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Crandell's (Selector's) New Layout Progress Thread

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  • Member since
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Posted by selector on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 11:39 AM

It won't be long, friends.  This time of year the weather is nice and I am putting the yard and garden to bed for the winter.  Lots to do.  Raspberries and cherry tomatoes to harvest and freeze, hoses to drain, coil, and put away, water pipes to blow out before frost (mine are lying on the grass, so they'll get nipped as soon as there is frost), more wood to chop, caulking to do here and there, rip up tired and non-productive plants and place them on the compost heap, and then there's the Honey-do list.

One thing that I had to get done over the summer was to remove the old layout in the basement entirely, but with a view to saving as much of the materials as possible.  Once it was out, I had to wash the walls with TSP, rinse, prime twice, and then paint two layers of the top coat.  Recently, had to fumigate the basement, and now we are going to rearrange everything, including cables for TV and internet, move my desk, and generally restoring the house for the rainy/windy/snow squall season looming.  Had two cords of firewood delivered, and it had to be piled in our side-shed, except that it needed mucking out itself.  So, lots on my plate, apart from starting another on-line course.  I figure I will be back in the loft by the first of October, Deo volente.   I can feel the spark coming back.  That can't be a bad sign. Cool

I wonder if I should put up some of my rail stock holdings for auction....

Crandell

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Posted by cudaken on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 12:26 AM

 If you are not going to build anything, sale the flex track you have stocked up!

 Hum, I thinking he went the way of slot cars my self. Laugh

I hate Rust

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Posted by sakel on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 10:55 PM

It's been a month, do something on the layout already!

Samuel A. Kelly

I can draw pictures with my keyboard!

-------- ( It's a worm)

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Posted by J.Rob on Saturday, September 15, 2012 7:47 AM

Here is a link to one of the web sites selling the stuff. I purchased some from a local hobby shop that recommended the product. Our club is in an old dusty building with poor climate control that is in the process of being given some climate control upgrades. We are only slightly ahead of a garden railroad in the dust and dirt area. We run track cleaners regularly but track is still filthy very quickly, also there is construction and continued refinements of scenery going on at a continuous rate. After applying the stuff in a few places and allowing the trains to track it around the layout stalling ends and slow speed operations improve as well. My next test of this miracle product will be in the yard area where we have some frogs that are as yet unpowered as well as track that has not been run very much.

  In short the only thing that was done was a few drops of this product on the rails in areas of stalling and the issues of stalling disappeared. The product was not used with a rail cleaning or loco cleaning or any other attempt to correct the issue. It seems to work fantastically and not produce a negative effect on traction. We ran 100 car trains on the club layout with 3 units and 85 car trains with 2 units curve radius 30 inches, grades 2% and in one short tight section the grade exceeds 3.5%. 

The stuff works and it only takes a bit. There may be other products that will produce the same results, I have not tried them so can not comment on any comparisons.

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Posted by cudaken on Friday, September 14, 2012 11:29 PM

  Come on Crandell, do something! Whistling

      Ken

I hate Rust

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Posted by Jaddie on Saturday, September 1, 2012 6:38 PM

Dear Crandell

I've enjoyed reading this thread. It's all over my head, but I've enjoyed the interaction and progress updates.

Thank you for giving me a very enjoyable hour this evening. I look forward to reading about your progress in the future.

--Jaddie

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Posted by selector on Friday, August 31, 2012 2:25 PM

I am interested, J. Rob.  Please post a link because others observing here are sure to be interested as well.  Thanks for raising it.

Crandell

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Posted by J.Rob on Thursday, August 30, 2012 10:28 PM

Crandell I have just begun using a product called never stall or neverstall can't remember precisely but it really works well. A few drops on the layout rails and things run fantastic, dirty rails and all. Due to this great product sound units, dc and dcc run with out a hitch. I have a post in another section regarding this on our club layout if you are interested. Benefits of a club layout.

Your build thread is one of the ones I follow every chance I get.

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Posted by Motley on Thursday, August 30, 2012 7:21 PM

cudaken

 Crandell, I am sure you have checked but I will ask anyway. Have you checked for low spots on the rails? I know you mainly run steam and they might be losing contact on the low section.

 Now get cracking! You seemed to have cause a shortage of Atlas Flex Track! Laugh

 Ken

 Crandell's the one who caused the shortage of track and cork roadbed? I knew it, I knew it!!! 

Michael


CEO-
Mile-HI-Railroad
Prototype: D&RGW Moffat Line 1989

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Posted by ndbprr on Monday, August 27, 2012 5:37 PM
How about serializing this topic? That way we won't have to leaf through past history. Call them like August 2012 or first quarter 2012.
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Posted by cudaken on Sunday, August 26, 2012 9:14 PM

 Crandell, I am sure you have checked but I will ask anyway. Have you checked for low spots on the rails? I know you mainly run steam and they might be losing contact on the low section.

 Now get cracking! You seemed to have cause a shortage of Atlas Flex Track! Laugh

 Ken

I hate Rust

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Posted by bogp40 on Sunday, August 26, 2012 12:17 PM

Crandall,  dirty rail etc, surely could be the trouble. All the dust and ?? from construction doesn't help.  Good there's no voltage drop.  Cooler weather's on the way as the summer winds down. Guess we'll look forward to some future progress soon.

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by selector on Friday, August 24, 2012 9:52 PM

IronGoat

I continue to be amazed by your progress and results.... it's really looking great, Crandell. ( 'Like the rest of the folks, I enjoy peeking "over the fence" at all the construction going on... ).

Bob

 

Thank-you, Sir. Big Smile  I have to admit to being in a bit of a funk lately, and probably largely due to seaonal impositions of various sorts, and for the reasons I alluded to earlier on about 'house-guests' and their problems.  I don't have magic fingers and can't make things change or disappear like I felt I could when I was much younger and full of hubris.  I am a bit wiser, and a bit more modest about my abilities...or maybe realistic is a better word.  LOL!!  Whatever the cause, I have lost my mojo.  I expect to recover it when the light changes to indicate winter is coming and I run out of things to occupy my time that are in the yard and garden....or upstairs.

Crandell

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Posted by selector on Friday, August 24, 2012 9:42 PM

Bob K., it is worthy of consideration.  Currently I have two bared 22 gauge wire ends wrapped around each screw and protruding down low enough that when the screw head acts as the bridge 'shoe', those wires should do the same as the brass wipers/blades.  So far, continuity checks bear that out.  It is just that the odd engine seems to dislike what it is getting from the rails.   When they stall, I immediately carefully and lightly check the voltage, and the voltage is correct.  So, I am inclined to think that my design and execution are sufficient for the moment, but that something about the double crossover or the condition of the rails, themselves, is the problem. (Or the engine and its wipers/cleanliness...) I continue to work on that until I am convinced that the rail cleanliness and jumpers provided by Walthers/Shinohara are not the concerns I think they are.

IOW, when I run out of patience, yes, I'll resort to another method of pickup.  Laugh

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Posted by MudHen_462 on Friday, August 24, 2012 3:03 PM

I continue to be amazed by your progress and results.... it's really looking great, Crandell. ( 'Like the rest of the folks, I enjoy peeking "over the fence" at all the construction going on... ).

Bob

 

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Posted by bogp40 on Friday, August 24, 2012 2:22 PM

Crandell, you may have the continuity on the liftout, but have you checked track voltage  once connected. I feel from back when you were figuring out the contact plate that you could end up w/ troubles there. Expansion/ contraction of the wood of the bridge and the receiving "craddle" could be where the problem lies. You may need to look into another method of contacts. How about fabricating something similar to the blade and contact that is used for circuit breakers within an electrical panel. The 2 springy contact blades of the breaker press onto the panel bus blade. This could be fabbed from bronze contacts on the bridge  to press over a brass blade mounted on the base. The sprinyness of the bronze contacts won't be affected by any movement of the benchwork or liftout. This is still better than the real pain of plugs.

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by selector on Friday, August 24, 2012 12:07 PM

I haven't added anything inside of about two months.  Too busy with seasonal stuff, and it is hot in the loft, although not stupid hot...thank goodness.

I seem to have gotten my track woes sorted out.  I had a superelevation to flat transition in front of one of my handlaid #8 turnouts that gave my new BLI Class A trouble going in one direction...away from the points.  I softened the ballast and got the high rail down a bit.  Seems to have worked.  All other areas work fine for all locos I have tested (Class A, Allegheny, Niagara, J, J1, and Fairbanks Morse Trainmaster).  My biggest dreads all along have been my liftout bridge at the sliding door entrance (with new sliding screen door) and the handlaid custom two-way turnout, particularly with Northerns and long passenger cars.  I seem to have made a reliable turnout because I haven't had a single derailment there.  The liftout is a bit iffy at times with continuity, and I'm not sure it is due to the jumpers/engineering under the #6 W/S double crossover or my copper feeder wire contacts wrapped around small wood screws that are the bridge shoes.  The meter shows good continuity, but my engines stall sometimes.  Not sure what to make of that.  As far as the engineering of the liftout, itself, I'd say it works very well, and the continuity tests seem to bear me out.  I have to back out or screw in one screw sometimes to get the rail heights to match, but it isn't onerous or complicated.

I am nearing the end of the hot season, and my schedule will return to the point where I can begin to figure out how to commence the scenery applications, and where to start it.  As I change things substantially, or improve them, I will begin to post more reports and photos.  Not long now...

Crandell

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Posted by slow train Ed on Friday, August 24, 2012 10:49 AM

ok It's been 2 weeks sence anything said so I gona ask.Did you get the trouble spots fixed and if possible can we get an updated picture ???

alow trian Ed

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Posted by cudaken on Thursday, August 2, 2012 5:56 PM

 Thank you for the up date Crandell

 Trouble shooting the rails, boy I am in that boat right now. Bang Head My new Santa Fe F7's are picking everything thing in sight!

 Ken

I hate Rust

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Posted by selector on Thursday, August 2, 2012 1:08 AM

It has been a busy summer so far, but I finally managed to lay the last three lengths of rails to close my looped twinned mains, and I am now looking for trouble spots.  I had some niggling fears that my hardest-working locomotive, my NYC Niagara, would not be able to tow two BLI reefers and six Walthers heavyweights up my steepest grade.  Happily, I needn't have worried....YAY!!!

Unfortunately, I have also entered my trouble-shooting stage and there isn't a better locomotive and consist to find all the spots.  I had to solder two joiners I had forgotten about to get continuity past a Peco turnout, and I found a low outside rail on a curve leading to my custom handlaid curved #9 turnout that I recycled from the last layout.  The BLI Niagara's first driver on the inside rail kept slipping inside the rails because the outer flange was losing contact with the outer rail's head.  It will dry over night after wetting the ballast over a 9" length of track and tamping more ballast under the outer tie ends for more height.  I'll resume high speed testing tomorrow to see where the other trouble spots are.  So far, though, I'd give myself a B+ on track laying.  When I can get the NYC consist around both mains at limited speed, I'll switch to other large engines, notably the Lionel Challenger and the Sunset Selkirk 2-10-4.  I already know the BLI Pennsy J1 will go around as I tested that about 7 weeks ago.

When this phase is done, probably over the next week and a bit, I can unlax and think about backdrop and scenery.  Right now it's all fuzzy.

Crandell

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Posted by Blue Flamer on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 5:15 PM

selector

Thanks, Blue Flamer.   I think the whole bunch ganged up on me to teach me a good lesson, and that is that if you think you're too old to do something, you're probably right.  With some good will, though, friends and relatives can disabuse you of such notions.  My wife was in on it right up to her neck.  LOL!

Crandell

Crandell.

There is an old saying that goes, "If you think that you can do something or you can't do something, you are probably right".  In my case, I know that I could not do what you did. The reason being that when you get demoted from carving the Holiday Buzzards by your kids because you can only hold the carving knife between your thumb and forefinger of your right hand, you know that you have a problem. Now, my son-in-law and my grandaughter's fiance do the hacking while I can only sit and watch.

Again, congrats. on your climb.

Blue Flamer. 

"There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness"." Dave Barry, Syndicated Columnist. "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes." Doctor Who.
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Posted by sakel on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 5:14 PM

bump

Samuel A. Kelly

I can draw pictures with my keyboard!

-------- ( It's a worm)

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Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, July 14, 2012 6:48 PM

Brent

"All of the world's problems are the result of the difference between how we think and how the world works."

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Posted by bogp40 on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 11:27 PM

Crandell, quite a video of that climb. Must hand it to you you did rather well. Some fantastic scenery. Thought you were getting some "up close" ideas for rock castings/ carving on the layout!

Does bring back some fond memories of some climbs years ago. Don't think I have the endurance/ stamina to attempt that now even though I'm still in quite fit. You only have a year on me.  Kudos to you..

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 6:03 PM

Thanks, Blue Flamer.   I think the whole bunch ganged up on me to teach me a good lesson, and that is that if you think you're too old to do something, you're probably right.  With some good will, though, friends and relatives can disabuse you of such notions.  My wife was in on it right up to her neck.  LOL!

Crandell

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Posted by Blue Flamer on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 11:38 AM

Crandell.

I just watched your video of your rock climbing escapade. I only have two things to say to you about your efforts.

1) Well done.Thumbs UpThumbs UpBowBow

2) When you were being conceived and were told to get in that lineup for brains, you must have thought that they said PAINS and you told them that you didn't want any.Laugh

One question. Did S W M B O authorize the climb and if she did, you had better check to see if she has increased the payout on your life insurance policy.Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh

Blue Flamer.

"There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness"." Dave Barry, Syndicated Columnist. "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes." Doctor Who.
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Posted by selector on Monday, July 9, 2012 8:13 PM

Hi, Ken.  Thanks for the shout.  Big Smile   As I feared, this past month has been a real bear in terms of commitments.  I was away for my 60th birthday for a week, and have a daughter and family moving across the country in a few days.  We have been providing babysitting support for them while they deal with that task and all it involves.  I have made two trips to the dump just today to clear out our garage from a year's accumulation of stuff that can't be placed in recycling bins or in our weekly household garbage. 

I am wrapping up a large course of students whose instructors had to go away on other duties, so that doubles my on-line work that way.  This time of year, there is yard tractor work and maintenance, gardening, hose moving, etc.

I will return to the loft in the next couple of weeks.  I appreciate your interest, but...I gotta do what I gotta do.  BTW, I went to Calgary for my 60th to see my youngest and her friends, people I have known for 30 years.  They had me up on a paddle board doing stand-up paddling, and I even did two pitches of rock climbing in the Kananaskis Valley the next day.  You can see the video from my GoPro headcam here:  (Note, I have not done either activity, so both were firsts.  Some discomfort, to say the least.  This video was of my second climb.)

Turn up your volume.  The camera is HD quality, so click on the cogged wheel in the lower bar and select the highest quality from the rising menu.  The camera is inside a waterproof case, meaning the audio is poor quality and low...so do turn the volume well up to hear me gasping and groaning.  My knees were bruised and cut up, something seasoned and experienced climbers know not to allow.

The guy you see turning on the camera is my good friend Paul with whom I have run marathons and shorter races in years past. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri0HrK0XwhU&feature=relmfu

Crandell

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Posted by cudaken on Monday, July 9, 2012 5:19 PM

 You give up Crandell? Laugh Last up date was 6-19.

 Hope things are going well on the home front.

              Ken

I hate Rust

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Posted by Medina1128 on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 8:19 AM

I don't know if Crandell's ever posted a link to his photobucket album, but by using the information from one of his pictures, I found one (I think).

Crandell's layout

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 11:14 AM

I haven't run trains in almost a year, Ken, at this point.  I do miss it, but I don't.   The last layout was history two years ago as far as I am concerned.  So, while it is mighty lean in terms of train enjoyment these months, it gives me something to look forward to, which I am feeling, but it also keeps me intent upon continuing to build the layout, even after long intervals such as the one I am experiencing.

Crandell

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