!!

Not Registered?

Welcome!  Please register to view all of the new posts and forum boards - some of which are hidden to guests.  After registering and gaining 10 posts you will be able to sell and buy items on our N'porium.

If you have any problems registering, then please check your spam filter before emailing us.  Hotmail users seem to find their emails in the Junk folder.


Thanks for reading,
The NGF Staff.

Author Topic: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived  (Read 1708 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Newportnobby

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+63)
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 21962
  • Posts: 29656
  • Country: england
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2018, 09:20:08 am »

I spent hours reading up on how to modify the wiring on electrofrog points before I realized that I was reading how to modify the OO gauge ones. When the actual track was delivered and I turned the points over, I found zero resemblance whatsoever to what I'd been reading.

I don't think these are necessarily the Unifrog points but much is made of cutting 00 gauge points which really isn't necessary in N. This is maybe where the confusion lies.
Having honed my Anglo-Saxon vocabulary at electrofrog points with no polarity switching I would urge you to consider the task. I am having to retro fit Seep PM1 motors to avoid current deficiency at the worst possible moments :doh:

Offline LASteve

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
  • Country: us
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2018, 03:53:35 am »
Here's some WIP uploads, if I can figure out how to add the pictures. Basically, I've built the boards and loose-fitted them to the wall and to each other. I've trial-laid the fiddle track and the points while I mess about with soldering, droppers and DC Concepts point motors. The other track bits are there for reality-check purposes before I commit.

The track on the lower level on the left in the first picture is the programming track. It's still connected to the main, but an isolation switch awaits wiring and installation. $3 from the local hardware store saves me a few $$ buying the "official" board from NCE. I've left myself room for a little work area below the programming track.



So, working from right-to-left around the 90-degree turn. First, the RH-end of the fiddle yard from the front side. Trains to check clearances and length of track. And to have something to run while I think.



Left-hand end of the fiddle, which will transition beyond the final point work at the yard exit into a tunnel under the start of the scenic section. Track plans on the wall for reference.



Turning the corner, the track will emerge from the tunnel at about the 22 degrees into the turn, complete the arc and then bridge the small river.



Across the bridge is a level crossing, then entry to the station area. The small goods yard will be to the left of the running line. The line splits just over the bridge at a Y turnout, you can't see the paper template very clearly under the track, but it's there just next to the curved end of the steel ruler.



Taking the left track of the Y-turnout brings you to the entry to the main platform. The trackwork templates towards the wall are for the bay platform, the fuel point, the livestock loading and the carriage siding.



Finally, a look up the main platform track towards the termination of the rails. The run-around loop looks a little wide in the girth here, it looked right on the plan but there's an awful lot of empty space on the ground. I'll probably squeeze it in an inch or two. The lower level will be non-rail scenic, much of the detail still to be decided.



I'm pretty pleased with progress so far; it's been a long time since I got my hands dirty with any kind of construction; I can look like a badass in the kitchen with a three-pound cleaver and a blowtorch, but there's something rather restful about n-gauge zen. I still have all my fingers (I believe 7 1/2 is the average count around this forum?) and I haven't set fire to the house, so all in all better than expected.

Since I took these pictures last night, I have since installed the first DC Concepts point motor at the very right-hand end of the fiddle yard. I hadn't realized the buggers were so big, but fortunately I left a lot of "just in case" space, so no upsets. Easy programming with the NCE controller and I have my first automation.

I am having some weird shorting problems over a couple of the points, intermittent, depending on the locomotive, the direction it's travelling and even the direction it's facing. The Class 101 is the worst culprit, but it's a used eBay purchase so I might need to get to sleuthing work on what's causing the problems. the Castle locomotive is new, and much less problematic. I just got a notification from eBay that another used locomotive, a Class 42, is en route, so it'll be interesting to see if that has the same problems.

Now it's time to pull the cork from a bottle of California's finest and ruminate. I ordered some 1mm cork sheets from Amazon, but discovered it's being shipped from China, so I'll be waiting a week or two more before I do any track laying on the scenic section. I want to cut some underlay for that track if only for a more realistic profile for the ballast on the track bed. The Y-turnout is also on back order, so I have a couple of weeks to muse. An illuminated signal/points diagram (if that's the right word) might be a fun project to mess around for a few bucks' worth of little LED's.

Does anyone have any experience with the Dapol GWR semaphore signals - the servo-powered DCC ones? They're not exactly cheap, but I only need three home signals - two starter signals in the station and one to control entry to the station throat. Any thoughts?

By the way - LA Steve (Chelsea) 1, Mrs. LA Steve (Arsenal) 0. I know better than to brag, otherwise she'll start calling my project "the toy train set". She knows how to push my buttons.

Over and out.

Online Bealman

  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 23151
  • Posts: 14184
  • Country: au
  • Gender: Male
  • Whoops back we go
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2018, 04:43:41 am »
Construction is indeed well and truly under way!

Your woodwork looks very neat and tidy.  :beers:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Newportnobby

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+63)
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 21962
  • Posts: 29656
  • Country: england
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2018, 09:52:06 am »

I can look like a badass in the kitchen with a three-pound cleaver and a blowtorch

That's a little worrying. Do you have many dinner guests? :worried: :laugh:

Online Bealman

  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 23151
  • Posts: 14184
  • Country: au
  • Gender: Male
  • Whoops back we go
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2018, 09:58:47 am »
Only when he serves toast
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline LASteve

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
  • Country: us
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2018, 08:08:13 am »
Installed three more point motors this morning, learning as I went, so the fiddle yard is ostensibly fully automated, but there lies the rub.

I'm not happy with it, the track is poorly laid, the Castle looks like it's climbing up and down hills across the points and there's evidence of learning-on-the-job everywhere, which is why I started on the yard in the first place, in the non-scenic section.

However, non-scenic or not, it's still painful to look at, so between now and the weekend I'm going to lift the track, clean the solder and melted plastic off all the points and track ends and start afresh. The wiring - the bus and the droppers - I'm pleased with, so all of that is staying, just snipped, re-stripped and re-tinned.

On a positive-depending-on-your-viewpoint note, I stumbled across a supplier here in the US who has a stock of the new Unifrog points, Peco 55. I've been having a couple o' problems with the Electofrog points anyway, not all down to my cack-handed track laying, so drawn in by the apparently cheap price point ($18 per!) I've ordered a couple or five to relay the fiddle yard. The problem will come if I like them, it's a case of what do I do with the scenic section?

That problem can wait, however. I've got a little swallow-the-pride track dismantling to do first. But, as my very wise wife says when she's shopping, if you don't love it in the store, don't buy it and hope you love it when you get home. Those hillocks of track would have bugged the buggery out of me for ever if I'd have left them alone.

Offline Innovationgame

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 26531
  • Posts: 2151
  • Country: gb
    • The innovationgame
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2018, 08:17:55 am »
Learning on the job is what it's all about, especially if, like me, you've been away from model railways for thirt years.  I do like the sound of Unifrog points and I might buy a couple just to see their potential.
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash
www.innovationgame.com

Offline LASteve

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
  • Country: us
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2018, 08:21:30 am »
Learning on the job is what it's all about, especially if, like me, you've been away from model railways for thirt years.  I do like the sound of Unifrog points and I might buy a couple just to see their potential.

It was your post earlier in the thread that prompted me to go take a look, so many thanks for that.

Online Bealman

  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 23151
  • Posts: 14184
  • Country: au
  • Gender: Male
  • Whoops back we go
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2018, 08:32:37 am »
I certainly do not want to start an issue on this great construction thread, but being a user of live frog Peco points since the eighties, these new general purpose things seem a backward step.

However, I will wait for reports and evaluations from early users on threads like this!  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Innovationgame

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 26531
  • Posts: 2151
  • Country: gb
    • The innovationgame
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2018, 08:40:30 am »
I do like the sound of Unifrog points and I might buy a couple just to see their potential.
It was your post earlier in the thread that prompted me to go take a look, so many thanks for that.
I've just ordered two, a left and a right, so I look forward to seeing them in the flesh, so to speak.
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash
www.innovationgame.com

Offline Biggy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 25735
  • Posts: 108
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Ebay
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2018, 09:35:09 am »
Very nice looking layout. As has been said learning as you go is the only way. I took up and relayed my track so often it became a running just me in my family. I started saying I was modelng a railway construction site.  It it was worth it in the end
Not sure its supposed to do that

Offline Newportnobby

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+63)
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 21962
  • Posts: 29656
  • Country: england
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2018, 10:09:06 am »
Peco points can be somewhat 'lumpy' straight from the box, and adding insulated rail joiners (IRJs) can often make things worse as they can be a swine to fit and make a smooth joint

Offline LASteve

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
  • Country: us
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2018, 06:59:04 am »
A couple of updates:

Relaid the fiddle yard with Unifrog points to boot. The results are a lot better than the first effort, and much smoother running across the points. Nothing to do with Unifrog I'm sure, just me being a little less cack-handed than before. On the Unifrog topic, the wire that's provided to power the frog is so fragile it's incredible - you breathe on it and it falls off, and you're left with quite a challenge to solder a replacement  without shorting out the whole thing.

Having said that, once the wiring is done and the points are fixed down, the results are really good.

Which brings me on to the DC Concepts Cobalt DCC point motors. Programming these things is nothing short of alchemy with a heavy dose of sorcery thrown in for good measure. There are three functions which work like they're supposed to - turning on and turning off the self-centering feature, and reversing the throw of the point. The most important one - setting the accessory address for the point - is black magic. I have wired five of these things now, and the addresses are: 1, 11, 2, 121 and 4. Why? I've no idea. I had two 2's at one point, and then automagically one became 121. I pulled a brand new one out of the box, set it up on the programming circuit, tried to give it an address of 122 and it steadfastly refused to do anything. When in desperation I cycled through the ordinal numbers, it responded to 4. Why? No clue. But there it is, 4. It's really weird.

Maybe the Australians have a secret instruction manual that they don't let anyone but the locals in on the dark arts.

Anyway, having said that, the yard is now back to fully-functional, albeit weirdly-numbered.

Online Bealman

  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 23151
  • Posts: 14184
  • Country: au
  • Gender: Male
  • Whoops back we go
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2018, 07:41:38 am »
Oh, yes.... I forgot that they are Australian products.

Well I'm afraid this Antipodean is just as in the dark as you!

Sorry!  :-[
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Innovationgame

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 26531
  • Posts: 2151
  • Country: gb
    • The innovationgame
    • Awards
Re: Bullet Bitten - The Moorpark construction crew has arrived
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2018, 08:53:24 am »
I found programming the Cobalts really easy.  I just moved the position of the little switch to 'Set' and then set the turnout number that I wanted on my DCC controller and sent a command to it.  I sent a command to set, then to reset and then to set again.  Then I set the switch back to the 'Run' position,  turned off the DCC system and turned it on again and sent the same commands again.  The turnout responded as expected.
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash
www.innovationgame.com

 

Please Support Us!
October Goal: £55.00
Due Date: Oct 31
Total Receipts: £55.00
Below Goal: £0.00
Site Currency: GBP
100% 
October Donations


Advertise Here
anything