Acme, an N Scale HCD Layout

logging loco Feb 5, 2021

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  1. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    First Revenue Run & Second Thoughts!

    20210215_214618.jpg


    Today I finished the control panel by mounting the track plan.
    It is just Sharpie done freehand on a scrap of styrene packaging.

    Tonight I ran my first revenue train!
    Not counting the short test train I ran when all the block feeds were alligator clipped into one big jumble.

    My second thoughts are;
    In all honesty this will never be the logging railroad I really want. This layout is to the point of completion or in-completion that I normally get to then loose interest. To top it off, today on YouTube I saw a small HO logging layout that I think will scale down nicely to N scale on a HCD and pair nicely with the Micro Portage layout plan.

    So back to the current layout;
    I'm going to keep working on it as planned but eliminate three goals.
    1. I'm not going to try to back date to a logging line.
    2. I'm not going to convert to DCC.
    3. I'm not going to expand to an L shape.
    Eventually, when complete, this layout will become our holiday, englenook layout. No I'm not going to convert it to the well known Englenook Sidings track plan.

    The parlor (living room) in This Old Dump has a non working protruding fireplace. To one side of the hearth is a 30" x 90" englenook, Acme HCD is 30"x80". Eventually I'll be able to add 10" to the front interchange tracks and a frieght house.
     
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  2. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    I've been sleeping later and later. I think this voluntarily Covid sequestration and weather is finally starting to get to me! We both are high risk and on several waiting lists for the vaccine but have yet to be contacted. Pa 49th in the nation. Yeah!

    Well now that's off my chest.

    Woke up early this morning. I think I was excited about running trains!
    20210216_060452.jpg

    I put a second train on the layout, a mixed, milk, Merchandiser, and coach, powered by Minitrix' version of the PRR K4 4-6-2. I know it isn't a prototypicaly faithful reproduction but I'm just running stuff that isn't packed away and most importantly, I'M HAVING FUN!!!!

    While the K-4 ran some cruddy wheeled, sputtering laps, the way frieght, powered by an Atlas Shay, dropped the caboose on the siding and worked the interchange track.

    Sorry about the poor photos. Now that I'm done flipping the layout around I'll have room for the tripod in this little train room.

    Have a Great Day!
     
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  3. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I'm sorry to hear about the sequestration but, it could be worse. I've had the virus in June and December so people that know don't want me near.:eek: I've been trying to return to the HO set-up. Have three buildings, two tractors and six Tichy Trains flat cars to assemble. I was aiming for a logging industry with a siding for 'Green Acres' I even have the airplane.
    Then go to N for a more elaborate, larger and more modern industrial lay out.
    Keep us informed and entertained.:)
     
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  4. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    And there ya go !!! (y)(y):)
     
  5. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Diggin' the retro analog multimeter!

    My dad was a ham, and had a Simpson. I think my brother has it.
     
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  6. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks BigJake,
    That meter is probably my most recent purchase, bought used for $1.00 at Bear Mountain Trading Post.
    I've found some neat old hand forged tools there too.

    I have a couple old bakelite case meters that were my fathers. I think the multimeter is a Simpson, but the little one fits on my bench organizer nicely.
     
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  7. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    I did some switching with my morning coffee..
    I found another wiring issue resulting from my swapping around blocks without writing down the changes.

    20210205_172030.jpg

    The coal and lumber dealer block (right side, inside curve) is some how controlled by the same switch as the rear passing siding. I'm sure it will be an easy fix. These are the two blocks I switched number assignments on.

    After finding this issue I put away the rolling stock and put the layout back on its edge in what I've come to think of as the maintenance configuration.
    20210213_144906.jpg

    This is great for accessing under, I guess I should say, in layout wiring, but makes it difficult to touch meter leads to the rails.

    I also thought about some construction methods I will need to change. I'll save that for tomorrow.

    Have a Good One
     
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  8. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    You can use a pair of long alligator clip wires. Clip them on each rail before putting your layout in maintenance position. You'll still have "access" to your rails via those wires.
     
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  9. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks MK,

    That's the plan A. I have a bunch with standard 2"- 2½" long clips. I'm curious if they will hold well.

    Plan B. Add leads to some bare miniature alligator clips about ½" long but smooth jawed. I use them as mini clamps.

    Plan C. Tack solder some long temp leads to rails.

    As I think about it, since I already have the soldering stuff out Plan C might be faster in the long run.

    I'll let you know how things work out.

    In the words of John Marwood Cleese, "And now for something completely different". . . .

    Who remembers the Ed Wood cult classic . .

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    PLAN 9 FROM OUTTER SPACE

    Don't forget the Tim Burton, film based on Ed Wood's career.

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    Have a Good One!
     
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  10. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    A Quik Update

    Lessons learned or reinforced today.
    1. 52½" high x 30" wide layout with 1½ viewblock in front of rear tracks is too high for me to effectively reach rear set of tracks. I can touch it but not work on it. I could not attach test lead where I needed to.
    2. Although I documented 99% of my wiring and labeled about the same it appears that the 1% undocumented has bitten me in the caboose.
    3. I did not do enough discovery and fact finding before I flipped the layout over to trouble shoot. I haven't found anything wrong using the ohmeter.
    MK
    Your plan worked. I got locked into thinking I would put the layout in it's maintenance configuration on the door spine. That does not allow access to the track side.

    The KISS solution, which should have been obvious to me, stand the layout on end. (smack forehead, DUH!)
    DiXWXiiVAAIdo3G.jpg
    I duct tapped the leads to the door to help them stay in place.
    Tonight I'll upright the layout and run some more trains.

    HAVE A GOOD ONE
     
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  11. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Hey, don't feel bad. We've all had those moments! :D
     
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  12. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    The best laid plans of mice and men...

    I had a layout once that I knew I would not be able to get to a section of track after the scenery was in place. I didn't think much of it, I planned it this way, I made a track cleaning wand that could clean where I couldn't reach, and I even painted and planted that area to the point of finished before anywhere else was even plastered as I knew it would not be available. I planned everything... or so I thought... What I didn't plan on was my cat loved to clearcut that forest. The first time was not that big of a deal, I had not laid the plaster cloth on the access area. But this continued many many times. I tried to help teach the cat things like how to fly, and even what I big scary human monster was, but he still wanted to clearcut the forest. I even planted other forests, and the cat would only go after this one. So you say why didn't I shut the door? Well I had to take the door off the hinges so I could fit the layout in the room the way I wanted... yup planned everything...
     
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  13. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    Massey,
    Access won't be a problem when the layout is used as a holiday display. The englenook has a tall 9 over 9 window in it. The bottom of the casing is about 24" from the floor. My wife would like the layout to not block the window.

    I'm learning a lot about how I will build my next layout.
     
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  14. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    I had learned quite a bit from building that layout. I never again built an area I could not get access to somehow.
     
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  15. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    Luckily the access issue is kind of a non issue.
    With the control panel removed i can swing one end of the layout out from the wall at a time. The temporary crutch supporting the control panel prevents me from moving the layout.

    Luckily I can remove the control panel in under a minute.

    When I started this layout I put the door on the shelves to make sure I could reach. No problem.
    The added height from a second door, and a layer of foam then the small hill in front were enough to make it just out of reach. Structures will make it worse.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  16. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    I flipped the layout back into it's normal position and decided to clean up the mess on my workbench before continuing wiring.

    So back to construction changes.

    Originally the layout was going to stay in the train room but be able to go over the railing and down the steps if needed. Now it will need to be able to go to the attic.

    This Old Dump has a walk up attic, unfortunately the stairs are the old turn box style steps. I just managed to get the door up and down the steps before the foam and track were added but it was very tight. Builings and scenery would never survive.

    Now I need to come up with a simple way to make the buildings and scenery removable in sections. It shouldn't be hard. Just something I hadn't planned for.

    Suggestions appreciated.
     
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  17. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Small neodymium magnets! Get a bunch for cheap on eBay or Amazon. Use cheap small washers as the metal "plates" for the magnets to grab.

    Two (one in each diagonal corner) per structure should be way enough holding power.
     
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  18. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    Great! Thanks MK.
    I was just getting ready to order some for in track uncouplers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  19. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    SHORTROUND!
    THIS IS SERIOUS EDUCATIONAL STUFF!
    ENTERTAINMENT, ENTERTAINMENT, HARUMPF!

    Seriously though, I try to keep things a little light hearted without going off the deep end.
     
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  20. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Member

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    Just Rip It, Forgotten Things & PRR

    20210219_082410.jpg
    not a scale drawing

    Yesterday I fixed the power issue to the freight & express block. I was not able to duplicate the problem of the industrial area cross tied to the main line at the rear of layout.

    Each of the dozen plus unused leads on the parallel conector pigtail are stripped back about ⅜". It was this way when I got it. Perhaps something made contact when I coiled the unused leads and tucked the coil up under the panel.

    Now the coal & lumber dealer spur is dead. I'll look at that next. I may have inadvertently disconnected something.

    While I was putting the layout through it's paces I decided to look for a better running locomotive.
    Most of my rolling stock is in Axian travel cases buried under the back stairs, another turn box stairs. They fit perfectly under the landing but are a pain to access. I decided to look in the loco project drawer in the flat file cabinet under the layout.

    So in my loco project drawer I discovered some locomotives I had totally forgotten about. Namely a half dozen Minitrix K-4's and NIB Bachman tenders and four unopened Kato Mikado along with three GHQ L1 conversion kits and drivers to do the 2-10-0 conversion. I Also have eight or ten 1st gen PRR diesels packed away.

    After searching the internet I found plenty of info and detail parts available for the K4 upgrade.

    Since I now have no intentions of converting the layout to a logging road in the future I'm thinking about double tracking the main with a passing siding along the rear. I'll need to add a couple inches in width. As long as I don't attach the layout to the bottom door, access to the back shouldn't be a problem. The two doors slide nicely on each other in a nice smooth scissor action.

    I've also decided to rip the layout off center length wise to make it easier to transport up and down the stairs. I'm not going to do it just yet but I will be reconfiguring the lead to the inter change so double tracking the main will be easier in the future.

    Kind of an unplanned yet pleasant change in direction and best of all it just feels right.

    Well that's enough rambling for now!
    Have a good one!
     
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