More thoughts on loco frames

The next locomotives will be built from something like a kit. The frames will be etched in two layers, and that means there are opportunities to make extensions between the frames as well as outside them.  Between the frames, I will place temporary spacers to keep all aligned while the mechanism is under development.  These […]

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Cutting my losses on #10

Happy Easter!  What is the AAR-approved method for tying giant Easter eggs down anyway? You’ll note in the cover photo that I still haven’t put #10’s tender back together.  After the recent Battle of Pembroke Hill, I drove this little train into town.  To say it was a success would be overstating matters significantly. Despite […]

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The Basket Case of Pembroke Hill

Of course the vertical transition curve at the top of the hill in Pembroke had to include a turnout.  So I wasn’t surprised when the dust settled after the Battle of Pembroke Hill to find that removing this transition had transformed the turnout into a bit of a basket case.  I was, however, surprised by […]

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The Battle of Pembroke Hill

Well, I won’t say it was easy, but I believe I’ve managed to get the roadbed pretty flat through the north end of Pembroke.  As I mentioned, the roadbed was glued and screwed (from above) onto the benchwork, and the screws particularly made the work tough.  I also found that the contortions I had to […]

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Flattening out Pembroke

After all that work on #10, she can now stomp out of town with her passengers in tow.  Unfortunately,  when she gets back in to the station, the physics of backing back out of the station are too much for her, and she slips her drivers. The real yard at Pembroke was on a gentle […]

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DCC decoders are too smart

My colleague, Darryl, came by my office at the end of the day on Friday.  He’s been following my thinking about control systems for steam locomotives, and is considering doing some inventing of his own.  His ideas have more to do with counting ties and trying to keep automated trains from running into each other. […]

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A new test track

As mentioned a little while ago, Pembroke didn’t have a programming track until recently.  For most of the past couple of weeks, the programming track has been a section of flex track on my workbench.  This is clearly not sustainable, and so, I have now lifted it off the workbench. Six and three-quarter inches off […]

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Tuning an ESU LokSound Decoder

An unanticipated consequence of replacing #10’s decoder was that performance would degrade.  It says right on the box that your locomotive needs to work flawlessly before you go installing decoders, but still, a certain amount of back EMF compensation is known to smooth out the occasional foible. The old Zimo decoder worked fantastic right out […]

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