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7-Plus-NGM Digest December 2005

Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 07:20:28 -0800
From: "Michael Lavrich"

Subject: Re: Re: Thanksgiving (YAK OT)



Dennis,

I'll be looking forward to meeting you at Train Mountain. I'm also tall with a toxic waist and with any luck will be driving a Maxitrak "Pearl" 0-4-2, if the winter rebuild goes well. I have been fighting that locomotive for years and finally decided to take the bull by the horns and build it a proper frame this winter with the help of a friend.

Best Regards,
Michael

Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 22:54:52 -0000
From: "Tom Smith"

Subject: Control Block System



I need to find simple information on how to build a 2 light (Red-Green) Control Block System on a 7.5" pike.

The simpler the system the better. Any help that you render would be appreciated.

Thanks
Tom Smith
Las Vegas, NV USA

Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 16:25:29 -0800
From: "R.David S. CORMIE"

Subject: RE: Control Block System



If you get any replies to this request, please let us know just what you came up with.

Lamp controllers are very easy to make and the circuits are freely available on the net for two or three color, single or dual direction track and all the switch combos you can think of and with the new high lux led's on the market for low price can be run for weeks on a set of flashlight batteries or low voltage supplies.

Reliable directional Block detection seems to be the big problem. If you find out any reliable solutions that are NOT the track shorting type I think that you will be a hero in the hobby!!!!! Some of the problems that most people fail to think of is what happens if you back out of a block that you set as occupied and what direction is the train going when it enters the block or leaves it for that matter.

Track shorting detectors do not work through switches but most importantly do not work in the rain, snow, dew or with lightweight equipment. We have two detection circuits on our club track and are the track shorting type. Both do NOT work worth a s**t on a dewy or rainy day but work great on a dry summer day with a full train. If you set them sensitive enough to detect a small engine it will trip in the morning dew. We run all year, rain or shine and as we are in the wet coast area, a damp morning can last all day.

One of our members has told me that he is going to try the highway loop detectors to replace the crossing signal circuits. I hope that it works as it is weather proof. We can get the detector units (used) for free as they have to be replaced every so often for safety reasons and the old units just end up in the trash. Most are in perfect condition. He has his sources, good man.

If it works I would like to signal the entire track over the next few years.

I think that dual fet's that are tripped by a magnet on club equipment might work better as they can be set to one side of the rail so are only tripped by trains traveling in certain directions only. It would also detect backing out of a block. It could get a bit pricey as eight are required on each block boundary. Sounds like a full time job if you ask me.

Let us all know what you come up with and the best of luck.

Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 00:53:28 -0000
From: "Alan Ainslie"

Subject: Re: Control Block System



Track Circuits:--

Track circuits using shorts between the rails are the only safe way to go.
With correct value of series resistors and proper relays they will work well with both light locos and also very wet sleepers.

Secret is to have:-

1.real track circuit relays as available surplus from rail networks, or otherwise most any good quality relay can be used
2. suitable feed arrangements. The feed voltage needs to be at least a factor of two higher than the pull-in voltage of the relay. Or higher. therefore the series resistance is relatively high, and the parallel resistance from the loco standing on the section can be quite high to bring about a positive detection.

At The Spinney Light Railway we have three track circuit arrangements on different parts of the railway.We signal and interlock to full size commercial standards for both authenticity and safety..
a: 12V 700 ohm industrial relays. Feed is 20V. Series resistance 100 ohms. .
b: Shelf type BR relays. 12V supply. series R around 68 ohms.
c: 50 V BR track circuit relays. Supply 60V. series resistance 100 ohms. One long section which holds the water is 56 ohm. .

You can easily tell the direction of the train from the indication on the Diagram. If necessary then two relays cross coupled as a bistable will easily indicate direction by being triggered by adjacent track circuits.

Happy to provide more details if need be.

Alan Ainslie
Spinney Light railway
Farnham
SURREY UK.

Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 17:26:35 -0800
From: "R.David S. CORMIE"

Subject: RE: Control Block System



I wish it were that simple but we have welded rail on all of the new trackage so some other means must be found for us.

The original poster here will probably be interested though.

I do see signaling on tracks with welded rail in the UK, Europe and in the land of OZ so it must be able to be done, but how do they do it ???

Thanks for your reply.

Dave C

Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 21:50:02 -0600
From: "Thomas"

Subject: Re: Control Block System



An easy way to do it is to use photo cell detectors at a slight angle across the track so they do not shoot the light beam through a space between cars (light source on one side and the detector on the other). With the correct circuitry they will detect any trains in any direction. They can be hidden from view by putting them in a false rock on each side of the track or some other item that is usually found along the track sides. This is the easy way to do it. Reference: how do they do it on the real railroads? They send a signal down the track to a terminating resister at the end of the circuit and back on the other rail (welded rail). They then detect the different and changing resistance as a train approaches. They also can regulate the times the signals change or for a crossing signal when it comes on as to how fast the train is going (how fast the resistance changes). If for some reason the train stops and the resistance remains the same, in the case of crossing signals, the signal will stop

Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 23:39:22 -0500
From: RichD

Subject: Re: Control Block System signals



Oh!! Yes they do work!!
Track shunt detection works perfectly. You just have to know the correct specs for the equipment and **follow the rules***.
THE SAME AS FULL SIZE RR's. LOW voltage and HIGH current.
Can be done with common 12V automotive relays and lamps.
This was proven at a track in GA for years. Never a problem.
Adding the approach lamp (yellow) makes it much safer and the whole system is simple. Including thru switches. The track is nothing more than a switch to turn on a lamp and a relay. NO solid state devices to get blown out in bad weather.
Signals are not a substitute for common sense and not following the rules.
We ran two way traffic as fast as you dare from siding to siding around blind curves and a tunnel with nary a hitch operating steam locos.
RichD
Signal maker in my sleep.

Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 03:58:26 -0800 (PST)
From: Mike Lagness

Subject: Re: Control Block System



If yout only going 1 direction it's possible to use a relay and 1 NO switch and a NC switch I put a diagram in the livediesel files section a while back. I picked up a bunch of industrial limit switches on Ebay for 10$ that was 15 50$+ switches for less than 20$ delivered. Trip the first 1 as many times as you like and the light stays on then when you trip the second the light goes off no matter how many times it's tripped it stays off till the first is tripped again.

We are going to put them in at Hesston this spring for a road crossing and yard signals. But only good for single direction.

mike

Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 09:21:48 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
From: "Boyd A Butler"

Subject: Block Signals



At Train Mountain there is a fellow who does a wonderful job, actually there are several, a man and his wife have the isolating of the blocks and switches down very well and the block signals and route selection at the main junction to the railroad are the product of another fellow and his crew. If you mailed Train Mountain they may be able to put the group in contact with these persons. The main junction ladder of switches for those who have not been at TM, at the start you have a panel with route selections on it and by pressing one button it will set the ladder for you, now if another train comes to the selector and presses another route while the first train is still in the ladder it will wait until the first one clears the block and then set the next selection, this also controls overhead signals and there is also full scale crossing gates in this circuit to protect the full scale road crossing.
Boyd Butler

Date: Fri, 02 Dec 2005 09:58:03 -0800
From: Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

Subject: Re: Control Block System



Dave,

When your club had the coils first put in at the now defunct Chinese Crossing they worked well for the first couple of years. Probably the best route for you at the moment.

kind regards
Dennis, living in Port Alberni BC, Canada

Date: Sat, 03 Dec 2005 19:45:33 -0500
From: mrjcad@netscape.net

Subject: Re: Control Block System



very simple, used by others, and a club as well:
run plastic conduit at edge of ties in ballest from 3-way switches mounted in waterproof box 'n cover from a vertically placed metal conduit at track side to light stand; somewhere have a trackside house(?) w/12 battery or battery charger connected to 120v providing power for system. Lights you ask? One can get 3/4" dia lights with colored covers from McMaster that are waterproof. As you enter the block you snap the switch and red comes on - no body enters block, when you leave snap switch and yellow comes on. You should be able to do the system for $100 or less.

Regards
Laurence Johnson,
hometrainmaker

Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2005 07:46:05 -0600
From: "Thomas"

Subject: Re: Control Block System



With this system, do you ever have a green light or can it be extended to include green? Thomas Scott

Date: Sun, 04 Dec 2005 09:30:53 -0500
From: mrjcad@netscape.net

Subject: Re: Control Block System



on an individual tracks I saw red and green; down at Largo, FL I saw red and yellow (proceed with caution)

Regards
Laurence Johnson,
hometrainmaker

Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 13:34:52 -0000
From: "greg"

Subject: Re: Control Block System



When were you in Largo? I'm a member there.

Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 09:44:07 -0500
From: mrjcad@netscape.net

Subject: Re: Re: Control Block System



'93

Regards
Laurence Johnson,
hometrainmaker

Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 14:51:32 -0000
From: "greg"

Subject: Re: Control Block System



You otta come back down. We have a meet in March, and you won't recognize the place.

Regards,
Greg B.

Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 20:02:41 -0600
From: Jim O'Connor

Subject: Photo Contest



Discover Live Steam Photo Contest
Just a word to all lists...

The 2005 photo contest is in the final 2 weeks of the voting phase.
Please vote if you haven't yet. You can start here....
http://www.discoverlivesteam.com/photocontest/

If you want to see who is in the lead, check out this page...
http://www.discoverlivesteam.com/photocontest/2005/in_the_lead.htm

Thanks,
Jim O'Connor
www.discoverlivesteam.com

Date: 8 Dec 2005 18:29:51 -0000 From: Yahoo! Groups Notification

Subject: New file uploaded to 7-plus-NGM



Hello,

This email message is a notification to let you know that a file has been uploaded to the Files area of your 7-plus-NGM group.



top of truck frame



truck frames



Wheelsets

Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 21:20:02 -0600
From: Jim O'Connor

Subject: Re: Photo Contest



Hi Everyone,

One of the fun things I get to do on my web site is to ask survey questions.
It's like the TV show "Family Feud".
Here's the question: What fuel does your locomotive run on?
The answers may surprise you. Try to guess the top answers....
"The survey says"..... http://www.discoverlivesteam.com/Survey2.htm

What are other worthwhile questions to ask?
Thanks,
Jim O'Connor

Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 16:52:44 -0600
From: Jim O'Connor

Subject: Track Gauge Survey



Track Gauge Survey.

Thanks for the suggestions on future surveys. I'll work on them in the coming months.

I went over some data I already had from 2003 and generated a new graph on track gauge. http://www.discoverlivesteam.com/Gaugesurvey.htm

Remember, because of where I sample from, the results may be slanted (not intentionally) slightly toward the US. Most of my web visitors come from the US.

Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 20:58:49 -0800
From: "Howard Springer"

Subject: Re: Track Gauge Survey



Jim -
I'd be interested to see the numbers associated with the bar graphs.
Howard Springer
Mostly 2 1/2" scale.

Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 17:31:12 +0000
From: "Phil Ashworth"

Subject: Christmas wish on Jim's website



Jim... the drop down menu on your live steam website didn't allow me to enter my Christmas wish.

Whatever the gauge, whatever size the engine, the one thing that I always wish for is...

v
v
scroll down
v
v
v
v
v
v
v
v
v
v
v
v
v
a singing injector!


Happy Christmas from the UK

Phil Ashworth

Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 22:56:41 -0000
From: "Tim Edwards"

Subject: Help!



Hi there, I need some help with some buffers I bought for my 7 1/4" gauge project loco. I bought the narrow gauge style 2-slot buffers from PNP, but the project loco chassis has only one centre hole and it made from black steel (in other words, I can't drill it). Is there any type of braket for sale so that I can fix the 4 hole (2 slot) PNP buffers to the chassis via the centre hole?

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 08:35:39 -0600
From: "Thomas"

Subject: Re: Help!



Have you tried using carbide drill bits of the correct size? Not sure what "black steel" is but I have found carbide machinist's drill bits to drill most anything that needs to be drilled. Thomas Scott

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 09:46:17 -0500
From: Michael Guy

Subject: Re: Help!



Tim,
We need just a little more information about the loco chassis. If the "black steel" you mention is just hot-rolled plate with the mill scale still on it you can most certainly drill it with the most basic of common hand tools. What can you tell us about the loco chassis? Where did you get it, what method of assembly is used (bolts, welding?) have you a photo of it you can send out?
Regards,
Michael Guy
Toronto.

--
Michael's Locomotive Pages: updated November 23rd 2005
A new Lempor ejector page.
Updated Romulus Lempor page.
http://home.ca.inter.net/~mguy

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 14:59:27 -0000
From: "Tim Edwards"

Subject: Re: Help!



It is a project loco chassis from Phoenix locos Ltd. The chassis is welded with bolt-on compnent such as the axle boxes, etc. I think the problem I have is that I don't have a workshop so therefore no suitable tools apart from a bog-standard DIY drill

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 15:16:28 -0000
From: "Peter Beevers"

Subject: Re: Re: Help!



Tim,

The problem with a pistol drill on metal (with standard metalworking drills) is that you blunt them very quickly unless you can (some way) hold the drill exactly vertical to the workpiece. If it's not, one lip then the other of the drill rubs and blunts the thing before you can say 'Jack Robinson'.

However, there is hope. Go to your local DIY store that is predominantly orange, they have a range of 'bullet' drills (forget who makes them). The come in individual packets, and are superb for this type of work, stay sharp for a long time. They're not cheap (about 4 quid for a 6mm one), but I've found them excellent value. There are two types, one has a standard drill point and the other has what looks a bit like a pilot drill at the tip (about 2mm long and 2mm diameter) with a strange looking tip shape. THIS IS THE TYPE TO GET. If you're not sure (because I've explained it badly) then I can send you a photo of one from my collection....

Hope this helps, contact me off-list if not

Peter

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 10:19:25 -0500
From: Michael Guy

Subject: Re: Re: Help!



Tim,
That "bog-standard DIY drill" will do fine if you invest in a couple of twist drills to go in it and a centre punch. The secret to drilling steel is to mark out the location, make a dimple with the centre punch (or even a masonry nail in a pinch) and use a SHARP drill bit. The type of drill to buy is one marked "HSS" for "high-speed steel", this refers to the steel alloy used not the rpm you need to use, the drill bit should also be of the "split-point" style as they are easier to push by hand than the regular type. If your hole is to be 3/8" diameter, start with a 3/16" drill to get a pilot hole and open it out to 1/4" then 5/16" then 3/8" (or the metric equivalents!). If your DIY drill is single speed, it will be ok for small holes but too fast and probably under-powered for larger ones. The trick is to go in easy steps and "blip" the trigger to keep the rpm down. Use more pressure than you would for wood, don't let the drill point skid or you will burn and dull it. A little oil on the point sometimes helps but it's not essential. Practice on a bit of scrap metal to get the feel.

Ordinary steel plate is quite soft and can grab the drill if you let it get out of line or when breaking through the other side. Go easy, a powerful drill motor can give you a nasty bruise on the wrist if it gets free. All the safety books will tell you to wear safety glasses, your call, do what you think best but plastic glasses are cheap at the DIY store.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

Regards,
Michael Guy
Toronto.

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 21:58:30 -0000
From: "Tim Edwards"

Subject: Re: Help!



The last 2 suggestions sound good...I will try them. Thank you both for the suggestions, I will let you know what happens

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 22:28:43 -0000
From: "ldhobo"

Subject: re: HELP!!



I don`t know what you mean by "black steel" either but here is an idea told to me. Like the steel bed rails,they are Very Hard to drill and even punch a hole in. If you get some old fashioned glue in a bottle with the rubber top that has a slit in it-called Muselage (spelling), it is supposed to make drilling easier.
Not sure if they still make but you might check in a stationery shop or the school supplies in other stores.Just a thought.
ldhobo

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 18:47:40 -0800
From: Tom Smith

Subject: Re: re: HELP!!



Hello from Las Vegas.... I've recently found out that the non stick cooking spray product..."PAM" is an excellent lubricant for drilling. The filings and metal pieces don't stick to the drill bits. I don't know if "PAM" is marketed in the UK, but I'm sure there is a similar product.

Tom Smith

Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2005 08:17:14 -0500
From: "mikell"

Subject: Coal FYI



Went to the local farm store today and they had 40 # bags of chestnut anthracite coal from PA for I think it was 5$. Even had Santa on the bag.

mikell

Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2005 21:32:49 EST
From: VANCENICK@aol.com

Subject: Re: Coal FYI



Where and what store , brand any info will help

Thanks,
Vance Nickerson
Nickerson Welding & Repair
119 York Dr. Madisonville TX. 77864
Shop # 936-348-9444
Home # 936-348-2504

Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 07:03:40 -0500
From: "mikell"

Subject: Re: Coal FYI



The store used to be Quality Farm and Fleet in St Joseph Michigan. They were selling it with their wood stove pellets and corn. All I remember it is Chestnut Anthracite from PA. I may go pick up a bag or 2 today.

mikell

Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 11:50:41 -0600
From: "Tom Casper"

Subject: RE: Coal FYI



Mike, name the store please

Later:
Tom Casper

Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 10:00:47 -0800 (PST)
From: Mike Lagness

Subject: RE: Coal FYI



It's the local what used to be Quality Farm and Fleet here in St Joesph behind the Wal Mart. Family Farm and Home 269-927-1438.

mike

Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 23:11:08 -0800
From: Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

Subject: Help Needed



Do any of you live close enough to this place to pick up a small part and mail it to me. It is the part I need to get my compressor operating
( https://www.mastertoolrepair.com/product_info.php?products_id=1420) and it sells for $19.95. I would order it myself but they want $45.50 shipping on a piece that should cost no more than $9.99 to ship. I just got an auto winder for my Olympus OM1 shipped to here from Florida for $4.63 so would hate to have to pay such an outlandish charge.
I could send my rescuer the money via Paypal. Or even an American Express Travellers Check or Postal Money Order or?????

Master Tool Repair, Inc.
1226 Executive Blvd. Unit 105
Chesapeake VA 23320

kind regards
Dennis, living in Port Alberni BC, Canada

Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 05:53:01 -0500
From: Don and/or Wanda Orr

Subject: Re: Help Needed



Dennis

Let me check into it today. They are about 20 or so mils from me.
I'll give them a call later when they open...its 0550 est here now.

Will be in touch.

don orr
www.locoparts.net

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 11:27:06 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
From: "Boyd A Butler"

Subject: Re: Help Needed



Dennis what are you trying to get that little fitting with the relief hole in it if so I can get one or may even have it and will send it to you tommorow from down here and will charge you when you come to Train Mountain a hamburger at the local cafe.
Boyd Butler

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 11:29:14 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
From: "Boyd A Butler"

Subject: Re: Help Needed



Dennis now I see what you want will check and see what I have and will get back to you in about two hours dont worry there are many down here in the US just below you on the right side of Washington state.
Boyd.

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 12:04:37 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
From: "Boyd A Butler"

Subject: Re: Help Needed



Ok I have the part in my hand and will ship it to you asap if you give me your shipping address
Boyd Butler

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 12:06:04 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
From: "Boyd A Butler"

Subject: Re: Help Needed



Will try this way, got your part give me your address as will send it tommorow via usps
Boyd.;

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 22:20:27 -0800
From: Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

Subject: Re: Help Needed



Boyd,

I have been out of town until just a few minutes ago. Thanks very much and are you sure you don't also want a Canadian Beer to help wash down that burger. :o)

kind regards
Dennis, living in Port Alberni BC, Canada

Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2005 14:08:04 -0800
From: "Howard Springer"

Subject: Re: Help Needed



REPLY:
Dennis - You didn't mention the manufacturer of the compressor, nor the part name. I doubt if I could help you, since I imagine they would charge the same for mailing it to me.
Howard Springer

Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 12:52:32 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
From: "Boyd A Butler"

Subject: Re: Help Needed



Got the part Howard its a common relief fitting and he should have it by the end of the week
Boyd.

Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2005 11:22:41 -0800
From: Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

Subject: Two Feet in The Snow.



Hi all,

Wishing you a very Happy New Year. I think anyone interested in rail preservation would like to see the following video clip. Videographer, two-foot fanatic, and all-around nice guy, Steve Hussar has just posted his latest video offering on the Web. If you want to experience the magic of two-foot steam in the snowy Maine woods at Christmas time, check it out and enjoy!

I know there are many of you who are Maine two Foot fanatics so this will be a slightly late Christmas Present from me.
http://www.railwayvideo.org/pages/7/index.htm

kind regards
Dennis, living in Port Alberni BC, Canada