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    • March 15, 2019 9:05 PM EDT
    • Looks safe to say that this thread qualifies as informative and educational.

    • March 15, 2019 3:04 PM EDT
    • Working on our Pacific Electric Baldwin/Westinghouse electric box cabs again.

      The P.E. pneumatic trolley pole used on these engines were first introduced by P.E. about a hundred years ago for these box cab freight locos. They proved to be very successful, so they were used on their interurban passenger cars as well up and until P.E. ceased operations here in Southern California in the mid 60's. I always had trouble researching these poles because any photos taken of them was always taken far away and never any detail. No dimensions either. I finally found a member of Orange Empire Trolley Museum in Perris, CA who offered to get me all the photos I needed and dimensions to actually model one of these.

      So after compiling all the photos and dimensions and studying how many parts it took to make one, I started doing drawings in MasterCam.  As you can see from this closeup photo, the assembly was fairly complicated at "first look". As you can see from this first photo, they were always taken from far away and no real detail to work from.

      Then I got photos like the one below with all kinds of detail. With the dimensions that I received, it was easy to break down the parts and start the drawings.

       

      This is the drawing I finally came up with......the separate parts are on various "levels" so that I can break down each piece and have it assembled in the correct position. There are about 170--175 different levels in this drawing! Each part is surfaced and filleted just like the steel castings on the prototype and the photo. More screenshots of the drawing below.

      This drawing is shown with all the parametric surfaces in place with shading turned ON.

      This is the same drawing with the shading turned OFF.

       

      This is the same drawing except that THIS is a solid body now. If some of you have 3D printed parts using Fusion 360 or some other software to generate 3D printer tool paths, then you probably understand the difference. Most, if not all 3D printers will only accept solid models. The great thing about MasterCam is that I made the solid body from the surfaces only. I didn't have to produce the solid body in Fusion 360. Big time saver! I can now import this solid body INTO Fusion 360 directly as a file converted to IGES. Saves a lot of converting of files for Shapeways, etc.

       

      This screenshot shows the solid body after I imported to my MacBook Pro. I can now manipulate the drawing in this software for 3D printing. Because Fusion 360 runs in the "Cloud", Nothing is actually saved on my computer. The great thing about using the cloud is that the man who be doing the molds for these parts, has access to my drawings to do his "thing". As soon as he makes a design change or wants to discuss certain parts of the molds, I can see these changes on my MacBook in real time. Technology is so cool now for the hobbyist. BTW, Fusion 360 can be used for free from Desktop just by saying you are a "hobbyist" or starup business making less than $100K per year. You just renew the software access license each year by clicking a button on the software. You have full access to tech supoort and all turorials that are available. Great system. AND Fusion 360 now has full CAM capability to generate tool paths on a CNC mill or lathe. Same tool paths that I have on my $15K MasterCam seat. The cost of Fusion 360 is $495 per year otherwise.

      I'm waiting on my foundry guy to take a olook at these first two castings for the trolley pole. I have quite a few more parts in the drawing to make the surfaces "watertight" and then generate the solid bodies for the next few molds. All the parts will be cast 6061 aluminum and fastened together with scale micro fasteners hex head bolts and nuts. Most of the bolts will be 0-80, 1-72 or 2-56.

       

    • February 26, 2019 7:21 AM EST
    • The video of Bob Wattacamp's Pennsylvania H-10 climbing Tilley Hill is a perfect example of the last week at Ridge.  I've been fortunate enough to learn to run that engine over the last 3 years  and with Bob's encouragement I've mastered it pretty well.  Got to charge that hill twice, yesterday and topped it with safety valves spittin.  FANTASTIC!  That is the rulling grade on the mainline going that direction.  It is steep and tight with an "S" curve.  Great challenge.

    • February 25, 2019 7:35 PM EST
    • For those of you that might be wondering what goes on in Florida, one of the warm parts of the USA in February, we just completed the 2019 Ridge Live Steamers Winter Meet.

      34 - 7.5 inch Live Steamers, 57 other visiting diesel electric and other means of motive power, 48 campers and no clue how many day visitors. Lots of videos and pictures all over the Internet and Facebook.

      A simple search on Google of "2019 Ridge Live Steamers Winter Meet" will show you a little of the fun -

      https://youtu.be/nGLM8-R31rQ

      or a search of "Ridge Live Steamers" on Facebook.

      We had a blast.

       

    • February 24, 2019 2:44 PM EST
    • Cliff Jennings said:

      I found that the layout I just posted that video on is associated with Cover's Apple Ranch in Tuolumne CA. Gotta go there next time I visit my CA relatives! Here's a FB spread on the RR, for those who do FB. Love that turntable...

       

      https://www.facebook.com/pg/MasseePhoto/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1797894776919738

       

      I'm familiar with the Hillcrest Tree Farm Railroad in Reedley. Apparently this is connected to that railroad, but goes into the foothills as another railroad. These Grand Scale (term used to describe railroads larger than 7+ inch gauge) layouts are all over California.

      Thanks for posting this one. BTW, while you're out here to visit your California relatives, you might want to consider another 15 inch gauge logging railroad in the foothills of Berkeley (Bay Area). 15 inch gauge Shays. Steep grades and sharp curves. Almost like Felton & Big Trees in Santa Cruz in "miniature".

       

       

       

       

    • February 24, 2019 12:37 PM EST
    • Well; I was hoping to win Power Bazilions this weekend so I could buy it along with the EBT, but I got slapped again

    • February 23, 2019 5:54 PM EST
    • Amazing... 

       

      Another 15" gauge,

       

      More info on 15",

      http://www.hillcrestreedley.com/5-scale-15-gauge-standards

       

    • February 23, 2019 4:16 PM EST
    • I didn't want to hijack the ongoing thread about Tom Miller's railroad property, so I'm adding this thread. In the discussion about Tom's railroad, a large 19 inch railroad here in California was brought up.....the Swanton Pacific in Santa Cruz. 

      But there are numerous very large scale private railroads out there that are rarely seen. This one is/was a gem.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E91Qvz2lbZQ

      Started by John Woods and his mother in 2000 and built on 2000 acres of Missouri farmland. His mother was eighty at the time. This particular video was taken somewhere in the 2008 time period AFTER the untimely death of John in a motorcycle accident. The place was taken over by a foundation that continued to maintain and use the facility for a hunting and wildlife preserve. As of January 2018, the family has decided to put the farm and railroad up for sale, hoping someone would take it over to continue the foundation as a charity. Sad to see this go. One of a kind. There are many links to videos of this railroad including some great side by side running at full speed on the double track 15 inch gauge mainline.

      Definitely not for the faint hearted with a small wallet :).

       

      Nice side by side video......keep in mind this Northern weighs 10 tons :)!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ns1kpKygv4&list=PLF_f1jBy4gmvR0Eu2eVEww9EZVktQQwCe

    • January 30, 2019 6:22 AM EST
    • You don't have to own private land and/or private track to enjoy the ride on scales.  We have equipment and spend time on club rails.  Lots of fun and you learn a lot from experienced people.  Check out

      "Discover Live Steam".  Things for sale, but also a list of clubs through out the Country.

    • January 29, 2019 9:38 PM EST
    • Rick Marty said:

      Gary, that rolling hills front yard is nothing an excavator and dump truck couldn't make short work of

       

       

      :)  :)  :)

       

    • January 29, 2019 8:06 PM EST
    • Gary, that rolling hills front yard is nothing an excavator and dump truck couldn't make short work of

    • January 29, 2019 4:02 PM EST
    • lorna dane said:

      Always wished I could have an outdoor ride on.  Just do not think it is the stars.  I think I have the room (40acres) but looking at the cost of the equipment - ouch! 

      Intrigued by the 2.5" scale stuff since I like narrow gauge.  RMI makes a lot of stuff and some of the Accucraft ride on (Passenger car, plymouth and announced #6 goose) appears to be 2.5" scale.

      Anyway, just love reading about these kind of adventures.

       

       

      You definitely have the land for ride-on with 40 acres.....RMI stuff has always been "pricey" even for the ride-on hobby. I know a few folks who have RMI equipment (rolling stock and locomotives) and the guys with the electric stuff are not real happy with the quality. There is a lady at Los Angeles Live Steamers that bought a 3-3/4 inch scale "Sweet Creek" electrified "steam engine" from RMI and had all kinds of issues with it. She is a retired private secretary for Disney Company and pretty feisty. She loaded up the tender with dozens of lemons for one major meet a few years ago and put it on display. Finally she got RMI's attention and they are still working on the electrical issues. The actual RMI steam engines (Sweet Creek's) are great engines....big and hefty and great pullers. The club owns two of these and pull the public on Sundays. Rumor has it that Jay Leno has one of these. He runs now and then at the club in L.A.

      The Accucraft 2-1/2 inch scale stuff is pretty nice. Their J&S D&RGW coaches are very nice and at $2995, a very fair price. The Goose #6 at $4200 is a great price. Thinking about getting one for the house. I have a Berlyn Goose #6 in 1/20.3. Great brass model. Somebody on LSC has the Accucraft Plymouth engine and runs it in his yard in the S.F. Bay area. 

      Eaton Custom Engineering in Castle Rock, WA used to make the little critter Super Husky. I'm building one now. Only 36 inches long and around 150 pounds. All aluminum frame and body. Easily transported. Battery powered and full sound. He sold this engine in kit form for under $3000. 

      If you do your own machining and build this stuff yourself (easy to do), the cost of this ride-on hobby can be cheaper to do than 1/29th. A lot more fun riding it than watching from afar going around a loop. If I can help you to "get started" in this scale, I can point you to resources and vendors that can make this hobby just as affordable as large scale 1/29th. Let me know. There are many members on MyLargeScale and here on Large Scale Central that have recently "graduated" to the ride-on hobby.

    • January 29, 2019 3:25 PM EST
    • Ken Brunt said:

      What you need, Gary, is a smaller house and a bigger yard................

       

       

      I hear you Ken......my home is already too small at 1600 square feet. AND only two bedroom. I could sell right now for 1M bucks (home is "free and clear"-all equity), but where would I go in So. Cal. to get  the land? and a home as large as I have now? Real estate is WAY over-priced in California :)!

    • January 29, 2019 3:19 PM EST
    • Sean McGillicuddy said:

      I was thinking ^^^^ the "Y" going here @ the driveway ..with a switch were the track meets the grass ..the second up were the sidewalks meets the "Y" ... how small of a radius do you need ?

       

      Hi Sean,

      From my drawing, it DOES look like I could put a "wye" where you are suggesting. But in actuality the minimum radius the layout uses now is 28 feet. AND the grass is not flat. When I did the landscaping about 25 years ago, we did a "rolling foothills" style. Very common here in So. Cal. for grass lawns. Adds more character, but definitely NOT good for RR ROW! My house is setback from the curb about fifty feet the code standard for our street "setback". IF I had another fifty feet, I could do a "Y" using the pathways in the front yard. My city lot is only 70 feet wide. A few homes on our street actually occupy 2 lots side-by-side. Those lots were rare to find even in the early 1950's in Burbank. Acreage is very rare in So. Cal. Most lots in our neighborhood are under 7000-8000 sq. ft. Our lot is 11000. Just a little over 1/4 acre. STILL not big enough for ride-on. :)

       

       

    • January 29, 2019 10:21 AM EST
    • Always wished I could have an outdoor ride on.  Just do not think it is the stars.  I think I have the room (40acres) but looking at the cost of the equipment - ouch! 

      Intrigued by the 2.5" scale stuff since I like narrow gauge.  RMI makes a lot of stuff and some of the Accucraft ride on (Passenger car, plymouth and announced #6 goose) appears to be 2.5" scale.

      Anyway, just love reading about these kind of adventures.

    • January 29, 2019 6:49 AM EST
    • What you need, Gary, is a smaller house and a bigger yard................

    • January 29, 2019 6:33 AM EST
    • I was thinking ^^^^ the "Y" going here @ the driveway ..with a switch were the track meets the grass ..the second up were the sidewalks meets the "Y" ... how small of a radius do you need ?