Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Bridging the Gap

Sometimes, solutions are easier than first envisionned.

Last week, we tackled the problem of electrifying the carfloat and the float bridge. The answer was to run feeders from beneath to every stock rail.

The carfloat required I drill small holes against the rail to insert the feeders. Once putty and paint completed, it should be barely noticeable.

The wires were then connected together under the carfloat sloping hull. This part is invisible when the float is on the layout, so we didn't bother making it fancier than required. A male connector will make it possible to plug the carfloat on the layout bus wires. More about that later.

Feeding the float bridge required a little bit more ingenuity. My main concern was that the bridge could be removed anytime and wouldn't be directly connected with the main layout trackage. Using rail joiners wasn't an option to me. We thus decided to feed the rails with small copper wires soldered on each rail ends. Near the turnout, it meant the wire made a loop connected to insulated wire.

Once again, a male connector was also soldered to the bridge wires to make it plug-and-play. Since we don't plan to use the layout without the carfloat, all wires are visually hidden under normal circumstances. A little paint will make them disappear.

As you can see, when seen from top, you can hardly think all this wiring is running under the structures. You can also notice I  added Frenchman River Models float bridge mechanism. Quite easy to put together and bring a lot of life to the model.

Finally, we soldered a pair of female connector on feeder wires. A hole will be drilled behind the pontoon and feeders will be soldered to bus wire in a traditional way. The carfloat and float bridge will then be plugged on it.

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