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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Getting close to my Final Answer, as the saying goes. Comments/critique still invited:

559508
 

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HO 1950s SP in So. Cal.
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A very good point about the reverse loop.
If you have one reverse loop you really need two so
you can reverse back to the original direction.

You have two loops but they go the same way, no way to reverse
back to the original direction.
Going counter clockwise you can reverse to clockwise on either loop
but can't reverse to CCW again.

Going CW you can't reverse at all.

Magic
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
A very good point about the reverse loop.
If you have one reverse loop you really need two so
you can reverse back to the original direction.

You have two loops but they go the same way, no way to reverse
back to the original direction.
Going counter clockwise you can reverse to clockwise on either loop
but can't reverse to CCW again.

Going CW you can't reverse at all.

Magic
Very good points, thanks Magic. I will play some more in Anyrail, but my fear is that adding another will give too much of a figure 8 for my taste. Right now, the concept is to use the main reverse loop to 'return' to the yard head first. The reverse there would be the turntable for the outbound head first trip.

I do not need that second reverse loop, and may well drop it as that gives 4 curves on that northern loop. But I do want some way for the switcher to get south of the main reverse loop to work industries there.

I'm still thinking and have begun work on the yard. So the yard design is pretty much fixed in my mind. Thanks to all! -----Steve
 

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You really only need ONE reverse loop for a layout that originates a train in the yard, then runs it on the mainline, runs through the loop, and returns to the yard. The second reverse loop just "gets in the way"...
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Took out one reversing loop. I want the one with the diamond just for operating interest. Won't be a lot of traffic serving those southern spurs, but some could cause interference.

The wye turnout is there because I already have it on hand!

This rendition leaves one LH Walthers/Shin #6-1/2 curved TO unused. Where could it go?

561157


As always, comments/critique welcome!
 

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Nowhere. Never install track just to use up pieces or fill space. Notice how much cleaner and less cluttered your layout looks now?
 
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Extra dual radius turnout.
Think about this.
Where your present reverse loop returns via the standard left hand turnout, swap that with your extra dual radius one and place it further up the line where the curves start in that north west area.
That will force you to bring that side of the loop closer, and more parallel like to the spurs you have there. Can still use the diamond that you like too. The parallel part, to me, looks better anyway. (Your mileage may vary-lol)
Other bonus is, now you have more room in the center for whatever scenery you may be planning. So you now end up with a spare standard turnout, big whoop right? Dual radius are cooler anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
As Scooby-Doo says, "Ruh Roh."

I was wondering why the alignment of the Tracks and turntable were so far off - - - - 5 - 6 inches! I even made a silly post suggesting that Anyrail was the problem. Nope, it was 100% operator error.

I drew the inside aisleway six inches long. In other words, the corner of the wall by the TT is six inches further west than drawn. Hence, when I had to 'move' the TT and RH (I discovered that cutting the hole for the TT would be extremely difficult that close to the wall) I in actuality had to move it 6 inches further west than I thought per the drawing. So here is what I originally drew via Anyrail:
565165


Here is the corrected:
565166


Only by the grace of God, it all still fits okay. But whew, what a dummy, eh?!

I discovered this because the frog feeder wire hole I drilled for that southernmost 5b turnout, went into a crossmember. This happens, right. But in fixing it, I noticed that that particular crossmember was the Table edge of the bench going into the alcove ... ... ... exactly as Anyrail showed it to be!! So that got me thinking and measuring, and so I discovered such a huge error!

Live and learn, they say, and I am learning loads with this new hobby of mine. But still having fun, as it engages my brain in troubleshooting modes that I actually enjoy and keep me fresh.

Steve J
 

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As Scooby-Doo says, "Ruh Roh."

I was wondering why the alignment of the Tracks and turntable were so far off - - - - 5 - 6 inches! I even made a silly post suggesting that Anyrail was the problem. Nope, it was 100% operator error.

I drew the inside aisleway six inches long. In other words, the corner of the wall by the TT is six inches further west than drawn. Hence, when I had to 'move' the TT and RH (I discovered that cutting the hole for the TT would be extremely difficult that close to the wall) I in actuality had to move it 6 inches further west than I thought per the drawing. So here is what I originally drew via Anyrail:
View attachment 565165

Here is the corrected:
View attachment 565166

Only by the grace of God, it all still fits okay. But whew, what a dummy, eh?!

I discovered this because the frog feeder wire hole I drilled for that southernmost 5b turnout, went into a crossmember. This happens, right. But in fixing it, I noticed that that particular crossmember was the Table edge of the bench going into the alcove ... ... ... exactly as Anyrail showed it to be!! So that got me thinking and measuring, and so I discovered such a huge error!

Live and learn, they say, and I am learning loads with this new hobby of mine. But still having fun, as it engages my brain in troubleshooting modes that I actually enjoy and keep me fresh.

Steve J
You're not dumb. You made a mistake. And you caught it. That's how we feeble humans learn. I've made worse mistakes than that in Anyrail -- once ever multiplying by 18 to convert feet to inches!

A good piece of advice, though, in more places than this is, "Don't blame the tool (or instrument, or club, or whatever)."
 
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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Great feedback as always, CTVRR.

Update: Haven't done much 'new' work. I have enjoyed time to run the trains over the yard and TT and RH. Finding spots that require re-work or finessing, as expected. Going to do some electrical work Friday and Saturday. Wire up the 16 VDC power to the Electromagnet uncouplers, put in the ECBs, add a Buck Board for 12 VDC, etc.

Hardest part will be the electromagnet uncouplers. I neglected to pre-solder wires from the coil stubs - - - - so noq must do that under the table. Not looking forward to learning how to do that so any advice/suggestions appreciated.

I'm thinking using a little gas Flamestick (like for lighting candles or BBQs) as I do not have any BIC lighters to 'burn' off 1/2" inch or so of the coil insulation before soldering on 20 ga feeder to connect to the 16 VDC power supply. I bought electronic timer boards (as per Larry Puckett, the DCC Guy), which have an adjustable 'on' time. He recommends 20 seconds, which seems a good place to start.

I must admit, I'm having fun making/breaking up trains in the yard. The 4 axle diesels work great. The little 0-6-0s balk at the non-powered frogs, the 4-6-2 Pacific was a nightmare.

Steve J
 

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Not sure how wise it is to have a flame under your layout. Just use lots of electrical flux (not plumbing acid flux) and a pencil soldering iron. flux both coil wire and the wire going to the coil, tin both then connect and solder. Don't use a lot of solder!!! If your new to soldering, watch some YouTube How to solder videos, practice a lot and see how much difference a little flux makes, then you will be prepared for going under the table. Make sure your not in the way of any dropping hot solder. If you ware glasses, keep them on, if not you might use some safety specks, I know they're annoying, but soldering up hill is not a pleasant task and its a task that likely will drop some hot solder around. Don't touch the tip! We have probably all done that, and try not to get hot solder under your fingernail (Don't ask)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Not sure how wise it is to have a flame under your layout. Just use lots of electrical flux (not plumbing acid flux) and a pencil soldering iron. flux both coil wire and the wire going to the coil, tin both then connect and solder. Don't use a lot of solder!!! If your new to soldering, watch some YouTube How to solder videos, practice a lot and see how much difference a little flux makes, then you will be prepared for going under the table. Make sure your not in the way of any dropping hot solder. If you ware glasses, keep them on, if not you might use some safety specks, I know they're annoying, but soldering up hill is not a pleasant task and its a task that likely will drop some hot solder around. Don't touch the tip! We have probably all done that, and try not to get hot solder under your fingernail (Don't ask)!
Just to clarify: the resin flux and heat will 'eliminate' the insulating coating on the wire?

And thanks for the safety tips - - - I am not so proud to sneer at such tips as if I was wet 'hind the ears. I'm proud to ADMIT I'm wet 'hind the ears - - - but I learn fast, and am still upright and taking nourishment. That despite all my um, shall we say, learning experiences!
 

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If its enamel coating you may have to scrape it with a knife edge. Still I'm not much in favor of open flame under something that might catch fire, just not worth the risk.
 

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Just to clarify: the resin flux and heat will 'eliminate' the insulating coating on the wire?

And thanks for the safety tips - - - I am not so proud to sneer at such tips as if I was wet 'hind the ears. I'm proud to ADMIT I'm wet 'hind the ears - - - but I learn fast, and am still upright and taking nourishment. That despite all my um, shall we say, learning experiences!
stejones82;

Way back in ancient times, when I was but a lad, (and a butt of a lad too 😕) I was soldering connections under the table of one of my previous layouts.
This was an early, HO-scale, Atlas-tracked, affair, with the track held down by nails. My soldering iron was on top of the layout. I reached up for the soldering iron, grabbing it firmly by the wrong end, o_O screamed, and drooled molten solder down the inside skin of my arm. I then cleverly tried to stand up, thereby smashing my head into a bunch of projecting nail points! This was the day a boy became a man. I broadened my child-like vocabulary with several adult, four-lettered terms! So, it you think you're the only model railroader who's done something stupid, well, you ain't. :mad:

Traction Fan :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Greetings all,

A quick update:

Finished the soldering/wiring for the electromagnet uncouplers. I must admit that it it is a slick feature to have those timer relays. I eventually decided to take the risk and use a lighter to burn off the insulation. Worked great and happy to report there were no unintended fire issues! Much easier than trying to scrape under the table.

Last night (10-25-2012) I installed and wired the PSX circuit breaker for the yard power district. Works great. Deliberately short the track and the track power goes dead (loco lights go off) but the DCS52 Zephyr track status light stays on. Exactly as it should. Now to decide if I want LED status lights from the PSX board to a control/status panel. I don't really need them as the power district power is either there or its not.. No power tells me there is a short without the status LEds. But there is of course, the 'cool' factor.

I also checked something else. I intend to have a program track curve off the TT and behind the intended coaling station. The coaling station has a dump grate and I wanted to make sure I could place things such that the program track could simulate a coal fill track for the coaling tower. I did buy the Walthers Small Coaling Station 933-4202, and checked the fit with the base plate and it should work just fine.

Now to build the coaling station and fit the track. The program/coal-fill track will be fitted via a DPDT-center-off toggle switch to switch between program and regular track power and can be 'killed' as necessary. Someday, I may have so many locomotives that I can use it as a parking track.

Other than that, I am still looking at the track plan for the main table. Yes, envious of those with space for a 'round the room' shelf layouts, but just does not fit what I have available.

Not sure where to go next - - - keep improving the yard district or start laying track on the main table. As much fun as I am having with making/breaking up trains in the yard, it would be nice if they could actually go somewhere.

Still here and still making progress and still having fun!

Steve J
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Greetings to all! Again, I solicit your opinions!

I am ready, now that golf season has come to a freezing halt, to begin work upon the main table. I did some work and have two options. One incorporates a curved TO on the reverse track which saves some space and helps the run. Then I also made a revision to include some passing tracks - one on the inner eastern loop and then using crossover TOs an option for the western loop. I am pretty much against the eastern one, as I don't see much additional op benefit for the $130 or so of equipment, but the western one? Does that look nice and adding good operational interest?

I am torn - I like the free run of the west without the crossovers. But I can see that those crossovers will add interest. Your thoughts?
Slope Rectangle Parallel Pattern Font

or:
Slope Rectangle Parallel Font Schematic


I would very much appreciate your replies and comments. Thanks!

Steve J
 
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