The other Proto:87 layout?

This weekend, after soccer, we went down to Great Wolf Lodge for some kid-focused fun. On the way, we stopped in at Rocket Doughnuts in Bellingham and took them to Julian Watson’s house to share with his family. Julian’s is the only other Proto:87 layout that I am aware of in North America. It was […]


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Testing the new decoder

It’s been a busy week for the Gourley household.  Between community association events, work and helping my friend Scott with his layout, I have been out every evening. That left scant energy for my own trains.  So this morning, while the kids were having their screen time, I carved out a little time to start […]

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Cricut – mirror experiment

In my last experiments with the Cricut, I found I could control the direction that the cutter takes by mirroring the panes in my N-scale windows.  Unfortunately, it seems that this knowledge does not make much of a difference in the cutter’s precision. To test the theory, I cut 56 windows (224 mullions), spread evenly […]

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Rewiring #10

This evening, I finally found time to test out the super-thin motor leads for #10. It looks like they should work. First I installed the motor, and verified that there were no shorts between the frames and either lead. The most likely failure here would have been at the gearbox flange, where the tissue paper […]

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Revisiting the Light Wash

Eighteen months ago, Andrew and I ran some experiments to see if I could improve the effect of light washing up the backdrop.  I was disappointed with the result, being too subtle to simulate sunrise or sunset.  I was pretty much ready to replace the RGB strips with a simple white strip. This week, I […]

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Cricut Installed

One of the challenges with getting computer equipment is where to put it.  So many devices have curvy corners and odd shapes and a need for odd footprints.  They all have wires that need to connect to something, even if it is only for power.  So, it was with glee that I found that the […]

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Cricutting Styrene

It took a fair amount of experimentation, gradually increasing pressure and number of passes, but I finally got my Cricut Explore to cut all the way through .010″ styrene. With my regular blade, it takes 5 passes at 300 g pressure to cut through.  Members of the Facebook group say that it should take fewer cuts with […]

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Thin motor leads for #10

Having removed the original decoder, I am now well and truly past the point of no return for rewiring #10. I put the boiler back on temporarily to confirm that there is indeed space for my .0055″ leads to squeeze through.  I made up some test leads and threaded them through, and found that they do indeed […]

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Thinner insulation for #10

As I mentioned, clearance inside #10’s boiler is very tight.  To route power to the far end of the boiler, I am going to try copper foil tape.  The stuff I found is .0025″ thick, but uninsulated.  As it’s going to stick to the sides of the motor/flywheel assembly, I need a thin layer of […]

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