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Puerto Paseo
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2070
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

giles b wrote:
I'll have to work out a way of getting power to the deck - probably a length of rail next to the plastic circle of supporting rails (or a complete circle if I can bend one evenly enough) and wipers under the ends of the deck.

Or just take the easy way out (FCPyF style). Hard wire the tracks on the deck of the turntable, through a hollow pivot, via loose flexible leads to a DPDT switch. As long as you don't turn the table in the same direction every time the wires don't get (too) tightly wound but if they do it's simple enough to unwind them by revolving the deck a number of times as required.

I would not recommend this method for portable layouts due to the risk of snagging the loose leads during transit but it's fine for home layouts.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2252
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two good suggestions. I think the jack-plug idea would work best with a sunken turntable pit as it would fit below the deck, between the track-supporting girders. Unfortunately the Dapol deck is almost at ground level.

I'll have to wait until I lay the tracks into the loco depot to make a full assessment of which method looks best as, among other matters, I'm not sure how many tracks will lead onto the turntable. A decision to be postponed until early next year.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the past few days some carpentry has been taking place so that Puerto Paseo can become a home-based layout. This has had the useful spin-off of making a space to keep Salop Street and Shellsea on shelves below the On30 baseboard - luckily made possible by keeping the different layouts to a standard length. By squeezing the vertical gap between the shelves to a minimum there's even room at floor level for a double layer of the plastic crates I use as stock boxes.

I'm not looking forward to the next job, which is to disconnect the control panel from the layout and re-install it attached to the front of the baseboard. That's around two dozen connections to break and make again correctly, although three wires put in for a motorised turntable have never been used and can be left unconnected. I think it wise to add some of the linked choc-block terminals that nest together in case there are future needs to move the layout, or if the baseboards need separating for maintenance work in future. Some new wiring also needs installing to link the various station control areas to allow through running. After that, the work on re-laying the track on the old fiddle yard board can start to create the Paseo docks area.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the past couple of weeks I've been doing some "virtual modelling" (which used to be called planning) for the extended layout.

Because of the loss of a physical passing place between P. San Juan and Arenal the timetable has needed a tweak or two, and has now been plotted on paper using different colours for the different trains, which is a great help to see what loco is where during the day. As there is little space for carriage storage at the Paseo end of the line, passenger traffic on the FC Este works up from Bahia Grande. There are two daily round trips which are notionally Mixed workings, but partly passenger trains.

The morning arrival at Puerto drops its freight wagons at San Juan and arrives at the terminus with only the coaches. This enables an engine from San Juan shed to couple on and leave again for Bahia Grande almost immediately, picking up wagons when it arrives at San Juan. The incoming loco then ambles back to San Juan and is available to work as station pilot there to help sort out the Este goods trains during the day. It returns to its home shed on the late afternoon "Mixed" which runs to Arenal where the wagons are dropped before the coaches continue to Bahia Grande.

I had thought another Mixed traffic loco and one or perhaps two station pilots would be needed, but drawing up the timetable shows that the present complement of locomotives would be enough. A shunting engine at Arenal might be useful, but the Postal railcar is stabled there and could help out, although it is now busier than it was previously as it has trips to Bahia Grande and Puerto and now usually tows a trailer or two, augmenting the otherwise rather sketchy stopping service between Paseo and Arenal.

With the new timetable in hand, it has been possible to estimate the likely goods traffic, and confirms that a programme of wagon building will be necessary to provide goods trains of a decent length. In effect, the present number of wagons need to be almost doubled to allow for traffic to intermediate stations. The days of a well-stuffed fiddle yard may be over as the freight stock will now be earning its living!

Breaking down the timetable to make operating lists for each station gave four pages of instructions for working Puerto, three pages for PSJ and two pages for the Arenal operator, suggesting the latter may have time to help out at Paseo by doing some shunting at the Docks, while main line traffic continues. The ability to do this means a small addition to the proposed wiring to allow an extra hand-held controller to be plugged into the local control panel.

Incidentally - can anyone confirm whether two hand-held controllers can be fed from the same 16v AC feed, and be used simultaneously (or perhaps one controller could also use the AC feed provided for the points' solenoids).
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following the well-known tradition of closing down the railways at Christmas, the FC Este has suspended trains at Puerto Paseo for the foreseeable future. Locals will have to make do with the existing bus services, even though the ones used for long-distance travel are little more than aged vans with windows cut in the sides and bench seats.

The cause of all this is the start of the railway's re-build. So far the baseboard has been placed on new staging, partly supported by existing furniture; Salop Street and Shellsea can be seen stored on racks below.
The control panel has been disconnected from the layout and all the coloured cables have been logged (including those that change colour halfway along their run Embarassed ), so reconnection should not be too hard a job.
The first thought for the control panel's position was to set it horizontally at the throat end of the station, but inspection found that the turntable crank would get in the way, and access to the layouts below would be inconvenient. The panel will now be attached vertically, as before, to the bookcase that supports the end of the layout. The wiring looms will go via sets of male and female choc-strip connectors fitted to the front of the baseboard.


All wiring outlets to the old board will then need taking to the other end of the baseboard, and an enlarged Staff Hostel provided to cover the join in the baseboard. The two wooden blocks at the rear of the dockyard gateway were used to hold the baseboard in line with a small G-clamp; in the new situation they could be used to screw the two boards together. The dockyard wall will run on their near-side and the blocks themselves can be covered with a small store, guard-room, or whatever.
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dawn of a new era for the island's railways. I found modelling the FCPyF became so much easier when I stopped thinking in portable mode and switched to fixed. Scenery, wiring, tracklaying, everything becomes so much simpler when it doesn't need to be in neat little sections capable of being picked up and carted around.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you say, Bob, construction is easier for a permanent layout. Nevertheless, following the precedent of my long-departed Midd Valley Railway, I'm going to build the extension in portable sections, just in case of any future house moves. It adds a little to the wiring complexity initially but helps maintenance if access from below is necessary. I didn't do this when I rebuilt my G scale layout, which then had to be totally dismantled for a move having existed for only two years. Lesson learned!
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just have to salute some good, old-fashioned service. I rang Squires yesterday at about 3pm to order some small electrical bits - they arrived in the post this morning. Many thanks Royal Mail and Squires. A good start to the New Year.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hadn't thought the planned re-wiring would take so long! It seemed so simple, to take the control panel from one end of the baseboard to the other, but the cable relocation meant that several connections were then too short so they were replaced with new wires. Then all the connections between the control panel and the layout needed lengthening, while the 16v supply for the solenoids has to come via the old fiddle yard board which is to become the Docks and Paseo Ciudad station, rather than through the control panel as previously. In reality, it's just about a complete re-wiring, while trying to keep all the new choc-strip connections in the correct order.

All the wire pulling is just about complete and just needs the cables to be bunched together, and the connections to be made at the ends. Luckily my stock of wiring colours has just held out.

There are three wires still unattached. I know where to connect one of them but the other two seem to have come from one of the micro-switches fitted to some of the turnouts, and I don't seem to have kept a record when they were initially installed. A bit of electrical detective work seems to be called for.
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giles b



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always thought the pumps from inside bathroom soap dispensers could be used for modelling purposes; so far my thoughts have turned to the middle of the unit which seems to have possibilities as the basis for a small donkey engine. However, as I'm not modelling the logging scene there's been no need to develop this idea.


Now, with the station at Paseo San Juan in the advanced planning stage there is a need for one or two water cranes for the loco depot, there being insufficient room to include a rectangular tank (Dapol) as was used for Puerto Paseo. Instead I have a nice plastic bottle to cut up and use as a cylindrical tank supported by girders, and the pump, shown above. Cutting off the lower part with the large screw-cap leaves a wide base tapering into a column. I may use the similar fitting at the top, although it has a screw thread on the outside which may be hard to remove neatly as the plastic is soft. The delivery pipe will probably come from a piece of bent sprue.......

But for now, it's back to the wiring.
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giles b



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had some bonus time this evening to get started on the water-crane conversion. The test set-up shows the post is a little too high, but that can easily be altered as it is only a push-fit into the base of the column. I'll use a modified press-stud for the control wheel and add a cosmetic drain below the spout.



When it comes to painting, I think I'll copy the water-crane I used on Simerang, my earlier brief excursion into tropical modelling.

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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a neat idea for the water crane, I'll keep an eye open for similar shaped soap dispensers when I go shopping - Need some cream cheese anyway, not for putting on butties, just for the free wagon sheets (tinfoil lids to normal people).
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The water-crane's column has been lowered by about one scale foot and now looks OK alongside the largest and smallest locomotives. I'll try and finish it off tomorrow.


Meanwhile the power looms have been finished and the control panel installed beside the layout where it will not get in the way. Still got the baseboard cables to connect, but at least they're all in place.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Since this picture was taken the trailing wires have been connected - but it does show the plug-in connector strips. Not the cheapest option (normal connectors and some cut down panel pins would probably work as well, at a fraction of the price) but they are convenient for those, like me, whose eyesight is not what it was and to whom the thought of soldering up small multi-way connectors is a bit daunting. The left hand connector carries the track section wires plus the 12v and 16v common returns as well as the Red and Green bus wires that are the backbone for the cab-control wiring; the other is taken up with the twin supplies to each of the solenoid switches.

At the other end of the baseboard the next job is to replace a small section of the fascia and then install the connectors to the next baseboard. It is tempting to continue with this immediately, but there is some work to do on the 1/55th scale project, which is due at the Wealden Railway Group's show on March 10th.

The picture also shows the freight office and the "new" locomotive (ex-Baleria Railway). This was obtained in case the FCyO's large engine had suffered significant damage when its connecting rods escaped from the cylinders on one side and then "locked up", causing a possible bend to the motion. Luckily it still seems to be on the go, although the motion clatters a little now, sounding like an engine in need of an overhaul.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While work on another project has been taking up most of my time, thoughts have also been turned to Isla Blanca's extension plans. This will involve a certain amount of furniture rearrangement and the modification of two cupboards. At least the recent sort out of my collection has resulted in better knowledge of where everything is stored.

As a result of all this I have decided not to keep my HO American outline models for possible future re-use. This then frees up a Bachmann Trolley car which would fit nicely under the Este's railcar - I will undertake a test session first, though. The bonus here would be more daylight under the ends of the vehicle, making it easier to see the track alignment when using the turntable at Puerto Paseo - and the advantage of reinstating the originally fitted elegant bonnet which had to be replaced to fit the Piko mechanism. If this goes ahead it will free the Piko railbus chassis which could be given to the Norte's diesel. It's motor, separated from the weights moulded into the original body, has turned out a bit light-footed when hauling the three matching coaches built for its excursion train. Yet another unused Piko railbus might become a freight motor or parcels car, rather similar to the one I made in HOm for Ste Emilie. There are also a couple of Bachmann 6-wheeled switchers for potential use. Isla Blanca could be about to enter the diesel age.


Last edited by giles b on Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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