Browsing Tag: model Railroad

    Budget LED Wiring For Your Model Railroad
    Articles, Blog

    Budget LED Wiring For Your Model Railroad

    August 17, 2019


    if you want to light up your model
    railroad and you’re on a budget you’re gonna want to watch this in a previous
    video I showed you how to use an Arduino Nano to light up your model railroad now
    I’m going to show you what wires you could use on there and the LEDs that you
    could use on there I have some other videos that are related to this as far
    as soldering SMD LEDs and taking apart a wall wart which is a big part of this
    video right here so let’s get started with it right now in another video I
    tore apart a wall wart we got these wires from there it’s called magnet wire
    and you got two coils inside the one coil it is like hair thin which is no
    good for what we need on here but this other coil of wire is approximately 24
    gauge wire and it’s nice and strong the only thing is you have to scrape off the
    insulation on here now I did the video on it about tearing apart the AC wall
    warts you may have different size wires on your wall wart coils based on the
    voltage of the wall wart so keep that in mind you can find very inexpensive wall
    warts at your local thrift store I got mine for about 50 cents apiece now what
    I’m using here is the magnet wire on there for the SMD LEDs and here’s one
    that I already made up and I scratched off the ends of it but let me show you
    how we work this here what I want to do is measure out about it 12 inches of it I just set it up over here and cut off
    just a little bit over 12 inches about 12 and a half inches and what we have to
    do is scrape the edges of it to get the insulation off of it now this is it’s
    kind of hard to get off and I’d do it two different ways I use the exacto
    blade and you got to turn this thing over to get both sides of it and try to
    get as many angles on it as you can like this turn it just a little bit that way
    and then turn it back this way and then these finger nail files Dollar Tree you
    get a whole stack of them for a dollar and you could what I do is just turn it
    in there hold the hold two of them together and just use the the sandpaper
    on there to clean it off a little and this usually does the trick on there and
    then you do the other side the same way scrape it off with the exacto blade now they do make magnet wire where you
    don’t have to scrape off the insulation and I’m going to show you that in a
    little bit here that I bought some it comes from the manufacturers Remington
    and I showed you on a previous video we saw during a 30 gauge wire to the SMD
    LEDs I just purchased some 24 gauge wire and it’s about seven dollars for a
    hundred foot of it and you can get it in you know different foot footage rolls
    that I got about a hundred foot of it for seven dollars and I’ll show you that
    next but the coating on the wire is actually flux when it melts it’s
    actually flux so when you put the iron up up against it it melts turns in the
    flux and then you could solder your wires together okay so let’s get the
    meter over here okay that’s this one here so what I do
    is I just take the meter on both ends of this to make sure we’ll put it on the
    audible let’s see we got we got a continuity on there but not very good we
    could maybe just send right here yeah descend right here maybe we could
    do a little bit more work on it so just come over here with the sandpaper and
    just hit it a couple more times until okay that’s good right there so that’s
    what we do with the wire we do both of them and then we twist them together now
    we got the two wires ready we’ll all we need to do is just twist them together a
    little bit now I’ve seen people do this in a drill but you don’t want them you
    don’t want to get it too tight I mean you could do it in a drill but it’s
    going to make it really tight so I just come down and I just twist it together
    like this and that’s all you need just to hold the two wires together okay and there we go I got two more of these and
    I’ll show you what I did so far with these other ones I made up four of them
    and I got the SMD LEDs on there and then on the other end what I did was tested
    them and the wire that I used for these other ones that I have these ones right
    here i soldered wire on the end of them i
    soldered wire on the end of these right here and this is heat shrink on this is
    black and yellow heat shrink because the insulation from the black wire won’t go
    over that but i use the insulation from the black wire on here just slid it over
    top of the negative lead so whenever we go to hook this up I know which lead is
    negative and if I have to cut this shorter we’ll just strip it down a
    little bit and scrape it like we did the other one and then just take the
    insulation and move it down to where we we need it but this is what we’re going
    to be using on the building’s we’re going to be using the SMD LEDs on here
    now these are warm I think these are warm white that I showed you in another
    video and all these things that I’m showing you here I did in another video
    at one point or another now I’m putting them into use in the buildings and this
    this type right here is going to be the kind that I use for the arc welder it’s
    a it’s a real small one and actually it’s it’s coated so what I did was I cut
    the coating off of it but that’s another video right there but this one here
    we’re gonna make up about 12 of these so that’s what we have so far we have to
    work on a little bit more of the wiring and let me show you the Remington wire
    that is already is ready to solder now here’s a spool of the remington wire
    that I was telling you about it’s 26 gauge and you can see it’s red it comes
    in assorted colors and it’s magnet wire and like I said before all you have to
    do is heat this up and the insulation that
    is coding this is actually flux so you don’t need flux when you’re soldering it
    to your SMD LEDs and it comes in different gauges I showed you on a
    previous video I use some 30 gauge but I but this 26 gauge here it’s a little bit
    heavier I got this at Amazon and I think you can order directly from Remington –
    I’m not quite sure but I got it through Amazon when I get it through Amazon I
    get it a lot quicker these LEDs right here are from something
    that I got at Michaels there was a long string of a series of LEDs and they had
    a little box where you could put a battery in there and they flash and do
    all kind of things you buy these after Christmas and you can get them for a
    couple of bucks these are the LEDs that I used on my welding sketch that I have
    right back here that anyway on here I soldered a little bit heavier wire on it
    because this is kind of flimsy wire on it it’s maybe 28 gauge or so so I put 22
    gauge wire on the bottom of it I soldered on it and then I like I said
    before I put the shrink wrap on it and you can get this at spools of this I
    have six different colors of it I got it at Adafruit you can get it anywhere I
    think they have them at Amazon also it’s a good thing to have this is solid wire
    you could also get stranded wire but I preferred solid wire for this because
    you could easily put this and this is why I did it because you could push
    these into the breadboard real easily if you recall the SMD LEDs come in a little
    tape like this right here and all you do is just remove the cover on there and be
    careful with it because if should there’s some LEDs in the carpet
    someplace that you know bounced off of here and went down there now I never
    found that anyway be careful with it you just take them off one by one just peel
    this thing back whenever you need a LED and just drop it onto your your
    bitch but you get a hundred of them for six bucks and I bought another package
    of them this one is warm white and this just is plain white so I could vary the
    the colors on there and you could also take some acrylic paint and put a light
    coating on there to change the color if you need to change the color on these
    things and I’ll show you how to do that in it later on here’s the packaging of
    those like teardrop it are called rice lights they’re originally $7.99 but I
    got them at Michael’s after Christmas not this past Christmas but the year
    before for about a couple of bucks they’re very inexpensive after Christmas
    and if you’re intimidated by SMD lights I got these at Walgreens after Christmas
    I finally got them about two dollars a box
    so for 50 LEDs two bucks for 50 LEDs and I already disassembled one of them you
    know it’s the Christmas tree lights and all you do is just all you do is remove the LEDs from the
    string it’s a little work and you’ll notice on about every four or five of
    them there will be a little resistor on each one of the LEDs but you could use
    these anywhere and I’ve used these in projects already and so I have about 200
    clear LEDs that cost me two four six eight eight dollars and then these these
    right here were two dollars I got two packages I used one package already and
    here’s the other one and the inside here there’s a little battery pack that you
    could also use that for lighting up something that’s remote if you just want
    to do it every once in a while you put some batteries in it turn the switch on
    you got five volts for you lighting if you’re intimidated by the SMD lights you
    can get these after Christmas or you can get a whole package of assorted colors
    for about seven bucks on Amazon and I have the link down in the description
    I’ve used those to you know get them in a nice little thing and I think there’s
    200 LEDs in there of assorted colors you got clear red blue green yellow now I
    showed you in a previous video that we’re using the Nano on a circuit board
    and I’m using a DF player mini on it but you don’t have to do that if you don’t
    want to sound associated with your building lights but you could do it with
    a nano and you can get about three of the nanos I got three of these nanos for
    about eleven bucks on Amazon or if you prefer something larger a legume you get
    two uno and I got this I think it was about ten bucks on Amazon for the a
    Lagoo uno and it just like the Arduino Uno but less expensive but I’ve had
    pretty good luck with everything from a Lagoo these nanos are from a Lagoo also
    so take a look into that that’s a very inexpensive way to light up you
    or model railroad with the wall wart wire or if you prefer not to work so
    hard you can get this from Remington and you don’t have to scratch off all the
    insulation on the wall wart wire but anyway you could put it on a circuit
    board like this you could use these connectors or if you don’t want to you
    could solder the wires directly on here you put your resistors on here but on
    future ones I’m going to use all sip resistors on or instead of using the
    regular resistors on there for the LEDs as usual everything that I talked about
    in my videos if there’s a link or anything else you could find that in the
    description and sometimes if it’s a video you’ll see it in the info boxes up
    there so until the next time we’ll see Ya

    Will Cat 5 Cable Handle Your Model Railroad Components
    Articles, Blog

    Will Cat 5 Cable Handle Your Model Railroad Components

    August 15, 2019


    in a previous video I showed you how to
    make a wiring harness for your tortoise which with this connector here and this
    terminal block right here and in that video I talked about using a cat5 cable
    to run that back to your control panel so that’s what we’re gonna do today I’m
    going to show you how to use a rj45 wall jack on there so you could run your cat5
    cable back to your control panel to operate your tortoise switch machines or
    even your cobalt switch machines if you want to do it that way you can also hook
    up a cat5 cable to any other thing so let’s get going with that right now i’m
    Tom Kvichak and this is Toms Trains and Things this channel was created to
    help other modelers who are in need of guidance in pursuing their dream of
    building a model railroad we’re going to talk about some cat 5 cable today we’re
    gonna hook it up on our harness right here what I use before on my project was
    4 twisted pairs telephone station wire we could use cat 5 cable also on this
    because it’s eight conductor it just has different wire colors on there now my
    old station wire has all solid colors on there on the cat 5 cable you have a
    solid color and a white with a tracer of that color so we’ll show you how to hook
    up the connectors and we’ll test it and we’ll do it on a short piece of cat 5
    cable and we’ll do it on a 25-foot or longer piece of cat 5 cable to see if we
    have any voltage drop or performance issues on the longer cable since I’m
    using two different types of cables on there on my the cable that I’m normally
    using is solid colors so I have white yellow green red orange brown blue and
    black going from pins one through eight and up here this is the configuration of rj45 so the pinout
    on here is 5 4 3 6 on one side and 1 2 7 8 on the other side so what I’m gonna do
    is put the white yellow blue black orange red green and brown on it like
    that so it’s a good idea to make up a little chart for you this is how the
    wires are going to go so I’ll just place this right here like that and we’re just
    going to drop these wires in here I’m just gonna push them in like this
    and then I have a little tool that I could push them down a little bit
    further so this is orange on this side red green and brown so now that we got them
    in there most of the times when you get this you’re going to come and get a tool
    like this and what you do is you just push each one of these down like that
    okay and then I’ll put this up here and where you can see it a little bit closer
    you take this and put this in the slot and just push this down on the wire so
    the wire goes go all the way down in the slot and there’s blades in there that
    makes contact and strips the insulation and makes contact with the wire just
    like that and then what you do now is just take your diagonal pliers and just
    snip off the excess and what I’m gonna do is just go again and just push it
    down in there just to make sure one whole eight wires and now all we have to
    do is work on the other side put the weight in there and make sure you got
    wires long enough and we got them and what I’ll do is just
    measure these the yellow goes over here and I’ll do the rest of these off-camera
    so you don’t have to watch me stripping and doing this to all the wires on here
    all right there’s the finished product right there I got all the wires in there
    on my terminal strip now if I didn’t have this terminal strip already I would
    have just taken this wall connector and connected it right to here but since I’m
    going to be testing it and I’m going to be putting the meter on here that’s why
    I still have it on the strip I stripped both ends of the wire I took about ang
    and a half to two inches so you could see that they are four twisted pairs you
    get two blue two brown orange and a green and on this side over here I
    separated them now you’re always going to have the brown and the white and
    brown on the one end and then the blue and the blue the white and blue in the
    center now there’s two different types of connector connections there’s a 568a
    and a 568b and the ones all the ones that I’ve seen
    use the B color code so what I’m going to do here I’m going to cut off all but
    about a half an inch and then try to straighten these out a little bit and
    put it on this connector here and when you put it on the connector you’re using
    this side here where you see all the pins on it not the part where the clip
    is you want to put it on like this what I do on here is I cut them down to about
    a half an inch and try to get them as straight as possible now I’m not going
    to remove my thumb here because that’ll get them out of order so turn this
    around and it should fit in right there and
    what I do before I crimp it I go and I make sure so I should have orange tracer
    orange green tracer blue blue tracer green Brown tracer in brown okay so now
    I got all of them in the correct place and you can see on the crimping tool
    this is four six conductor and that one’s for eight conductor so you see
    this side right here it’s worth you crimp down on and you could see the
    little teeth that come up and press it down on the pins in there so you got it
    inserted and you squeeze it clicks and you release it so there’s the other one
    and I’ll do the the other side of it all right and I have the same thing on the
    opposite side just to double-check it all the wires in place and flat and I
    straighten them out as much as possible and stick it up in there as far as it’ll
    go stick the cable in there make sure it’s
    in push on the cable and squeeze down on it
    okay and trying to get the little clip on there so we have us a long cable I’m
    not sure how long this is but I’ll measure it and we’ll use this for
    testing a long distance on the layout to see if we have any problems with the
    switch machines functioning I want to give you an example of the differences
    in these connectors this one the pin you know the way that you
    push your PIN your wires in to that for the pins this one is arranged to one
    three five and this one is one two three six so you have to pay close attention
    to what you’re doing when you’re doing that even though these are probably the
    same manufacturer they changed the position of the wires
    in the back where you push them in I’m going to take a really old patch cable
    and this one’s about a estimate this about five five foot long no good so I’m
    just going to clip the ends off of it and use this for my wall socket here I
    have the other one made up I didn’t cut the last four off of it they come in a
    strip of twelve so I have four extra ones on there but I’m just going to go
    down the line to make sure that we have a good connection I have a new connector
    here a new connector here this is a patch cable that I got okay here’s the
    cable that I just made up that’s plugged in here and on that terminal board right
    here so we’re just going to go down the line and check for continuity and what
    I’ll do is I’ll put on audible one there we go first one second one three four
    oops five six seven and eight now if you’re going to be making up cables it
    would be a good idea to put make up a test piece like this with terminal
    strips on each side so all you have to do is the cables that you’re making up
    that you could test them on there to make sure that your wiring is good on
    there now we could test out the switch
    machines we’re going to test this out I have it hooked up to 12 volts I have my
    terminal strip right here I have this is approximately a six foot cable right
    here and we’re going to test it out first with just to make sure that the
    switch machine works okay now what I’m going to do is I’m going to put the
    longer cable on there that I just made up now I have it hooked up to this cable
    right here now that’s a lot of resistor resistance going through 24 gauge wire
    so let’s see how this functions and it still looks pretty good so what I’m
    going to do is I’m going to put the meter on over here eleven point eight
    six now let me put it over here on here through twenty five or 230 foot eleven
    point eight three so we lost about three hundredths of a volt on there okay then
    switch this over and it’s just going to change to a minus eleven point eight
    three and you could see while its operating it went back up to eleven
    point eight six and drop down to eleven eleven point eight to here now let’s see
    it what it does close up now this is right at the power source right behind
    the switch so we’re starting out at eleven point eight six and we’ll see
    what happens when we operate so it goes up about
    one one-hundredth to 11.8 seven but that is pretty good we didn’t we didn’t lose
    that much voltage so I’m satisfied with that if you like what you see here and
    you are learning from the videos that I produce here go ahead on over to my
    patreon page where you can pledge as little as one dollar so you can help out
    in my efforts to produce more videos to teach you about beginning your model
    railroad so thank you very much well I’m totally satisfied with the results of
    this test today using the cat 5 cable the cable that I made up if we could
    just get a manufacturer to make a breakout board where we could put one of
    these connectors on here and have a wall jack on the other side that would be
    wonderful that way all we’d have to do is plug it
    in and plug a cat5 cable in there that we make and run it to our control panel
    and that’s what I am going to do on my layout because this test that I did was
    successful that’s the main reason that I wanted to see if we would have any
    problem with the tortoise which machine running it through a long length of cat
    5 cable the cobalt classic Omega now what did they do they added another pin
    on it for your signaling so that has nine pins on it now a cat5 cable only
    has eight so you wouldn’t be able to do it on this version of the cobalt classic
    Omega on the original one you would because there’s eight pins on there that
    as far as this one here you wouldn’t be able to use pin number three which they
    have as a signaling pin so there you go from the test and a little demonstration
    and I did today making up the cat 5 cables and the other end with the wall
    socket on there I hope you really learn something on it I did and I am satisfied
    with the test that I did today on there Oh about a month or two ago they started
    the Amazon influencer they opened it up to a lot of more creators and I applied
    for it and they turned me down then but I just got an email a couple of days ago
    that I was accepted into the Amazon influencer program so I will have my own
    page of items that I can sell on there from Amazon and I also applied for
    Amazon merge where they could make t-shirts that I design look for that in
    the future in the near future by the end of this week I should know about the
    page where I’m selling merchandise and a little bit later on about my own
    merchandise my own t-shirts so We’ll see Ya

    One of Sweden’s finest and largest and most famous model railroad in HO scale
    Articles, Blog

    One of Sweden’s finest and largest and most famous model railroad in HO scale

    August 15, 2019


    [ Pilentum Television ] [ Music ] In summer 2019,
    Pilentum Television, was invited by one of the biggest
    model railway clubs in Sweden to produce a
    video documentary about Sweden’s finest and largest
    model railroad layout. Anyway, if you’re asking
    Swedish model railroaders and railway enthusiast,
    where to find the largest permanent model railway exhibition in
    Sweden, they will probably answer, this is the
    “Modelljärnväg Hässleholm”. By the way, the Swedish word
    “modelljärnväg” means “model railway” in British English and “model
    railroad” in American English. In this video, Pilentum Television
    presents the “Modelljärnväg Hässleholm”, really one of the largest model railroad
    layouts built in HO scale in Sweden. Right at the beginning of the video,
    we have seen a total view of the layout. As you have seen in this camera angle,
    this section of the model railroad inside the large exhibition hall
    occupies approximately 25 x 8 meters. Actually, this Swedish miniature world
    covers more than 700 square meters. Now, while watching the model trains, we
    have to learn some geography and history. On the contrary to many other
    model railway layouts, which are presented all over the world,
    this Swedish HO scale layout is a historically correct scale model of
    Hässleholm’s railway station, its locomotive shed and its buildings
    as they were in the late 1960’s. Hässleholm is a small city in Sweden
    with nearly 20,000 inhabitants. The town is about 100 kilometers away
    from Malmö, in the south of Sweden. The city of Hässleholm was developed
    from 1860 in connection with the construction of the railway
    line between Stockholm and Malmö. At that time, before the arrival of the railway,
    the city of Hässleholm did not exist. It was the railway traffic that
    made the city of Hässleholm famous. Therefore, Hässleholm gained
    the city title in 1914, and was then classified as one
    of Sweden’s smallest cities. During the 20th century
    Hässleholm developed into a large railway junction
    because it was a crossing of all the Swedish railway
    lines that ran from the north to the south and
    from the east to the west. Even today, Hässleholm is still an
    important railway junction in the network of the Swedish State Railways,
    also known as “Statens Järnvägar”. [ Music ] However, the railway history of Sweden is
    closely linked to the city of Hässleholm. That was the reason why Hässleholm’s
    model railway association, which was founded in 2004, decided to build a model
    railroad layout of the whole region. They started the construction in 2004. At first, only one segment was
    built, the railway station and the marshalling
    yard of Hässleholm. Very soon a Swedish miniature world with
    a size of 250 square meters was created. In 2008, Hässleholm’s model
    railway association had no more space to expand
    the model railway layout. Therefore, another room was rented to
    enlarge the Swedish miniature world. In the larger room, the railway stations
    of Tyringe and Sösdala were historically correct reconstructed in HO scale and
    integrated into the existing layout. In 2013, the Swedish
    Army leaves its location in Hässleholm,
    so Hässleholm’s model railway association was able to
    move into the old military buildings at the so-called
    “Garrison Hässleholm”. In 2014, the old railway modules and
    railroad sections of Hässleholm, Tyringe and Sösdala were dismantled in the old
    clubrooms and rebuilt at the new location. Since 2014, the Swedish miniature
    world has been growing continuously and is to be expanded extensively
    over the next few years. Until today, the HO scale layout
    was taking around 100,000 man hours. [ Music ] Actually, the layout
    occupies more than 700 square meters and consists of 1,600
    meters of track, 400 points (switches) and more than 600
    electrical blocks including block occupancy detection
    decoders and a signal system. When building this miniature world a
    lot of emphasis was put on reality. Many historical buildings,
    which no longer exist today, were reconstructed as
    they looked in the 1960’s. The track fields and the position of the
    rails were laid exactly on the model railway layout according to plans and drawings
    of the Swedish traffic administration. Hässleholm’s model railway association
    wants to expand the landscape even further. This means that all 17 sites in the
    municipality of Hässleholm, which had a railway station in the 1960’s, will be
    on the HO scale layout in the future. Because the “Modelljärnväg
    Hässleholm” presents Sweden’s railways in the
    1960’s, we cannot expect the famous high-speed
    trains, called “X 2000” or “X2”,
    which are used in Sweden today. There are no tilting trains
    and no high-speed trains. There are freight trains,
    local passenger trains and the famous Y6,
    Y7 and Y8 series of diesel railcars. These motor cars were used
    throughout the unelectrified Swedish rail network during
    the 1950’s to the 1980’s. On the layout, there are also the
    X5, X8 and X15 series of electric multiple units operated by “Statens
    Järnvägar” as express trains. These trains are painted in
    the typical orange color. Also the X9 series of four-car
    electric multiple units, once operated by the Swedish
    State Railways, also known as “Statens Järnvägar”,
    which were in service until the late 1990’s,
    are presented on the HO scale layout. By the way, that sharp
    reddish orange color gave the trains the nickname “Paprika
    Trains” (“Pepper Trains”). The rolling stock of this Swedish miniature
    world also consists of the famous “SJ Class Ra”, also known as “Rapid”, an electric
    locomotive operated by Swedish State Railways. Those electric locomotives were used on express trains and were mainly taken out of service in the late 1980’s. [ Music ] I don’t want to tell you for
    hours which trains or which places are presented on
    “Hässleholms Modelljärnväg”. Finally, it is the philosophy
    of Pilentum Television’s videos that they are mostly
    uncommented documentaries containing only the original
    sounds of locomotives and trains while running
    on railway sleepers. Therefore, I would like to provide you
    with some technical information in brief. The size of the whole layout makes it
    necessary to use a digital control system. So Hässleholm’s model
    railway association is using the software
    “Train Controller Gold”. Control of train sets, occupancy
    detectors and locomotive decoders are based on the digital model train
    control system, also known as DCC. The layout is built on two-rail DCC tracks. Please, enjoy this video! Don’t forget to visit this
    layout, called “Modelljärnväg Hässleholm”, when you are going
    to make a journey to Sweden. [ Music ] [ Music ] [ Music ] [ Music ]

    Beginner’s Guide: Model Railroad Wiring for DCC, Like a PRO (Huh!?)
    Articles, Blog

    Beginner’s Guide: Model Railroad Wiring for DCC, Like a PRO (Huh!?)

    August 15, 2019


    Beginner’s Guide to start with Model Railroad
    wiring… like a Pro? Well that doesn’t make sense! But it does! If you are starting or planning to start with
    a new digital railroad, I’ll show you how you can do that from the beginning, like a
    pro! Hello and welcome to Trains and Dioramas,
    my name is Kaustav Chatterjee and if this is your first time here then DO NOT forget
    to check my channel and hit that Subscribe Button and the Bell Icon so that you can take
    part in my adventures of making model trains, miniatures, dioramas and various other scale
    model projects. I am really excited about this because in
    a few months’ time I am going to start building a brand-new model train layout. But before all hell breaks loose, I am going
    to start building small prototypes to test my design, components and build essentials
    before the main projects. Now most beginners learn through trial and
    error – that’s how I learned and to be honest, still learning. Now, there are a lot of experts, videos, model
    train forums but when you’re a beginner, most of that doesn’t really help, because
    you do not have the big picture and you do not have the hands-on experience. But if you follow some basic techniques, you
    can handle most of the electrical and electronics components in phases, stretching your time
    and managing your budget efficiently. And if you really plan well, you’ll never
    have to redo anything that you’ve done. Yes, even after years, you might be implementing
    new techniques and installing new hardware or software, but existing installation of
    your track and wiring will still hold good. Sounds interesting? Let’s get started. Here is what I’ve started with – a plain
    60 inch by 10 inch piece of board with a simple run around track and a fork. The objective of this is to create a prototype
    for wiring and electronics, so we’ll be skipping the track laying part – here, the
    tracks are simply pinned down to the board and not even glued. The turnouts did go through appropriate modifications
    though, but more on that in a separate video in near future. The entire construction was completed over
    a weekend, and by late night on Sunday, I did have a fully functioning digital railroad
    with trains running! For this board, most wiring will be done on
    top of the baseboard so that it’s easy to see and connect the dots. There would have to be some under the board
    installations, and I will do my best to make it as clear as possible with verbal explanations. Now before we start, let’s clarify a few
    things: I will not be covering soldering and turnout
    modifications in this episode, but yes, there will be dedicated videos to cover those aspect
    that will compliment this video. I will be in the Digitrax house for the overall
    system, but there will be instances where I will be using non-Digitrax products. E.g. All my Switch Machines are going to be Cobalt
    IP Digital Switch Machines that run off the DCC Bus and not through LocoNet. If you don’t know what LocoNet is, stick
    around, it will be covered in subsequent videos. Also, the basic wiring described in this video
    is not dependent on which system you use. The wiring and techniques we will be talking
    about today can be used for any DCC system. I want to achieve complete automation through
    a computer for my upcoming layout, and I want to unravel the secrets of doing that using
    this small prototype. The Signaling system will be ‘Speed Signaling’
    and NOT ‘Position Signaling.’ If you don’t know what I’m talking about
    then again, this will be covered in subsequent videos. Just know that the Digitrax system is designed
    to achieve ‘Position Signaling’ and not ‘Speed Signaling’ – so I will have to
    modify the purpose of the system to suit my needs. I have no clue if I’ll be successful, but
    hey, that’s the learning that I’ve signed up for. So, what are some of the basics that real
    railroads follow? Let’s review them quickly. The way real railroads control their trains
    is through means of ‘blocks’ which literally means a block of track isolated from the adjoining
    track or tracks and electrically or electronically connected to provide a feedback of occupancy
    to the controlling system – either CTC or ABS
    Typically, in a straight line of track without any divergence, the track is divided in multiple
    blocks with signals at each end of each block protecting them, in real life these individual
    blocks are often several miles long. Since trains are long and immensely heavy,
    they often take miles to jump up and down the speed range or come to a stop. So, the signals tell the engineers what to
    do based on the status of not just the immediate next block, but also one, two or more blocks
    ahead. Things get complicated when there is a switch
    in between, in signaling term what is also known as a divergence. The signals then will have to tell the engineer
    which route they are supposed to take, and in case of a speed signaling system like the
    one I am trying to model, what speed they should be at. In a scenario like that a switch, or a combination
    of back to back switches needs to be handled as a separate entity – in signaling term,
    also known as the control point or CP. Often these switches and the blocks that they
    serve need to be ‘interlocked’: an electro-mechanical means to ensure only the right combination
    of switch throws are possible to create a passable route for a train. This is considered as the basic and most critical
    safety measure in any railroad across the globe. Now, we will create ALL that in this tiny
    piece of board – yes, ALL of that – just in a smaller scale. The reason I explained the theory behind it
    is to give you an idea of what I am trying to achieve here. The ‘pro’ part in a beginner’s guide
    for DCC wiring is to give you an idea about how to do some basics right so that you can
    keep building on the base infrastructure as you grow. Now that we know the basics of the real railroads
    at a very high level, let’s look at our baseboard to reveal the very basic wiring
    of a digital model railroad. This might seem like a lot for such a small
    layout, but can I guarantee you that it is not – this is a very BASIC wiring that every
    digital model railroad should have. It is really easy once you understand the
    principle behind it. Now, let me explain this system to you in
    as simple words as possible: You see, there are two pairs of thicker
    red and black wires running along the two long edges of the baseboard: these are my
    bus – they are the main communication system to transfer data between the ‘command station’
    and any component on the railroad. I have named the red one as Rail A, and black
    one as Rail B, to denote which terminal of the command station the wires originate from. For a medium to large railroads these wires
    should be as thick as possible, at least 14 AWG, 12 is better. What I am using here is a little thinner – 16
    AWG, because this is just a 5 feet long railroad, that should suffice. Then you see several thinner red and black
    wires from the two rails connected to the respective red and black bus wires – these
    are my feeders. This should be at least 20 AWG for an HO railroad and it is better that they are not more than 6 inches long. They are meant to distribute the signal from
    the bus wires to the rails, or to accessories like in my case, the switch machines. Here when I say ‘signal’ what I mean is
    more like a constant exchange of data packets between the components. If you are thinking, why there are two sets
    of bus wires, then you’re asking the right questions! In my next video, I will be showing how to
    create power sub-districts and short circuit management using Digitrax PM42. The two sets of wires, that are now connected
    in parallel, will be isolated through that hardware. I just planned and made the wiring to accommodate
    that, so that when I install the PM42, it will be nearly a plug and play. Coming to the feeders, you might find that
    there are more black wires than red – the reason being each black wire from Rail B bus
    are connected to an electrically isolated piece of track, called a block. The isolation is done through Peco ‘insulated’
    rail joiners. It’s a little harder to see, so the red
    markers show the break in the line. Right now, these wires are directly connected
    to the Rail B bus, but in the subsequent videos you will see that they will be powering the
    rails through a ‘block detector’ hardware – either Digitrax BD4 or BDL168. I learned the heard way that extensive labelling
    is one of the most important aspects of electrical and electronics work:
    Here you see that each bus wire is labelled for Rail A or Rail B, in their respective
    red and black colors. Also, each terminal shows which side is Rail
    A and which side is Rail B. On the tracks, you can see which rail is connected
    to Rail A and which rail is connected to Rail B. For this test bed the visible black and red
    wires underneath the track make it very easy for you to identify how to wire a railroad. Labelling your track itself during the wiring
    phase might be a very good way to achieve right wiring the first time. The connection to the switches is specially
    labelled where ‘S’ stands for ‘Switch’ and the number denotes its DCC address. Like in this case it’s Switch number 101. These wires are connected to the switch rails. The connection to the Switch Machine is denoted
    as ‘SM.’ These wires are connected to the DCC input
    of the switch machine, in this case Cobalt iP Digital. In case it is not clear when I say ‘switch
    101’ that address is set in this switch machine. I label the connection to the switch rails
    with the same number for easy identification. So, every switch essentially will have two
    connections – one for the switch rails, denoted as ‘S’ and then the switch address,
    and then the switch machines denoted as ‘SM’ and then the switch address. Both will be connected to the respective Rail
    A and Rail B bus wires. Therefore, planning is important. Imagine a scenario where this is not a test
    bed and a real model railroad module, and I have not planned about power management
    or block detection and laid the tracks permanently. That would result in a lot of rework when
    I decide to install power management or block detection – rip up the track, cut gaps in
    the rails, do additional soldering, redo a lot of work… it’s an overall a huge mess. I can tell you from personal experience that
    is a huge pain in the a**. Now in this approach, it would be much more
    time consuming at first during the planning phase but the basic wiring and trackwork aligning
    with your end goal, the future components can be added without touching any existing
    trackwork, or even electrical wiring for that matter, if you are using terminal blocks for
    power distribution like I am doing here. Now back to the test bed:
    The Rail A is essentially common across the blocks – that is, this side of the line
    is shared by all blocks. Now why did I put so many red feeder wires? Because my tracks are NOT soldered with each
    other and I didn’t want to rely just on the track joiners for power distribution to
    the next rail section. Even if you are handling much larger track
    sections and with soldered rails, occasional feeders are always a good idea especially
    if the track sections start increasing in length. Most master model railroaders recommend
    1m distance between each feeder. The switches of course are a little complex,
    and I will make a separate video just on wiring and modifying a switch in the coming days. Just to give you a quick overview – these
    two switches, S101 and S102 are Peco Electrofrog turnouts and they make a crossover. Whenever you are using electrofrog turnouts
    to make a crossover, BOTH the rails need be isolated. Why? We’ll come back to that shortly. Switch S103, however, is a Micro Engineering
    turnout. Out of the box, they have an insulated frog,
    but given they are metal frogs it’s easy to power them. Notice that there are two additional wires
    between the frog rails and the stock rails that you didn’t see in the electrofrog turnouts. Now, if you’re scratching your head, not
    to worry, I will explain the differences real soon. Out of the box, the Peco electrofrog turnouts
    act like a typical electrical switch. In our case, if I hadn’t made any modifications,
    when the switch is closed, the entire frog section would be connected to Rail A side
    – that means all these tracks would be connected to Rail A. When the switch is thrown, then,
    the entire frog section would connect to Rail B side – that is all these rails would be
    connected to Rail B. All that is fine, except that entire electrical connection would be
    dependent on this spring-loaded throw bar and about this that 1 square millimeter area
    of contact. It’s just a matter of time before these
    electrical contacts through this 1 sq mm area and the spring loaded throw bar might become
    unreliable. So, we modify an Electrofrog switch by the
    following steps: Isolating the frog by cutting the connection
    between the closure rails and the frog. Peco provides a very convenient way to do that
    in their newer turnouts by providing two easy to cut wires on the underside. Then you draw the power to the closure rails
    from the adjacent track rails by adding a jumper. Peco also provides a gap in their webbing
    to make this job easier. Finally, we power the isolated frog using
    an electrical switch connected to the switch machine that keep changing the polarity of
    the frog depending on which side the switch is thrown – in our case, when switch S102
    is closed, the frog remains connected to the Rail A. When it’s thrown, the frog changes
    polarity to Rail B. Most modern switch machines, including the very cost-effective manual ones
    offer some sort of electro-mechanical device to change the frog polarity. I am using Cobalt iP Digital machine, so for
    me it’s just a matter of attaching the frog power line to the right port, and the switch
    machine takes care of the rest. For Peco Electrofrog the frog rails are actually
    one single piece connected to the frog. So, whichever polarity the frog is in, the rail
    carries the current till you break the connection by introducing an electrical gap. So, both the frog rails must be isolated with
    the connecting rails using insulated rail joiners whether you’re making a crossover
    or not. Because of this, whenever you make a crossover
    using two electrofrog turnouts, you MUST isolate BOTH the rails. Because the frog rails of one switch and stock
    rails of the other might have different polarities depending on the switch position, and if they
    are not electrically isolated, they will instantly short your layout. That’s why you see a complete isolation
    between these two tracks. Another way to look at it is that going by
    the previous rule that both the frog rails of an electrofrog turnout must be isolated
    from the adjoining tracks, that actually puts an isolation between these two tracks, automatically. Why? This is the frog rail of this turnout, whereas
    this is the frog rail of this turnout. So whenever you’re making crossover using
    electrofrog turnouts, you must have all the 4 tracks with insulated rail joiners – the
    frog rails of turnout 1, in our case, S101, and the frog rails of the other turnout, in
    our case, S102. Now coming to S103, this Micro Engineering
    switch has an insulated frog out of the box. These tiny little gaps that isolate the frog
    from the closure rails and frog rails make the frog electrically isolated from everything
    else. Not just Micro Engineering, most switch makers
    apart from Peco make their switches this way. Previously these frogs used to be made of
    plastic making it impossible to power them, but with metal frogs, now these modern switches
    can be powered the same we have done for the Peco switch. However, since the frog is isolated from the
    frog rails, the power applied to the frog will not carry over to the frog rails, hence
    you must put jumpers from Rail A and Rail B to the respective frog rails to ensure the
    frog rails have power too. So electrically speaking, you do not need
    any insulated rail joiners if you are using this type of turnouts because the frog is
    electrically isolated from everything else. In fact, you can pretty well solder these
    joints and pull power to these rails directly instead of putting these jumpers as well. Even if you’re building a crossover, you
    don’t necessarily have to put any isolation between these diverging tracks, the way we’ve
    done it for Peco electrofrog turnouts. You can simply join these tracks using normal
    rail joiners, solder them and solder your feeder wires right here, and that should work
    absolutely fine. So, the question is why do I have these rails
    segregated? Now, that has nothing to do with turnout wiring. The reason I have this rail separated because
    this belongs to a different block, and these two rails are segregated because they will
    belong to a different power sub district. Now even if you consider a crossover and electrically
    there is no need to segregate these rails as we’ve seen in case of Peco electrofrog
    turnouts, end of the day, if you want to do some advanced things like block detection,
    signaling etc. you might end up segregating these tracks anyway. More on that later in future videos. Switch modifications, turnout wiring and switch
    machine installation are possibly one of the most problematic topics for the beginners
    in the hobby, so I will be making a separate video focusing only on that topic in the coming
    days. Make sure that you hit that Subscribe button,
    so that you do not miss the notification when the video comes out. So, to summarize, this is where I am at today:
    I have two sets of bus wires for two upcoming power sub-districts – the Rail A connection
    to the booster is denoted by the red wires, and the Rail B connection is denoted by the
    Black wire. Notice that I have created labels for both
    the rails in the same color code. Rail A is common across all blocks within
    a power sub-district. If that last statement confused you, stick
    around for the next episode in the Beginner’s Guide series where I’ll talk about creating
    power Sub-Districts. Rail B is used to isolate detection blocks. Though there is no block detection hardware
    is in place today, I planned it ahead and divided the blocks while laying the track
    by means of insulated rail joiners. I will cover this in detail in my upcoming
    video about block detection. I will be using extensive color-coded labelling
    for each of the electrical components. As explained already, each rail, each terminal
    and each component will be labelled and color coded. You know what I am thinking? Enough talk, let’s run some trains. In this ops session, we will simply swap the
    two trains – put my 2-8-0 consolidation in place of the GE 45 tonner and the box car, and bring the box car to where the steam engine is. You see, I now have a fully functional layout
    and frankly speaking, building the layout took much less time than producing this tutorial! I can now run trains for as long as I want before moving into power management and block detection, but whenever I decide to take on
    these enhancements it will be much easier for me to do so, since the ground work is
    already done. In next episode of Beginner’s Guide that’s
    exactly what I’ll explain. Till then, Happy Railroading!

    Easy Grade Crossing Flasher Circuits For Your Model Railroad
    Articles, Blog

    Easy Grade Crossing Flasher Circuits For Your Model Railroad

    August 14, 2019


    I’m gonna show you a few different ways
    to do grade crossing flashers and how to adjust the speed of them so let’s get
    going with this right now i’m Tom Kvichak and this is Toms Trains and Things..
    this channel was created to help other modelers who are in need of guidance in
    pursuing their dream of building a model railroad now I showed you how to do a
    crossing flasher in Arduino and it was really simple was just changing a couple
    of lines of code and there we go flashing on there but now I’m going to
    show you how to do it with a 555 timer chip and a couple of resistors I’ll show
    you how on the Fritzing diagram and the wiring diagram what they look like you
    could see the components on this video on the wiring diagram that I have listed
    at the end of the video and the Fritzing diagram will be there also on the two
    projects that I did I actually did three different projects but I only settled on
    two of them so take a look at that at the end of the video if this is your
    first time here or a returning viewer and you would like to see more videos
    like this go ahead and hit that subscribe button and while you’re at it
    ding that bell and that’ll notify you whenever I have a new video coming out
    and speaking of videos go ahead and check my playlists you can see a lot of
    different videos in every category about model railroading in my playlist so go
    check that out there I have over 40 playlists in there with over 280 videos
    so check that out so let’s get going and see how we do these flashers I have a 33
    microfarad capacitor hooked up to this right now
    you can see how fast it’s going now if I put a 47 micro farad capacitor in there
    it’s going to slow it down a little bit so that’s the 33 now this is the 47
    micro farad and this is with the 555 timer chip now
    we’re doing the same thing with this circuit right here with two transistors
    two capacitors and four resistors in there and it does the same thing and
    like let me hook that one up but this is a little bit slower so we can adjust the
    speed of that right now I have in this diagram it says 10 micro farad
    capacitors and that’s how it’s hooked up we’ve got the two transistors I got two
    capacitors going across the transistors from the collector to the base with the
    470 ohm resistors right there and that controls the brightness of the resistors
    now I got 200k ohm resistors on the base if we try to reduce the 100k we could
    see what that does using the resistance substitution boxes I have one over here
    the box and then I have this one here both of them are set at 68 K now that
    goes a little bit faster let’s see if we could bring it down or bring down the
    resistance a little bit more and see how fast it is we’ll go down to 47 K and see
    how that does you can see I have two resistance substitution box on here and
    that was just to check different resistors real quick without trying to
    pull out resistors and everything else just flip the switch and use jumpers on
    the other one that makes it a lot easier instead of
    having to go and change components on your breadboard now that’s at 47 K so
    you can see on this one here with the transistors and the capacitors changing
    the value of the tubers Esther’s on their that go to the base of
    each transistor as you decrease the resistance you increase the speed of the
    flashing and on the other one with the 555 chip you do that with the capacitor
    I have both of these circuits running pretty close to but not quite on my
    resistance substitution box I only have like right here I only have 47 68 and
    100 that I could choose from and right now I have it at 47 and then over here
    on the capacitors what I’m using right now let me see this one’s the 33 so I’m
    using the 47 micro farad capacitor on that one with the 555 chip now they’re
    close but not exactly the same these are a lot harder to build than what we did
    with the Arduino you saw with the Arduino on Saturday how easy it was with
    just some code to flash the LEDs although this one works and you adjust
    the speed with the capacitor right there I’m going to try a different design
    which uses two capacitors but the speed is adjusted by the resistor that goes
    between six and seven so we’re going to do I’m going to change this design here
    and pull this out I’m going to keep these LEDs here and just change this
    around right here with these resistors and the capacitors we’re just going to
    have to change these around the jumpers are the same from 2 to 6 and from 4 to 8
    and then one goes to negative and then eight goes to the positive
    and three is where your LEDs come from and it’s split your LED and resistors
    split from one goes to the negative and the other goes to the positive so when
    it just flips back and forth when one when one is high the other one’s low now
    this circuit right here that uses the two capacitors both of them both the
    negative side of the capacitors go all the way to ground this one right here
    the 22 microfarad goes between the plus and the minus leads and we use the
    resistor here there’s a 2.2 K ohm resistor between pins seven and eight
    and in between six and seven there’s a 47 K ohm resistor and that’s the one
    that adjusts the speed now the 47 K ohm is the same 47 K ohm that I’m using on that
    circuit right there so we could use both of these circuits with 47 K ohm and
    adjust them by the resistor in the circuit with I like this circuit better
    right here this one is off of a 9-volt battery okay this one over here is off
    of 12 volts I’m going to put the 9 volt on here and see how it works I played
    around with several different designs on there and came out with the best one to
    use the last one with the five five five and the two capacitors on there and and
    the 2.2 and the 47 K resistor I think is the best one to use with the 555 timer
    and the one with the two transistors on there and two capacitors that’s a good
    one also if you like doing it that way but those are the two best ones that I
    have found there’s many ways that you could do it I searched on the internet
    and seen about five six different ways to do
    it with the 555 timer and then the one that I have right here I think is the
    best one to do you can make your own decision on that these two that I chose
    are the best ones for me but it may not be for you so go ahead and check out see
    there’s other designs that you could find on the Internet
    okay now I have both of them operating off of the 9-volt battery right here the
    only thing I changed on this one I had 220 ohm resistors on there but I have a
    1k ohm resistor on each one of these LEDs and it seems like the same
    brightness as it was before over here as you can see we have 470 K or 470 ohm
    resistors on these LEDs right here but we could add a second set of LEDs on
    second LED on each one of these and it will still work let me pull one off of
    each one of these and we’ll just show you how it is with one on each one so
    there we go we got both circuits right there but there’s our flashing circuits two
    different ways of doing the flashing circuit one with a five five five chip
    and the other one with I think these are 3904 transistors you can also do them
    with 22 22 transistors and PN transistors and you got two capacitors
    here you got two capacitors here these capacitors here are 10 microfarad these
    ones over here you have 10 this is a 10 micro farad and this is a 22 micro farad
    it goes from the positive right to the negative two different flashers two
    different means of getting the LEDs to flash one with transistors are one with
    an integrated circuit 555 timer and I’ve got both of them so we can
    adjust them with the resistors in the circuit you know I tried one circuit and
    you have to use a capacitor to do that this is a transistor diagram and the
    only thing that I changed on here is the 100k resistors I reduce them down to 47
    K to get the LEDs to flash a little faster now on this Fritzing diagram I
    reversed the transistor on the right so the left transistor the flat is facing
    you and the flat on the right transistor is away from you you’ll notice that the
    emitter on both transistors are on the outside with the black wire going to the
    negative rail on this 555 timer chip circuit I left everything as is so the
    components you see on here are the same components that hi
    used on my example since you can’t stand resistors up on n on the Fritzing
    diagram I have the two resistors on the blue and yellow wires laying down but
    they are the same as in the breadboard in my example you have to be very
    careful when using electrolytic capacitors because they have a polarity
    on them so if you hook them up backwards you’ll have very bad results they can be
    severely damaged you make sure that you have the plus on the plus side of the
    diagram and the minus on the minus side of the diagram they’re clearly marked on
    there they have a silver band or a white band on one side that has the writing on
    them so that’s the negative side of the electrolytic capacitor I gave you
    several different designs of the flasher in this video that if you would like to
    activate and deactivate it’s as simple as this battery here with a switch you
    could use your own activation in your track or however you want to do it but
    it’s just like interrupting the power with a switch that’s all it is and we’ll
    cover something like that in the we know later on when we get that far in
    the Arduino made easy curve and we’ll see Ya.

    How to – Track Cleaning vs ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) on Model Railroad Layout
    Articles, Blog

    How to – Track Cleaning vs ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) on Model Railroad Layout

    August 14, 2019


    A self-build cleaning wagon The Dapol polish and vacuum cleaner wagon. Do not use the polisher these is unsuitable The vacuum cleaner is perfect. Only the current connection is poor. You must improve that. The old method The best alternative there is, ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) Use a very little bit of ATF A dash of 5 cm on every 17 feet twice a year, no more !!! thats enough. The trains do the rest It is not necessary to brush anymore Thanks monon1971 for the tip, see also his video left above

    Building a track cleaning car
    Articles, Blog

    Building a track cleaning car

    August 14, 2019


    I’ll try and turn this into the track clean
    car it’s just a cheap Bachman don’t know why even have southern I don’t model
    southern and don’t model anywhere near there just a train set car
    I’m gonna see if I can convert that into a track cleaning car so first they need maybe
    something like that something cylindrical they can roll along the rail it’s wider
    than when the rail heads like narrower than the car so that should work
    these I need this to be heavy so it’s what it is it’s a couple of fur of
    having a poly pipe so make it a little bit heavier just kind of piece of pie okay
    give them there somehow you needs more heavy you okay pack phone emails now when I get sort of
    centered so the belt that’s actually nice and heavy okay next step you stay
    put please be able to put on the picture and then over do it
    cut it down okay little settle down in there a
    little bit mmm that’s not quite cooled off yet but it’s it’s firming off those
    that guys stick my fingers oh that is love that much came detention mostly did I mention that I’m going to repaint
    this eventually bottom here just a little split pin wait wait Snickers over these two of nubbins here
    that’s fine I Lake wait in the car that’s good but that wasn’t going to be
    in the way of cutting my hole in the middle of it you let that cool off
    you know they’re all cool enough that I can touch them once it’s not that
    anybody’s we’re gonna see this is just so I don’t hurt myself wait square yeah this is gonna get old food together
    eventually reinforce it because I don’t think it’s gonna hold the way it is that’s gonna take the Chokin that holding stick dremel saw blade that’s more like it
    and I didn’t hurt myself that’s awesome no all that’s left to do is clean it up
    a little bit tonight popped it okay and a melted plastic okay
    that can cope with that uh-huh there we go than that yeah that’s not bad yeah square that up with a chisel a
    little bit I preferred my day okay yeah clean that up a little bit but I think
    that’s gonna work well it’s pretty reasonable little tiny
    bit the chowder here and there to clean up but that’s that can happen along the
    way yeah and that still doesn’t slide
    through there close okay I may have to end up just
    knocking those side frames right apart after all that effort oh well they’re
    pictured in there anyway well that’s me to mess the next thing to do is mark with the
    corners on that and do that and drill that egg too you know this time I am going to save
    the safe things because there is a lot of wiggle room in there this little brace laughs I think tada oh-ho that’s nice a little bit squaring
    it up he’s a big file through this so that makes a nice flat surface there so that hopefully will roll along
    in there that I’m gonna clean this mess up here I know that’s cleaned up carry on here a
    little bit we tucked back in there again back in their homes gonna do that a
    little bit of Walters you don’t have a lot left of it
    it’s almost stuck together you know what good glue when you think it doesn’t need
    much this is one of those adhesives little
    stick just about anything to just put anything and smell nice and chemically
    while doing it it doesn’t seem to attack most things those will be there we do ahead some
    claps wait right yes I do have clamps Oh perfect Purple’s over there can I do while I’m
    waiting you know a bit more time cleaning this up so weren’t the roll
    for youi on the track I don’t snag on anything you don’t want the snake on the
    side of this car I’m almost finished as you watch more of my videos as it or
    if you go back and watch some of the older older ones even you’ll notice that
    I seem to be making it up as I go along a good reason for that because I am
    making it up as I go along which makes it real pain in the butt for me to add
    it later so okay that’s not going to be very good track cleaning just the way it
    is as a raw track the copper cuz it’s among other things going to short the
    track we need a cleaning cost this is a generic version of Jake loss which I got
    it Home Depot wait generic rather than the lien brand you go watching paying attention you
    should figure that out right now it’s less expensive there was
    they raided asked me a while ago about how to make this really expensive hobby
    of ours more affordable and the general answer was stuff that you have to buy at
    the hobby shop get their stuff that you don’t have to buy it the hobby shop buy
    the cheapest place you can these craft stores and hello know if I wanted to
    here boy okay so five starts hardware stores eBay Amazon Aliexpress any of
    these places shop around keep your eyes peeled usually playing
    something that’s similar especially on a scenic material layout building material stuff like that it doesn’t have to be
    the most expensive hobby shop material in the world so that wrap around here in
    a bunch of layers and if I cut it the right width it
    should not be any exposed copper when I got here just before we’re already thick okay I’m gonna keep that from unraveling let’s try this this is one strand out of
    a piece of cat 3 wire cat 3 where is Basin to your basic telephone wire it’s
    copper it’s 22 or 24 gauge and it just got the
    plastic cap it on it for insulation that’s gonna hold that on let’s see if
    that’ll push this track here that I can tinker with that should it flaps that
    way so I’m gonna want it to roll this way that should roll along there quite
    neatly this doesn’t have to wait forever those that clamp a little bit let’s set
    up I know it’s not fully set up and it’s close enough to be all the glue those
    back into there now they’ve got little locating pins what I
    don’t want is that the under the truck box doesn’t matter because the metal of
    the weight is blocking it anyway why isn’t that going down are okay I can
    live with that that’ll do it’s gonna work
    no wait now what kind of a things to do until tomorrow or the next day okay a
    bunch of time has passed that goo is going to be well and truly dried it’s
    hardened cured whatever those aren’t going anywhere for now I’m going to
    ignore the horn hooks the tender that’s there just
    see where that sits at the oil be sneered where is my there it is okay
    Oh move it down cut the hole you know it needs some reinventing I think I have
    an idea I’m going to put some bits of styrene in one either side of that is
    poking down to probably about just below the middle line of my roller and run
    them up into here and glue them on hopefully that will nudge that guy on those have to be deep look that way so wait is that in any unit of
    measurement doesn’t matter cut to fit kept almost it trim that later
    so I think it would come pretty much the full height of her that’s what that is
    for you so thank you yeah
    well that’s interesting they could be on an angle oh okay those into kind of an
    angle like that oh look at that just rolls around so nicely that’s what
    I want okay drinking it come little bit higher so
    higher I get the east the less obvious they become I have to lift up above the
    skirt no and you don’t about there say anything so there we go already lost
    a ring oh wait when I dropped it up that’s not a shoe you can just look like that that’ll do messing up the paint you don’t care
    I suspect eventually I’ll repaint this into a cm browner box I read or do a
    couple minutes of research and figure out what they mean into a color would
    have been just enough cementing so it kind really don’t think that’s what it’s
    doing but real maintenance lead doesn’t have yeah it’s time track cleaning this
    is just going to be an old riveted gondola running in the Train
    quick guess in the 70s there wouldn’t be a lot of riveted gondolas still
    operating so let’s yeah yeah that’s the ticket that’s why it’s going to be
    maintenance of way because it’s just an old decrepit car that’s in the fleet
    which means it can have piles of ties or or any number of things like that in it
    okay let that dry boy you do these five minute epoxy or something like that and
    I’ll put on there just to reinforce it like and epoxy it is then this is some
    rearrangement wafak weld brand five-minute epoxy if I was replacing it
    I would just use and literally any brand a five-minute epoxy doesn’t matter I
    could find some of the dollar so I would probably use the hottest if I can’t
    anything simple squeeze out equal parts of the white and the black stuff certain
    coats and even gray like there’s these blobs on this mixing board more streaks broke my toothpick even you
    more are to fix oh good if I didn’t find still morally has never
    Colton can’t figure that out you don’t subscribe to easy ease Maksim
    the bigger the gob to bet at a job in this case it doesn’t need to be Purdy
    the pretty stuff happens later it’s the fingerprint of epoxy smeared on
    the painted surface and inside the car which means maintenance of a boxer he is
    going to have to have a dent in it I think which doesn’t very surprised me
    because that’s the sort of thing that would almost expect for ancient out of
    the maintenance of a car they have a method to deal with that this
    five-minute epoxy is already starting to harden up a little bit so give us this
    five minute epoxy and I like that hardened for quit going to time no day
    another step five minute epoxies head overnight the key we’re not going
    anywhere scrape a little bit off here in there
    without taking rivets with it but we’re able to leave cosmetics that’s their hmm okay it’s gonna be a
    bit awkward to get our contract Oh okay it’s not actually rubbing moment on
    the towel the problem is that wire that I put in there okay
    new problem to solve if we twist up something else
    fishing line who says modeling materials have to come from I’ll be dropped they’re cool for that okay now let’s try this let’s roll away you can’t see that’s rolling there
    that’s what I want okay and there it is I’m layout just put a
    bit of alcohol on my new pad Nathan saturated that’s just methyl alcohol methyl
    hydrate denatured alcohol widow halt 99% pure is the important part because if
    it’s not 99 percent pure well wait give it 70% pure rubbing alcohol
    what’s that of the 30% oh it’s oils and weirdness and water and things will be a
    residue so see if this works yeah whoo there she goes okay there it’s run ten plus laps I
    guess or on the way out let’s see what we’ve got here oh there’s
    a little tiny bit of hmm let’s put some more material in front of the autofocus there’s a little bit a couple little bit
    of browning tracks on there you see a little bit right in there in there well
    it’s picked up some crud I mean I’ve cleaned the layout by hand
    fairly free fairly recently if I combine that with my other track cleaning car
    which is this guy which is is the slightly abrasive hard board slider on
    the bottom dampen loosen a little bit and then clean off wipe off run that in
    the Train occasionally that should just keep playing out nice and clean without
    me having to work at it and I’m all in favor of not having to work too hard

    Turnout Or Switch – Gauge Or Scale – Model Railroading For Beginners Ep017
    Articles, Blog

    Turnout Or Switch – Gauge Or Scale – Model Railroading For Beginners Ep017

    August 14, 2019


    we’ve talked a lot about different items
    in Model Railroading For Beginners but the one thing that I’d haven’t done so
    far is terminology terminology in a railroad terminology and model
    railroading today I’m going to talk about the difference between gauge and
    scale the difference between turnout and switch and a few more things so let’s
    get started with it right now I’m Tom Kvichak and this is Toms
    Trains and Things this channel was created to help other modelers who are
    in need of guidance in pursuing their dream of building a model railroad and
    when we’re building that model railroad we need to know the proper terminology
    of what we’re talking about and what we’re using and that’s what we’re going
    to discuss today some people call HO gauge some people call HO
    scale some people call the turnouts turnouts and some people call them
    switches now there is a legitimate reason for every one of those and we’re
    gonna discuss those and we’re going to go over a little bit of a history of
    history of railroads and what the gauge is where that came from let’s start this
    off by talking about the difference between scale and gauge scale is the
    proportion of real size to the size of the model railroad that we’re using say
    like 1:48th 1:87th 1:160 for O HO and N scale now gauge is the distance
    between the rail now what we use today is four foot eight and a half inches but
    it wasn’t always like that it started out at a larger scale of five foot scale
    now back in 1825 George Stevenson was a civil engineer and a mechanical engineer
    with and him and his son created the first passenger railroad that was called
    Stockton and Darlington Railroad now he used four foot eight and a half inches
    as this the gauge between the rails now this was in England in 1825 this is long
    before in the United States that they used that dimension for the rail back in
    1886 the Pennsylvania Railroad used 4 foot 9 inches and the Southern Railways
    used 5 foot and I think it was in May of May the end of May in 1886 they just the
    the Southern Railways decided to move their rail
    in three inches so it would be closer to what the the northern railroads were
    they did this in 36 hours and what they did was they took the inside spike of
    the Western rail and moved it in three inches and did that all the way up and
    then over a 36 hour period moved the rail over that three inches
    although all through the rails in the Southern Railway so that became four
    foot nine inch and then later on it came down to four foot eight and a half
    inches and that’s where we are today where did that four foot eight and a
    half inches come from there was a program on PBS a long time ago
    that discussed this same question of how we got the gauge for the railroad and it
    goes back all the way to the Roman chariots and that they found when they
    when they dug up I think it was in Pompeii they measured the ruts and from
    Center to Center and it came out to four foot eight and a half inches of four
    foot nine inches now they did this big old long story about that that you know
    it came from there and it you know just through the years it just came and and
    everything that was built was built with those dimensions on there and what they
    said was that the horses were more accustomed to that distance that
    measurement for the wheels if it was any skinnier or any wider it would pose a
    problem with that also in in 1870 Matthias NACE Forney was a editor for
    the Railroad Journal and he had a discussion with a lot of the engineers
    for the railroads and this is when they were it doing the narrow gauge at the
    time and it was discussed and he published this that you know that these
    engineers said that five foot was a better gauge because the four foot eight
    and a half inches was sub-optimal but that never took on you know since
    everything was already four foot eight and a half
    inches it just stayed that way and if you ever out in Colorado Denver Colorado
    there’s a Forney Transportation Museum there that you would that I suggest you
    go see we went there about four years ago and it has everything in
    transportation as far as bicycles motorcycles carriages automobiles
    locomotives and other rolling stock from the railroads so if you’re ever in
    Denver go take a look at it I’ll put a link to their web page down here now if
    you want to refer to a chose scale that is the proper way of doing it it’s not a
    choke gauge now like I told you gauges the distance between the tracks and a
    lot of model railroaders use that term a choke gauge you know that’s fine that’s
    the way they want to do it but you know so gauge is actually the distance
    between the tracks now if you got 25 model railroaders I said this before
    you’re gonna have 25 different answers so however you do it is fine but you
    know I just wanted to let you know that scale is the proportion of real life to
    whatever size that you’re using and gauges at a distance between the tracks
    now let’s move on to turnouts and switches now a turnout is what the
    engineers refer to on the railroad now model railroaders also refer to the same
    item turn out as a switch now I’m not going to say that they’re wrong that’s
    the way that they say it that’s the way they refer to it and also there’s a
    single slip switch and a double slip switch which is also a turnout so you
    know even when you’re referring to the turnouts like a conventional turnout why
    turn out a 3-way turnout at a double crossover double double slip switch and
    double or a single slip switch you see the difference in there some of them are
    called switches and some of them are called turnouts but the actual
    nomenclature for the device is a turnout and the switch is a section of the turn
    which I’m gonna show you on some pictures over here in a few minutes now
    there are parts of the turnout that I’m going to show you on the computer here
    and we’re going to go over that and also on the code for the rail now there’s
    different codes on different scales I’m gonna and basically I’m just going to
    talk about n scale and a chose scale now in a Cho scale you have seventy eighty
    three and a hundred now most of the manufacturer tracks like from the Atlas
    tracks the Bachmann easy track those are all code 100 now when you get into the
    Flex track you can get code 83 and you can get code 70 now an N scale it’s a
    little bit smaller and it goes down to code 55 now I’m not sure if the the
    larger one is 70 I have a couple of pieces of flex track now as far as the
    numbers on the turnout the turnout number is referring to the distance a
    ratio of the distance of the straight track and the curve so like one in four
    and I’ll show you a picture of it and explain that a little bit further now
    you may be wondering why am I even bothering to go through this well you
    know I didn’t realize it that you know since most of us are familiar with a lot
    of things in model railroading and you know we’ve done it since we were a kid
    and you know we’ve gone back to it or we’re starting out we already been
    reading up on it but there are model railroaders who are
    starting from scratch and what brought my attention to this is a couple of
    viewers we’re asking what watching them some of my videos and they’re saying
    what’s this what’s that I you know and I was doing the video on an NMRA gauge
    and he says what’s that used for and you know as far as the turnout what’s the
    number on a turnout because they had no idea because they never heard it before
    so this is basically the reason that I’m going over the terminology and I’m gonna
    continue with a few more videos after this one to expand on some of the
    discussions now I’m going to show you the a no more a gauge but I’m going to
    do another video on the NMR Gate showing you what all the different
    items on that gauge is now as far as the turnout goes I’m going to show you the
    parts of the turnout and I’m going to show you the relationship of the numbers
    on the turnout now if you have a number for turnout and a number eight turnout a
    number eight turnout is a skinnier turnout and a number for turn-up is a
    little bit steeper and I’ll show you why that is here I have a series of why
    turnouts this is a number two and these two are a number four now you can see
    the difference these are different manufacturers and even though both of
    them are number fours you can see that from the thrown rod all the way up to
    the Frog it’s a little bit different and the angle is a little bit different so
    nothing is quite precise between the manufacturers so whenever you’re working
    on something you have to really check to see what the angles really are this is a
    picot insulated frog this is an Atlas electric electro frog I’m not sure
    exactly what their terminal terminology is the Atlas is a number four and the
    picot is a number five this isn’t it this one’s an Atlas and this one’s a
    picot and I’ll put these together like this and number four and the number five
    this one’s an Atlas but I think this is code 100 I’m gonna put these three
    together right here and you can see I have three different numbered curves
    this one’s a picot I know this one and these two right here is Shinohara this
    is a code 83 regular track and this is a code 83 Bridge track this one’s made by
    pika this one’s made by micro-engineering now you can see the
    difference in the ties for the bridge track their closer together and
    they’re a different dimension now this is n scale track this one here is code
    70 this one here is code 55 now both of these are manufactured by Atlas but you
    can see the difference in the height of the of the rail on there and also you’ll
    notice the different colors in there that’s true with most manufacturers I
    don’t have any code 100 H 0 scale that there’s a code 83 a chose scale right
    there and you can see that in the difference between the h o’ and the n
    scale you could pause your video here to take a look at this diagram of the
    turnout it gives you all the names of the parts of the turnout now whether
    it’s a left hand or right hand a curved turnout or a wide turn on it’s all the
    same the terminology is the same on every one of them also I’m going to
    scratch the surface on steam locomotives and diesel locomotives and how we
    identify between the two on steam locomotives that identification comes
    from the the trucks on there as an example you might have a 210 Aloka
    motive I’m going to show you the difference I’m going to put a display up
    here and to show you some of the different ones not all of them I mean
    there are so many different ones and I’m gonna do the same thing with the diesels
    now the the letters on the Diesel’s all have a meaning on it that you know they
    have S SW they have RS they have F they have E they have GP and that list goes
    on and there are so many different ones that you could look it up and I’m gonna
    give you a link for on the Wikipedia where it will cover every possible
    diesel locomotive and every possible steam locomotive and we’ll put all those
    graphics up here on the on the page so you could see that go take a look at
    Tom’s trains and things dot-com where I have a bunch of other stuff on here that
    I don’t have on YouTube videos and I’m always putting more
    on there check out Tom’s trains and things and help support this channel by
    going there I have some affiliate links on there
    I have patreon and also PayPal me Tom’s trains and things so take a look at the
    web page in some future episodes I’m going to continue with the the topic of
    terminology and try to cover as much as possible that I can going back and and
    trying to think what it was like from the very beginning it’s kind of hard so
    if any of you out there have any ideas of you know you know what do you want to
    know about what’s this or what’s that write it down in the comments section
    and let me know because you know I started out a list of the terms that I
    want to use and I’m going to continue with a few more videos as many as I need
    to make it clear what everything is in model railroading and in railroading
    I’ve had a couple of questions since IRMA came through they want to see my
    trains running well I got I got a lot my electronics part packed up in and toads
    and stuff that I wanted to keep it away just in case we had a failure in the
    roof and so I got to stick to all that stuff back up and get everything back
    run and plus I was sick for a while so we’ll get that we’ll get the get the
    trains running on there and I’ll show you a video on that so keep watching I
    got more stuff coming up and we’ll see Ya

    How To Use The ESU Decoder Tester On Your Model Railroad
    Articles, Blog

    How To Use The ESU Decoder Tester On Your Model Railroad

    August 13, 2019


    we’re going to use this ESU decoder
    tester to test our decoders before we put them on our locomotives so let’s see
    what this is all about I’m Tom Kvichak and this is Toms Trains and Things this
    channel was created to help other modelers who are in need of guidance in
    pursuing their dream of building a model railroad and I get lots of questions on
    my website and on my comments section underneath the videos about how to do
    things and one of the questions was why don’t you do a demonstration on the ESU
    decoder tester this is in response to when I did the lt1 digitrax tester so
    this is a little bit more sophisticated it’s a lot easier to hook up you have
    the plugs available for DCC you also have an extension for an additional
    board for the larger scales we’re going to just use the eight pin because that’s
    what I have now I have okay digitrax DH1 65 IP now it sits right on a circuit
    board the circuit board is right on the pin and it has one two three four five
    soldering points on there here’s a view of the bottom side of the decoder with
    the eight pin plug on it which will plug into your locomotive and on the other
    side you will see the five soldering pads on there now and from right to left
    it’s to one common three and four I’m going to solder some wires on these
    posts that are on here and we’ll hook them up on the ESU tester we could hook
    up at four additional auxilary points on here you have aux one in the center here
    and then two three and four and you have the lights on here now it will go all
    the way up to seven but you have to use different decoder plugs for the
    I’ll do an additional video with the sound decoder on there let’s get started
    with this right after this message if you would like to see more videos like
    this go ahead and hit that subscribe button and go to my channel click right
    below the video where it says toms trains and things click on that and
    that’ll take you to my channel page and click on playlists
    and that will show you all the playlists that I have I have them grouped into
    different categories by topic so it’s easy to find so if you’re looking for
    something on soldering you can find it if you’re looking for electrical project
    you could find it if you’re looking for DCC you’ll find it I have over 40
    playlists on there where the videos are grouped into categories so you could
    find them easily so take a look at it here’s the overall view of the ESU
    tester and as you can see all the connectors are on the outside edge of
    the board on the right hand side you’ll see a series of LEDs al is front
    headlight RL is the rear light and one through seven are the functions
    available track in the two LEDs there let you know when you have track power
    on when you apply power on your controller right behind the motor there
    is a FWD and a re V that’s forward in Reverse the LEDs blink when you are
    turning in that direction in the left hand top is a speaker and there is a
    selector switch for the ohms on there and I’ll get into each individual
    connector right now the first one we’re looking at is the track power in it’s a
    two pin connector this one is the most common one it’s the eight pin connector
    the star on the one side is for pin number one this is the six pin connector
    which is used on some older DCC decoders this 12-pin connector right here is for
    decoders that do not have any plugs on it or as in the case on my
    demonstration here is four additional wires off of your decoder this 21 pin
    connector is used more often on your sound decoders from tsunami and ESU it
    was originally developed as Marklin Tricks connector built by Marklin and
    ESU those of you modeling in n scale will be familiar with the next eighteen
    connector shown here there is an S variation for sound decoders also this
    next connector will accommodate three different plugs and eight sixteen and
    twenty two pin plug you can see by the name on there and the lines on there you
    can see the difference of the sixteen PLU X 16 and PLU X 22 the s us high
    standard user serial interface plugs can be used for additional functions and
    add-on sound decoders now this last plug is for an e su expansion board for
    larger scale decoders here you can see how your track power is hooked to the
    DCC controller and on this particular plug and the other plug on the ESU unit
    normally you would put the wire under the pad and while your screw the pad
    wouldn’t go down but on this one you put it on the top of the pad and as you
    screw the pad is pulled up to tighten your wire into the terminal block so
    it’s a little bit different than what we’re normally used to now that I
    cleared up all those plugs for you let’s get started with the demonstration on
    the ESU decoder tester I have my decoder right here and as you can see I have the
    four wires soldered on it I didn’t do the blue common one because we don’t
    need it for testing here so what I’m going to do first
    since the orange ii pad on here is for function number one and that’s
    auxilary one on here we’re going to attach that one and I’m going to attach
    all the wires on here before I put the decoder on and number four type okay now
    we have all four of our extra functions on here we’re going to bring this over
    here and put this on eight pin plug and I got it on the plug right there
    all right now we have all four wires on there
    we got auxilary one two three and four now we’re going to take the power plug
    over here this power plug is going to my digitrax DB 150 this is a typical
    configuration you want to use your DCC controller rail a and rail B and hook it
    up to the track power connector on your ESU controller and also use your
    throttle to punch in the appropriate commands to operate your decoder all
    right let me turn the power on to my circuit and as you can hear alright all
    the all the indicator lights are right here this is reverse light and this is a
    forward light so it’s a headlight and the reverse light and then one through
    seven over here is for the functions these two lights are the track and then
    these two lights are over here this is forward and reverse so you’ll see this
    these flicker I’m not sure how good and it’ll come up it but they’ve actually
    they flicker whenever they come on so let me see you get this over here get
    that in there so it’s on idle right now so let me switch it up to the run mode
    on power and then on and then you could see these two track indicators you have
    these two lit up so that means you have track power and then this is the reverse
    light so it’s in Reverse right now as you can see by this right here so let me
    put it in the forward so you can see the forward light is on now now let me give
    it a little bit of motion I got it up to step three I don’t know if you could see
    the little flywheel right there but it’s turning and the forward LED is flashing
    now let’s bring it down turn it in to reverse and do the same thing bring it
    up to three it’s flashing right there and that’s turning now let me turn the
    lights out so you could see maybe you could see the flashing a little bit
    better on there all right turn this up like that in our reverse direction and
    you could see the headlight and the flashing in that direction
    don’t let me turn the lights back on all right now I’m going to do function one so function one doesn’t work
    two works two is a momentary one so as long as you hold it down that’s what’s
    gonna be three is latched and four is latched so while I was checking it here
    something went wrong all the lights lit up over there and now one doesn’t work
    two works three and four we have a bad decoder here right now
    as I pressed f1 on a throttle all the lights on the tester came on for all the
    functions this tells me that there was a short in function one on that decoder
    what I did was I disconnected everything on it hooked it back up without hooking
    up the wire to function one and I got everything to work function two three
    and four works and everything else on the decoder works
    I checked out everything on the decoder and look with my magnifying glass to see
    if there was any problems with the with the solder joint on there and there is
    no solder across any other terminals on there so I I figured out that it was a
    problem with the decoder all along now this is the very reason that you do want
    to use this tester before you put your decoders on your locomotive because if
    there is a problem and you put it on your locomotive it’s gonna drive you
    crazy trying to figure out what the problem is
    so it’s cost you know it’s under $50 but it’s well worth the money and well worth
    the lack of aggravation that you will have if you do not test it and there is
    a problem with your decoder I hooked up this other decoder on here
    it’s a DN 136 it’s only got one function on there so I haven’t hooked up the
    auxiliary one so let me put the power back on you can see I have track power
    and I have the forward light let me reverse it so that’s a reversal eight
    and the motor works and the function works from this we know that you don’t
    have a problem with the e su tester because I put another decoder on here
    put it on auxilary with one and it worked so the problem is with the other
    decoder the auxiliary one on here or function one on here somehow is shorted
    out and I don’t think that I shorted it out when I put the when I soldered the
    tab on there because I looked at it real close and you have to look at it real
    close and I don’t have any solder anywhere that it’s not supposed to be so
    there’s an issue with that decoder right there I’m going to do a video on me
    soldering the leads on the pads on this decoder next week it took a little bit
    too long to include in this video so I just left it out I’m gonna put it in
    another video for you to see so check that out coming up next week as always I
    put links in the description below for additional information on this subject
    here you could find more information about the DCC connectors and your
    decoders on there and also leave some comments down below and with some
    questions either comments or questions I make a lot of these videos because of
    your questions so if you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask I’ll
    answer them either in the comments or in a video if it’s more complicated than
    what would be put in the comments so leave a comment
    whenever I get a sound decoder I’ll be using it on here and hopefully it’ll be
    either the 21 pin or the 22 pin I’ll see what I could find and see if
    there’s a locomotive that I have probably not but we’ll work it out so
    we’ll see maybe they’re flushing the toilet in the background