Friday, March 29, 2013

Cobblestone for Denver, need some advice.

Cobblestone for Denver, need some advice.

Got my final materials in so spent a few hours doing some fitting and testing. The cobblestone in Denver I have pictures of. Setts are brick shaped. Can't really tell color (B&W photo).

Somewhat perplexed how to proceed and which to use. Making it worse is I need to be able to curve the street to allow trolley to move next to backdrop so I can let it disappear (hide) behind builds before return trip.

Here is what I tried:

This is cobblestone from MonsterWorks. Nice quality, very thin, good looking bricks. Pardon the warp. Could use Bar Mills Sidewalks to finish opposite trackside edge (by buildings). Not sure how to make these curve.

This shows the wood cobblestone next to the Walther's Brick cobblestone. The Walther's is nice and has sidewalks included. Cutting the Walther's is somewhat challenging.

Close view of brick. Tried to cut and make middle piece in rails. Clearance might be an issue.

More of the brick cobblestone. Board fence with small grass strip will be used to divide street from mainline tracks. You can also see turn here, will need to narrow side road some.

Final overview shot to show context.

So far from space I have, I can have buildings, curb and about 2.5" on right side of track going upgrade (right to left). 3/4" in-between rails (roughly std HO gauge - room for flanges on trolley) and another 1.5" on left of track. So parking on right street, one lane, turning etc. on track area and another full lane on left.

From what I can tell in pictures, cobblestone generally went straight and ended at curve with a 45 degree angle (90 curve).

Advice greatly appreciated. Need to determine cobblestone, after that need to determine how to address side streets where they meet backdrop. Since shallow < 3" will be difficult to not make it look like it hits a wall.

Thanks Cameron

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday Update.

Wednesday Update.

Will have to post pictures in a day or so. First time to work on layout this week.

Concentrated on 2 areas:
1. Lead in track from yard to staging. This is a recessed track. Borrowed the idea from some pictures I saw for George Sellios's layout the Franklin & South Manchester Railroad. The mainline swings around Denver Yard and proceeds to staging. By sloping track downward it allows use of some unclaimed space under the middle peninsula. Grade is about 2.5% with turns at 0-1%. Turned out to be a lot of work cutting parts of support and having to reinforce. Got most of slope in today and began laying track. Plan to use Noch flexible stone wall to make the sides giving a hopefully nice finishing touch.

2. Spent time laying 1/16th wood for West Denver to allow cobblestone streets to match rail height. This allows trolly track to appear to be built into road per prototype. Worried about warping so painted both sides with enamel spray paint. Formed trolley track (regular HO code 83 flex track) to butt ties up against wood. When cobblestones added, will cover ties making rail look built-in. Got 8 ft installed. Once I finally choose cobble stone material will mount track to a Minatronics auto-reverse controller with programmable stops. This should allow trolley to run end to end with planned stops along the way.

Had to stop to let everything dry hope to work on tomorrow. Then come Sunday should have a few days to work on and get some pictures to share.

Thanks Cameron

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Denver Yard update.

Denver Yard update.

With the wiring solved and the track cleaning and Bullfrog snot test completed it was time to return to Denver Yard.

One perplexing question was the deck support. Right now just a temporary 2x2. Long-term this was not going to work.

Saw an article in a Model railroad magazine on making smoke. Looked nice which got me to thinking about hiding the support in smoke.

So rearranged yard so Machine shop with stack would fit under L girder. Did some dry fitting and I think I can use a threaded 3/8" of 1/2" rod with bolts to act as a support. Then place smoke around to camouflage.

This is a close up of swapped Car shop and Machine Shop

Overall view of yard, Machine shop with stack is on left.

Yard from upgrade. circle to right is where smoke stack goes.

The rod, if strong enough, will allow fine adjustment as the nut can be turned to raise in lower in tiny amounts.

Think this will work. still unsure where to put ash pit.

Thanks Cameron

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bullfrog snot update

Spent a few hours Sunday testing the repaired c-19 and the dried tracks I crc'd a week ago. After getting wiring straight I ran a test.

Here ya go 6 cars on 2.65 to 3.15% grade track CRC'd 6 days ago. Bullfrog snot on 4th driver.

Just before Beaver Brook.

Decided to let it run further to test how it did on non-CRC'd side. Night and day went from no drop-outs to repeated drop-outs.

Rounding curve toward Elks Creek

Just past Elks Creek heading towards Forks Creek

So end of test cycle, Bullfrog Snot works by increasing pull about 50%. CRC not an issue for traction and greatly improves conductivity.

Thanks Cameron

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Electrical issue.

Electrical issue.

My RRamp meter was reading 24 volts. Posted to get ideas and then contacted AMHobby. They were great.

Ramp showing 24 v and both AC and DCC, not good. Issue was not a faulty meter but electrical signal interference.

The engineer studied the issue and came back with 2 points: 1. since wire run was long (up to 60 ft 12g) I needed to twist the wires 12 in 1 yard. 2nd a snubber, a capacitor and resistor spanning the red and black wires.

Snubber - resistor and capacitor to eliminate interference.

Test Snubber on track, note voltage dropped to 14 and only DCC light on.

Shows regular meter and RRamp Meter at same time. RRamp far more accurate with DCC, this was a verification test.

Glad that is fixed. Twisted 2 of 4 sides and installed snubbers. Will do other side in a day or so.

Thanks Cameron

Friday, March 8, 2013

Can of worms

Can of worms.

While testing grade and Bullfrog snot my C-19 started to have issue.

Took to workbench and found a broken wire. This loco had done a layout dive and I had to fix wires in past. Seems a 3' drop is not good for them.

Opened her up and also found a bare wire spot on speaker wire. Fixed broken wire and put heat shrink insulation on wire. Used liquid electric "tape" on bare spot on speaker wire.

While at it replaced broken rear coupler with a Sergent's coupler. Have a jig to file to fit and it went well.

Tested C-19 on both layout and test track and it worked much better. So fixed.

Cleaned off Drive 3 Bullfrog snot and applied to Driver 4. Let dry. Will test today and post results. Hoping for 6 cars.

Thanks Cameron

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More grade testing C-19

More testing - Bullfrog snot

After the test where C-19 pulled 3-4 cars, I tried Bullfrog Snot on last driver. Pulled one more car and almost 2. Reapplied will test again after dries 24 hours.

4 car test with Bullfrog

6 car test with a little slippage, need to let bullfrog cure for longer.

Stuff works pretty good more testing tomorrow.

Thanks Cameron

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Update.

Monday Update.

Spent most of my time laying out buildings in Denver Yard.

Here is overview with buildings in-place to show layout and determine clearances.

Closer view of Turntable, Machine Shop and older Car Shop.

New Car Shop side.

Overhead of Roundhouse side.

Overhead of Car Shop side.

From the pictures, black between 3 tracks right before Turntable is the coaling tower. Water Columns will be just to left on two tracks. Where is a logical place for the Ash Pit?

Does it look too crowded?

Is the old car shop (right of pictures dark grey) and a new car shop (orange brick)m look reasonable?

Thanks for input Cameron

A little experiment.

A little experiment.

Discussion on HON3 board about capacity of Blackstone C-19 on grade vs K-27. Have both so tried a test.

Using grade meter from Micro-Mark to determine grade, showing 2.95, slight variation on this stretch of Clear Creek from 2.5 to 3.15. Real Clear Creek was 4+ and trains upgrade were short 3-4 cars.

Here is test with C-19. Four was max without slipping.

Same test K-27 8 cars (picture only shows 7, added a reefer later). Did not slip.

Final shot of K-27.

Net result, K-27 pulls twice the load (plus some more never got a slip) as the C-19. C-19 is in-line with records of C&S for their 2-8-0.

Caboose will make a difference so maybe to work on traction a little on C-19. Have 3 brass loco's I need to DCC then will test same section.

Thanks Cameron

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sorry for the delay

Sorry for the delay in updates, the 1:1 work I've been doing and waiting for some key parts to come in has delayed me. Also a lot of the detail work around track fitting is pretty basic and does not photograph well.

Here is a summary update. Denver Engine yard and West Denver have consumed most of my layout time. Additionally having to make 17 turn-outs, 13 made 4 more to go. Ran out of parts: rail and pcb ties, so remaining will take a few weeks to complete.

Here is the beginning of the engine yard with the mainline dropping down at 2.5 to 2.7% grade. Will make a stone retaining wall and some flats to make it seem realistic as the track lowers in more built-up areas like Denver.

Looking upgrade this is West Denver all turn-outs in-place. Next step is to add roadbed under rail, secure and hook-up feeders to check no shorts. Will install turn-out controls at that time.

First of 2 views showing yard. Final configuration is getting closer. Once I have the other 4 turn-outs I can determine final placement. Will leave ends on terminating track unsecured so I can tweak as buildings put in place and final turntable alignment ready. Question, from this photo you can see 2 foundations to rear, from turntable you can see they are right next to roundhouse. First foundation is the Machine Shop, the second is the Car repair shop. To the front is another car repair shop. Does that look redundant to you? Should I: move machine shop there and eliminate the foreground car shop, place car shop next to roundhouse?

Final shot low level of view approaching yard. Still undecided where to put ash pit. Ideas appreciated.

2nd led power supply came in of will be lighting staging. Plan to get a switchable blue led strand to test for night use also. Also spouse liked the Booty Corner kit from Bar Mills for West Denver so will be trying to pick-up one of those.

Final note on 24.7 volts showing on ramp meter, working with company and they are very helpful. trying a few more things and they indicated they would replace it if any issues.

Thanks Cameron