The final push

As I have mentioned a few times in the past I am working on a new book. In keeping with the trend in new modeling books from Kalmbach, this one is a collection of step-by-step projects such as installing a telephone system, crossing gates, semaphores, lights, etc. Most involve some degree of electronics and wiring but none are really DCC dependent. My drop dead date is December 31, 2017 so I am working against a rapidly approaching deadline. At this point I have already sent Kalmbach books 12 chapters with six more to go and I want those done before Christmas. All the remaining chapters are written, I just have to finish shooting and editing a bunch of photos and that will be it. I’ll try to add a few posts to this site in the meantime but my main focus will be on getting this monster off my back. The actual release date is scheduled for July 2018 and as soon as I wrap it up I’ll post a synopsis of the contents.


  • Another book for my library, sounds interesting. Curious about your take on telephony since I have installed business phone systems since 1968 in the Bell System and for 45 years after for all the Bell System spinoffs.

    • Well, you’ll probably recognize this system. The basics system comprises a 24 volt power supply based in an actual telephone system, built by Seth Neumann a retied PacBell employee. He and his associates sell components for the system including original 425 speech network cards and telephones. You can see his stuff at

      • I have met Seth. He has provided equipment for the La Mesa Model Railroad at the San Diego Model RR Museum. They want to build a system based on 1950’s technology. I have provided some small assistance as well.

  • Sounds good. I’m going to add it to my library as well.

  • If it is as good as your columns, it will be a great addition to my library. I’ve dome semaphores on my previous layout and Stop and Proceed (using Tortoise) were easy. Getting the blade to stop on Approach in both directions was impossible . I now use servos and they work spot-on.

    • I am just doing a stop and go setup, so only need the end of travel in each direction—the Tortoise and remote actuator assembly will work fine for that. I also am including a working crossing gate with lights and bells and the same remote actuator setup works for that too. It sure saved time not having to cobble together some kind of Rube Goldberg contraption to control two switch machines. How are you controlling the servos?

  • This book will definitely be on my ‘need to buy list’!! Good luck completing the last 6 chapters!! :):)