<![CDATA[                CWRailman <br />Adventures in Model Railroading - Blog]]>Thu, 09 Mar 2017 20:03:54 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Testing 24 Volt Nichibo 15 x 20 x 28mm Long Shaft Motor from Jameco]]>Fri, 10 Mar 2017 01:52:38 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/testing-24-volt-nichibo-15-x-20-x-28mm-long-shaft-motor-from-jameco
Today we took delivery of four 24volt Nichibo 15x20x28mm motors from Jameco Electronics.  Our motors were procured through a Jameco Ebay sale which listed a set of 4 motors for $5.96 plus $4.00 shipping.  However I checked and they had the same motors item #2188836 listed for sale on their WEB site.  The long 2.0mm x 25mm long shaft on this motor is what intrigued us as we have had numerous locomotives that require a long shaft such as the PFM Benson Shay which we showed some time ago on our Projects page remotored with a NWSL 1620 motor.  We used that motor because the shaft was long enough to allow the motor to fit into the cab.  Now however, we suspect that this flat can motor might be better suited for that installation.   
 
Our shipment of four motors arrived quickly and was well packed.  We strapped one of the motors into our PFM/United UP 2-8-0 chassis and gave it a spin.  The gearbox is an old United 40:1 that has not seen lube in way to many years and is bone dry.  The suspension springs are also not yet installed so the gearbox can float up and down.  We did not spare any expense in our mounting technique and used one of the few rubber bands we could find that was still pliable enough to hold together without breaking.
 
Using an old MRC power pack, the motor started the drivers at 3.5 volts but we then backed the voltage down to 2.5 volts and it kept the drivers spinning smoothly.  About 7 volts established a rotation that would be about as high as anyone would want.  Check out THIS VIDEO to see a brief demonstration of this motor in action.
 
It’s time we get back to the shops and dust off some of our projects!
 
CWRailman

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<![CDATA[Ol’ Harold Builds a Two Axle Gondola &  A Video Tour of the Atlantic Central]]>Sun, 05 Mar 2017 17:52:22 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/ol-harold-builds-a-two-axle-gondola-a-video-tour-of-the-atlantic-central
While we continue to dust off the cobwebs in our shops let us direct you to two excellent modelers who have been more productive
 
In this build Ol’ Harold demonstrates how he used some vintage side frames to build this Two Axle Four Wheel Gondola.  This build is based on a car that appeared in the background in a photo of an Illinois Central roundhouse. Harold also introduces an adhesive that might be new to many modelers.  Note his first experience with this glue.  Leave it to Ol’ Harold. 

Canadian modeler Doug Coffey takes us on a video tour of his Atlantic Central railroad.  Though I had previously seen numerous photo’s of the Atlantic Central I found myself stopping the video many times to focus on the many structures and details on the railroad.  You can also see more of Doug’s work by checking out the Model Railroad Tab on his WEB.  If you are into well built craftsman kits, scratch built structures well detailed brass and kit locomotives that run smoothly and great scenery, Dougs Atlantic Central will be a treat.  Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and spend some time on the Atlantic Central.  
 
It’s time we get back to the shops and dust off some of our projects!
 
CWRailman

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<![CDATA[CWRailman Visits the Fall River Line]]>Mon, 19 Dec 2016 20:14:01 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/-cwrailman-visits-the-fall-river-lineIn this first photo we see FRL Gas Mechanical M-3 approaching the Pack Saddle Gap station.  The company photographer obviously does not know how to read a time table because he is pointing his camera in the wrong direction.  Can you identify the item in the middle of the photo?  Send me an email if you can.
(Click on any image for a larger version.)

During a recent trip to frigid Chicagoland I had the opportunity to visit Ol’ Harold, his wife Martha and the Fall River Line railroad.  I first met Ol’ Harold in 1974 and we have been friends since that time.   The Fall River Line was started in 1974 and essentially completed and in operation about two years later.  Running passenger trains against a time table and all freight as extras or by train order and governed by a rule book that has evolved over the years, this point to point late 1920 era railroad has entertained thousands of visitors and been operated by hundreds of experienced and some not so experienced operators.
 
While the Fall River Line shops are more than capable of turning out highly detailed equipment, through experience, Ol’ Harold has developed a balance between essential details that will weather handling by uneducated hands and superfluous detail that might not last the first operation session.  As a result cars and motive equipment that were built and put in operation thirty years ago continue to function efficiently on this road today.
 
Ol’ Harold planned this home based railroad for operation and did not miscalculate his ability to build and maintain so it was completed including hand laid track, electronics, structures and scenery in a timely manner.  He has since devoted his efforts to building freight and passenger equipment some of which you will not see in operation on other railroads. 

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Here is a photo of FRL M-3 coming out of the tunnel and passing a fruit vendor on it's way to the Wycomb station.

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In this last scene we see M-3 exiting another of the FRL tunnels on it's way back to New Hope.

We hope you enjoyed this brief look at the Fall River Line. If you every get a chance to visit the Fall River Line, which is occasionally listed on one of the Chicagoland model railroad tours, don’t pass up the opportunity.  You will not regret it. You may even be invited to participate in one of their operation sessions, have a cup of coffee perked in his vintage coffee pot and have a couple of Martha’s home baked goodies.  If you plan on being in the Chicagoland area and want to contact Ol’ Harold drop me an email at CWRailman@cox.net and I will see if I can hook you up.
 
By the way, you can see several video’s we shot on the Fall River Line about 20 years ago and were converted from tape to digital on our CWRailman Youtube channel.


Till next time,
Happy Model Railroading!
CWRailman

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<![CDATA[Chasing Durango & Silverton #480]]>Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:02:33 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/chasing-durango-silverton-480Here are some images from our latest CWRailman “On the Road Again” adventure to the Durango and Silverton.  All images were shot with a Fujifilm X-T1 and a Fuji 18-55mm lens. 
(Click on any image for a larger version.)

Durango & Silverton #480 & morning consist pulling out of Durango station.
D&S #480 running parallel to Colorado Route 550 on it’s way to Hermosa

D&S #480 passing the Hermosa water tank and yard facility heading to Rockwood.
D&S #480 about to cross under Route 550
D&S #480 about to enter Silverton station.  The train does not stop at the station but continues into town where passengers disembark
D&S #480 rounding curve and heading into town of Silverton Colorado
Durango and Silverton #486 entering Rockwood on it's way from Silverton back to Durango.  The cut the train is passing through was used for filming several western movies including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Click on this image to see a video we shot while chasing the D&S #480 earlier that day.  Make sure you turn on the HD feature when watching this video.
Be sure to check out our latest Durango and Silverton video shot while we chased D&S #480 from Durango to Silverton and was shot by Sharon while I was taking the still images.  (For best results make sure you have the HD setting turned on when watching this video) This video looks great on a “Smart” TV that can access Youtube videos.  For this video Sharon used an Olympus E-M5 with Olympus 12-50mm lens.  This was her first time in using this camera which she had not held till about 15 minutes before she started shooting the video.  I will be discussing the equipment we used on this trip as well as the results of over two years of experimentation with various cameras from Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic and Fujifilm in an upcoming addition to our “Photographing Models” page on this WEB site.

Till next time,
CWRailman

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<![CDATA[The Inventor and The Tycoon]]>Sat, 25 Jun 2016 21:54:00 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/the-inventor-and-the-tycoon
Leland Stanford, Leland Stanford!!  Where have you heard that name before?  Those familiar with the history of the transcontinental railroad recognize that as the name of the merchant, turned Governor of California turned President of the Central Pacific railroad and one of the “Big Four” considered responsible for building the Western end of the transcontinental railroad.   While railroads, as we have known them in the US, are in a decline all of us benefit on a daily basis from another enterprise that relied on resources supplied by Leland Stanford and used by a murder to create a medium we all enjoy today.
 
“The Inventor and the Tycoon” by Edward Ball delineates the money man, his idea and the murderer involved in the development of processes and techniques that were the predecessor of all moving type visuals such as movies and TV that we enjoy today.  For the photographically minded it presents a case for what might be considered as the first use of a crude camera “shutter” type mechanism. The best thing about this dissertation is that you do not have to read the entire book to get the basic answer.  In the first 30 pages or so the author gives you a Cliff Notes synopsis of the story and it’s major players then devotes the next 360 some pages to explaining in detail how the series of events that led to the invention transpired.   While I originally acquired my copy of this book from the local public library I thought enough of it to purchase a previously owned hard cover copy from an Ebay seller to add to my personal library.
 
While it is not the focus of this book, author Edward Ball succinctly covers some events leading up to and encompassing the building of the transcontinental railroad and the corruption that evolved in the process.  He then provides collected descriptions and a few early photographs of the Leland Stanford family to show where and how they lived.  This “behind the scenes perspective” is different from the point of view normally offered by railroad historians who have focused on Leland Stanford and his association with the Central Pacific railroad.  I found “The Inventor and the Tycoon” an interesting bridge between two of my interests, railroading and photography.  Who knew that Leland Stanford would be the link that ties those two interests together.  

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<![CDATA[HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!]]>Thu, 31 Dec 2015 20:08:26 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/-happy-new-year-everyone We are nearing the end of what was the “year of the camera” for us.  We procured and experimented with nine different cameras and posted some of our findings in several of our blogs.  There is one more review coming soon.  A few of those cameras now comprise our photographic tool box while the others have been sent on to new owners.  I think we are now done with our testing of cameras and in the coming year we are looking forward to reporting on several new construction builds that have been in the shops.  In addition we hope to return to and complete at least one structure build that has gone incomplete for way too long.

Earlier this year, in preparation to celebrate our fourth year on line, we renewed the long term contract with our hosting service so we will continue to provide our hobby related content, free of advertising, for quite a while.  Though we would benefit financially from accepting advertising we feel compelled to keep our WEB site free from such intrusions which, in addition to being annoying, also slows down loading of WEB pages on some older computer systems.

Building the this WEB site has been a learning experience for us as we knew little about HTML code or how to build or maintain a WEB site prior to putting this one together.  While it has been time consuming, it has become a conduit to rewarding on line interactions with hobbyists all over the world who share similar interests.  On this, the last day of 2015, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for visiting our pages and wish you all a very safe, healthy and prosperous New Year.   With apologies to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Happy Rails to You!  See you all in 2016.

CWRailman

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<![CDATA[Another Portable, Figure Painting Kit]]>Thu, 31 Dec 2015 19:55:11 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/-another-portable-figure-painting-kitPicture
When we posted our  Portable Vallejo Figure Painting Kit” earlier this year we received several emails asking if such a box would hold the larger sized craft sized bottles.  The answer was no.  Well, I now have an answer for those who have accumulated a quantity of the craft size bottles of acrylic paints.  This is a makeup case which we acquired at our local second hand store. 
(Click on any image for a larger version.)

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The name on this box is SOHO.  It measures 8” high (not counting handle) by 6.5” wide by 9.375” long.  The inside length of the trays is 8.25" so they will hold many average length paint brushes.  The lower trays are 4.375” from the inside bottom to the underside of the tray above it. 

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The box easily holds 30 bottles of craft paints and is shown here with some craft paints as well as three aerosol cans of spray paint tucked under the upper trays.  Two small keys were included to lock the case. 

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There is also room for a small thin mixing tray.  I just checked Ebay and found a few of these listed under the SOHO heading with prices ranging from $19 - $55.

Now back to the Bowl games.

CWRailman

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<![CDATA[Last Minute Gift for the Hobbyist]]>Wed, 23 Dec 2015 03:06:04 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/last-minute-gift-for-the-hobbyistPicture
Christmas is quickly approaching and you are still grasping for gift ideas.  Well, I found one today that may be a great low cost gift for that hobbyist on your gift list.  This 21 Piece 3 Volt Cordless Precision Screwdriver set by Hyper Tough is offered for sale in the tool section at WalMart for the reasonable price of  $9.98 and it includes the two triple A batteries needed to power the unit.

The tools come in a nice hard plastic case with an actual hinge so it will not break from frequent opening and closing.  A locking tab, which is also hinged, keeps the box closed.
(Click on any image for a larger version)

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In addition to the driver and batteries, the kit includes 18 different screw and torx bits small enough to work on any brass locomotive or as shown in one of the images can be used to remove those pesky screws on the bottom of a laptop computer.  The driver itself, which fits easily in the hand, is powered by a gear reduction motor which has enough torque to drive the screw and then run the blade out of the slot so some care must be taken when the screw bottoms out.  There is also a small spot light which can be used to illuminate the screw when working in those somewhat dark areas.  

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 While we have not really put this tool to the test in any daily shop work, it appears to be a useful addition to any hobbyists tool box.




Now back to the shops.

CWRailman

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<![CDATA[The 4/3’s Are Coming! The 4/3’s Are Coming!!]]>Sat, 19 Sep 2015 19:06:49 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/-the-43s-are-coming-the-43s-are-coming
Over the past few months we have continued to experiment with new cameras and applying their features to both our model work as well as railroad related subjects. We are now working with a retro looking Olympus E-M10 mirrorless camera which features a 16mp 4/3 sized sensor.  (You can learn more about sensor sizes by checking out this link.  No, the bigger sensor is NOT necessarily better especially when photographing our models.)

While the Olympus does not produce the depth of field that we achieve with the Pentax Q series and shown in our 07/07/2014 and 07/16/2014 blogs, it does produce a higher quality image and we like the retro look, and tactile feel we get with this camera.  Basically it is about the same size and feel as the 35mm film Single Lens Reflex cameras we used from the early 1970 up till the digital era. It is shown in the lead photo next to one of our Pentax ME Super 35mm cameras from the early 1980’s.  These new 4/3 cameras are a bit smaller and a lot lighter than today’s Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras and in many respects they cost a bit less. They produce image qualities that are the same or in many cases better than DSLR’s with similar features and in comparable price ranges.  This is a relatively new format though and of all the digital cameras produced is the only one showing an increase in sales so don't expect to find too many deals on new or previously owned high quality 4/3 format cameras.   
(Click on any image for a larger version)
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Here are two of the first images shot with our Olympus E-M10 and the 14-42mm zoom kit lens.  The kit lens is the lens that came with the camera and is usually of good but not great quality.  By the way, when looking at magazine or Internet based camera reviews, I would like to point out that those test results they publish are seldom if ever achieved with a “kit” lens.  Much of the time the lens employed for the test is a high quality Pro level lens that sometimes costs two to three times what the camera itself costs so be advised.  Your results may vary.

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The camera settings for these images were ISO 100, Aperture Priority mode, front shot at f3.5 and side shot at f14 to increase depth of field.  I underexposed by –0.7 exposure compensation to compensate for the fact that I did not have a polarizer or Neutral Density filter on either of which is almost a necessity when shooting out of doors here in Arizona in our very bright sunlight conditions.  Both shots were processed using Lightroom 2 to reduce them in size to facilitate posting to the Internet.

Check out the first video we shot using the Olympus E-M10.  It is a compilation of hand held segments shot at the Scottsdale Stillman McCormick Ranch Train Park and combined using Movie Maker.  Check out Take a Ride on the Train.   This video automatically gets down graded for posting but if you have a high speed connection click on the HD at the bottom of the frame to watch is in near HD format.  The original file is much sharper and looks really good on a television but is almost 450mb which is too large for posting purposes.

In all we are really impressed and pleased with the images and video produced by our Olympus E-M10.  It is significantly smaller and lighter than our DSLR’s with similar focal length and quality lenses.  This means it takes up less valuable space when packed in the trunk on our space restrictive motorcycle trips.  During hikes etc, we can carry it around all day without feeling like we have a brick hanging off the end of the camera strap. 
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OH!  If you need additional impetus to convince your significant other that the new camera will not only be used for railroad related projects, here is a non railroad related image that was achieved using existing overhead office lighting, one white bounce card held under the subjects chin to bounce light up into her face and the Olympus 40-150mm kit lens mounted on the E-M10.  This image was captured during an employee shoot I did for a local company and was processed in Lightroom 2 to add the darkened vignette around the subject.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

CWRailman


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<![CDATA[Shopping Thrift & Second Hand Stores]]>Sat, 08 Aug 2015 22:00:10 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/shoppingthrift-and-second-hand-stores Today I set out to ACE Hardware to procure a few small items I needed for several home related projects.  Three doors away from the ACE is a second hand store.  Monies derived from the sale of items donated to this store and it’s other branches go to fund several hospice related organizations in my area.   Whenever I am in the area, I peruse what they have to offer and it is seldom that I do not come out of that store with some gem.  Several weeks ago at this second hand shop I saw a mildly used corded variable speed Dremel  for $5.  If we did not already have a good selection of Dremel rotary tools it would have come home with me. 
(Click on any image for a larger version)
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I noted a lot of activity in the second hand store and realized it was under construction. Merchandise was in a disarray as they are moving walls and apparently redoing all of the displays.  While looking around I found among the clutter this hand built, very sturdy, wood machinist tool box.  ( Note the 1 foot wooden rule in the top compartment to give a sense of scale. ) Due to the store construction, items such as this were 75% off their marked price which brought the price of this gem down to, drum roll please, $7.50. 

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As I had not planned on buying anything this size I was on my usual two wheeled mode of transportation.  This is not my first time bringing large items home on the motorcycle.  A few bungee cords (two have already been removed when this image was taken) and I was ready for the short ride home.  

In addition to regular visits to this second hand shop, a visit to the local Goodwill store produced the wood box that became the basis of our Portable Vallejo Figure Painting Kit.  I would highly recommend that whenever you are near one of these resale shops stop in and take a look around.  You never know what you might find. 

Now back to the shops,

CWRailman

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