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Building a new club layout - Update: Moving on after the club

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, February 13, 2020 12:53 AM

davidmurray

I have only met Dave once.  His back pain is severe.  It may or may not get better.

Old age hits some people earlier than others.

 

 

I hope that you know I was not really making fun of Dave.  You did look at the link, correct?

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, February 13, 2020 3:16 AM

Back pain is one of the reasons I had to quit being an active model railroader. Like Dave, I cannot stand up more than a couple of minutes before my back starts yelling insults at me. Bending down is also impossible. My back issues come from a bad car accident 40 years ago. While not present at first, they have slowly developed over the past 10 - 15 years to today´s level.

I may go back to building N scale mini-modules again. I can build the "benchwork" comfortably sitting at my desk. As I am using Kato Unitrack for the modules, wiring is no issue at all.

Dave - when MR published the Beerline series, I was very much intrigued by the flexibilty of the layout with its possibility to be configured in various ways. Ech module (or segment) measured only 2´b 4´, using a rather lightweight method of construction. I think even with the impediments we share, those modules are easier to build and handle than what you are right now aiming for.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, February 13, 2020 6:18 AM

Back pain is no joke and it's not just for older people.  I injured my back around age 29 and was bed-ridden for some time.  After that I re-injured it over and over it really crippled me at times over the years following.  I've talked to a number of people who had serious back issues at young ages too.

About 15 years ago I had a job mostly in the field overseeing oil well plugging operatoins and sometimes I was in the office bent over looking at oil well maps.  Man, that would often make my back hurt and I'd have to be careful not to strain it to the point of re-injuring my self.

When I hurt my back while in college at age 29, the doctor told me he thought it was happening because the muscles were too tight and I needed to stretch regularly to help prevent strain and re-injury.  I did find if I did those stretching exercises, it did help.  Over the  years things have improved, but I still need to be careful to pace myself.  Now that I'm building benchwork for a sizable layout, there are times I find at the end of several hours of bending over on the floor drilling counter sinks, pilot holes and screwing together pieces, it catches up to me and I need to take a break.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, February 13, 2020 6:37 AM

maxman
I hope that you know I was not really making fun of Dave.  You did look at the link, correct?

Yes, I knew you were joking! Igor's back pain apparently isn't as bad as mine. I could never move that fast, regardless of who I was chasing!

Dave

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, February 13, 2020 7:32 AM

Tinplate Toddler
Dave - when MR published the Beerline series, I was very much intrigued by the flexibilty of the layout with its possibility to be configured in various ways. Ech module (or segment) measured only 2´b 4´, using a rather lightweight method of construction. I think even with the impediments we share, those modules are easier to build and handle than what you are right now aiming for.

Hi Ulrich,

I had forgotten about the modular aspect of the Beer Line. Being able to rearrange the layout sounds interesting but I don't want to get into the possible complications that modules might create.

My old club's 6' x 12' portable layout is divided into nine - 2' x 4' modules that sit on three folding tables. The modules are light enough that one person can lift them, but it is always done with two people because the modules are more awkward than they are heavy. Even if they were half the weight they would still put a strain on my back because I would have to lean over to get my hands onto the middle of the module. That isn't going to work. I have tried it at the club.

I'm also not in favour of using modules based on the club's experience with the portable layout. The club has constant problems with alignment and the layout seems to be under constant repair to try to address those issues. By nature, a lot of the track going from one module to the next is on curves. Those gaps are a never ending source of problems.

The portable layout also does not like temperature changes. My layout will be in an insulated but unheated garage. The temperature rarely drops below freezing and it doesn't get extremely hot in the summer, but the temperature swing is far greater than what the portable layout experiences when it is set up. The club has regularly experienced an increase in derailments even when the temperature has only gone up by a few degrees. A single piece frame would be much more stable.

As far as how difficult the rotating benchwork would be to construct, I really don't see it as a problem. There are swivel plates that are designed to carry a lot of weight. They might not work perfectly smoothly on their sides but they won't be rotated very often:

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/richelieu-square-steel-swivel-plate-6-in-x-6-in-500-lbs-227-kg-zinc/1000401601?rec=true

If those won't work then maybe just a couple of pieces of iron pipe with a flange on one end to stabilize them:

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/aqua-dynamic-fitting-black-iron-floor-flange-3-4-inch/1000126395

The rest is no different than building benchwork using 1x4s or 1x6s. I'll have to figure out how to keep the end supports parallel to each other. I have some ideas.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 3:00 AM

The club had its 50th annual show last weekend. By all accounts it was a great success. One of the members of the club Executive took the time to tell me how well the show went and to thank me for all the work that I had done during the planning stages before I left the club. I am gratefull that he chose to keep me informed.

The interaction with the club member whom I deeply respect has given me pause to think about my decision to leave the club, but I have decided that I won't go back anytime soon, if ever.

Dave

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Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 8:18 AM

Dave, I live near Ottawa and I could not imagine having a layout in an unheated garage. The track would shrink and expand big time. At the very least, I would not permanently lay the track. Is it that warm in Southern Ontario??

Simon

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 10:08 AM

 IMO, you probably need to stay away, if only for your sanity. Sure, MOST of the members were friendly and wlecoming, fairly low stress (though sometimes it seemed you were herding cats), but unfortunately that one person that took away all the joy you got from the rest and then some also remains there and unless they've someone completely changed their personality, will still be doing the same sort of thing.

 Keeping in touch is a greta idea though, I'm sure not a few miss your input and are wondering why Dave doesn;t show up any more, and if you keep in touch with the more positive members, change may happen. At least it keeps the door open, versus just completely walking away. It's a shame human nature is such as it is, and a couple have to take the political aspect to extremes and cause issues for other. 

 I'm about to head to work to have a 'discussion' with one of the PMs on my next project about what she calls a 'template' which provides no example of what I'm supposedly filling out, just two columns in a spreadsheet, and one of them if for the client to check off. I think it's supposed to be a way to request what access I need to do my job - in which case, at a minimum it should have columns for who's requesting, what system they need access to, what level of access they require, and a short explanation. That, to me, is the way you present a customer with a list of access requirements to their systems. But what do I know, I've only been doing this stuff for 36 years. It's all internal politics. This is the way our newly acquired group did things, and like all our previous acquisitions, they come in thinking they acquired us.

                                 --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

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Posted by davidmurray on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 4:05 PM

hon30critter
The interaction with the club member whom I deeply respect has given me pause to think about my decision to leave the club, but I have decided that I won't go back anytime soon, if ever.

hon30critter
The interaction with the club member whom I deeply respect has given me pause to think about my decision to leave the club, but I have decided that I won't go back anytime soon, if ever.

Dave:

I agree that not going back would be the best thing for you for the next couple of years.  Nothing will have changed, except you will not be president.  This is not enought IMO to end the stress you suffered.

Dave

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 11:11 PM

davidmurray
I agree that not going back would be the best thing for you for the next couple of years.  Nothing will have changed, except you will not be president.  This is not enought IMO to end the stress you suffered.

Hi Dave,

Thank you for your support and advice. The more I think about what was going on at the club, the more I realize that I really wasn't enjoying things all that much. Like Randy said, I was constantly herding cats.

In addition to working on my own layout, I have discovered (more acurately, rediscovered) an interest in Arduino. Not long ago MR offered an Arduino starter kit. Arduino starter kits are all over the market, but this offer came with something else that I think will unlock the secrets of Arduino for everyone who is interested. It is called 'Dr Duino' and it is a free online series of videos that put Arduinos in plain language. So far, after only viewing the first four videos, my understanding of Arduino has increased tenfold. I can't believe that the lessons are free. Here is the link:

https://mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/4/messages/AIKJmjJX837IXkU7xgnPuO2f9ss

Corrected link:

https://exclusive.drduino.com/MRR-Offer

The first page is a sales offer for the starter kit. I'm not sure if you have to buy a kit to get to the Dr. Duino lessons. I did buy the kit.

Dave

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, February 20, 2020 6:16 AM

hon30critter
Not long ago MR offered an Arduino starter kit. Arduino starter kits are all over the market, but this offer came with something else that I think will unlock the secrets of Arduino for everyone who is interested. It is called 'Dr Duino' and it is a free online series of videos that put Arduinos in plain language. So far, after only viewing the first four videos, my understanding of Arduino has increased tenfold. I can't believe that the lessons are free. Here is the link: https://mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/4/messages/AIKJmjJX837IXkU7xgnPuO2f9ss The first page is a sales offer for the starter kit. I'm not sure if you have to buy a kit to get to the Dr. Duino lessons. I did buy the kit. Dave

The link didn't seem to go to anything about Aduino, it played commericals and something a story about a data breach.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 20, 2020 7:41 AM

 There are numerous 'starter kits' for Arduino. Note that all of the basic designs they present are from sketches (programs) that are part of the Arduion development environment you install, and the circuit diagrams for building them on a breadboard are all freely available on the Arduino site. 

 Most of the kits are the same - they have an Arduino, a breadboard, and a bunch of part, plus connecting wires. They mostly differ on how many parts they containt - not just discrete parts like resistors and LEDs, but sensors like temp sensors, humidity sensors, and things like buttons and joysticks. I just looked at what was available on Amazon and compared which one seemed to give the most variety of stuff for the price. Mine might not have actually come with the Arduino, I may have gotten that separately. Or the added price to include one wa more than someone else was selling it for. I ended up with at least one other kit, a smaller one that came with lots of LEDs and a couple of interesting ICs.

 I built the first couple of simple circuits, and then kind of went off and did my own thing. The canned circuits are good for learning the environment, and how the various libraries work. You can then find examples of interesting circuits to build which you will need to order specific parts for - to see how it worked, I got some wireless modules and built a temperature and humidity sensor that connected to wifi, and I could go to a web site and see the readings. I was just copying instructions for that one. A better way would be a more recent one I saw using two Arduinos, one with the sensors sending the data and one with a display receiving and displaying the results, no internet required.

 After that I was pretty comfortable with the environment and went off completely on my own and worked on my turnout controller. But I came into it understanding the electronic components, the only thing really new to me was the Arduino language syntax for accessing the data pins.

                                     --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, February 20, 2020 7:51 AM

hon30critter

Dave That takes me to my own yahoo email.

There are a couple videos here 

Then there is someone named drduino who has videos on hematology speaking in one of the numerous languages of India  Big SmileBig Smile

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:18 PM

BigDaddy
That takes me to my own yahoo email.

Ooops,

I'll try and find a better link. I'm not recommending the particular starter kit that they offer, but the tutorials are excellent.

Edit: Try this:

https://exclusive.drduino.com/MRR-Offer

Dave

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:25 PM

I watched one of the videos in the link I posted, and it was a demo of changing colors of an led by adjusting screws on his shield, but not useful for our purposes.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:54 PM

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