Easton & Potomac trackage - red lines

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Model Railroading Law of Inverse Proportions

I have written about this before concerning paint.  If you are trying to get rid of the last of some paint before it will cover a vastly greater area than if you don't have any more and want it to stretch.

This law of inverse proportions also applies to time.  If you have set aside four hours to work on a task on the layout then that task will take closer to 30 minutes.  But if you have allotted 30 minutes then the task will take closer to a weekend!

That is exactly what happened today.  The turntable in Thorny Point was dead when aligned in one direction.  A quick check indicated one of the wipers for the slip rings was not making good contact when the turntable was in that quadrant.  I thought this would be a simple task of cleaning the wipes and slip ring and adjusting the wiper.  Not so!

It turned out one of the bolts holding the wire to the slip ring had broken (they are plastic because a brass tube runs between the two slip rings and using metal bolts would cause a short).  I quickly got the broken bolt out.  But then I had to find a replacement.  About fifteen minutes later I had a replacement and had it installed.  But the turntable was still dead.  More investigation found the other slip ring bolt to be broken.  But this one would not come out.

So as you can see in the picture below the whole turntable assembly needed to come out.

That required finding the allen wrench that fit the connecting collar.  Thirty minutes later I had the allen wrench and the assembly out and on the workbench.  This  revealed that some of the girder facing had come loose and needed to be re-glued.

The whole assembly is now repaired and sitting on the workbench drying.  The meter indicates I have good connectivity between the slip rings and rails.  So tomorrow the whole assembly goes back into place and hopefully everything will work!

But that just might be wishful thinking!  After all this was only supposed to take 30 minutes or less.  So a complete weekend's worth of work is not out of the question.

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