OK, here's some recent progress. The overhead is in and working mechanically for about 15 feet of track including the reverse loop. Here's a pic:
The radius is 8", which should accommodate most equipment. From the loop, the track runs through the small town area:
The street will be paved on both sides of the track, with the track in separate ballasted R-O-W. That's a Bachmann Birney, which runs great. I expect to have to replace the roller with a slider on the top of the pole for better contact. Have not yet tried to run with the overhead powered yet.
The other end of the line will be in the streets in the city area. We have the Customtraxx girder rail in hand along with their special rail bender jig. The girder rail will be spiked down the Homasote base including the Orr single point turnouts to form another loop around the city block. Here's a view of the end of the temporary flex track at the city depot.
No wire work yet until we get the girder rail and street surfaces installed. The line will turn left at the end of track and loop around the far block. Hoping to get most of this installed before the holiday open houses next year. Right now we have an automatic reversing circuit (Circuitron) that runs the car back and forth from the spot shown out to just before the loop. The circuit has a built-in delay so the car sits at each end for about 30 seconds before going the other way. Very popular with the visitors!
Way back in Nov '10 Herb mentioned that he could no longer find small "tubes" for making ears. Check Rio Grande jewelry supplies for "crimp tube beads." http://www.riogrande.com/Search/crimp-tube-beads
They come in several sizes and materials (gold, anyone?). The smallest are:
Dimensions: 1 x 1.3mm
Hole size: .031"
It may be that squeezing each bead would allow two .020 wires to just pass through.
The old overhead hardware originally produced by Suydam was actually O scale, but sold for HO use as well. Richard Orr later came out with a line of real HO scale hardware, which is beautiful to look at but takes a REAL steady hand to install. I believe both varieties are still available from Trolleyville.
Just an update on progress in McKeesport. Due to some health issues (none serious, fortunately) I haven't had as much time to get up there regularly. I expect that I will have the downtown girder rail loop done with the next visit (probably in 2 weeks). Then we will have to start laying in the street and sidwalk surfaces before attacking the overhead work, so we will still be using the two-rail DC auto reverse circuit for the upcoming holiday open houses. I'm going to wait to take some more pics until I get the rail down, try some street surface work, and have the city buildings put back in place for the open houses.
The LVS&ET is powered by over head, not the Baldwin of course. I made my ears by etching the bits out of 10thou brass sheet and some clever gigs and even more cleverer soldering. I have never been more grateful for a 3 week course run by the RAN in precision soldering and PCB track repair.... Biggest problem with outdoor overhead is keeping it clean and I have a flock of thieving magpies who delight in ripping down my overhead....
I found that my poles were coming off the wire too frequently so I ventured into swiveling trolley heads; viz
[size=This version came out a lot better BUT there are going to be other problems. These will work brilliantly on trailing overhead frogs but what about facing frogs ]
[size=Fortunately I only have one facing frog and that’s above the 3 way points leading into the car sidings so cars could exit the yards with reasonable certainty but the pole could go any way on entry....
] [size=Fortuitously when I was in HK I spotted a 3 way frog at the depot in Fung Mat Rd (Whitty St Depot) and took numerous pictures. I was also photographed photographing the frog; as soon as I produced my LVS&ET card it was all smiles and laughing all around - a call to the Consulate was not necessary, indeed I was taken and shown the last remaining tram (No 120) in original condition that they hire out to tram trajics who seek an "authentic" experience it has a resistance controller with magnetic brakes. All the frogs in HK are switchable as they use swivelling heads (for the same reason I’m going to use them).... There will now be a brief delay while I manufacture what will probably be the a world first, a 3 way switching over head frog in G scale. It will be manual unfortunately unless I get into nano point motors.... Its not going to be that exciting really just a bent bit of brass wire that can swing on an axis and line up with the other 3 wires as desired.... Maybe use the mechanism out of a sub miniature centre off switch.... Don’t wait up for it though I have lots to do before I electrify that end of the line.... When I work out how to make it I may also solve the problem of how I make the trolley wire joins where the removable bridge crosses the back gate.....]
[size=Here are a few shots of the latest version after careful de-burring with the Dremel.... Can I just say these are the absolute ducks gutz, I am so impressed with how they follow the wire. The side clearance ensures they can run through the frogs while having enough "meat" for the screw. I cant understand why I did not do this years ago, I hope its not an "age" thing. To celebrate how about another chorus of "Riding on top of the car". Sing along with me?
OK, as noted here's some recent pics of progress at McKeesport. One pic shows the Bowser New Orleans car on the PRW near the end loop. A second shows the first paving installed where the PRW enters the city. The paving material is Sintra, a plastic material used by the sign industry. The third shows the girder rail in downtown. The track turning up the cross street extends out of the pic, but then turns back. You can just make it out above the buildings.