Layout alterations....
#1
...to accommodate the addition of a partial second level.

While it was always my intention to have a partial second level for my layout, it was a number of years before it was added, and I hadn't realised, in the planning stages, how it might affect the portion of the layout beneath it.

One issue was accessibility to manually-controlled turnouts (Caboose Industries ground throws) which were all easily reachable and viewable when the layout was on one level, but some of which became difficult to reach or see when the second level was added and with trains on the lower level, now in the way, unable to see over them due to the upper level blocking the view. 

I had long considered the use of powered or otherwise remotely-controlled devices for these problem turnouts, but only recently have begun to address them.

Recently, there was mayhem at Lowbanks when crews arrived to do trackwork.  For some time now, since the addition of the partial upper level of my layout, some turnouts on the area below have become more difficult to reach, especially when trains or rolling stock are in the way. 

The plan was to replace the Caboose Industries ground throws (which otherwise operate perfectly well) with fascia-mounted controls, either via electric motors or mechanical means, like the BluePoint devices.  While most of the track is on 3/4" cut-out plywood subroadbed, nearby scenery, and the turntable have somewhat unconventional support by a mishmash of on-hand materials.

Here's an aerial view (courtesy of Secord Air Services) taken before the second level was in place, showing the area where the incident took place.  Just visible over the roof of the Lowbanks Shops, and behind the combine parked at the station, is a pair of turnouts which form a crossover between the north and south mains.  Those two turnouts were the ones to be updated, using Rapido's  Rail Crew turnout motors...

[Image: S0141835.jpg]

These motors mount next to the turnout being controlled, and require a suitably-sized hole (1.125" diameter) to be drilled 1" from the nearest rail.  I used a 1.125" spade bit in my cordless Dewalt impact driver, and was fortunate to not hit any screws or nails during the drilling. 
However, I was surprised by the "collateral damage"....

...this one's just over an inch deep...

[Image: 100_8610.jpg]

[Image: 100_8613.jpg]

...while this one's over 2" deep, due to the aforementioned mishmash of materials....

[Image: 100_8611.jpg]

In addition to the wood chips (how much woodchips could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck chips), LPBs, vehicles, and many not-nailed-down or otherwise secured details, some up to 6' away, were dancing all over the place.  They're currently in piles scattered about the area.

Most of the wood chips have been vacuumed-up and the two RailCrew motors are in place and are, after a considerable amount of adjustment, functioning, but still need to be permanently wired to a power source and a fascia-mounted switch.  I hope to be able to control both motors from the same switch, as neither should be used without the other.

[Image: 100_8616.jpg]

[Image: 100_8615.jpg]

Headblocks and working switchstands still need to be added, then the motors will be covered-over with ballast.

I have another eight turnouts to modify on the lower level of the layout,. and at least three on the upper level, although that will increase when the industries are built in some of the not-yet-started towns.

I have two more of the RailCrew motors (got all four at a good price of ten bucks apiece when a nearby - five minute drive - hobbyshop closed). 

I also have four Fulgurex stall-motor turnout devices, thank to a generous modeller on the MR Forums, who gave them to me free.  I had used one on a previous layout, about 45 years ago, to control a scratchbuilt curved turnout (roughly a #12, or perhaps a bit longer) with a moveable frog.  At that time, the turnout motor cost over $20.00 apiece.  It worked beautifully.

I've already added one of the Blue Point turnout devices on the upper level of the layout, although have not yet added the control rod for it.  Installation was very easy, and I have another 15 of them on hand. 

These remaining devices will be used wherever they'll be most appropriate, relative to both the layout construction methods and materials, and ease (or difficulty) of access.

F'rinstance, this turnout, near Chippawa Creek and on the outskirts of Elfrida...

[Image: BarneySecordfliestheGrandValley-ErieNorthshore031.jpg]


....has been fitted with one of the Fulgurex machines, but I cannot get it to work due to the benchwork modifications needed when Chippawa Creek was added.
I'm hoping to remove it from beneath the layout, and perhaps use it on-layout for the same turnout, hopefully disguised by scenery or in a structure.

There are lots of other turnouts needing attention, and I'll deal with them here as time permits.

Wayne
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#2
Wayne:
I bought one of the Rail Crew motors and a spade bit to fit.
I have two roadblocks to installing it. First, I don't see a convenient hookup for a Peco switch. I can probably fake that.
I don't understand the wiring stuff that was provided. Especially the weird connector.

It would be a useful motor as I have 1 3/4" space between the roadbed and the L-girder right under it.
David
Moderato ma non troppo
Perth & Exeter Railway Company
Esquesing & Chinguacousy Radial Railway
In model railroading, there are between six and two hundred ways of performing a given task.
Most modellers can get two of them to work.
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#3
Shocked 
Doc---it looks like a tornado hit Lowbanks  Eek ---thankfully the damage was repairable
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#4
(02-28-2020, 08:45 PM)BR60103 Wrote: ...I have two roadblocks to installing it. First, I don't see a convenient hookup for a Peco switch. I can probably fake that.
I don't understand the wiring stuff that was provided. Especially the weird connector.

It would be a useful motor as I have 1 3/4" space between the roadbed and the L-girder right under it.

Depending on the particular Peco switch, you may have to fabricate a somewhat different wire than the one supplied.  The Peco switches that I have include an extension on the throw bar that may not be a good fit (too loose) for the supplied wire link.  Here's a photo...

[Image: 100_8622.jpg]

While they're not among the ones needing to be powered, I'd cut off the extension and either create a longer wire or locate the motor proportionally closer to the switch.

The connector for the wiring threw me at first, too, but I did sorta figure it out...

[Image: 100_8623.jpg]

The green block is for solid wire (not stranded), and all you need to do is strip the insulation off the ends of the wire, then push it into the proper holes - to power the motor, use the holes which match-up to the red and black wires on the other side of the plug device.  The bare prongs on the other side of the green connector block also correspond to the holes in the green block and to the respective wires on the other side.  I'm guessing that these are simply options to allow either plug-in or soldered-on wire connections.
The yellow thingies on the green block are releases for the wire installed in the the holes.  If you need to remove a wire from the block, simply press down on the yellow thingy for that particular wire.

While I'm going to use the plug-in feature to power one of the motors, I'll use the corresponding solder points to add jumpers to the second motor, at the same time reversing them, polarity-wise, so that when the circuit is energised, each turnout will operate in the same manner - either both as straight-through routes of their respective tracks or as a crossover, from one track to the other.  I think I have it figured out, but we'll see when I'm lying on my back under the layout, with a soldering iron in my hand.  
I probably should have done the soldering before installing the motors, but it took way too long to adjust the motors orientation to their respective turnouts, for optimum performance, so they're not coming out.

Wayne
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#5
Your layout is beautiful, really made a mess drilling those holes, hopefully it will not be as messy going forward.
Mike

Sent from my pocket calculator using two tin cans and a string
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#6
(02-28-2020, 10:14 PM)doctorwayne Wrote: ....we'll see when I'm lying on my back under the layout, with a soldering iron in my hand.  
I probably should have done the soldering before installing the motors, but it took way too long to adjust the motors orientation to their respective turnouts, for optimum performance, so they're not coming out.

Wayne

It turned out that there was no need to be lying on my back, waiting for melted solder to drip onto me - the white portion of the plug assembly, with the soldering points, is detachable.  I simply unplugged it, did the soldering to add the wires, then plugged in back in.
By reversing the wires to the second motor, applying power switches the routing on both tracks from run-through to crossover, and vice-versa.

More gaping-hole drilling to be done today, one near the hard-to-see back of the locomotive shop, and another near the road to the Lowbanks station.

Here's the one near the road to the station (and close to the backdrop), as seen from several different angles...

[Image: Foe-toesfromfirstcd231-1.jpg]

[Image: Foe-toesfromTrainBrainsecondcd04-1.jpg]

[Image: More%20layout%20views...%20016.jpg]

[Image: More%20layout%20views...%20019_1.jpg]

...while the one near the shop is very close to the building and to the backdrop....

[Image: Foe-toesfromTrainPhotos2007third-20.jpg]

[Image: 100_8626.jpg]

I figured, since I need to remove all sorts of stuff for drilling the next two holes, that I might as well throw in this interior view of the Lowbanks shop, too...

[Image: 100_8624.jpg]

I should also mention that the 1.125" hole needed for the switch motor is a loose fit.  Rapido recommends shimming it in place, but I found that the shims drop out as the motor is rotated when trying to align it for optimum performance.  I decided to instead cut a strip of .005" sheet styrene to a width equal to the height of the motor 6'6"(HO) and about 30'(HO) long.  I affixed one end to the plastic motor case using solvent-type cement, then wrapped it around the motor, lapping it over the portion already cemented to the motor, and used more solvent cement to secure it.
This creates a fairly snug fit in the 1.125" hole, but still allows the motor to be rotated when adjusting its position for best performance.

Wayne
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#7
Thanks, Wayne.

Now I need to see if that big bridge rectifier (that's still in its package) works.
David
Moderato ma non troppo
Perth & Exeter Railway Company
Esquesing & Chinguacousy Radial Railway
In model railroading, there are between six and two hundred ways of performing a given task.
Most modellers can get two of them to work.
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#8
I'm using a wall wart to power the RailCrew motors - it works fine operating the two in-tandem ones already in place, and the other two will each have their own switch, so there'll be no excessive load on it.
I may use it to also power the Fulgurex machines, as other than the two RailCrew machines already in place, it needs to activate only one motor at a time. 

It does look like the Fulgurex motors will be spread around the layout, though, one for the failed attempt near Chippawa Creek, and two to operate Walthers/Shinohara curved turnouts on the upper level.  They currently use Caboose Industries ground throws, but the longer travel of the Fulgurex should afford more positive movement of the points.

The one Tortoise motor that I'm using, on the wye in Dunnville and in operation since the layout was built, also runs on a wall wart, although its output is only 9 volts.  Rapido recommends 12 volts at at least 1 amp, which is the output of the one I'm using.

All are leftovers from various devices no longer in use, although when I was trying to figure out the wiring for the switch last night, I accidentally fried a nice one (formerly used on a printer) when the bared ends of its two wires touched. 35

Wayne
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#9
(03-01-2020, 11:52 AM)doctorwayne Wrote: ...All are leftovers from various devices no longer in use, although when I was trying to figure out the wiring for the switch last night, I accidentally fried a nice one (formerly used on a printer) when the bared ends of its two wires touched. 35

Wayne

The incident mention in the quote got me wondering why that wall wart would no longer work, so, with only a little difficulty, I managed to open the case and discovered....a glass-encased fuse, similar to those formerly used in automobiles, which the short caused when the two wires touched, blew the fuse.

I unsoldered it from the circuit board, and replaced it with...an automotive fuse of similar rating.  It's now functioning as before.

Wayne
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#10
(03-05-2020, 12:21 AM)doctorwayne Wrote: The incident mention in the quote got me wondering why that wall wart would no longer work, so, with only a little difficulty, I managed to open the case and discovered....a glass-encased fuse, similar to those formerly used in automobiles, which the short caused when the two wires touched, blew the fuse.

I unsoldered it from the circuit board, and replaced it with...an automotive fuse of similar rating.  It's now functioning as before.

Wayne

All wall warts have some kind of fuse. Some simply have a thin wire that acts like a fuse, those are almost impossible to repair. I've taken larger ones that had room and attached a fuse holder to the case. Now I have a fuse that's easily replaceable.
Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and
founder of the CANYON STATE RAILROAD
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#11
Usually a Doctor can burn the warts off. Big Grin
Mike

Sent from my pocket calculator using two tin cans and a string
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#12
(03-05-2020, 06:29 AM)Tyson Rayles Wrote: Usually a Doctor can burn the warts off. Big Grin
 Yeah, but when they're plugged into the wall socket, they usually burn themselves off. No need to ask how I know this.... Nope
Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and
founder of the CANYON STATE RAILROAD
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#13
(03-05-2020, 06:29 AM)Tyson Rayles Wrote: Usually a Doctor can burn the warts off. Big Grin

Icon_lol Icon_lol Icon_lol

Wayne
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#14
I was originally going to post this as a new thread, but it makes more sense to include it here, as the subject is simply continued-on from earlier.

Here's a view of Lowbanks, on the original single-level layout...

[Image: S0141835.jpg]

It's just over 30" deep, and at a height of 36.5", so very easy to lean over and allow an easy reach (and view of turnouts behind structures).  At that time, all turnouts were manually-controlled, using Caboose Industries sprung ground throws.

With the second level of the layout in place, at a height of 59", and with a relatively deep fascia to hide the lighting for the lower level, the reach to manually flip turnouts remains the same, but access is more restricted, height-wise, with the result that structures and other details are getting damaged by my hands or elbows, and turnout controls behind structures are almost impossible to reach.

Here are the two RailCrew-controlled turnouts which form a crossover between the mains through Lowbanks...

[Image: 100_8721.jpg]

...and are controlled by a single switch.  Flip the switch one way and it's a crossover, flip it the other way, and both turnouts are aligned with their respective track.

This is the RailCrew-controlled turnout which serves both the Wagner lumber yard and Hoffentoth's coal dealership on the southernmost track, and the Lowbanks Stockyards on the northernmost track...

[Image: 100_8722.jpg]

...while this one, hidden behind the Erie Northshore's locomotive shop, serves a siding that's being developed, as part of my "Challenge", into a fueling station for the Northshore's "BEE" doodlebug, recently converted from a gas-electric to a diesel-electric....

[Image: 100_8723.jpg]

It's the best operating of the four, with a positive throw in both directions, a good thing as it's mostly very hard to see.  The other three operate reasonably well, but sometimes require the switch to be double-clicked.

I've also been reworking turnout controls on the rest of the layout, replacing the Caboose Industries ground throws with either a simple spring incorporated into the turnout, like this one...

[Image: 100_7542.jpg]

...which allows the points to be moved with a fingertip, the spring holding it in either position...

[Image: 100_7544.jpg]

[Image: 100_7543.jpg]

For other hard-to-reach turnouts, especially on the lower level, I've turned to using the BluePoint devices, which manually control turnouts using piano wire linkage to fascia-mounted control knobs...

[Image: 100_8724.jpg]

These seem to be quite reliable, and not too difficult to install.

With these various methods and devices, I've removed over 40 Caboose Industries ground throws from my layout.  While they have all been very reliable devices, changes in the layout have necessitated the replacement of some, while many others have been removed only for æsthetic concerns, mainly in photos. 
All of the C.I. ground throws used in staging yards will continue to serve, as all have worked flawlessly for years, and the staging areas are not generally used as photo locales, other than to show the track layout.

Wayne
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#15
Looking good Wayne. I agree the CI throws are dependable but the oversprung ones are less intrusive on a layout as nice as yours.

Steev
Modleing the State of Jefferson in HO Southern Pacific
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