Walk Thu Module

Discussion in 'Modular Layout Forum' started by Bill Pontin, May 11, 2006.

  1. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

    Here are some pictures of the walk-thru-module I constructed and posted some time back. My club, the Valley NTrak of CT, has now used it sucessfully for our last four shows.

    Attached Files:

  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    That's nifty! I like it a lot.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Gives a whole new meaning to "swing bridge"! Very :cool:!

  4. Wyomingite

    Wyomingite Member

    Great job there Bill.

    Ron :thumb: :thumb: :wave:
  5. belg

    belg Member

    Bill, I remember this from your first posting and meant to ask you is there a safety build into it so the trains don't run into the abbyss?? Thanks Pat
  6. 2slim

    2slim Member

    Great Module Bill

    I've had a concept for a swing bridge designed for a couple of years. I originally designed this for a friend's layout but he has since changed direction.


    Nice to see something similar 'in the flesh' as it were! :thumb: :thumb:

  7. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

    Belg, I did wire in a magnet/reed switch to a relay that opens the outside rails on all the three lines. (red/Yel/blu) Continuity on the modules either side of the bridge will be broken when the gate is open. Depending on the length of the module, normally four foot, this gives the train plenty of stopping room, even for several slot car racers in our club. However, I have to rework it, the proximity contact switch will close even if the gate is not closed completely. Was thinking on the lines of a mechanical button switch that will only close if the latch is securely in place. After every show my knees thank me, should have made it sooner.:D
  8. belg

    belg Member

    Bill, why so official (Belg aka Pat) did you forget me already? We met at last years show where you won the award for your module with the canyon theme. I would love to see a closeup picture of the current safety interlock and your new solution if possible, Thanks Pat
  9. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

    Hi Pat, Yes I remember meeting you but could not tie the screen name to a face and I have lost my little index card with screen names from the old gauge chat room.

    The modules are in storage and I cannot readily get a picture of the mechanism. Basically a "NC" reed switch is mounted on the latch tower of the gate - it will stay open as long as the magnet on the gate is in proximity to it. When the magnet moves away, the switch closes, engergizing the relay. The relay has four poles, three are wired NC and one is wired NO. I had a loud annoying buzzer hooked to that contact, everyone hated it so I've unhooked the buzzer. I am thinking of changing to a mechanical button type switch. A barrel bolt on the gate is used to lock it into position, it would be an easy fix to mount a switch that is actuated when the end of the bolt contacts it. We had a simple derailment because a member did not close the gate completely and since the magnet was in the vicinity of the switch everything was powered.
  10. CarlFidy

    CarlFidy Member

    NEONS gateway module

    The "gateway" we have in the Tulsa club uses 3 (one for each line) normally open push buttons for our interlock system. Our gate swings up, so gravity does a good job of closing our gate completely. N Scale Railroading had an article on our gateway, and I think the photos included the interlock switches and alignment groove.
  11. inkaneer

    inkaneer Member

    Another option is to eliminate the need from a walk thru module in the first place. If the layout is constructed so that two corners modules are joined to form a 180 degree "U" curve then the layout is only 6 or 8 feet wide [depending on what size corners were used]. With a narrow layout there is no wasted space in the middle because there is no space in the middle. The layout can now beformed into a "L" shape or even a "U" shape and no need for a walkthrough.
  12. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

    Hi inkanner, I agree, it sure would make things easier with the type layouts you described. There are however advantages in having a square or rectangular layout for modular shows. In most cases, these layouts fully utilize the floor space allocated the club for the show. They also seperate the viewing public from the operators or module owners. I would rather face the viewer, over a module, as I answer questions or point out details. Last and most important, the open space provides a safehaven for the clubs equipment and your own trains when not in use. Most of the viewing public are fantastic and respectfull, unfortunately there are some that would think nothing of rummaging through your boxes of trains if left out.
  13. inkaneer

    inkaneer Member

    What you say is true to a point. Where we set up for Train Expo shows space is always at a premium. So all that space inside Fort Ntrak is wasted. An "L" shaped layout 20' on each leg and each leg 6 ' wide has the same track footage that a square layout 20' on a side has but occupies about 1/2 of the space. Second we do a lot of small one day shows for fire depts., churches, etc. Space is always at a premium and the most asked question always is how small of a space do we need rather than how big of a space do we want. With the radio throttles available in both DC as well as DCC there is no need to man the throttles. We walk with the trains and can converse with the public without having any barriers between us [Hey, exercise is a good thing]. We are also more approachable. As far as protecting equipment we place it under the modules behind the front drape just as we did when we had Fort Ntrak. Never had a problem. But the biggest advantage is that we no longer have to get down and crawl under the layout. That is huge when you get older as we all do. Also those walk thru modules are a bear to haul around not to mention set up and maintain alignment. So to those who want them fine but there is an alternative that is easy and works.
  14. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

    Hi again inkaneer, really like your term "FortNtrak." Your Club is fortunate that you can make the layouts you describe but our Club is locked into the box shape. Many members of our Club have extra wide modules with seperate loops of operating track and setup yards behind their skyboards. It was for this reason, myself and another member, designed the walk through module. My knees bothered me for days after a show from crawling in and out. The module breaks down into four pieces for transportation; 2 towers, the bridge itself and the base. Very compact to fit into my small van around my three modules, roll around tool box and hand truck. You can see the construction of it under another thread " walk thru duck under" - sorry I do not know how to hyperlink the thread. Wood and metal I can work with, but computers - that's another story. Many of the club members do walk around on the outside of the layout running their trains. On many occasions we will hand our throttle to some interested young engineer. For their effort we present them with an "Honorary Train Engineer" card. These are magnetic calling cards with the Club's logo and a statement thanking them for their participation and attesting that they have successfully operated a train for the Club. We fill in their name and have the Show Coordinator sign it for the Operations Manager.
  15. inkaneer

    inkaneer Member

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