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garage layout progress (Tankist Part 3)

54057 Views 111 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  MichaelE
For Prior progress log see threads:
Part 1, Part 2
and photolog

Left the electronics alone for this evening and focused on bridges.

new removable span from the descent bridge.

the plywood is thin and flexible so i glued in a square dowel on the underside. the plastic side "panels" were to long so i cut out 4 sections from the middle and super-glued the ends. rail is not yet attached to the span.

DAIR #2512 approaching.

side view. it actually looks like a bridge now

while glue dried i started prototyping the culvert under the climb bridge from cardboard. no worries, there will be enough clearance when its done (some rock "blasting" will be required).

new shortened span with the plastic sides.

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Looks cool man!

I agree it's going to look nice when done.:thumbsup:

The mountains look good the way you shaped them.
thank you guys.

kept working on that bridge. concrete supports for the girder

some paint, check rail installed

the other side

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Do they sell sections of the check rail?

Nice touch of detail they are.:thumbsup:
not sure, i wouldn't be surprised if they do sell something like that.
but these were actually cannibalized from code83 track sections. cut them to size, gave slight bend and super-glued butting against the plastic mounting plates
Really nice mountain textures ... VERY realistic!
built a consentration board for turnout position detection microswitches and started soldering leads (i have two for each turnout creatinga DPDT). good thing i decided to double-check if my wiring was conforming to color code i set. the very first turnout i test - nothing. no buzz on either NO or NC lead of one of the switches (the other tested out fine). so i had a fun task of getting the machine out as everything is buried deep at this point and sealed so not to let future ballast in. that's with already completed track work - not fun.

sure enough the micro-switch is shot :mad: clicking but not connecting anything in any position.
ended up un-soldering and cutting everything from it, breaking it off, installing new one all while dealing with trackwork trying not to disturb it to much. which in this area is near impossible as there are 3 of them inter-meshed. good thing i decided to leave wire slack...

2 hours, coule cigarettes (i rarely smoke) and one beer later, everything closed up and turnout #1 is reporting position properly. but this is one frustrating evening. i sure hope that chineese microswitches have higher failure ratio then 1 to 16 ...

PS broke the switch casing open and examined contacts inside. no electrical connection. MFers!!! :mad:
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PS broke the switch casing open and examined contacts inside. no electrical connection. MFers!!! :mad:


My wife an I bought a 25 year old house a couple years ago. Upon move-in, we were concerned about a slow-drip leak in one of the bedroom heating pipes. We had our trusty plumber run through a full system check ... turns out that whoever plumbed the house originally had put some flux around the copper pipe joint, but never actually soldered the thing watertight. It had been loose-fit and dripping away for 25 years! Dohhh!

Back to trains ...

Very nice work here. I was wonderng about the "stop 'em from derailing over the bridge extra rail pieces" ... what they're called, how you found them, etc. Big Ed pegged TJ Question #1 ... "Check Rails" ... and you (T-Man) pegged TJ Question #2 ... "custom made from Code 83 rail".

Thanks for keeping us in the loop ... a fun project to watch!

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missed your post somehow

I was wonderng about the "stop 'em from derailing over the bridge extra rail pieces" ... what they're called, how you found them, etc. Big Ed pegged TJ Question #1 ... "Check Rails" ... and you (T-Man) pegged TJ Question #2 ... "custom made from Code 83 rail".
actually it was brought to my attention these are called guard rails in US (but still "check rails" in UK). and T-man is actually other member, not me ;).
Dohh !

Too many T's ... I get my own name confused sometimes. Sorry 'bout that. No intent to confuse our most handy Russian with our most capable O-gage vet!

TJ (<=== empasis on T!)
really nice, can't wait to see whats next
that was one piece of a weekend.

after I burned by the DOA micro-switch i verified all other turnout position detectors. all checked out fine apart from one instance of miss-wiring. soldered all 48 leads into quick disconnect concentration board (rectifying the one erroneous switch making eight consistent 6 pin connectors.

overview. instead of bunch of wires thats what sticking from underneath the table now

8x6 connectors

other side. not industrial grade job but it works.

worked on the other side of quick disconnect board. in the future, when it comes to that i will be building different board to feed the turnout position to PC. for now it is wired as polarity reverserse DPDT harness. I didn't break the pin header strips into indivdual sections so to preserve strength. connected to the quick disconnect board is thin board with 8 connectors to the LED indicators and limiting resistors for these LEDs. white/brown wire pair is power input.

connector for bi color LEDs with limiting resistors

polarity reversing DPDT connections in progress (4 leftmost done). looks horrible but so far no shorts.

all the signals on control panel can be powered from track - DCC. on the right power is the input header. 4 shottky diodes make a rectifying bridge + small capacitor to smooth the resulting voltage. the quick disconnect harness will be powered from here. 7 pairs of connectors are for constant color diodes. more LED limiting resistors are on the underside

both thin boards will be located on the front side of control panel housing
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connected power to track and placed engine to verify my creation doesn't get the powercub into short protection mode. some glowing LEDS can be seen

power draw with the engine (headlight on)

I simply love glowing LEDs. cant wait to seem them all powered and actually indicating positions.


Gathered and "Marinaded" (50/50 glycerin and denatured alcohol solution ) some moss from my back yard. i think its going to make excellent vegitation.

small shelf to put away the tiny bottles of paint
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Wow tankist that looks good.I have been watching youre progress over the last few months,and I now know I must take out all my wiring and start over.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Tankist ...

Ma Bell has got nothin' on you ... very nice work with the telephone wire ... clean solders, neat circuit boards, etc. Very nice, indeed.

Where do you find glycerin? I built a cub scout toy flying thing with my son recently ... we were supposed to soak the rubber band (motor!) in glycerin before stretching/using it. I tried hardware stores, Home Depot, CVS ... no luck. We ended up using hand lotion, which has glycerin as its primary ingredient. But where does one buy glycerin? What does it look/feel like in its "raw" form???

thanks guys :)

TJ, for soldering i really learned to work cleaner and more precise as i went. was allower the place from the start but now i can actually keep from meltin insulation and making solder drops to neighboring solder points. learning as with everything

for glycerin i had to look allover. the guide i read said they sell it in pharmacies and chemical supply places. wallmart was supposed to have it as well , but mine didn't (i have sucky WM however compared to others).
had to ask a friend who works in hospital and he got me a flask from their pharmacy. 9$ for smaller flask. i probably going to order it online next time. it is a clear liquid (but can be purple tinted too) and has flow of very warm honey. i can imagine it will be VERY good for rubber band motors lifespan and performance.
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" ... has flow of very warm honey."
Does it taste good, too? :laugh:

Seriously, thanks much for the tip / feedback ... much appreciated!

I was just wondering what did you use for the texture on the Mtns.? The texture is awesome. Looks almost like you used aluminum foil and painted plaster over it... I am sure that isn't what you did... but it is awesome work... nice job!!!
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