NEWS FROM THE 300 LOFT CATENARY POWERED SYSTEM: E44 SHAKEDOWN TEST VIDEOS POSTED

That's some great work. They did some catenary out here in Southern California for the Metro lines and I noticed that the wire was copper, then blackened with (I presume) grease. Are you planning to coat the wires with NeoLube down the road?

Matt Jackson
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AGHRMatt posted:

That's some great work. They did some catenary out here in Southern California for the Metro lines and I noticed that the wire was copper, then blackened with (I presume) grease. Are you planning to coat the wires with NeoLube down the road?

Good evening Matt:

Thank you for the comment.  I use reasonable amounts of MG Chemicals Silver Conductive Grease on the pantograph shoes and stage joints.  MTH pantographs are generally decent conductors, but I prefer to be on the safe side.  Some lube helps conductivity, and also prevents any high-current pockets in the stage joints that may develop.  Of course it also helps smooth any rough spots there may be on the wire as the pan travels.

Even though I do not lube that often, the underside of the wire is noticeably  blackened with the conductive grease, and it tends to collect some at wire joints.  When I have to reach for things, make adjustments or perform minor repairs under the wire, the grease gets all over the place, even with gloves.  That is OK though; the stuff works great.

Nate Murry

TCA# 18-73324

It's always worth returning here to see what's new under Nate's world of wires.  Although he and I model different eras, I could almost believably squeeze in an E44....just not a blue one.  All it would take is for one of those MTH's to show up locally in Brunswick green.....not that the P5a is anywhere near retirement on my layout.

Bruce

brwebster posted:

It's always worth returning here to see what's new under Nate's world of wires.  Although he and I model different eras, I could almost believably squeeze in an E44....just not a blue one.  All it would take is for one of those MTH's to show up locally in Brunswick green.....not that the P5a is anywhere near retirement on my layout.

Bruce

Good evening Bruce:

Good to hear from you, thanks for the virtual visit!  You would be pleased to know that I seriously considered a P5a (modified) recently...as well as a BB1 pair.  There is a shop in York that is closing soon, and he has one of each.  It is not in my era, nor can I afford it...  But it would have been cool to run off the overhead here!  Also, I think the P5a Mods are 072 minimum, which doesn't quite work.

I saw you have made some progress as well.  Have you powered up your overhead?  Feel free to post some pics here, or re-direct me to where you may have some.  Take care, my friend.

(PS -- Those PRR E44s are around...I expect to see one on your system soon...)

Nate Murry

TCA# 18-73324

Hi Nate,

You could be correct in being concerned over the P5 not handling anything lesser than 072, although  G motors seem even less tolerant and expose my poor track laying skills every time.

My catenary install has been delayed somewhat as I rework said track laying and build/ integrate a train shed much like the design at Harrisburg.  This is a change from the initial idea of an open platform style station like at Lancaster.  Truth be told, lately, I fire up the ZW's and put in more running than building time.  Other house reno's on the go sort of dampen the layout construction ambition too.

Powering the Cat wasn't in the plans but there is always that possibility.  Getting the wires even enough for the pantographs to follow them smoothly is first priority here.  Because of the layout size and multiple elevations, the Cat serves as an excellent TMCC signal ground plain when hooked up to household ground.....a real noticeable degradation where no overhead wires exist.   Fortunately, the Cat already installed has proved resilient enough to withstand my clumsy moves.  Just need to get back to the bench and solder up more sections of it to continue.

Off topic a bit...  A recent video stunt showed a young man dangerously riding outside on the rear of a Toronto subway.  As a comparison, the news ran another video showing some dope surfing the top of a motor, hanging on to the Faively pantograph!

Bruce

Good evening Bruce:

I am not sure if I missed your pictures, or am forgetful or what.  What a neat system you have going there.  Somehow I failed to notice your multi-level madness, which is even more remarkable considering your apparent tight space.  I thought I had a tight space in my loft, you appear even more cramped in the attic!  The multi-level design prevents the eye from taking in the entire system, which makes it seem bigger and more pleasant to look at.  Do you have a track plan posted up here somewhere?  Forgive me for being too lazy to search right now.

In other news, I had to totally re-design the pan shoes on the E44s.  I had a slight snag last week, and subsequent tests revealed the shoe is a bit too short. after some minimal wear.  A new design is afoot however. 

You should also post some videos at some point.  Perhaps you have and I missed them.  Forgive me again if so.  Take care, and happy building.

(PS -- You coming to York?  I live about 20 minutes away from the Fairgrounds).

Nate Murry

TCA# 18-73324

Hi Nate!

Sorry for the tardy response.  The attic is a bit cramped but there's just enough head room at the peak for my 6' frame.  I kept the basic layout height lower than usual to take advantage of the maximum room dimensions....roughly 3' off the floor.  Attic access via stairs opens into the middle of the room, so considering all the limitations it dictated an around the wall style layout design.  Square footage wasn't so much a concern as was making sure things would fit height wise.  There never was any great compromises involved in getting the main up and running although some changes where made on the fly.

I sat down tonight and began drawing the current track plan as completed.  When I finish I'll be sure to post it.  An initial plan that was drawn over 10 years ago has a distinct similarity to what has been completed, although very few,if any, measurements were made before construction. The freestyle form of construction involved assembling a section of bench work frame then completing the roadbed  and move on.  Running changes to compensate for excessive grades or sharp curves just seemed easier for me using this method.   Once around the room and pray that both ends meet.  There is still loads of track laying to do, with features such as an engine facility and hidden staging yard yet to come.  Finishing the mainline catenary is first and foremost so that the outer reaches are scenicked before the inner features are begun.

Sorry, no videos as of yet......it's another of those new fangled things that confounds me.  Never have had the pleasure of attending York...still on the bucket list.

Re the P5a....any tighter than 072 would probably cause issues.  The long wheel base on 3 sets of flanged drivers being the main culprit.

Bruce

Tony_V posted:

Sometimes the craftsmanship and ingenuity of the members here amazes me.  This is one of those times.  Very nice indeed.  

As far as actual scale, well there are always compromises.  My favorite scale to think about is weight.  For example the PRR S2 weighed in at nearly 1,000,000 lbs.  At 1/48 scale that is still in excess of 20,000 lbs.

Beautiful work!!!

Tony

Just have to correct you - when scaling the weight, you have to do 'cube root', so divide by 48  3 times. So actdually about 9 pounds.

Jim

Jim Waterman

 

As promised, here's the attic layout as of today. 

Although not strictly to scale, the drawing details the use of easements and curves.  If there's a curve in the drawing, even the slightest one, then it's on the actual layout.  only the chimney and stairs ( at center ) interferes with the floor space.  Although one reverse loop is obvious, a second is incorporated so that trains can switch directions continuously.  I currently use the second one ( single track over curved bridge ) as a staging track, holding 3 or 4 trains off the mainline.  I tucked an old oak desk under the triple track section that will eventually become Harrisburg.  The desk houses my transformers inside a compartment once used for typewriters.  The spur coming off the track below the curved bridge will eventually connect to a programing track on top of the desk, roughly at the same level as hidden track A.   To the left of the chimney is where my sound system and record storage reside.  When the sound of trains become monotonous I crank up the tunes. Track B disappears to a staging yard ( not shown ) that I plan to redesign in the future.  For now, it holds the overflow of an out of control spending addiction in engines and rolling stock.  the spur behind the chimney will become the lead track into the engine facility, pretty much covering the entire reverse loop beneath.  That section of reverse loop that bisects the room will be hinged to drop down when access to the track deeper underneath is needed.  That's it in a nutshell.

Bruce

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