Saturday, October 26, 2013

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 10.26.13

Late last night, I went upstairs to check the trackwork that was glued and had intentions of installing the two remaining sand loading tracks for Ottawa Silica.  After laying out the two remaining sand tracks, I quickly noticed that the last turnout that I installed wasn't going to work out after all.  It would have negatively affected the spacing of the yard loading tracks.  I removed the last turnout installed.  I then stayed up until around midnight working out a new track arrangement that I actually like better.  I cut and shaped all the track for the changes.  I went ahead and glued the two remaining sand loading tracks.

Today after dinner, I worked on the layout for about 45 minutes.  I managed to install four turnouts closing up the sand loading yard at Ottawa Silica.

Later in the evening, I installed two more turnouts including the first of the LOF turnouts.  So, for those keeping count, we're up to 10 of the original 25 received installed.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 10.25.13

Although, last night wasn't the most ideal situation, the results turned out great!  Both turnouts throw with good positive pressure against the stock rails.  Cars float across them with no issues.  Photos of the two turnouts I installed last night.

This morning, I was feeling good.  I tackled laying turnouts again.  I managed to glue down three and install the ground throws before 6:45am!  It went much smoother this morning.  I think it will be ok.  It's simply not as fast as throwing down an Atlas turnout, but that's fine.

To save time on installation, I took the remaining 17 ground throws that I had in stock to work.  During lunch, I assembled all of them.  I went ahead and placed the order for the remaining ground throws as well as a few other random things I need for projects.

Work on the layout was delayed to carve pumpkins with my kids.  A little later, I installed one more turnout as well as two of the sand loading yard tracks (tracks #1 and #2 - numbered up from the aisle).

Photos of tonight's progress (the flex track is still drying - photos will be posted tomorrow).

You'll be seeing a lot more of these roaming the layout soon.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 10.24.13

So, this evening, I eagerly enter the train room.  I armed with #68 drill bits, #0 x 3/4" wood screws, and Aleene's tacky glue.  I'm ready to lay some track!

Not so fast Kimosabe!

Problem #1 - What the collet?
I have a Dremel tool (or Dremel knock-off - I forget the brand - it's cheap) and a 205 pc accessory kit.  Surely, I won't have an issue finding a collet to hold the #68 drill bit.  Wrong!  Uggh...  So, resumed other family duties until the kids went to bed.  Ran out to Lowe's to pick up a collet that can handle a 1/32" shaft.

Problem #2 - Hole not big enough!
So, I attach the collet to my Dremel knock-off.  Success!  I drill the first hole in the turnout throw bar.  I go to test fit the Caboose Industries 222s Ground Throw into the hole.  It won't fit.  What the?  I look around, maybe they have a smaller diameter pin adapter.  Nope.  I read the back.  It requires a #58 hole!  *!@#$%!  "Model railroading is fun, model railroading is fun...."    

Problem #3 - #58 Size Hole on PC Board = Trouble
I never read the instructions on the back of the ground throws.  I went off by what my eBay guy stated he drilled (usually does, but not on this initial batch) for throw bars.  I look up the size of the #58 drill bit.  It's 11/1000ths of an inch difference.  For pete's sake!  I compare the ground throw pin against the PC board tie size on the turnout.  Wow!  I'm not sure I would be able to center a #58 bit on the tie without running off the edge of the tie (creating an open hole that would be useless).

Maybe I should stick with the #68 bits and try to ream it out.  So, I tried this.  It worked without too much issue.  I went ahead and did this to the next turnout.  It also went off without a hitch.  Well, things are looking up.  I laid down a light layer of glue under the turnouts and heavier on the flex track in between the two turnouts.  I mounted the ground throws and added weight until the glue dries.  I gave everything a good ol' skunk eye to make sure it was in alignment.  It all looks good and the ground throws seem to function well.  The proof will be tomorrow when I go back to inspect.

So, it appears securing the trackwork to the benchwork will be a slow process that will take time and precision.  I have to remember this isn't a race.  I want quality over quantity.  So, once again the brakes are applied on this project as I need to take my time.  Remember Steven, taking your time now will create less problems later.

With all that being said, I was able to mount/install/whatever the two most northern turnouts of the Ottawa Silica plant.  I'll post photos tomorrow night.  After all that running around and trying to find solutions for issues, I was ready to call it a night.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 10.23.13

Today I received my blue LEDs in the mail.  After dinner, I went upstairs to work on wiring up the LED. know, I don't know how to wire up a LED.  It has two poles which is straight forward enough, but which one do I solder the resistor to?

Back downstairs to look up on YouTube.  Bingo!  The long lead is the positive.  I soldered the resistor to the positive pole on the LED, soldered some feeder wires to it, drilled the holes for the LEDs, and put in place.

The track before the project.

Marked the track sides and holes for the LEDs.

The 2mm blue LED.

The resistor.

A quick soldering job to connect the resistor.

I dug out the 12v power supply I purchased for the crossing gate controller.  I connect up some alligator clip wires and BAM!....

Wow!  That's really bright!  My friend Allen and I had joked about special eyewear required for crews.  I added another resistor, but still too bright.

I pondered the situation and then decided to connect an old Bachmann Power Supply.  I added a single pole, single throw (SPST) toggle switch.  Connected up all the alligator clip wires again and dialed down the throttle to 30.  Bingo!  We have (non-blinding) light!  

Ahhh...much better!

I need to fill in hole so only the tip of the LED sticks up above the benchwork.

From a normal viewing distance.

The ROCK 3.0: Track Plan Progress Update

I was asked by a fellow RI modeler/follower to post the track plan highlighting what areas have been completed.  As of this morning, this is where it stands.

I just started laying cork roadbed in the areas highlighted above.

Most of this section is completed minus the tracks behind the Ottawa Silica Plant as I need another right-hand turnout.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 10.22.13

Late last night, I cut the two tracks for box car loading at Libbey-Owens-Ford.

This evening, I cut the two tracks that server as the run around and scale tracks that run up through the middle of the Ottawa Silica Plant.  I also cut the track that goes into the warehouse building at the south end of the plant.  Foundry sand is loaded here into gons.

This completes everything for L-O-F and Ottawa Silica with two exceptions.
#1 I need another right hand turnout to complete the tracks that run behind the Ottawa Silica Plant
#2 I'm not happy with the gauntlet track I constructed.  I'm going to take another stab at it before completing that section.

Moving on down the track, I glued four pieces of cork roadbed for the mainline past Ottawa Yard.

Photos of today's progress.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 10.21.13

This morning, I was too tired to think much less work on the layout.  I opted for doing a bunch of nothing on the sofa before work.

This evening, I was more energized.  I continued south preparing track through Libbey-Owens-Ford.  I have all of L-O-F in place (not glued) minus the two box car loading tracks.

I failed to mention over the weekend, I came up with the idea to add blue LEDs to place between the tracks at Ottawa Silica (bagged sand loading into box cars on a double track) and Libbey-Owens Ford (windshields loading into box cars on a double track).  Both of these facilities won't allow movements of the box cars as ramps are placed between the two rows of cars.  To protect the crews, I decided to create a blue flag situation.

To do this, I found some blue LEDs from a local business in NC.  I will use a toggle switch to turn these on at the beginning of the session.  When loading has completed (I will set a time), I will turn them off allowing the local crew to switch out the cars.  I think it will add some realism to the operations.

Ottawa Silica - looking north.  The four tracks on the left are the loading tracks.  There will be two tracks that run up between the loading building (paper under the four tracks) and the long drying building.  Another track goes to the right behind the drying building and curves back to the left where it breaks out into two tracks for loading bagged sand into box cars.

Libbey-Owens-Ford - looking south.  The left track next to the large silos will be for unloading sand.  Middle track is for run-around moves.  Ottawa Avenue crosses over the tracks at the bottom of the photo.

I painted two of the cardboard tubes the other day.  I think it looks pretty good.  I'll paint the rest later.  With some weathering, they should look good.

The track branches off to the right and then again.  The left of these tracks is the unloading tracks for soda ash.  The right track will split into two tracks for loading of automobile windshields.

An overlook of the Ottawa Silica and Libbey-Owens-Ford plants (looking south).

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 10.20.13

Today, I didn't do much on the layout.  This evening, I did finish cutting, shaping and placing the flex track and turnouts for the four sand loading tracks at Ottawa Silica.  Nothing is glued yet.  I'm waiting to receive my #68 drill bits for the turnout throw bars.  I tried Lowe's and Home Depot this morning, but was unsuccessful.  I found some on eBay down in Florida.

I'll take photos tomorrow and post.