2020-2021 Thirteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 11, 2020

  1. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm awaiting the delivery of connectors to proceed with the layout wiring. While I wait, no reason I should not take a stab at a bit of kitbashing - First attempt, many mistakes, but as they say its a learning process. - Background relief barbershop with apartments above. A little our out of focus, perhaps the next one will be much better.

    IMG_20210110_131345.jpg
     
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  2. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Since my update last Wednesday I have been progressing with building up the terrain in the Palisade Ranch area of my layout. The bridge abutments are being covered with masking tape to protect them and plaster cloth added to the insulation board and cardboard webbing.

    2020TBLP27.jpg


    Here is another view with the bridges set temporarily in place. The plan is to get some of the scenery under the bridges finished before installing the bridges and track. Building up the hillside where the tunnels are will come after the track is well tested.

    2020TBLP26.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  3. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    My update:

    - Finished Staging West electronics panel, all in place, programmed and tested.

    [​IMG]


    - McGuyvered a motor for the 3-Way switch at the throat of the Staging West

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    - Started work on Staging East electronics panel (smaller one - only Block Occupancy Detection and Turnout Control)

    [​IMG]
     
  4. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter

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    A man after my own heart - Nothing better than an organized, well thought out electronics panel.
     
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  5. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    I was able to get a lot done Sunday. Added a light effect, fixed the coal loads in two tenders, added a few details.
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  6. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    The windows arrived this morning for the Ft. Scott Depot so will be cutting out the openings along with doors this evening.

    Joe
     
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  7. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    While I wasn't able to get down and work on the layout over the weekend, I did get a few minutes to try a test fit of the progress. So far, it is fitting as expected. Still needs that one more silo at the single deep end and some site work will be needed for sure. Overall, I am happy with where it is at.

    20210111_190726.jpg
     
  8. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter

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    I refuse this time around to be unorganized when it comes to wiring. Just received Wag 221 Series connectors, Mounting Carriers and Strain Relief. Should keep me well organized. Only one part remains (Laying Track) and wiring can commence. Perhaps by spring, we might have some trains running - LOL. Of course with us now in a Covid Stay at Home order, we may actually have some progress.

    IMG_20210112_152857.jpg IMG_20210112_152836.jpg
     
  9. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    WAGO connectors are very nice and fancy, definitely a great choice nowadays, especially if you want an easy way to get to run trains fast. :)
     
  10. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter

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    Your right on - Last year I decided to remove all the fluorescent ballasts and replace the tubes with LED. It was a fun project, but I got frustrated with wire nuts and stranded cables. An electrician buddy told me about these, and he gave me a bunch to finish the project. Made wiring the fluorescents less of a chore.
     
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  11. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Best laid plans...
    At my December NMRA division BOD meeting, I volunteered to give a brief video layout tour at our Virtual Division Meeting this coming Saturday showing some improvements I've made on my layout. Initially, I figured I'd spend some time cleaning track that hasn't seen any action since before COVID, tune up the structures and scenery along two of the mainlines, take bird's eye level videos of a freight train traveling the 9 scale miles of the Southern and Eastern Divisions with my phone/camera, set up my 1 inch video camera on a flatcar again and push it around the layout to get some new video of the 2 divisions' mainlines from a 1:160 engineer's perspective, and combine/edit the two perspectives into a polished presentation of the Peoria and Eastern's run from the P&E Yard in Indianapolis on the lower deck to the Peoria and Pekin Union's main yard in East Peoria on the upper deck.
    Yeah, Right! <Rolling Eyes> <Thumbs Down>
    What I'll actually present this Saturday will be MUCH less ambitious: a 4 to 7 minute update of my work on the Open Hearth Furnace interior using many of the pics I've already posted here in the Layout Party thread.

    Last week, I received some free 32 watt fluorescent bulbs from a train buddy who was upgrading his layout lighting from fluorescents to LEDs. These bulbs were welcomed because I have a mixture of fluorescent and LED fixtures on 5 electrical circuits illuminating my basement empire. Over the past decade, as finances allowed, I was slowly converting the 40 Watt T12 fixtures for more economical 32 Watt T8 fixtures, but last fall, I started replacing fluorescents with LEDs and this unexpected gift freed up $$$ for more me to buy more LED fixtures. So, this week, a chunk of time has been spent replacing T12 fixtures with LEDs, replacing several burned out T8 bulbs, and replacing several cracked and discolored 2'x4' plastic lenses in the suspended ceiling.

    Also this week, I've been revising a clinic I presented last year on modeling 2-sided scrap iron loads to include a description of how 2-sided loads can be incorporated in scrap yard and steel mill operations. I'm scheduled to present the clinic at the next Steel Mill Modeler's Special Interest Group Virtual Meeting on February 13.

    Our gas-burning fireplace developed a leak this week. The cut-off valve in the basement where the fireplace line comes out of the main line is working fine, as is the floor-mounted fireplace emergency valve by the fireplace. Apparently, the leak is in the flexible line that runs from the fireplace emergency valve to the fireplace thermalcouple, pilot light, and logs. To access the valves and pipes before the fireplace, the plumber will need to work above the 65" elevation upper deck of the layout and the suspended ceiling in one corner of the basement. (Yes, the L-girder construction is strong enough to support a person. And, Yes, he is likely to be very uncomfortable working in that cramped space.) For him to work in that confined space, all the scenery must be removed from the upper deck. These are pics of scenery in the area where he'll be working, taken over the past few years.
    AMOCO Tank Farm
    Peoria Lock and Dam/Whitehouse Crossing 2012 Peoria Lock and Dam/Whitehouse Crossing/I-474 2018 I-474 Bridges[​IMG]

    This is what the area looks like since I removed everything a few hours ago.
    The underside of the fireplace emergency valve is spotlighted by the flashlight.
    upload_2021-1-13_1-31-39.png upload_2021-1-13_1-33-55.png

    Despite it all, I did make a little headway on the open hearth furnace.
    I put up H-columns along the east and west walls of the charging floor; but, when I tried to mock up the trusses for the roof which the H-columns were supposed to support, I realized I had miscalculated the H-column spacing with respect to the charging portals, so I had to take them all out, and relocate them where they should have been.
    I've still got work to do on the 4 to 7 minute presentation for the Virtual Meeting this Saturday, but hope to make the final version of the charging portals sometime in the next week, and eventually, the bridges from the outside ramp to the inside charging floor and then the trusses for the roof.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 5:47 PM
  12. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    ppuinn,

    of course that gas problem HAD to be in the most inaccessible spot, in the furthest corner, of the widest section of the 2nd deck. LOL.

    This is what you need right now:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oh My, That is a worst-case scenario. But it has me thinking, come spring we'll be getting new Air and Furnace. Better make sure there is enough room to run new venting and possibly a larger gas line.

    Dave would you have the room for such a contraption as the topside creeper
     
  14. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Trainzluvr, That is, indeed, in the deepest corner on the whole layout! On both the upper and lower decks, from the fascia straight to the walls is 36 inches and to the backdrop is about 34 inches. From the corner where the two fascias meet directly toward the corner where the walls meet is over 4 feet but only 42 inches to where the coved backdrop curves from one wall to the other.
    On the upper deck, the deepest track from the fascia corner to the "corner" backdrop is only 15 inches from the fascia, and 27 inches from the fascia about 4 feet along the north wall from the corner. On the lower deck, the deepest track is 27 inches directly toward the wall corner from the fascia corner, and 29 and 24 inches, respectively, straight toward the north and east walls. About 6 or 7 years ago, I reconfigured all tracks in this corner of the lower deck because they were 31 and 33 inches from the fascia and painfully difficult to clean/maintain.
     
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  15. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Still been kind of cold in the shop/train room and too lazy to start a fire so worked on items that I'm going to need anyway for the test track where it is warmer. A number of my hand-laid turnouts don't have ties yet and I find it a pain to use double sided tape on the paper templates to hold the ties while gluing them to the under side of the turnout so designed and printed a ....

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    .... fixture to use with the code 55 #6 turnouts that I made with a Fast Tracks fixture (the majority of my turnouts). Also designed and printed fixtures to use with curved turnouts ....

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    ... and another set for straight turnouts like some of the ....

    [​IMG]

    ... 3 way turnouts I made and others I've made from paper templates. You can find all of those fixtures and links to the files on thingiverse.com here ....

    http://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/Trackwork/Trackwork-Index.html

    ... and these fixtures make it almost a joy when it comes to attaching the ties to the turnouts.

    I'm not making turnouts at the moment but I wanted to also make/print some fixtures to hold frog points when soldering them up. I use #4.5, #6, #8 and #10 frogs at this point. I had made some fixtures out of wood but wasn't extremely happy with them so designed the following and printed them up.

    [​IMG]

    You can find the files here if you are interested....

    http://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/Trackwork/page-33.html

    I'm also going to need wire connectors for the buss wires and their associated drops and to run 5v around the layout for servos so came up with the following...

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    If you want to try these out here is a link to the info and to a link to where the print files are ......

    http://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/3D-Printer-2/page-48.html

    I also found that I'll probably be happy using paver bonding sand as ballast for N scale once screened ...

    [​IMG]

    ... and in addition to the tan I had ....

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    .... a friend was able to pickup 40# of gray for me when in Farmington, NM. 40# of ballast for under $20 is a pretty good deal. I'll try and post more about this on my site sooner or later.

    I also worked on the coal mine project ...

    [​IMG]
    http://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/Coal Mine/Coal Mine-Index.html

    .... and ...

    [​IMG]

    .... printed out one section. This is going to be a long project. Also back working on the roundhouse project some.

    Sumner
     
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  16. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Over the past several days I have gotten all of the land forms built up with insulation board and cardboard webbing, then covered with plaster cloth and a coat of brushed on drywall joint compound. After a little cleaning up I can start painting the white the brown color I use for earth and give the river bottom it's first coat of black.

    While I was waiting for the plaster cloth to dry I put together a sort of slide show of the finished areas of the layout on youtube. First project of any size on youtube and I hope to put together some video when I get the main line open again.




    2020TBLP29.jpg


    I am going to wait until the tracks are complete and tested before building up the mountain side. I have installed a frame seen behind the tunnel portals that will support the mountain side and have a removable panel to make the tracks inside more accessible if needed.

    2020TBLP28.jpg


    This is the view looking down the river from the already completed area of the layout. The two river areas go around behind the hill but do not actually connect. From a low angle the illusion seems to work well.

    2020TBLP30.jpg
     
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  17. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Beautiful and I look forward to a video but in some ways like the slide show as much or more that I might like that video. The slide show lets you really focus in on what you have accomplished, which is a lot :).

    You might want to look at possibly using the tan jointer sand in some areas of the layout that I've been experimenting with. The un-sifted out of the bag ...

    [​IMG]

    ... might work and look great. It is 'Dirt' cheap and goes down easy. Wet it and it bonds on its own. I think it might work really well with some of your scenes.

    Sumner
     
  18. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thank you. I don't have any good video right now but already had some good stills so used those to practice with some free video editing software I recently downloaded.

    The paver sand for scenery is a great idea. I am using sanded tile grout for my base scenery which also has it's own adhesive.
     
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  19. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I'd be interested in a link to that. I've been using Widows 2012 Movie Maker and it gets the job done for me as I don't do many videos but would like something that is free and newer.

    I'm going to try the gray paver sand for ballast. I don't see much difference in size to some of the other N scale ballast out there.

    Sumner
     
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  20. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    I would like that link also @nscalestation.

    Joe
     
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