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Building a new club layout (and other club related activities)

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  • Member since
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  • From: west coast
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Posted by rrebell on Thursday, July 12, 2018 1:18 AM

hon30critter

 

 
rrebell
Much better job of managing.

 

Thanks, I guess. Actually, I feel that your comments are rather condescending. You make it sound like you think I am a rank amateur at leading people. I am not. Pardon me for sharing the fact that I wasn't on the top of my game the whole time.

Enough said,

Dave

 

Not at all what I ment. We all get caught up in things. Take an example from wordworking (an a stupit me). I have used table saws for most of my adult life and every once in awhile I get into the grove and don't pay as close attention to things and the saw gets to close to me (an inch or so is too close). I shut things down for a moment and regroup and carry on with my consentration back in order. So it is not like you didn't know about things, little wordings like herding a bunch of cats proves that, you were just a little too much in the grove. One thing I notice about threads is that unlike when in person you can't read someones face so that you can instantly correct a misunderstanding. Proubly still did a bad job of explaining myself but I tried. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:11 AM

OK rrebell, my bad for over reacting. I apologise.

Dave

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, July 15, 2018 8:36 PM

The President of the club spent a couple of hours on the weekend closely inspecting the work that has been done on the feeders and bus wires. Unfortunately he found several problems. A bunch of things will have to be done over. The mainline bus was nearly totally severed in a couple of places where the crew had attempted to strip it so they could attach feeders. Many of the feeder joints to the bus are badly soldered because the insulation was not opened up far enough so it got melted in with the solder joint. About 20 of the feeders will have to be removed and resoldered to the track because the existing joints are huge and messy.

I guess as the construction foreman I have to watch every connection as it is being made, or we follow Henk's suggestion which is to let the members do their best and then go in on a non meeting day to fix all the damage. We can't tell half the club that they are not allowed to work on the layout.

Dave

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Monday, July 16, 2018 7:28 AM

 Have a "training day" where you teach people a particular skill off the layout, like soldering bus and feeder wires.

 Are you using the good sort of strip tools like the Klein or Stripmaster to do middle of the wire stripping? That takes some doing to sever the main wire using one of those. If it's #12 bus wire, that's like the biggest hole on the version of the tool I have, there's no real abiguity there. I know they come with different dies so that may not be the case with the one you have. The non-obvious part is the smaller size for the feeders, it's not the smallest hole, it's somewhere in the middle, and picking the wrong one can severe the wire. But those automatic type strippers can work for that, since it's end of wire stripping. The kind that grab from the end.

 Ir doesn;t have to be just you or the president running these sessions, unless you two are the only ones with a particular skill. Delegate. Someone who's good at a particualr thing can be the foreman and teach others. Admittedly this didn;t work out well in my case - when I moved a long time ago I donated a section of my shelf layout to the club I belonged to so they could use it as a preview sort of thing to attract people to the main layout locatioon, on only one condition - that I get to help add scenery to it so I could learn. Like most of my layouts, it had roadbed and track and was wired and working, but no scenery besides painting the base an earth brown color. Well, next time I came back, someone had added all sorts of scenery and it was essentially done. 

 And a lot of this makes me realize I am probably too uptight to have many work oon my layout - I did on the last one, one guy was a local modeller who I was helping out with the wiring on his layout, his second large layout. The other was a friend who had no modelling experience but wanted to help out. I kind of feel bad I gave him the thankless job of putting the brown paint on all the pink foam, but he was happy to hang out and help one day a week. My modelling friend was good at all the intricate stuff - kind of has to be since he scratchbuilds small steamers in N scale - and he was a whiz at putting the servos in under the layout and getting them through the throwbar first try. Perhaps my eyes were trying to tell me something back then already. Not looking forward to that moving ahead, as solering my board over the weekend made me realize just how bad my depth perception is now. Still didn't burn myself on the soldering iron despite working inches from my face though. Usually it was, why isn't the solder melting - oh, it's not touching the same pad I have the iron on.

                                             --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
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  • From: Ludington, MI
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Posted by Water Level Route on Monday, July 16, 2018 8:39 AM

hon30critter
About 20 of the feeders will have to be removed and resoldered to the track because the existing joints are huge and messy.

Are you planning on painting the track?  I had a few on my own layout that sound like this, but before I redid them, I tried painting one as I did the rail.  It subsequently disappeared into the rest of the brown rail.  Worked great.

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  • From: Northern Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, July 16, 2018 8:56 AM

hon30critter
A bunch of things will have to be done over. The mainline bus was nearly totally severed in a couple of places where the crew had attempted to strip it so they could attach feeders. Many of the feeder joints to the bus are badly soldered because the insulation was not opened up far enough so it got melted in with the solder joint. About 20 of the feeders will have to be removed and resoldered to the track because the existing joints are huge and messy.

I imagine it is things like the above that cause some clubs to over-react and not let most people do certain things; they've been traumtised by having to re-do many time consuming chores to remediate poor or bad quality work.  What is the old saying: if you want something done right, do it yourself.  Sometimes thats quite true.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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  • From: west coast
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Posted by rrebell on Monday, July 16, 2018 10:19 AM

Now for some advise, not on ideas or work but suitcase connerctors. Mever used them because of the problems you mention, always used Posi-taps. Cost more but can be bought in bulk and can be reused as many times as you need or resold if you close up shop. Also easy to change or redo and no wires are damaged. Only extra requirement is the buss needs to be stranded and it is better if the feeders are solid. each unit can take up to 5 feeders so no termanal strips needed unless you want to do something fancy.

  • Member since
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  • From: Northern Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, July 16, 2018 10:39 AM

The Positaps look nice, but yeah, pricey.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, July 16, 2018 12:58 PM

riogrande5761

The Positaps look nice, but yeah, pricey.

 

You can get a deal. From the manufacture they are as little as 57 cents to $1 depending on how many you want. Replacing a bus wire is more costly and the fact they can be reused. You may be able to find them cheaper even, I did.

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  • From: Northern Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, July 16, 2018 4:56 PM

You can get a 100' roll of 14-2 indoor wire for $30 and 250 feet for $45 at Home Depot, which works quite well for bus wire.  In light of the high cost of those taps, the bus wire isn't all that expensive if you had to replace it all.  The taps are nice but still pretty pricey.

I'm guessing the guys who were nearly severing the bus wire weren't doing it right.

I'll ear mark the posh taps though for future reference.  

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 16, 2018 6:17 PM

rrebell
always used Posi-taps

Hi rrebell:

I believe these are what you are referring to:

https://www.posi-products.com/posiplug.html

Never heard of them before. Thanks for the suggestion.

Most of the bus connections have been done or redone as needed so it is a bit late to use the Posi-taps, but I will keep them in mind.

Dave

Edit: I just priced the Posi-Tap 12 - 18 ga size and they run about $1.39 USD each. Based on 600' of track with two feeders (+ & -) every three feet, plus two feeders for each of the 75 turnouts, that works out to just under 450 taps x 1.39 = $625.50 X 1.3 for the conversion to Canadian dollars = $918.86 incl. tax. Even if we were to put two feeders into the same tap along the double track sections we would still be in excess of $800.00 Had we known about the Posi-taps I doubt that we would have spent the money, but thanks again.

Dave

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  • From: west coast
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Posted by rrebell on Monday, July 16, 2018 8:02 PM

500 for $282 american

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  • From: west coast
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Posted by rrebell on Monday, July 16, 2018 8:06 PM

You can feed up to 5 drops into one P.osi

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 16, 2018 9:58 PM

rrebell
500 for $282 american

OK, that sounds better. I figured they must be available in bulk.

Where were you last September when I started asking about suggestions for the club's new layout?SighSmile, Wink & Grin

Dave

  • Member since
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  • From: Northern Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:53 AM

People have discussed wire taps here numberous times but this is the first any mention of the positaps.  What would you use if your bus was 14 AWG wire and what drop gauge would match up to it?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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  • From: Richmond, VA
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Posted by carl425 on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:44 AM

riogrande5761
What would you use if your bus was 14 AWG wire and what drop gauge would match up to it?

From the link posted by Dave:

I'd say blue fits your requirement.  18-24 ga covers the range of feeders I've ever heard of anyone using.

Here's 500 for $297.97

https://www.posi-products.com/installer.cfm

OTOH, you can get the Ideal Stripmaster and a 140 watt Weller soldering gun (great for soldering to a heavy bus) for less than $100.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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