Modelling the E&N in HO Scale in my basement


Smartphone Friendly!

I host my own WordPress site. Until today, that meant a lot of people who view my site on a smartphone or an iPad got to view the regular desktop version of the website. Given the links and intended large size of the screen, this made for a poor user experience. (Those who host their blogs on didn’t have this to worry about…)

But starting today, those who access my site from a small device like an iPhone or an Android device can now see the content in a format much more suited to their screen, and is much better on bandwidth consumed in accessing the site, so your data plan won’t get smacked just from viewing the blog. Note that you will still have access to all the content, just in a different format.

If you have any feedback on this, either leave a comment on this post or send me an email.


November 15, 2011

Another quick update…

Last night I finished soldering the feeders to the track (not to the bus though) on the Victoria sub north of Parksville and then proceeded to install a few bullfrogs…

Specifically on the superior propane spur, the south storage track in the vicinity and importantly, the junction switch at Parksville. I will admit, having lateral adjustment on the bullfrog mounting is extremely useful. Yet another reason why I love these things so much!

November 14, 2011

Cam was ever so nice to make a side trip on his way to work, stopping at MRO to pick up some hook up wire for my layout. Two 100′ reels of wire for about $22. B&E would extract more than double that for the same thing. And I have to question why?

In any event, I picked it up from Cam after work. After dinner, I pulled some more bus wire, hooked it up to the main bus and the dropped a bunch of feeders, soldering about half of them to the track before heading off to bed.


November 13, 2011

A really quick update tonight.  Spent about a half-hour spiking down all the fitted track on the Victoria Sub north of the Parksville Junction switch.  On account of a lack of suitable feeder wire, I’m not likely going to get anything that direction done until I can obtain wire.

Not to say I can’t get anything else done, like installing Bullfrogs for instance, or getting an accessory bus done up to power the tortoises or the UP5’s…



Had to work today, so not as much progress as I was hoping.  However, I did manage to spike down a section of the Victoria Sub immediately after the junction switch, and then pulled the fitted track up so I could prep the turnouts (ie: remove the throwbar and headblocks from the wrong side of the switch) and drill the holes for the throwbar as well as drilling a hole in the throwbar for the eventual installation of the Bullfrog.

I also soldered up the turnout for Buckley Bay.


November 9, 2011

Cam called this evening, from home, around 7:30. Most normal people wouldn’t give this a second thought, but this was rare for Cam. He works evenings during the week, so he was definitely home way early.

I said he was welcome to come over, and he did. I said I was in the midst of doing some work to get my spray booth up and operational, and while I was cutting plywood for the base, he continued working on the fitting of the track we started laying last weekend. I had originally taken a photo at the time we finished that task, and everything looks good, but the photo turned out like crap.  Now we can drill the holes for the throwbars, get the track soldered together and wire it up. Now all the track is connected!

November 5 & 6, 2011

So I will admit that the fluorescent fixture wasn’t entirely all my work. Most of it was, but Cam did provide some assistance. Once that task was done, he got to work on sanding (and in some spots, grinding) the cork into the shape we needed for the Victoria sub, just north of the Parksville junction switch. Once that chore was done and the evidence vacuumed up, he got to work with fitting track.

Meanwhile I was busy getting the three turnouts ready to go, which for one of them included getting it soldered together, and for all three, gluing up the skeletons to the quick sticks, cutting the isolation gaps for the frog and otherwise making them ready for the layout. We managed to get the storage track fitted together and pushed cars from the Parksville yard all the way into the helix, so in some respects, the connection has been made to join up all the track, however, the main track isn’t fully fitted, nor have we got anything really spiked down.

Murray also came up to inspect the progress and was quite pleased. I was certainly happy to have him up too.

Today was a slightly quieter day. I came downstairs with the intent of getting some other stuff done and accomplished:

  • construction of the last bullfrog I have in stock. Need lots more though.
  • built up another four boxcars. Easy kits too. Even better is the fact I obtained them for two or four bucks each. And then spent more than that per car on changing out couplers to kadee #58’s with whiskers and metal wheels…
  • submerging three GP-9 shells in 99% isopropyl alcohol. I hope they don’t come out worse for wear…
  • starting on a turnout for Buckley Bay.

Overall, a relatively nice and productive day.


Let there be light!


Ever since we changed the track plan and eliminated Wellcox yard, the lighting plan was already decided on. As such, Parksville and arrowsmith siding were always a little dark.

This morning, I rectified the problem with the installation of one more light fixture perpendicular to the rest of the fixtures in the basement.

I think it works wonderfully!

October 30, 2011


“The bridge is in!” Cam came over after noon and we made Really Good Progress on the middle deck. Specifically, we’ve got benchwork and cork installed to connect the Victoria sub pieces together, which when track is all laid, would connect all track laid to date. We even got things ready for the superior propane – Parksville spur in as well.

So stoked! Cam even suggested once we’ve got enough stuff done that I should be looking to host an open house to show off what’s happened thus far…


October 23, 2011

I received a phone call from one of the hobby shops I deal with advising my Intermountain wheels were in.  Goodie…I can take the plastic wheels out of the new boxcar kits I’ve assembled and turn them into scrap loads.  Not that I’m likely to ever do that since wheelsets likely wouldn’t have been changed out anywhere other than Wellcox yard on the island…

Gave Cam a call in the early afternoon, woke him up, and then advised we’d be headed out.  Stopped by Eastridge for the wheels, found they didn’t have any needed Peco track pins and went to Ewok Emporium (aka Chinook & Hobby West – South) for those.  Bought all six bags of them since I’m quite likely going to need that many (and more) for the rest of the layout.

Did a bit of railfanning down at the spot and had a bit of lunch, then back to the house for some additional work on the layout.

Accomplished was a fair bit more wiring/soldering work, cutting isolation gaps between power sub-districts (I’m subdividing the four power districts on the layout to further protect the remainder of the layout from the inevitable shorts) and getting a couple Bullfrogs installed on the siding switches at Bryn.

All in all, another productive afternoon.  Once things get wired into a command station/booster, and bullfrogs installed at Parksville, I can actually do a little switching.  Whoo hoo!