NYC ALCO FA / FB Units

NYC ALCO FA / FB Units
Custom Painted P-2000 units

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Low Tech, Low Cost Operations Improvements

Greetings All,

At a recent train show I attended with my buddy Engineer Ed I came across a vendor offering new in the box Bachmann Power Packs. Spotting these kick started a long dormant idea of adding some auxiliary power controls to certain parts of the layout. Having a long shelf and peninsula layout using stationary DC power controls switching certain locations on the layout was in short not very enjoyable. Walking back and forth to throw turnouts, disconnect cars, power up and change directions of engines was a turn off to using these switching areas. Instead of enjoying the operations at these location cars sat dormant for months at a time.

So after agreeing a price the purchase was made and another operations related model train project was born. The following day I sprung into action. Using two DPDT toggle switches from a Radio Shack closing sale and wire from an extension cord previously cut  by my hedge trimmer the project progressed quite nicely. All wire connections were soldered for good electrical conductivity.

Let's take a look at project;

The Bachmann Power Pack sits behind a NYMX reefer car also bought at the train show.

The actual power pack and a bread box trough coil coach from the train show

The first installation was in the area of  Hudson Coal and T&R Gravel. Working these two locations is no longer a slow walking back and forth affair. From this location I can throw the turnouts at both locations while operating the motive power. HUGE improvement. 

The second installation was on the opposite side of the layout away from the peninsula DC controllers. The industries in this were basically unused and the tracks were more or less a parking lot. Not anymore! Now I can stand here and throw turnouts, work the industries and the motive power. Another HUGE improvement!


So as advertised the project was low tech and low cost. 
And it paid big dividends!

  

5 comments:

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  2. I have one of those small Bachmann controllers. I swapped it for a larger MRC with my late dad, who had a G scale set that needed a bigger controller. My Bachmann is on a micro layout I built. It works surprisingly well. The idea of using these with a DPDT for walkaround control is really creative. Looking forward to seeing the other layout areas move ahead!

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    1. Thanks John! You're right about the Bachmann Controller. It surprised me at how well it actually worked. Rainy day here so a few projects took shape. The D.R.T. portal is still on the drawing board.

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  3. I'm a big fan of low cost, low tech solutions if possible. Quick and easy power where you need it. You nailed this one!

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    1. Thanks Ralph! Low tech and low cost are wise words to model by!

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