About a year ago, we purchased a Model #220S ground throw made by Caboose Industries. We have used their ground throws on many of our turnouts - essentially all that are not electrified with Tortorice switch machines. I had seen the ones with contacts advertised, but never really understood how they worked, so I bought one just to experiment with. These are ingenious little devices! They are useful for powering turnout frogs or operating dwarf signals to indicate turnout position. Essentially, they are a SPDT switch built into the ground throw. Here are a few photos showing how they work. If you've not understood how they worked (like me), this may spark some ideas for how you could use one.
This installation is to power a long frog on a #8 turnout. We have another location where it would be helpful to know which way a turnout is thrown viewed from 10-12 feet away, and one of these could be used to power a red/green dwarf signal. It is a pretty clever idea.
This past Saturday was our NMRA Keystone Division's Annual Jamboree - an unusual name for an unusual event. This event includes modeling clinics, model contests, door prizes and raffles, modular layouts and a white elephant table. The $25 registration fee ($35 for non-NMRA member) even includes a continental breakfast and lunch, making this an unbeatable bargain. An optional banquet and speaker are offered Saturday evening. On Sunday, there were layout tours, although we did not participate this year. I didn't take very many photos, but here is my report. Jim Sacco (City Classics) and his committee do a fantastic job planning and running this event.
As in recent years, the Jamboree was held at the Sewall Events Center on the Robert Morris University Campus in Moon Township. This facility is a perfect venue for our event, but sadly this was the last year we will be there as they are tearing it down to build a new facility. We will have to find alternate space next year.
The banquet always provides an opportunity to catch up with old friends, as well as make some new ones. Andy and Charlie (left photo) enjoyed the company of another father/son team, Steven and Neal Schorr (right photo) over dinner. We made friends with some new members as well. Vagel Keller took a number of "official" photos, which I am sure will be posted on the division's website soon.
If you live in the tri-state area, this is an event you should not miss. Heck, we had one guy who came from the State of Indiana! It is held every April and details can be found at www.keystonedivision.org.
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