2 questions

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by RonP, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    1. How tall should a HO telephone pole be (in inches)
    2. I wan't to run my power through telephone poles. I have a really kool scheme in my mind for making the hydro lines looking good Is this a good idea to run the layout power this way ?
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Ron not sure how tall.
    If you use anything approaching a scale size wire, you wont be able to carry much current through it. A scale wire might be one strand from a lamp cord and that might light one LED.
  3. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Hi Ron.

    The Walthers Cornerston Utility Poles are about 5" tall (4 7/8" to be exact, at least thats the walthers ones)

    Your other question was if it was a good idea to run power for the layout through them. Here is my opinion. I would not suggest doing this at all. Power lines on a layout tend to be hit by hands moving things in and out of the layout. My experiece with stringing lines was not good at all, I got them up okay and they looked great but I found it hard to "steer clear" of them and I ended up ripping them down because of a few acidents and I was fed up with repairing the twisted lines... My layout still has the utility poles on it, just no lines are strung

    If you want to string lines, I would HIGHY suggest doing them in the back of the layout and outta the way where you wont bump them or drag them.

    Sorry to shoot down you idea, I admit, that would be AWESOME to have the power supplied by working power poles but it is highly unlikely that you will be able to make this happen due to the fact that you will be having to replace/rewire countless amounts of times.

    Just my thoughts on the subject, dont mean to sound mean or anything.
  4. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    TL has it right about putting wire between the poles. I put in poles since it looks good but declined to put in wires. Elbows and hands just get in there too often. It would be a total mess. Wires between poles is a difficult proposition for a train layout. Don't do it. You would spend all your time repairing them. Also, you would never have enough "juice" running through those wires to run your set. It may be fun to think about it but a nightmare to maintain. Bob
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    There is an elastic type thread that can be used for stringing powerlines. It stretches instead of snapping or dragging things down with it, so is relatively "safe" to use. It does not, however, carry any current. I think though that strung power lines look fantastic and add realism to the layout.

    I agree with the other info above about the limited amount of power you will be able to carry. There are so many other ways of getting power to buildings (I assume you mean the building lights, not track power) that don't take away from the illusion of the model that it is really not necessary to run power prototypically.

    My $0.02

  6. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    power poles

    Everone is right, it is a PAIN in capital letters. I had a small layout long ago that had power to the bldgs thru tiny wires stung up. It was absolutely fantastic. The biggest problem was the wire used was so tiny it was almost impossible to solder or connect. That's 1 1/2 cents worth.

  7. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    This simply is a function of how tall the power poles are that you want to model. It's all a matter of scale, 1:87 to be exact.

    If your power pole is 10 meters tall, then the HO scale pole would be 10m/87 = 0.115 m tall, or 11.5 cm.

    Or, in Fred Flintstone Units (FFU), if the pole is 30 feet, then that's 30ft x 12in/ft = 360 inches, and 360in/87=4.138 inches in HO scale.
  8. Sparky75

    Sparky75 New Member

    The elastic thread is the way to go, do not try to use wire or regular thread as it will eventualy sag and get out of shape, the elastic thread can be restored to it's original position emediately.
  9. jimh

    jimh Member

    I did the real power line bit on my first layout and while it looked really cool it turned out to be a bigger pain than it was worth for the reasons mentioned above. I used 28 ga wire with black insulation, hot wire strung on poles and ground wire ran under the bench, and was able to power several lights with it, but I ended up snagging it every time I turned around.
  10. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    How about this, then?

    Run your "power lines" to structures and industries prototypically using whatever you wish - then run electrical power under the layout only to those things that are connected above. Need to build and power a new industry? Run a new set of poles and lines and hook up the real juice only when the project is finished.

    This seems to me lijke it would give a very strong impression that you were, in fact, "powering" your layout just as in the real world but it would avoid possible disasters caused by handling accidents. In fact, if you broke a line, yopu could even temporarily shut down electricity to the place served until you repaired it, further reinforcing the illusion.

    Just a random thought...
  11. eric halpin

    eric halpin Eric Halpin

    What is the name of this 'elastic thread'? I have seen it and it looks great plus because it has a memory, it will return to its strung position if knocked into. But its name?? I am planning on stringing this material on my poles but only in areas where we on the Algoma and Rideau won't have to fight with the wires.
  12. Starman

    Starman Member

  13. eric halpin

    eric halpin Eric Halpin

    Thanks Starman

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