Stephen Buck sbuck

Competition Entry: Gordon Station (northern module).  Entry FC 1887

Blog 8.  Installing Rodding Part 2

I’ve started on the more difficult part of the rodding, the runs between cranks, joining rods and installing chairs/stools.

Step 1

Solder the rods to the cranks.  This is pretty straightforward when the cranks are loose.  Slide on the chairs/stools in a block, the number being the number required for that section.  Paint the rodding again and leave it to dry.

crop rodding 150119 c.jpg 

Step 2

Solder on the next section of rodding.  I’ve done this by soldering a short section of rod under the two main sections of rodding.  Space out the chairs on the rodding previously installed and glue them down.  As done before, put a block of chairs/stools onto the next set of rodding, paint is and leave it to dry.

crop rodding 150119 b.jpg 

Step 3

One the paint is dry, space out the remaining stools and glue them down

The 6 rods shown are to operate points and FPLs on the adjacent module, and are not to be mechanically linked to the next module.  Separate drive motors are being installed.

Step 4

I’ve stepped down the ends of the rods to be connected to the compensators so they can clear the other rods.  On my layout, this means cutting away the 3 mm cork to set the compensator low enough.

I’m also installing Kadee under the track electromagnetic uncouplers.  I find genuine mountings rather flimsy and have cut 3 mm ply mounts.

To the left of the catch point is the acetate block with 3 pairs of cranks mounted directly to the acetate for 3 rods to cross under the track

The other rectangular plastic socket is a 3D base I use for signals.  I assemble semaphore signals on the bench then lower them into the socket complete.

crop rodding 150119 d.jpg 

Step 5

Next, join the rods between cranks.  In this instance I’m joining rods connecting cranks to compensators.  In this situation it’s necessary to solder the rods to the underside of the cranks, not particularly easy!

Now, I’ve managed to solder a couple of crank ends to cranks, which results in the need to remove and resolder the crank pin and I’ve taken the opportunity to assemble the rod end upside down to make soldering much easier.

A couple of hints here:

  • If you need to resolder the pins onto the cranks, place some paper between the rod end and crank and this will stop the solder flowing through, and provide nice clearance
  • I’ve managed to lose some of the tiny pins but have a stock of spares from cranks where I’ve removed the bases and mounted the round section of the crank into a laser cut section of acetate.

Note to DCC Concepts, perhaps rod ends could be assembled upside down on some cranks??    

More to come


15 January


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The pivot pin that holds the crank onto the post is only actually pushed in.  They can be prized out with a blade but be very careful as they are exceptionally small.  It is then possible to refit the crank the other way round if you prefer.  I played around with one and actually managed to get a smear of cyanoacrylate glue in the hole with a cocktail stick without touching the crank and pushed the pin back into the hole before it set.  Tricky but it can be done.
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Stephen Buck sbuck

Yes, I've used loctite, always seems to me to be a better option!
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So if you have removed the pin that holds the crank in you were in a position to be able to reverse the crank as per your request weren't you?  I am not referring to the post joint to the base, I am referring to the very small pin that holds the crank to the top of the post.  Or maybe I have misunderstood your request?
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Stephen Buck sbuck

Thanks for your emails

I've managed a couple of mods to the cranks

Where the cranks are closely mounted, I cut laser cut some acetate sheet and remove the bases from the cranks to get accurate location of the cranks. As a result I ended up with some spare pins. I'm pretty happy with this arrangement and will use it anywhere there are a few cranks co-located

I did manage to solder some rod ends, which are pinned to the cranks so they couldn't turn. I fully unsoldered these and resoldered them, and in one case turned the crank end upside down

I suspect the top and bottom pins have had glue of some description applied on assembly, loctite or something stronger.

It's all a bit of a learning curve!

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