Early pictures of block signal placement.  Mounting platforms will be squared-up and ballasted later.  Waiting for some custom circuit boards.  Expected in about 3 weeks.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.  

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.

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Good idea, Jim!!  It's raining cats and dogs here, but warm.  The wind at trick or treat time is forecasted to blow in cold weather for a while.

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. 

 

 

 

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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.

Hi Jim,

Just caught up with your thread and the layout looks awesome!  You must really be getting excited...

 

 

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.

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.

 

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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!!!

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

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.

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.

 

 

 

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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 to 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.

 

 

 

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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. 

Tommy, needing a summer job lied on his application to be a car hop at Wenonah Camp Grounds.  He claimed that he was 17 and had a Drivers license.  He was only 15 and did not have a D/L.  He was fired after parking his first 5 cars.

 

 

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In October I painted the wall to the back pf my layout is going to be attached.  I painted it a flat blue to represent the sky.  I then tried several methods to make realistic looking clouds non of which were very convincing.  Then my lovely wife suggested we hire an artist to paint the background. A lady from our church recommended a lady that painted a mural on her wall.  We met with the artist and I told what I wanted.  She showed us several samples of her work, asked lots of questions and gave us a price.  We agreed and signed up for her first two open days.  She was here on Wednesday and Thursday.

In two days our wall went from this:

 

To this:  You can enlarge these for better detail.

I LOVE IT,   

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I was able to get a lot accomplished this week.

On Monday my LED drivers we mounted on the wall and connecter in parallel using romex and looked like this:

The outlet was removed so that I could hardwire them directly to the house 120v AC.  In addition, I connected the out-going lines to the LED tape lights which were newly installed into the ceiling channels.  Like so.

 

I also installed a Leviton dimmer switch to control the feed into the drivers.

I was in a hurry to see how they worked so I fired them up and took some pictures of the recently painted background.  Needless to say I was less than pleased with the crisp shadow cast against the backdrop.

Six more hours of work cutting and installing the defuser lenses on the the aluminum mounting channels solved the problem.

The shadow is much less visible and fades softly towards the ceiling.

I love that I can control the lighting to look like the midday sun, early dusk or nighttime.  Should make for some fun run sessions.

 

 

 

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Today I finished decorating the East wall of my layout room.  Tomorrow I will the North and West walls.  I hired professional movers to pick up, transport and deliver the 10 sections that compose my layout.  The scheduled delivery date is 12/16 weather permitting.  Rain or snow will force date change.

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Jim, the wall looks great!  Yes, professional moving is definitely the way to go.  I’m glad it will be there for Christmas, weather permitting.  Is the builder going to connect the sections/wiring?

Mark Boyce posted:

Jim, the wall looks great!  Yes, professional moving is definitely the way to go.  I’m glad it will be there for Christmas, weather permitting.  Is the builder going to connect the sections/wiring?

Thanks Mark.  

YES, the builder spent the last three days checking all the circuits and runnng my 4-8-4 Northern with a full load of freight cars forward and backwa4h thru all the turnouts and every possible route.  He then repeated the process in both directions this time with 4-axle F-units.  The trackwork is clean.  The only glitch was with the separate lighting circuits for structure lights, street lights etc.  Three circuit boards were replaced.

The builder has allowed two full days to assemble, level, connect all under table blocks etc.  He will then run the same tests listed above.

Visited the builder today to check on the lighting districts that were installed over the past 2 weeks.  Of course I took more pictures to share.  This one shows the pole light outside the old barn.  ALL of the pictures look a lot better with the overhead lights dimmed.  Since the guys were still working on other details I did not ask them to dim the lights.

The local theater on Colorado Ave.

Hard to tell from this picture but this service stand has 2 working lights.

This block signal is for the programming track.  When the light is green a locomotive can enter.  When the toggle switch on the fascia is flipped the signal turns red and the spur is connected to the program leads.  After programming the toggle is again tossed and the signal turns green and the locomotive leave with the CV's just entered,

More Pictures Tomorrow.

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