Frost River: The Construction Thread

TwinDad Mar 29, 2015

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice video. That really helps envision better where you are heading.
     
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  2. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks! That's exactly what I hoped the video would do. I've always enjoyed Mike Fifer's video updates, so I thought I'd do something like them. No talented grandchildren to feature, though, so... :)
     
  3. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Update: Some Track is laid!

    I spent some time this weekend laying track on the narrow wall...

    [​IMG]
    First Run on the new layout!
    by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    First Run on the new layout!
    by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    First Run on the new layout!
    by Mark, on Flickr

    This is low-speed branch line track, so I laid it directly on the foam. The track is ME Code 55 weathered, with Atlas turnouts. The cut-out section will be a creek with a bridge of sorts across it.

    I did test the track out with my GEVO and a DC power pack, and it runs smoothly. I was going to test under DCC but the power supply for my Zephyr picked an unfortunate time to die.

    I'm waiting for some Gapmasters to arrive before laying track further, as I don't want to "permanently" block the closet door...
     
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  4. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    A little bit more of a progress update... moving forward bit by bit on several fronts... I'm focusing mainly on the narrow shelf, as it is simple and serves as a testbed for processes to be used elsewhere. I'm also working (slowly) on roadbed on the peninsula and in the "triangle" area at its base. Not much to show there at the moment. But I do have this pic, showing the shelf, backdrop and valance, more or less as it will be (sans paint).

    [​IMG]
    Valence!
    by Mark, on Flickr

    So this should give a basic idea of what it's going to look like. I still need to install the lighting under the valance, paint everything (except the backdrop), and do scenery of course.

    I think I'm also going to install some track along the top of the valance and use it as a display shelf for a train... maybe rotate out one or more trains as I see fit. Below the layout deck, I'm going to design some shelving to hold cassettes of trains (or cuts of cars) that can be loaded onto the layout in between ops sessions for variety. It will look more-or-less like a display case, but with removable shelves.
     
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  5. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    That's a neat idea about the shelves/cassettes for swapping out entire trains.
     
  6. NSseeker

    NSseeker TrainBoard Member

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    I like your tilt bridge design. I wonder if a system like that could be incorporated to include two sets of hinges, with the separation point being in the middle of the bridge. I realize any planned scenery might dictate the location, but it would also reduce the weight strain on the hinges if it were shared between both sides. A vertical bridge on both sides of the gap would also negate the need for an electrical circuit to stop moving trains.
    Wonderful progress on a nicely planned layout!! Looking forward to more.
     
  7. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    That's a pretty good idea, David. I think it could be made to work. The main concern I would have is relying on the hinges to support the bridge when down. Both halves would have to be locked together fairly positively to create what would be a single piece when down, that could be unlocked and separated. Beyond my civil engineering skill, but I think it could be done. Possibly a metal piece that slid across the gap to connect the two?
     
  8. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    How about a quick update?

    I've been working along on several fronts, which means progress is slow on any one individual front...

    Here is my first attempt at a metal gate for the diamond where the branch line crosses the main:
    [​IMG]
    First attempt at a gate
    by Mark, on Flickr

    This is pretty close to true-scale. Best I can tell the actual gate I'm basing it on has a 4" pipe post and the gate itself is 2" pipe. This one is made from .032" (5.12 scale inches) and .020" (3.2") brass wire. My first attempt at modeling anything at all by soldering brass. It's a scale 20 foot wide gate (really about 22 feet, figured it's easier to shorten than to lengthen) ad stands 6 feet high at the top rail which, unfortunately, didn't quite come out perpendicular to the post.

    The gate's operation is going to be automated by an Arduino Pro Mini and a stepper motor underneath the layout. It will be triggered by either of two fascia-mounted pushbuttons. The operator (presumably a branch-line engineer) will press and hold the button to open the gate and hold it open. When his train is past, releasing the button will allow the gate to rotate back to the closed position and clear the main line. I'll have a separate input wired into JMRI one way or another so that the gate can also be operated remotely if needed.

    In other news, I have the bus line run all the way from the end of the narrow shelf by the entry door around to the end of the peninsula at the asphalt plant, and have run a test train (video to come soon). I found a few minor things to be worked out, and of course I have a bunch of turnout throws to install.

    I've also just received materials to start learning how to hand lay turnouts. Further progress on tracklaying will likely be delayed until I can construct a passable #7 and/or curved turnout.
     
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  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    This could be a first. I recall articles on prototypes using gates, but never on a model RR. Let alone automated. This is a topic which would be fascinating to see in operation, in a video.
     
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  10. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    How about another video update?

     
  11. fifer

    fifer TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    I really enjoyed the update and thanks for taking the time to post it. Looks like fun.
    Mike
     
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  12. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, Mike. As I've probably said before, your own series has been a huge inspiration. If my videos are 1/10 as useful and entertaining, they will be a great success...
     
  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am curious about your solution to that lighting issue noted.
     
  14. fifer

    fifer TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    I think you are well on the way.
    Mike
     
  15. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    I am too! :)

    I'm still thinking about how to do it and will certainly share as I go along.

    Right now I'm thinking of an angled extension or lip along the front of the valance that sticks out about an inch, maybe two. A second (or third) set of lights will be on the inside edge of that lip and will shine down at an angle onto the shelf. If that fails I may have to go with track lighting in the ceiling.

    To that end I am considering removing the ceiling fan and putting in some other kind of air mover to help cool the room a bit.
     
  16. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I dont think I would change a thing on the lighting. In the 1:1 world...on a sunny day...one side or the other of the cars on the rails will be on the shaded side anyways...;)
    JMO
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
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  17. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Oh! Hey! I forgot to post my latest video update... sorry...



    It's a bit long... I plan to make future ones shorter. But I hope you enjoy...

    Also, here's what I did in between snow shoveling work so far this weekend... a cardboard mockup of the Commonwealth Paper Products loading dock that sits at the far end of the branch line behind the entry door. It is a laser printed image from the Sketchup model I made, glued to a cereal box cardboard base. I think it looks pretty good, but it makes it fairly clear that I need some "flats" or something around/behind it to make it appear to be part of a larger structure...

    [​IMG]Commonwealth Paper by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Commonwealth Paper by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Commonwealth Paper by Mark, on Flickr

    What do you think?
     
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  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I sure wish we could have more folks giving us these video tours of their progress. A great visual aid and also so much more personal.
     
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  19. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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  20. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Here's a few pictures... I've made a fair bit of progress laying main line track this weekend, and I'm at a point where I need to buy or build more turnouts to move farther.

    Here's a train load of 320,000 gallon tanks. The track crews had to back well away from the ROW to make room for these very oversized cars...
    [​IMG]
    Untitled
    by Mark, on Flickr

    This is an experiment I'm working on.. a little 3D-printed ramp to ease the transition down from cork roadbed to the foam for sidings and spurs and such. I found sanding down the cork or other methods to be... annoying... and this looked like an easy thing to learn 3D design techniques on...
    [​IMG]
    Untitled
    by Mark, on Flickr

    Finally (for now) this is the latest addition to the roster... an Atlas MP15DC that will be working the yard and running transfer jobs. It's DC (for now) and second-hand, but it runs quite well. I've been wanting one of these for a while... kinda wish it was in YN3 paint, but YN2 looks cool too...
    [​IMG]
    CXST1141 Atlas MP15DC
    by Mark, on Flickr
     
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