Monday, April 5, 2010

Hanging the upper yard - Part three

Well, after about another 3 weeks, I finally got the left side of the upper ladder in and wired. I also took the oportunity to wire the right side which was already hung and tested everyhing.
Rich came over today and we then hung the last section using a material handler to hold it up while we put in the rods.
Then the interior of the 6 tracks was laid. In the last shots you can see Rich running an I1 around that track. So, on April 5th 2010, we had the first movement on the upper holding yard. This is the end of the branch and represents Mount Carmel.
In the next few days we have to lay the other 5 tracks and then we get back to building the bench work that leads up the hill to this yard.
Once we finish all the tracks, we can reinstall the ceiling and level everything in the overhead.
Let's keep our fingers crossed that we never have a track problem in that confined space as it is only about 11 inches from the ceiling to the track.

Hanging the upper yard - part two

The first shot is the last stage of the first night with the third panel going up. The next day, Rich Feller came over and using the lessons learned the night before, the two of us hung all the rest of the loop - 5 panels, in just two hours.
In the last shot you can see the loop in almost complete, except fothe last panel which will contain the other ladder tracks. I have to finish that first.

Putting in the upper yard, part one

Well, after a lot of prep work, the upper yeard has been hung from the ceiling. We put up the right side of the yard ladder first, then proceeded to work our way around the room. We had a crew of six of us and in 2 hours we hung three panels of the loop, including the ladder. In the last shot you can see we came up with a gauge that measured the height of the yard off the base loop that has yet to be built. It is actually 80 inches from the floor. It contains 6 tracks.

Modifyng turnouts for the overhead

Well, we have heard a lot about the fact that the Atlas turnouts have weak throw bars and these turnouts are going to be relatively inaccessible. So, it was time to modify them to make them better with no maintenance. I also had to put in micro switches to power the frog plus come up with a way to mount the motors above the layout since this was overhead. The last problem was to control a turnout in the middle of the holding ladder.
So, you can see I mounted the Switchmaster motors to a plywood block. The throwrod also controlled the micro switch. I changed the throw bar to a printed circuit board with a brass block that the throwrod went through. That PC board throw bar was screwed to the points. I tried to do all th ework while the bench waork was on the ground before it was raised to the ceiling. I will lay the loop track once it is up in the air.
The ladder on the right in the last picture is down while the one on the left is just sketched out. I tested the circuits to be sure there were no shorts. Fortunately, there were none.