N Gauge Forum

Your Layout and Models => Layout Construction => Topic started by: ptopo on March 06, 2014, 09:00:14 PM

Title: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on March 06, 2014, 09:00:14 PM
Hi,

So, I've been steadily building the 4 initial boards refered to on the planning thread. Here's the story so far....

Construction plan -

44x18mm planed wood frame topped with 1.35x0.4m 5.5mm ply. DCC concepts baseboard dowels on each end... These are ok to fit but I used 4 bits of wood before I got it right...

1) clamp together
2) drill two 3mm pilot holes
3) separate boards and drill a 2mm depth hole with a 18ish mm spade bit on all four facing sections
4) Re clamp and spade bit 13mm through both bits of wood from the back side
5) drill two 8mm holes for retaining bolts
6) separate and fit all 4 dowels with wood glue to set
7) re-clamp now with bolts, washers and wing nuts and allow to dry

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_4469207b3e2b607ad048b165ec853011.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=4469207b3e2b607ad048b165ec853011.jpg)

Frames built with some chagrin when I found one pair of sides were slightly warped but have straightened now. Note old track from previous layout...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_06f72f17675f7abbba7f142a9ba7125b.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=06f72f17675f7abbba7f142a9ba7125b.jpg)

The tops were then fitted and planed down the sides 'till smooth. I built two sets of L - shaped legs that are hinged to the wall and fitted with adjustable feet to make sure I can get it damn level even in an old uneven attic. One is in the middle, one at the far end (just over half of the floor is raised, see below) and there's a batten on the near wall.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_217921aa8bd6641699d1c6774520b328.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=217921aa8bd6641699d1c6774520b328.jpg)

Check to fit...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_9e3e79c03bab5a7260f53466f8b9e58c.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=9e3e79c03bab5a7260f53466f8b9e58c.jpg)

Then painted with undercoat, white on the frame and dark grey on top (learned the lessons from not painting the white away last time....). The two fitted boards are bolted lengthways and I then fitted clamps on each end and one underneath so it doesn't move. Ta da!

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_e212727515be5fcfa3689271e5a836df.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=e212727515be5fcfa3689271e5a836df.jpg)

And pretty level. So far.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_6f118ad5a834bf85ee2ddb12ec83d177.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=6f118ad5a834bf85ee2ddb12ec83d177.jpg)

Next up - fitting the DCC bus and plugs/sockets then it's TRACK LAYING TIME!!!!

Cheers

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: scotsoft on March 06, 2014, 09:08:00 PM
You are making good progress and your efforts look very good, I hope fitting the DCC bus goes well and you get onto track laying quickly so you can play test run your trains

cheers John.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on March 06, 2014, 09:54:05 PM
I can't see any holes in the cross battens for the wiring to pass through :hmmm:
Is this too late to accomplish? :worried:
Or do you have an alternative fiendish plan?
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Bealman on March 07, 2014, 05:03:35 AM
Good point, but looking good! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Sprintex on March 07, 2014, 07:14:46 AM
I can't see any holes in the cross battens for the wiring to pass through :hmmm:

My first thoughts too, made that mistake myself but luckily twigged before it was too inconvenient to drill them ;)


Paul
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Bealman on March 07, 2014, 09:32:17 AM
I ended up putting cable looms UNDER the baseboard joins.  :doh:

George
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Caz on March 07, 2014, 09:34:22 AM
I can't see any holes in the cross battens for the wiring to pass through :hmmm:

My first thoughts too, made that mistake myself but luckily twigged before it was too inconvenient to drill them ;)

Paul

Likewise here, just didn't plan ahead when I asked someone to make my baseboards I didn't think of all the wires that need to go underneath.   :dunce:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on March 07, 2014, 01:02:48 PM
I can't see any holes in the cross battens for the wiring to pass through :hmmm:
Is this too late to accomplish? :worried:
Or do you have an alternative fiendish plan?


Well spotted.

The plan (tonight's the night) is to fit the DCC bus to all four boards. The front two are coming off again completely now I'm happy with the set up and the rear two just lift up at 90 degrees allowing easy access to the under-side which was one of the reasons behind having mobile boards.

The battens are very much deep enough to be drilled 2cm in from the base - it's how I did my old portable layout which only had 30mm battens and these are 44 so I'm not expecting a problem (famous last...). The plan is probably to drill the DCC bus conduits and some for the accessory power too but similarly I found that I could do that as I went along because of the access.

I'm just finalising how & where the bus will be connected but have read that a star config is better than a long straight cable hence I'll be planning to cross connect the two boards at the same end that they are connected to the DCC power supply and run parallel lines.

Temporary track will be laid on the rear board (just a broad, wide U- shape really, top half of the image below) then not move it again whilst I fully lay the front board (lower, goods yard).

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_3d261d08635d0a9d58efb5764791c34d.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=3d261d08635d0a9d58efb5764791c34d.jpg)

I'll then switch the fully formed board at the front around to the rear and complete the second board (currently planned as a station) or maybe switch to extending the layout right across the room, depending on how I'm feeling at the time. I love flexibility and that's why I'm going down the modular route.... also it's ergonomically friendly to be swearing-whilst-sitting-comfortably rather than swearing-crouched-under-a-baseboard!

...hoping to be running trains on the first full run by easter... I've been building a full HST exec set and the buffet arrives today! Hope all my old stock still runs after 14 months in the cooler.

Cheers

PT

ps Just in case you've not seen - the current plan is to extend right across the attic with further identically sized boards (blue) and build in a reversing section disguised as a station (red). Maybe not though, based on my experience one always wants to try new things and is never quite satisfied with the current layout. Plan C or D is to extend the red portion over the blue and right out of the back part of the attic into the front on a further 3m run... which is where my wife will one day have an office. Or so she hopes. >:D

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_8540968c1a0691719a867ac5fb12bcd1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=8540968c1a0691719a867ac5fb12bcd1.jpg)



Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Zakalwe on March 07, 2014, 07:20:15 PM
Good plans, i like the concept of expanding when money, time and spousal permission is granted.

Star is better than long single run, will make it easier to modify as it grows and easier to split the arms of the star into separate DCC districts so you can spot errors quickly and not lose all DCC running on a short circuit.

You also need a layout name :)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on March 16, 2014, 08:52:19 AM
DCC bus fitted, used much more wire than expected but it's terminal blocks linked by appropriate thinness wire.

My second 8 way accessory decoder arrived today so am tooled up to start laying track next week and have 16 motors for the main points on the lower board. I'm DCC (powercab) and will use CDU accessory decoders with seep + pm1. This was very light, easy to use and reliable on my old layout so am working on the same system here. Previously I used the accessory switch on the motors to drive signals, this time I'm using them properly for frog control.

One question I have is about dapol auto couplers (magnetic) - any experience or advice? I'd like to be able to shunt/run around on the yard and the rapidos are sooooo fiddly. They have long and short arm couplers and it's not obvious which is most suitable what the best bet, measuring to give a best guess then trial and error?

More photos soon once the track starts to go down (the wiring is a bit dull!).

Cheers, PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on March 17, 2014, 09:16:17 PM
Bus...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_2ce1f845b14e9844860045f1a09ed758.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=2ce1f845b14e9844860045f1a09ed758.jpg)

Power connectors from Maplins (kindly donated by dad). These are used to connect each board and the dcc power supply - this is nice because is allows all four boards to be connected to the power in isolation.

I'm going with brown and blue wiring because i) UK flex is this colour and ii) I've got 5m of dropper wire in these colour scheme. blue inside, brOwn outside.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_22f07e5bd26e8263fdf69558a594b3cb.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=22f07e5bd26e8263fdf69558a594b3cb.jpg)

First proper length down. 2x 3rd radius set track & flexi straights. Mostly held by screws at the moment and only one bit of track is wired. This part is temporary to provide a run around for the lower board so I'm not losing too much sleep except whether it runs ok.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_c0cff339f9ad3fd8d1fc0579d98dd601.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=c0cff339f9ad3fd8d1fc0579d98dd601.jpg)

Quick video, the testing 24 going nice and slow to check running. NB baby wipes are magic track cleaners, one of the short bits of flexi was a bit old.

http://youtu.be/VJionjaOE4A (http://youtu.be/VJionjaOE4A)

Bit boring for now (sorry, a big moment for me after 16 months since running a train).

The initial thinking is that the lines are a bit straight so I might work in a sweeping curve through a station in due course, we'll see. Thanks for looking.

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on March 17, 2014, 09:28:01 PM
Oh No! :smackedface:
The dreaded playingtesting locos stage has been reached :doh:
(from one who is serving a life sentence for doing the same :-[)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: scotsoft on March 17, 2014, 09:35:08 PM
Nice long straight and a lovely slow stop at the end  :thumbsup:

cheers John.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Bealman on March 17, 2014, 10:28:40 PM
It is a nice long straight, but I like the idea of turning it into a sweeping curve as it does look better, I reckon. That Class 24 (I think that's what it is?) is a lot quieter than mine!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on March 18, 2014, 08:05:52 PM
Thanks chaps - yes, it's a 24 and still runs really well, though hasn't seen as much action as some of my locos so perhaps that's why...

Whilst the bottom half is probably going ahead as planned, albeit with a minor deviation from straight, the station is going to be 2 through roads & two through roads / platforms and third and fourth terminal platforms, maybe, but the whole thing built on a curve. I'm also re- thinking the red bit of the full layout, it's going to be a single reversing loop along side coach sidings/depot. This allows the return points on the left to be proper electro frog. Images to follow.

Thanks again! PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on April 11, 2014, 11:17:09 PM
Now some progress on the first properly laid board, it's been quite a long haul as I'm going with full wiring and breakable track sections from the start.

First off was laying the south junction, this is to provide entry to the passing loop opposite the marshalling yard. It's a normal point connected to a double slip to save on room, not particularly prototypical. The double slip works very well on all but 1 of the 8 routes, luckily the one I won't use - but it will teach me to buy a second hand one!

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/th_9305ed73c84da1fbdcdc9b6af4ed3172.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/?action=view&current=9305ed73c84da1fbdcdc9b6af4ed3172.jpg)

The corners are 2&3 set track and will be under cover in the end. They need to be 2cm outer rail to inner rail to allow mark3s to pass and then as you can see there's a short piece of flexi to close to the 17mm gap needed at scale.

Most of the real entertainment is underneath.... This needs tidying obviously but is actually pretty simple.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/4fbc391e2fa09a1c7b1914b72b9959d7.jpg)

It's SEEPS with accessory switches controlling frog polarity. The single point has the frog connecting wire underneath connected to a dropper that is then fed from the accessory connections on the Seep (top right on the photo).

The seeps on this board are controlled by the tremendous ADS8 from DCC concepts. This has 8 separate CDUS and runs off the DCC bus so the wiring is dead simple. Two connections to the bus then live/earth/neu cable to the point motors. Very smooth and each Capacitor recharges in a second or two. I'll compare the different decoders later but the main downside with this one is that the connector bays are quite tight and I like good thick 1-1.4mm wires for my solenoid power supply and they have to be narrowed to fit.

The tracks then pass over the module gap. I've gone for the classic solder to brass screws option that many here and elsewhere advocate. It's come out better than I expected and will be cut via razor saw once the passing loop is in.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/697f8550f2062739f23c8a5f728042d1.jpg)

The north junction is a bit more complex, 2 of my reclaimed and painted points again wired for frog control and a single slip to allow trains to exit to the left hand line and return via the right. I quite like the way this looks.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/95b987c60f1724329afcfb752ea36652.jpg)

And again, underneath... A bit neater and I only made one mistake, getting the left hand frog polarity wrong. The colour coding is rather random as it's a mixture of new and old point wiring and some of the motors were wired with old lines too.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/37e5c6c9a9f04476377b5d65081b3ff0.jpg)

The decoder here is a team digital job which has a single CDU so takes longer to set up a route. The pro is that it can programme routes as well as control the individual points and I will need to take advantage of that as I only have limited macros and the layout will become very complex in time.

Here's the view down the line, it's got a slight curve to the left but I'm saving a sweeping curve for the other board (currently a temporary run around.)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/fd734716d6a62a2b683d1309e80bc408.jpg)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/ed1a72d957849d2c7036cddc2a7bfa70.jpg)

It's  also not quite perfectly lined up but I'll finish that when I've cut the track.

Here's a quick vid of the north junction operating with a couple of temporary macros.

http://youtu.be/ZsbgbZXKrhU (http://youtu.be/ZsbgbZXKrhU)

Next up is putting in the passing/return loop at which point I'll cut the three tracks and then connect up the two boards and RUN SOME TRAINS!!!!

Thanks for reading

Cheers

PT


Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on April 12, 2014, 12:33:31 AM
Super update - thanks for posting :thumbsup:
Really good to see how things are coming together :)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on April 18, 2014, 12:36:34 PM
After being unable to get much done for a few reasons I had a three hour run last night.

- added passing siding opposite yard
- wired all track
- connected the two boards temporarily - just a few *precision* off cuts of flexi which bridge the two sets of set track.

The class 58 in the distance was a Christmas present finally chipped - on the linking track...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/0247b2449cd5028c5a6267fe77ef5f28.jpg)

Just started re testing some stock, full HST set, 18 mgr (two more needed) & 58 as well as the venerable 46 with 5 mk1 - to be expanded with 3-4 more mark 2s when they come out.

The HST has been a bit disappointing. Previously it ran fine either way with 5 coaches around set track 1 corners but now with 7 mark 3s the couplings fail on the 2&3 corners and occasionally on the straights. The track is temporary on the corners but isn't that bad (the 46 is fine and that is a sensitive beast). HST works fine in push mode but I'll need to arrange a more permanent coupling for full use.

The 58 is a smashing runner, very very good when slow and with an interestingly restricted top speed. The gold DCC chip in it is also very smart.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/34ce4e3a88c21c4ce5a67d855b81f7fe.jpg)

A top down view. At this stage the powercab is perfect - I will eventually set up a control panel using the brilliant micro or maybe macro panel boards from NCE - what a piece of kit that is!

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/6355959975ead326c0b08dd05e5db3f5.jpg)

In due course the corners will be completely obscured. Quick compilation of videos:

http://youtu.be/NaN5S4txJaM (http://youtu.be/NaN5S4txJaM)

The next steps are to practice run some more stock and set up the siding point macros. Then it's time to finalise the plans for the yard, but I wanted to get the trains out first as 1) I need to measure them and 2) it's been 18 months since I ran trains around a corner. With the yard I will essentially lay all of the track then disconnect the front board and sort the electrics and motors out in one fell swoop.

Thanks for looking, any comments warmly welcomed.

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Bealman on April 18, 2014, 12:45:25 PM
Everything looks like it's running great! As you say, no problem over the double slip there.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: scotsoft on April 18, 2014, 12:54:22 PM
A very productive three hours with your track looking good and a very nice video of you testing out your hard work  :thumbsup:

cheers John.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Zakalwe on April 19, 2014, 10:02:20 AM
i had similar problems with dapol mk3 coaches, the couplings are quite easy to knock the hight out of alignment / never were right from the factory.

To solve it I switched to the knuckle couplings that come in the box, a mix of short / medium or large to chosen to make sure you don't buffer lock on the corners :)
 
The actual couplings they make are much better and harder to break than the rapido and i got closer coupling.

I then mixed in some easi shunt couplings to make it possible to send power cars for servicing
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on April 19, 2014, 12:17:24 PM
@zakalwe - thanks ever so much for that, I'll go and dig around in my boxes!

Current plans are on the planning board...

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=20015.0 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=20015.0)

But this is the current end-game plan (two years + away before all the track is done, longer if I do scenics on each board first).

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/8072758dd7748512b974a48db99dafdb.jpg)

The boards currently being laid are those at the bottom of the image.

Thanks again

PT

Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on September 06, 2014, 11:56:53 PM
It's been slow going over the summer, so much else to do...

Anyhow, the 4 roads for the goods yard are now mostly fixed. It's not a pastoral country scene but a serious industrial set of sidings for full length trains to park in.

View from the terminus, loco escape is to the right, three sidings in the middle and the main line one the left.
(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg2.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg2.jpg.html)

View half way down. The near point on the right will lead to two sidings for an industry (tankers I think), the far point will split off two lanes to an engine depot. The roads are a shade close together I think but we'll see how they look with stock on.
(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg1.jpg.html)

The throat of the yard, needs a headshunt adding...
(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg3.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg3.jpg.html)

1 more line to solder to screws then cut (once again a razor saw is just the job for a super fine cut; <0.5mm, less than the tightest dremmel I've found).
(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg5.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg5.jpg.html)

Next up, time to flip the near board up and wire/fit 8 further motors and connect the tracks to the DCC bus. There's been too much track laying and not enough testing in the last 3 months.

Thanks for reading, I hope for a more interesting update in a few weeks.

PT


Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Ditape on September 07, 2014, 12:17:22 AM
You are a very tidy worker or do you have a clean up before taking pictures.  ;)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on November 01, 2014, 01:40:21 PM
I should show the rest of the room, it's not *quite* so tidy.... :-[

The last few months have been laying and wiring the points, about an hour a week. The image below gives an idea of the wiring approach. I use brown/blue flex for the bus and so have used brown (outer rail) blue (inner) rather than the traditional red/black. You can see them on the right of the image below, not the tidiest but good enough for me....

Points the frogs on all points are connected to the SEEP aux switch. This is the under side of a 3-way point wired (you can see the pre-fitted droppers in the middle). For seep control I'm now using DCC concepts 8 or 2 way solenoid boards (eg ADS8) as they have a capacitor for each solenoid which makes the points change very quickly. £45 for the 8 way and £36 for 8 SEEP pm1s makes it a very affordable way of switching for the short term. If one wishes to go up to Cobalts later it's quite possible too.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg4-1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg4-1.jpg.html)

The seeps are connected directly to 3 way 1mm diameter flex which works well up to at least 1m, which is more than enough on these boards.

I've 2 more sidings to lay and a two road, maybe 4, engine shed of the points in the middle but wanted to run some trains. Here's a couple of pictures of the occupied yard.... Starts to feel a big better now.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg2-1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg2-1.jpg.html)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg1-1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg1-1.jpg.html)

More in a bit, got to leg it.... Video in prep....

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on November 01, 2014, 04:32:58 PM
This is coming along really well :thumbsup:
Difficult to gauge from the photos, but I hope you can reach the back of the layout? :worried:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on November 01, 2014, 05:04:06 PM
Yes, the layout is only 80cm deep (2x40cm modules). The far end of the room is raised up, a step about 18in high, so you can kneel next to the track - access underneath is limited which is one of the reasons I have the modular approach. I'll tidy up and take a full photo so you can see what I mean.

Here we go, a bit more on coupling...

The reason there's sealion wagons on the end of the MGR rake is that they have NEM couplers and the MGRS don't (new pockets needed old boy.....).

I took inspiration from this board (big rep to AC, Kharedon, AndyGif)

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=19656.0 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=19656.0)

And found some fairly strong magnets online, firs4magnets. 3mm perfectly fits and 1.5mm thick is perfect depth http://www.first4magnets.com/circular-disc-rod-magnets-c34/3mm-dia-x-1-5mm-thick-n35-neodymium-magnet-0-18kg-pull-p6202 (http://www.first4magnets.com/circular-disc-rod-magnets-c34/3mm-dia-x-1-5mm-thick-n35-neodymium-magnet-0-18kg-pull-p6202) seems enough to pull the coupling apart but I also got some of the more powerful 2mm ones too - one has to be careful, if the magnet is too powerful the stock moves about.

Despite what one might think they can be all be N, or all be S, or N one side and S the other - the metal hook that's attracted by them isn't magnetic so doesn't care. They're set up as four but I'm not sure that's necessary...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg3-1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg3-1.jpg.html)

Below is a vid of yard operations, the uncoupler is at the end - one has to be quite precise. Sorry for the bum notes, I'm not that good I'm afraid but wanted to give shunting some atmos....

http://youtu.be/D9olXlcwQ7s (http://youtu.be/D9olXlcwQ7s)

Much more testing is needed but so far so good with the Coco locos, not much time to spare at the mo.

All the best

PT





Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on November 01, 2014, 05:09:33 PM
Neat little vid and some nifty keyboard work, too :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on November 06, 2014, 10:53:17 PM
Just to clarify the space - the attic has a rear half which has a raised section so is one of the reasons why I need to be able to unhook the modules (can't get underneath)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg3-2.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg3-2.jpg.html)

The eventual plan will be to shift the yard boards (left of the two) across to the window on the left, then have the station (right - currently the run around) more or less where it is with a sweeping curve to the bottom and a viaduct in the background. This needs to be removable too as I need to get access to the loft space through the hatch at the back.

View from the other end...
(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg1-2.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg1-2.jpg.html)

And from the side - one can see the lack of space - the ceiling below is raised here so there is limited space.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg2-2.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg2-2.jpg.html)

Hope you get the picture, it's a funky space to work in but will eventually grow into a niceish run around the room.

Next up is laying sidings and maybe an inspection pit for an engine shed (left on pic above) and a couple of sidings for tankers/depot (right).

Then it's time to start painting rails and getting some scenics done - before the big push of getting the rest of the boards ready next year. Might paint the wood too as it's a shade gloomy right now.

Thanks for looking!

PT



Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Bealman on November 07, 2014, 12:05:44 AM
Great stuff!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on January 04, 2015, 06:46:28 PM
Happy New Year.

I've had a bit of breathing space so have finally got the first module track laid, wired and the last 4 points connected. The traction depot has been extended to 4 roads now as a result of a Christmas present (thanks dad).

Total kit used to date....
New for this layout:
1x double, slip
2x single slip
2x three way points
Reclaimed:
3x Y points
3 x RH points
4 x LH points

20 SEEP PM1 (7 reclaimed)
1x 8 way single capacitor decoder (reclaimed)
1 x DCC concepts 8 capacitor decoder
2 x DCC concepts 2 capacitor decoder

Here's the track-work...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg2-3.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg2-3.jpg.html)

And with the shed in place, exit of the yard to the left. The right hand road is deliperately long to feature a loco filling point.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg4-3.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg4-3.jpg.html)

And close up. Later it will be raised up on a concrete base as it is too low as is. I know it's a drop-in job from Farish but it's nice to finally have a building of some sort.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg5-1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg5-1.jpg.html)

At the other end two sidings have been added, this will either be a tanker filling area or just extra sidings e.g. for track maintenance trains etc.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg1-1-1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg1-1-1.jpg.html)

View right down the module.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg6.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg6.jpg.html)

Part A from the side...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg8.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg8.jpg.html)

And part B....
(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg9.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg9.jpg.html)

And the ubiquitous wiring shot... Tidying needed. It's upside down thanks to photobucket being too clever....

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/imagejpg10.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/imagejpg10.jpg.html)

Next up..

- fill in the spare sleepers gaps
- programme all the point macros as a stop gap until I can get a mini panel sorted out.
- reconnect to the back module to play test all locos and macros across the yard to check for shorts on the slips.

After that it's track painting and ballasting. I've got some 0.2-0.3mm sand on order which I'm thinking of dyeing light grey then lay in the usual way and tart up with the airbrush my mum and dad got me last birthday. During that process the screws and pins can come out. It'll probably take until next Christmas but I'm hoping to get it looking quite nice with a tunnel on the left side and a bridge on the right to disguise the curves.

I know it's very heavy on track but it's needed to get a decent level of operational interest with good length trains. The final imagery I'll be going for will be not dissimilar to Toton sidings (lite) or maybe a bit more run down like Mantle Lane in Coalville.

At some stage it's inevitable that I'll get bored though and want to build the station and scenic modules (vide supra).

Thanks for looking & all the best

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on January 11, 2015, 07:20:29 PM
Getting there with filling in sleepers, just the board gaps to go - it's fiddly but easier than I expected to fill around the anchoring screws.

Anyhow, I've programmed in routes (aka Macros on NCE Powercab) but have run out of slots on the basic system (16). It's high time to create a control panel which will be based on their mini panel tech which can run 30 momentary buttons  each controlling the position of 4 accessories and/or be blended with pre programmed routes/Macros. Sounds powerful for less than 35 notes.

Anyhow, I've been testing those out and the track, here's a rather too long video with macro testing interspersed with some trains rumbling 'round.

http://youtu.be/zkbM5dKX6wY (http://youtu.be/zkbM5dKX6wY)


all the very best

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on January 11, 2015, 08:25:45 PM
Looked like a faultless running session to me, and I particularly liked the board level section at the end :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on January 11, 2015, 10:08:42 PM
Thanks! .... It's helps if one edits out the part where one hit the wrong macro # and nearly caused a head-on.

The other class 37 should be on test too but it seems to have a similar address to one of the accessory motors as I can hear a capacitor charging as the engine moves - if anyone knows why I'd appreciate advice? It's currently on short locos address 10 but I'm pretty sure it's not acc 10 that it's clashing with.

The plan is to reset the decoder and choose a higher number... Or I could do it properly and give all locos 4 digit addresses?

Thanks again for looking.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on January 31, 2015, 05:30:54 PM
Managed to get a good couple of hours building a control panel using the great NCE mini panel. The panel reaches through to your powercab powered accessory switches and macros.

The details of how to do it is here in the knowledge bank...

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=26073.0 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=26073.0)

...if you use powercab you need a bit more info than is in the manual.

The hold up has been placing and programming signals as I wanted to use the panel to control those too. More on that soon.

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on January 31, 2015, 06:20:13 PM
Signals - Given that this is modular these do need to be self contained.

There's two major junctions on the first module and whilst It would be lovely to have both train sensing and junction control built in I've plumbed for just junction control but I'd love to hear if there's any simple approaches to doing both.

The decoder I'm using is the train-tech TTSC1 - controls two R/G signals and is very easy to programme. At £17 to control a pair it's a very fair deal.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpg7.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpg7.jpg.html)

The advantage from my perspective is that I only needs to be connected to the track bus, really simplifying the wiring - no need for a separate power supply.

Rescued Berko signals from mt old layout - two to control entry to the junction from the passing loop an one to control exit from the yard.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpg8.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpg8.jpg.html)

They're a bit ruined tbh but with a bit of solder & glue they look smart enough.

Two more controlling exit from the passing loop and access to the east junction....

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpg9.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpg9.jpg.html)

I've a spare output at the moment and am thinking about using it to control egress from the TMD. There's not much point in having them facing the ones shown above as they will be pointing towards bridges / tunnels.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on January 31, 2015, 06:46:53 PM
A quick word on control panels - my aim is to have a flexible future for this layout so that each module has its own control panel that can just be plugged into the cab bus.

This is important because the operator may be in front or behind the module so in the medium term the panel has to be mobile and a stack of wires is simply not practical.

This little fella is the answer and allows 30 different inputs to control up to four accessory switches (points/signals) and/or macros (strings of accessory commands programmed into powercab)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpg5.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpg5.jpg.html)

See the link above for the tekky part but the simple version is that the housing for the control panel is built and the circuit board mounted on the rear. The panel buttons are then sited in the normal way and simply connect to the mini panel via short dropper wires. The circuit board then connects to the main cab bus via one of the sockets, that's all.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/Mobile%20Uploads/image_1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_1.jpg.html)

The front is marked with tape for now, not sure it will stick though. The spare buttons on the left and right control the junctions (e.g. Yard entry/exit and to totally 'clean' the junction). Those sited on the tracks are the usual - they set up the relevant routes.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/Mobile%20Uploads/image_2.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_2.jpg.html)

A quick vid (sorry it's not on YouTube, fails to upload at the mo). The first button press activates a macro to throw all three solenoid decoders and both signals allowing trains to exit the siding on the right. The second reverses this to allow trains through the junction again.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/Mobile%20Uploads/th_trim.214AE28C-336C-4D98-92E5-38BEE8FD357B.mp4) (http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/Mobile%20Uploads/trim.214AE28C-336C-4D98-92E5-38BEE8FD357B.mp4)

Time to run some trains again to check that the operation actually makes sense in practice.

Thanks for reading!

PT

Ps if anyone has advice for a simple way to set signals by bothe routes and occupancy without having to resort to PC control I'd be most grateful.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on January 31, 2015, 09:23:20 PM
Says 'the video has been renamed or deleted by the owner' :(
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on February 01, 2015, 06:53:42 AM
Thanks - that's strange. Hopefully the YouTube version just uploaded works better. :hmmm:

http://youtu.be/MVwiL-FWJqk (http://youtu.be/MVwiL-FWJqk)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Bob Tidbury on February 01, 2015, 09:26:35 AM
Nowt as strange as Technology both clips work on my Ipad .
Bob
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on February 01, 2015, 06:10:11 PM
Youtube one works fine :thankyousign:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on February 03, 2015, 07:03:41 PM
And now with some trains running....

I'm busy placing rare earth magnets in sets of four around the yard and loop. So far so good - I'm now converting the TEAs, they don't have NEM pockets so it's been very tricky to replace but I think I'm getting there. They seem to uncouple with a teensy Rev/fwd shimmy about 80-90% of the time.

http://youtu.be/GBdVA4fX_z8 (http://youtu.be/GBdVA4fX_z8)

Sorry the stock is the same all the time, I've only got 3-4 goods trains and the coach stock is low priority for this yard. I'd like to expand the TEA rake to 9 and either pull with doule headed 37s (saving the engineer one for track maintenance) or through a double headed class 20. Or maybe a class 47. Or 56.

Oh the agony of choice.... :laugh3:

Just finishing the last lot of magnets and inserting spare sleepers at the board junction then it's painting/ballast time.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on February 08, 2015, 05:33:09 PM
One of the problems with modular layouts - the gaps :help:

The gaps where one solders track onto brass screws leaves quite a space which is unacceptably short of sleepers. To fill these I cut some out of old track then trimmed About 2mm of plastic from each underside corner to give a squashed T shape. This can then slot between the screws, fixed with plastic cement glue and, to some extent, mask them gap.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/image.jpg2.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/image.jpg2.jpg.html)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/image.jpg1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/image.jpg1.jpg.html)

The outside of the tracks still need to be thought about but a few small squares of black paint after ballasting should to the trick.

After a fairly long session without too many repeating problems I was able to get the old class 46 running OK. A bit sticky on the tight corners but once warmed up was surprisingly good.

Some more footage of testing.

http://youtu.be/IgJNITxLIqs (http://youtu.be/IgJNITxLIqs)

Very nearly ready to paint and ballast....

Cheers for reading

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on February 08, 2015, 07:27:41 PM
You can never have enough testing - it's just so much fun :angel:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on May 12, 2015, 05:00:55 PM
Hello,

A few things getting in the way but it has been high time to take painting and ballasting by the horns.

The track was painted with a 2:1 mix of rail match sleeper grime:rust and the sleepers with some burnt umber acrylic.

In my case the kit used for ballasting was as follows....

- 0.2-0.3mm sand (available here...http://derbyshireaggregates.com/resin-bonded/c52-sand-dried-0-2-0-3mm/ (http://derbyshireaggregates.com/resin-bonded/c52-sand-dried-0-2-0-3mm/)). Commercial ballst seems a bit too big to me, about 0.5-1mm which would be 3-6 inch rocks on scale....
- decent PVA
- isopropanol (IPA)
- plastic dropping pipettes (available generally online)
- mini spray bottle (ditto)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpg5_1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpg5_1.jpg.html)

The practice go/method are as pictured here and follows one of the standard approaches.

1) Spread the sand, a small spoon works fine...
(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpg8_1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpg8_1.jpg.html)

2) Smooth the sand with a fine brush....
(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpg9_1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpg9_1.jpg.html)

3) mix 1:1 IPA:water. This kills the surface tension of the water and allows quicker evaporation & drying. Finely spray over the ballast. This wets it prior to putting on the PVA

4) mix 1:1 PVA and water. Some chaps recommend using IPA to dilute which aids drying even more, mine dried fine within 24 hours in a cool attic. Using the pipette careful run the mixture down the outside of the rails then a drop at a time between the sleepers.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpg6_1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpg6_1.jpg.html)

5) trial spaying - had a go with a mix of umber and rust, on the real think i'll go more carefully as I got a bit carried away with the air-brush.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpg1_1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpg1_1.jpg.html)

More in a sec...



Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on May 12, 2015, 05:15:48 PM
So, on to the real thing....

A note on points....

Most chaps seem to recommend a bit of oil around the moving parts to prevent gumming up.

The first thing I found was the the peco three way point needs further modification. After painting I noticed that the switch rail had gone dead which was a bit annoying because it had the frogs properly connected so I assumed the frogs feed  the switch rails Turns out  they don't.

What actually happens is that the switch rails are fed by direct contact with the stock (outside) rails. The switch rails are actually independent so therein lies the solution... a small connecting wire linking the stock rail to the track at the heel of each of switch rails works fine - the frog is independent from the switch rails as well you see so one can 'live' the entire point with no fear of shorts. If you're interested in ther details let me know and I will mock up a photo of what I mean.

Sooooo having done that and re set all of the track around them it's just a case of plugging on with the ballasting, being a bit more careful around the point areas. So far so good with test running afterwards... I'll try a base layer of paint next. It's a shade garish right now...
(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpg3_1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpg3_1.jpg.html)
(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpg4_1.jpg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpg4_1.jpg.html)

Before going much further some fake wire work, point motors and trunking, not to mention signal box and concrete crossing paths to mask the gap between the modules are need.

Thanks for reading.

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on May 12, 2015, 08:19:48 PM
I think a diagram of the underside of the 3 way showing what you mean would be very helpful.
 :thankyousign:
Title: Re: Modular layou
Post by: ptopo on March 23, 2016, 07:26:00 PM
Here's a 3 way point diagram. Sorry that it is 1) very late and 2) not from underneath as I'd rather selfishly refitted and ballasted the points before reading this thread. :-[

As mentioned the entire switch rail assembly may be constantly connected so it's a bit weird that peco designed it relying on switch rail/stock rail contact. Probably so the risk of shorts with older wheel sets? The frogs are controlled from point motor accessory switches.

The plastic under the rail is cut out and a short length of wire soldered on.

Cheers

PT


(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_1.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_1.jpeg.html)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on March 23, 2016, 09:54:34 PM
So things have been quite slow and I've finally managed to get a few hours of ballasting in. After a while one gets quite used to it. About 90% is done! just the Depot area had been left as I have to concrete it etc.

The next steps have been to finish the ballasting but before that lay some cable trunking. The straight stuff that ratio sell needs to be cut up and I had a go at distressing it a bit as the real world trunking is all over the place.

There's some dummy point motors and orange cable ducting (wire) laid too.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_6.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_6.jpeg.html)

The other thorny issue is the gap between modules. It needs to be a sharp edge so I tried using grease proof baking paper....

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_3.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_3.jpeg.html)

Then using the shadow of the sand on one side to guide the other. The results were OK ish...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_2.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_2.jpeg.html)

Sorry for the blurred picture... End on it looks ok...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image.jpeg.html)

With respect to painting: the tracks were already done with 2:1 sleeper grime:rust and the sleepers with a diluted burnt umber to take the shine off. The hope was that the dark colours would shine through the ballast paint....

...this is about 6:1 grey:burnt umber acrylics (standard hobby paint) diluted up 1-2 fold with water and then airbrushed on to the ballast. Not much has been done yet but a quick first go wasn't so bad... Can you tell the bit that's been done yet...?

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_4.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_4.jpeg.html)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_5.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_5.jpeg.html)

The sand takes the diluted paint quite nicely so I think it will work out and take the brightness off the sand. Next up will be to spray the rest and apply a darker/rustier shade around the sleepers.

More soon, thanks for looking

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on March 23, 2016, 10:15:56 PM
Track, ballast and detailing looking very good. I've never seen baseboard joins disguised so you can't see them but yours is a lot better than many layouts I've seen at shows.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on March 26, 2016, 05:06:04 PM
Now fully painted base coat & rust/brake dust on the main through lines (5:1 umber:rust)....

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_7.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_7.jpeg.html)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_8.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_8.jpeg.html)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_9.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_9.jpeg.html)

A little stark in places so some softening needed, the goods in painting and the sidings mottled a little.

Happy Easter

PT




Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on March 26, 2016, 05:32:58 PM
Looks very good :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Chris in Prague on March 26, 2016, 05:42:30 PM
I think a diagram of the underside of the 3 way showing what you mean would be very helpful.
 :thankyousign:

Seconded, as I have Peco Code 55 three-way point to wire up.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on March 26, 2016, 05:58:20 PM
Sorry, it wasn't very clear - you need to put a wire  the underside connecting the rails where the white thing is on the left and another there the screwdriver head is on the right, this can also be done further down the point iirc.

The two frog areas are controlled by auxiliary switches, the central region (all of the rails connected to the switch rails) have to be fed by the stock rails or bus.

Unlike the normal electro frog the switch rails on the 3 way point are not fed from the frog. The two on the left are isolated from the two on the right so can be live all the time - normally they are connected via contact with the stock rail, which will probably fail the moment they are painted.

Again, I'm really sorry I didn't get a photo of the underside view, I don't get a lot of time to do train stuff.

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Chris in Prague on March 26, 2016, 06:01:59 PM
Thanks for your reply. I do understand about not getting much time to work on your layout and not having an underneath photo. I have bought a Hex Frog Juicer PCB to work with my three-way point. Does that change the wiring requirements you mention, please?
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on March 27, 2016, 08:29:04 AM
Hi Chris,

I'm not particularly familiar with the hex frog juicer but my understanding is that it essentially auto reverses any section of track. How that fits into the point architecture is outlined below, copied across from my new post in the knowledge bank. Apologies if inaccurate in any way. It's a while since I did this wiring.

PT

Link: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=32502.0 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=32502.0)

Hi, here's a quickie on the peco three way point and a central issue with its use. The problem is that the switch rails are not powered by the frogs, only by contact with the stock rails and the therefore it is highly prone to failing when painted.

The architecture is as follows.... Apologies for the crude nature of the photos.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_11.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_11.jpeg.html)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_10.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_10.jpeg.html)

FROGS.(red, yellow)- Frogs. These must be powered via switches, point motor accessory switches or by a frog juicer as they are independent of the switch rails (vide infra)

STOCK RAILS (Dark blue, dark green). These can be directly wired to the power supply (DCC bus or standard) or simply powered through fishplate connection to the track.

SWITCH RAILS (light blue/green). This is the part that is really different. In normal electro frog points the entire switch rail is powered from the frog; not in this case. The two sets of switch rails are independent (they have to be) and are powered by contact with the stock rails.

SOLUTION
To guarantee good contact the switching rails need to be hard wired to the power supply. Happily both switch rails in each coloured section are connected therefore one only needs Two wires, not four.

Solutions:
1) connect each stock rail to the relevant switch rail assembly via a wire underneath in the positions marked in pink. This will need a bit of the plastic to be removed. Care needs to be taken as the wire that is lower in the picture (green stock rail->light green switch rail) has to pass under a moving switch rail).

2) wire two addition droppers to the switch rail assembly where the pink lines meet the light blue/green rails.

Hope that helps and hope it's accurate, I wired this about a year ago so have probably forgotten or got one or two of the rails wrongly assigned.

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Chris in Prague on March 27, 2016, 09:17:17 AM
Many thanks, PT, for your quick and comprehensive reply with excellent annotated pictures. I have made a PDF of this section and will give it to my electrical / electronic expert friend who will be wiring up Cant Cove, in a couple of weeks, I hope.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on April 10, 2016, 08:30:30 AM
The last few bits of work before the next modules are built - I wanted to complete the  ballasting and weathering process so the whole thing is phased nicely.

To this end the 'concrete' base for the engine shed was built - it is 1mm plasticard lying on a frame of 2mm square strips with the gaps between rail and card and sleepers filled with fine wood filler. A series of coats of diluted acrylic and it wasn't too bad, though not great either.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_18.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_18.jpeg.html)

And with the boys in the barracks...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_14.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_14.jpeg.html)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_19.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_19.jpeg.html)

The fueling station was a disaster - it's a standard GF job but the roof had to come off as it was catching some of the engines.

I'd had a go at adding some black 'engine oil' where the locos would stand most, using about 50% diluted black acrylic/water added with airbrush. A bit heavy handed in places but had one paint left over to weather some MGRs.

As you'll see from the vid below it looks like the guys in the engineering works could only be bothered to clean half of the rake...

Various other bits of track weathering painting junction boxes / weathering...
(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_15.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_15.jpeg.html)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_17.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_17.jpeg.html)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_16.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_16.jpeg.html)

The class 20s are new (well, last year) but have only just seen action, the video below is a trial running. There's another new recruit too.

https://youtu.be/SlG17NfbVOU (https://youtu.be/SlG17NfbVOU)

The ballasted bits are going fine, better than expected really - the points all seem to work and are hard wired so contact isn't an issue. Irritatingly some there's been some derailments/decoupling on the corners - hopefully only because these are currently temporary and not well laid.

The next step is to take the whole thing down, fill and paint the entire room as it's still pretty dingy and the light is terrible. After that the currently ballasted module will be moved across the room and set in its longer term location so I can finish the scenics (grass, buildings and some retaining walls).

At the same time I'll start to lay the station (on the currently empty board you can see in the background), build two linking modules that will take the layout across the room.

The planning thread explains more and will be modified soon as I need to nail the final track plan.

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=20015.0 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=20015.0)

Thanks for looking

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on April 10, 2016, 10:05:49 AM
That's looking very, very good and I envy you the length available to run decent rakes :envy:
However, I don't envy you the cost of putting such rakes together :no:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: MrDobilina on April 10, 2016, 11:05:15 AM
Hey a quick couple questions:
Where did you get you ballast from? The stuff I have is too big really :/

Also how do you recouple after decoupling with the magnets?
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Chris in Prague on April 10, 2016, 11:10:05 AM
Thanks for the photos. In my opinion, your scenic and trackwork looks very good.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on April 11, 2016, 07:33:51 PM
Thanks for the kind comments chaps.

@MrDobilina (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=5150)
- The ballast is sand - one of our fellow forumites in France once mentioned finding some fine sand on a path and it gave me the idea. The grain size is 0.2-0.3 mm (available here...http://derbyshireaggregates.com/resin-bonded/c52-sand-dried-0-2-0-3mm/ (http://derbyshireaggregates.com/resin-bonded/c52-sand-dried-0-2-0-3mm/)) and works out at about 1.1-1.5 inch ballast in the real world (I think). I got a quote by email for a quote then phoned them up to pay - it was £15 for 6kg, which isn't bad going. It's quite yellow though as you can see from the images so it will need painting - no reason that it couldn't be done before laying though I wanted the contrast with the darker sleepers anyway.
- the easi-shunts are a bit tricky, I've not used them much recently due to minimal running but iirc the two small magnetic arms need to be pointing away from each other (to the right as one looks down on the coupler from above) at about 20 degrees - this then means the coupling will clamp. If memory serves it is hard to re-couple above the magnets so you have to shunt back a bit to engage the couplings - I don't have the official magnets but they look quite long - a quartet of rare earth magnets as show above in this thread is quite a short zone so you don't have to push back very far at all.

My problem is spotting the blighters - they are quite well hidden now so I am going to have to add a cue such as a sign or some trackside debris.

Hope that helps!
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Caz on April 11, 2016, 07:40:19 PM

My problem is spotting the blighters - they are quite well hidden now so I am going to have to add a cue such as a sign or some trackside debris.

Hope that helps!

What I've done is put a small dob of yellow paint using a toothpick on the sleepers at either end of the magnet and a dob of white paint where the centre of my reed switch is embedded in the track.   ;)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on April 15, 2016, 09:07:45 AM
That sounds like something to try definitely, thanks!

The vid below sort of demonstrates it - I'd added some magnets at approx half way down the goods in and at the points end of each siding so that a shunter can split rakes and move them into the sidings. At this stage it's just to check that the magnets can still work really.

It's pretty cool to be able to shunt hands free, albeit that sometimes one has to shuffle the shunter forwards and backwards a few times to get it right - this is mainly because the couplings need to be tweaked a bit - the only uncouple when precisely over one magnet - when the magnetic arms are dropped and moved out a little they should need much less precision.

https://youtu.be/Lq7A4S00k6U

The biggest problem with easi shunt remains fitting the pockets - it's very very fiddly on a TEA tanker for example... Let me know if you want a post on how to do that, it's not easy and they are not particularly robust!
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on April 15, 2016, 09:36:37 AM

My problem is spotting the blighters - they are quite well hidden now so I am going to have to add a cue such as a sign or some trackside debris.

Hope that helps!

What I've done is put a small dob of yellow paint using a toothpick on the sleepers at either end of the magnet and a dob of white paint where the centre of my reed switch is embedded in the track.   ;)

I think the problem there is the blob of paint could be obscured by stock in the next siding so I'd be tempted to place a yard light (even if just a dummy one) next to each magnet assuming the spacing is OK :hmmm:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on April 18, 2016, 08:48:15 PM
Hi, I'm looking at the next planning phase over on the layout planning thread. Review/suggestions/ideas all warmly welcomed.

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=20015.0 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=20015.0)

Current prefered plan below (the two modules described so far are the green box, the next phase is the orange, final in red...).

Cheers

PT

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_22.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_22.jpeg.html)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on April 24, 2016, 07:53:24 PM
Right, time to decorate and build the next phase.

Quite a sad sight but kind of reinforces the value of modules...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_23.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_23.jpeg.html)

And the room is clear...

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pericolot/n%20gauge/image_24.jpeg) (http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/pericolot/media/n%20gauge/image_24.jpeg.html)

Now I'm filling the gaps and about to undercoat. Then comes some more carpentry and the real fun. Any views or ideas would be ace over on the planning thread... Ta!

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on June 19, 2016, 08:23:39 PM
Some rather prosaic progress that is time consuming but necessary...

1) sealed and painted the attic room
2) fitted secondary glazing
3) built supports
4) built 3 new modules including the tricky viaduct module and tricky corner

Some pictures that might help..

- at the corner (top right on the plan) the cut in the tracks should be 90 degrees for smoothest running across the cut therefore I'm adding a 45 degree angle as the break in the baseboards is mid corner.... Carpentry isn't my speciality but a few 135 degree supports and the whole thing is well enough braced. DCC supplies alignment dowels again are just the job.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/41/409-190616195545-412211022.jpeg)

- And the fit is sort of ok

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/41/409-190616195546-41223891.jpeg)

- and with the ply top on

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/41/409-190616195538-41216330.jpeg)

- close up of the viaduct - the module was built using a mixture of guesswork and proper physics, but one end does have a slight incline which I can probably disguise in due course.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/41/409-190616195542-412181700.jpeg)

- the big module that has will have the sidings and reversing loop is also done. It's going to be ages before I use it but figured it might as well be built and painted now. Still needs to be trimmed a bit

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/41/409-190616195537-41208263.jpeg)

- the overall view of the room gives a better idea of how it locks together - many of the module connections will eventually be under tunnels so do not need alignment dowels and can have fishplates to line the track up, those in view will have permanent cut tracks soldered into brass screws

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/41/409-190616195543-41219980.jpeg)

Now under-coated, then will be sealed and painted dark grey. More soon.

PT





Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: port perran on June 19, 2016, 08:28:16 PM
Excellent woodworking there which puts my "carpentry bodging" to shame.
I envy the space you have available.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on June 19, 2016, 09:47:21 PM
That's a smashing bit of work, but I have a concern about you being able to reach the back of the layout :uneasy:
It all seems set at a very low height as well. Will you be sitting on the floor to operate it? (Being an old git myself t'would be impossible)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: cornish yorkie on June 19, 2016, 11:10:51 PM
 :hellosign:  Thanks for the updates &  :greatpicturessign: all looking superb
regards Derek.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on June 22, 2016, 07:48:48 PM
Thanks for the kind comments. It is nice to be able to take the whole schebang to pieces for painting, electrics etc and still fit together properly.

Hi NPN, the rear 2/3 of the room is about 2 feet above the section near the camera so there is a 9sq foot well with full standing height, with what is effectively a bench across it. The rear part needs hands and knees really or sitting down, hence the carpet off cuts. You can see it better in the last image from my previous post (prior to painting the walls)

It's quite a nice sitting position at the front half but one day I might get nice bean-bag chair for the raised part! Not a huge amount of room by my two aren't that interested  :'(

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on July 03, 2016, 05:11:19 PM
Now painted (1coat q-d water based undercoat, 1 coat satin to seal and the top painted grey emulsion).

The 45 degree join looks ok..

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/41/409-030716170103-41613109.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/41/409-030716170059-416111020.jpeg)

And a nice big open space for sidings/reversing loop...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/41/409-030716170059-416111016.jpeg)

Viaduct with temporary supports...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/41/409-030716170052-416052344.jpeg)

And the full blank canvas...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/41/409-030716170051-41605574.jpeg)

I'm going up to NCE smart booster next and putting in a couple of circuit breakers - most of the bus wiring for the next section is in, now just need to alpha test it.

After that ...

- paint track,paint points (boring but soooo much easier than when in situ)
- start laying track again... Waheeeey!! :bounce:

Thanks for looking,

PT

Ps. Im thinking of doing the viaduct section with finetrax code 40 flexi but it sounds a bit fiddly - any votes for/against? I will have to connect it to set-track and it will all be on a ~130cm radius curve (doesn't sound too taxing...)





Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Chris in Prague on July 03, 2016, 06:39:32 PM
Thanks for the latest update. Looks very thorough and careful preparation prior to tracklaying. (I have to admit that I have yet to paint my track; I should see if I can buy suitable paints at a local model railway shop, soon!)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: cornish yorkie on July 03, 2016, 09:02:06 PM
 :hellosign:  :greatpicturessign:  of a job well done, thanks for the updates
regards Derek.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: mika on July 03, 2016, 09:55:07 PM
Wow, that looks really good. Wish I had that space... :(
I look forward to your next updates.

Cheers
Michael :)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on September 22, 2016, 07:58:02 PM
Monty, you terrible cant.



:ban:

1mm plasticard used which give about 8% (reading around it seems as though 7% was maximum for BR) one can just about make out the lean on the Peak. This engine was used as it is the most sensitive to changes in vertical relief and makes an OK transition into the super-elevated section.

Slow progress at the moment - getting the points in, the curves looking right, the track properly shaped and cut and the super-elevation takes time. There's also two baseboard joints to negotiate and the associated brass screws/solder.

I guess one only does it once so another 10 hours work from getting a train all around the room in both directions will be well invested.

Ta for looking

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on September 22, 2016, 08:28:44 PM
Not quite how I remember the quote from 'Withnail and I' ;)

The superelevation looks good to me. I think anything more would not look so good :hmmm:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on November 01, 2016, 07:56:54 PM
Rather hard work to... but WE'RE ALL THE WAY AROUND THE ROOM!!! :laugh3:

1) paint all track and points (doing this before laying is a must but beware the flexi track sticks rather so pre-fitting is not a bad idea)
2) attach droppers to every piece
3) cut and lay all track, add spare sleepers (dead cheap from peco) including... points that are laid with a huge and silly amount of perfectionism.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-311016202632.jpeg)

and the station fast up and downs lines.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-011116185930.jpeg)

4) add cant on sweeping curve
5) solder all rails across joins (x4 including two on a sweeping curve)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-311016202407.jpeg)

6) Check running with worst engine
7) cut track with razor saw

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-311016202548.jpeg)

8 ) and flip over the boards and solder/fit seeps, connect the Brilliant ADS-2fx DCC concepts point motors (more on those later if you're interested)
9) connect all droppers
10) send SB5 smartbooster back to NCE in the US to be fixed  :'( and dig out the old power cab
11) programme points
12) take photo of the unholy mess left by all of this (modules are easy to move and work under but do clutter the place when taken down.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-011116193228.jpeg)

13) flip modules back, reconnect and hey presto, everything fails/shorts :censored:
14) spend a day troubleshooting faulty/incorrectly wired board connectors, shorting frogs, Accessory decoder issues (more later)
15) re-re-connect and try again.
16) whoop with childish delight and run some of the new stock that one has treated oneself to during the darker moments.



The super-elevation has been slightly eased to mimic the BR maximum (150mm, which neatly becomes 1mm in N....). You can just see in the vid that the train drops slightly over the join due to a slight difference in height. I'm trying to decide if this is a 'feature' or something to actually fix...

More soon, it's been a busy old half term.

PT

Ps here is the track plan as a reminder..

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-011116195341.jpeg)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: lil chris on November 01, 2016, 08:21:05 PM
Looking good there, painting the loft room white instead of the varnish does make it look a lot lighter. Your cant curves look really good very impressive. What happened with your SB5 you did not seem to have it long and you are sending it back. I am impressed with mine, I am using 4x psx circuit breakers to split the layout into sections.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on November 01, 2016, 10:08:20 PM
Excellent and informative update.
 :thankyousign:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: daffy on November 01, 2016, 11:32:24 PM
Nice work. :thumbsup: the superelevation looks good.

I'm so envious of all that loft room space. My bungalow has a massive loft floor area but more trusses than a hernia clinic and a low angled pitch on the roof so sadly it's of no use for a layout. :(
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on November 04, 2016, 08:05:59 AM
Thanks ever so much.

The SB5 just goes into reset constantly, as if is eperiencing a short, even with nothing but the power connected. In my case there are two districts each controlled by their higher end circuit breaker.

Originally I'd have liked to have the marshalling areas separate from the rest of the layout but this would involve a hideous amount of wiring and the main objective is simplicity for future-proofing. The main divide between the districts is therefore the centre of the station as all tracks naturally break at the module join - one district going clockwise around to the lower goods yard and the other anti clockwise taking in the viaduct and the upper passenger yard.

Some more prosaic pictures of track on grey...

The viaduct with full track; it's about a 130cm radius curve which works OK. It isn't super elevated at the moment, not sure if I will or not yet.
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-311016202127.jpeg)

And some trains going over it, the point and tight 90deg curve in the background will be under a tunnel/scenic break at some point


Two views of the full room confirming that we have a full circuit...

1) the original two modules are now in their semi-permanent location, retaining walls will be the back-drop in front of the window. The gap in front is where the final module will be installed.
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-311016202002.jpeg)

2) you can see which bit I'm doing next already.... you can also see again that the space at the rear of the attic is pretty limited - this necessitated the modular approach anyway as I have to be able to remove them due to there being no space underneath. We were very lucky that the front third of the room is full height though!
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-311016201850.jpeg)

The plan now is to get the four station tracks and termini in place then install the reversing line module. At that point it will time for a serious test of how the layout performs, where the signals need to be and how they will operate. I've got plan but they normally become redundant after first engagement with the enemy...

...at this point I think I'm going to add some more scenics to the yard modules and add the main line signals, thus saving laying the final track sections for the future. I'd always wanted to take advantage of the modular approach to mix up activities and keep things fresh.

Thanks for looking & all the kind comments to date.

PT






Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: keithbythe sea on November 04, 2016, 09:34:19 AM
Nice layout and great attention to detail. I admire your approach, taking time to get things right as you go mixed with the pragmatic knowledge that "the best laid plans..."

Very interested to see how the viaduct develops - scratch build I guess?  :thankyousign:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on November 04, 2016, 10:03:04 AM
I'm sure the viaduct will look spectacular. I certainly envy you the long runs for trains :envy:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: daffy on November 04, 2016, 10:46:09 AM
Looking good, and the viaduct lower base idea is one I shall be using when I get my own layout started.
You have made excellent use of the available space and the modular style is understandable.
 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: cornish yorkie on November 04, 2016, 03:08:02 PM
 :hellosign: Thanks for the vids & updates, all looking good
   regards Derek.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Croxy on November 11, 2016, 01:31:43 AM
I like the look of the track plan and things are looking good......I'll be watching this as you make progress......
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: wookie on November 11, 2016, 04:09:44 PM
Looks like a great space to work with, and I like what you are doing.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on November 19, 2016, 05:21:49 PM
Thank-you, most kind. Indeed - the viaduct (probably a viaduct...) will be scratch built, most probably a long time from now.

Lots and lots and lots of hard graft on track painting/laying/point motoring/swearing (not so bad this time, only 1 major goof).

I've now added the two through bays & the second set of points. The long points are super-cool and almost line up perfectly with the crossing. I'd have liked slightly bigger gaps to the outer bays but it's wide enough (22mm rail to rail not 17mm, so about 2 1/2 scale feet.
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-141116221356-454451736.jpeg)

And a class 46 crossing over...


The top junction was a bit of a challenge, eventually I nicked a y point which quite nicely provides 5 degrees into the junction and 5 to continue the sweep around to the reversing sidings. I must be honest, it's not been straightforward to get such a complex juntion on a 90-100cm radius corner but the final result, minus a few tweaks, came out quite nicely.
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-141116221404-454661240.jpeg)

And from the station end. It's smart to photograph one's work close up as the imperfections are much clearer (some slight modifications to rail position, the odd dodgy sleeper (those on rail joins are not fixed yet).
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-141116221403-45466441.jpeg)

And the station throat, all curved points out of necessity and I've widened the main platforms to allow for some waiting rooms and more space around a bridge. I'm going for Nottingham meets Leicester meets Peterborough (I.e. The main hall over at the far end, two bridges, one at the hall end one about 1/2 way down, conveniently at the board join. This meant sweeping the termini left then right, the impression is intended, in the end, to give the illustion of straight through/straight on rather than a tight left handed after the station.
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/45/409-141116221409-4546881.jpeg)

Now embarking on the reversing loop on the 7th board and will be adding a second reversing section so I can install a small 4-6 coach island station (more future modelling opportunities) for DMUs etc for a little more operational interest.

I'm also running a heap of test trains now to check that operational features, planning for panels and signals.

Thanks for looking and, once again, for all of the supportive comments.

Cheers

PT

ps I got the SB5 back from the US (hurrah!). Kudos to NCE for a quick fix. They think it was a short which is possible as I had a coupe of problems early on when individually prepping the boards and circumventing the breakers. From now on I will be using the power cab if doing that and cant recommend using the NCE circuit breaker enough, they are magic.


Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: lil chris on November 19, 2016, 08:56:17 PM
Looking good there, pleased to here about you getting your SB5 back. I have one on my system, I upgraded to that so I could use circuit breakers but I am using PSX ones. I had a problem when I had a short that the SB5 still shut down even when using the circuit breakers. I changed the amps down to 1.27 amps and wired a re-set switch, so on a fault it does not automatically reset. It gives you chance to remove the cause of the short/fault then you press the reset button. I have had no problems since adopting this system, it makes sense really.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Yet_Another on November 19, 2016, 10:22:34 PM
Looking good there, pleased to here about you getting your SB5 back. I have one on my system, I upgraded to that so I could use circuit breakers but I am using PSX ones. I had a problem when I had a short that the SB5 still shut down even when using the circuit breakers. I changed the amps down to 1.27 amps and wired a re-set switch, so on a fault it does not automatically reset. It gives you chance to remove the cause of the short/fault then you press the reset button. I have had no problems since adopting this system, it makes sense really.

(slight hijack, apologies)
@lil chris (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=1784) : this is the second time I've seen you say that you upgraded to be able to use circuit breakers. Why is this?
I'm using a bog basic Powercab with a PSX2, and it works a treat.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: lil chris on November 19, 2016, 11:03:01 PM
Hi @Yet_Another (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4156) , when I first bought the Powercab and I was reading about it I read you could not use the NCE's own Circuit breaker with the Powercab. I misunderstood not realising I could have used a PSX with it.
But has it happens you gain some advantages using the SB5, I do not need the 5amps that is for sure.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Yet_Another on November 19, 2016, 11:42:32 PM
Hi @Yet_Another ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4156[/url]) , when I first bought the Powercab and I was reading about it I read you could not use the NCE's own Circuit breaker with the Powercab. I misunderstood not realising I could have used a PSX with it.
But has it happens you gain some advantages using the SB5, I do not need the 5amps that is for sure.

Ah, fair enough - I nearly made the same decision  :D
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on November 23, 2016, 08:39:28 PM
Something a bit more entertaining, some trains running with only one slightly sticking point frog. Forgive the music, v. poor mic on an iPad, not to mention the pianist.



The termini need extending slightly, 142cm isn't enough for HST with 7 coaches as they get a litttle adjacent when passing.... so another 3-4cm is needed. Bum.

A few small tweaks needed in the trackwork that are only obvious on camera too...

Cheers

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on November 23, 2016, 09:24:00 PM
Nothing wrong with the music to my lugholes :no:
The superelevation of the curves looks great but, as you say, that is somewhat of a tight fit :goggleeyes:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: cornish yorkie on November 23, 2016, 10:40:48 PM
 :hellosign: Excellent video, wow very   :censored: close, thanks for posting
     regards Derek.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on November 28, 2016, 10:30:36 AM
A little more test running. Whilst the main use of the mid station crossing is to allow access the the reversing section (more on that soon  :bounce:) and sidings a second use is to get short formed trains into the second platform and release them in the opposite direction.

Something like this...



Cheers
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on December 10, 2016, 04:58:00 PM
Nex up is the reversing sections. Contrary to the plan, and back to an old plan, I'm installing two loops for a host of reasons....
1) from an operational standpoint it would be nice to have the facility to run around a rake of wagons/coaches
2) it will look better
3) it will give the facility for a passing loop in a station or goods yard
4) (and most importantly) with two reversing sections it is possible to set up two auto reverses with different tolerances as the trip point varies among locos and needs to be higher lower for double headers.

It's now in place and painted...  I've also knocked up a quick removable tunnel to start to think about how the corners will look. This will eventually be a removable scenic cover.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/46/409-101216164150-4623565.jpeg)

Entry line...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/46/409-101216164145-462332201.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/46/409-101216164148-46234275.jpeg)

And the board join (the angle is more than I would like but it runs surprisingly well..

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/46/409-101216164143-462322441.jpeg)

From the mainline end..

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/46/409-101216164137-46230734.jpeg)

From the tunnel end

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/46/409-101216164142-46231415.jpeg)

They are parallel, honest, even though the camera seems to close them up in parts.

Vid of operations coming soon...

Thanks for looking...

PT

Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on December 10, 2016, 10:16:37 PM
I envy you that space and look forward to further developments.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on December 11, 2016, 09:22:26 PM
Video of a trip around the reversing section and back. The normal plan would be to run at least a circuit in each direction but this is cut short for video brevity.

It was very gratifying to get this working even remotely well despite the whole caboodle being modular.



For the next activity one is frozen between...

- working up the scenics on the yard side (probably a good idea before installing the final sidings in the reversing board
- installing said sidings (saving some juicy track laying for later)
- building the station control panel
- installing the final station terminus/escape Road (probably next)
- trialling the new 4 aspect signal and MAS sequencer that's in the post
 ???
Probably the latter two as they are on the same board and would be enough to provide a very high degree of operational flexibility.

All the best

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: willike1958 on December 12, 2016, 04:37:14 AM
Long trains, sweeping curves, BR blueÖ What more could you want?
Looking forward to seeing more of this layout as it develops
Kevin

My layout Houghtonbrook at: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=10285.msg106134#msg106134 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=10285.msg106134#msg106134)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on December 25, 2016, 11:43:22 AM
Merry Christmas to one and all!

 :beers:

A quick update regarding some festive lighting (tenuous link).

The main station tracks are all in so it feels like high time to do something different.

A 4 aspect signal and the marvellous MAS4 sequencer (Heathcote electronics) arrived from CR signals recently and I wanted to give it a test. Please let me know if you'd like more details of the wiring but the basics are...

- MAS4 plugs into DCC (AC) or DC (er... DC) power bus and is positioned under the baseboard.
- it has an IR lamp and receiver next to each other which poke up between the sleepers. When a train passes over it switches to red then progresses back to green via Y/YY with an adjustable interval.
- the detector doesn't quite fit between N gauge sleepers and in theory will work from below but I'm a bit belt and braces so I drilled through sleepers to avoid reflections setting it off. Any damage will be disguised with an EWS ramp later probably
- the signal can be then connected (R/Y/double Y/G/common neg). A quick test showed it worked
- now the genius part... to allow the signal to switch to red if the track ahead is at danger (e.g. If a point is set against it) there is a red return loop which when connected switches the signal to red. In practice one can connect the sequencer to an point accessory switch (e.g. On the excellent DCC concepts solenoid decoder) to make the connection and flick the signal to red.
- even better - if one connects two accessory switches in parallel the signal can be turned to red by two or more points. Super cool.

The vid below is a quick first test...
- train passes over, goes to red. After a time it cycles quickly back to green (I set it up as quick so you can see how it looks.
- in the second half I manually trip the switch to red and, after it goes to yellow, open the crossing ahead which in the real world would send the signal to danger.
- closing the points again sends the signal to YY, I.e. The decoder remembers where it was.
- the flaw in this is exposed when I switch the point in the distance (e.g. To release a train from the station platform) - the signal goes to red then returns to clear which is not quite right given the section ahead is occupied, but without full computer control (which I'm not ready for) this approach can't be perfect, furthermore, the return to green doesn't depend on the speed of the train so is could be a bit silly if set to quick (I'll have it as about 30s per colour, so a train at full speed past back past it again at YY.

There are other options with sectional recognition but this is a nice simple solution that fits this particular part of my layout and is future proofed in the modular world!



Hope that makes sense, I can post properly on this if it doesn't!

Have a great festive season

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on January 01, 2017, 08:24:44 PM
Happy New Year!!!

Station trackwork laid and painted. The reason they bend back to the right is to mimic through stations like Leicester/Nottingham and give the illusion of straight ahead...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/46/409-010117202151.jpeg)

The second control panel is now fully in play after managing to get in a few hours a day around smacking century old tiles off a bathroom wall. :headbutt:

The basics on generating a mini panel are here...

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=26073.0 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=26073.0)

Very simple indeed and this time I used a few momentary switches for single points rather than push buttons for routes and finished the panel with carefully applied marker pen and a label printer.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/46/409-010117201039-46757819.jpeg)

And the guts of the beast (using switches cuts down on wires vs push to make)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/46/409-010117201043-467662475.jpeg)

And with a first go at an index card... some gaps there, just in case... ;)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/46/409-010117201042-467642310.jpeg)

And where it will end up, more or less...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/46/409-010117201042-467641140.jpeg)



Cheers

PT







Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: lil chris on January 01, 2017, 08:53:04 PM
I like your panel it looks good to me.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on January 01, 2017, 10:19:56 PM
Sorry for the double post, I didn't have time to add some trains running. I had a go at the classic amateur zoomed in/zoom out/zoom in footage whilst test running last week.

Needs a better camera but the re-focussing and shaky hand held nature of the footage is redolent of a number of terrific videos that can be found online.

Of trains, obviously.



Cheers
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: cornish yorkie on January 02, 2017, 11:30:59 AM
 :hellosign:  Excellent video thanks for sharing
       regards Derek.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on January 29, 2017, 04:29:49 PM
Time for some station platforms.... like many platforms mine have the need for curves so the same method was adopted as in my trial layout. This is a big job... deeeeeep breath... there's about eight meters of often curved platform edge to cut.

- 1mm plasticard sheet is ideal for the platform surface - rigid enough to hold shape if adequately supported but thin enough to easily cut/sand smooth.
- 9.5 mm I-girders are exactly the right height when topped with the card. Plastruct (thick, robust and cheaper) or ever green (thinner but easy to cut) do the trick.

One starts with a cardboard template - repeatedly trimmed and cut to shape using the longest coach to get clearance right. This can be placed directly on top of the girders to get the height

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/48/409-290117160309-4807724.jpeg)

This is then taped onto the card and used as a stencil, marking out then cutting around with a sharp knife. If anything go larger than needed as it will need to be sanded/filed to get smooth later.

The I girders are roughly bent to shape and simply fixed underneath with polystyrene cement. There's about 5 minutes to move them around until it sets.  I like to leave a little over-hang on the platform as will use the top part of the I girder as a line of indented bricks (more on that later) as these are intended to look like midland stations on brick supports. I found out the hard way that it's best to stagger the links between the girder pieces but they can be supported with a diagonal as you can see in the images further below. The occasional cross piece gives sufficient rigidity.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/48/409-290117155202-480592442.jpeg)

The girders are trimmed to about 1 in 4 at the ends and the plasticard scored on the underside, bent and glued down. Needs a bit of careful knife work.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/48/409-290117155208-480721130.jpeg)

The sheet I have is about 45cm long so one needs several to make up each platform, a bit of tape when fixing and judicious use of support underneath gives quite invisible joins. The rough platforms are now in place...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/48/409-290117155214-48075331.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/48/409-290117155211-480742312.jpeg)

Time to go and run some trains and start sanding off rough edges etc.

Thanks for looking.

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Chris in Prague on January 29, 2017, 04:36:43 PM
Very nice work indeed. I prefer a solid base (balsa wood, easily sanded, too, to shape) for mounting station lamps and running in boards in but a plasticard surface should work fine, too.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: cornish yorkie on January 30, 2017, 11:23:14 PM
 :hellosign:  Many thanks for sharing, very informative & nice looking platforms
              regards Derek.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on July 24, 2017, 05:23:50 PM
Hi, I hope summer finds everyone well and in good spirits. It's been a busy half year with work and family so there's been no time to do more than make small steps and take the odd picture.  I'm on holiday now though and it allows a quick catch up...

First off, some distance edge testing. The corners were done using a mk3 but one should not forget the fact that steam Locos and DMUs have various bits sticking out.... some strategic sanding later we're in shape



This video revealed a few horrors which are not visible to the naked eye - namely that there's a few areas where the track dips slightly between baseboard cross battens, over the last few years the ply has warped slightly, most obviously near the baseboard joins.

Strategically placed pieces of thin plastic under the track sorted this out and is a good reminder of why temporarily fixing with screws between sleepers is a very smart idea. I've not gone for complete uniformity as one likes a little wobble - though a dip of over half foot in scale terms isn't really prototypical for a 100mph main line.

Once this was done replacement sleepers were put in throughout including near the track gaps. This is basically taking the peco packs of sleepers and spares that come with points and bashing them to be the right height etc. The superelevated section by the baseboards joins was a challenge... sorry, I forgot to take pictures this time but will post more on this in future if it helps anyone it is a lot of work that eventually pays off though.

Back to the platforms... the edging slabs were embossed with a sharp knife and,  having undercoated with some diluted grey, the tops were done with two coats of acrylic, one diluted one straight. The edge slabs picked out with white + a dash of umber and the white line added. The supporting bricks are another issue entirely. A dilute coat of dark brick red and a top coat still looked a bit ordinary. More work to do here as the prototype is darker brown overall and rather more variable (see next post).

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-240717163751-536921071.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-240717163747-5368576.jpeg)

Next up is cable trunking - as before the ratio kits are too perfect and need distressing somewhat (telling them about the current political Zeitgeist does this most effectively.

Anyway, the other issue I had was still having the orange cross trunking visible post ballasting so this time they are cut to length so they can sit somewhat higher raised up on plasticard strips and aligned to give the illusion of passing under the rails.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-240717163757-536942327.jpeg)

Next is getting all of the signals in place. These are ready made from CR signals and generally superb - I just don't have the time to build kits sadly. The double one has some light leakage from behind and will need a slight tweak but they are essentially magic. These are then controlled using TC2s which can take two signals per decoder and the commands are daisy chained into the mini panel point control sequences.

Finally, the point switch bars are trimmed and some dummy point motors added.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-240717163756-536941417.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-240717163801-536972016.jpeg)

There's also a platform mounted signal which I'll come onto later.

More soon namely some weathering, building the station tunnel, improving the brickwork etc etc. Keep 'em wanting more though, what?

PT



Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on July 24, 2017, 08:12:26 PM
That's going to be a most impressive station :goggleeyes:
A couple of the widest locos are the Minitrix 9F and the newer Farish 08 with outside frames. The current clearances look to be excellent, thanks in the main to your large radius curves.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: port perran on July 24, 2017, 08:21:17 PM
As Mick says, that certainly will be some station. Looks excellent.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: cornish yorkie on July 24, 2017, 09:32:08 PM
Hello. Many thanks for another very informative set of  :greatpicturessign:
The platforms look superb , excellent modelling
       regards Derek.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: keithbythe sea on July 25, 2017, 07:29:33 AM
 :thankyousign: Very informative and helpful. I'm a fan of plasticard, great to see it used so expertly.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on July 30, 2017, 09:51:38 AM
Hi, thanks for the kind comments. Quite right with respect to 08s, mine will be limited to the mainlines and yard duties as I wasn't prepared to compromise on clearance. The DMUs have great big bits of plastic sticking out at the front and rear which catch under the platmfors too and had to go as well.

Here's part two which brings things up to date...

As mentioned previously the station is intended to be of the Midlands type, loosely a cross between Leicester and Nottingham with a bridge over which carries the main booking hall.... but with artistic license having fast up & down.

This is a modular system so the support for the station bridge has to potentially allow straight through as well as a 90 degree turn. The supports are lengths of 44mm wood delivering decent but not excessive clearance.

Everything painted in Matt grey or black and some carefully placed lengths of card as light baffles; placement is key to limit light reflections etc.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-270717171429-537332372.jpeg)

The front end is composed of expanded polystyrene and then a careful covering of metcalf brick paper and card - the two different thicknesses are really useful.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-270717171433-53764226.jpeg)

The cover ended up being hardboard which I was quite worried wouldn't sit flat but just two battens cut to the right length and angle was sufficient.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-270717171433-537641546.jpeg)

And then in place...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-270717171440-537661874.jpeg)

Platform starter in place, as you'll see later this isn't tripped by a Heathcote module, I'm saving those for the 4 light signals. I should really add some coping to the top of the wall but it will be masked eventually but the footbridge that sits in front of the removable section.

The sub-platform brickwork was a conundrum - it is embossed brick paper so theoretically a wash should bring out the bricks but some burnt umber with water wasn't enough. I found a dark brown (Dunkelbraun, Humbrol) which at about 70:30 paint:water gave about the right level of inconsistency to the eye if not in pictures! I also had a go at adding some patches of a lighter colour in the motar which one often sees in  photos but it didn't come out right so was washed & painted over.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-240717163759-53696621.jpeg)

Trimmed Guagemaster buffers & buffer lights also added then a huge amount of wash-painting (water acrylic mixes) for sleepers, dummy point motors and trunking with full touching up of buffer lights and track e.g. Connectors and other areas where the Ni silver shines through.

Some other pictures with stock in place during final testing before fixing the platforms. My own view is that the lights are rather too bright and may need some small resistors adding.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-240717163801-53697951.jpeg)

View from platform 2....

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-240717163802-537001851.jpeg)

View down the station...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-240717163802-53699470.jpeg)

...and some trains running during testing. The class 33 (dummy, not DCC yet)/class 24 double header is a shade un prototypical but may be upgraded to two 33s soon.



The next jobs are...
- adding final track furniture, speed signs, relay boxes etc
- fix back platform & add retaining wall down the back (ugh...)

Then it's time to ballast as I won't be able to access the track as easily once the buildings, canopies and station furniture are added.

The plan is to get the station scenics to a decent level before switching back to electronics and track laying. At least a couple of sidings are needed in the main coach fiddle yard for proper running but taking the relevant board out is a major undertaking so I need to do it in one fell swoop really. In any case here's a taster of the future given the first control panel has been expanded to include the reversing section and the new, as yet unlaid, sidings.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-270717171439-53766163.jpeg)

But that's all in the future. Track laying is being kept back as a nice juicy carrot while the station scenics are done. I would really recommend this approach as it stops one rushing to put down track with bad consequences later e.g. If you take the time paint track and points before fixing it is miles easier than doing it later once the buildings are going in.

Holiday over, back to work.....

Cheers

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on July 30, 2017, 10:56:55 AM
Looks great. Thanks for the update (and the token steamer) :D
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Bealman on July 30, 2017, 11:09:18 AM
Looking awesome. Like NPN, I love the sweeping curves.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Train Waiting on July 30, 2017, 11:46:13 AM
This is a marvellous model railway.  It is pretty much the complete opposite to my present project and I think it is inspirational.  I really enjoyed seeing the parcels train double-headed by what looked to me like a 'Derby' and a 'Birmingham'.

I'm sure it's just me being silly, but I think that the BR blue livery on diesels and electrics looks much better on models like yours than it does (or did) on full-sized locomotives and rolling stock.

And your signals are most impressive.

Truly excellent.

Thank you and all the very best.

John
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: cornish yorkie on July 31, 2017, 10:48:04 PM
 :hellosign: Many thanks for the updates & superb video, looking brilliant
       regards Derek.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on December 24, 2017, 02:32:34 PM
Hello everyone,

Itís the usual festive period of holiday and slinking off to the attic to get some work done...

Iím currently forcing myself to complete the station scenics before going back to finish laying track so this next few posts will concern scenics and kit-bashing.

More detail was needed before ballasting, specifically some speed signs and EWS ramps obtained from Nbrasslocos...

http://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nhome.html (http://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nhome.html)

Soldering on the arrows is just a shade fiddly but with a pair of helping hands was not too bad...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-241217141326-5968020.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-241217140308-596531056.jpeg)

And ballasted (see earlier in the thread for details, I use fine sand to get away from the large rocks look one can easily get)... more on painting it later but Iím having to ballast now as it will be hard to do and paint once the bridges and buildings are on the platforms.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-241217140309-59676284.jpeg)

The next thing was to add a retaining wall around the curve, it was a change of plan but really had to be done before the ballasting continued. I donít have time to scratch build 1.5 metres of curved wall but found the perfect moulding at Langley models.

http://www.langleymodels.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Tunnels__viaducts__retaining_walls__culverts_and_walling__69.html (http://www.langleymodels.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Tunnels__viaducts__retaining_walls__culverts_and_walling__69.html)

The sheets are pretty easy to cut out and a few coats of grey/brown undercoat to give a more distressed finish with some dry-brushed cream on top to bring it the stonework looked ok. It will need weathering in due course and the odd bit of greenery to hide the joins.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-241217140315-596771311.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-241217140314-596771306.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-241217140606-59679190.jpeg)

There will be a brick wall down the back of the station platform in due course.

The ballast at this point is WIP (first coat of grey/brown on) and I then needed to layer some more as the covering was not sufficient.

Quick video of my other 4 light signal hooked up to a heathcoate module.



Got to dash, Iíve giblet stock, chestnut stuffing and a mountain of vegetables to prep.

Very best wishes & have a lovely day tomorrow.

PT






Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on December 24, 2017, 03:43:02 PM
All looking extremely impressive  :thumbsup:
As for the chestnut stuffing................. :drool: :drool: :drool:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: cornish yorkie on December 26, 2017, 10:20:03 PM
 :hellosign: Looking good, thanks for sharing
       regards Derek.
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on December 29, 2017, 08:09:07 PM
Thanks!

Next up was getting a bridge for half way down the platform. This was motivated by two main factors...

1) the main hall and bridge will be part of the booking hall over the far end of the platforms (as Leicester and Nottingham stations on which this is based) and it's a jolly long way for passengers to walk to switch platforms. Nottingham has a bridge mid way down so is a supportive prototype.
2) thereís a gap in the baseboard half way down the platforms and a moveable bridge would be a smart way to partly obscure it

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/53/409-240717163747-5368576.jpeg)

The gaps between platforms are quite odd (11cm and a standard 2 track) - so that meant a rather bespoke structure. After kicking this around for a few months I found the prefect kits to bash at www.yorkmodelrail.com (http://www.yorkmodelrail.com).

The Victorian iron bridge is a bit unprototypical but always look nice and this is one of the few options that had the potential to give a single bridge. Initially I was going to get two of the platform kits...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-261217110640-597282225.jpeg)

...I.e. two of these grafted together looked like an option but would have had an odd looking dip in the middle; however they also sell a kit with higher stairs which would allow a single long walkway.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-261217110640-59728279.jpeg)

A lot of measuring later and it was clear Iíd be one panel short but by cutting and blending the side and floor parts of the walkway it was possible to get a full 24cm span required which was quite rigid. The ironwork braces improved things further.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-261217105625-596871113.jpeg)

In the image below you can see the curved ends that are cut off the main spans. The steps system for this bridge are a bit fiddly as they are individual steps in slots on a side support, again they can be seen in picture below.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-261217105626-596872336.jpeg)

When all stuck together (lots of sitting around holding bits of plastic together whilst watching Wolf Hall on iPlayer, boy Rylance and Hill are so very much better than everyone else... one digresses...) and then extra glue added to strengthen it stands up and is fairly rigid. The supporting legs on the longer stairs version were too long and had to be trimmed (over trimmed in one case, bum; though I have a spare set in case it looks daft)...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-261217105632-597231206.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-261217105636-59725875.jpeg)

... and in place... happily the clearances are pretty much spot on...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-291217195055-59846432.jpeg)

After a coat of primer wash things look a bit nicer....

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-261217105910-597261389.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/409-261217105910-597262328.jpeg)

Iíve not decided in a final colour, but probably grey with darker coloured flooring and a few highlights on the steelwork. Maybe some rust too.

All in all the Yorkmodelrail kit worked out really well and, at around 25 notes for each kit, given the end restult was better than Iíd hoped for. Thanks YMR!

All the best and thanks for looking...

PT

ps donít ask how many hours it took but it was wonderful therapy after two very hard and comlplicated months at work...





Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on December 30, 2017, 12:15:44 PM
A most impressive kitbash, Sirrah :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: mk1gtstu on December 30, 2017, 01:01:12 PM
That footbridge looks superb! :thumbsup:

Cheers, Stu
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: mattycoops43 on December 30, 2017, 01:52:25 PM
That does look brilliant.

I'm wondering if the large span is a bit far for that type of bridge, should it have a leg halfway, between the tracks?

Matt
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: tutenkhamunsleeping on December 30, 2017, 02:31:46 PM
What an excellent build!  I didn't know this kit existed but I can see one moving into my stash in the new year 8)
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on December 30, 2017, 05:05:57 PM
I'm wondering if the large span is a bit far for that type of bridge, should it have a leg halfway, between the tracks?
A most apposite comment, the longest single span Iíve seen was about 10 divisions (March station) whereas this has 13 - unfortunately the engineer planning this railway failed to give enough of a gap between the fast up/down lines!

It might be possible to place a couple of single piers between the platform lanes and the two central lines; perhaps something to do once Iíve sorted out the final position, thanks for the suggestion.

Cheers

PT
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: mattycoops43 on December 30, 2017, 09:03:48 PM
I'm wondering if the large span is a bit far for that type of bridge, should it have a leg halfway, between the tracks?
A most apposite comment, the longest single span Iíve seen was about 10 divisions (March station) whereas this has 13 - unfortunately the engineer planning this railway failed to give enough of a gap between the fast up/down lines!

It might be possible to place a couple of single piers between the platform lanes and the two central lines; perhaps something to do once Iíve sorted out the final position, thanks for the suggestion.

Cheers

PT

No problem, and it wasn't a criticism. I have seen plenty of bridges with a pole or two stuck under as supports, is there not room between the tracks for a single girder?
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on January 01, 2018, 10:24:09 AM
Happy new year & a MASSIVE thank-you to everyone who has made this forum such a valuable community and resource.  The suggestions, support and sharing of ideas and progress are immensely inspiring.

Itís getting to the time when a name is needed for my mainline station and I have no ideas whatsoever. Some themes under consideration...

- reference to the modular design of the layout and/or its mobile nature
- oblique reference to the midlands from which it is inspired
- being from Leicestershire one has a host of LCFC references to reach for

Any ideas warmly welcomed either by reply or PM.

Anyhow, the third instalment of progress just concerns finishing the ballast. Coat one was a medium grey acrylic from a craft shop with about 20% burnt umber to dirty it up a bit. This was diluted with water to give about 2.5 times the original volume and applied by airbrush, except near to platforms and walls. It was clear in several areas the ballast needed building up, I was looking for a slightly untidy feel but they didnít tend to under-ballast main lines and Iíd left a few areas too threadbare. Adding fresh sand on top of painted ballast and re-spraying with a more diluted mix gave a nice unevenness.

One useful tip on ballasting points I picked up is to add a drop of oil to the moving parts of the switch rails - it means the PVA mix does not get into the gaps.

For the busier fast areas a 5:1 umber/rust was was added and then some diluted black more densely in the station areas and with a lighter touch elsewhere. Having studied photos from the later 80s/early 90s a light line of black was added along the lines to mimic the more specific emissions from diesels. With what was left it seemed wasteful not to finish weathering the MGR train (vide infra)

Everything still looked a bit stark so I went back with a light coat of grey/brown to soften things up a bit.

Looking from the bridge...
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/60/409-010118091743-60036929.jpeg)

And back from the bridge-that-is-yet-to-be-scratchbuilt...
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/60/409-010118091737-600241218.jpeg)

Punters-eye view...
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/60/409-010118091738-600241937.jpeg)

And a couple more...
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/60/409-010118095934-600391363.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/60/409-010118091746-6003745.jpeg)

...and with some trains.
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/60/409-010118091746-600371319.jpeg)

Having added a kilo or so of sand, 100mL glue and paint to the nicely running trackwork a thorough clean of the with isopropanol and a touch of clearing grit from rails and points was needed! Luckily most things ran fine immediately which is always a big relief.

Hereís a video with many of the previous trains and shots but with all new scenic features in place.



Next up is fitting a very long download-and-print wall to the far platform, all 1.5 metres of it....

Thanks again for looking and all the really helpful comments and suggestions. Have a great 2018!

PT


Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Newportnobby on January 01, 2018, 10:35:13 AM
Excellent! Nice diseasels (even if they're not green :P ;))

As for the station name, I used to sell sweetie wrappers to Fox's of Leicester for the Glacier Mint/Fruits and they were in Sunningdale Road, so how about 'Sunningdale'?
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: mk1gtstu on January 01, 2018, 10:52:21 AM
A superb layout! Track ballasting looks very realistic. My favourite era too  :thumbsup:

Cheers, Stu
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: weave on January 01, 2018, 11:11:29 AM
Hi,

Lovely pics and great video.

Fantastic stuff and looking forward to more.

Cheers weave  :beers:

Name suggestion re LCFC - Filbert, Fosse Road or together Filbert Fosse Road?
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: joe cassidy on January 01, 2018, 12:25:52 PM
Bravo !

I would love to see steam trains running on your layout.

Best regards,


Joe
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: JohnN on January 01, 2018, 01:02:44 PM
Fabulous work. The tracklaying is excellent and the kit bash on the bridge is superb.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: ptopo on March 24, 2018, 06:33:44 PM
Hi, thanks for the kind comments, they are very much appreciated.

After another hiatus due to real life issues Iíve been able to slog my way through building the station retaining wall. For anyone whoís missed it Iím trying to get a good deal of the scenics done on the station modules before finishing the remaining trackwork on the other side of the layout... and Iím not a natural at scenics.

The wall kit I thought Iíd try was from Modelrail scenics, the reason being that itís a very long wall (150cm, 5 feet) and needs curves a breakpoint and good flexibility. The pdf download was only a couple of pounds and could be reprinted over and over.

http://www.modelrailwayscenery.com/2014/03/brick-retaining-wall-n2mm1148/ (http://www.modelrailwayscenery.com/2014/03/brick-retaining-wall-n2mm1148/)

This prints out fine on decent Matt printer paper and is then stuck onto mounting card using simply print stick. It comes in various layers which are a shade fiddly and very tedious once one has cut and stuck 14 repeats. The main wall sections were sprayed with matt varnish (caution, does bubble bit if not well glued).

Stage 1 looks like this and is mounted in some expanded polystyrene as a backing. Thereís two layers here.
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/63/409-240318180554-63340237.jpeg)

A deliberate clash with the stone wall...
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/63/409-240318180602-633421723.jpeg)

The gaps between each section are obvious at this point and the grey lines above are for some extra stone strips to cover.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/63/409-240318180606-633431587.jpeg)

There's then some extra sections to cut out that cover the gaps and some stone work strips and capping that are a shade more fiddly again. Hereís an example of the cut outs.
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/63/409-240318180558-633421191.jpeg)

And the sortĖof finished wall...

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/63/409-240318180546-633381846.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/63/409-240318180544-633381490.jpeg)

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/63/409-240318180551-633402461.jpeg)

Up close you can see itís a bit ham fisted but from a distance it looks ok, the stone strips are longer than the repeats so the gaps are much less obvious on the finished wall. There are 3 or so different weathering repeats as well so if mixed up give a fair impression.

Overall Iím pretty happy with it so will probably keep it now and have learned a lot about download kits in the process. The next jobs for the station are to scratchbuild some canopies, kit bash a building or two and scratch build a bridge at the far end.

For now however here are some clips of my one and only steam locomotive as requested, plus a new arrival (more in that soon). The wall features a few times here too. I hope you enjoy , though the scenes are very similar to before!



Thanks for reading and very best wishes.

PT
 
Title: Re: Modular layout
Post by: Chris in Prague on March 25, 2018, 10:32:45 AM
Many thanks for the update. Good to see continued progress. The trackwork, including ballasting, is particularly fine.