Lift Outs; Help, How Do I Make One?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by TruckLover, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    The 1" shorty might actually work better for me and would KEEP me from somehow screwing the tracks up LMAO. Cuz I know there is no way that I could possibly go even nearly as long as you have Wayne without messing something up with the overhanging rails hahahaha

    Im really going to have to re-read Wayne's and your posts about wiring the lift-out carefully lol. I really appreciate the help everyone is giving me, im learning alot :twisted: :thumb:
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    As Russ noted, with diesels those 1" sections should work fine. If you're not concerned about killing the power to the approach tracks when the lift-out is removed, a regular 3-prong plug and receptacle will work for powering the lift-out - the ground pin will keep the polarity straight, and the components are cheap. Drop a wire from each rail of the approach track and connect them to the receptacle (mounted on the facia near the lift-out), then drop a wire from each of the rails on the lift-out and connect them to the terminals of a plug, making sure that the wires are connected to the terminals which correspond to those on the receptacle.
    To include an interlock so that the approach tracks on either side will be dead when the lift-out is removed is not complicated, it simply requires more wire and some gaps in the rails, plus a multiple-prong connector. I can provide a drawing if you'd like. :-D

    Edit: Just curious, Josh: since your track goes around the room, are you using a bus wire with feeders to provide power, or soldered rail joiners?

  3. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Wayne, I still would like to have a dead approach track when the lift-out is not in place. It would keep the disaster of a train running off the edge of the layout lol :eek: That would be AWESOME if you could post a drawling of how to do it :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    About the power question, I have no idea what im going to do yet lol. Im going to be using the Digitrax Super Chief DCC System with the layout. whats the best way to do it? Solder the rail joiners or bus wire with feeders?
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I'm a solder-the-rail-joiners kind of guy, but, then again, I also run with DC. ;)

  5. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    lol. which is better for me tho? I would like to solder the rail joiners as it would make track laying easyier around curves and such. But what exactly is bus wiring? Is that like wiring in blocks or? Sorry for the questions, im a noob about this stuff hehehehe
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    "Buss wire" are wires that run underneath the bench work with a short drop wire going from each rail section to the buss wire. I think the easiest way to isolate the approach sections of the layout would be to cut gaps in both rails on each approach section as far from the bridge as you would consider safe. My p2k e units will roll up to 2 feet when power is shut off when running at passenger train speed, so I would cut them 3 feet from the bridge on each side. You would then either use an extra set of plugs so that you unplug the bridge to remove it and then unplug the extra set of plugs to kill power to the approach tracks, or you could use a switch that would turn on or shut off the approach tracks. Of course in either case, you would need to remember to unplug or shut off the switch when you remove the bridge. I think Wayne is talking about a circuit that automatically kills power to the approach tracks anytime you remove the bridge.
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Bus wiring is basically just running a pair of heavy wires (#14 or #12 is often suggested - the heavier the better, although there's not much point in exceeding these sizes) beneath the layout, then soldering feeder wires from it to the individual sections of track. If you're not soldering rail joiners, then you need to run a feeder to every piece of rail: otherwise, you're relying on the rail joiners for power distribution. You can solder sections of track together, then run a feeder to each section, but I would strongly advise that you not depend on the rail joiners to provide power transmission. They may work well at first, but will eventually cause problems, and the more unsoldered connections you have, the harder it'll be to find the problem. I soldered all of my track together, then cut gaps where required for my DC operating methods, adding switched jumpers to allow for track isolation. I've had no difficulties with expansion/contraction of the rails, although some have reported problems. In a controlled environment such as your house, it should be trouble-free.
    Here's that sketch which I promised, sort of an aerial view with semi-schematic wiring ;):-D:-D:

    The red and blue lines are the feeder wires, soldered to the rails and connected by a plug/receptacle at the facia, as indicated by the -<<- and -<<- . The rail gaps are exaggerated for clarity.
    The red and blue lines at the bottom represent heavier (#16 or #18 should be sufficient) wires running over the doorway casing (or under the carpet would work, too). This is just to be able to control the "safety section" power on the track to the right of the doorway. With the plug unplugged (whether the lift-out is in place or not), the safety sections, 1" connector sections, and the lift-out itself are not powered. When you insert the plug, power runs from the powered section at left to the lift-out, then from the lift-out to the "safety sections". The 1" connector sections are powered (or not) ;) via their rail joiners, which should have no effect on modern diesels.

  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Josh, you mentioned running dcc. Dcc does require larger ga feeder wires than dc does. On the club I belong to the standard is for drop wires to be solid wire of #22 ga or larger and drops should be kept as short as possible.
  9. railroad guy

    railroad guy New Member

    Well in the future if you consider something like this let me know and I will look them up and get you a phone number. Their primary business is design and fabrication of tools for aviation companies.

    Good luck with your drop out. :wave:
  10. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    WOW!!!!!! Thanks Wayne!!!! This will deffinetly come in handy when i start the wiring. You guys are AWESOME, I cant thank you guys enough for helping me out in my threads :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Ill deffinetly be soldering my rail joiners in place as well :thumb: :thumb:
  11. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Ill keep you in mind when it comes time for another layout :twisted:
  12. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    This is one of the reasons I love this place. Anytime you have a question, not only does it get answered, but it gets answered in 2 or more different ways.

    Now that I am putting in a lift out, this thread is going to come in VERY handy. Like you, Josh, I have printed out Doc's pics for a reference. Also, in the May issue of MRC there is an article about a fold down kind of thing. I thumbed thru a couple of nights ago, not thinking, but now I am going to re-read the whole thing.

    My only issue is that the track will be elevated and not all flat and level. I don't know if that will hinder my progress or be of no consequence.

  13. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    Wow, that is one heck of a layout, would you by chance have more photos of it? I'd love to see more. :wave:

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