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Treatise on overhead construction
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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2010 03:56 pm
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W C Greene
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How about this...in HO, what if maybe every 3rd or 5th pole was metal and the others made from that bamboo BBQ skewer material. The metal poles would "carry the weight", and the bamboo poles would be sturdy enough for in between...Maybe???

                             Woodie



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 Posted: Fri Nov 19th, 2010 10:01 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Might work Woodie. The main load on model poles is the pull of the wire, not as in the prototype, the weight of it---but it would be worth a try.

I did some research on who sells frogs, etc. for modeling overhead. My source came up with (Thanks RC!)--

O scale--Ed Miller--Current Line Models--  http://www.currentline.net

HO scale-- George Huckaby--   http://www.trolleyville.com


Herb  :old dude:





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 Posted: Fri Nov 19th, 2010 10:35 pm
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Paladin
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Firstly let me say I know absolutely nothing about this topic.

Surely the metal tapered poles could be turned down to the required taper on a small lathe. This may be asking a lot in HO but may work in the larger scales.

Now I shall crawl back into my hole and shut up.

Don



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 Posted: Fri Nov 19th, 2010 11:18 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Don-

Very difficult to explain to a non-machinist- but with a non computer controlled machine it is near impossible. There is a diameter to length ratio (about 1 to 10) that cannot be exceeded. It is much easier to turn a long slender piece straight than tapered, because you can run a support on the already turned diameter to steady things---but with a taper the support would have to move in two planes to accommodate the diameter variation.

Trust me--six lathes out in the shop.


Herbie  :old dude:



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 Posted: Fri Nov 19th, 2010 11:39 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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ebtm3 wrote:


I did some research on who sells frogs, etc. for modeling overhead. My source came up with (Thanks RC!)--

O scale--Ed Miller--Current Line Models--  http://www.currentline.net

HO scale-- George Huckaby--   http://www.trolleyville.com

==================

Herb,

Can you explain about the "frogs". Does the Car weight pull the Pole along the wire and through a turnout?

I bought 5 -3' pieces of K&S Brass Rod to make my first Poles with.

Thanks.

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 Posted: Sat Nov 20th, 2010 09:33 am
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Herb Kephart
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Bill-

You asked-
"Can you explain about the "frogs". Does the Car weight pull the Pole along the wire and through a turnout?"

I don't know why you used the word "weight", but the movement of the car, and the position of the pole (caused by the movement of the car, and where on the car the pole is mounted) relative to the position of the frog, guides the pole down the correct wire.

One of the things that causes the most trouble for first time wire hangers, I will cover it in as much detail as I can in one of the last installments.

Meanwhile, your question means to me that you are interested, and that you are thinking ahead- both satisfying to me.

Herb  :old dude:



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 Posted: Sat Nov 20th, 2010 12:14 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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Thanks Herb,

Momentum might have been a better word. I have never been around a traction layout much so I really haven't had a chance to see how some of this works up close.

I am going to see if I can made a Pole today.

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 Posted: Mon Nov 22nd, 2010 09:57 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Ears, backbone and pulloffs


As posted before, I use the same wire for everything, but some modelers use a smaller gauge wire. For years I used the same beads as the “insulators” in the making of ears, but on occasion one of the beads would break at one point in the forming operation. It happened often enough that I determined on the present layout to look for something better. I went to Michaels to get insulator beads, and in the same area as the beads I found packets of small “gold” (brass) sleeves- pieces of tubing about 1/16” outside diameter by 1/16” long. Bought a couple packs and tried them, and they turned out to be much better than the glass beads as they don't break, and when soldering is done they become an integral part of the ear. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find them on a couple return visits, and neither has a friend that saw me using them and wanted some for himself- and he frequents a different store.


Steps in making an ear
Cut a piece of wire about 4” long. 3/4” from one end, bend it back on itself (fig 1). The bend should be reasonably sharp, but the wires should splay out slightly from each other. Hang this piece over the span wire, or the lowest crossarm wire (fig 2). Slide the bead, or brass tube over both ends of the wire, and push it up as tight as possible against the horizontal span wire (fig 3) While holding the longer leg between the thumb and second finger, with index finger push the bead or tube up to hold it, and with pliers bend the short leg up to horizontal (fig 4) then cut it to 1/4” long. Next, bend the long leg horizontal, keeping it in line with the short leg in both planes (fig 5) Last, place the pliers at the 1/4” point on the long leg, and bend the excess up about 45* (fig 6) This is a “handle” that you can hold while soldering, and later trim off down at the trolley wire.






Backbone
This is nothing more than an additional piece of wire, strung from pole to pole around the outside of a curve. Its purpose is to have something to attach the short pulloff wires to. Backbone can be pieces of wire that go just from one pole to the next, or it can be a long length that makes two wraps around each pole that it comes to. Make the terminations of the wire ends to the poles, the same as shown for the span wire. Don't forget the insulators where the backbone comes up to the pole (about a scale foot away).


Pulloffs
Start out by making an ear, but in the process, put another piece of wire about 6” long where the span wire would normally go, loop it around the first bend in the ear wire and have the short end bent 90* to the long end and pointing down along with the long and short ear wire. (fig 7). Cut the short end of the pulloff so that it will just come even with the bottom of the bead or brass tube. Then continue the rest of the ear bending


Guy wires
These are wires that go from a pole, to an anchor buried in the ground, and typically they will be at about a 45* angle. They are most times on the outside of the poles around a curve, to keep the tension of the trolley wire from pulling the poles off vertical, and towards the track. Some of mine go through a hole in the tablework and are put under tension with a short, rather stiff spring. Unless the layout is located where the temperature and humidity are fairly constant, there will be times when the wire is slack, and others when the wire so tight that it may pull a few solder joints apart. I always had more trouble from the benchwork expanding when humid, and contracting when dry, than from temperature when I had layouts in a heated building- until I started painting all the major pieces of wood (including ply). After doing this most of my variations in wire tension went away- until the present layout. The first Winter the wire went more slack than I had ever had it go- so I took some of the slack out. The following Summer the wire got so tight that joints were being pulled apart left and right. I was tearing my hair out trying to keep up with all this, and wondering what the h##l was going on when I realized that the 40' aluminum trailer that the layout lives in expands and contracts close to 1/2” with the yearly outdoor temperature variations we have here, and the benchwork is bolted to the sides of the trailer.
This is why my guy wires are sprung. If a guy should need to come down in an impractical place- the middle of a road, or the bed of a creek for instance, put another pole on the other side of the road or stream. Connect the two poles with a horizontal wire near the pole tops, and then guy the second pole.


Two other items will be handy to have before we actually start hanging wire. One is a block of some material slightly less height than the intended wire. This should be a little wider than the rail gauge, 4-5 inches long and as heavy as possible- mine is steel, but most of you won't have a machine shop scrap bin to select a piece from. To the top of this fasten the largest ugliest paperclip that you can find- one of the kind with two ears that you squeeze between thumb and index finger to open. Fasten it to the top of the block, to grab the trolley wire and keep tension on it.


Second, an old, preferably unsprung, freight car truck, with a 1/2” square piece of wood fastened vertically with a screw through the kingpin hole. The top of this wooden piece should be the intended wire height.


Next time, we hang wire.

Herb  :old dude:



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 Posted: Tue Nov 23rd, 2010 09:04 am
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Huw Griffiths
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ebtm3 wrote: I found packets of small “gold” (brass) sleeves- pieces of tubing about 1/16” outside diameter by 1/16” long.
I've used similar stuff in electronics - albeit cut from longer lengths (they started off about a foot - and ended up about 1/4" - 1/2").

I used a fairly basic tubing cutter - nominal diameter range about 1/16" - 5/8". It was a bit fiddly - possibly because it was right on the edge of its range - and I had to clean up the ends on a whetstone - but it ultimately did the job:

http://www.americanrcboats.com/images/tools/kstubingcutter.jpg

http://www.modelhelicopters.co.uk/acatalog/t-ks0296.JPG

 
Another possibility might be to use the coloured insulation from some types of wire - perhaps individual cores of low current mains wire - or a narrow strip of insulating tape coiled round the "doubled" wire - or perhaps even forget the sleeving and use a drop of Araldite instead.

 
Unfortunately, although some of these other schemes might be reasonably simple, they're all susceptible to damage when soldering. For this reason, I'd be more inclined to use the short lengths of brass tube - at least I know they'd work.

 
Huw.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 23rd, 2010 02:53 pm
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Huw Griffiths
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I've just remembered another method I read somewhere for doing the "insulators".

Basically, it consisted of coiling a few turns of fine, insulated, wire around the "doubled" section of wire.

I can't remember where I read it - but it would probably be quite effective (and cheap and easy).

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