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Ripe - Track and Cheapo Point Control


dseagull

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Work has continued on the Ripe layout since the last update, with some significant progress on the 'boring bits', with all track now laid and wiring to be tidied up tomorrow, once the glue holding it down has had plenty of time to set.

 

Going back a little though, this was the scene a few nights ago. Excuse the snapshot again, which has been taken on my phone and edited for size.

 

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As you can see, the pointwork has changed, which I have salvaged from the previous Litlington board, as I wanted medium radius points rather than the previous medium and small combo.

 

Over the last couple of days I have also been giving consideration to controlling the points. I was originally planning to use Tortoise Motors, and indeed the Peco points have been modified so that Frog Juicers can be used to switch polarity of the frogs in preparation, but for now, have decided to leave them as manually operated via wire-in-tube.

 

What I have done though is worked out a way to do this 'on the cheap'. The catalyst was, oddly enough, tidying my desk at work, where I found a Biro which was completely exhausted. Looking at it, I thought the ink tube could come in handy for something, and took it home. I then got some copper wire of approximately 1mm thick, put the wire through the Biro tube and began experimenting.

 

After testing off board, and a strong coffee, I bit the bullet and drilled a hole underneath the tiebar, and another on the front fascia, poked the Biro tube through, then threaded the wire through and up through the hole (with another piece of tube to keep it straight through the baseboard). To my great surprise, it worked perfectly!

 

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Here is one in place, it isn't the easiest thing to photograph, but you can see the (before cutting to height!) wire poking through the points and the front of the board.

 

The tube has been glued to the underside of the board, and also taped over for security, with part of the Biro Tube left through the front to avoid the wire going out of shape.

 

Given the small size of the layout, I have also removed the webbing between the sleepers on the SMP plain track, which is something I have never bothered with before, but certainly will be in future as I am very pleased with the results.

 

blogentry-723-0-70301300-1456445127_thumb.jpg

 

I am also playing with arrangements for the occupation crossing, and am keen on a small signal box, of the platform mounted type, with the platform ramp in front of it. The placeholder one is 'handed' in the wrong direction unfortunately, and the steps would not be there on the real thing. The signs on the mock up shop are from Scalescenes, and were simply added to pass some time tonight and make it look a little less stark!

 

As always, thoughts are more than welcome!

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I have often thought that a "click to write, click to store" Biro would make a simple point-operating device for small shelf layouts. (I'm sure that someone must have done this in the past!).

Just solder a wire to the protruding brass "nib" of the Biro tube, File the end of the pen to clear the solder if required, put an omega bend in the operating wire, connect to point and fix the Biro body to, or into, the baseboard. 

I have a hoard of expired Freeby Parker pens with company logos as distributed by salesmen attempting to interest potential customers in their product, I'm too mean to purchase refills! 

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I have often thought that a "click to write, click to store" Biro would make a simple point-operating device for small shelf layouts. (I'm sure that someone must have done this in the past!).

Just solder a wire to the protruding brass "nib" of the Biro tube, File the end of the pen to clear the solder if required, put an omega bend in the operating wire, connect to point and fix the Biro body to, or into, the baseboard. 

I have a hoard of expired Freeby Parker pens with company logos as distributed by salesmen attempting to interest potential customers in their product, I'm too mean to purchase refills! 

 

Apologies Don, I thought I'd replied to this last week!

 

Yes, that certainly could be an idea! - my version works fine, although I have left the springs in the points to ensure contact. One of the biros I used was totally empty, whereas the other tube came from one which had been trodden on, and was still fairly full. I washed as much ink out as I could (not an easy job!) but it is still a bit 'sticky', so could have done a better job. In hindsight, maybe a 'blast' of WD40 would have done the job better than a bowl of hot soapy water?

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