Rebooting the past

SDVike Mar 6, 2021

  1. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    This weekend it rained a bunch so I got some quality time in on my yard tracks. It was slower going because I was working with Electrofrog turnouts for the first time.

    I modified the turnouts so that the frogs are switchable for DCC. I’m not great at soldering so it was frustratingly slow. Anyway, I got all the switches modified and laid most of the yard and engine facilities.

    Eventually I’m going to place a water, sand, and coaling tower in the gap between the yard ladder and the engine servicing tracks. The coaling tower will have to be kit bashed or scratched built to fit how I would want it.

    Wiring will be the next major hurdle. I’m guessing that it will take several months getting the control panel built, the Smail motors connected, and the Digitrax system set up.

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  2. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for keeping us informed. (y)

    Even this old man can use the encouragement and education. :cool:
     
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  3. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Nothing much to say but here is a photo of the finished yard tracks. The track next to the ladder and the industry track to the right are not tacked down.

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  4. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    In the 1980s, my local Long's drugstore (they were eaten up by CVS about 10 years ago) sold model train stuff. They had relatively good prices too.
     
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  5. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    My local True Value has a train hanging from the ceiling. He doesn't have trains but a lot of the scenery stuff. I don't know of any local hobby shops that carry trains so would have to go to Green Bay or Milwaukee
     
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  6. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    The rise of franchises spelled the end for a lot of such stores. Franchises often have better prices because of volume buying, but the franchisees are often strictly controlled as to any additional products they carry, preferring the space to be used to carry more franchise-line products.

    Ace Hardware seems to allow more leeway in their franchises. But I have also noticed that "duplicate" non-Ace products seem to be falling by the wayside, especially in the smaller franchise stores. I often drive farther to a bigger, older, stand-alone ACE that still carries a lot of stuff the nearby strip-mall Ace does not.

    I remember the old hardware store on the square in my grandparent's town in the Arkansas Ozarks (before Walmart hit town.) Now THAT was a place to go and wonder; "What's that for?" Granddaddy was a blessedly patient man (my father begged to differ.) In the late '70's, the HW store still had flat-belt splice kits for ancient tractor implements.

    Granddaddy had such a tractor (with a big, wide external flywheel to drive such belts), junked and rusting behind the barn. He patiently explained that was what tractor's used before the modern PTO's I knew about. I used to dream of fixing it up and getting it running again, along with some of the implements junked beside it, their wooden parts having long-since fed generations of worms. Then I got there one summer, and he had sold all of it to a collector, who hauled it all away. Can't blame him though; sentiments didn't pay bills. Granddaddy was also a practical man (with which my father did agree.)
     
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  7. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I would advise you that those old flat belts and the equipment they powered and what powered them were very useful but be VERY careful. I got slapped by one that came off the STEAM TRACTOR.
    That was in the '50s & '60s - I'm 71. :cool:
     
  8. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, there wasn't a belt guard in sight. And I don't think they rusted or rotted away...

    One of the "implements" was a huge circular saw. Not a guard there either.

    Of course horses, bulls and hogs could do you in just as well... Farming, and many other livelihoods, weren't kind to life or limb.

    You're lucky you were only slapped, and not sliced in two!
     
  9. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Looks good. That enginehouse looks very good for the transition era, could be forties or fities construction. As for the coaling tower, maybe something like this would fill the bill for you:

    Walthers - Small Wood Coaling Station - Kit - 3 x 5-5/8 x 7-13/16" 7.8 x 14.1 x 19.7cm - 933-4202

    As for the water tank, you don't really need one. Just a water column would work fine and save a lot of space along with the sand tower of your choice. As for diesel fuel, a lot of short lines fuel their engines from a tank truck although maybe not so much in the transition era.


    I use some old belt driven machine tools (and have done so for years). I make sure to be careful. Of course, the belts, the horsepower and the risks are all somewhat smaller than with belt driven farm equipment.
     
  10. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    That coaling tower is exactly what I was looking at. Now I just need to find it somewhere in stock. If I don’t find it in the next 6 months, I think I’ll be at the stage where I can start building models. I’ll try my hand at scratch building one.

    Thanks for advice on the rest of the servicing equipment. I do like the idea of a saving space with a water pipe if the coal tower gets too big.


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  11. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I read in the paper a few years back that farm injuries are up. It’s not the generational farmers, but the hobby farmers that are getting hurt. They have no idea how to stay safe around farm equipment.

    I have a little 25 hp Kubota tractor, and the PTO scares the hell out of me. I’m very cautious when I hook it up to an auger. I can’t imagine how scary an old belt driven implement would be connected to one of those old hay rakes. I think the devil himself designed them.


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  12. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    The early tractors simply replaced a team of horses. The towed implements were powered, if needed, by their own traction wheels. Or the implement was rigidly mounted to the tractor if belt powered, but that limited the size of such implements.

    The flat-belts were much more often used with stationary equipment, where they parked the tractor next to the machine, hooked up the belt, and let 'er rip...
     
  13. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Well, it’s been two weeks since I’ve made any real progress on the layout. I’ve been struggling with hypertension headaches. I’m barely getting through the work day and I’m wiped out once the evening gets here. The doctor says I need to bring my blood pressure down so I’ve started taking medication for that. It will probably be another week before I get used to that. Welcome to middle age I guess.

    Anyway, the one thing I did accomplish was to move the shelves. Now I can finish the floating floor. Maybe even build a wall. Haha. Nope wiring is next after the floor. And before all that I need to get rid of these headaches.

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  14. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    Take it easy and get those headaches under control, SD; when I was younger I was plagued by them for several years and so I know what you are going through. Thankfully, in my case for whatever reason they eventually went away.
     
  15. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    It’s been a month since my last update. My headaches have gotten better since I’ve gotten my blood pressure down. Even with better health, I haven’t had much free time with vacations and projects.

    I accomplished 2 things. I finished laying the floor boards and I built two control panels. One of the panels will have a plan schematic that I will wire with push buttons to throw the switches. The other panel is more of a drawer that will hold the DCC components and a DC throttle. I was going to build a shelf for that but I had two issues. With a 5 foot wide island, I couldn’t have it extend out any further or I wouldn’t be able to reach parts of my yard. Also, I couldn’t have it permanently mounted under the layout because I needed to access all the turnouts motors by my panel. My solution was a drawer that I could pull out when needed.

    Now I can finally start wiring in the frogs, switch motors, and DCC equipment. Next update in three months after I pull out all my hair trying to understand the wiring. Lol!


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  16. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    Love the pull-out drawer! (y) I want to do something like that on my layout.

    Glad the headaches you were experiencing are getting better.
     
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  17. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    My Craigslist purchase is home and added to the layout (see HO recent purchases thread). I’m super happy.

    I finally have enough iron ore cars to look like it’s worth a train. I could probably use double the amount, but the 12 cars are a good start. My only disappointment is they don’t have any loads. I can fix that myself. I also got 6 fruit express cars. The owner only converted the front and back coupler to kadee. I’ll have to replace the horn hook ones at some point but it makes a great unit train.

    Finally, I got an GP38 in BNSF Great Northern colors and a SDN?? in a Great Northern scheme. They are both too new for my transition era but I’m not completely locked into that era. Both are good runners but the Proto 2000 GP38 makes a weird whine. Now I’m up to 4 engines worth converting to DCC. I better settle on a decoder/sound brand.

    I really need to get the track and switches wired so I can start having fun. Laying track on the branch would help also. So much too do and so little time.

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  18. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for commenting on the headaches. After talking to people about them, I was shocked to hear how many people had headaches which cause them to be less than 50%. I don’t know how they manage them year after year.

    I’ve headaches before but it never affected my work. This sucked and I’m glad I was able to work through it.


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  19. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I've had those kind since October '71. Two fractured skull and concussions. VietNam.
    I agree with the pull outs as well.
     
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  20. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I’m struggling with motivation with my wiring. If I’m not going to wire, I might as well lay some more track. I add 9 feet to the branch line yesterday. Today I tested a couple of engines up the slope with a longer train than I’ll ever build. All my engines made it up the 2.5% grade.

    I’ve also started working on my temporary bridges over the canyon. More on that in the future.

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