Monday, February 21, 2011


Continuing our Free-Mo saga, I'm posting a movie from our set up earlier this month with the Capitol Area Free-Mo Group in Timonium, MD.  I shot four short clips from a very old and cheap digital camera and then for the first time ever, played around with my IMovie program on my Mac to make this.  I think I compressed it too much, but I'll get it better next time.  You can see that my Walthers Bascule Bridge does indeed function.  The locomotive is Jimmy's CSX SD40-2.  A Bachmann standard, DCC On-Board purchased at a very reasonable price from Peach Creek Shops.   Not as smooth at the lower speeds as an Atlas or Proto, but he ran it for two days at the show, mostly switching, without any trouble at all.  

I have been down in the basement a bit - the Tichy crane is assembled and painted - just thinking of how to letter it before weathering the whole thing.  Overall came out good but not too thrilled with the thread-cables - it allows you to position the boom but at the expense of looks.  Might trash this nonsense later on and substitute with fine brass wire.  Been also laying some track - installed the Walther's Turntable that has been sitting in a box since Christmas 2009 and tested it.  Finished mainline track two and now working on the yard and the engine area.  As I lay more track, my standards get higher and higher and I am looking at some of the older work on the layout and realizing that it works, but it isn't bullet-proof.  For operations I will need bullet-proof so I am going to go back and revisit a hidden portion of the main that occasionally causes trouble - about 10 feet or so of double track .  I plan to pull up the code 100 previously laid there years ago and put down code 83 and replace a #4 switch for the Coke Works Branch with a #6 or even #8.   I also intend to make this track visible and move the backdrop back behind it.  


Anonymous said...

I've heard some comments that the WKW bridge doesn't
work very well (the gears??)
Did you encounter any problems? I have an unopened kit awaiting assembly.

Vince Altiere

Jim Musser said...

The only problem we have had with ours is the contacts are a little flukey. What was cut off in the video was Jimmy sticking a skewer into the equipment cabin near the counterweight and tapping the brass contact - this probably could be fixed with some contact cleaner or some tweaking - I'll get to it eventually. It also could all be replaced with some diodes and contact switches if I had even more time. As to the drive, no problems at all - yet. The key is to keep everything in alignment and precise while building it - something you shouldn't have any problem with Vince. I think a fair amount of the negative press on this kit boils down to improper or rushed construction, although, eventually with heavy use I suspect the plastic gears or rack could give out. At the Timonium show it was raised and lowered probably at least a hundred times - probably half of those openinigs were to prove to a doubter that it was actually operational. Just follow the directions and keep it square - if you don't the bridge would probably rack as it is being raised and I suspect the gears would be trashed before you could even cut of the power.