Eastern Tn logging on the DG CC & W RR 1928

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by Bill Nelson, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Neat Neat Neat

    I like the mock up. It fits the desk nicely and should make the dispatcher's job a lot easier. Sitting at a desk will get the use of the toggle switches out of the main aisle as that is a very busy place on your RR.

    Looking forward to more of this interesting story!

  2. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    That desk is beautiful!! It would be fun to have a desk like that to play in, or with, it is playing, isn't it? :)
  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Most of the furniture my wife and I have purchased has been antique. This desk was one of the few pieces we bought new. A friend , whom I had worked for for a while; ran a furniture store, and this was a display model. They changed the design some, and so this desk the old model was discounted, and he gave me an extra discount on top of that.

    This desk was designed to be a computer desk, and housed my first computer a Black and white Mac SE-30 (I still have it, and it still boots). I kept my first three computers in this desk, but it was not ideal for the later ones, as the monitors I had at that time were so deep, the roll top would not close over them. I eventually moved it upstairs up to my sons room (It disassembles, or it never would have made it around the tight corner and up the too steep steps to my attic railroad room.) It is set up as a computer desk, and thus is not well suited as a regular desk. What looks like a drawer below the writing surface pulls out as a keyboard shelf. what looks like file size drawers to the right on the bottom pull out in as one piece, One big drawer with a shelf, designed for a CPU and a printer. so the only storage in the desk are the two file card size drawers to the right of the control panel, and a pen and pencil drawer under those.

    I really liked the look of the desk, but it wasn't real useful as a desk; so my wife wanted to get rid of it. I did a lot of careful measurement and figured it's component parts would just barely fit up the stairs and into the RR room, so I disassembled the desk, and got my son to help me move it up to the RR room on one of his visits home from Grad school (He was telling me "Dude, no way is that going to go around the corner, Dad I'm telling you it won't go through that door . Ok you're right, there is a sixteenth of an inch to spare).

    I think I need to stain some 2x4s to raise it up enough to get a heavy duty power chord under it, and then mount a power strip in the foot well. then I'll mount the power sources for my throttles in the drawer made for the CPU and printer. I'll run some Led lighting from one of the power sources on the desk, so it will be obvious when the power is on. I currently have four Dc throttle systems in use. Throttle #1 is a innovator 2000 plugable walkaround throttle with memory. Throttles 2 and 3 are GML plugable walkaround throttles with memory, and throttle # 4 is one of those radio walkaround throttles like DR Tom used on his RR The manufacturer escapes my tiny mind at this time, Ill fill that in later. I had originally planned to have six throttles, but I found that with more than four in use there is total gridlock in the aisles. I have found when I have more than 3 operators, usually there are several who are not familiar with the railroad, and so I use two man crews, pairing newbies with experienced operators who know some of if not all of my systems oddities..

    When I start my new panel, I will most likely set it up with two of my four throttles. Once it is set up and hooked up to the sections of my railroad that will remain, I can add the other two, but use of more than two throttles on my RR has historically been rare. Hopefully with a more operable RR it won't be so rare in the future
  4. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I thought it might have been modern, funny, with the advent of LCD panels, the desk would be perfect again as long as the monitor isn't too wide. :)
  5. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    My current system would fit, if I had only my modern flat panel screen, but I have my older tube monitor as well, and I find having the two monitors is just too useful.

    I have been hunting through my supplies, and I have enough rotary switches to do six blocks, and I plan to start with four.

    I did however come up with a serious disadvantage to the desk location. while the power source can be located right there each block will need very long power leads. each throttle will have to have both long leads to each plug location, and long wires back to the panel, so I will have much longer wire leads, and may have to go with heavier wire to minimize voltage drop .

    This is probably immaterial though, as I came up with this idea because I could not come up with a natural location. the only possible centralized location would be on the fourth level of the central peninsula. If I had a big mountain up against the fashia I could use that space. However, that would be one of the last areas built, so I'd need a temporary panel somewhere, as it may take years to get the top center level in.

    In the mean time, I'll need to shop for bulk wire at Lowe's

    Bill Nelson

    as an afterthought. I could put the power sources in a more central location, run the loops of plugs closer to the center of the layout The innovator uses a four wire loop, and the GML throttles use a three wire loop, so cutting 30 feet off of each run would be a substantial savings of time, effort and wire. the two tail output wires could then be run the length of the room to the desk, through the rotary switches and back. then I could have the power sources easily hooked up to building interior lights, which gives me a clue that I have failed to turn off track power.
  6. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Help is on its way.

    Hi Bill,

    Interesting thread you have going here. The throttle #4 is an Aristo Craft Train Engineer system. I loved mine. You might find them helpful in your future redo as it could keep all the throttle wires out of the aisles and you could put the receiver modules in that neat desk. I'll post a picture of the unit.

    If I remember correctly you did not enjoy the push button throttle and preferred a rotary dial. I believe Ariso Craft is doing something like that in radio control in its "Revolution" products.


    Attached Files:

  7. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I find the one aristocraft throttle to be quite useful, my preference for the dial throttle was largely from old habit. Part of the reason I got one of these radio throttles was so I could use it more, so I'd be more proficient operation your railroad.

    I used to have the big fancy MRC power unit I use at the club for the narrow gauge hooked up at home, but it used a phone plug interface like the Innovator does. I discontinued the use of the MRC unit when I found out that if you plugged the MRC remote throttle (Controlmaster 2000?) into a phone plug hooked up to the innovator's control loop it would smoke the $40.00 remote throttle. I figured what happened once would happen again, and removed the MRC throttle, a very good, if noisy throttle (it has a cooling fan that sounds like a turbo prop taking off.)
  8. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    The desk has a pull out tray for a keyboard. I'm thinking of making a cork board schematic on that pull out tray, on which a dispatcher could use colored tacks to indicate train locations.
  9. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    ASL bcksd pnnl.jpg ASL  pnll cmpnts.jpg Bought some materials

    I went to Lowe's, and bought some materials for the new control panel. I picked up some lumber and plywood for the panel itself. I didn't even think of going through my lumber stash. there is a good chance I have what I need but it might take longer to find than it will take to build the new panel. and for those who want to know these materials bought for a new block system cost almost enough to buy a DCC system (If you buy a DCC system, you will still need a boatload of wire for a large home railroad.

    I also picked up some various terminals 3 color doorbell wire, 3 different colors of lamp chord, and lots of other miscellaneous stuff, as well as a power strip. Next I will start soldering on wires to sixrotary switches for the four blocks that will survive destruction Gegokayoosa, NC. , State Line, GA. and Crooked Creek TN., and Murray TN ; and the first two new blocks for the new railroad design. Midway, and another place yet un named, that I also forgot to put on the schematic . those two blocks will be six inch shelves on the 16 foot wall on the east side of the RR room, each will have a long passing siding that can be used as staging until more railroad is built up, and one , and possible both will have a long siding that can be used for staging a lumber camp.

    Doctor tom is correct, the astrocraft radio throttle will be the easiest throttle to hook up, so it will probably be one of the first throttles wired up. Currently I use my Innovator and one of the GML throttles more than any other. so If I start setting up the radio throttle and The other GML throttle I won't miss them until the old panel is discontinued, at which time I can add the innovator and the other GML throttle to the new panel.

    I can really believe I'm going to do this once I start swapping control to the new pannel
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  10. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Exciting times

    Good progress. You got some good stuff from Lowes and it looks like you are ready for the next adventure.

    I think I have one of the Aristo Craft Train Engineer systems up in the shed if you would like to use it. It would allow you two throttles to experiment with in your new build. Glad to give it to you. Let me know.

  11. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Tom, If you'd be willing to part with the aristro-craft throttle, I'd accept it in a heartbeat. Having provided substantial material support to your operation , I don't even have to feel guilty. I could start the new panel with the two aristrocraft throttles, and the one GML throttle that doesn't have it's control loop finished. the control loop for the Innovator uses phone jacks, so using modular components, It won't take any time to swap over once the innovator once the panel is built. with the extra throttle, two trains could be operated on both the valley and the mountain division , with the fifth throttle bouncing around from switching Harlow and Crooked creek.

    The control loop for the GML unit uses headphone Jacks. they are a little trickier to set up. I'll need to pick up a bunch of headphone jacks and solder some short color coded lead on them to make the installation easier, as it is hard to figure which wire goes where.

  12. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    ASL-a1 bxcr cabse red #1.jpg boxcar caboose now is red

    My boxcar caboose looked uglier and uglier in the tan paint scheme. I don't mind the similarly painted caboose # 2O9, so I had thought the color scheme would grow on me, but it did not; so I have repainted the boxcar caboose red. it will need a second coat, with some gray mixed in because gray would look better peeking through the red than the disgusting tan does. also will need to touch up the black roof Note this tan, or a similar tan is the standard color for my freight cars , but for some reason I could not tolerate it on this interesting caboose.

    Thanks again Tyler for the caboose inspiration!

    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  13. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Done Deal

    Consider it yours. Glad to help. I will try to remember to bring it to train club this Monday. Better yet I will write a reminder note............age is playing tricks with all our noodles.

  14. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I understand this is an issue with folks who used to have powerful mental facilities. I, on the other hand, never could remember stuff, and so, am happily ; in the immoral words of Charles Gearheart and his Goose Creek Symphony "Still Dumb after all these years."
  15. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    ASL 2 UGLY  CABEESE .jpg ASL 2 UGLY  CABEESE .jpg more caboose work

    got out this morning, fired up the chain saw and cut down a big snag of a tree that I thought was standing dead. No bark remaining on the trunk, but the single remaining limb had some green branches I did get a big load of old dead wood onto the front porch, and skidded the big log up next to my drying rack. I went back into the woods after another standing dead tree, but managed to bump the choke on the chainsaw back on while making the undercut, and flooded it out. My chain saw is a huge High Compression STHIL, and I have learned that if I flood it , I'm not restarting in that day, so I spent the rest of the morning moving and stacking wood, putting the stuff that will be ready in a week or two on the front porch, and putting the truly green stuff in my roofed southern facing drying rack.

    After a good three hour work out I got back into the farmhouse, and went to the workbench. I put another coat of Barn red on the ugly caboose, and that didn't help much; the barn red is just too bright. My Georgia clay and oxide red had dried up, so I need to get back to hobby lobby, and restock on those reds, as when I paint with red, it is often a mixture of those three colors.

    Needing different paints, I started adding the bay window to a another caboose project. this one is an MDC body from one of their 3 in one kitbashing sets. This body started out intended to be a side door caboose.

    I think I have figured out how to number my cabeese. I think the locomotives that will normally be in service as switchers will get a caboose assigned to them, probably one of the more ratty cabeese. those Cabooses will have a two hundred number, followed by the switching engines number ( with a 0 if the switching engine is numbered below 10) I'm figuring with the new plan a full time switcher will be needed in Montgomery Furnace, Flea Creek, Crooked Creek, Harlow, and Ridemont. That would leave me with the need for five switchers.

    these will likely be #15 a PFM 25 ton Shay, that has been remotored with a gear reduction motor, and is slower than Christmas; #9 a Westside models Westside lumber co #3 Heisler, that has long been the switch engine in Harlow; #4 A Westside Models class A climax that was born with a 44:1 gear ratio, and has been remotored with a can motor, after it melted three or four of it's original design motors. I will probably want to put #8 , a MDC 2 truck Shay, which has been heavily modified, including a huge gear reduction motor, into switching service, probably in Crooked Creek. It has been in mixed service, but if I reduce may ruling grade to 3.3% from the current 8.5 % it will not be as desperately needed for road service. That leaves me with one more locomotive to assign to switch engine service one possibility for that last switch engine slot would be # 6 A NWSL Sierra #18 (very heavily modified) It is an extremely small drivered Consolidation, in it's last rebuild it got a gear reduction can motor. It will be useful as a road engine, if it will double head with some of my other smaller rod engines, but likely it will be too slow, due to the gear reduction motor, and that might push it into switching service.

    Tom's radio throttle will be a welcome addition. it will push me up to six total throttles, and that may be more than the aisle space will allow for use any given time , but If in use I can see which throttles are favored, I can always remove one later, and move it to the club for use on the narrow gauge, where I would like to build a block system there. Carl has two HON3 locomotives, and both are old brass that would be problematic to convert to DCC. I have two HON3 locomotives with Dual mode decoders, and another five or six HON3 locomotives that are DC, and like Carl's would likely need re-motoring as well as adding decoders, and some of the locomotives are so tiny finding room for a z scale decoder and the attending wiring would be near impossible, so unless Carl buys some Blackstone sound locomotives, and is in favor of going DCC the club's HOn3 will likely remain DC.

    That's it for now, I need to try to get a nap before getting up to feed my wife this evening, so I can get another nap, before going to work @ 11:00 pm . I spent a bunch of time yesterday morning getting references in line Tomorrow I'm going to have to go out and get a haircut, and try to make my self look more presentable, in case I can fool someone into interviewing me. I absolutely have to get myself a day job with weekends off.

    The rest of the cabesse will be in a pool to serve as needed, as many of the road trains will be mixed trains, and not require cabeese. the General Use locomotive will be numbered from 250 up. My highest locomotive numbers at present are my two Little River 2-4-4-2's #21 and #22. I don't foresee my roster ever getting anyway near 50.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  16. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    ASL nw ugly caboose #4.jpg ASL nw ugly caboose #3.jpg ugly caboose!!

    these two photos show the beginning of a bay window for another ugly caboose. These photos show the beginnings of the bay windows.

    These ugly cabeese will be in service with switching crews.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  17. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    ASL-A1 NW pannel.jpg new Control panel

    I have actually started to build my new control panel, so I am taking some action toward my RR's rebuild; although most of my train work recently has been focused on the club.

    I sprayed the plywood of the panel white, and then have used high quality (green frog) masking tape, laid out on the plywood and then cut down to make the schematic. the lettering is vinyl stick on letters. I will shoot the tape and letters with more white spray paint, so if any paint creeps under the masking, it will be the same color as the base. then I will paint the whole thing glossy black, and peel off the tape and the letters after the paint is dry to the touch but before it gets hard enough to chip as the tape comes off.

    I have some 6 position rotary switches that I will pre-wire and then install. I'll start with six, one for Gegokayoosa and one for State Line, one for Crooked Creek , and one for Murray, all of which exist, and will be retained. I'll add two more Sander's Switch, and Midway; which will be the first two blocks built on the rebuild . They will be passing sidings on the final plan, but will be useful as staging for operating Crooked Creek as a large switching layout durring the early stages of the rebuild project.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  18. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    ASLA-1 pnl tst ft+++.jpg test fit in desk

    I have test fit the panel in the desk and am satisfied, so it is out in the front yard, with the first coat of black drying on it as I type.

    Tom had asked if I had made any provisions to use it for dispatching, as well as block selection, and I am not. the desk was designed to be a computer desk, and there is a keyboard tray that pulls out. I will have a similar schematic on a cork board on the keyboard pull out that a dispatcher could use marked pushpins to identify train locations and clearances.

    On the desk are a reproduction Confederate knock off Colt, and a reproduction Remington Old Army, a Southern Rwy ticket puncher, and one of my Dad's registered Forester bumperstickers.

    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  19. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    ASLA-1  pntd contrl pnl #1.jpg Mixed results

    With the control panel I had results on the poor side of mixed. The black paint I used didn't like the white paint and went on streaky, taking four coats to get good coverage. Then when I went to peel the masking tape and the letters, the black paint stuck to itself very well, and would come up with the letters or the masking tape.

    I had to use an exacto knife to cut the paint along the side of the making tape to get the masking tape up somewhat cleanly. The lettering could not be made to come up semi cleanly, so the vinyl letters are being abandoned under the paint, and I will hand paint the lettering on the board , it will be uglier than homemade sin, but functional
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  20. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    ASLA-1cnrl pnl rdy fr electr#1.jpg asl-a1 fn n th cr shps#1.jpg ASLA-1 4 cabeese.jpg ASLA-1A  #25  D's CCs .jpg lettered some cabooses

    I have been hand lettering cars for the club, using a white art pencil from hobby lobby. I sued to do almost all of my lettering with dry transfers, but I keep running out of some letters, and it takes a lot of time. My results have been getting better and better so I thought i'd letter those cabeese I had bee working on.

    I am posting a photo of the new control panel, some of the cars done for the club (some of the J E P C & L Co hoppers will live on my home RR, need to feed the coke ovens). When I do my rebuild I hope to increase the iron business considerably, and that means more hoppers , which are also needed as I am converting my road engines and s my switch engines, with the exception of the mill switcher and the log camp switchers from wood to coal. I got to bring in a lot of coal, might as well get a lot of it from the J E P C & L Co.

    I was having some real variable results with the white art pencil; which I bought @ Hobby Lobby , where it was sold next to the charcoal pencils. on some cars it would write well in one spot, and hardly at all on another. I found that giving the car a shot of dullcote, or satin clear finish before lettering gives the car some tooth, and the pencil line is more controllable. I sharpen the pencil often, and smooth the tip on paper after sharpening, and between letters. after a car is done I give it another sot of Dulcoate or satin finish to seal the lettering, as it can smear. If I want to I can purposefully smudge the lettering downward, and it looks like pigment has migrated downward with weathering. I found it very helpful to use a piece of masking tape. as a reference line to keep the letters all on the same line. I also marked the tape with a center line, and little dashes to help locate the letters, and to keep the letter size and spacing close to uniform. the more I do this the better I get at it.

    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015

Share This Page