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Monday, June 29, 2020

№ 9 ~ Going for a Drive

A NWSL Stanton Drive that is.

     In a previous post I had mentioned that motoring this trolley would be the stumbling block for this project. But a Dan D. Sparks Blogspot reader Don Ball had commented that he has had luck with the  NWSL’s new DCC-ready, self-contained underfloor power unit. So after looking in to it I've decided to order one and give it a go.

A quick look, it looks like it should fit (somehow):

H.O. Scale NWSL Stanton Drive Model 1215
8'0" Wheelbase
33"/110 Wheels

The 33" wheels are the smallest that NWSL offer. The original wheels on the model are 28". So I had to give a little there.
I also went with the 110 wheel width. Four wheel cars notoriously ride rough, model or prototype. So the wider wheel width should help the car successfully navigate the intersection every time.

Just barely fits! Couldn't be any bigger. The corners of the Stanton almost touch the four screws holding on the side frames. If it was any bigger I would have had to find a different way of attaching the side frames.

The original floor had to be opened a bit to fit the Stanton. I was able to keep the original weight in place. A motor mount was fabricated for the Stanton to screw onto and hold it at the proper height.

An important thing to note is that the Stanton is not symmetrical in length. The housing was designed for two different wheel base sizes (probably 8'0" and 8'6" in this case). I have the smaller size so one of the wheel sets is closer to the pivot than the other. So Note to Self: The motor mounts one way (wires opposite side of pivot from the weight).

It's in there! What was once a formidable task is now in the past. Relief. Now it's time to move forward. Next: Decoder and a Pole.

Yes Sir! Keep moving forward!


Monday, June 22, 2020

№ 9 ~ Decaled

Pinstripes and Neat Lettering Sure Add A Lot of Elegance to a Car.

For all those building their own SDERy #9, I make available to you the decal artwork. Click for the hi-rez version:

Well I'm pleased with how well its going with this car. So I have decided to press on with bringing it to fully operational completion. The next step is to see if I can fit a decent motor in it. Don Ball suggested a NWSL Stanton Drive for it, so I'm going to look in to that.

Yes Sir! Elegant!


Monday, May 18, 2020

№ 9 ~ Straight Outta Paintshop

№ 9 Gets A Fresh Coat of Yellow and Brown Paint.

TruColor Reefer Yellow for the body color, Roof Brown for the trim, Foundation for the roof and trucks.

But first, the brass was cleaned and primered with TruColor Light Primer (to help the yellow show up).

After the interior and body were painted, I masked the whole thing except for the window frames and platform for the TruColor Roof Brown

Yikes! A lot of paint pulled off with the unmasking! Either: TruColor is a delicate paint, or I didn't wait long enough for the paint to cure (24 hours), or I should have sprayed a sealer coat on first. Anyway, touch ups required.

But, the whole reason for this exercise, what initiated this project in the first place, was to try out TruColor Reefer Yellow as SDERy Yellow. And you know, its pretty darn close if it doesn't actually nail it!

Yes Sir! Might of nailed it!


Monday, May 04, 2020

LMB Old Time Trolley

Sizing up an Old Model to Rebuild into SDERy #9

Last post I determined which cars I'm going to use for my fleet. But as I was retrieving them from my collection I came across this old Old Time Trolley "basketcase" model I purchased from George Jones. My first thought was to try out some Tru-Color Reefer Yellow on it to see if its a good color to represent SDERy Mission Yellow. But the more I look at this car...

I believe this is be an old LMB "Open End Trolley" model from c1961.

The model is very similar in appearance to SDERy #9 and #10.

Built by Brill in 1892, #9 and #10 ran for 17 years before they were retired in 1909.

A side-by-side comparison reveals that the windows on the model are too short as well as is the roof. Other than that though its pretty darn close.  I think that the model captures the feeling of the prototype quite well.

So into the Pine-Sol bath it went to strip it of paint.

I also fabricated route signs for the sides of the roof.

I guess I'm moving forward with this project! But I'm not sure how far I'm going to be able to get with it, motoring this model seems to be a stumbling point. But so far I'm committed to painting and decaling it. After that, we'll see where this goes

Yes Sir! We'll see where this goes!


Monday, April 27, 2020

Determining the Content of the Fleet

This is part 2 of the "Determining the Basic Fleet Series". In part 1 I estimated that 16 cars would be required to fill the layout. Now the question is:

Just Which 16 Cars Should I Model Anyway?

Browsing though the history books of the San Diego Electric Railway and seeing the variety of cars, it is so easy to just want them all!

But that's not practical.

So what is practical? Build models that are commercially available now. Scratch build later.

So using that parameter, here is my breakdown of the 16 cars:

Pacific Traction
400 Series Class 5
Andrew Chier
Unannounced project
NJ Custom/Orion
3rd Ave Railway 400 Series

Suydam Niles, Pacific Traction 400, WP PCC, Orion 3rd Ave Car, Ken Kidder Birney

You know, seeing this list, suddenly building a fleet doesn't seem like too huge of a project. 
This actually feels downright doable.

Yes Sir! Downright doable!


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Estimating the Size of the Fleet

Just How Many Cars Are Required To Populate This Layout Anyway?

Considering the time and expense that goes into completing just one single car, I would like to focus on building a basic fleet.

Suydam Niles, Pacific Traction 400, WP PCC, 3rd Ave Car, Ken Kidder Birney

The Maths:

The layout is designed for automated operation. Given that there are 4 city blocks each divided into 8 detection blocks, this makes for a total 32 detection blocks (the main intersection is the 33rd block and is undetected- once a car is cleared to enter the intersection it does not stop.).

I estimate that for maximum traffic and yet smooth operation* only half the 32 blocks should be occupied by a car. That way generally each car has an empty block ahead of it. 

So a car on every other detected block makes for 16 cars.

The Answer:

16 cars:  motored, poled, painted, decaled, decodered, and detailed, to make for a maximum traffic operating session (though it might be fun to add that 17th car to see what happens with congestion ;) ).

Yes Sir! It might be fun!


* Theoretically, the layout could "run" a maximum of 31 cars, but only one car would be moving at any given time. Basically it would be moving that one empty block around the layout.

Monday, September 26, 2016

New Auxiliary Control Panel

A Quick and Dirty Control Panel for the New DCC Turnout Controls.

The old DC NJ International Turnout Machines are being replaced by Tam Valley Depot Singlet DCC Decoder and Servo Drivers. So as a result a new control panel is required for the Fascia Decoders.

Control Panels are way easier to make these days with a computer and printer compared to the old mask and paint method.

This new panel is drawn with the free vector graphics program Inkscape. This time I included labeling for the electrical isolated blocks as well as a letter designation for each of the four city blocks.

The drawing was then printed out and glued to 1/8" Masonite Board. And then drilled to accommodate the Servo Decoders. Done! Easy peasy. Well... except now comes the wiring!

This new auxiliary panel provides a manual way to control the turnouts since primary control of the layout will be controlled by the computer. But I know computers, and my experience with computers has taught me that a manual alternative would be a wise thing. Yes sir! A wise alternative!