That was pretty cool the way those operate! He must be using a micro controller for light control if he can program stuff like that into his signals. I'm not in a hurry for any signals, but I probably will get in touch with him when I'm ready, those really are neat and quite versatile too. I might inquire about the website, I would like to see what all he has. The lights are very nice too. Thanks for the demo video showing their operation. 

The thing I was fiddling with here is much less sophisticated, just some IC chips, caps, resistors and LEDs. It will never be able to do what you have demonstrated here. It's basically just a 'fiddling' project for learning, and I enjoy fiddling with these things. Not sure it will ever actually get used, but I might learn a few things.  

Steamer posted:

IIRC....the traffic light would stop all four directions of traffic...then a bell would sound allowing the pedestrians to cross...then the bell would sound again telling people to stop.

Dave, The bells still ring on Main Street Butler, although they continue to ring for about 3/4 of the time the lights allow pedestrians to cross.  When the bell stops, you only have a short time left.  I don't cross as fast as I could years ago.  A few years ago, some city officials proposed that the bells were dated and weren't needed anymore.  There was a public outcry.  The bells still sound the same as they did when we would come into town about once a month growing up in the '60s.

All:

I have long wanted to get the paints, brushes, and mixing containers off my workbench and organized into something more efficient.  I did that by building one set of shelves for all the paint and another for brushes and other tools (glue, tape, sanding pads).

Here's the left-side shelf for brushes and other tools I built using 1/4" masonite and wire shelving units from Lowe's.  It's temporarily leaning against the spray booth.

PaintShelving___01

I fastened it to an external stiffener of the spray booth.  Here's one of the corner brackets I used.

PaintShelving__

Here's the shelf installed in place and filled with brushes, tape, glue, mixing devices, and sanding blocks / sticks.

PaintShelving___03

On the other side of the window, attached to the bookcase, is the paint rack.  It's capacity is 192 small bottles of acrylic / craft paint.

PaintShelving___02

As can be seen, paint for plastic models is kept on the window sill.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Updated 6/14/2019:

Finally got off the dime. After an interminable number of measurements and re-measurements, I finally traced out the sub-roadbed piece connecting the eastern side of the Stone Arch with the rest of the layout (WV side). I haven't made the last cut, but here's a test fitting.

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Construction of the sub-roadbed support structure is next, but this is a start.

More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Mark Boyce posted:

I'm glad to see the progress, George!!

Thanks!  You and me both.  I was beginning to think I'd never more forward.  I must have measured and re-drawn the area 5 times.  It was extremely hard to visualize (in 3-D) how this table top should look.  Even today just before cutting I revised my approach based on something new I saw.  My wife was invaluable as a new pair of eyes on the problem.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

George, I have a hideous time imagining something in 3 dimensions, and the 3D renderings of any of the design programs don't help me much!  I have an area that I have on the SCARM plan, but have been slow building as I am slowly cutting, fitting, mocking up, and scratching my head on.  It looks great on the SCARM 3D rendering, but transferring it to the layout is another story!!

Mark Boyce posted:

George, I have a hideous time imagining something in 3 dimensions, and the 3D renderings of any of the design programs don't help me much!  I have an area that I have on the SCARM plan, but have been slow building as I am slowly cutting, fitting, mocking up, and scratching my head on.  It looks great on the SCARM 3D rendering, but transferring it to the layout is another story!!

Trust me, I feel your pain.  It's a very slow process with many stops and starts.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Updated 6/16/2019:

So, the test fittings continue. First, I used a grinding wheel (with my wife's help) to make the western edges of the sub-roadbed align with the end of the Stone Arch. By propping up the sub-roadbed, I was able to conduct a test fit.

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After that, I marked the spots on the existing sub-roadbed (already attached to the benchwork) where this piece will mate up.DSCN6020DSCN6021DSCN6024

Cuts will be made that allow the new piece to fit into the existing benchwork like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle.  At least, that's the plan.  

Once that's been done, I will screw down the new piece and focus on creating a support structure underneath it.  And there's the matter of mating the support structure to the east end of the Stone Arch.  That must be anchored in a way similar to the Steubenville bridge abutment.

More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Updated 6/18/2019:

I've been giving some thought to another issue.  The new piece of sub-roadbed affects the location of a pop-up hatch.  Here's the plan. The pen points to the green area (hatch) on the plan.

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Here's original hatch outline on the benchwork. Yes, it's triangular in shape.

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Here's the area without the new sub-roadbed.

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I've decided that I am going to retain the hatch by:
1) cutting it out of the existing table top.
2) putting the new sub-roadbed down on it.
3) tracing the hatch dimensions on the new sub-roadbed piece.
4) cutting the new sub-roadbed piece to accommodate the hatch.

More when I know it.   

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Updated 6/22/2019:

How's that INXS song go? "One thing leads to another"?  

OK, so thinking about the hatch lead to my making it into a trapezoid shape. My wife suggested that I make a cardboard hatch template to see if I would fit. Turns out that 24"x13" is the minimum size for me. That prompted me to revisit all the hatches near Weirton Steel. They are marked in light green below.

Hatches

I am debating the need for the trapezoid hatch. But the 24"x13" hatch under the Blooming Mill seems necessary. Likewise the hatch at the rear of the Open Hearth. And the one in front of the Open Hearth is also required. I have slightly re-positioned the 2 tracks leading into the Blooming Mill as a result of this analysis.

So we are closer, but no blade has yet hit a table top.

More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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More from today (6/22/2019):

Here are some test fittings of track around the prospective hatch.

Track centers on the eastern approach will be 3.75" apart (15 scale feet, which is just an scootch wide for the Pennsy).

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On the curve itself, the track centers will be 4" apart (16 scale feet). Hopefully we will not side-swipe 18" passenger cars.

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In this photo, the ruler indicates the edge of the hatch and its location relative to the tracks.

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More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Mark Boyce posted:

Looks like you are getting closer to finishing the track there and deciding on the access hatch!  Looks great!

Am I?                      

Gee, I hope so.  

Thank you.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Updated 6/23/2019:

As Roseanne Rosannadanna used to say: "It's always something."

Always Something

So I was about to take the Dremel SawMax to the bench top when I decided to replace the mock-up track with some Ross O72 curved sectional track I thought I purchased in April. I went to the storage bin and discovered:
a) I didn't have any Ross O72 sections (apparently I had not bought any at York this past April; I remember that now  
b) I did have 2 pieces of GarGraves O72 track
c) What I had used for mock-ups was NOT O72!     It looks to be O80 or larger.

Fortunately, I discovered this before I did any cutting.

So now, I need to get some Ross O72 curves just to make sure everything is right. By the way, the geometries between the two manufacturers are different. It takes 12 pieces of GarGraves O72 to make a full circle; Ross needs 16 pieces. And since they must mate up with Ross O72 switches, Ross is what I need.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Roseanne’s comment is sage advice! 

I have learned the two are different from smaller diameter curves.  I have also seen that once in a pile I have trouble identifying the curve diameter.  If it is stamped on the bottom, often I can’t read it.  Well it’s a good thing you saw it now before sawing access holes.

Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4 posted:

Well, as pirates would say George, "ARGH!!!!" At least you don't have to find the Castle Ard. It is interesting that the curves would be slightly different, makes you think whose is right(if I read that correctly).

Dave,

O80 vs. O72 is a problem when you have to fight for every inch.  Funny to have a layout this big and still be fighting for every inch.  That's because the depth of this layout is comparable to Panhandle 1.0 (10' vs. 11')! 

But among track makers, there are real differences in number of pieces that make up a circle.  GarGraves, Ross, and Curtis (if anyone still has some) are different.  That's important when the curved part of a switch is part of a large curve.

Fortunately, I did catch the error in time.

George 

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Updated 7/1/2019:

Started on the benchwork east of the Stone Arch.

First, I put another cross-member into the lower table (note the corner reinforcement).

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Next, I temporarily clamped an upright to a cross-member to support the sub-roadbed. The sub-roadbed will receive a framework of 2"x2"s underneath it for support.

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Then I cut a board that will serve as the eastern-most abutment. The Stone Arch will be screwed to it to anchor that end of the span. The board will be fastened to the plywood below it as well as the sub-roadbed itself.

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Here's a side view showing the different heights involved. Track on the Stone Arch will rest upon doubled 1/8" black Woodland Scenics foam roadbed. To the right, it will abut the 3/8" Vinylbed atop the plywood sub-roadbed.

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More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4 posted:

Looking good George. Yeah about curves and putting laying track, you always have a struggle with just the normal pieces fitting them together. I can't imagine messing with the different track makers and getting a big overhang.

Thanks Dave.  I realize that sometimes people use different track types to economize, but that seems dicey to me.  GarGraves, Ross, and Curtis all fit together (and more importantly) smoothly run trains without issue.  I've found that curve radii are OK as well.  It's just the number of pieces in certain curves that differ.  So if you're using a Ross O72 curved switch, you pretty much have to use 3 more Ross O72 pieces to make a full quarter of a circle.  

I talked to a guy who was using Lionel Std O tubular track with several other brands.  Apparently, he thought he was being clever and saving money.  I think he was making himself a problem - both in looks and performance.  I've learned the hard way - the quality of your bench work and your track ultimately determine how well your railroad will run.  That's not the place to take shortcuts.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

G3750 posted:
Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4 posted:

Looking good George. Yeah about curves and putting laying track, you always have a struggle with just the normal pieces fitting them together. I can't imagine messing with the different track makers and getting a big overhang.

Thanks Dave.  I realize that sometimes people use different track types to economize, but that seems dicey to me.  GarGraves, Ross, and Curtis all fit together (and more importantly) smoothly run trains without issue.  I've found that curve radii are OK as well.  It's just the number of pieces in certain curves that differ.  So if you're using a Ross O72 curved switch, you pretty much have to use 3 more Ross O72 pieces to make a full quarter of a circle.  

I talked to a guy who was using Lionel Std O tubular track with several other brands.  Apparently, he thought he was being clever and saving money.  I think he was making himself a problem - both in looks and performance.  I've learned the hard way - the quality of your bench work and your track ultimately determine how well your railroad will run.  That's not the place to take shortcuts.  

George

My first real table that was built by a friend(not very well constructed but was okay) I had the same issue. I had some good Lionel Tubular track and had bought a bunch more not realizing it was K-Line track which was not quite the same(back in the early 90's). Well, I had to chop a piece of the K-Line track to get it to fit. I had never used a hacksaw at that point but did a good job. I did as per the usual sensible way, measure twice, measure again, check area to be sure everything's right, measure then cut. I know that sounds like overkill, but sometimes it seems like a great idea to be very sure instead of "I think so". Needless to say that part of the layout never had issues. However, the unevenness from the person who constructed the table gave derailment problems occasionally. I wound up not running too much because of the tremendous noise(small room) and those issues. After about a year and a half I decided to dismantle everything and scrap the table.

The table I built(Xmas tree table) I much better and square. The only mistake I made on that is probably using the foam core board and cutting my finger with an exacto knife. The board is slightly noisy and had seemed like a sound solution to tracks on wood. Even though that's there(foam) and the trackbed its not all that bad. As far as the cut to my finger, we all seem to do that at one time or another. I felt embarrassed as work they always preach hand safety.

Updated 7/4/2019:

Happy Independence Day everyone!!!!

Today, I focused on construction of the sub-roadbed for the Pennsy Cross-section (eastern approach to the Stone Arch).

In these next two photos, I'm clamping the longitudinal stiffener for the side that will be closest to the viewer when the section is flipped over.

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This photo hints at how the section will dove-tail with the existing benchwork.
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Now I am positioning the other longitudinal stiffener.  You never have too many clamps!

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After flipping the section upright, I screwed the sub-roadbed to the longitudinal stiffeners. The vertical board will snuggle up against the Stone Arch.

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The photo is a little blurry, but you can see that carpenter's shims are our friends!

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Finally, I added a diagonal brace between the 90 degree cross-members. I think we eliminated any chance of roadbed deflection.

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More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Mark Boyce posted:

George, that is a nice job on the stiffener!  No, you can't have enough clamps!!!

Thanks Mark.  I am probably over-compensating for the sins committed in building Panhandle 1's benchwork, but so be it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Updated 7/6/2019:

I completed the next step in the hatch saga - cutting the Pennsy cross-section so that it becomes the left side of the hatch's benchwork.

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More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Updated 7/7/2019:

Well, I learned something interesting.  Last night I was looking at the Pennsy cross-section piece of sub-roadbed as it sat in place (but not connected) and thinking it wasn’t lining up squarely with the adjoining Stone Arch.  I couldn’t quite work out what was wrong.  

Today, I removed it and then the lower table top (it was not fastened in any way) upon which it sits for cutting.  You may be able to see the problem in this photo.

DSCN6126

After doing so, I discovered that the rib structure it sits upon has not been screwed to the adjoining table.  I had clamped the rib structure to the table to the left.  It has actually sagged a bit, so the previous measurements I made assuming a level and solid foundation will have to be re-done.  That’s actually a piece of good news because I had not yet made all the connections permanent.  Better now than later.

I then leveled the table.  Thank goodness I used leveling glides on the legs!   Turning the glide clock-wise extends it.

DSCN6129DSCN6130 DSCN6131

I then attached the rib structure to the table using carriage bolts.  The order is bolt head, fender washer, 1st 2"x2", 2nd 2"x2", fender washer, lock washer, nut.  Two bolts to hold the tables together should be enough; I drilled additional holes for wiring.

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And of course, I used the bubble level to make sure we were OK throughout.

Next steps will be to:

  1. Replace the table top and screw it down.
  2. Permanently attach the supporting table to the Stone Arch.  I also have to drill a hole through the table and the bottom of the arch to allow the wires of the camp fire to pass through.  Apparently, some hobos have built a fire inside the arch (or soon will)!  DSCN6128
  3. Test fit the Stone Arch on the table top and see if it fits back in the spots I marked for it.  If not, we'll need to adjust.
  4. Test fit the Pennsy cross-section sub-roadbed back in place and adjust for heights.
  5. Screw everything down permanently.
  6. Start installing the vertical supports and cross-members that will hold up the masonite and foam for terrain.

There's still a lot of work left on this segment of the layout.

More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Photos (7)

Updated 7/7/2019 (PM):

I think we are finally done with this segment. It's not perfect, but I've done what I can.

I started out by screwing the supporting table to the bottom of the Stone Arch's base. I did drill a hole for the wires, but it won't be big enough for all 6. I will end up running the wires along the floor of the arch out the back and disguising them with ground cover and trees.
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The next step was to flip over the arch, place it in position and screw it down. The corner braces will keep it from moving.
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Finally, I screwed down the sub-roadbed, making sure it dove-tailed correctly with the edge of the layout and the hatch.
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Here's the mostly finished sub-roadbed piece. I still need to add vertical supports, but I'm tired. That's it for today.
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Oh, and we did have a visitor (at least an attempt) to the layout today.

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More when I know it.   

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Photos (5)

George, Isn’t That something you forgot that portion was still just clamped!  No matter how well we think something through, there is always a gotcha!  That is a precision base for the arch!   It all looks great now!

So you have a young railfan looking in the window!

Mark Boyce posted:

George, Isn’t That something you forgot that portion was still just clamped!  No matter how well we think something through, there is always a gotcha!  That is a precision base for the arch!   It all looks great now!

So you have a young railfan looking in the window!

Yeah, I built that section about 9 months ago.  So forgetting that piece of information isn't that surprising.  

I hope the base for the arch is correct.  We still have some wiggle room (literally) because the bridge will come off soon so that we can do the river scenery.  As I said before, carpenter shims are my friends!  

I don't know how much of a railfan the frog is.  Maybe he's trying to get the slug crawling up the screen above him or maybe even he's had enough of the rain we've been getting this past week!

Anyway, thanks for the kind words.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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