Northeastern HO scale switching layout

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kleiner

Well-Known Member
Yes. On my old layout, I used Atlas flex to replace 18" sectional track in some loops. The issue as I see it are joints in the middle of the curves. It will kink unless soldered, and it still might kink even then. Like kleiner's original post correctly stated, "comfortably install". I have no experience with Peco.
Exactly! With Atlas track, you absolutely have to solder each joint and even then there is a chance of a kink. You need to use glue/track nails and solder the joints.

Some years ago, I built an N scale layout with Atlas code 80 flex track. I always solder all joints. However, there was one joint on a curve that looked smooth to the eye but would cause six axle diesels to derail. It took a lot of careful filing to eliminate that problem. I think the gauge had become ever so slightly tight through the joint.
 

kleiner

Well-Known Member
I am mostly prefer to use CAD tools when designing my layouts but sometimes, there is no substitute for actually trying out a configuration on the layout. The kick back siding was just not looking right when I put the track on the layout. So I am going to instead move it a little further to the main loop. I tried mocking it up and it looks much better now. So I am going to update my 3rd Planit design now. I'll post later today.

This is also a good example of why it pays to be patient.

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kleiner

Well-Known Member
Ok - I have figured it out. The white rectangle is a cutout I made from foam core board of the footprint of the Walthers Lakeville warehouse. Its a big structure (19" by 12").

I like the look of this so much that I went ahead an ordered the Lakeville warehouse as well as the modern concrete warehouse, both from Walthers. I will finalize this configuration now and put down the track. I will update the CAD diagram to match. I think I'll be able to manage to get six industries into this layout now with this latest update.

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kleiner

Well-Known Member
And all of the track is properly aligned and glued down - feeling good about getting this finally done. Next steps are
  • Solder all of the joiners
  • Solder dropper wires for power supply
  • Solder droppers to the turnout frogs
  • Install ground throws
  • Install track bumpers for the dead end sidings
As you can tell, I have a lot of soldering ahead of me. Now, for a long time, I have been using a cheap Radio Shack (remember them? :)) soldering iron. I finally decided to treat myself to a good quality temperature controlled Weller soldering iron. It should be arriving today so I will wait until it arrives before I get on with soldering.

I am fortunate that I was able to learn how to solder from my grandpa over forty years ago. I learned the craft using a monster 65W soldering iron that he used to build vacuum tube circuits!

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kleiner

Well-Known Member
Ran a loco on my layout for the first time!
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Here is how I attach wires to frogs on Atlas turnouts (You can't solder directly to the frog, its made of some non-solderable metal).

1. A screw secures a brass bar on the underside of the turnout
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2. Here is the brass bar. It's easy to solder a dropper wire on to the brass bar

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kleiner

Well-Known Member
Here's what it looks like with a dropper wire attached to a turnout frog. It will be barely noticeable once the track is ballasted
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Installed the ground throws. They are way oversized but once the track is ballasted, it won't stick out quit so much
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And finally, getting the Tam Valley Hex Frog Juicers ready for installation (on a scrap piece of gator foam board). This is pretty much the only electronics I'm going to be using in this layout.
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kleiner

Well-Known Member
A few quick updates as seen in the attached photo

1. I have been working on assembling some wooden wheel stops. I think I bought these a long time ago at the Amherst train show. They are very hard to assemble but I thought I would use a few of them for variety along with the Tichy track bumper. I have to confess that I'm real clumsy when it comes to assembling these delicate models - all thumbs for sure 😂

2. I got a box of these nifty Wago wire joiners. Wago is a German company and these wire joiners are considered by electricians to be the best in the business. They are rated for full line voltage and can handle as much as 32A. They have a nice spring loaded vice mechanism that holds wires very securely. I will be using a lot of them under the layout for connecting various droppers. I tried them out and they seem to work well with both single estranged and multi stranded wire in typical sizes. I used to solder all my wires but its just too much work - these joiners make things a lot easier!

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kleiner

Well-Known Member
More about track bumpers :)

I created a simple jig to make it easier to assemble the Tichy Trains stops. These kits are very hard to assemble but this jig really simplified matters a lot:

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I then painted the bumpers yellow with acrylic paints.

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Also, I received the Walthers warehouse kits! Really looking forward to assembling these kits.

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kleiner

Well-Known Member
Got the frog juicers wired up and they seem to be working just fine. The Wago connectors are just amazing - I can't recommend them highly enough! Makes it really easy to connect the dropper wires to the juicer.

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