Category: Scenery

ISE Reverser installed

After sitting on a storage shelf for several years, I was finally able to install my Iowa Scaled Engineering reversing module. The module was custom built for me so that I could have a train running on the point-to-point branch without having to control it. The system consists of an Arduino and keypad that ties in with two ISE infrared sensors on each end of the layout. It works separately from my ESU CabControl, so I have the system isolated from the regular DCC when in use.

It works great. The train moves across the layout at a speed I designate, then after tripping one of the sensors it slowly decelerates and changes direction. It’s enjoyable to work on the layout with a train moving.

The reversing module is set into the fascia with a 3D printed faceplate. The two toggle switches on the right control power to the unit and to the track.
The IR sensors were easy to install and wire. This one is on the Andalusia Sub. side. You can see I wedged part of a wood tie to the left of the sensor to snug it in the hole. I will eventually hide the sensors with some added ballast (see below) and perhaps some grimy PanPastels to camouflage even further.

3D printing to the rescue

3D printing is a godsend when one needs a custom design produced. 

Recently, I needed a faceplate to mount an Arduino module for my reversing unit as I’m getting very close to completing all track work on the layout. I asked my friend, Michael P., if he would print me a faceplate that I designed in Tinkercad and he obliged. Thanks, Michael! Below is a photo of the finished plate sitting on top of the module along with another 3D printed IR sensor holder from Iowa Scaled Engineering. Both components will work perfectly for installing the reversing system. Since I don’t have a continuous run, it’s going to be fun to work on the layout as a train moves back and forth.

Michael also sent me several different sizes of drainage pipes. Perfect timing as I start to work on my river scene. 🙂 Below is a photo with an HO figure for scale.

Progress on the Rock River bridge 2

Here is an update on the Rock River scene: the riverbed is painted; work is progressing with the abutments and pier color and weathering; the final trusses are being assembled; and foam landforms are starting to take shape.

Below are some images with captions…

Here is one of the prototype abutments. My goal is to mimic the general feel of the concrete structures and not try and reproduce their look exactly.
After the initial coloring, I went back and added additional PanPastel coloring, sealed each layer, and added a final non-sealed pastel layer (see image below).
Once I glued the abutments in place I added distressed ties, ballast, and also attached a tin registration plate. Magnets were then glued in precise position on the two girder spans. I took this approach so that I could remove both spans, if necessary, and then reposition them exactly as originally set up.
Finally, I needed larger bridge shoes which will eventually be placed once the trusses are attached. I found a shoe design at Thingiverse, modified it using Tinkercad, and sent the final .stl file to my friend Michael P. who 3D printed the shoes. Worked great! You can see a comparison in the photo between the original Micro Engineering cast shoe and the larger 3D printed shoes.

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