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2026  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Fixing track to board on: December 27, 2013, 10:42:57 AM
I use low-temp 'Hot Melt' glue. It doesn't get hot enough to damage the plastic roadbed, and it's easy to pop loose with a putty knife.

2027  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 4x8 track plans on: December 26, 2013, 04:27:58 PM
It's actually fairly simple to build a 5x9 table using two sheets of 4x8 plywood.

Frame up one 4x8 using 1x3's or 1x4's so it's good and rigid. The table support legs should be mounted to this main table structure.

Cut the other sheet into two 6"'x8' strips, and two 6"x5' strips. You'll loose a little width to the saw kerf, but not enough to matter. Frame each strip up using the same 1x3 or 1x4 material used for the main table.

Bolt a 6"x8' strip to each long edge of the main table. Bolt a 6"x5' strip to each end of the main table, and the ends of the 6"x8' strips.

You now have a 5'x9' table. If you use 1' wide strips you end up with a 6'x10' table.

2028  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: passenger car lighting on: December 20, 2013, 04:11:43 PM
You could try the Miniatronics passenger car interior lighting kits. They have 7 LEDs, voltage regulator, and capacitor to prevent flickering. Each LED has it's own surface mount resistor, and the PC board is notched to allow removal of LED's for use in shorter cars. About $32 MSRP, but discounts can be found with a bit of looking. Safe to use up to 18V AC or DC, so fine for DCC layouts.

The 100-ICL-01 has white LEDs to simulate modern flourescent lights, the 100-YCL-01 has YellowGlo LEDs to simulate incandescent lights in older cars.

Getting the Bachmann cars open to install them is the real trick.

2029  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Age of train folk on: December 19, 2013, 03:24:53 PM
Part of it's marketing. The train store my repair shop is in has a large multiscale layout in the courtyard of the shopping complex we're in. No shortage of young folks coming into the store after seeing that.

It used to be just about every hobby shop had a display layout, at least around the holidays if not the rest of the year. Now almost none of them do, and I believe that lack does affect model train sales.

2030  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EZ Track Curved turnouts on: December 19, 2013, 03:16:19 PM

What about the 'classic' 18"/22" radius combo that started this whole thread??

2031  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 4x8 track plans on: December 17, 2013, 12:16:23 PM
One minor word of warning about the Atlas books, specifically the plans using 'cookie cutter' benchwork.

Dimensional lumber sizes have gotten slightly smaller since those plans were originally developed. So double check the clearance measurements you'll actually need before cutting anything. I found this out the hard way building the "Granite Gorge & Northern" a while back. I just cut the notches directly from the plans, without premeasuring, and ended up with too little clearance under the upper double track.

2032  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Calculating Resistor Values on: December 17, 2013, 11:33:31 AM
No calculations needed with a multimeter.

I have multimeters, along with several other pieces of electronic test equipment, but I like to have some idea what value resistor to use before I apply power to the LED. Less smoke that way.

Len (Retired Telecommunications Electronics Engineer)
2033  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Calculating Resistor Values on: December 16, 2013, 10:49:06 AM
LED current limiting resistor formula for a DC power supply and a single LED:

       V t V led
R = -----------
           I led


V t = total voltage (power supply voltage)
V led = operating voltage of LED
I led = operating current of LED (in amperes)

For example, with a 12-volt power supply and
a 2-volt, 20mA LED, you'd get

R = (12 - 2) / 0.02 = 500 ohms.

The closest standard resistor above or below the calculated value is generally okay to use if you get an oddball number.

2034  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EZ Track Curved turnouts on: December 13, 2013, 11:44:05 AM
I'm with Jeff. I really miss those old 18/22 curved turnouts. Real space savers in a lot of situations.

2035  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: EZ Track with TechII on: December 05, 2013, 09:39:56 AM
Or, if you don't want to cut up a cord with a plug, purchase a terminal/rerailer section that comes with a power wire that has spade lugs to go under screws on one end.

2036  Discussion Boards / Williams by Bachmann / Re: Steel Track Pins 00215 on: December 02, 2013, 07:13:31 PM
They look like standard size 'O' pins, so they should work with any 'O' tubular style track, or to get better electrical connectivity than provided by the contacts on old K-Line 'SuperSnap' track. If they're 'O', they'll be too big for O27 track.

2037  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: EZ track on: November 29, 2013, 05:35:30 PM
Both the steel & NS EZ-Track use code 100 rail.

2038  Discussion Boards / Williams by Bachmann / Re: True Blass II Steam Unit Upgrade to Lionel SOS Loco on: November 29, 2013, 04:17:08 AM

I don't run any wires to the loco when I do the TB-II upgrade. I add 'snap-on' pick-up roller assemblies to the tender and connect the red wire to them. The black wire goes to the wheel contacts already in place. I got the pick-up roller assy's from either Olsen's Toy Trains or the Train Tender, I forget which. I believe the part number is 581-10.

2039  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 4x8 track plans on: November 27, 2013, 05:30:00 PM
Len - does the Bachmann EZ track book come with my set (hasn't arrived yet)

I don't believe the book comes in any of the sets I'm aware of.

The actualy title of the book is, "E-Z Model Railroads Track Planning Book", item 99978 if you order from the Bachmann On-Line Store. The ISBN-13 is 978-0964709829 if you need to order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

2040  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 4x8 track plans on: November 27, 2013, 09:01:20 AM
Between the Bachmann EZ-Track book, the Atlas HO Track Plan books, and a bunch of Kalmbach published starter track plan books, there are already a ton of 4x8 layouts out there. Many of which provide a lot of operating interest in a limited space.

One way to 'expand' a 4x8 is to have it represent one point within a larger railroad, with a spur or two running off the table to 'the rest of the world'. If there's space, add a 4'-6' piece of 1x4 lumber for a "Fiddle Yard" for new incoming trains, and a place for outbounds to leave for.

You'd be amazed what operating possiblities are available running locals made up of cars from the "through" trains, and getting blocks of cars ready to be picked up by the next one.

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