Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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Overhead! ~ Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not on the actual layout, yet, but I'm working up to it.

First I built a line-pole jig, and banged out a dozen or so poles, following NCat designs.

This picture shows a pole with the cross-arm attached, but before the hanger/ear thing is attached.

I should come up with a jig for making the hangers, too.

A few things that helped the soldering work better:

  • File a flat edge on the soldering iron tip, use that surface to get good contact to whatever you're soldering.
  • When soldering the cross-arm wire to the pole, put the iron on the wire just a teeny bit from the pole, and put the solder one the joint itself--this gets the solder to flow around and make a good joint.

After I had a pile of poles, I put some track onto some scrap lumber, and drilled some pole holes, and strung up some wire.

I switched over the Arnold tram to run from overhead. You do this by turning the screw on the roof.

It works! And with two power packs, one for overhead to one rail, and the other for two rail equipment, I was able to run two cars independently (though not very far without a head-on collision!)

Tangent track is one thing. Curves, especially tight ones like you'd find over street corners, are another challenge. I built another test track and gave it a try. I used a pretty simple design with single pull-off wires between the poles.

I was mostly paying attention to where the contact wire went, trying to keep it over the track, as I soldered, pushed and pulled, and bent the poles. From above it all looked kind of reasonable. Then when I looked at it from a normal viewing angle, I realized things had ended up kind of crazy.

But it works!

For building curves on the actual layout, I think I'll have to make some jigs.

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