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Your Layout and Models => Layout Construction => Topic started by: 4x2 on August 17, 2014, 11:05:11 PM

Title: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: 4x2 on August 17, 2014, 11:05:11 PM
Hi all !

Welcome to my latest creation - 'Earlstone Vale'

(http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee442/djmikeymike2011/IMG_20140814_230018_zps6e8b1458.jpg) (http://s1228.photobucket.com/user/djmikeymike2011/media/IMG_20140814_230018_zps6e8b1458.jpg.html)
As the layout is now.

I only have a small space available for a layout, and i've always used the standard 4ft x 2ft ready cut board from my local DIY store (hence my username  ::)). There have been a few exceptions where i've tired other things such as shelving and a plain interior door - the door got me thinking, but a move last year put pay to any plans for a while.

Fast forward to May this year and with moving sorted and the dust settled, a lovely supprise PPI payout put me back on track (sorry !), and I decided to attempt another layout. This provided much merriment to my mates as I have a bit of a reputation for starting layouts and not finishing them, this lastest idea being No16 (I think ? ::)).

Anyhoo, here's the plan - 4x2 isn't big enough to get decent curves on so with a careful bit of measuring I managed to fit 5ft x 2ft 6in into the available space, I purchased an interior door from B&Q but interior doors are 6ft 6in x 2ft 6in so i chopped off what i didn't need and fitted a new end piece to keep the strength. I set my minimum radius as 12in so virtually all stock will go around and it looks so much better 9in setrack curves, track is Peco code 55 and all 5 points are powered by Peco point motors fitted under the points and sunk into the door. The track plan is based on a layout in the November 1984 Railway Modeller called 'Barlow' but without the fiddle yard.

From the start I planned this layout to be DCC and i've spent a fair few quid on DCC stuff for this layout to allow everything to be controlled by one controller (NCE Powercab), all of the points are controlled by NCE 'snap-it' point decoders which take the power direct from the track and charge the onboard CDU - which means no extra wiring as the decoders are buried under the point motor. The electrofrogs are kept in check by a 'Frog juicer' which switches a frog polarity instantly when it detects a short, it's a great bit of kit and i highly recommend it.

(http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee442/djmikeymike2011/IMG_20140814_225534_zps9d32bab0.jpg) (http://s1228.photobucket.com/user/djmikeymike2011/media/IMG_20140814_225534_zps9d32bab0.jpg.html)
Frog juicer and NCE snap-it

I've chosen to model 1930's GWR, I've got a small collection of GWR loco's mostly in 'Shirtbutton' livery, but i also have a few in 'Great Western' livery. Plenty of GWR wagons and shiney private owner wagons (can't help it - soooo colourful !), 3 B-set coaches and an autocoach. Just finished DCC'ing my 45xx and i've got a Dapol Terrier in GWR livery in bits at the minute waiting for the right decoder.

(http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee442/djmikeymike2011/IMG_20140814_225902_zps24d9e50f.jpg) (http://s1228.photobucket.com/user/djmikeymike2011/media/IMG_20140814_225902_zps24d9e50f.jpg.html)
Dapol 45xx DCC fitted - look no wires !

(http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee442/djmikeymike2011/IMG_20140814_225705_zps78443476.jpg) (http://s1228.photobucket.com/user/djmikeymike2011/media/IMG_20140814_225705_zps78443476.jpg.html)
Dapol Terrier in bits....

This is how far i've got with the layout at the moment, sorry i haven't done updates from the begining - I wanted to make sure this wasn't another false start !


 
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Bealman on August 18, 2014, 01:53:51 AM
It's obvious from the pics that this ain't no false start!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: 4x2 on August 18, 2014, 06:25:46 AM
Thanks bealman !

The hard part has been done now, the track has been well tested (played with....), all the little faults ironed out, I think it's a good as it's gonna be. Once I've decided where to put the platforms I can make a start on the scenery.......
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: port perran on August 18, 2014, 06:42:58 AM
Looking good.
Please keep us up to date with your progress.
Always good to see another GW layout.
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Ditape on August 18, 2014, 07:57:33 AM
I have similar problem I start layouts,then find something that either doesn't work or turns out to not really what I want I have just started a new layout "Snoozebury" this is the mark 2 version of this project I hope to complete this one,my OO and t-gauge layouts are both about 3/4 done but neither is quite what I was hoping for,so fingers crossed for this one. :hmmm:
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Caz on August 18, 2014, 08:17:51 AM
Steady Mike, don't overdo it, you've got your reputation to think about, this looks good and is actually going somewhere and may even be finished.  Looks like you'll being needing some of things on my secrets thread to hide all those above baseboard electrics.   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Bealman on August 18, 2014, 09:38:43 AM
Ooh... more secrets  ;D
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Malc on August 18, 2014, 09:49:47 AM
Looking good Mike, fingers crossed that this one is a goer. Will watch this thread with interest.
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Danfilm007 on August 18, 2014, 10:29:48 AM
Looks good mate, look forward to progress!
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Newportnobby on August 18, 2014, 11:07:15 AM
As others have said, this looks in grave danger of becoming a finished layout, Mike :D
If you need any GW cattle wagons let me know as I have 5 up for grabs :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: 4x2 on August 18, 2014, 01:09:07 PM
As others have said, this looks in grave danger of becoming a finished layout, Mike :D
If you need any GW cattle wagons let me know as I have 5 up for grabs :thumbsup:
PM sent !
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Chatty on August 18, 2014, 01:15:45 PM
Mike

Great start.  Should be a neat layout in the end.

Kind regards

Geoff
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: 4x2 on September 08, 2014, 05:53:36 PM
A quick update....

I haven't done too much in the last week as I've been preping Black Sheep Lane, but today I have been tinkering with Tomix semaphore signals. These are quality units that have similar motors to Kato, and although they are designed for Japanese layouts, they can easily pass for GWR signals. It's powered by an NCE SWTICH-KAT decoder used normally for Kato points which also has a handy power supply for the signal lamp.

These are much better than the Dapol ones in my humble opinion and they are much easier to hide.

STOP !
(http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee442/djmikeymike2011/IMG_20140908_1718247751_zpsb1d8462a.jpg) (http://s1228.photobucket.com/user/djmikeymike2011/media/IMG_20140908_1718247751_zpsb1d8462a.jpg.html)

PROCEED...
(http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee442/djmikeymike2011/IMG_20140908_171809824_zps5fd4a924.jpg) (http://s1228.photobucket.com/user/djmikeymike2011/media/IMG_20140908_171809824_zps5fd4a924.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 08, 2014, 09:58:06 PM
This is already looking like it will be a very nice layout. On a friend's recommendation, I will be buying a NCE Powercab for Cant Cove. (I'm SLOWLY getting all the locos. which are not DCC-fitted converted). I had no idea that I could control points are controlled by NCE 'snap-it' point decoders which take the power direct from the track and charge the onboard CDU - which means no extra wiring as the decoders are buried under the point motor. As I'll be using a layer of insulating board on top of the baseboard for all the track to be mounted on I was already planning to bury the (future) point motors. I LIKE the sound of: no extra wiring!

The need to keep electrofrogs in check by a 'Frog juicer' which switches a frog polarity instantly when it detects a short I know about but that is the limit of my knowledge. Cant Cove features a three-way point (I have all the track and points) for which a 'Frog Juicer' is, I've been told, essential, but I have not bought one, yet.
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: 4x2 on September 08, 2014, 10:12:29 PM
The frog juicer is a great piece of kit, a little expensive but worth it.

Best thing about this DCC setup is that I have 4 points, 4 point decoders, 2 signals, 2 signal decoders and my frog juicer.... And still only two wires from the controller to the track !  (not including the point frog wires)

The NCE powercab is rated at 2 amps and even with a large train running around the layout doesn't even break 1 amp... All my decoders are buried under the track and so far have been faultless (touch wood !)

Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 09, 2014, 07:43:09 AM
" . . . only two wires from the controller to the track", you don't know how happy you've made me: NO soldering!
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 09, 2014, 07:43:59 AM
Which 'frog juicer' have you got, please? Did you also buy it from DCC Supplies?
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: 4x2 on September 09, 2014, 07:55:24 AM
" . . . only two wires from the controller to the track", you don't know how happy you've made me: NO soldering!
there will be a little bit, you'll have to solder wires from the frogs to the frog juicer and there may be one or two dead sections that will need a feed, but you can pinch that from another track like I did. My layout is quite small so it's all easy to do, a bigger layout is going to need more separate feeds. That said Elvinley is an 8ft x 4ft layout and can be run on DCC with just 2 wires.....
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: 4x2 on September 09, 2014, 08:08:16 AM
Which 'frog juicer' have you got, please? Did you also buy it from DCC Supplies?
I've got the Tam valley Hex frog juicer and I bought it from www.coastaldcc.co.uk (http://www.coastaldcc.co.uk) for 56.50. I don't think dcc supplies stock them, well I couldn't find it on their site anyway.... Coastaldcc are actually very good and have used them a few times now and will do again.
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Caz on September 09, 2014, 08:26:27 AM
Digitrains also stock Hex frog juicers, seems them and Coastal are the only two in the UK, I have asked DCC Supplies in the past whether they were going to carry them but never received an answer?
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 09, 2014, 08:29:10 AM
" . . . only two wires from the controller to the track", you don't know how happy you've made me: NO soldering!
there will be a little bit, you'll have to solder wires from the frogs to the frog juicer and there may be one or two dead sections that will need a feed, but you can pinch that from another track like I did. My layout is quite small so it's all easy to do, a bigger layout is going to need more separate feeds. That said Elvinley is an 8ft x 4ft layout and can be run on DCC with just 2 wires.....

Many thanks for the details. I think I can find someone to solder wires from the frogs to the frog juicer. Taking power for any dead sections from another track is another excellent idea. I don't think I will need any dead sections. The DCC programming track will, probably, be completely separate. Cant Cove is of similar size as it has to fit under one half of my double bed!
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 09, 2014, 08:31:31 AM
Which 'frog juicer' have you got, please? Did you also buy it from DCC Supplies?
I've got the Tam valley Hex frog juicer and I bought it from [url=http://www.coastaldcc.co.uk]www.coastaldcc.co.uk[/url] ([url]http://www.coastaldcc.co.uk[/url]) for 56.50. I don't think dcc supplies stock them, well I couldn't find it on their site anyway.... Coastaldcc are actually very good and have used them a few times now and will do again.


So, I will order, next month, a Tam valley Hex frog juicer from Coastal DCC, then. (I won't have time for tracklaying for several months. If I can buy, cut and lay the insulation board sections on my baseboard before Christmas I'll be happy.)
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: johnlambert on September 17, 2014, 03:07:34 PM
Signals look great, Mike!  Any suggestions on where to buy as I could use a couple for my layout.
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: 4x2 on September 17, 2014, 04:46:28 PM
The signals are Tomix and they can be bought in the UK, Osbourne's sell them but they are a bit expensive.... :o

I got mine from an EBay seller in Japan called 'plazzajapan' . It does take a few weeks for delivery, but as you can see they're well worth the wait !
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: johnlambert on September 17, 2014, 08:06:30 PM
Found them on Plazajapan, those prices look a lot easier to swallow than Osbourne's!

It looks like you've removed the base from your signal to get it on the platform, or is that an illusion?
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 17, 2014, 08:08:55 PM
PlazaJapan is very good; I bought some forklift trucks and figures from them.
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: 4x2 on September 17, 2014, 08:26:34 PM
Found them on Plazajapan, those prices look a lot easier to swallow than Osbourne's!

It looks like you've removed the base from your signal to get it on the platform, or is that an illusion?
You can't remove the base, it won't work otherwise !

What I did do is cut a hole in the platform big enough to fit the signal arm through, then fed the signal through the hole and glued it to the underside of the platform. The hole on the platform surface was covered by the extra sticky sheet that Metcalfe provide with the platform kit, if you look carefully you can see the sticker edges... I will weather it at some point and they should hopefully be barely visible.
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: port perran on September 17, 2014, 08:30:48 PM
Could you supply a link to signals at Plazajapan if possible ?
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: johnlambert on September 17, 2014, 08:34:26 PM
Found them on Plazajapan, those prices look a lot easier to swallow than Osbourne's!

It looks like you've removed the base from your signal to get it on the platform, or is that an illusion?
You can't remove the base, it won't work otherwise !

What I did do is cut a hole in the platform big enough to fit the signal arm through, then fed the signal through the hole and glued it to the underside of the platform. The hole on the platform surface was covered by the extra sticky sheet that Metcalfe provide with the platform kit, if you look carefully you can see the sticker edges... I will weather it at some point and they should hopefully be barely visible.

Ah, that's useful to know.  Not sure if I'll be able to integrate those signals into my layout in that case.  Might have to be content with some non-operational ones.

Thanks for the info.
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: 4x2 on September 17, 2014, 09:02:04 PM
Could you supply a link to signals at Plazajapan if possible ?
Here you go !

Home
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tomix-5545-Mechanical-Semaphore-Entry-Signal-N-scale-/121293301665?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item1c3da4e7a1 (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tomix-5545-Mechanical-Semaphore-Entry-Signal-N-scale-/121293301665?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item1c3da4e7a1)

Distant
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tomix-5546-Mechanical-Semaphore-Distant-Signal-N-scale-/360880011058?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item54061ff732 (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tomix-5546-Mechanical-Semaphore-Distant-Signal-N-scale-/360880011058?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item54061ff732)

Platform Home
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tomix-5543-Mechanical-Semaphore-Exit-Signal-N-scale-/360998785458?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item540d3451b2 (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tomix-5543-Mechanical-Semaphore-Exit-Signal-N-scale-/360998785458?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item540d3451b2)
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Caz on September 17, 2014, 10:12:19 PM
Don't forget if you buy direct from Plaza Japan you might have to pay VAT and the horrendous Post Office Customs charge on top of the price you pay for them.   As has been said before, it is a postcode lottery as to whether you get lumbered with the charges, you pays your money and takes your chance.   ;)
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: 4x2 on September 17, 2014, 10:47:28 PM
Don't forget if you buy direct from Plaza Japan you might have to pay VAT and the horrendous Post Office Customs charge on top of the price you pay for them.   As has been said before, it is a postcode lottery as to whether you get lumbered with the charges, you pays your money and takes your chance.   ;)
Most of the time I get away with customs charges, but every now and then I have to pay - usually if the item has a motor. I didn't pay for a few plastic kits or the signals, so I'm quite confident in buying from them again.
Title: Re: Earlstone Vale - 1930's ish GWR in 5ft x 2ft 6in DCC
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 18, 2014, 05:50:52 AM
Those Tomix signals are very tempting . . .