Winter Plans

Shane Lambert   November 25th, 2015   No Comments on Winter Plans

After the setup at Sioux Falls this past weekend, I realized that all of my modules need at least something to make them look better, and something to make them easier to transport and set up. So first let me give you a run down of the modules slated for updates this coming winter, then I will share some information on what I plan to do on all of my modules over the next year or so.

First, the list of improvements. The modules are listed in the order they will be serviced:

  1. FCA Packaging
    • Install the recessed UP5 Panels with custom face-plates.
    • Build the building for this module. This will be a printed building to be used for testing this process.
    • Add basic ground cover and ballast.
  2. Birdsong Peanuts
    • Install the recessed UP5 Panels with custom face-plates.
    • Build an actual building along with silos for corn, flour, and corn syrup.
    • Add basic ground cover and ballast.
  3. Three Notch
    • Repair the broken crossover.
    • Add the new DCC Common line.
    • Recess the UP5 panels and install custom face-plates.
    • Install tortoise machines and switches for new turnouts.
    • Complete the city buildings and the grain elevator.
  4. Decatur
    • Rewire all of the tortoises to clean up the wire mess.
    • Repair the non-working crossover near the diamonds.
    • Remove all signals and excess wiring for future replacement.
    • Rebuild missing buildings and update the layout on the town end.
    • Build stockyards for Rath Meat Packing where the depot once stood.
    • Repair the broken diamond on the Wabash Main.
    • Remove the small stock yard and relocate the stockyard sound unit.
    • Repair damage to roads and sidewalks.
    • Replace opto-sensors for grade crossing lights and install controls for grade crossings.
    • Freshen up all the scenery on the module.
    • Recess all UP5 panels and install custom face-plates.
  5. Wabash
    • Repair the broken tracks on the interchange curves.
    • Test and rewire all tortoise machines and toggle switches.
    • Add/Freshen up the scenery.

These are the first 5 modules that are going to go through the revamp process. After the Oklahoma City show in December all of these modules will be considered “Out of Service” until the updates are complete. Although the above is not an exhaustive list, this will insure that my modules are more presentable and usable at future setups.

In addition to the above updates, these and all of my modules will also get new legs. Although the legs already on many of the modules are the “standard” Minnesota legs, most of the leg pockets have become lose over time. I also am getting too old to crawl on the floor to adjust the heights of the modules. So I am working on a new plan, and as each module goes through the revamp process, new legs will be installed. It is my hope that I can standardize on a leg that all modules will use, and no longer will I have to match a leg to a pocket. More on that to come!

To facilitate transporting, unloading, and loading modules to and from shows, I will also be “re-racking” the modules. The end-plate idea is great, but I am tired of moving modules two at a time. So I am working on a stackable end-plate design that will incorporate casters to roll the modules in and out of the trailer. This will also make better use of the space in the trailer so that I can transport and store more of my modules

Also, all modules will be getting the new Free-mo treatment of Anderson Power Poles in place of the Cinch Jones plugs. At this time all of the modules I claim as “in service” have been converted, only two of them have the newly added DCC Common line added. I will also be replacing all inter-module connection with APP Blocks.

Finally, any module that has more than one switch will be getting a DCC Specialties PSX added to avoid short circuits affecting the entire layout. I am also considering adding frog juicers to all non-tortoise controlled turnouts, though the final plan to is replace all ground throws with tortoises so Frog Juicers may not be necessary.

I have planned to start working on the first module after the OKC Train Show in December. Work nights have been scheduled for every Monday night any Saturday when I am not at a show. Progress reports will be made on each work night so you will know what is going on. Module pages will also be updated as modules move through the revamp process. Any module that is partially through this process will be out of service until completed.

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