News and Reviews

September 16th, 2011
RC Servo and Circuit for Model Railroading, an article by Brian King

FUNTRAK's Brian King worked on controlling common RC Servos with a simple circuit so that they could be used for turnout positioning or other applications. This is a PDF document for you to browse. Here is an excerpt from the start of the article.

"Are you tired of paying $15 to $20 each for turnout motors? How about building your own for around $10? If this sounds like something you are interested in, read on!

Download PDF here

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August 7th, 2011
FUNTRAK's 8th Annual PicNik

FUNTRAK's eighth annual PicNik is now history. Amazingly, the weather cooperated and the rain held off until late afternoon, allowing many of the scheduled activities to be completed as planned. As promised, the complete mountain line N-Trak layout was up and running. Links to some YouTube videos are listed below. The usual food fest was available and the crowds were ecstatic about the choices and quality of food present. Games, trains, and conversation were the order of the day. FUNTRAK's next PicNik will be August 5, 2012 and plans are already in the works for bigger and better things. Make your plans early if you want to be a part of this activity next year.

PicNik 2011 PicNik 2011 PicNik 2011 PicNik 2011 PicNik 2011
1st Video - B&O Steam Locomotive Passing Thendara Station
2nd Video - Chessie Coal Train & B&O Steam Train Pass a Village
3rd Video - Chessie System Meet
4th Video - Chessie System Coal Train

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July 17th, 2011
FUNTRAK Work Session

FUNTRAK club members John Fleming and Brian King spent Sunday afternoon constructing a transition module that attaches to one of the mountain corners on the FUNTRAK mountain layout. What started out as a flat module eventually ended up with a line running from the green mountain line down to the red outside main line. This arrangement actually only has a 2.2 percent grade from one level to the other. FUNTRAK will have this operational at the annual Picnik on August 7th. It probably won't be completely scenicked by then, but trains will be running. More pictures in the future as the construction phase progresses.

July 17th work session July 17th work session July 17th work session July 17th work session July 17th work session July 17th work session July 17th work session July 17th work session July 17th work session July 17th work session

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June 28th, 2011
FUNTRAK at Dave's Diner

FUNTRAK had a great setup at Dave's Diner. Here a couple of video links for you to enjoy.

1st Video - CSX & C&O Trains Pass Warehouse
2nd Video - CSX & Amtrak Trains Pass Park

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June 27th, 2011
FUNTRAK New Corner Module

The FUNTRAK crew has been working on building some new corner modules complete with the mountain line for use at future shows. As seen in the images below the work has been progressing. To find out more about these modules be sure to have a look at the July 2011 issue of the newsletter as a special feature will be revealed.

Corner Module Corner Module Corner Module

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June 16th, 2011

Brian has now aquired new transportation for the FUNTRAK modules, a used Ford Van! This will make getting to shows much easier as the trailer that has been used in the past has seen better days.

Funtrak Van

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May 17th, 2011

FUNTRAK held a meeting a the Family Fun Center in Mohawk, NY where trains were set up and run. Here are five linked videos for you to watch and see the action that took place.

1st Video - Austrian National Railways passenger train and a CSX freight train pass a sawmill.
2nd Video - A CSX freight train and an Austrian National Railways passenger train pass an overpass.
3rd Video - A C&O freight train and an Austrian National Railways passenger train pass by a car crash and an army base.
4th Video - The Wheeling & Lake Erie local switches cars at the freight house with Lorenzo Franchi at the throttle.
5th Video - A Pittsburgh & Lake Erie locomotive takes a spin on the turntable.

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April 9th & 10th, 2011
Valley Rail Sights Train Show sponsored by FUNTRAK

FUNTRAK sponsored the Vallay Rail Sights Show in Ilion, NY at the Masonic Temple during the weekend of April 9th & 10th. This was a very successful show with nice attendance from the public and the addition of a new member. John Fleming also captured some video and posted these short clips on YouTube. The links to video are included here along with some photos. Enjoy!

1st Video - GG1 Passing Miniature Golf Course
2nd Video - W&LE Train Passes Burning Building
3rd Video - Chessie Train & Easter Bunny Special Passing Amtrak Station
4th Video - Katy Heritage Engine Passing Through the T-Trak Yard
5th Video - Giant Ants Attacking City
6th Video - Conrail and D&H Trains Passing Tornado
7th Video - Amtrak's Three Rivers Passing Leetsdale
8th Video - Amtrak's Capitol Limited & a D&H Train Pass Leetsdale
9th Video - NYO&W Steam Locomotive
Valley Valley
Here is an overview of the entire T-Trak layout at the Masonic Lodge in Ilion, New York. FUNTRAK club members diligently getting the layout ready for the public.
Valley Valley
The cheerful faces of FUNTRAK club members happily working together. Two of FUNTRAKís newest modules incorporated into the expansive T-Trak layout.
Valley Valley
A busy industrial module on the T-Trak layout. Logging and construction are important industries in the layout.
Valley Valley
The updated N-Trak layout is not to be forgotten. The backdrops and fascias were recently refurbished after many years of public display. More cheerful faces from FUNTRAKís membership involved in the presentation of a successful display for the appreciative attendees at the show.

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February 7th, 2011
Finishing the foam modules

FUNTRAKís most recent T-Trak module is this foam based module constructed from a single sheet of three sixteenths foam board purchased at the dollar store. Details on its construction are available at FUNTRAKís website. More pictures are on page three inside. This module illustrates the point that realism can be achieved in the confined space allowed with such modules that are currently in vogue in T-Trak and inexpensively at that!

Foam Module

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January 23rd, 2011
More about the foam modules

As a follow up to the foam modules listed in the news item below from December 30th, 2010 I've now attached a few additional images showing the cut out pattern of the foam board as well as the attachement of the adjustable feet. The final image from this set shows the track attached and the sides painted flat black. Now for scenery...

Foam Module Foam Module Foam Module Foam Module Foam Module

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December 30th, 2010
Foam Module

FUNTRAK's newest module effort is this foam module fully constructed from one piece of 12 by 18 inch foam board 3/16 inch thick. This piece was purchased at the dollar store. Construction is very straightforward. Cut the pieces to the appropriate size, arrange them, and use low temp hot glue to glue them together. Remaining pieces to be added are the levelling legs at the corners, track, and scenery. More pictures to follow when the module is finished.

Foam Module Foam Module Foam Module Foam Module Foam Module Foam Module

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