NP Lester WA T-Trak Z Module Set Project

rray Feb 11, 2020

  1. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Well, to be honest, I went off on a Tangent. Last summer I ordered a custom toy hauler camper to both camp in the mountains, and to haul my modules around to train shows with. So it arrived at the end of October, as did an Indiegogo 2KW solar power generator, and a 2500W gas generator.

    So I have spent all Fall modifying and re-wiring my toy into the ultimate offroad camper. I piped in a Diesel Heater, rewired the shore power for LiFePO4 battery charging, have solar charging capability, wired in a TV, 12v windows 10 PC, linked into my PLEX server, 12v 32" TV, 12v fridge, LED strip lighting including bed tipout reading lights with USB chargers, outdoor 12v power ports and more.
    5 Kitchen Mod.jpg

    So, I did just get back into the modeling over Christmas, and am now working on the 3rd rev of my NP coal dock. This version I modified it for smoother transitions of the track going up the ramp instead of a straight ramp, and I started wiring in the LED lighting using 0402 SMD fixtures. The base now has 4 super magnet hold down points for better electrical pickup. I am making the same industrial light fixtures as used on the other recent projects. Here is what it looks like today:
    IMG_20201223_141408.jpg
     
  2. Commodore

    Commodore TrainBoard Member

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    WOW

    ...Just Wow!
     
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  3. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Very cool! Nice wheels! You sure didn't leave it stock for long!
     
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  4. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    That looks like a real construction site! Like a house before drywall!:D

    Thanks for the update!(y)
     
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  5. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The revised loading ramp looks way more prototypical, too. I can't wait to see it finished!
     
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  6. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Still working on the basics of my coal dock. I got 3 of 6 lamps total for the project wired in, with a 4001 diode and individual 2K resistors on the base. I also mounted the 4 hold down super magnets. And I cut and glued in the PC Board ties for the ramp rails so I can solder them in place.

    I got one rail soldered on in this photo, and the track gauges placed so I can solder in the second rail. Out of all the work done so far, bending the rails to the required ramp profile has proved the most difficult, but I am done with that now.
    1.jpg
     
  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Now the coal gondola fit test with lighting operation verification. PASS:
    2.jpg
     
  8. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    What type of device are you going model to use to raise and lower the railcars on the incline?

    Joe
     
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  9. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

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    Robert,
    It's kinda like working on a house, you do all the prewall-in work, and it doesn't look like much progress.
    I can't wait till the sheet rock's painted and the trim is up!;)
     
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  10. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    This coal dock was cable pull operated, nut will not be functional, because I had to compress it too muck to fit a T-Trak-X module. So I will make it a static cable pull.
     
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  11. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yeah, it does take time to get the electrical routed, that and the ramp rails all has to be built in before i seal it all up with walls, or cross braces.
     
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  12. LWR21

    LWR21 TrainBoard Member

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    It looks fantastic. The rails really turned out well. I can't wait to see the completed model, and module set.
     
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  13. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I am finally done with the hard and boring part of this model. I finished the electrical wiring and now I can move on with finishing the structure. Although you cannot see it, the infrastructure includes a 4 point magnetic base with underside electrical pickup. This will allow me to remove the structure for track cleaning, and instantly replace it, properly aligned, and with the lighting operational:
    1.jpg

    I formed 3 gooseneck, and 2 hanging industrial lamps for this project, and they are fed through a 1N4001 protection diode, and each lamp has it's own 2.2K resistor for a nice warm white glow. Testing was successful, and although it's a bit bright in photos, it looks good and not too bright in person:
    3.jpg

    And next I can paint everything, then move on to the rest of the structure construction. I need to paint everything at this point because stuff like the electrical wiring, interior track rails, and inside walls will all be out of reach of the airbrush, and paintbrush detailing later in the build:
    2.jpg
     
  14. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Rob, could you have used Code 40 rail for the ramp curves?

    Ho did you did do the underneath electrical pickups ?
     
  15. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I could and should have used code 40 rail. I have it on hand, and was not thinking, instead I just used a piece of Atlas flex that was sitting in arms reach. As far as the wiring, here is the topside. I soldered all the negatives to the negative contact strip. I bridged the +12v side of the copper tape to another strip with the 1N4001 diode. On the isolated copper strip, I soldered the 2.2K resistors on, then an LED positive wire to each resistor: 2.jpg

    On the underside of the structure you can see the super magnets that will hold the model down. Also visible are the contact strips. There will be a matching base, with 4 matching super magnets and tinned contact strips to hold in down for tight electrical pickup and perfect alignment thanks to the 2mm diameter of the magnets used:
    1.jpg
     
  16. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    Fantastic work. An entire layout of structures like this is a dream. Being able to remove and replace them as easily as this is great. It makes cleaning and dusting them so much easier. As always, thanks for sharing your tips and brilliant ideas. Jim
     
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  17. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

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    Rob,

    Well thought out and looking great!

    Scott
     
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  18. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    More progress on my coal dock. Still a lot of detail left to go, but it's starting to take shape. Today I got the coal chutes designed, and all the handrails up. I also got the cableway and rollers in:
    1.jpg

    This coal dock was originally built to have 3 tipples on each side, and somewhere between 1910 and 1940, was modified such that there is 3 tipples on the backside, and only 2 on the front side, but the center tipple was made to service the Eastbound mainline, and the right tipple the Westbound
    0.jpg
     
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  19. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    I’m always amazed how you always figure how to make things fit and look perfect at same time. Now I can’t wait to see it planted.
     
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  20. Z train things

    Z train things TrainBoard Member

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    Joe, you are just going to have to be patient with Robert, you have to wait ;). I would like to brag on Robert as I've known him since 2004 when we first met at NTS in Seattle.

    He was walking around giving away samples of one of his marvelous laser cut car kits. And that was back when he had just begun and was nowhere nearly as skilled as he is now. After talking with him for a short while, I said to myself.."that boy is going to go places in Z scale" And I was right.(y)

    I've had the pleasure to have spent time with him at a number of train shows and he is one of the easiest guys to talk with and he is a very humble fellow without being apologetic.

    I've thought for some time about singing his praises, but he might blush so much he would look sunburned.

    Actually there are a whole slew of super talented modelers in this scale who all deserve kudos and praise for their talent and skill, but time and space would be insufficient to mention them all. You guys know who you are.

    Maybe one of the things we need more of in this world is a little more praise and encouragement to each and every one of us who strive to show how wonderful Z scale can be. It's so much fun at times, that it ought to be illegal.;)

    Robert, you just keep up the good work and share your talents with the Z community.

    Sorry if I embarrased you..........not!
     

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