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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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  • Member since
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  • From: Heart of Georgia
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Posted by Doughless on Monday, November 28, 2022 9:54 AM

Very interesting update Mark.  Your redesign prompted by the operations discovery was handled very well.  I hope it makes for an even more satisfying layout that wouldn't have happened without the additional information.

Good luck with the heart.  Sounds like you've had plenty of discussions about it with doctors.  I had PVCs come on about three years ago.  At times they were disruptive when I laid on my left side...annoyed me so much I had trouble falling asleep.

I went on small dose BP medicine and eliminated caffeinated drinks, and I haven't had them in over a year.  

- Douglas

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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, November 26, 2022 7:10 PM

I have AFIB too.  I think the doctors were was too eager to do an ablation and charge the insurance company and Medicare for it.  When I got out of the OR my heart rate was about 30 and the next step was a pacemaker.  The AFIB came back a couple of years later.  Did this do me any good?  Seriously, I would probably be better without it.  My cardiologist now isn't worried and is much less of an interventionist.

This cardiologist is also an electrophysiologist so he understands my pacemaker.  I get along well with him.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, November 26, 2022 6:51 PM

hon30critter
I think the final version of the Greybull yard is fantastic and very well thought out. I like the idea of using the main line as the yard lead. It appeals to my devious side Smile, Wink & GrinMischief. It will create some fun during your operating sessions. Every time your Greybull yard master wants to use the main you can throw a special at him!MischiefLaughLaugh

Smile, Wink & Grin Thanks Dave! I do have some seasonal trains that might work well as a monkey wrench...

I sincerely hope that your heart issues can be resolved. If you end up with a pacemaker you will have to be very wary of getting a shock from the layout.

richhotrain
Mark, go see your doctor today. "The last few days" is too many days for such a condition to go unchecked.

Thanks for the concern, Dave and Rich. I've had afib on and off (mostly off) since early 2014. I see a cardiologist regularly. So far they've said it's not dangerous. 

I had the last bout in Feb 2020, just a few months after I moved back to Wyoming. Almost three years without anything, then about six weeks ago it came back with a vengance. Saw the cardiologist - he said to see an electrophysiologist (specialist who deals with the electrical side of the heart) when he comes to town from Salt Lake next month. Probably will recommend an ablation, but we'll see.

I occasionally also have another arrhythmia - PVCs (premature ventricular contractions). Almost everybody gets this occasionally - colloquially known as "heart skips a beat." This has happened at the same time as the afib on two separate occasions now, including Sunday night. I went to the ER Sunday night as a precaution, and the doctor again said nothing going on is dangerous. Sure is unsettling though.

Again, thanks for the concern. If you never hear from me again, you'll know the doc was wrong. SurpriseWhistling

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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, November 25, 2022 5:00 AM

Pruitt

The last few days I've been experiencing some atrial fibrillation(!) so work has slowed a bit

Mark, go see your doctor today. "The last few days" is too many days for such a condition to go unchecked.

Rich

Alton Junction

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, November 24, 2022 10:31 PM

Hi Mark,

Interesting developments (except for the heart stuff!!!Bang Head).

I think the final version of the Greybull yard is fantastic and very well thought out. I like the idea of using the main line as the yard lead. It appeals to my devious side Smile, Wink & GrinMischief. It will create some fun during your operating sessions. Every time your Greybull yard master wants to use the main you can throw a special at him!MischiefLaughLaugh

I sincerely hope that your heart issues can be resolved. If you end up with a pacemaker you will have to be very wary of getting a shock from the layout. One of the members at my old club had a pacemaker so we set some very strict procedures for turning the power on to the layout. Losing a decoder is one thing, but losing a member is a whole 'nother kettle of fish! Sorry for the black humour.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,219 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 8:14 PM

Thanks Dave, Ray!

23 November 2022

Right after the operating session I turned bak to scenery west of Casper. The area around Powder River was just too flat to look right, so I added some low hills at the backdrop. Here I've hot glued the first bit of hilly foam in place:

And here's Powder River with the new hills painted and grouted.

On November 7th I added static grass to the hills, and also dirtied up the ground between the siding and mainline a bit. I haven't done anything else in the area since then.

Also early in the month I began laying out Himes Curve. This is the tightest mainline curve on the layout, at 28 inch radius. I would have preferred to stay with my typical 30 inch radius, but a solid wall left me no choice.

This curve represents the real Himes Curve, though on the layout it curves the opposite direction of the real one:

The longest wheelbase steamer that could navigate this 10-degree curve (one degree sharper than Horseshoe Curve in Pennsylvania) was a Mikado. Northerns could not make the curve. Even today, trains are limited to 10 mph here. Dave told me he could feel the trucks on the six axle SD's he used to run through here buck and jump on the curve, though he never did have a derailment.

At this point work on the layout came to an unexpected screeching halt for about two weeks. I learned that my operating concept, which I thought I had based solidly on prototype operations on the line, was seriously flawed!

I thought all local trains came out of Casper on the division, and I was very chagrined to learn that all of them came out of Greybull for the entire Big Horn Basin, including the Cody branch! I spent a lot of time for nearly two weeks looking at how I could incorporate the changes in my scheme, and how that would impact the track plan. Dave (who had been the bearer of this bad news) and I spent hours on the phone and in emails going back and forth about what might be possible to do without major revision to already-built parts of the layout.

Greybull had been envisioned as just another switching location on the layout. I knew there's been an engine facility in Greybull during my modeling era, but I had left that out of the master layout plan. Greybull also had a yard, and that was left out as well. I hadn't yet detailed out the track arrangement for Greybull; I've been doing that for each town as I approached it during construction. But it would be similar to what I came up with for Thermopolis, here:

[NOTE: All these diagrams are much more readable if you click on them to enlarge them]

Now I would need to include the yard and engine facilities at Greybull if I was to model operations as they were really done, so I spent the next several days working out how to fit everything in the spot allocated for Greybull. With Dave's input I came up with a few variations on Greybull:

None of these or several other arrangements were satisfactory. There just wasn't enough room to build the trains I needed (thanks in large part to a very inconveniently placed supporting column)! Then I began thinking about train routing and traffic flows. I wondered if I might be able to combine Greybull with the Frannie and Orin interchange yards. The Frannie-Orin combined yard had a lot more length along one wall than Greybull did on the peninsula. So I did a schematic of train movements along the entire line. Here's the first one, with all trains originating from Casper in my original concept:

Here's the second one, with local trains originating in Greybull in its original location:

And here's the final one, showing train routing from a combined Orin / Greybull / Frannie yard:

Three major things to note:

  1. Moving Greybull opened up another spot for a town I had omitted in the original plan - Basin. This makes the eastbound local out of Greybull much better;
  2. Greybull has the length to allow trains to be built on one track (see the following layout of the new Greybull), rather than breaking them up onto two separate tracks. Also, the stub-end tracks have much greater capacity; and
  3. This is maybe the most important. On all the other concepts, trains to Cody had to make an unprotypical turn-around move at Frannie to go down the Cody branch. Now the train will leave Greybull headed in the right direction. No more turning around mid-route.

 

Here's the new (and semi-final) Greybull arrangement:

If you study the yard a bit, you'll find there's no yard lead. This is prototypical. On the Casper Division of the CB&Q, the mainline was used as a yard lead by the switch crews. Really!

While I was reworking the track plan anyway, I took the time to revise the Cody branch design to move Powell under Worland and eliminate a bunch of hidden trackage. I also completely redesigned the west and east staging to straighten out traffic flow into staging and eliminate another bunch of hidden track.

Finally, with all the redesign work behind me, I got started on construction again. On the 17th of November I installed the benchwork supporting Himes Curve (leg on the left is temporary):

On the 20th Himes Curve subroadbed was in, and on the 21st I began installing the subroadbed for the Cody branch and East staging as well.

The last few days I've been experiencing some atrial fibrillation(!) so work has slowed a bit, but I am spending some time assembling a large group of hoppers (in Burlington and Northwestern liveries) to be used as beet hoppers for Holly Sugar. Here's the first batch in process:

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, November 4, 2022 3:24 AM

Hi Mark,

Thanks for another very interesting video. Watching the close up view of the train going through the curve was very entertaining even if it was brief. I much prefer the trackside views of running trains vs cab views. Cab videos would benefit from having a much wider field of view imho, but I don't know if that is even possible in a train mounted camera.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    March 2013
  • 418 posts
Posted by Colorado Ray on Thursday, November 3, 2022 7:14 PM

Great update, Mark.  I'm in awe of your prairie grass.  Wish I still lived in Colorado. I'd gladly make the drive to Casper to be part of your operating crew. 

Ray

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, November 3, 2022 6:15 PM

Thanks Dave, Rich!

You know Rich, I didn't know any of these guys three years ago. If you check around the area a bit, you might find some folks who would enjoy operating your layout with you (if you're so inclined). The entire metro area (if you can call it that) of Casper is only about 80,000 people. That's smaller than most of the country. Maybe where you live has enough people within driving distance to make a crewed ops session possible.

3 November 2022

I just posted my latest video update:

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, October 31, 2022 5:36 AM

Pruitt

On 25 October, last Tuesday, I held my first full-up operating session. I took the time to stage three trains (one is a passenger train - a Doodlbug with trailer) in Casper yard the night before, so that the session would start out quickly.

And Tuesday afternoon the layout came to life! From front to back we have Larry, who took on the chore of switching the Casper industries, Phil, who served as Casper yardmaster, Frank, who never has attended an operating session before so just watched, and Harry, who was running the CNW local.

There were several others in attendance as well, including my good friend and retired railroad engineer Dave from Basin. He took on the chore of switching Holly Sugar. When we run sessions set in autumn Holly Sugar will be a madhouse, handling trainload after trainload of beets.  

Mark, you are very fortunate to have personal friends to operate your layout with you. As a lone wolf, I can only imagine such an opportunity to share my love of this hobby. I have never been a member of a train club and surely at this stage never will, but I doubt that a club would offer the level of enjoyment that a session with your buddies would. You are to be envied.

Rich

Alton Junction

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 30, 2022 10:29 PM

Hi Mark,

Everything looks great! Congratulations on hosting your first formal operating session!!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,219 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, October 30, 2022 10:22 PM

30 October 2022

Over the last couple weeks I've finished Worland trackage, including the Holly Sugar complex, except for Crown Cork & Seal. Here's the mess I made while installing the Holly Sugar siding and leads.


Here's Holly Sugar trackage completed. Only the spur on the left is glued down at this point - the two beet delivery tracks at the right will be elevated over the beet pits by about 12 scale feet, and the molasses loading, coal and lime delivery track, the 2nd from the left, will be open below the tracks where the coal dump is.

Here I am checking the reach for uncoupling cars. The beet tracks will take cuts of cars, with no uncoupling required between cars, so I'll be able to set the couplers to delay mode back at the switch (where the soldering iron is) and push the cars up the low trestles. I'll have to do the same thing with the coal deliveries, since the main plant will be between that track and the aisleway.

I also added feature names to the fascia in some spots, plus mounted throttle pockets and cup holders. Here we're looking towards the yard ladder in Casper.

On 25 October, last Tuesday, I held my first full-up operating session. I took the time to stage three trains (one is a passenger train - a Doodlbug with trailer) in Casper yard the night before, so that the session would start out quickly.

And Tuesday afternoon the layout came to life! From front to back we have Larry, who took on the chore of switching the Casper industries, Phil, who served as Casper yardmaster, Frank, who never has attended an operating session before so just watched, and Harry, who was running the CNW local.

There were several others in attendance as well, including my good friend and retired railroad engineer Dave from Basin. He took on the chore of switching Holly Sugar. When we run sessions set in autumn Holly Sugar will be a madhouse, handling trainload after trainload of beets. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, October 10, 2022 11:36 PM

10 October 2022

In September I spent just a few hours working on the prairie between Casper and Powder River. Here's what things looked like in early September:

By 14 September I added a few more inches of grass. Powder River is off frame to the right.

By the end of September I'd added more layers of scenery. That new area of grass is closest to the camera in this shot:

But I spent most of the past month working on Worland. About the middle of the month I had cork sheeting over the entire area:

By the 24th I had the trackage through the center of town laid, wired and fully tested. Still to come is the Holly Sugar complex in the far distance (in the dark corner), and Crown Cork & Seal off the turnout on the right near the camera.

Crown Cork & Seal will have the tightest curves on the layout - about 18 inch radius. This is in keeping with the real spur to the facility:

According to my retired BNSF engineer friend, when switching Crown Cork & Seal they could manage to get one Geep through the curves to the facility, but the SD's were too large and could not take the curves.

In early October I built the bench top for Holly Sugar. Support brackets:

And completed platform:

I'm using foam for this area because the beet flume is partially below ground level. It's a lot easier to carve a trench into foam than into plywood!

After the Holly Sugar benchwork was finished, I thought I'd better start building my beet hopper fleet. I began by completing a set of six hoppers. Here's one of them:

And today I started constructing the turnouts I'll need for the sugar plant trackage.

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 7:40 PM

hon30critter
I think I might be patron #1.

Cheers!!

Dave

Yes Dave, you are! Thanks!

Fortunately, you're not "the one and only."

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, October 3, 2022 7:40 PM

Hi Mark,

More great progress despite the stomach issues. Sorry about that.

I think I might be patron #1.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,219 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Monday, October 3, 2022 5:32 PM

3 October 2022

I just posted my latest layout update video:

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 7:16 AM

pt714

I model southern CO, where sagebrush also abounds. I've tried a bunch of sagebrush techniques, and like the sisal rope (it's great for huge WY brush, I think I first saw it as an O scale technique.) The approach that has fit my needs best so far for smaller brush came from Rob Spangler-- as I remember it, he used 3M grey scrubbing pads that were cut up, pulled and teased apart to make the branch structure, then Super 77 and a sprinkle of the right sage-color ground foam. That might be a good way to make a lot of brush quickly, so you can get that vast expanse covered!

Phil

Same here except western CO into eastern Utah:

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, September 5, 2022 10:52 PM

Thanks Dave, Rich (partially) and Don!

Bear, I'll be reporting your family to the EPA, so they can keep an eye on any US relatives.

Rich, don't get used to it - next month I'll be back to the same old grungy clothes I usually wear. Thanks for the very kind words otherwise Cool! After the comments from you and Don, my ego is threatening to explode like an overinflated balloon!

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Posted by tankertoad135 on Sunday, September 4, 2022 1:15 PM

Another outstanding video Mr. Pruitt!!  You continue to astound me with your dedicated approach to layout construction and ensuring quality in your work.  Your videos are a definite motivation for others of us regarding how to plan and build a model railroad!! Bow

Don; Prez, CEO or whatever of the Wishram, Oregon and Western RRGeeked

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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, September 4, 2022 6:55 AM

Finally a decent looking shirt, but I would expect no less from the Casper Division Public Relations Manager.  Smile, Wink & Grin

With all due respect to a few other forum members with outstanding layouts, yours surpasses all the others in my personal view. The construction of the layout, its sheer size, and the video updates all combine to capture my interest like no other.

If the forum were presenting awards for Outstanding Layout, yours would get my vote. I hope that you never actually finish the layout because I would miss your video updates. I bet your buddy Dave is shaking in his boots as your layout progresses. 

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, September 4, 2022 5:49 AM
Thanks again Mark for the update. Always good to see progress, besides Her-in-Doors finds your presentation style very presentable. I agree and not just because I have too to keep in her good books!!
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile
 
MOCX by Bear, on Flickr

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,466 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, September 3, 2022 11:16 PM

Hi Mark,

Your videos continue to hold my interest. I look forward to them every month!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,219 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, September 3, 2022 10:55 PM

3 September 2022

I posted this month's layout update:

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 10:03 PM

16 August 2022

The last nine days have seen some progress on the layout, notably on the Worland / Greybull peninsula.

On the 8th I finished the benchwork by adding the last section (nearest the camera). Now it's ready for some subroadbed and track!

On the 14th I carved subroadbed out of a couple of sheets of 1/2" plywood and began test fitting them flat on the benchwork.

I was going to begin building the subroadbed for Worland, but common sense prevailed (unusual in my train room!) and I began working on the Cody branch first, which will be located underneath Worland and Greybull. 

On the 15th I connected all the subroadbed pieces together and began raising the line to the proper elevations. In the following photo, in the far distance (the curve to the right to nowhere), the line dives under Greybull and Worland (coming towards the camera) with just under 4" of clearance. It descends on a 2 1/4% grade all around the peninsula.

Today I finished the subroadbed underneath Worland and through the tunback curve.

My track plan has Powell (the first town on the Cody branch out of Frannie) on a deck below Powder River, but depending on how the clearances look I may move it to under Greybull instead. I think the clearance to Greybull will be too low to work well, but we'll see how it looks once I have the Worland to Greybull turnback curve in place.

After the benchwork was finished but before I started the subroadbed I paused for a few days to build this tank car kit from Intermountain Railway. This was a series of special kits manufactured for the NMRA's Rocky Mountain Regoin back in 2002. I "inherited" five of the kits from someone who decided they weren't going to use them. This is the first one, all weathered and ready to go. Looks like that baby has a few miles on it!

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, August 7, 2022 9:09 PM

Thanks Bear, Dave! I was afraid the roof looked too garish. "Subtle" never crossed my mind.

7 August 2022

The past few days I've spent ripping two sheets of 3/4" plywood down to 3" wide strips (in a stiflingly hot garage!). and building most of the benchwork for the Worland / Greybull peninsula.

There's one small section left to add in the foreground, plus a couple more legs. Tomorrow, maybe.

I also have spent a couple hours adding static grass in a small area just west of Casper. This is only the first layer. Yet to coe are low bushes, weeds and sagebrush. Hopefully it get more realistic as I go.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,466 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, August 4, 2022 10:32 AM

Hi Mark,

Another interesting video! The pallet company looks good! I don't envy your having to make so much sage brush, but you have a great work ethic so I'm sure it won't take you long.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 5,490 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Thursday, August 4, 2022 4:40 AM

Roof1 by Bear, on Flickr

 

Nicely done, Mark. I’m not sure if you were going for subtlety, but if you were, you’ve nailed it.Thumbs UpThumbs Up
Thanks for Her-in-Doors and my monthly CB & Q fix.
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,219 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 8:10 PM

3 August 2022

I just uploaded my latest layout update video:

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, July 23, 2022 7:04 AM

Pruitt
Both markers do show the same indication. The Light It will only drive one LED per output, so it takes two outputs, which by default are functions 1 and 2. The outputs can be remapped to a different function number, but as far as I know both outputs cannot be mapped to the same function. So each marker is activated by a different function.

I have to say that I find it a bit disappointing that the Light It can only handle a single LED per output. LEDs do not draw a lot of power so I will suggest politely that they need to up their game (no criticism of your use of the module intended).

In my cabooses I use a circuit designed by Mark R which delivers constant lighting to the marker lights as well as a light inside the conductor's cubicle. The lights are controlled by a magnetic latching reed switch.

Here is the wiring diagram:

The fact that the capacitor is rated lower than the track voltage doesn't matter, but you can use a higher voltage capacitor if you choose. The reed switch is optional. You could use a manual switch. In fact, finding the latching magnetic reed switches may prove to be rather difficult given the age of the technology.

I'm not suggesting that you change your methodology, but my option may prove interesting for some viewers.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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