Silcon Valley Free-MoN: A new yard has begun

RBrodzinsky May 20, 2020

  1. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yesterday and today were wiring days, adding the main bus wires and cab bus to all six sections

    This section will be relatively simple, 10 straight tracks, and a crossover set up on one set of the mains. So nothing special for the bus

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    This shows the PSX installed in one of the end sections, along with a 12V rectifier/regulator. The unattached connector from the PSX can be used if one wants to bypass that board. (The eagle-eyed will note a white wire between the Wago on the right and the green PowerPole connector; I ended up being 4 inches short of black 14AWG wire!)

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    Wider view


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    With the extra bus wires, have added this little sign in each section to help in the future

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  2. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Today was start of roadbed and track placement. First up was verifying that all the sections still went together and matched their track-centerline marks. CHECK!

    I then put the smallest configuration together, a 12 foot arraignment of the two end sections and the “interior” ladder. In this config, it is really more a switching module, as the 8 yard tracks have minimal capacity.

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    The blank area on center left is due to my not being able to find those printed sheets from AnyRail, and really don’t need them, anyway. My task for the day was to mark where the roadbed needs to be on these three sections, and also mark specifically where each switch is located.

    To transfer roadbed path to the foam surface, I used the old “stick a pin it” method.
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    The “blank” area has the two alternative mainline tracks, which also require roadbed, so I pinned down some flex track so that I could mark the roadbed. You can see the custom track spacing guides I created earlier this year being used to align the track.

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    Finally, broke open the box of roadbed and just laid some out for photo. Will start cutting and gluing tomorrow.

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  3. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I like the look of the track plan and the great progress. (y)
     
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  4. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Looks good! I got my popcorn...
     
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  5. sams

    sams TrainBoard Member

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    I cant wait to learn and also be able to build a layout with the print outs for track. that mus be super helpful.
     
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  6. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    I tried it once and found it to be a bit of a pain. I liked the method of just using the measurements from the digital design and making markings for the placement of the track. But that's me, it looks like Rick is doing great with the patterns.
     
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  7. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I normally only use the drawings as guides, as well. But with wanting the three "interior" sections, with 12 tracks, to be completely interchangeable and reversible, I need to make sure all my geometries are spot on. Which really means "make sure the friggin' switches are in the right place" on the three shown sections.

    This has been quite a bit more tedious than normal, but I should have all the roadbed down by end-of-day tomorrow. A lot of my time is being spent, this week, playing with our grand-dog, who is here for a 2 week stay. She needs to "play and play and play and play, and then drop"

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    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
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  8. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Grand dogs (and doggy family in general) are always fun to play with. We have cats at home (3 of them) and the new kitten is very vocal and also the alpha kitten. He will prolly take over as alpha when he gets a bit bigger but right now that role belongs to our orange tabby named Loki. Loki has taught him to hunt (which he is good at) and fight. He practices fighting with Loki and our other older cat. The kitten (Salem) can hold on OK against Loki but Loki still is a bit better, but against our older cat (Socks) the kitten is leaps ahead in fighting. Socks gets his tail handed to him several times a day, even though Socks is still 2x larger. Socks has never been good in a fight nor while hunting. Our squirrels actually hunt Socks and harass him. Squirrels still outwit the kitten, and it's hilarious to watch. Loki ignores the squirrels as he is tired of them getting the best of him. I'm not sure Salem will ever quit against them but time will tell. So far the squirrels have bested every cat we have owned.
     
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  9. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Continue to make progress on the roadbed. The fun part is finding enough “weights” to put on them.

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    Did some “surveying” to lay out the curved tracks. Got out my transit and surveyor’s chain (ok, tripod and kite string) to mark the radii

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    And here is roadbed on curves, with some track laid on for photos

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  10. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Beer and batteries... Interesting combo for the roadbed construction.
     
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  11. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Our daughter decided she could work from "home" at our house in Arlington TX as well as she could at her apartment in Charlotte NC, so she drove home with our grand-dog and her home office setup, to stay for several weeks.

    Our Chihuahua-Terrier and her Pit-Lab had a grand time, as did we all.

    It was a small but bright sparkle of joy in an otherwise dreary coronavirus season.

    Oh, yeah; we enjoyed having our daughter at home too...
     
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  12. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Poppy is our younger daughter’s dog. She and her boyfriend are off visiting our older daughter (and her husband and 1 year old) in Denver. What is nice is our cat and Poppy like each other, so when the dog comes to visit there isn’t any friction.


    Actually Ginger Beer. Here is a very eclectic set of weights (including the drill)

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  13. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    During our walks, a neighborhood tomcat is accustomed to showing Lucky (our Chihuahua-Terrier) he's not intimidated, to which Lucky protests very bravely, yet from a safe distance. It was fun watching that tomcat's response when Penny (our granddog Pit-Lab) accompanied us! Penny actually likes cats, but that tomcat was not about to trust her, particularly with Lucky cheering her on, still from a safe distance.
     
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  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'd never heard of "Tejava". Apparently it is good for more than one use.... :D:D
     
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  15. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    All the roadbed is down! Going to take a break from direct work on these for the rest of Poppy’s visit, but I have plenty of auxiliary work to do (attaching the feeders to all the frogs, printing N scale switch machines, etc.)

    Looking from the industrial/commercial entrance
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    Looking from the engine service entrance

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    The reversible center sections



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  16. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    just a really nice, pure, iced tea. Made by the Crystal Geyser folks. I like it a lot more than most of the other brands which come in plastic bottles.
     
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  17. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    It all looks really good so far. Great work!
     
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  18. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    As I mentioned, above, this week was going to be “smaller” projects in preparation for laying track. One of the biggest issues facing me is “how do I control all those switches?” My Silcon Valley Station module uses Tortoise switch machines, with NCE Switch-It controls, using facia mounted push buttons. But there are only 6 switches on the module, not 33! Getting 33 Tortoises, and controls, and figuring out how to provide intuitive controls on the fascia was turning into a huge and expensive nightmare.

    So, why not go back to the old fashioned simplest method? After discussing with the other members, the consensus was DPDT slide switches connected to the throwbars would be perfectly acceptable (and is used in numerous other FreeMo-N yards). But I didn’t want to simply embed them next to the switch, distracting from scenery (a black cube that moves back and forth really doesn’t look like anything prototypical). I designed a little “switch machine” that could fit over the slide. Still about 2x bigger than reality (there are some physical limitations in N if you also want functionality), but these are similar to real life units

    Unpainted proof of concept print:

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    The DPDT is embedded in the little button, which is painted to look like a cement pad (but unpainted in this photo)

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    I printed out more than enough, yesterday and today, with different “models”/“configurations” for variety. Here are painted samples.

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    It is probable that there may still be a few automated controlled switches, particularly for the crossovers (don’t want folks flipping one but not the other). For those, the switch machine may just be glued next to the throwbar.
     
  19. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Are these switch machines available as a downloadable .STL? I could use a pair.
     
  20. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020 at 6:19 PM

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