Friday, July 14, 2017

Construction Report: July 14, 2017 Pine Valley Trackwork Update

Last night I wrapped up the cutting and fitting of the west yard ladder of Pine Valley. Everything was glued with DAP adhesive caulk, the soup can express was parked on top and dried overnight (almost there's a few white caulk spots were air flow was blocked by a soup can). This weekend I'll solder the rails at the removable section edges and then cut those gaps along with frog gaps with my Dremel. The turnouts will also need spiked down since the copper ties do not touch the caulking and sorta float around.

As seen below the yard ladder starts with a curved #8 then a curved #6, all made with Fast Track's paper templates. The main line also now extends west all the way behind the furnace to the Long Run Tunnel area as seen in Wordless Wednesday #114. I've had to make some changes to the prototype track layout of Pine Valley Yard but I'm pretty happy with what I've fit into the available space.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

DCC: Decoder Wire Source

Recently I've installed a few DCC decoders in my son's equipment so that he can run his engines now that track is being laid. I have some nice thin flexible wire but would soon need more. I was reminded not too long ago about a potential source for the thin flexible wire that's perfect to use for decoder installs, PC ribbon cable!

Being that I build my own computers I naturally have a lot of old parts and cables stashed away. Old hard drive ATA and floppy disc drive ribbon cables are what you need to find. Cut off the cable ends and just like string cheese, peel off a few strands. In my example below, I had a fancy ATA cable that was designed to improve air flow inside the PC case. Even better it has three colors of wire to pick from! I hope this little tip can help you save a few bucks on DCC supplies!