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Author Topic: Askham Battersby MKII - NE / Midland Modular Layout  (Read 6750 times)

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Online Chris in Prague

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2015, 03:29:25 pm »
From the trackplan, that will be a very interesting layout to operate.

Offline Trainfish

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2015, 02:04:10 am »
I've only just discovered this layout but it's now on my notify list. Good work  :thumbsup:
John

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Offline Bealman

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2015, 02:38:22 am »
Coming along brilliantly!  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Malc

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2015, 09:44:18 am »
Looking good Richard, excellent work.
I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over.

Offline ptopo

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2015, 10:47:50 am »
Really great plan & approach and great progress.

With respect to cutting rails I've found that the best approach is to go the same brass screws approach but make a preliminary guide cut with the razor saw of about 1/3 of the depth of the rail, then fix, then cut the rest, all the time using a wooden block with grooves in to hold the track still.

I'll also be interested to hear how the pro cab biz goes - I've a basic powercab + seeps which so far is fine for about half of the layout (20 points) running everything off the track bus but am looking to justify why to upgrade.... is the simplicity of a 5A system and a single bus + sections is probably better a more complex extra bus?

Also - I was wondering about your preferred method of accesory control as one quickly runs out of accesory macros. I've just got a Mini panel and will be using it with push buttons on a control panel as each of the 30 inputs on the panel can drive 4 accessories/macros. - the reason being that the mini panel only the needs a cab bus cable to connect to the layout which makes it v flexible.

Great stuff - looking forward to seeing more.

PT

Offline RichardBattersby

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2015, 10:05:22 pm »
Update time again. Thank you very much for the feedback! :D

Thanks ptopo, thatís a great idea that I think I will try. Iíve had a little bit of play with the ProCab and I like it. The NCE PH ProCab has been great so far. The only real advantage Iíve really experienced is the point motor feedback Ė the direction of each point is displayed on the ProCab when the motor is selected as an accessory. I didnít realise how useful this feature would be. With regards to the accessories, which will be mainly point motors, I was going to use the macros together with the Mini panel (yet to buy). I also have a bank of DCCConcepts levers. The rough plan is to use the levers to control what would be ground frames on a real railway (sheds, goods yards, sidings etc.) and use the macros / ProCab / PC / iPad for the Ďmainlineí points that would be controlled by the signal box. Bit of an odd setup perhaps but one that appeals to me. Weíll have to wait and see if it works. Thanks for the question.

The fiddle yard trackwork is now complete!!





Iíve been cracking on with the wiring as youíll hopefully see from the picture below. The red / black wires are the DCC Bus, orange / black are droppers to each piece of track and white / blue are the accessory bus for point motors. The two wires at the top are to be connected to a switch to control the program track. Green wires are for frog polarity. Iíve also labelled each motor with its number for easy recognition. Youíll see Iíve twisted each pair of wires with all attachments to the buses being soldered and then covered with heat shrink.



Iíve tested the track and point motors and all is working beautifully. The only problem I had was finding out that the Cobalts really must have their actuator wires centred (by brief connection to the bus) before fitting to save a lot of hassle with getting optimum alignment once fitted. I also managed to destroy my Y point  :veryangry: by mounting the motor too far from the frog which put pressure on the tie bar which gradually pulled the blades off the tie bar! This meant I had to rip up some track to be able to replace the point.  :doh: So I can now report that whilst using Copydex gives a strong bond, the track can be pulled up quite easily (from the foam anyway) with very firm but gentle pressure. This was a relief as I thought I was going to ruin my first board!  :dunce:

More soon.  :thankyousign:
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 01:36:49 pm by RichardBattersby, Reason: Ditching Photobucket »
Richard
Askham Battersby MKII - NE/Midland Modular Layout

"We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing."

Offline Bealman

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2015, 10:34:08 pm »
Very neat wiring.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline RichardBattersby

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2015, 10:04:15 pm »
A long overdue update. While Iíve been away I got my order in for the rest of the baseboards. They arrived earlier than expected and Iíve recently built them. Here are the front set of four boards, that will form the bulk of the scenic area. They're clamped and ready for drilling. There are two 1íx4í boards and two 1íx5í boards.





Once holes for the bolts, dowels and wiring had been drilled, it was up to the loft for the layoutís first dry run as a full set of boards.



They all went together really well. Iím pleased with the operational space inside as it doesn't feel too cramped. The layout itself feels quite big although Iím sure Iíll want more space once track work and scenery starts to invade. I sat for a few minutes thinking of full rakes trundling round  :D. I suppose it weighs a reasonable amount now itís all bolted together but Iím surprised how sturdy it is on those IKEA trestles.

Then it was back to AnyRail to print the rest of plan, guillotine and stick. Voila:



Before laying track on the new boards it was back to the fiddle yard for repairs! After some time away from track laying I came back and realised that whilst I was happy with the screw head method of bridging the two fiddle yard modules, I was very unsatisfied with the finish on the first corner board. The reason being was that I couldnít get the screws close enough to the edge of the boards which meant once Iíd cut the track at the board joint the short inner pieces of rail (over the joint) suddenly became straight and therefore my nice smooth curves were no more. I tested and tested and they didnít seem to cause any problems at all with running but I was so bothered by what looked like really bad track work, that I ripped it up and re-did it. This meant wasting several pieces of track as I didnít want any extra joints in the track but, I think, well worth it. My second attempt, after yet more research, was to try the, much documented, PCB / circuit board method. I found this website helpful: http://www.hall-royd-junction.co.uk/Hall_Royd_Model/layout_8.html. Now, because the PCB I bought from Maplins is only 1.5mm thick, it meant I had to use off-cuts of rail to pack, as suggested on the website above, the underside of each rail. This meant using a lot of solder as the gap to fill was around 2mm. So I ended up using double thickness PCB. I realised that Iíd overdone the width of the PCB, in the interests of security, so for the scenic areas Iíll have to significantly reduce the amount of soldered rail to PCB otherwise it will disrupt too many sleepers and look odd.





Iíve finished the wiring for the fiddle yard including the plugs at each end. I went for the expensive option from Rapid but theyíre really great quality and should stand the movement from house to house in the future. The picture shows the right hand end of the fiddle yard with both DCC Bus (red and black) and DCC accessory bus (blue and white) going into the one plug and through to the next board. Obviously the two buses are electrically separate at this point. Orange and black wires are droppers (to each piece of track) and the green ones are for frog polarity. The motors are DCC Concepts Cobalts.



Another shot showing the two buses and droppers.



Sticking with the fiddle yard, the final bit of wiring was for the program track which Iíve decided to lay as part of the fiddle yard so that I can drive locos on to the track to be programmed which is satisfying and also reduces handling. Plus, I can use it as extra storage if need be. What I didnít realise before starting this was significant damage can be done to other locos during the programming phase if the programme track is sufficiently isolated. So, I decided to take the paranoid approach and put an isolated track section between the fiddle yard and program track [see track plan if that doesnít make sense.] All Iíve done to achieve this is copy the 4 pole double throw switch wiring from this website http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/DCC.html using an LED then mount to the layout with ĎMission Controlí style switch cover for added drama. The way this works is when the switch is down the program track and isolation section next to it both work as if any other part of the layout so I can drive trains across it. When activated and the LED is illuminated, the isolation track is dead and the program track is in program track mode.





Here are the two sections of track, nearest the camera, with temporary switch wiring hanging underneath.



Finally, here are a few shots of the first scenic section to get some track with close-ups of the cross-over wiring. The fine wires that are pre-soldered were trimmed and droppers added.







 :NGaugersRule: :wave:
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 02:29:28 pm by RichardBattersby, Reason: Correction of picture links »
Richard
Askham Battersby MKII - NE/Midland Modular Layout

"We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing."

Online Chris in Prague

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2015, 09:20:15 am »
Many thanks for this excellent selection of very clear update photos. This looks like it will be an excellent layout with LONG platforms for realistic length trains. Just the wiring looks highly impressive! What are you using for track underlay, please?

Online newportnobby

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2015, 09:56:16 am »
A most impressive update of what looks to be a great layout in the making. As CiP said, your wiring is impeccable :goggleeyes:

Online Chris in Prague

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2015, 10:03:29 am »
I have lots of nicely coloured wires ready to use and, I hope, with expert help from my electrical engineer, landlord, the very simple wiring under Cant Cove will look something like as good as your far more complex wiring.

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2015, 02:55:47 pm »
High praise indeed, thank you very much!

Chris, I'm hoping to get the main lines in reasonably quickly (for testing purposes only you understand). I'll get some pictures of some long trains, even if there isn't a platform. The underlay is Woodland Scenic foam track bed: http://www.ehattons.com/40470/Woodland_Scenics_ST1478_N_Gauge_Trackbed_12_x_24_x_6_sheets/StockDetail.aspx. I don't know what others think to it but I'm finding it nice to work with.
Richard
Askham Battersby MKII - NE/Midland Modular Layout

"We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing."

Offline RichardBattersby

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2016, 08:41:58 pm »
Work on the layout has been progressing slowly but steadily over the last few weeks. Iíve had a few pieces of rolling stock delivered recently which has spurred me on. Hereís a summary of what Iíve achieved.

The fiddle yard point motors have been tested, after months without use, and once I was satisfied they were all working OK, I trimmed the actuator wires to track level with a Dremmel and fine cutting disc. I replaced two of the Cobalts with new units as I wasnít happy with their operation and managed to get better alignment with the replacements.

Hereís a picture of the first crossover which has now been laid. Iíve had some coaches whizzing over and everything seems OK so far. I know that isn't the most comprehensive of tests but further testing will follow. Note the use of Pecos spare sleepers (SL-308F) rather than making my own. You can also see where I've marked out the down line in the foam ready for aligning the track.



Better Baseboard Joints for Trackwork:
This really is a journey of discovery, learning and acquiring new skills. I guess thatís part of what makes this hobby so rewarding. Iíll get to the point Ė Iíve changed my mind again with regards to cross-board track joints (Iím sure thereís a more eloquent way of phrasing that) although Iím sticking with the same principles. Whilst the PCB joints in my last update were a much more robust and accurate way of fixing the track down between modules, I realised that the next joint on my to-do list would be my first scenic one and that my last attempt would be totally unacceptable aesthetically (to me!) as I wouldnít be able to hide the solder, nor satisfactorily represent the sleepers for various reasons. So more research was in order and over Christmas I joined the 2mm Scale Association so that I could purchase a bag of PCB sleepers, buffer stops and other bits. The plan was to use the tiny pieces of PCB, with the dimensions of a sleeper, albeit more accurately than the Peco equivalent, rather than a whole slab of the stuff. Thereby fulfilling both criteria Ė security and aesthetics. I can live with the discrepancy between the PCB sleepers and the Peco sleepers. There was just one, huge, problem Ė my perceived inability to solder well enough to make a good job of the sleepers. Looking at the wonderful work that the finescale folks produce really caught my ambition and I was determined to learn. I was given the go ahead from the ĎHeritage Lottery Fundí to purchase a new soldering station (Maplin 60W LCD), new solder (DCCConcepts Sapphire 145) and new liquid flux (Sapphire No-clean) which were chosen after lots of research. There was an immediate HUGE difference in my soldering Ďabilityí. I found it so much easier with the new gear compared with the ancient, inherited kit. The flow of the solder was superb, the fineness of the tip, the ability to change the temperature etc. all made it a much easier and more delicate job. I still needed practice but I quickly got to the level I was happy with, I hope youíll agree. OK, I know I wonít be building beautiful brass locos or the like anytime soon but Iím pleased with my results so far.

The image below shows the first scenic joint. I didnít think simply gluing the PCB sleepers to the foam would be strong enough so I bought a sheet of 3.6mm (the same as the foam) ply and cut off strips 150mm deep and nailed them onto the boards.



The track was measured up and the sleepers that came into contact with the wood were stripped from the track. The underside of each rail was filed, wiped with liquid flux and a thin layer a solder added along the length. The image below gives an overview of what was used.



The following photo hopefully shows the sleepers in more detail. The clean sleepers on the right have had a light file with a fine, flat diamond file. I used a pair of inverted forceps to hold each sleeper, a drop of flux on each side and then a quick dab of solder. Each sleeper has a pre-milled line through its midline to prevent any electrical shorts.



And here it is. For my first attempt I Ďtackedí each sleeper down with solder at my desk and finished it off once I was happy with spacing etc. For later joints I laid the track over the wood, connected at both ends to track and then slid under each sleeper and then soldered in situ. I found this much quicker and easier. I used the run of plastic sleepers that I removed from the track as a guide to get the spacing correct, well, as per the Peco spacing. This photo maybe looks a little messy due to the glue still drying. Itís worth mentioning that I used PVA for the PCB sleepers and Iíve stuck with Copydex for the rest. The odd sleeper out is the one which is intentionally upside down having been slid under the fishplates connecting to the next point.



This one will be part way down the station platform.



Another shot looking down what will be the station platform.



This is purely to satisfy my inner OCD. A lovely straight, straight.



Hereís a better close up of the PCB sleepers after soldering.



This is my third joint before glueing [Iím sure youíre fed up of looking at these now, just kind of proud of them. I never thought I'd be doing this kind of thing!]



The penultimate corner. A nice large radius sweep into what will be the station.



Voila! The final piece of the inner loop! Extremely satisfying, however, it isnít Ďbussed upí yet, that is, wired in. Nevertheless, I have a (non-electrical) circuit!



So, whilst I still can't run trains yet, I'm not far off. Hopefully I'll be able to crack on with some wiring so that I can start testing!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 03:05:40 pm by RichardBattersby »
Richard
Askham Battersby MKII - NE/Midland Modular Layout

"We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing."

Offline Mito

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2016, 09:56:46 pm »
Very neat indeed. :thumbsup:  I'm in awe :admiration:
You know you're getting older when your mind makes commitments your body can't meet.

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Re: Askham Battersby MKII - Steam / Diesel Modular Loft Layout
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2016, 11:10:33 pm »
That's very impressive, Richard. Not everyone is capable of doing that, however, due to the requirement to take apart the boards at regular intervals so although your method is excellent the tracks have not been cut where they cross the join. For those fortunate enough to be building a permanent layout your method is to be highly recommended.

 

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