Friday, December 26, 2014

P:48 Plunge continued...

It's been a few months since a post...for reasons unremembered, it's been a tough winter for applying modeling time, even if it is just the armchair kind...

In my previous post on the subject of converting to Proto48 modeling, I discussed the "touchy-feely" aspects of why I'd pursue such a change.  There are also a couple physical ones that are enabled by the larger scale and I'll discuss a few of them here.

First and foremost is Dead Rail.  DCC freed us from electrical blocks -- now imagine being freed from powered track completely!  While this is of course possible in HO, the larger engine carbody volume leaves more room for batteries.  Also, dead rail might let one experiment with additional weathering or construction techniques -- If feeders are no longer required, one could actually use individual stick rail for hand-laid track

Second is truck-mounted motors.  This powering option frees up additional space in the carbody for weights placed directly over the trucks and creates additional room for a speaker.

Third is working handbrakes in freight cars.  My original idea here was to use an accessory decoder with one function connected to a small servo motor to operate a linkage that locks a brake against one axle.  Simply dial up (a portion of) the freight car number and set or release the brakes.  Combining this with DeadRail though would probably rule out accessory decoders; instead I'd maybe use a reed switch by the brakewheel and put a magnet on the other end of the uncoupling tool.  Since this would be battery operated, the default would be to have the brakes normally set by spring tension and the powered servo could hold them open.

Hopefully some of these thoughts generate some of your own, or better yet, some comments on the blog.  I'm quite curious what others think on these subjects...

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