As you know, the guys building my layout are multi talented and also have a good sense of humor.  Last Tuesday I stopped in to confirm the locations for my block signals.  While strolling around the layout I spotted an elephant at water spout for the steam locomotives.  As I got ready to take this picture I hear Joe behind saying "mommy, is that you?

It took me a a little while to stop laughing and finally take the picture.  Enjoy

  

As always... Counting the days till Christmas.



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Dropped by for another visit this week to take some measurements.  Also took some more pictures.

The farm scene is coming along nicely.

Tommy was headed to the barn to perform his afternoon chores when suddenly...

As mentioned before, Joe has a great sense of humor.  Got some of my own chores to do now so i will post more pictures later.

 

 

As always... Counting the days till Christmas.



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Mark Boyce posted:

The farm looks great!  I grew up next to a farm, but never saw a green farm animal like that!!!

I am sure those creatures are pretty rare on most farms.  I suspect that critter is a result of the Circus Train crash from a couple months ago.  

As always... Counting the days till Christmas.



Jim, That reminds me of a story my dad told of a derailment years ago on the B&O near where both he and I grew up.  A number of stock cars filled with hogs derailed just outside our farm village.  Some hogs were killed, but many were able to get out of the cars unhurt and started rooting around.  Many ended up in town.  Since it was the depression, they were thought to be fair game and caught, shot, or otherwise wound up as smoked ham or sausage.

 Mother nature played a trick on us today and we were treated to a wet, windy snow day.

View from the living room:

The kitchen:

The computer room:

Pretty much surrounded.  Stay safe.  Stay warm & go run your trains.

Happy Halloween & Merry Christmas.

As always... Counting the days till Christmas.



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Today I spent several hours preparing for my installation of LED tape lights.  I bought four reels of these:

HitLights Cool White LED Strip Lights, UL-Listed Premium High Density 16.4ft, 600LED, 5000K, 48W, CRI 91.5, 12V DC LED Tape Lights for Kitchen, Under Cabinet Decoration

Each reel is 16.4ft and consumes only 45w of 12v DC.  The power will be  supplied by two 100w Drivers.  I wired the drivers in parallel and will connect them straight to the house current 120v AC.

The left driver (below) will supply power for the front and right sides of my layout.

The right driver(below) will power the left and back sides.

Wiring diagram.

The two Drivers side-by-side in the upper left hand corner of the room. 

 

 

 

As always... Counting the days till Christmas.



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Spent the last couple of days installing the aluminum channels that will house the tape LED strips.  Hardest part was getting the channels straight.  This weekend I plan on running the feeder wires, installing the actual tape strips, installing the special LED dimmer switch, connection the drivers to the house power and installing the defusers panels.

I'll post pictures later.  Too tired to go downstairs and take any.

If I get all this done I will make another trip to my builder on Monday to check the progress on my layout.  Expecting some paint for the walls on Wednesday.

Still have not locked in a delivery date but it is getting close.

As always... Counting the days till Christmas.



Thanks Mark.  I was toast after spending three days up-and-down the ladder looking up at the ceiling measuring and mounting the channels.  The 90 degree corners present a special challenge that is too complicated to explain here.

I am going to try and get the LED tapes measured, cut, assembled and soldered BEFORE installing the LED tape strips into the channels.  There is no way I want to attempt overhead soldering looking up on the ladder.

The last couple of days Advil has been my best friend.

====================================================

RD,   Yes I am getting excited.  Dude, I noticed your post time.  Are you on the night shift?

====================================================

JBMCCORMICK,  Welcome to the circle of Loopers.

As always... Counting the days till Christmas.



Jim, Yes, just what I was imagining!  That was me building my little Ceiling Central Railroad.  It is brutal working overhead and up and down the ladder.  I have to add more lighting to my train room, and I dread it!  Advil for sure!

Looking forward to you getting the layout delivered and setup!!

Here are a few pics of the aluminum channel installed.

I used plastic tubing, attached where the wall meet the ceiling, to conceal the feeder wires.

Then I snaked 14 ga. wire through the the tube which I will tie unto a terminal stripe to reduce to 16 ga. that I'll solder to the LED tape.

Shot of the 90 degree corners which will be fully illuminated. 

There are 3 -LED per inch.  No dead spots.  The little white squares are the LED's.  I'm guessing 1/8 inch square.

 

As always... Counting the days till Christmas.



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I looked at the track plan at the beginning of this thread.  The layout reminded me of the layout my dad I were going to build, from 101 layouts you can build, or something like that.  We never did end up building it as he was so busy in his work but we bought everything for it.  It was going to be HO.

While I “get” the idea of point to point being realistic, it’s not my thing.

To me there is nothing really more soothing that sitting back and watching the trains run.  I am fortunate enough that I can have up to 8 trains running at the same time if I am paying attention, 6 very comfortably, relatively effort free.  

On my two main lines nearly all of it has some grade to it, which I enjoy and it adds an element of realism to it especially when running in the non-Odyssey mode.  As much as I love the speed control, it is also enjoyable to see an engine labor up a grade and then at speed descending a grade.

Great thread, thanks for sharing!!!

Oak, Black Lab, Constant Companion, 12-4-1994 to 12-18-2006 TCA 03-55425

Jim,

I am curious as to the O club that you are a member of.  I am also interested in contacting PDM, but my google efforts didn’t hit on anything meaningful that I could see.  I would be very much interested in talking to them about doing some updates to my existing layout, adding details that I am simply not able to do / want to do myself.

I had Dave Cardiff build my first one with a plan designed by his dad Don back in 1998.  In 2004, I moved houses and redesigned my layout to fit my new real estate.

John

Oak, Black Lab, Constant Companion, 12-4-1994 to 12-18-2006 TCA 03-55425
jbmccormick posted:

Jim,

I am curious as to the O club that you are a member of.  I am also interested in contacting PDM, but my google efforts didn’t hit on anything meaningful that I could see.  I would be very much interested in talking to them about doing some updates to my existing layout, adding details that I am simply not able to do / want to do myself.

I had Dave Cardiff build my first one with a plan designed by his dad Don back in 1998.  In 2004, I moved houses and redesigned my layout to fit my new real estate.

John

John,  Check your email.

As always... Counting the days till Christmas.



Here is another example of why I decided to have  my layout professionally built.  I am too old and too dumb to be able to reproduce myself.  Each wire has a purpose and is labeled.  I realize that this all started with a blank slate a each wire was added one at a time.  My problem... where the heck do I start???

These guys just glide along taking ALL my changed and request in stride.  They are gifted with special talents, skill sets and many years experience. 

Three sections of the layout were mounted vertically to install additional circuit boards required for block signals and grade crossings.

Will post more pictures later showing more scenery details later today.

 

 

 

As always... Counting the days till Christmas.



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Jim, Having worked in electronics as a technician and engineer for 43 years, I will say I like neat, well labeled wiring.  They did a nice job!  That said, electrical work was a career, I don’t have much interest as a hobby.  Also, I’m a sloppy carpenter with only basic tools.  So I can identify with you.  Also, we realize our time is dwindling, so we have to ask ourselves what can we do to manage our hobby time.  Thank you for taking us on this journey!

Thanks Mark.  My visit today was a little bit different.  Yes, I am anxious to take delivery and start  playing with my trains.  On the other hand I am truly going to miss visiting Steve, Joe, Jim and the rest of the crew.  Sorta like the last day of school.  You looking forward to the 10 weeks off but you do indeed miss many friends.

They were showing me the track plan for their next potential customer.  It is going to be awesome.  They are bidding on a layout for a guy in Sun City AZ.  Lots of track and lots of switches.  Maybe I can visit them once a month just to check out the progress.  I will not be able to post any pictures w/o the clients permission.

I read on another thread that you are recovering nicely from you knee surgery.  I was VERY happy to read that.  Keep up the PT and maybe you could try out a kicker for the Chicago Bears.  I think the 85 year old lady down my block got a call from them this morning.  Part of her signing bonus includes a new walker.

Now for some pics:

The campers are starting to arrive.  Notice the hastily parked cars in the background.

They have already started the fire and are digging out their burgers, dogs, buns and marshmallows.

The second wave of guests are starting ti sign in.

GrandPa is on the hill with the grandkids teaching them to fly kites.  Looks like there is a bit of an updraft along the right of way.

 

Dave, Bobby and Mike are gathering more firewood.

 

 

 

As always... Counting the days till Christmas.



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Jim, I think I’ll pass on the kicker job.  Too far to commute!  

Yes tomorrow will be two weeks since surgery.  Like my wife said about hers, I just can’t get comfortable at all.  I did try walking around the house with the cane today instead of the walker.  I did pretty good. 

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