To paraphrase Vane Jones, "Knowledge is of little value until shared with others."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Working on the 2 End Loop Modules - Part 1

If you've read the info on the EPTC web site regarding their modules and/or if you've seen the modules in action, you are aware of the built-in control of models operating on the modules. Through simple model detection electrical circuitry sections of track can be turned off in back of a model. Models will stop and start on their own.

At the last EPTC Meet the 2 models I brought to operate on the modules had problems. They were set up for pole reverse plus the ability to operate on 2-rail. This meant the track detection system used in the EPTC modules placed an additional electrical current through the motors.

To be able to operate all of my models on my new layout, the EPTC model detection system of operation cannot be used. I'll have to come up with some other simple plan. As for now a 1 or 2 operator plan will have to do for now.

The other item which came up is the number of different profiles there were for the code 125 rail I had left from prior layouts. My collection of code 125 rail goes back to the early 1970's. There were perhaps 5 or 6 different widths of the head, web, and/or base of the rail. However, the height of the rail was always 0.125".

The rail with the widest head and base was reserved for the modules with tract in the street. Some of this rail looks like it's steel. It looks like it has rust.

My son helped with the assembly of the 2 end modules. Actually, he built the 2 end modules with dad's (my) assistance! It was something to watch him work. I was proud he is my son. He had worked as a finishing carpenter plus he built cabinets from plans unique to the area into which they would be installed. Since much of the work was done in the Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Oak Park and River Forest, IL; his work was spot on!

Here's the room for the new layout prior to any work being started.

These are the modules assembled into a layout prior to the addidion of the track. The legs are 3/4" plywood 16" x 36" high. EPTC shows how the center of the leg pieces can be cut out to reduce weight. We plan to work on the legs later.
The modules are at different heights due to the difference in how the track will be built. The module on the right is the open track built on a cork roadbed with prototypical ties. The module on the left will have the rail installed on thinner "brass" ties. The rail has to match-up at the joint of the modules.

In the photos the location of the track can be seen. The center line plus the location of the 2 rails are included.

To draw the radius for the loop a large trammel was made from a piece of basswood 1/4" x 3/4". Holes were drilled for a nail and for a pencil to fit through. The holes for the pencil were at the midpoint of the radius. Two additional holes were drilled 5/8" from the center point of the track. This is where the rail are to be located.

In the top photo 6 holes for a pencil are shown. One set of 3 holes is for a 13" radius while the other 3 holes are for a 14" radius. The holes are labeled for identification. The bottom photo shows the nail used as the center point. If you look carefully the hole in the module top can be seen.

After seeing the modules and the space available around the loops. I decided to increase the radius of the loop from 13" to 14". Information from Old Pullman, now out of business, stated #3 frogs turnouts had a radius of 15".

The 14" radius will make it easier to fit the #3 frog turnout together. Plus, the increased radius will allow more models to operate around the loops.

This is a drawing of the trailing #3 turnout plus the crossing to bring the cars back on the opposite track. The dark mark in the upper left corner is what remains from a staple used to assemble the module after it was cut off with a cut-off wheel. My son used staples instead of nails.


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