Sweethome Alabama

Jon Grant Aug 23, 2009

  1. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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    The t layout boards have been wired up and the Tortoise machines fitted. I have experienced no problems so far using the NCE Procab - I thought the NCE Switch-it decoders might have caused a voltage drop, but they work well.

    The first board was turned on its end to work on the wiring.

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    All the rail connections were soldered on the side of the rail away from the viewing side of the layout

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    This meant that half of the wires were soldered to the gauge side of the rail and needed extra care so that the solder didn't impede the wheel flanges

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    Jon
     
  2. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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    I wired each section of track with 2 pairs of feeds to ensure electrical continuity - ie. each yard of track has 2 black feeds and 2 red feeds.

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    The second board was propped on its side, perched on a table, to do most of the wiring - the folding leg prevented me from propping it on its end.

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    I use 7SWG/0.2 wire for the feeders to the track and heavier 12SWG/0.2 wire for the Track Bus and jumper cables that connect between the baseboards. I always use multi-wound wire instead of the solid varietyafter learning my lesson with my first portable layout. When a layout is moved on a regular basis, solid wire is apt to snap anywhere along its length and it is a sod to find the break.

    One of the 6-pin connectors can be seen to the bottom right of the photo below

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    Jon
     
  3. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

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    Everything is so nice & neat. No wonder your layout is so beautiful.:thumbs_up:
     
  4. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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    I temporarily wired up some momentary on-off-on switches for the Tortiose motors to give me the option of either controlling the switch motors from the hand-held or from a panel. The toggle switches will eventually be inlaid into the scenic fascia board.


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    That done, I had my first running session tonight - three months in, and I'm running trains.

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    This will be the maximum length train on the layout - short and sweet.

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    PS - not everything went to plan - I got 2 of the Electrofrog feeds mixed up and has to snip the wires from the Tortoise auxiliary switch - could have been a lot worse.

    Jon
     
  5. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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    When I couldn't be bothered to do any layout wiring, I set my mind to starting the structures.

    First up is the bridge for the left hand viewblock/false exit. I want to give the impression that the tracks go off layout so I built a Monroe Models laser-cut wood bridge kit, then painted and weathered it.

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    Unforunately, the finished model sticks out too far in front of the layout ...

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    ...so I'll have to give some thought to what to do - solution will be along soon.


    The second bridge on the layout will cover the baseboard and rail joints and create a view block half way along the layout, effectively splitting the layout into two equal-sized scenes. This is also the area where the operator will sit to operate the layout, so the obstruction caused by my/his head will be kept to a minimum.

    The bridge is made from the Rix wrought iron bridge sides on a scratchbuilt road bed and pillars. The abutments have yet to be modelled.

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    More to come...

    Jon
     
  6. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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    Spurred on by the Monroe Models bridge, I went daft and scratchbuilt another example, based on a prototype in Northern Alabama, to cover the exit hole through the backscene towards the fiddle yard.

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    Jon
     
  7. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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    I have also started a warehouse-type building and a freight house for the right hand yard

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    Both incorporate DPM modular parts and card, and the freight house below is a modified DPM Scissors factory, salvaged from an old Atlas project.

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    Here's an overall view of the yard so far

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    Jon
     
  8. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

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    Great work. Thanks for documenting this layout so well.
     
  9. MOPMAN

    MOPMAN TrainBoard Member

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    Running the first trains is a great feeling. Great progress so far.
     
  10. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

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    Learning a lot here, Jon. Thanks so much for sharing the process with everyone! It looks like things are coming along nicely. Congrats on the first train run! Must be a great feeling!
     
  11. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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    Hello all. I haven't been up to much in the last 6 weeks owing to a close family bereavement, but I have managed to detail a couple of buildings.

    The first is a Southern RR-style freight house. The front is made from DPM parts, the roof is made from Wills plastic sheets and the rest is from the scrap box. The figures and freight is mostly Preiser.

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    Jon
     
  12. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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    I have decided the building is too close to the backdrop, so I will be removing the siding/spur that the freight house is currently next to, so I can move it forward 2 or 3 inches.


    Jon
     
  13. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

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    Wow! What a work of art, Jon! Very nicely done!
     
  14. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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    The second almost-finished building is the Walthers Cornerstone Medusa Cement Silos, although I don't yet know what the contents will be. It might be grain, some sort of pellets or it possibly fertilizer - whichever maximises the number and types of hopper cars delivering stuff to it.

    The silo sections were weathered in stages, working upwards, and using masking tape to blank off the areas I didnt want the paint to get on. The railings round the top were made from Athearn handrail stanchions and some Evergreen plastic strip - look for the big red button - there's always one.

    The silos have been cut at an angle to line up with the backdrop.


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    Jon
     
  15. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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    ...and a few more


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    Jon
     
  16. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

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    WOW...The details make the difference!

    Excellent Jon.
     
  17. stewarttrains98

    stewarttrains98 TrainBoard Member

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    Very nicely done. I like the detais that yu have added and the way that you painted the silos. Again very noice work that you have done. Thanks for the updates.
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    WOW! Love that freight house! Well done! :thumbs_up:

    Boxcab E50
     
  19. verse2damax

    verse2damax TrainBoard Supporter

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    Excellent progress so far Jon. Love the camera angles that you used in the Silo shots.
     
  20. Nick Lorusso

    Nick Lorusso TrainBoard Member

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    Jon the buildings look great.:thumbs_up::thumbs_up:
     

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