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Author Topic: Cotton Abbotts  (Read 158 times)

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Offline Yet_Another

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Cotton Abbotts
« on: March 12, 2017, 01:53:08 pm »
Having (slowly) talked the planning to death in my 'From Beeston Hill' thread here:

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=28783.0

I think it's time to start a construction thread.

To recap, the plan looks like this:



The date range is centred on about 1980, plus or minus about five years, so solidly blue TOPS, with a bit of sectorisation creeping in at the end.

The geographical location is a fictional junction, just to the east of Chester on the LNWR line from Crewe to Chester. I realised just after deciding upon this that there was actually a junction a bit further east on this line, at Tattenhall.

The inspiration for the plan, though, is a couple of stations on the Chester to Birkenhead line, namely Hooton and Ledsham. This is the line I used daily in the late 70s & early 80s to get to and from school.

So the idea is that this is the point where two lines joined, and the two twin track lines became a four track fast & slow mainline. All that is in the past, though, with one of the lines having been closed in the 60s, and the station closing at the same time. Most of the station infrastructure has been removed, but the platforms remain.

Only two of the four tracks now see through traffic, the other two now only being used as a run round loop for oil trains from Stanlow (don't press me on the logic for this one), and a few sidings used for semi-regular PW trains, this being a convenient place to park them before and after possessions.

So that's the back story/rationale, now on with the construction!

With no space for a permanent layout, it was always going to have to be dismountable, so although not intended for display, I seem to be building an exhibition layout. The main part of this is a large cabinet on castors, which holds the four standard-sized 400x1200mm modules. This cabinet also acts as the support for one end of the layout. One end module (500x1100mm) is cantilevered off the closed end of the cabinet, mounted on a sort of gate leg table arrangement.

Flap down:



Flap up:



The end module slots into place and is bolted to the flap.

Next, two of the standard modules are attached to the end module, located with two pattern maker's dowels and fixed with one M8 bolt. These modules rest on top of the cabinet, again supported directly by a couple of gateleg style flaps on each side.



Apologies for the quality of the pictures, it's quite hard to take photos of something that nearly fills the room.

The next two standard modules are located/fixed in the same way, but only supported at one end by the cabinet.



The other end module is placed on a support, which I won't dignify with the name of a table. It has folding legs, and the module is bolted to it. The two modules which are currently only supported at the cabinet end find their other ends on this frame, located into the end module in the same way, with two dowels and a bolt each.





And this is a view down the baseboards, towards the non-cabinet end:



You will have noticed the end plates projecting up from the baseboard surface. The track level will be 50mm above the baseboard surface, to allow the scenery to dip below the track. I'm still finalising how the track is going to be supported, but probably on thin plywood over 50mm polystyrene foam sheet.

Next will be a bit of wiring.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 01:56:27 pm by Yet_Another, Reason: Spelling! »
Tony

'Things are not done by those who count the cost of every thought or deed.'

Offline newportnobby

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Re: Cotton Abbotts
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2017, 02:38:52 pm »
Looks like a very cunning construction to me, Tony.
Is there any significance in the name 'Cotton Abbotts'?

Offline Yet_Another

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Re: Cotton Abbotts
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2017, 03:32:12 pm »
Well, it's a real place  :)

I didn't think 'From Beeston Hill' was a particularly good name for the layout, so I was looking for another, and just had a root around google maps in the area I'm interested in. There is a sign off the A51 to a place called 'Cotton Edmunds', which I've always liked the sound of, and Cotton Abbotts is next door. At the last census, three people lived there.

Also, I think it rather sounds like a sleepy Great Western halt, which it isn't, and that amuses me :D
Tony

'Things are not done by those who count the cost of every thought or deed.'

Offline Yet_Another

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Re: Cotton Abbotts
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2017, 06:56:07 pm »
So to the wiring, or at least the bus.

The layout will operate on DCC, and there will be two DCC buses plus a 16V DC supply available to each module, although not all modules will require all connections.

Rather than daisy chaining each module from the last, there is a central hub, and a standard interface on each module. This, I'm afraid, is where I got a bit excited.

Before going on, I should say that I also have quite a lot of G scale, and I do intend to build a G scale layout as well, also operated by DCC. With this in mind, I somewhat overspecified the common DCC bus, as follows.

The hub itself is a 3U 19" rack unit, with three 1U punched plates containing all of the connections for the three separate bus circuits. The DCC bus connectors are Neutrik Speakons, and the DC connectors are standard 2.1mm DC power plugs & sockets. The whole thing looks like this:



The two sockets with colour coded tabs are where the cables from the DCC system are plugged in, and there are colour coded cables which run to a standard interface box on each module, which looks like this:



An installed one here:



One of the advantages of this is that each module is independent of every other, so it's possible to work on one module at a time, but still treat it as if it were prt of the whole, and this system is in itself modular and expandable. So if I were to hit the exhibition scene, it would be very easy to slot in more modules and have them integrated seamlessly.

The fully connected box looks like this:



There are two colour coded speaker cables and a DC cable connected to each baseboard module, with the two blue plugs in the tabbed sockets going off to the DCC controls. What doesn't quite show up in this picture is the mechanical circuit breaker for the 16V DC circuit. There is a 5A supply (not connected in this picture), and the breaker is for 3A to provide a reasonable margin for error.

And that's as far as I've got. The next step will be to get some track down  and connected to see if any of this works. I've already bought the flexi and points to be able to complete a full twin track circuit, so I just need to bite the bullet and get weaving!
Tony

'Things are not done by those who count the cost of every thought or deed.'

 

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