Tetter's Layout Progress and Other Pics.

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by tetters, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    No.... you choose not to make time for anything else. Don't blame your MRR neglect on something else! :p sign1

    Priorities, man! Besides, when it's 40'C and 98% humidity, where's a better place to be than the nice, cool basement working on the layout?
  2. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Thanks. I honestly think it was somewhat of a fluke. However one of the things I did was use the guard rails to guage how I was going to line everything up. Once I saw that this was doable, I bit the bullet and went at it. It was another one of those, "success or failure" exercises of mine.

    The idea is the have the slip switch completely operational. I've been working on some hinged pivots for the throwbars. The method comes from here... Fast Tracks :: View topic - An Alternative to Solid Soldered Switchpoints -Newsletter #8

    This allows to the TB to stay parallel pushed or pulled as with soldered switch points it follows a curved path inward towards center which will cause binding and pulls the points off the hinges I also made. I used railjoiners as small hinges as the # 6 points I am told are too stiff if left untouched to be thrown by a switch machine or manual ground throw. They break stuff this way apparently...:p


    I used medium spikes (filed off the blacking, cut the head to get a tight fit on the rail base, and trimmed the length), removed the copper cladding from the top of the throwbar, drilled a hole for each spike in the throwbar and soldered the spike to rail while in the hole. The only problem I'm having is the spikes after a few test throws come loose from the hole. Now I left a little bit at the end of each spike and crimped the ends hoping that would hold them down and keep the points pressed against the throwbar.

    That said I'm not entirely convinced on the reliability of these pivots. I am mulling over some alternate method to keep the points from pulling up and off the throw bar. I've been thinking about getting some thin brass, to create small plates to solder onto the points, drill a hole in the brass and then use some form of rivet or pin which I can secure from underneath the bottom. The pivots themselves cannot be soldered in anyway as the throw bar needs to follow a straight path when thrown.

    Something like this...


    I'm curious as if anyone has any suggestions to help me solve this little dilemma. It's really the only thing keeping me from going ahead installing this latest contraption on my layout.

    0845 hours...A thought had occured to me while I was digging out of the latest dumping of snow that old man winter, the stooge he is, had left for me during night. I figured I could use a piece of styrene of comparible width to the copper clad pcb tie, however I was thinking more square shaped stock as opposed to flat stuff and drill small holes into that which I could thread small screws. I could carefully screw down (not too tight) the brass strips soldered to the points and use the styrene strip as a throwbar. I wonder how well that would work out? I was initially thinking brass stock, then thought of styrene as I still need to use a material for the throwbar that I can isolate electrically.

    Still any other suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Tetters: google Protofour or Scalefour, which are the UK exact scale societies. The have an interesting contraption for moving points.
  4. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Maybe you could help me out a bit. I had a good look at their websites and could not for the life of me find what you are referring to. :oops:

    A couple of links about t.o. construction however I didn't spot anything about what they use to switch points.

    I did try the styrene throwbar method last night, however it didn't work out as planned. Also the first brass shim I made was a wee bit too big for my liking as was the brass screws I bought in an attempt to "bolt" it down. It appears as if I need to refine my technique perhaps I can get it work, it's just a matter of finding the right "parts". :rolleyes:
  5. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!


    I finally fabricated a pivot method that I think will stand up to my ham-fisted switching. :wink:

    I won't get into the details...lets just say it involved many small parts, which needed to be made smaller...sigh.

    So, anywho...

    I laid a mess of wood ties down and got them spaced for the slip. I ran out of bleedin' ties can you believe it! I had a bag of them in my hand yesterday too at the LHS and thought, "nah. I've got enough at home."


    Tomorrow, I'm gonna run up to the LHS and get another bag.

  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    It looks good.

    Hmm, small parts being turned into smaller parts? Sounds like my thing! I'm up to over 1000 parts on my passenger car...even though it's only 10" long.
    Your track work is so superb, I think you ought to try your hand at scratch building a few cars (or kitbashing). I have an HO steel passenger car project on the horizon...
  7. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Thanks Bro!

    I'd love to eventually try scratch building on a few cars. I'm certainly in good company around these parts. :thumb: I still have so much to learn. I haven't even tried my hand at weathering my P2K kits yet!

    I am almost finished with the difficult stage of getting this track work done. I just have to stop creating more "work" for myself. :mrgreen: Plus I still need to make the wiring below deck electrically organized if you will...

    I'm picky...Its a mess and I have to get around to tidying it all up, soldering and sealing all the connections.

    First I'm going to try and scratch build a bunch of structures for the layout, which should be challenging to say the least. I like the kits you can buy, however my trackwork is so personal, I'd like to extend that oringinality to the whole project. I may by a kit here and there to cannibalize it...however I cannot see me using an entire kit. I've started to amass a collection of card stock, styrene, scale lumber, etc. and other building materials. Looking forward to that next big challenge.

    I have sketched up plans to make the brewery for my RR gothic looking, gargoyles et al, hanging off the roof. Not too over the top...but enough to give it that cool but creepy factor. I saw a thread on here, where some one made a neon sign out of fiber optics...might give that a go for a custom sign. Should be a learning experience but fun.
  8. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Sounds really cool Tetters. I love this forum because there's such a variety of modelers on it...with a nice amount on scratch building, kit bashing, and hand laying.

    Scratch building equipment makes your model railroad so personal...just like the hand laid track.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Man Tetters, your track work is outstanding. I have 2 more crossings to add to my track work and haven't decided if I want to even tackle those, let alone think the stuff your building. Looking at what you build is a great incentive, though.

  10. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Loren, I find the big key is patience. It took me hours to fabricate the pivots for that DSS. A few times I was getting irritated and thinking to myself, "What bejeebus l am I doing here???" I also felt like scraping the whole shebang at one point. I went through three different versions before I settled on the design I am using now.

    Consider this. I have never hand laid anything until as recent as last year. So I've been at this for just over a year or so now. Heck...I started off by assembling fifteen P2K kits. And just as recent as several weeks ago I built my first double x-over without a jig. I'm convinced that if an upstart like me can do it, anyone can!

    If you need some help on where to start I'd be glad to tell you how I did it. Once you figure out your frog point angles, it all starts fall into place.
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Once you figure out your frog point angles, it all starts fall into place.

    Exactly. Once I figured out how to build the frog, the rest was a snap.
    And thank you for the offer of help. I am sure you will here from me.

  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Tetters: I'm a 5-day drive from my library, so I'm working from memory. The device mounts under the baseboards and has a plastic piece running in a plastic C channel. The one bit has 2 prongs sticking up that fasten under the points; the prongs are shaped like Mecanno cranks.
  13. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Thanks David. I'd love to see the set-up. If only in hindsight. I still haven't mounted the slip yet either. Still, I'm curious as to what it looks like.
  14. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!


    This kinda hurt a bit. But I finally got it installed and all wired up. Once I figured out how to operate the bugger, it worked nearly perfect. I need to tweak it at bit.


    I installed two Tortoise machinces wired up to a simple DC power supply and a couple of two DPDT switches. It took me hours to trouble shoot a short I kept having. Finally I figured out it was because of the ground throw I have under the deck to switch the polarity on the # 5 frog. I felt so stupid once I got a handle on that little problem. I'll have to keep this mind when I replace that throw with another Tortoise next weekend.


    I whipped up this little fancy schmancy control board to mount my toggle switches to. I figure its just a temporary set up until I get around to building a larger one which will control all the switches in the yard itself. It has enough room to hold switches for all the TO's in the west ladder. I figure, I may stop my marathon building for a while and install a switch machine during the spring, summer and fall, whenever the mood strikes me.

    So... Once I get the Tortoise in for the # 5 TO of this piece, I'm going to call it a day on this for now. I'm getting burned out and need to walk away from it for a bit. Plus focus on some playtime. Don't worry...I'll be back in force before you all know it.

  15. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Tetters, I don't blame you. You have been hitting it hard for quite awhile. But I am going to miss seeing the amazing trackwork you have been doing:cry:.
    Good luck, see you later.

  16. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Sounds like time for you to just run trains until you feel like working on it again. Great work!
  17. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    You must have one REALLY slow car!:mrgreen::mrgreen:
  18. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Hey thanks guys! I spent about a half an hour playing with the DSS last night, getting a kick watching # 8829 push and pull tanks through in all directions. I'll probably do the same thing tonight after I mount my little control panel.
  19. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Never one to quit while I'm ahead I picked up two assorted LED packs at a local "The Source" store last night. Today when I got home I got this hankering to wire them up to my switches and prove to myself, I can do this part of the hobby. After all, without electricity, our stuff doesn't work. :mrgreen:


    I actually, had a ton of fun with this, as tedious as it was. Keeping track of the wiring and what was supposed to go where, plus packing all that wiring into a small space (it measures 6 x 3 inches), getting the soldering tip at just the right spot. The more complicated it got towards the end, the harder it was to solder the final connections. For a power supply I had to change out the 4.5 volt DC transformer I had to an 11 volt DC one which I was lucky to have. Once I hooked up the first four LEDS, it moved the Tortoise machines r---e---a---l---l---y slow. So when I bumped up the juice those suckers moved like track sprinters! As I understand it, once I install more tortoise machines on the remaining four switches it will slow down the switching a bit more as LED's will draw current as well the Tortoise machines. Although...according to the instructions, I should be able to power roughly 25 machines with my single power pack. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    In the meantime, I'm getting a kick out of watching the lights change colour while the DSS points get thrown. I honestly can't wait to fill the remaining four toggles.
  20. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I wired up my pair of Tortoises with the LEDs and a single toggle switch (telephone key type) that let me interlock a double junction (switch had 2 DPDT contacts interlocked!),
    When I was soldering the LEDs in, there was a "poof" and all the smoke came out f one of them. Seems I had the transformer on and a grounded soldering iron.

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