Thunder Ridge: A Freelanced Focus on Scenery

Mark Watson Apr 12, 2010

  1. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion Jim!

    I've done a quick bit of reading on relays but I'm still not sure exactly how they are activated. :/
     
  2. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Well I called my father last night and he suggested an alteration of the slide switch idea... :D :D

    I'm going to give it a try tonight... stay tuned. :)
     
  3. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    And we're back with two turnouts wired up for powered frogs! :D

    I was looking at MC Fujiwara's method of attaching a slide switch to a Caboose Industries ground throw and considering it the way to go. Then while on the phone with my father, he suggested making the slide switch the ground throw itself!
    DING DING DING! We have a WINNER! :p

    So with the slide switches purchased, I went to work. First by drilling a hole through the slide.
    [​IMG]

    The brass rod shown, will travel through the whole with a stopper on one end (I just bend the rod at a 90 degree angle), and a crimp on the other side of the slide (for this I soldered a perpendicular 1/8th inch of brass rod to the main rod). Since the slide travels farther than the points on the turnout, the distance between the stopper and crimp compensate for that extra distance.

    Here's the location prepped for the slide switch ground throw installation. The track bus cable has been pulled up, and jumper wires fed through their holes. I have one lead bridging the first switch to the bus cable, and a second lead joining the second switch to the first switch.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Here is the first slide switch ground throw installed.
    [​IMG]

    You can barely see the bent rod and soldered "crimp" on the throw arm. The space between the slide and crimp allows the slide to travel farther than the points.

    And here is both slide switch ground throws installed and fully operational! :D
    [​IMG]

    Next I'm going to glue everything into place using the same all-purpose chalking you can see globed all over the place. The stuff works great to hold track in place! :)
     
  5. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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  6. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    Mark, your small locos are prob'ly smoother than anyone else's, and that curved turnout makes my blood run warmer! Wow....

    heck, 29k views on this thread attests to the cool factor of your work! Wish my shmaddle tank ran that nice.....

    What kind of ballast are you gonna use?
     
  7. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Brian.

    I hope to use that Arizona rock stuff for ballast, assuming its still available when I finally get around to doing ballast.

    It's getting awful close though! :D :D
     
  8. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mark,

    The Train Shop, in Santa Clara, has a whole aisle of it in stock, lots of different colors, sizes, types.
     
  9. larymor

    larymor New Member

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    Cool

    Really neat Mark ! Thanks for the show. :tb-cool:
     
  10. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    I know that was aimed at Mark, but I should get down there too..... been meaning to check out the other East-Bay shops!
     
  11. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Well, almost right off the bat I've discovered a flaw in my slide switch installation. :eek:

    Since the throw arm travels less far than the slide, and since the throw arm is drilled threw and sticks out the rear of the slide, can only apply pressure to the top of the slide when throwing the switch. Otherwise the throw arm will stop, with the slide needing about another 1/8th inch of travel before throwing and holding the points.

    All is good though. M.C. pointed me towards an article in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of N Scale Railroading that covers the same concept. The installation in the article has the throw arm bent in a zig-zag and enter the slide sideways. This aids in tension in the throw arm and allows fore and aft motion of the slide to be uninhibited. :)
     
  12. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    I've just completed the installation of powered frogs via slide switch ground throw to the remaining 3 mainline turnouts. These, unlike the first 3, have the throw arm attached to the side of the slide so that the "play" in the throw arm does not affect how I must throw the slide.

    The Ultimate Saddle Tank runs flawlessly anywhere on the mainline. My Ultimate American does the same except for one spot at which it stalls. This is not at a frog, but rather between the two curved turnouts on the Ridge line. I have looked at the stall point from every angle, ran the 4-4-0 at creep speeds, and ran it through at medium throttle while guiding the train at creep speed by holding the trailing car, and I have absolutely no idea what is causing the stall. :/

    The Mogul unfortunately is having pick-up issues on all points of the mainline. I think it may need a major cleaning.. among other things.

    I've spent most of the night just running my small steamers with the least bit of trouble and enjoying the hobby to its fullest! :D :D
     
  13. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    JACALAR visits Thunder Ridge

    Had the opportunity to visit with Mark today, to see how his latest changes are doing. Brought along a couple of passenger trains, since TR screams for some long streamlined trains.

    Here, we see the California Zephyr, pulled by a DRG&W PA AB-consist (ok, we had to take off the trailing A unit, because it kept decoupling the cars at one point)

    [​IMG]

    Here, the CZ is going over Mark's soon to be wooden bridge. This will be a great railfanning spot, shooting "up the canyon", once the bridges are complete

    [​IMG]

    Mark had halogen worklights on for these photos, and I don't have the white balance correct.
     
  14. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    We switched to long exposure, natural light

    Here, the CZ had pulled into the Salt Lake City station, and the DRG&W locos were swapped for a WP F3 A-B-B (#801 A/B/C). They then pulled the CZ around the ridge with no problems, derailments or hiccups for over an hour

    [​IMG]

    The City of Los Angeles also came for the visit, here we see a rare siting of the Calif Zephyr and City of LA in the same canyon

    [​IMG]

    And, looking up the canyon, the two crossing the bridges.

    [​IMG]

    The Kato E9s for the CoLA found a couple more spots Mark had to work on around his new curved turnouts, but once those were adjusted, we had smooth sailing for a couple hours.
     
  15. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for posting the photos Rick. :D

    Having the CZ and COLA on Thunder Ridge was a real treat! Rick and I had several hours of fun running trains, tuning turnouts, and inspecting some locos. For the most part we only had a few minor issues though there was one major earthquake. Thankfully the aftermath was just a few derailed cars. Nothing like that of Hurricane George. :eek:

    Having issues with reverse-super elevated curves, Rick had suggested the use of a circular bubble level to inspect the angle/direction and even rate of change on the curves. It so happened I had one laying around and we were able to use it to mold the trackwork into a reliable shape. :) Once corrected, as Rick said, we ran the CZ and COLA for over an hour with no problems. :D
     
  16. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Very nice! No side by side shots of the CZ and COLAs motive power?
     
  17. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looks like you guys had a great time :thumbs_up:



    .
     
  18. b-16707

    b-16707 TrainBoard Member

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    i wanna come i wanna come invite me invite me!! hehe
     
  19. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Two more photos from today. :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    LOVE it!
    Beautiful scenery. Looks like a shot I would take, high on a precarious cliff.
     

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