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Messages - John McNamara

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Volunteers / Re: September 2018 Work Reports
« on: September 19, 2018, 03:45:52 PM »
Mike -- should we get the magneto phone line wire in place and buried before permits expire next year for TOM to Route 218 right-of-way preparation?
Yes, especially in the shoreland zones (bridge and wall)
Could you just move them to the very edge of the right of way and not bury them ? Are you using the heavy line that the phone companies use for temporary service? That stuff seems pretty tough.
Mike Nix
Unfortunately, the edge of the right of way zig-zags a bit. While there are locations were the line is deep in the trees, there are places where the wild grasses project substantially into what would normally be the tree line. In such areas, the wire is necessarily crossing the grassy areas. The grass has gone uncut for a long enough time that metal-bladed trimmers are needed.  These can easily cut 14 AWG cable and have done so. Wrapping the cable in yellow caution tape isn't too effective, as it can't easily be seen in 4-foot grass. Installing four-foot grade stakes to mark the line location will be needed along with an understanding that clearing and extra two feet isn't worth the risk.

Volunteers / Re: September 2018 Work Reports
« on: September 19, 2018, 04:37:42 AM »
2.6 miles of schedule 80 pipe to reach from Sheepscot to Top of the Mountain would be a bit pricey. $10,000?

Volunteers / Re: September 2018 Work Reports
« on: September 18, 2018, 02:22:03 PM »
I would like to think I can have wire buried to the bridge next summer. We really need it in that area, because modern communication devices have limited service ability there..

 :) :) :) :) :)!

Volunteers / Re: September 2018 Work Reports
« on: September 17, 2018, 04:57:59 PM »
Two underground splice boxes and about ten feet of wire would be wonderful (especially with a skilled splicer). ;D

Volunteers / Re: September 2018 Work Reports
« on: September 17, 2018, 02:03:43 AM »
Today I found that the telephone cable cut was in a stretch of brand new 6-pair telephone cable placed well away from the track (after such intense work that those workers quit forever). This cable is 24 AWG rather than the 14 AWG well cable we normally use. Thus, the brute force (blow torch soldering) approach described above will not work. We need real telephone cable splicing technology. Takers?

-John M

Volunteers / Re: September 2018 Work Reports
« on: September 16, 2018, 03:06:50 AM »
Gee, a whole week went by since I repaired and tested the line from TOM to Sheepscot. Maybe it's time to add phone line repair to your career. Here goes:

Phone line repair steps
1.   Using a very sharp knife, cut away the outer sheath in the damaged area, being very careful not to cut into the conductor insulation (black, white). There are two flat sides of the outer sheath; by cutting into the center of those flat sides, you will probably miss the insulated conductors and hit only the paper-wrapped bare ground conductor (no worries). The cable often has a slight twist to it, so don’t try to make too long a cut at once lest your cut migrate away from the flattest part and hit the insulated conductors. Try to cut only about three inches at a time.
2.   Repeat the above process until you have exposed the black/white pair for about four inches on either side of the damaged area. Cut away and discard the sheath pieces.
3.   Cut the conductors at the damaged point and strip the insulation for about 1.5 inches on either side. This should be enough to make a good twisted joint that will be soldered at a future step.
4.   Cut two pieces of shrink tubing about three inches long and slide one onto the black wire and one onto the white wire. This will be long enough to cover the twisted joint, but short enough to fit between the joint and the jacket during the soldering process. Don’t allow the shrink tubing to slide too close to the soldering process or it will shrink prematurely and not get over the joint.
5.   Now that the shrink tubing pieces are in place, make a firm twist spice. A two-hooks splice will be OK if you squeeze it small enough without breaking the wires.
6.   Using one hand to hold the work, one hand to hold a small torch, and one hand to hold the solder, make a good solid solder joint. Allow it to cool completely before moving it. Once the joint is cooled, slide the shrink tubing into place and heat It slightly.
7.   Starting two or three inches out from where you cut the outer sheath, spiral wrap stretchy rubber tape around the splice, ending about three inches beyond it.
8.   Repeat the taping process using vinyl tape starting about an in inch past the end of the rubber tape and ending about an inch past the point where the rubber tape began.
9.   Bring out your brush cutter operator voodoo doll and treat it appropriately.

On a more serious note, I think I will get some grade stakes and mark vulnerable spots. In the TOM case, the break was where the cable rises from the trackside ditch to the phone box.

John M

Volunteers / Re: September 2018 Work Reports
« on: September 12, 2018, 09:41:45 PM »
I won't miss hanging on to the gutter with my fingernails. I'm not a rock climber, so my fingers aren't strong enough for more than a few minutes of that.

Work and Events / Re: Trout Brook Bridge - Official Work Thread
« on: September 06, 2018, 02:50:07 AM »
Great pictures of a great effort, but I see only a can of Pepsi - no Moxie :-\

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: August 27, 2018, 09:20:49 PM »
.... It's all down grade from here.

Work and Events / Re: Trout Brook Bridge - Official Work Thread
« on: August 16, 2018, 01:20:43 AM »
Very impressive that all the piles line up within a fraction of an inch (or part of a millimeter for Alain). How do they achieve such precision?

-John M

Volunteers / Re: August 2018 Work Reports
« on: August 14, 2018, 03:36:50 AM »
I love the idea of simultaneously presenting the map (with arrow) along with the location photos. It really helps. :D
-John M

Volunteers / Re: August 2018 Work Reports
« on: August 12, 2018, 02:05:56 AM »

good yard management at Sheepscot by Jason and James

Voice communication is impossible.  It's really hard to see much of anything.  Thankfully Jason seemed to know when I would need to know what to do next and signal it from around the middle switch.  I told him we need a flag system or something.

The mag phone department might be able to come up with something.🤔

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: MNG attends Gray Town Meeting 8/7/18
« on: August 08, 2018, 05:01:26 PM »
Nice roadbed around 00:15 on the MNG video. ;)

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: August 02, 2018, 06:08:54 PM »
[text deleted] Certainly they did not have any 48 inch ones?
Sometimes they used old boiler shells. A few hundred feet north of Sheepscot there was a very large culvert made from an old boiler shell. It was sufficiently large that there was inadequate space between the top of the culvert and the rails. Frost heaves pushed the rail up sufficiently that couplers almost uncoupled. We solved this problem by replacing that culvert with a smaller, but still adequate, one. There is a WW&F Newsletter a few years back that shows the replacement process.

Volunteers / Re: July 2018 Work Planning
« on: July 30, 2018, 02:25:00 PM »
Do goats eat telephone wire?

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