Yesterday I completed the final wire-in-tube terminations from the Kankool frame.
The runs to signals 15,17 & 18 had been left until last as I had to work out how I was going to operate the three arms.
Due to the hardware that is used when terminating the tube runs, and the space it requires, I had to come up with a different method for the three arms. A block was mounted under the spline for signals 15 & 18, but a separate one was required for signal 17. This also made it necessary to reverse the direction of throw for signal 17 from a “pull” to a “push”, so I fabricated a small crank.
So, as mentioned, this completes all wire-in-tube runs from the frame to all turnouts and signals.
I have also constructed a timber surround for the frame to not only conceal the frame workings, but to simulate the floor of a signal box.
This needed to be made removable to allow future access to the locking bed for maintenance purposes. The surround is removed by sliding it away from the fascia.
As this will probably be my last post for 2016, I hope everyone has a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!
Whilst recently carrying out final adjustments to the wire-in-tube controls to turnouts 7, 9 and 12 at Kankool, I discovered a minor problem with the control of turnouts 7. On the prototype, lever 7 controlled two turnouts, both labelled ‘7’. See the diagram below. These two turnouts operated off the same single rodding run, as they were required to operate in tandem.
My original thought was that I would be able to simulate this in model form by operating both turnouts from the one control wire from the frame. This was done by passing the control wire from the frame through turnout 7 on the loop first, then terminate at turnout 7 on the main. This seemed like a good idea in theory, but when it came to adjusting the throw of each turnout, I couldn’t get both to operate successfully in tandem.
So I decided to terminate the existing control wire at turnout 7 on the loop and run a separate control wire from the frame to turnout 7 on the main and to connect it to lever 7. See the result below.
Two of the brass ferrules were soldered together to enable both control wires to terminate on the one lever.
I was now able to adjust each turnout independently from each other.
Well, the Kankool lever frame is finally fixed in its position in the layout.
Whilst I was at the Liverpool model railway exhibition in Sydney over the October long weekend, Dale Richards made some modifications to the locking bed of the frame, as we had found some errors in the interlocking.
Upon returning home, I decided it was time to permanently mount the frame and connect the levers to the wire-in-tube, especially to the turnouts, so final testing and adjustments could be done.
I found that I also needed to make some changes to the direction of travel of some of the signal runs. Eight of the signal runs require a “pull” rather than a “push” movement to enable the signal actuators to work correctly.
So, the cranks were disconnected from these levers, and new connecting rods made.
Below is a picture of the changes made.
Below is a picture of the frame now fixed in place with the redirected signal tubing clamped to a new mounting block. The existing horizontal runs can also be seen.
I can now do final testing and adjustments to the turnout runs.
Following on from my previous post on the tiebar installation, I have been carrying out testing of the new tiebars and turnouts in situ.
As outlined in a previous post, the wire-in-tube (WIT) hardware were mounted on timber bases directly underneath the spline at each turnout location.
The wire from the turnout back to the lever frame was temporarily connected to the frame using brass screw ferrules from terminal blocks.
During initial testing, I found that length of the vertical drive shaft attached to the brass block had too much flex in it to work the turnout reliably. Due to the thickness of the spline at around 25mm, the resultant drive shaft length was around 30mm. The image below shows the vertical drive shaft and brass block. (Note – image shows the revised drive shaft length)
It was also found that the length of tube attached to the underside of the tiebar was too long. So this was reduced to around 3mm in length.
To reduce the drive shaft length, I realised that a reduction in spline thickness would be necessary at each turnout location.
After carrying out some tests with different drive shaft lengths, I found that a length of around 15 to 17mm operated much more reliably. I decided to reduce the spline thickness to 10mm. This was removed quite easily with my multi tool and saw blade. At one of the other locations, I had to use a router.
Once the spline was cut away at each location, the previously made timber mounts for the WIT hardware were re-attached to the spline by gluing in place.
I am quite happy with the result, so the next stage will be to paint the turnouts and fix in place.
I have made a short video showing the turnout operating from the lever frame.
I have started to install the wire-in-tube (WIT) system that will operate the signals and points at Kankool.
The system is designed and sold by Modratec in Brisbane.
I am also using 3D printed signal actuators designed by Ray Pilgrim. Check out his Signals Branch blog.
The actuators will be mounted in a block of wood that has been attached to the side of the spline in the appropriate location. My own signals will then be attached to the base of the actuator.
The photo above shows a view underneath one of the WIT termination blocks. The cable from the lever frame is on the left and another wire then connects from the brass block to the lever on the signal actuator.
The WIT cables from the points and signals all come back to a termination block at the lever frame.
Refer back to a post here for a view of where the lever frame will sit. Go to the last photo.
I have also added extra cranks and linkages to the levers of the Kankool frame to convert from a vertical to horizontal movement.
I had a mate laser cut some new cranks and got some clevises cast in brass to connect them altogether. The wire throw to the points and signals will attach to the bottom clevis.
I realised I needed to commence the WIT installation before any scenery work could start, so I have already installed cables to nearly all signals, but I have to work on the turnout throwbars before I can terminate the point cables.
Since my last post, I have been busy with work on the upper deck above the Chilcott’s Ck to Kankool section.
To support the upper deck valance and future lighting, steel brackets were fabricated from second hand 20x20mm square tube, along with bracing made from thin steel plate.
A simple timber jig was made to hold the pieces of tube in place whilst the brace plate was attached using pop rivets.
These brackets were then screwed to the wall at strategic locations at wall studs.
After the initial installation of these brackets, I discovered a potential flaw in my design. The two rivets fixing the brace plate to the vertical tube were shearing off with only minimal downward force being exerted at the outer end of the horizontal tube. Now, I’m not sure whether it was actual rivet failure or what, so I decided to replace these rivets with a 3/16” bolt/spring washer/nut combination. The result is a much stronger feeling bracket.
I had also decided to install a ceiling above each scene, as I didn’t fancy the idea of being able to see the open benchwork when looking along the scene from one end. Once painted, I also think it will assist in spreading the light onto the scene.
The ceiling is made from sheets of 3.2mm MDF (2440x1220mm). This required the installation of a timber sub-frame built around the steel brackets to allow for the securing of the ceiling. 2×1 DAR pine was used.
More framing was also installed in the corner to support the backscene and ceiling.
A ceiling section was cut to size from the MDF and secured to the timber frame using Liquid Nails and small gauge countersunk screws. The adhesive was also applied to the steel tube. Temporary supports were used to hold the ceiling in place whilst fixing the screws. After the screws were installed, extra temporary supports were fitted to force the ceiling against the steel tube whilst the adhesive cured.
The ceiling section in the corner proved to be quite tricky to cut to size, but by using accurate measurements, I ended up with a piece that fitted perfectly.
A couple more sections of backscene was also installed, including the piece in the corner.
These sections of backscene have no need to extend completely down to the benchwork, as the track level will be around where the lower edge of the MDF is in the picture above, and the majority of scenery here behind the track will be hills covered with trees.
I also started playing around with how I will locate the Kankool lever frame into the fascia. The picture below shows a mock-up of what I hope to achieve.
The MDF immediately behind the frame will be the scene fascia and the curved piece in front is to indicate another section of fascia that will serve as ‘protection’ for the frame. More on this later.
Yesterday, Monday 20th May, saw the delivery of the first of three lever frames for the layout, this one being for Kankool.
The frame was built by Tony Kociuba from McKenzie in H.O.Lland. It has twenty levers for twelve signals, three turnouts, four facing point locks and one spare. The frame is fully interlocked for all possible train movements through Kankool. It is of the cam and tappet type machine commonly used throughout NSW.
It is a superb piece of model engineering and a work of art. The main frame and levers are made from laser cut steel, with the locking bed and other bits fabricated from brass.
You may notice that the lever number plates are just a very basic brass plate at the moment, but I have some ideas on making them better looking.
Below are a couple of shots showing the frame with all levers in the normal position, and also with levers reversed for an Up train movement on the mainline.
It will be a while before the turnouts and signals are connected to the frame, but at least I have it on site now so I can plan its integration into the layout fascia.
As described in the Layout Stats, all turnouts and signals at Kankool, Ardglen & Pangela will be operated from fully interlocked mechanical frames, as per the prototype.
The frames are being built by Dale Richards from McKenzies, and he has commenced construction of the Kankool frame. He has sent me some photos of the progress so far. Credit must go also to Tony Kociuba from McKenzies who had this frame on standby.
Kankool was a 20 lever frame. The model will be 315mm long, 260mm high & 170mm deep.
I hope to integrate the frames into the front valance of the layout at each location, possibly within a recessed area for protection.
I am really looking forward to getting the Kankool frame, even though it will be a while before it is actually operational.
Cheers for now.