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West Kirby Town: Replacement trailing crossover to be fitted.


Dmudriver
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Hey Rod,

 

May I ask you to go back to page one?   About your lever frame.   And forgive my ignorance.

 

What is the convention on colouring turnout and signal levers?    I understand it to be black for turnouts and red for signals, with a few other colours for point locks and what have you.

 

The thing is, I'm starting Hanford, my LNWR branch terminus.    I have some wonderful wafer switches with levers.    I'll have a nice lever frame when I set it up.     I'll colour the levers with heat shrink tubing.

 

Really like what you are up to.

 

Kevin

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Black for points,

red for stop signals

Yellow for distants

blue for facing point locks.

 

there are also white - spares & I can’t recall what colour detonator placers are.

 

and some levers have stripes, but I’m struggling to remember why.

 

I guess someone might be along in a minute to confirm or to correct me!

 

atb

simon 

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1 hour ago, Simond said:

Black for points,

red for stop signals

Yellow for distants

blue for facing point locks.

 

there are also white - spares & I can’t recall what colour detonator placers are.

 

and some levers have stripes, but I’m struggling to remember why.

 

I guess someone might be along in a minute to confirm or to correct me!

 

atb

simon 

All O.K. so far.

Brown for gates, Green for (I think) gongs.

Then it gets more complicated as colours get mixed . . .

White strip on a red lever when it’s released by another box e.g. Line Clear or token out.

Red above yellow for (usually) an intermediate block signal (as it clears stop signal then distant)

Blue above black for power points

Blue above brown for GF releases (and interlocking levers?)

Detonators are black and white arrow stripes pointing up for Up line, down for Down line or stripes for single line.

Red above brown releases a signal at another box e.g. direction levers.


Then some companies adopted Red above black to signify relief or goods line signals.

 

I’ll stop there.

 

Paul.

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15 hours ago, bluestag said:

The thing is, I'm starting Hanford, my LNWR branch terminus.

Find as similar a track layout on the LNWR as you can, and follow that.

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1 hour ago, Regularity said:

Find as similar a track layout on the LNWR as you can, and follow that.

Too late.   I laid track today, including installing Tortoise motors.     Boy, did I learn the hard way: don't lift the points after cutting the music wire.    You'll be forever getting it lined up.   And never if it is far from the baseboard edge.

 

I'll print a copy of the track diagram.   I'm sure it looks nothing like a LNWR terminus, but it suits me.   I think there will be plenty of operation going on; shunting wagons and vans and such.

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Thanks for the replies on lever colours.    I knew many of them, but clearly there are lots of variants.

 

I won't be modeling point locks, or detonators.   My signalling, if I live long enough to model it, will be cursory at best.  

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11 hours ago, bluestag said:

My signalling, if I live long enough to model it, will be cursory at best.  

Sounds like many LNWR branchlines: a home, a starter, and as few point levers in the frame (out in the open) as possible.

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13 hours ago, Regularity said:

Sounds like many LNWR branchlines: a home, a starter, and as few point levers in the frame (out in the open) as possible.

Oh, I'll have a signal box, can't resist.    There are 16 tortoise point motors planned, with eight installed.    I dread the idea of one failing, as I don't see how to install one after the track is laid.

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Posted (edited)

In the unlikely event that a tortoise fails, it’s more probable that it’s the switch, than the motor.  
 

You can use a relay or microswitch to provide the necessary function.

 

if the motor or gears fail, replace the motor but do not cut the operating wire until installed.  It’s fiddly but possible, best to shine a bright light down from above.  Cut the wire after the motor is installed & tested.


I’ve never had a failure, mine are probably 20 years old now.

 

hth

Simon

Edited by Simond
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Just been transferring stuff off old hard disks before introducing them to The Big Hammer (remember when a 10Gb disk was thought "big"?) and I came across a photo I took at West Kirby 30-odd years ago when the 503s were still about.

 

waitingforatrain.jpg.d8dbf8e7a4d88f2830223842c79388d2.jpg

 

At least it wasn't raining, just cold grey murk.....

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Simond said:

In the unlikely event that a tortoise fails, it’s more probable that it’s the switch, than the motor.  
 

You can use a relay or microswitch to provide the necessary function.

 

if the motor or gears fail, replace the motor but do not cut the operating wire until installed.  It’s fiddly but possible, best to shine a bright light down from above.  Cut the wire after the motor is installed & tested.


I’ve never had a failure, mine are probably 20 years old now.

 

hth

Simon

I've INHERITED 11 motors, the age of which I cannot tell you.   But your experience comforts me.   As for the switch, there ARE two, I have wired the motors to 8 pole terminal strips, so it will be a simple matter to try the second switch.   But beyond that, I am actuating the motors with lever switches with a wafer holding five single pole double throw switches, only one of which is to be used to drive the motor.    I COULD use one of those to switch the frog polarity.

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Indeed, there are two switches.  I am aware of failures, presumably if the moving contact is not properly over the static contact when current flows, or perhaps worse, current flows whilst the contacts are breaking, causing an arc.

 

in the best regulated & finest scale modelling circles, locos will never short on a frog, the signalman will never pull, or return, a lever at the wrong time, so these unfortunate circumstances will never arise, and tortoises will live a long, slow and untroubled life…

 

if bypass surgery is required, well, you have several options!

 

atb

Simon

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On 05/07/2021 at 00:16, bluestag said:

There are 16 tortoise point motors planned, with eight installed.    I dread the idea of one failing, as I don't see how to install one after the track is laid.

 

I'll just add my experience, too.  I've used Tortoises since I began building the layout (what seems like) years ago and I've had no trouble with the motors.  I'd also used them on the Club's layout before that.  

 

What I have had trouble with, though, is the switches when they are wired up to change frog polarity.  After a pretty long time (as in years!!) some have stopped the power flowing to the frog.  A dose of WD40 or contact cleaner squirted into the switch has usually cleared the problem.  I suspect it is due to the fact there's 16V AC and up to 5 amps flowing through them and the contacts get burnt/pitted - and somewhere in the depths of the hard drive in my brain, I seem to remember this being commented on at the Club years ago.

 

The other switch is used for the signal interlocking but that has much less power flowing through it and I've had no problems with those.

 

I've now got this frog juicer and, provided I'm happy with the way it works once I've eventually fitted it, the plan is to use those instead of the switch on the Tortoises for the frog polarity changing.

 

On the subject of signal lever colours: sorry I've not replied sooner, but others have gone into more detail than I could have done anyway.  On my frame, red is signals, black is points, blue over brown is the GF release and white is spare.  I've no use for any other colours on this layout.

 

HTH.

 

 

Rod

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I've now fitted the frog juicer and I have to say I am really impressed with it.  So much so that I am definitely going to fit them to all my other points - on the layout, anyway, not the fiddle yard.  They're easy to fit, too: 2 wires from the buses and one to the frog - simples!!  The difficult bit is nothing to do with the juicers, but getting under the baseboard!!!

 

I have found one disadvantage, though: it is now possible to run through a wrongly set point in the trailing direction, whereas with a microswitch that couldn't happen as the frog would not change polarity and a short would occur.  However, the convenience vastly outweighs that disadvantage and it is only likely to happen in the stabling point anyway as elsewhere the signalling would not clear - because the interlocking still operates through the Tortoise motor switch.  I found this out by experiment, not by making a mistake when running!!

 

In other news, Mike has redrawn the Templot plan for the crossover so I'm just in the middle of cutting out and setting up the template to check it again.

 

More soon.

 

 

Rod

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1 hour ago, Dmudriver said:

I have found one disadvantage, though: it is now possible to run through a wrongly set point in the trailing direction, whereas with a microswitch that couldn't happen as the frog would not change polarity and a short would occur.

Just like a real railway: the driver must obey the signals and also keep an active look out for things.

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Rod,

 

it’s clear that juicers are very convenient, but I don’t understand why you would fit them in place of working frog switching.  What advantage do they offer, as they are clearly more expensive than the switch you already have?

 

cheers

Simon

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On 05/07/2021 at 23:14, Hroth said:

Just been transferring stuff off old hard disks before introducing them to The Big Hammer (remember when a 10Gb disk was thought "big"?) and I came across a photo I took at West Kirby 30-odd years ago when the 503s were still about.

 

waitingforatrain.jpg.d8dbf8e7a4d88f2830223842c79388d2.jpg

 

At least it wasn't raining, just cold grey murk.....

 

 

 

 

It sure does bring back memories that pictures and it was always cold and grey !!!

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On 11/07/2021 at 06:14, Simond said:

Rod,

 

it’s clear that juicers are very convenient, but I don’t understand why you would fit them in place of working frog switching.  What advantage do they offer, as they are clearly more expensive than the switch you already have?

 

cheers

Simon

 

That's a good question, Simon, and it seems to assume there was a logical, reasoned thought process that was followed.  There wasn't!!  It is probably best described as organic. **

 

I had the Peco points laid, on which I had isolated the frogs.  They were hand operated as I couldn't get Tortoises anywhere near them because of 3" x 2" baseboard supports underneath.  The Peco point blades were held in place by a spring and I had just enough room to fit a mechanical microswitch at the end of both tie bars, disguised by dummy hand point levers.  These worked very well - until I replaced the Peco points with the hand built ones!!  These had no spring so needed a point lever to operate and hold them in position.  I could not realistically fit a microswitch and the point levers in the space available so decided to go with dead frogs.

 

They weren't perfect and it was only really when a fresh pair of eyes - my pal Dave - commented on the marker lights going out that I decided to energise them.  He mentioned these juicers which he's used on his new layout.  I investigated them and decided I'd try them  - I love the thought of trying something new, particularly electronic!!  Yes, they are more expensive than mechanical microswitches but I decided I could afford one, so bought it - and the rest is as I have described it above!!

 

I now need to investigate whether I can use lower rated ones on my layout which, although DCC,  does not involve long, heavy trains operating at speed.  So now, as I'm fond of saying, watch this space!!

 

 

Rod

 

**   Does this perhaps illustrate the difference between engineers and artists?  :smile_mini2:

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Rod,  

 

I don't think "organic" can be used to differentiate between engineering and artistic minds - I speak as a retired engineer whose mind is so organic it is positively composting with old age.:wacko:

 

For me, the advantages of "frog juicers" over electro-mechanical switching is down to reliability and zero requirement for mechanical adjustment. You can get poor electronic circuits but once you weed the duffers out they generally just run and run (witness the Voyager 1 space probe success). I used to look after the electrics of the NECG0G test track electrics. The electro-mechanical switches were a constant source of unwanted work.

 

"Frog juicers" are obviously no use if you wish to alternate between DC and DCC running.  

 

Ian.

 

PS I am still jealous of your layout - in the nicest possible way.:)

Edited by Ian Major
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Thanks Rod,

 

whilst I agree with Ian’s view (clearly based on experience!) it’s pretty clear that the switches that you had weren’t as satisfactory as the tortoises that I assumed you were using.

 

On Porth Dinllaen, the trap point on the ramp to the coal stage is Tortoise powered, via a wire-in-tube link.  That might offer you a way of motorising those points.  it looks a bit crude, but works well.

 

A0135826-50BC-49ED-AE36-9544023E2DD6.jpeg.887b59e5fa78cce1b639217cbbf59ef9.jpeg

 

Alternatively, servos are very much smaller than Tortoises, but you’ll need an alternative means of control.  
 

(edit - and frog switching or juicers too!)
 

and, as a not-yet-retired Engineer, organic is good!

 

cheers

Simon

 

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Ian,

 

no need for high crimes and misdemeanors!  Happy to share!

 

The clamp that holds the tube - I used thick plasticard as you can see, but the key point is that the tube is PTFE and therefore not very easy to stick - I think I used evostik and clamped it as well.  Similar arrangement at the point end, which is under the track.

 

Fingers crossed, it'll last forever, because it'll cause a sense-of-humour failure if it needs fixing!

 

atb

Simon

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  • 3 weeks later...

Progress is a bit slow, I'm afraid!!  Mike's been having a bit of trouble getting the plan right for the crossover so I put a new thread on Templot Club, asking how to get a tracing into Templot.   After some exchanges, Martin Wynne offered to do it for me so I sent PDFs of the tracings which he converted (somehow!!) into JPEGs.  He then sent me back the plan which I printed off and checked on the layout and it's fine.  He's even tweaked a sharp bit of the curve for me.  **

 

Mike is now about to start cutting the bases and making up the packs.  Then I can get going again!!

 

In the meantime, I've done more shunting around whenever I go in the shed but no proper running sessions!!  I want, when I get the chance, to do a video to show how noisy the current crossover is - how well it will come out, I don't know.  We'll see how it goes.

 

More soon.

 

 

Rod

 

**  If anyone's interested, the thread is here:  https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?threads/using-a-tracing-as-a-basis-for-a-template.232/#post-2158

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  • Dmudriver changed the title to West Kirby Town: Replacement trailing crossover to be fitted.

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