N Gauge Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: mildon49 on December 27, 2018, 03:13:59 PM

Title: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: mildon49 on December 27, 2018, 03:13:59 PM
Hi,
I am very new to model railways, previously only having as a kid a hornby basic set.
I have been wanting to get into it for a long time, as have good modelling skills overall just never to use in railways.
Well i have been given a N Gauge starter set (https://picclick.co.uk/Graham-Farish-by-Bachmann-N-gauge-Junior-starter-223226909236.html)
I want to use this as a basis to build a layout.

Few questions to start, there will be much more so i hope you are all patient (happy to help others out whenever i can in other ways, i am bit of a bike (bicycle) expert so fire back at me at will.

1) there seems to be lots of different tracks in N gauge, what track type is with this set so i can buy additional of the same?
2) the couplings i believe are called rapido..? they do the job but seem a bit...meh (sorry for the brilliant prose i use) is there a better system i can upgrade them too? if these are the best, then can you replace them (1 has missing spring so doesnt work)
3) i want to have a shunting yard (eventually), can you get an electronic decoupler?
4) i would like electronic points is that possible?

I hope to get some good advice, and become active member on here and eventually show you my creations!
Thanks
Lee
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: ntpntpntp on December 27, 2018, 04:00:27 PM
Hi and welcome!

1) Graham Farish sets seem to come with Peco Setrack these days, so that's the obvious system to buy to expend your set to begin with. Later on you can move to Peco Streamline flexible track and larger radius points etc.

2) Yes the defacto standard coupling for N is the Rapido design (originated by Arnold Rapido in the 60s).  It works and it's great to have a standard coupling fitted by all manufacturers, but yes there are alternatives and the advent of the NEM coupling pocket at least makes changing out for something else an easier job.   You mention one has a missing spring which implies that's NOT an NEM coupling but the older sprung T-shank design of Rapido?

3) You can get electrically operated uncoupling ramps which work with Rapido couplings, or magnetic systems which require a modification to the coupling or use of an alternative coupling design.

4) Electrically operated points is certainly possible. Peco sell motors for their points which mount underneath.  You may like to consider alternative track systems such as Kato Unitrack which have neat motors built into the point itself.  If you're going to change track systems, probably best  to do that before you invest in more Peco track?
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: crewearpley40 on December 27, 2018, 04:05:23 PM
hi worth a read, newport nobby's guide :

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=35556.0 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=35556.0)


what era / years / location or is it rule 1 ? do you intend to model ?

good luck

there are lots of friendly modellers here to help

chris
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: mildon49 on December 27, 2018, 04:19:01 PM
Hi,

thanks for replies so far!
I do believe that this is quite an old system yes, i have attached a photo of the coupling type from what i can find on the net... I will take photo of actual one when i am at home later.
till then, thanks
Lee
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: RailGooner on December 27, 2018, 04:26:39 PM
Hi Lee and welcome aboard! :wave: I hope you'll find this forum as friendly and helpful as I have. :beers:

 :NGF:
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: Ian Bowden on December 27, 2018, 04:39:44 PM
Hi,

thanks for replies so far!
I do believe that this is quite an old system yes, i have attached a photo of the coupling type from what i can find on the net... I will take photo of actual one when i am at home later.
till then, thanks
Lee
it is the standard Graham Farish coupling. A little fiddly to reinstall the spring, a small dab of superglue on one end of the spring might help. the Peco version does not have a spring and do operate slightly differently. Uncoupling is done by lifting the hook up and to the side. a lot of information on uncoupling can be found on this forum from using the simple Peco ramp to Dapol  easyshunts and other exotic couplings. A book could be written about couplings and fine tuning the uncouplers - read the latest posts in the train shed project where innovationgame has been experimenting with couplings.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: Ditape on December 27, 2018, 04:39:54 PM
 :hellosign: :welcomesign:
I am biased but I would favour skipping what came with the set and go down the Kato unitrack route it might be slightly more expensive but it is plug and play and works reliably straight out of the pack with no fiddling or tweaking.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: ODRAILS on December 27, 2018, 04:43:05 PM
Hi and welcome!

1) Graham Farish sets seem to come with Peco Setrack these days, so that's the obvious system to buy to expend your set to begin with. Later on you can move to Peco Streamline flexible track and larger radius points etc.
..................................................


Beware - Two recent Farish 4F 0-6-0 sets I've had in the last three years have not included Peco Setrack but Farish/Bachmann own brand sectional track.
The rail section of this track looks slightly wider than Peco's and the rail joiners are bigger. The Farish/Bachmann track does not easily join up with Peco. There's nothing wrong with the Farish/Bachmann track - it's cheaper than Peco and easily available from Hattons, but joining with Peco setrack is not straightforward.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: dannyboy on December 27, 2018, 04:46:01 PM
I am with Di on this one.  :thumbsup:.  My first layout sprang from a GF set with the Peco track but for my second layout, I have gone with Unitrack and not regretted it for one second. There are plenty of Youtube videos about the track and the following site gives a wealth of information about Kato and Unitrack -
www.fiferhobbies.com (http://www.fiferhobbies.com)
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: scotsoft on December 27, 2018, 06:41:33 PM
I also use Kato Unitrack and I will swear by it for ease of use and reliability. The built in ballasting can be easily weathered to make it more realistic.

You will find good prices at Train Trax.

Cheers John.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: Railwaygun on December 27, 2018, 06:45:07 PM
Iím biased as well , so I can recommend. UNitrack for the track/ points for your layout.

It will help you set up quickly, adapt and improve, as inevitably you will want to go large(r).

You can rip,it apart and rebuild it as you develop. The points have motors built in 

It might Be best to leave DCC, uncoupling and shunting till you have more experience / playtime!

There is a Unitrack Hintín tips thread here:

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=7079.0 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=7079.0)

Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: bluedepot on December 27, 2018, 08:31:06 PM
hello and welcome

other people have beaten me to the answers!

good luck with your layout

Tim
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: Newportnobby on December 27, 2018, 09:48:11 PM
Hi Lee, and welcome aboard :wave:
Most of all - have fun! If you hit problems there are 1000's of us, many with possible solutions.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: mildon49 on December 28, 2018, 09:08:10 AM
Hi Guys,

sorry for late reply, issues at work etc didnt get to do any photos last night!
Lots of food for thought though from you guys which is hugely appreciated.

Cheers
Lee
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: port perran on December 28, 2018, 09:40:06 AM
Welcome aboard.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: Railwaygun on December 28, 2018, 09:44:20 AM
The UK model shop website lists all local clubs, reMR shops and shows in your area.

http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk (http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk)

Go to some shows and see what is on offer - the good, the bad and the Ugly!

Not everyone achieves a rivet- perfect model railway, many of us are happy with a loop of track and playing trains!
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: Delboy on December 28, 2018, 01:45:39 PM
 :welcomesign:
You will find us a friendly and informative bunch. Good luck with whatever you choose as your track, but do a lot of research before laying your track on here, You-tube or the internet. You can learn from others the pitfalls to avoid before having a go. Best of luck.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: mildon49 on December 28, 2018, 02:25:41 PM
i never realised it would be like going back to school all this research :)

My idea for first set is....what i like, trains, carriages and wagons that i like and dont care about period and compatibility in real life.
Then i will move onto doing a recreation of something from my localish area (i am near brighton).

looking forward to get stuck in, going to work out track planning etc over the weekend, on that note....what do people use to plan track in n gauge?
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: Delboy on December 28, 2018, 02:36:27 PM
To plan my track I use Anyrail which does cost but is excellent. I believe Scarm is free and another option but have read that it is more difficult to use than Anyrail. Hope this helps.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: RailGooner on December 28, 2018, 02:41:43 PM
i never realised it would be like going back to school all this research :)
Ö

..
looking forward to get stuck in, going to work out track planning etc over the weekend, on that note....what do people use to plan track in n gauge?

There's a wealth of opinion archived within the forum Lee. A search for track planning software throws up many results including:

   https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=1736.msg17629#msg17629 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=1736.msg17629#msg17629)

HTH
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: mildon49 on December 31, 2018, 04:38:21 PM
Right thanks to you all so far.
I now know and sorting track, and much else beside.
I also been having fun in scram to work out layout.

Which leads me to another quest!
I have challenged myself to build a layout in 2 x 4 foot,
I want to get a train up a slope to give bit of height, is that possible on this size?
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: mildon49 on December 31, 2018, 04:49:35 PM
Oh and of course I donít expect anyone to reply tonight!
Happy new year to you all
Lee
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: crewearpley40 on December 31, 2018, 04:52:07 PM
i just lay my track on the board and arrange, pencil in curves, points, try seeing what fits where, as am not a fan of technology
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: ntpntpntp on December 31, 2018, 05:36:15 PM
To be honest I think attempting a gradient in that sort of space is ambitious but not impossible.  You'll find some of the pre-formed layouts offered by continental manufacturers achieve it in that sort of space but it does look very "train-set" like.

For example Noch's "Bergun" layout is 4x2 ish:
https://www.noch.com/en/product-categories/model-railways/preformed-layouts/fertiggelande-bergun.html (https://www.noch.com/en/product-categories/model-railways/preformed-layouts/fertiggelande-bergun.html)

If you work on a ruling gradient of maybe 1 in 30 then you need a run of 6' to rise 2" which is the sort of clearance you need to get one track to bridge another.  The curves will be tight will will add further drag to the train and severely reduce the length and number of wagons you can expect a loco to be able to haul up the gradient.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: dannyboy on December 31, 2018, 06:13:51 PM

I have challenged myself to build a layout in 2 x 4 foot,
I want to get a train up a slope to give bit of height, is that possible on this size?

My first layout was in a 4' x 2' coffee table. The layout does have a gradient, but I can not tell you what it is at the moment, so, yes, it is possible.  :thumbsup:
The best way is to build a mock up of the layout and gradually add blocks or whatever under the track to create the incline and see what is possible.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: DarrwestLU6 on December 31, 2018, 06:22:27 PM

4) Electrically operated points is certainly possible. Peco sell motors for their points which mount underneath.  You may like to consider alternative track systems such as Kato Unitrack which have neat motors built into the point itself.  If you're going to change track systems, probably best  to do that before you invest in more Peco track?

Hi there and welcome to the Forum! It's a mine of information and friendly advice.

I love the Peco track myself. Just wanted to say if you build a layout where you can't get access from underneath for any reason or have limited space, Peco also do a surface mounted point motor that operates sideways - see https://peco-uk.com/products/side-mounted-turnout-motor - It is built for OO/HO but I have it working fine on my N gauge points. You just need to cut the mounting lugs off on the side nearest the point to get close enough and it'll fit. Or use a short stiff wire like a paperclip to connect the motor arm to the point, and you can then hide the point motor under a building, platform, scenery etc. This might suit a coffee table if you can't access from underneath.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: DarrwestLU6 on December 31, 2018, 06:31:25 PM
PS - If you have tight spaces BUT want to go multi-level then you could consider putting in a helix. You could hide some of it in a tunnel or behind a backscene? It's true though if you have tight curves you need to reduce the gradient. A good thread on this here: https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=41912.msg539768#msg539768 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=41912.msg539768#msg539768) which covers the curve radii and inclines...
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: mildon49 on January 05, 2019, 05:47:34 PM
right i have decided on layout order everything i need (for now to get me going....)
I have also built my own dc transformer and speed controller!
Now i want to power points etc, so need this elusive 16v ac power supply.....
has any one built their own 16v supply?
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: ntpntpntp on January 05, 2019, 08:10:55 PM
Now i want to power points etc, so need this elusive 16v ac power supply.....
has any one built their own 16v supply?


Yes, I simply used a readily available 240V - 16V step down transformer  (actually I used Gaugemaster  T1  twin 16V output transformer). The same transformers I use to power my controllers, so I have two of these transformers in my unit, plus another which drives a CDU for point power.

(http://www.gaugemaster.com/_upload/imgs/lrg/34408/GMC-T1.jpg)
http://www.gaugemaster.com/item_details.asp?code=GMC-T1 (http://www.gaugemaster.com/item_details.asp?code=GMC-T1)

Obviously if you build your own it needs to be cased safely and earthed/fused etc.


(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/72/5885-050119201712.jpeg) (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=72897)
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: Bealman on January 06, 2019, 02:32:28 AM
That's a nice looking unit you've put together there!  :thumbsup:

Multiple outputs via banana sockets I guess, but can I ask what the heat shrinked connection is, please?

Actually, I wouldn't mind see a pic with the lid off!  :beers:
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: ntpntpntp on January 06, 2019, 11:12:02 AM
Multiple outputs via banana sockets I guess, but can I ask what the heat shrinked connection is, please?
The box was built in the late 80s for my previous layout, and has served me ever since.

The D-Sub 15 is actually the main layout connection and feeds up to the main control panel.  The terminal posts are for test purposes or when I just want to use the box as a bench power supply.   

To be honest, if I were building it now I'd probably use a different multi-pin connector to the layout with more current carrying headroom per pin, but the D-Sub works fine.  About 10 years ago I uprated the actual cable, which is why it's now a pair of thicker cables heat-shrinked together. The original cabling I'd used was too thin (computer data cable)
 
Left to Right:
1x 24V DC internal CDU with charging/ready LEDs (used with the previous layout before I started fitting individual CDUs to each point).
4x 16V AC (now used as 3x controller power plus 1x accessory power)
1x 24V DC (CDU power bus)
1x  6V DC (I think now disconnected, formerly used for powering the drive for a Peco turntable on the previous layout)



Quote
Actually, I wouldn't mind see a pic with the lid off!  :beers:

It's all packed away in our garage at the moment. Perhaps one day I'll snap a photo, but it's not that interesting!  There's a main fuse on the back, the mains is then split to 3 transformers, the outputs go into a choc-bloc array before distribution to the D-Sub and the terminal posts. There's a CDU in there and a couple of bridge rectifiers for the DC outputs.
Title: Re: New to N Gauge, help required
Post by: Bealman on January 06, 2019, 08:41:57 PM
Thanks for that!  :thumbsup:

Oh, and by the way, G'day from Australia, Lee, and welcome to the NGF!  :beers: