Lennart's Model Railroad Blog

Lennart's Model Railroad Blog

About this blog

This blog is about my current model railroad layout project; The N scale "Summit" layout, which is a freelanced interpretation of the Southern Pacific Tehachapi tunnels and their surroundings. Or at least, that is what it is meant to be. What it will turn out to be is another matter. The banner photo above shows what I want to recreate in N scale.

Stereo jacks make the connection

Liftout sectionPosted by lennart Tue, May 13, 2008 20:18:38

Construction of the liftout section has made some progress, as shown in the pictures below.

As I see it, the two main issues when building a liftout, or some other removable part of a layout, are

1 - Assuring that the tracks align every time you attach the removable section. This should be an automatic feature of the device, i.e. the device should only be possible to attach in one way and that way shall automatically make sure all tracks are correctly aligned.

2- Providing good electrical contact between the main layout and the removable part. Ideally this is done automatically when the removable part is attached.

In this case I choose to try using standard 1/4"stereo jacks for both purposes. The jacks will make sure that the liftout is properly aligned and convey power from the main part of the layout. The picture below shows one pair of jacks (one male and one female) as bought and another pair where I have attached leads for the elictrical connections.

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In order to ensure a stable and repeatable alignment of the liftout section I decided to use a total of four jacks - one jack in each "corner" i.e. two at each end.

For each jack I started by drilling a pilot hole through both the (liftout section) beam and the support block, after having clamped the beam to the support. The picture below shows how I drill such a hole.

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After that I used larger and larger drill bits to widen the hole until I got one large enough to house a jack. It is important to increase the drill bit width in small increments. Otherwise the woood will probably split. Once the pilot hole was done I drilled separately in the beam and the support.

I then inserted the female connector in the support block and secured it with a "heavy duty" construction adhesive. The male connector was glued in place in the hole in the beam, as shown below.

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The last picture for today shows what this looks like when the jacks are connected.

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Now I have to repeat this process for the remaining three jacks.

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