This photo is one of the abutments for the bridge in the front of the scene which is the Southern Pacific bridge.
Shipment of wire from Powerwerx is due in today so I will next be extending the DCC buss and also continuing with building the terrain toward the rear of the scene.
TrainzLuvr - Thank You for your suggestions, I love your Brand name "TrainzLuvr" and logo - very nice.
The track was placed at the back as I have grandkids that are all arms and legs so keeping trains not running at the back made a lot of sense and with 90 % at the layout within 24 inches reach yet far enough from the kids - that worked for me. It also fits in with the ModelBuilding dot org kits I purchased and started to kitbash.
This time around I wanted as flay a level as possible. My last one in 2005 was up, down and around. It was a pain to clean and maintain. There might be minor up and down 1 inch or so in some spots.
No staging - that may come as a small addition on the east side of the south wall.
I want to run trains for the kids and have enough switching interest for me and the boys from the club.
Summer - Thanks for your suggestions - I missed the runaround - well now it's incorporated. I imported the track plan with your suggestion into TrainPlayer and loaded up a couple of trains and ran them and it certainly improves ops. I also noticed a few #4 switches on the mainline that are now#6. Also noticed some limitation for mainline M2 reaching inner local loop. That's corrected, although I did end up with a bit of a reverse loop which will not be an issue. Revised Layout Drawing attached as an insert.
The first section of the lower staging yard is substantially complete. With the straight ladder arrangement of the switches, the other end of the staging yard essentially mirrors the lead end.
The main track is on the left, which will likely go through the non-load bearing block wall into the 7’ x 7.5’ bunker for another 10 tracks of staging, 19 in all. Each track is designed to hold 2 locomotives, 20 cars and a caboose, about a total of 12’ long.
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