Modelling the E&N in HO Scale in my basement

June 4, 2012

Holy. Crap.

It’s been how long since I’ve made an entry on this blog or done any meaningful work on the layout?!?

Apart from the prototype being given funding to survive (though a few extra million for bridges is now necessary for freight service), I haven’t done anything in the basement or written anything on this blog for virtually four months… And granted, the work done over tonight and last night isn’t much, it is progress.

So I started out by doing some cleaning. Always a good thing to do, especially when one is trying to figure out what to do next. Leaves one better prepared to actually do the work, rather than get frustrated at the fact you want to do something but can’t because of crap getting in the way. Swept the floor near the chopsaw, took care of a few bits of stuff that didn’t need to be there (like a top panel for a washing machine I no longer own…though it might actually come in handy at some point like a magnet board perhaps…) and organize some of the tools. Didn’t get as far as I should have, but progress nonetheless.

Then over to do some wiring work near the helix and the port sub. Realized I needed some height to work on those spots and set out to find a step stool. Except I didn’t have a milk crate to stand on or anything else that would substitute.

So I decided to do something to a dear piece of woodworking my brother built in shop class back when I was in high school… For those who know me, that’s a good 18+ years ago. It was a small-ish table, still on the tall side, with a small shelf underneath the main top. Nothing too fancy, but wood wrapped the edges of the plywood and solid wood for legs. Varathane on most surfaces.

Yes, I tore it apart.

It was getting rather beat up, and had served it’s purpose well. Most of the time it held my spraybooth, then during the construction of the layout, it’s been a collector of various tools for drywalling.

I took the top off, will repurpose it as a shelf somewhere, and then took the smaller shelf and removed it from the legs and tore the legs all apart. Most of that was easy given the fact it was broken already. Sawed 12″ pieces out of the legs (ruining the clean floor I just had) and then glued/screwed them to the four corners of the smaller shelf and voila. A step stool that’s both light and tall enough to allow me to whack my head against light fixtures and the ceiling. Not that I plan on doing that…

So while I’m up there drilling feeder wire holes for the track leading up to Arrowsmith siding, I’m still wracking my brain as to how I can efficiently get power to the ready rods and light up all the feeders I’ve lovingly wired to the track. And then I start to experiment.

The feeders hooked up already to the ready rods are with big ring terminals. A couple snips and they insert between the internal tooth lock washers really easy. Problem with using them is that it still requires a T joint and tiny wire – 18ga at best to make the connection to the bus which I’m using 12ga solid wire for. And then it dawns on me that I could make a few modifications to them and save myself a bit of work and a lot of extra connections. Here’s how:

  1. take one crimp, and hold it by the ring very firmly in a pair of pliers.
  2. using a sharp xacto knife, slice the plastic off the crimp.
  3. using small needle nosed pliers, open up the little hoop so it becomes a flat piece of metal. Use pliers and/or a hammer and the concrete floor to make the entire piece very flat.
  4. using pliers, bend the tab up and back towards the ring in a hook that will hold the wire passing by perpendicular to the ring.
  5. strip and solder the terminal to the wire and attach to the ready rod the same way I attach the others.

I’ll post pictures when I have a complete setup, but that I think will solve a lot of issues and make for a neat way to do up the wiring to the ready rod, likely on Wednesday or Thursday evening.

Nice to be back into this thing…

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