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Author Topic: NAPA TMD.....Skyline's 1st Exhibition Project  (Read 621 times)

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Offline Skyline2uk

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NAPA TMD.....Skyline's 1st Exhibition Project
« on: March 28, 2018, 05:19:28 pm »
As today is my Birthday, its customary to show my new toys.....



So, as alluded to on my Filton TMD thread, there has been much going on in my N gauge world recently. Some wood was recently received, mostly in the shape I wanted.  This plus three new trestles was a very generous Birthday present from my in-laws.

This marks the start of construction of my new proposed exhibition layout, currently with the working title "NAPA TMD".

This has actually been in my head for a few years now, ever since I attended an NGF gathering and saw a small layout that a fellow member had brought with him, mid construction. At the time there were some layouts being documented on here, made using IKEA APA boxes (the excellent APA park being one), but I wanted to be different. Ok maybe awkward.

Hence the current working title "NAPA" or "Not APA" TMD, with the layout being inspired by but not using actual APA boxes. Below you can see what is currently the proposed track plan (taken from SCARM which I have found excellent), but I reserve the right to evolve it as construction proper begins.



The layout of this, the scenic side of the plan, is actually three layouts in one. It represents the operating concept of my design, with each of the three sectors (working back of the layout to the front as viewed by the exhibition attendee) having a different way of working:

1) The two parallel (though not to the board edge) tracks at the back will terminate in a small station which will be raised above the rest of the track. This is to both add height to the layout and allow my controller / switch panel to fit underneath. DMUs will be the mainstay of this station (NSE themed of course!) and eventually I hope to have at least one track operating as a shuttle, this layout being designed to be operated by me alone.

2) The middle group of tracks will be the actual TMD. The building itself is to be the classic Peco trainshed (albeit modified) with 2x impection pits and as much internal detail as I can produce. Also incorporated will be a fuelling point, fuel tanks, run-round loop and plenty of hard-standing. Essentially this is to be what I wanted Filton TMD to be all along, had I actually planned it better!

3) The two tracks / single point at the front of the layout is supposed to represent the end of a much larger head-shunt  from an imaginary yard just "off stage" to the left. This will allow me to run small rakes which represent much longer trains which are only just poking out from under the scenic brake (currently planned to be a road bridge meeting the twin tracks at the back at 90 degrees, with a level crossing continuing the road over the station approach). I plan to operate this section using remote uncoupling, most likely Dapol easi-shunts, so the loco can bring its train from the left, de-couple, pull forward and then exit stage left to run-round its train.

With these three sections I hope to have enough operating potential to keep both myself and the viewing public entertained within the space of a layout which can fit inside my Ford Focus.

I have also drawn up a list of specs which this layout must meet for me to consider it a success:

A) Make use of code 55 track (a first for me).

B) Make use of live-frog points, with frogs separately powered (also a first for me). This is driven by an absolute urge to achieve the best possible running, this being a TMD / shunting layout after all. 

C) Employ "wire in tube" to change the points, with miniature slide switches acting as mechanical movement and electrical polarity switching for the live frogs (yet another first). Again, this is driven by a need  for robust simplicity.
 
D) Experiment and use remote uncoupling (guess what, not done that before either), thus adding interest to an N gauge layout which could otherwise be just lots of locos and DMUs.

E) The whole layout must be small enough to fit in my car and enable me to transport, set up, exhibit and take down on my own. My wife supports this project but has no desire to exhibit with me!

As you can see from my spec, there is a good chance I am have bitten off more than I can chew here, but I have read a lot on all of the techniques required and I know the faithful NGF collective will offer help in my (no doubt many) hours of need!

So, as of today (and a shopping trip), here is the state of play:

The proposed points layout of the TMD and head-shunt sections of the layout are shown (upper terminus station would be roughly above where my Gaugemaster DS controller is). The green wire is florist stuff, 60 pence so worth a shot.  It is also roughly positioned where it would run from the points to my control area. I have ordered some PTFE tubing from eBay and should start experimenting with that soon.



The blue 47 is positioned on the approximate location of the end of the depot run-round loop. The grey 47 is at the end of the yard run-round loop.

All being well I will start cutting baseboard battens tomorrow, as well as picking up some electrical components (this layout will be old-school DC). I have no idea when this will be exhibition ready, and have no intention in rushing.

Any progress will, of course, be documented on this thread.

Skyline2uk




Offline Newportnobby

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Re: NAPA TMD.....Skyline's 1st Exhibition Project
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2018, 09:40:39 pm »
Wrong era for me but I still look forward to seeing this develop, especially as you have a lot to tackle like electrofrogs, WIT, easi-shunts etc. Good luck with NAPA TMD :thumbsup:

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Re: NAPA TMD.....Skyline's 1st Exhibition Project
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2018, 10:55:25 pm »
Thank you for the detailed post of your plans. It's going to be great!  :thumbsup:

Looking forward to developments  :beers:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline 37058

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Re: NAPA TMD.....Skyline's 1st Exhibition Project
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2018, 11:36:28 pm »
Hi Adam

Wishing you a happy birthday once again :beers:

Glad I have come across this, after seeing photos on the FB NGF page earlier. This is going to be a little gem my friend and very I am much looking forward to seeing progress and watching this develop.

I am still tinkering what to do next for myself, as Sutton St Annes is virtually finished with all dedicated stock etc. I defiantly want a small roundy roundy next, similar to your fantastic Filton TMD. No, I'm not copying you, well maybe I am armed with a hell of a lot of inspiration from it ;)

Cheers
Anthony
Sutton St Annes - Provincial north-west Lancs - 1990-1995 http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39173.0

Now proud owner of Airesby Colliery - An ex exhibition layout that will soon be back on the exhibition circuit, after a little TLC. Thread coming soon...

Offline PostModN66

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Re: NAPA TMD.....Skyline's 1st Exhibition Project
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 03:21:53 pm »

C) Employ "wire in tube" to change the points, with miniature slide switches acting as mechanical movement and electrical polarity switching for the live frogs (yet another first). Again, this is driven by a need  for robust simplicity.
 

Good choice!  People seem to default to point motors, but particularly for small layouts WiT is better; much more satisfying to operate in my opinion!

You might consider using toggle switches rather than slide switches; this is purely because to me they are more like point levers so can feel just a bit more like a proper signaller.  It's fiddly to drill the little holes in the toggles, but for me, worth it.

Cheers Jon  :)
“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

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Offline Skyline2uk

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Re: NAPA TMD.....Skyline's 1st Exhibition Project
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2018, 05:05:45 pm »

C) Employ "wire in tube" to change the points, with miniature slide switches acting as mechanical movement and electrical polarity switching for the live frogs (yet another first). Again, this is driven by a need  for robust simplicity.
 

Good choice!  People seem to default to point motors, but particularly for small layouts WiT is better; much more satisfying to operate in my opinion!

You might consider using toggle switches rather than slide switches; this is purely because to me they are more like point levers so can feel just a bit more like a proper signaller.  It's fiddly to drill the little holes in the toggles, but for me, worth it.

Cheers Jon  :)

Thanks Jon

I believe your good self was one of the examples I drew inspiration from.

Re the switches, I did consider the more signal-like toggles, but have since decided that I want to make the system as simple as possible to set up. Keeping movement fully in the same plane as the wire seems best for a newbie like me!

I will defo consider the toggles in future.

Skyline2uk

Offline Skyline2uk

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Re: NAPA TMD.....Skyline's 1st Exhibition Project
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2018, 06:27:13 pm »
Evening

So a quick update on the fly, from the far better equipped workshop which I have borrowed for the day to start work on the layout proper.

First goal today was to manufacture the two pieces of batern which will form the joint between scenic and fiddle yards.

I have got some bullet alignment dowels for lateral and vertical alignment between the boards. Actual joining will be done by carriage bolts (with captive nuts).

As accuracy is very important for this, I have made use of a bench saw and pillar drill.

After much checking twice and cutting / drilling once, this is where I am as of this evening (plus the fiddle yard bracing and some extra supports cut after this was taken):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rvrvfj2w21kc8z9/Photo%2029-03-2018%2C%2015%2035%2053.jpg?dl=0

Nothing is glued or screwed together yet and the scenic board is shown here up-side down with the controller shelf on the right and joint batern (with fiddle yard side test fitted) at the bottom.

Also been out today and got my present from Mrs Skyline, which will be posted in appropriate threads shortly.

Skyline2uk

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Re: NAPA TMD.....Skyline's 1st Exhibition Project
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2018, 06:28:27 pm »
Looking excellent!
Regards, Philip

 

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