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Monday, May 27, 2013

The Grand Plan!

Finally! The mysterious, top secret, hush hush, track plan finally revealed!

Judging by all the comments, emails, cards and letters we haven't received, yous guys aren't exactly dying of curiosity about the track plan of this dandy little pike! So without any further ado, here you go anyway:

Four city blocks of downtown traction action, featuring a Grand Union (or Grand Junction) intersection, all contained within a 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 foot layout. So whaddaya think? Worth the wait? Hmm? Yes sir! Worth the wait!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Say Mister! Ain't You Forgetting Something?

I know what your thinking: "One minute your building cars, the next your installing the overhead. What happened to laying track?!"

     Well, the truth is, this layout was begun years ago (decades actually!). And as it turned out, traction modeling is not an entry level endeavor. The basics of model railroading should be mastered before delving into traction. So the layout languished in storage for well over a decade before conditions were right to dig it out, dust it off, and pick up again.

Historical photo from the time of no color. Brass car, lead folk, white plaster. We've come a short way over a long period of time! Photo circa 1988 Dan D. Sparks.

The track work was done way back then. So to help fill in this "track gap", I was able to locate some old construction prints. So in between wrapping wires and repairing poles and fine tuning track, I will scan some of these and post them for your eyeballs to devour. Yes sir! Post some old layout construction photos for your eyeballs to devour!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Can't See the Layout for the Poles!

Line poles have been procured and planted perfectly in their proper positions permanently ready to provide proper support for the overhead as per the Proclamation :P .

1890's street runs from the lower left along the edge of the layout, intersecting with 1910s street in the center. This photo only reveals just half the poles on the layout! Its a forest of poles!

I thought I was done constructing poles until I saw this photo. Photos reveal a lot more than I would see with just me nekkid eye. The bracket arms were too long on those telephone poles, so I trimmed them down to a more reasonable length.
So now, finally, we are ready for overhead. Yes sir! Ready to string that overhead!


Monday, May 06, 2013

Wrappers Delight

Wire wrapping - got to love it!

This cross span on 1890s street consists of four wire wrappings. One at each pole and two more at the hanger. The wheelsets with the pointer help me locate the hanger position to the correct height and centering over the track.

The technique I'm using to install the overhead for my layout pretty much follows the technique detailed at the Trolleyville site: Hanging Simple Overhead Wire For Trolley Pole Use. I deviated a bit with the type of wire though:

Phosphor Bronze is a very good conductor of electrisicles, but there are some drawbacks with using this wire. Its more difficult to work with compared to magnet wire. Magnet wire is more flexible while the Phosphor Bronze is pretty stiff and easily penetrates the skin (my layout has literally been built with my sweat and blood!). Its tiny diameter looks real good, but hopefully this won't be an issue with carrying the DCC signals.

Nickel silver wire will be used for the contact wire since nickel silver is a very good material for transferring the electrisicles (just like nickel silver rails!).

I have also foregone the insulators for now, I have an innovative idea that I want to try out for that in the near future.

Alright, well... that's enough bloggerin' for now, I have a lot of wire wrapping to do. Yes sir! I have a LOT of wire wrapping to do.