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The Randall Museum in San Francisco hosts a large HO-scale model train layout. Created by the Golden Gate Model Railroad Club starting in 1961, the layout was donated to the Museum in 2015. Since then I have started automatizing trains running on the layout. I am also the layout maintainer. This blog describes various updates on the Randall project and I maintain a separate blog for all my electronics not directly related to Randall.

2019-09-15 - Cab Ride Videos as Inspection Tools

Category Randall

I enjoy doing cab ride videos on model train layouts. That’s sort of an understatement since I have 17 cab rides now on my channel.

That said, besides just the style, I find cab rides particularly useful as inspection tools. The latest discovery I made is this:

This shows there’s a track feeder soldered to the rails on the inside of the curve, one thing I did not notice when looking at the rails on the spot.

This is particularly useful as this track currently exhibits a rather annoying and elusive dead spot. The track “obviously” has power except when a train comes from the tunnel towards Sultan, where it suddenly loses power. That means now I can crawl under the layout and check whether that track feeder is properly soldered, and I’ll reference that photo to figure the location from under the plywood -- which is never something I’m looking forward to.

Another possibility is that the issue comes from a typical cold solder joint as I already fixed in other places, except I do not know where the next track segment junction is, and this location does not make it easy to access any of the track.

Here’s the full video:


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