NP Lester WA T-Trak Z Module Set Project

rray Feb 11, 2020

  1. tiestvangool

    tiestvangool TrainBoard Member

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    Not sure I agree with you. As a total noob you are probable on of the gods of z scale. And like us all; you also continue to refine your already sublime skills. Thanks for all you share out here, great motivation and learning opportunities.

    BTW, what pogo pins do you use for your connections and can you share a picture highlighting them at work?

    Tiest


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  2. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Here is where I first posted about the spring loaded electrical contacts or "Pogo Pins" :

    Pogo Pins Post

    What happens is the super magnets force the structure down with a force that overcomes the spring tension of the pogo pins, (named for the spring loaded toy called a Pogo Stick that was a popular toy in the 1960's) and this forces a good electrical pickup at the same time that the removable structure is held firmly to the layout. This makes removal of the structure for servicing, detailing, or relocation a very easy affair, and the electrical connection remains solid.
     
  3. tiestvangool

    tiestvangool TrainBoard Member

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    I should have searched first and apologize for not doing that. Love this super magnet/pogo ping construct. Very nifty! Tiest


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  4. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Right now I am in the process of changing out all my structure bases on the depot/roundhouse module for the new Pogo Pin electrical, and I am preparing for future fun inside the depot, as I want to have operating semaphores on my depot. I have some 40 ohm linear stepper motors that fit inside the office, so sometime down the road I will work on building an operating scale semaphore. You can see the new base floor with the 2 stepper motors placed:

    New Depot Wiring.jpg


    I also have to go back in and dim the lights a bit, as I feel they are too bright:

    New Depot Foundation.jpg
     
  5. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Green glow gives almost haunting look.
     
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  6. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I made an accessory power cable today, and powered up the 3 modules that have lighting to test. Here is a quick video:



    Module Lighting Test.jpg
     
  7. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

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    Way way cool. As I’ve said before, this is what defines modules. The tie in is great and the lighting effects are excellent.
     
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  8. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Today while contemplating the future of the 4th Lester module, I decided to switch it up and change the plan. I had to selectively compress the Lester Coal Dock to fit it on it's module, and in doing so it hides the sand house and anything behind it. So after thinking long and hard, I decided that the Lester Yard really needs to be larger, holding more cars.

    I decided that the coal dock ramp could be lengthened if it was not for all the turnouts on that module, and the one ash pit / sand house track that I had to leave out could all be included if I simply insert the 4th module between the Depot/Roundhouse module and the old Coal Dock module. So, here goes a new module:


    Started by wiring the up more skyboard lighting. I used these same 2 wire RGB LED Fairy Lights that add an aura of light above the mountain backdrop onto the skyboard. I just use 1/8" plywood shim spacers on the skyboard, and hot glue the fairy light string in place:
    01 RGB Skyboard LED's.jpg

    Next I glue on the mountain backdrop:
    02 Backdrop On Skyboard.jpg


    I just weight the backdrop down while the glue sets. That 1/8" gap between the skyboard and backdrop will leak just enough light to help set the scene's time of day depending upon the color I set the light:
    03 Backdrop On Skyboard.jpg


    And here is where the changes will be made. The coal dock ramp will be lengthened, and placed with the end of the ramp touching the right edge of the module. There will be a turnout on the rear track leading to the turntable approach, and parallel to that the approach from the original coal dock module will now be reworked into the ash pit / sand house track that was omitted from the old module. The old coal dock module will have the water tank, pump house, and the diesel tank on it.

    All this lets me increase the yard length with a total of about 35 inches more track or a scale 640 feet of extra yard space, enough for eight 40' cars per track. That and the same amount of Eastbound and Westbound mainline track for longer passenger trains: :D
    04 New Plan.jpg
     
  9. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

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    Rob,
    The modules really make a great scene, and a cool night scene as well!(y)(y)(y)
    Nice idea for the fourth module.
    I really like the station, such great detail work!

    Scott
     
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  10. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I am moving forward with the yard extension, as well as adding the Ash Pit approach track to the turntable, something I could not fit before. This is all stuff that was hidden behind the Coal Dock, and would not fit due to the yard approach turnouts, but with those turnouts moved 1 module to the left, I can fit in some more details.

    Here I am laying track, and you can see the curved turntable approach at the left:
    05 Laying Yard Tracks.jpg


    This perspective shot shows the lengthened yard:
    06 Lester WA Yard Overview.jpg


    Here I am adding the Ash Pit TT Approach Track. I had to cut a lot of stuff out with a chisel, but it's worth the extra work:
    07 Added TT Approach Track.jpg


    And here is the prototype showing the ash pit approach in front of the sand drying house. Also you can see the tight curved approach track I had included in the original module plan. The coal dock was removed sometime between the summer of 1956 and this photo august of 1957, so my modeling date is when the coal dock was still here:
    08 Overview from Roundhouse Roof East 1957.jpg
     
  11. MMR283

    MMR283 TrainBoard Member

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    Robert, your four modules are looking better every time I see it. Having increasing the yard is a huge plus in the look, along with were you will be able to have more cars and longer trains in the yard. I appreciate your approach in having as much detail as humanly possible. Just makes your modeling so real!!!
     
  12. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    I am seriously blown away. I am SO enjoying watching them come to the life. The actual photos are incredible!!!
     
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  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Great scene! Now all you need is some dark, heavy and drizzly cold fog and it will be the Lester I remember!
     
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  14. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Today I got all the tracks figured out, and in place:

    09 Adding Last Tracks.jpg


    I got all the solid feeders soldered to the rails, rails aligned to adjacent modules, and I airbrushed all the tracks with Floquil Roof Brown. I also made a new module leveling tool out of a ball end allen hex wrench silver soldered to 1/8" brass tube. I had issues adjusting the module levelers at the skyboard, so this tool is a real lifesaver. I rewarded myself with an adult beverage to finish the hobby workday too! :D

    10 Tracks Airbrushed.jpg
     
  15. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

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    Rob,
    Nice tool mod!
    Module is coming along nicely.

    Scott
     
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  16. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Today before the big game I started working on the extended coal dock ramp. First was to cut the old ram off:


    11 Cut Coal Dock Ramp.jpg

    Then I had to draw up a new longer ramp to match the prototype:

    [​IMG]

    12 Coal Dock Extension Footprint.jpg


    And now I spliced the old to the new:
    13 Splicing New Base.jpg
     
  17. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

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    Rob,
    You are brave!
    Like the clamping jig!

    Scott
     
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  18. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Today's progress, as you can see it's the fiddly stuff. I spent most of the day updating the drawings, and tomorrow I can get all the cross braces in place:
    14 Ramp Construction.jpg


    15 Ramp Construction.jpg
     
  19. Kez

    Kez TrainBoard Member

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    SO much better. This is doing wonders for the realism factor on these modules. I fully support your decision to make the longer ramp. (y):p:cool:
     
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  20. MMR283

    MMR283 TrainBoard Member

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    The length is so much better looking! It is more prototypical in the look, which I know that you are going for!
     
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