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Custom Turnouts For the Staging

The room being only 12 ft. wide is pretty tight on curves, so to turn around corners I used custom turnouts in designing the staging yard. Seemed like a good idea at the time thought it meant I had to hand make turnouts. A sane person starting on a big layout for the very first time, without any experience hand laying track, would choose to maybe make one custom turnout – a straight one, for shits and giggles. I dived into making 5…curved…turnouts, all having both curved point rails and curved frogs. Let’s go!

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First Locos Run in the Main Staging Yard

I couldn’t resist to test the so far laid track, so I jury-rigged a Roco booster with some alligator clips to the track and voila – we got power!

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Building the Main Staging Yard, part 1

I’m really not sure why it took me this long to start laying track down in the yard. I suppose I had my doubts about whether the main staging yard should remain split in half, with a double ladder in the middle, or have one long yard and park trains one after the other. After that was put to rest (and I opted for a single long yard), I gathered my tools and started on a bit of this and a bit of that.

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Extracting Feeders From Cable

Imagine if you will, a friend gives you a 200 ft spool of microphone cable for your feeders (and says there’s more if you need it). The cable has 2 pairs (black/red, white/green) of stranded and tinned copper wire, 22 AWG that would be great for feeders. The catch is, the pairs are shielded and also twisted along with another ground wire. This is the part of the hobby I really do not enjoy because it is very tedious. When are we going to “do” trains finally?

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North Ladder Laid

A bit more work was done today on the staging yard. The North side of the double-ended main staging yard has been laid down, feeders and all.

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First Feeders Installed

After a bit of a break, which was spent mostly shoveling ungodly amounts of snow and ice, it’s official. First feeders have been installed on the railroad.

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Custom Built LCC Boards

The Holidays have been slow, I hate to admit it but I squandered my time off doing electronics and code, instead of laying track. The other stuff still had to be done though, as I need to set a direction. With that in mind, I wanted to give a custom board a try that I saw in a LCC clinic video by Balazs Racz on YouTube, because it basically does everything I want: block occupancy detection, circuit protection, track power on/off, and RailCom.

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