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N Scale Model Tram Overhead Masts

Blue ballModel Tramway Overhead Masts

BEC-KITS supply N-scale metal overhead masts and wire for 1:160 scale continental tramway layouts. At present, the following are available:

Blue ball Sommerfeldt Logo Sommerfeldt Overhead Masts

Picture Part Number Description Availability
Yes = Yes
Out of stock = Out of stock
Built to Order = Built to order
422 N Pole SOM422 N Pole Yes £0.95
428 N Pole side bracket arm SOM428 N Pole side bracket arm, single track In stock £2.15
429 N Pole centre bracket arm SOM429 N Pole centre bracket arm, double track Yes £3.10


Blue ballAlan Kirkman Overhead Wire

Picture Part Number Description Availability
Yes = Yes
Out of stock = Out of stock
Built to Order = Built to order
PTOH01 Nickel silver wire, 0.3mm diameter, 10m long reel In stock £2.50


Blue ballFitting overhead wiring

Masts on curves The 2.2mm diameter overhead masts are push fitted into tight holes drilled in the layout baseboard. On curves, one bracket mast is required for every 30 degrees of curve as a minimum. At points, an overhead support should be mounted about two-thirds of the distance from the start of the blade of the point towards the frog of the point.

The wire height should be about a scale 6.35m (about 20 to 21 feet) above the track for continental tramways. In British 1:148 and Japanese 1:150 N scale (2mm:1 foot), this scales to 40mm between the wire and rail head. In Continental N scale 1:160 (1.9mm:1 foot), 33mm seems to be more suitable for the pantographs on models, such as the Arnold Düwag and the Kato Aufbauwagen. This scales to a full scale wire height of 17.3feet.

Overhead wiring for use with pantographs and bow-collectors is fitted as stiff individual pieces of wire between adjacent masts. For N gauge, Sommerfeldt supply 0.5mm diameter in 50cm lengths. BEC-KITS supply the Alan Kirkman 0.3mm diameter nickel silver wire in 10m long reels, which can be used for both pantographs and trolley poles.

For pantographs and bow collectors, the wire should be mounted to lie vertically above the track centre. It must lie between the rails on curves to keep contact with the pantograph pan. For trolley poles with fixed heads, the best position for the wire on curves is above the inside rail.

The following wiring method is unsuitable for trolley poles. Fitting wires

Wire bend method To fit the wire, the 2 - 3mm end of the wire should be bent through 180 degrees using small pliers and fitted to the first mast. Hold the wire in position under the next mast. Using small sharp wire cutters, cut the wire 3mm beyond the mast. Remove the wire and use the small pliers to bend the other end of the wire. Note that the two bends on each piece of wire do not lie in the same plane but are twisted by about 90 degrees. Use the same clockwise direction for each piece of wire. The diagrams show how the two wires interlock after fitting at a mast. For more stability, they may be soldered to the mast and excess solder removed from underneath by filing.

For trolley pole wiring:

To use the overhead parts with trolley poles, HO/OO scale ears and frogs are available from Alan Kirkman and East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies .

Blue ballTranslation notes:

English German
Power collector Stromabnehmer
Trolley pole Stangenstromabnehmer
Bow collector Bügelstromabnehmer/Lyrabügel/Teppichklopfer
Diamond/Scissors Pantograph Scherenstromabnehmer
Single-arm Pantograph Einholmstromabnehmer
Running wire Fahrdraht

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