March 19th, 2009

Another month and not much done to the layout. I wanted to have the main line done by now, but I just haven't had the desire to work on it. About the only thing that I've done in the last month is hand lay a #10 turnout and do a write up on how I do them. It can be found here.
I also redid the lighting in the room. When I started on the turnout tutorial, the 2 lights in the far side of the room were not enough for good pictures. I had to have my desk light and another small light illuminating my work area for the pictures to turn out ok. After a few weeks of this, I got sick of those extra lights, and decided it was time to light the layout room better. Also, the corner above the engine terminal and the entire town area of Mammoth were really dark compared to the rest of the lower level areas. I wanted these areas as bright as the rest of the lower level. So my quest to redo the lights started. When I went back down to Home Depot to get some more dual 4' light fixtures, they didn't have any all-in-one fixtures for T12 bulbs, just T8's. I could buy the shop fixtures in T12, but they didn't come with a plastic light cover. So I ended up buying the T8 fixtures, and retrofitting my 8 remaining T12 fixtures with T8 Electronic Ballasts. This was a bit pricy to do, but in the end, I don't have that annoying hum that the Magnetic T12 Ballasts have. I also went through a lot of trial and error in bulbs before I found the correct T8 bulb that matched the color of the lower level's T12 bulbs. When I first installed the light fixtures in the train room 2 years ago, I had 7 light fixtures total, and added one more about a year ago. Now I have a total of 14 light fixtures. Big change! And now I have a layout room that is almost as bright as outside =)
Infact, the lights are so bright, that I'm going to put up a valance around them to help get rid of some of the glare on your eyes. That will be in the next update. Anyhow, here's some pics of the new fixtures.



Here is the turnout that I did the tutorial on. As you can see, I'm about to do a curved turnout to get access to a future warehouse.



Here is the first of the new Electronic T8 Ballasts. There are a total of 5 dual 4' bulb fixtures on this side of the room. Previously, I only had 2 dual 4' T12 fixtures up. Big difference!



Another shot. You can see my desk lamp and the other battery powered light I was using to illuminate the benchwork for the hand laid turnout. Now I don't need these, since it's quite bright now.



Looking the other way from the previous pic, I have taken down all the light fixtures and have retrofitted them with new Electronic T8 Ballasts.



Here are the new lights above the town of Mammoth and along the Walker River Canyon.



Installing the fixtures above the June Lake siding area.



Let there be light! There are Five 4' dual light fixtures on this side of the train room.



And Four more on this side.



Here is a close up pic of a boxcar using just the room lights. Before, I had to also use my desk lamp to get a nice bright picture like this. It's a big change in there, and now I'm finding small mistakes in my backdrops now that the light is so bright! Gonna have to go back and fix them now...




All material on The Owens Valley Subdivision website is Copyright 2007-2009 by Michael Stoner. None of the material (including text and photographs) on this web site may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission.