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Signal Wires...



Originally I'd decided that just having the signal wire posts and pulleys would be sufficient, but having done most of the point rodding I thought I'd just try a guitar string since I'd mentioned that might work and thought it would be fun. So I did, and entered a whole new world of "this is actually probably insane". The No. 1 problem is actually being able to see the dammed things... Still, the experimental one went ok, putting a nice bend in it round the pulley at the box (my needle file is the right diameter) and going along fixing it to the posts. That is after I'd realised that the posts were going to have to move nearer the track so the traditional 'planks' (walkway) will fit in front of the box.   I also realised that planning this really should have been done at the track laying stage, along with the point rods. 


Luckily (thank [Insert deity of choice]) the posts are mounted in holes with a little Evostick to secure them, so a gentle tug (they are brass castings from Wizard Models) and out they came, or a least the ones i wanted to move. I also had to drop all of them down to near ground level so the pullies would be at the right height to connect with signals. For the ones that weren't moving a tap with a bit of wood did the job. Googling found plenty of prototype examples so all's good, but I couldn't find out how higher wires get down to track level in the real world if I wanted to do that. This means the walkway to the crossing is not (that!) obstructed.


Next came a lot of pulley making and then seeing how they would be positioned so the wires turned angles (and heights) at the right places to line up with their targets. I'll bend guitar strings into shape before fixing, much like doing very small plumbing (down pipes and gutters for the signal box, add to list!). The pulley 'stacks' (MSE etches) are incredibly fidlly to make. I kind of position everything having tinned the required bits, dumped a pile of flux on and the heated it all up with the iron. Using tools to hold the loop over the top proved a little erratic, so in the end I used my guitarists finger ends. It still burns, but you get about 20 seconds pain-free before it kicks in. Each one took about 20 mins of stack, solder, swear, de-solder, start over before getting it right. Good job I've not got a lot of signals.... oh, wait! Signals...


Having got to the point of just about getting ready to lay the pullies and wire I remembered the signal that also has to go here.  I had a chunter about this the other day. So fetching it from the workbench (aka tip in the corner of the studio) where it was resting while I awaited some more LEDs I was amazed to discover the base fitted where it needed to be and allowed the pullies and wires to fit without obstruction, and also not obstruct the wire that carries on to the repeater. That was lucky. 


This drove me back to google to see if I could yet find a suitable kit. It seems I can get one, but I am now utterly confused about whats what with Wizard, MSE and SSS! While doing this I got to thinking again about having a 'junction' bracket. I have a bit of a thing about them, something about the geometry I guess... but it's really OTT for the application. A root around in the magic box produced the near finished standard GWR/BR (WR) 'stop' signal. After looking at the two in place I've kind of reluctantly concluded a single signal 'works' better, especially with having the double dummy there. So now the single signal awaits an LED, and I'll be ordering another single signal for the platform road. The bracket signal I guess I'll finish... one day. And sell. I'd forgotten that kit cost £42.50!


All in all, progress and learning. But all to see for it really.







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