Now that the layout is running regularly, the weak spots are making themselves known.
Specifically, my homemade turnouts are failing. Originally I just soldered the turnout rail directly on top of the post of the turnout link. But it turns out that those kind of forces are too much for the solder alone. So the engineering dept came up with a nub and groove design. The post has a rectangular nub filed on top and the rail has a matching notch. Then this interlocking design is soldered together. And that worked fine… for a while. But now with more frequent use, the hard snapping of the NJ International switch machines weaken that solder joint. And one by one, they are popping off again.
Above. This is the latest turnout point to pop off. You can see the nub and groove design (and I see that plaster from street paving got into the rail web). John McWhirter from the Southern California Traction Club suggested that I make a sleeve that contains the assembly, holding it all in place. Which I quickly dismissed as it would interfere with the flange-way. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense. So I thought I would give it a try.
in the videos, this is probably why.
Yep, the hole is off center. How do you move a hole over?
... we are back in business! Better and stronger than ever before. Yes sir! Better and stronger than ever before!