N Gauge Forum

Your Layout and Models => Layout Construction => Topic started by: lil chris on November 05, 2019, 04:35:10 PM

Title: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 05, 2019, 04:35:10 PM
Hello everyone this is the new post I promised for the start of my new layout. I have not started to make the baseboards yet but today I went to B&Q and my local model shop "The Loco Shed". I have bought some Wago connectors from B&Q, they did not have them on the shelf I had to ask. I also bought some Gaugemaster connectors too from the model shop, hopefully these buys will help considerably with the wiring of the new layout, a little less soldering. I have made a few decisions regarding the new layout after talking to one of the guys ( Roger) in the shop I decided to use my Cobalt motors with a Cobalt Alpha to control the points. Again no more struggling soldering wires to interface the switches for the Peco Pl10 motors, I had noticed a couple of the wires looked loose on the 25 D connector. I have ordered a Cobalt Alpha kit and also ordered a box of code 55 track, supporting my local model shop. Sometimes going into your local shop is worth paying a bit extra for the free advice. The shop will also take my code 80 track off me and the peco motors, I don't imagine I will get a lot for it but everything helps.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/83/1784-051119163352.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: port perran on November 05, 2019, 04:39:55 PM
Good luck with the build Chris.
Iíll be following with interest.
Martin
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 05, 2019, 04:43:06 PM
Thanks Martin I have been watching your new build too, I enjoy this part of building the layout its exciting and fun.
Another thing is I reinstalled Windows 10 yesterday on my railway computer ie this computer. I installed it a couple of weeks has a free  upgrade but it kept playing up on startup so I decided to do a clean install from a USB stick. I was forced to use the diskpart command to get it to install but it is running smooth now and considerably faster. And I have a lovely pic on my desktop of the class 108 DMU going over the Viaduct on my East Lancs railway layout.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: jpendle on November 05, 2019, 04:50:56 PM
Have fun.

John P
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 05, 2019, 08:33:26 PM
I forgot to add on my post i also bought one of these from B&Q only £12, been using it already un-doing the screws on the old fiddle yard.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/83/1784-051119203254.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on November 05, 2019, 09:29:07 PM
I look forward to seeing a track plan and further developments as they happen, Chris.
Good luck
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: weave on November 05, 2019, 09:33:41 PM
Hi lil Chris,

Looking forward to your new build. As you said exciting and fun.

Cheers weave  :beers:

Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: chrispearce on November 05, 2019, 10:07:54 PM
Tally ho old chap. Good luck and Godspeed.  :D
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 05, 2019, 10:50:27 PM
Hi everyone thanks for the good wishes. I am not sure about posting a track plan, I am not very good at them. I tried Scarm last time but soon give up with frustration. I also tried Anyrail, I had a shortcut on the pc before I upgraded to W10. Trouble was I forgot to check if it was the full version, I thought I might have bought the full version, I can not find any log in details so maybe not. I have the latest free version and I might give it a try.
The way I work, building some baseboard space to try and I will know if the plan in my head will fit and work, watch this space. The fiddle yard board will be 9' x 18" split in the middle to form two boards connected with dowels. The main scenic boards will fit in front again split and joined together with dowels but also joined to the fiddle yard boards with dowels. The idea is the layout can be split up to work on the individual boards. the problem will be disguising the split between the two scenic boards at the front.  I managed to disguise the splits on the old boards where they join with road bridges on two and a tunnel on the other, I am sure I will think of something. Where they join the fiddle yard will not be a problem. This layout will be one of those rabbit warren type layouts in and out of the tunnels lol.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Bealman on November 05, 2019, 11:16:11 PM
Looking forward to this!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: joe cassidy on November 06, 2019, 12:01:45 PM
Chris, why not draw your track plan on paper, with a compass and a ruler ?

Use graph paper to make it easier to draw vertical and horizontal lines.

Best regards,


Joe
P.S. I confess I worked for a paper company for more than 30 years
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: daveg on November 06, 2019, 02:20:31 PM
I'm a fan of AnyRail!

As you're not sure if you bought a full licence, it may be worth an email to check if you do have an 'account' with them. https://www.anyrail.com/en/contact (https://www.anyrail.com/en/contact)

Failing that, using the freebie version may give you a start in getting your ideas sorted.

Whichever way you go, I'm looking forward to seeing what you get up to!

Dave G
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on November 06, 2019, 06:43:53 PM
Chris, why not draw your track plan on paper, with a compass and a ruler ?


If you could do that and post a pic of the drawing on the forum I'll be happy to attempt to knock it up in SCARM. Just let me have the dimensions, too. @lil chris (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=1784)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 06, 2019, 07:54:41 PM
Thanks guys for the offer of help, I will have a think on what to do next. At the moment I have tided up and cleared the floor of the loft room and I am just starting making one fiddle yard board to see how it goes. No rush, I fancied one of those electric saws I saw a guy using on the Great model railway challenge but at £80 I can not justify buying one of those, so I will just have to get my arm going with a normal saw.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 06, 2019, 09:32:25 PM
Well I have started on the build, the wood is not straight, the board frame seemed a bit warped. Hopefully fitting the 9mm ply on the top which I have glued and pinned and then weighed down, it might straighten out overnight. I need to cut and fit the extra 6" of ply on the end yet, I do not want to make any noise ( kids in bed next door) so I will leave it to tomorrow.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/83/1784-061119213115.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 07, 2019, 05:30:07 PM
Well one board is nearly complete and it has straightened out considerably over night. I plan to fit strengtheners in the corners for the support legs /frame, which should keep it straight. I will glue these in place and leave them overnight which should make the boards pretty strong. In the local model shop today I bought a Peco set track planning book, now I am not using set track but it confirmed that my plan, in my head, for the fiddle yard should work in the space I have allocated which is good news. The extra foot in length should enable some decent length trains to be stored in the fiddle yard. The only problem I forsee at the moment is the Cobalt point motors, mine are the old anolouge motors(DCP-CB6 on the box).I am not sure if these will work with the Cobalt Alpha I have ordered, it says it works with anolouge motors but mine are the early ones. I might contact DCC Concepts and ask about them, I have bought two digital motors today. I know I will need some more motors so it makes sense to buy digital motors. Pics to follow later on.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on November 07, 2019, 09:51:29 PM
 :hellosign:  :greatpicturessign:
   All sounding very interesting Chris, good luck with the build, will be following with interest.
      regards Derek.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 07, 2019, 10:18:24 PM
Thanks Derek, watch this space I am really motivated at the moment, looking forward to this myself.  Seeing has I am abandoning the peco motors for the Cobalt motors, I know I need some more so I will buy all the digital type in the future. The plan is to use them for the fiddle yard has well as on the scenic section of the layout. I will not be using many on the scenic section it just depends what I can fit in without the layout looking to crowded. Trains in the country is my main idea for the layout on two levels. Here are a couple of pics of items purchased recently, from L to R ,new Solder iron tips, Gorilla glue and two Cobalt digital IP motors. The second pic shows my boards one nearly finished, the second board behind still needs it's ply fitting,I have run out of panel pins, I have a bag somewhere but can not find them which is typical. The second board frame is spot on no distortion at all, I must have made that one better than the first, obviously I am a bit rusty in the joinery department.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/83/1784-071119221257.jpeg)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/83/1784-071119221427.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: chrispearce on November 07, 2019, 10:39:56 PM
We seem to be at a similar stage of development Chris. Sure foundations and all that jazz! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Pjlons83 on November 08, 2019, 06:23:06 AM
Hi Chris. Iíve just caught up with this thread and itís looking good so far!  :thumbsup:

I do enjoying watching these layouts come together right from the bare wood stage! Iím a big fan of gorilla glue and use all kinds of it; even the strong tape comes in handy. Just be cautious about using too much of the expanding stuff. Itís amazing how much it does expand. Iíve gone to bed before thinking it was fine only to return the next day to realise I used way too much.  :o

Good luck with the layout.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on November 08, 2019, 06:36:44 AM
Yes, Chris, do go for the IP motors.  I have no less that 46 of the beasts, mostly in the storage loops (my version of fiddle yards).  It's great, because you can pair them up for crosovers by giving both motors the same accessory address.  Also, If you have a contoller that supports routes, you can group them into routes, which makes operating MUCH simpler.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 08, 2019, 10:14:23 AM
Thanks Laurence,I had a pair of Peco motors paired for a crossover on the old fiddleyard.  Regarding the Peco motors I do not think they are ideally suited to N _gauge points,they go with a bang and of course n gauge points do not need has much travel has 00 gauge. One of the points I removed from the fiddleyard was falling to bits and wires were loose on a motor probably caused by the vibration. So time for a change, I like the Cobalt motors,but most of mine are the old ones.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 08, 2019, 11:29:25 PM
Some good news, I have found out I can use a accessory decoder unit called a AD-FX which will control 4 anolouge motors and is cheaper than buying 4 motors so I will probably get one of those.
This afternoon I managed to get in the railway room and do some more work on the baseboards. I fitted the piece of ply to the second board which I glued and tacked with panel pins, then I fitted some more corner supports for the legs to the first board using the Gorrilla glue for those, clamping those. I only have two clamps that will fit so I can only do two at a time, using the Gorilla Glue they need clamping also taking care not to use too much.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 09, 2019, 10:50:33 PM
Well after shopping this morning I had a trip to Heywood, the club there had a openday. There is not much n gauge, it's nearly all 00 plus a couple of big 0 gauge layouts. I had a chat with a guy on the n gauger layout. I asked him which track he was using and he said code 80, so I gave him 3 xcode 80 live frog points, they had soldered track joined to them and wires etc. I thought instead of messing about trying to clean them up I would donate them to their layout. He said thanks very much and went crawling under the layout and then gave me two code 55 points, which I thanked him for, so a good morning.
 I managed to find some time in the railway room this afternoon and evening to do some more gluing and cutting of more strengtheners for the second board. I have also now figured a way to make a self standing support frame for the centre of the fiddle yard boards. I need to think of a way to make self standing supporting frames for the ends of the fiddle yard board without losing too much stoarge space under the layout boards. I have found a nice plan for the fiddle yard boards in the Peco set track book I bought, I of course I will be using code 55 with the Cobalt motors, but it is all coming together.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 10, 2019, 04:19:13 PM
More work on the baseboards this afternoon, more strenghtheners in the corners and I have made two sides of the centre support frame with castors. One has it's location dowels glued in place, I intend to have a small shelf on it to store stuff on, I am waiting for glue to dry at the moment. The dowels do not need to be a tight fit I want to be able to lift off a single board if needed to work on. The idea is the whole layout can be wheeled forward, I need some more of the small castors, I think I bought those from a show a few years ago. I think B&Q do some of a similar size, hoepfully the same size then I do not have to try and calculate the height difference. The supports I have made make the layout 2' off the floor, I can not go much higher because of the big beam across the room.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/83/1784-101119161120.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on November 10, 2019, 04:31:27 PM
Castersonline
https://www.castors-online.co.uk (https://www.castors-online.co.uk)
Are quite good.  I have used them in the past.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 10, 2019, 05:08:13 PM
Thanks Laurence, just taken a look, they look very much like the ones I have, thanks again.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 11, 2019, 04:11:38 PM
Well today I went to B&Q for some wood for making support legs. While I was there I found these,(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/83/1784-111119160331.jpeg)
 What I think are frames for plant pots, the thing is they have for 4 nice sized castors fitted. The castors on there own were £3.65 each, these frames were £5.98 and they have four castors that were bigger and better so it was a no brainer, frames bought. As it happens I also have two castors with the same size wheels in my box so they might come in handy. I managed to finish the frame last night, I even managed to put a shelf on it. I need to make at least one end frame then I can put one board up to see how it looks. Once I checked for height etc I will start on fitting the dowels before painting the boards.
I forgot to add here is a pic of the central support frame for the fiddle yard.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/83/1784-111119161542.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: chrispearce on November 11, 2019, 04:33:40 PM
Nice, tidy work Chris. Like the locating dowels. Very professional-looking! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 11, 2019, 09:04:56 PM
Well work unfortunately stopped this afternoon, I have looked everywhere but can not find the drill I bought for the cabinet makers dowels. Also I went out on a musical evening tonight, but tomorrow I will have to bite the bullet and buy another drill. The railway might be a bit expensive this week, I have ordered some control equipment, track and electronics etc, it's going to be fun. Off to watch Youtube a bit of Simons shed a fellow n-gauger.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on November 12, 2019, 09:00:59 PM
Nice, tidy work Chris. Like the locating dowels. Very professional-looking! :thumbsup:
:hellosign:
  I'll second that & hope you aquire all you need Chris.
         regards Derek
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 12, 2019, 09:05:38 PM
Hello everyone, I have done plenty today, I have built the right support frame, I have made it "L" shaped so it will stand alone. I have fitted the dowels to join the two fiddle yard boards, one was slightly out so adjustment was needed. The best way is to clamp the two boards together and drill a pilot hole through the both of them, I could not do that with these two fiddle yard boards because of a inner support, I won't make that mistake again. I have given the central support a layer of primer on the bare wood, it just needs glossing to finish it off. I have also drilled some holes between the boards for wires etc, I should be able to try them standing tomorrow before finishing painting the boards them selves.
Today I received a parcel with my accessory decoder, it should have been a 4 way but they sent two two ways instead, which as it happens might be better for me to wire up too my anolouge Cobalt motors.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 12, 2019, 09:08:11 PM
Thanks Derek, @cornish yorkie (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4216) things are progressing well. My order from the model shop has not arrived yet, might be later this week. I am enjoying doing this, once the boards are up things will start to take shape.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 13, 2019, 05:17:07 PM
Some adjustments needed to be made this afternoon to my first fiddle yard board. Despite it only being less than 1mm out from one end to the other, which was easily adjusted the board was not level with the spirit level. On putting the spirit level on the floor I found out the floor on the right side of the loft room is not level either. So two pieces of 6mm ply later added to the supports on the left side of the board should do it, I will report back later the glue should be dry by now.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/83/1784-131119171321.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: port perran on November 13, 2019, 05:19:58 PM
Looks good Chris.
I share your problems with floors not being level.
We live in a 200 year old cottage. Nothing is level!
All good fun.
Martin
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 13, 2019, 05:24:50 PM
Thanks Martin, well I used castors on the old fiddle yard  and that was giving me problems with stock rolling to the left, now I know why. The main boards of the layout all had leveling feet so I had no problems with adjusting them. Its nearly correct now a couple of pieces of cork on top of the legs should do it.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 15, 2019, 05:29:19 PM
Well I managed to level the board,two pieces of 6mm ply on the two left supports and i also shortened the three right posts a touch. The fun will be making the left fiddle yard supports. I think I will just make them the same, it is easy enough to adjust them if needed to make them higher.
I have cut wood for the right scenic board and fitted the dowels ready, I did that ready while it was easy to line the boards up. I will not get in the railway room now till sat evening, not sure what to do next possibly painting.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 17, 2019, 03:30:53 PM
I have done some tidying up last night in the railway room, making room for the second fiddle yard board. I can now proceed making the next set of legs for the left side of the fiddle yard. I have also made some tracksetta's out of some old drawer bottoms. I have made them in two sizes, 3rd radius and second radius, second radius being the minimum for this layout. I did have some first radius on the old fiddle yard which was a bit limiting. I am now planning the track on the first board to see where the points will be, then I can add some strengtheners in appropiate paces under the board before painting.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/83/1784-171119152340.jpeg)


Well  Two strengtheners added on and now the board has been part painted with primer/undercoat.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 18, 2019, 07:42:27 PM
More progress today, second ie lh support frame has been made for the fiddle yard board. Hopefully I have my measurements correct for the length of the legs. I will probably have to adjust the individual height after, I can always add height with pieces of ply or cork on top of the posts to get things level. I have also given both boards and the leg frames a coat of primer/undercoat.
Today I went to one of my local model shops, I bought some code 55 and a couple of points plus some of the excellent Woodland Scenics shaper sheet, I have seen a few guys using this on youtube to good effect. It's a little expensive but is a lot better than using chicken wire, once you put plaster over the top it is has solid as a rock, is that the name of a tune ?. Pics to follow in a few days when I have the boards set up ready.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on November 18, 2019, 08:03:01 PM
solid as a rock, is that the name of a tune ?.

Solid As A Rock, Ashford and Simpson, 1984.

Nice to hear things are progressing Chris.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 18, 2019, 09:57:38 PM
Thanks @dannyboy (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4209)  Danny,the tune,  I knew I had heard of it.
Had some good news after checking one of my e mail accounts, I have a full licence for AnyRail and they have sent me the licence key so I might have a play with that sometime.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 19, 2019, 01:52:45 PM
Well today I made a big investment in my Model Railway system. The Cobalt Alpha central system I ordered a couple of weeks ago from my local model shop has arrived, I also bought some cork to put under the track. I decided on the 1.5mm thickness because that looks about right after track ballasting to give a nice shoulder. I have also been to The Range and bought another bottle of Copydex to glue the track down, I prefer that too using pva. This is a early christmas present to myself, skint now till I get my pension.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-191119134656.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 19, 2019, 04:54:28 PM
Hello everyone, has suspected the second board was low on the left so modifications have now been made, ie 2 pieces of 9mm ply added to the supports on the board. I can make final fine adjustments after with pieces of hardboard or cork. There is no way I am having this board not level but I am getting there, pics to follow later when the boards are up, waiting for glue to dry at present. I can not wait to start laying some track, after I have finished painting gloss of course. It's crucial to paint the boards in this loft room with varible temperatures.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 19, 2019, 07:57:33 PM
Well I have managed to level the fiddle yard boards, I had to fix two pieces of 9mm ply onto the board supports. I had to fix them to the boards because of the large thickness on the legs, I was losing the dowels. I can now finish painting the boards so they are ready for the next phase.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-191119195401.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 20, 2019, 08:42:04 PM
Hi everyone, well both boards and the supports are all painted now with gloss, I do not think I have missed anywhere. Doesn't this paint take ages to dry now adays, some has been on 24 hours and is still tacky. I can start planning the next phase now, I need to make a decision on how to power the layout. I have 4x psx circuit breakers, on the old layout 1 for the fiddle yard, 1 for the other 4 sections and two for the station, ie up line and down line. The idea being a fault on one would not shut down the whole layout, inevitably when a fault did occur it was on the fiddle yard boards which more or less shut down any running.
One thought was one breaker for each board but that would have the same effect on a fault. So I am thinking of 2 breakers for the fiddle yard 1 for the outer track/clockwise and the other for inside track anti clockwise. The same with the two scenic section breakers at the front, this should allow some running to continue if there is a fault. I also need to decide where to place my control panels, its fun working all this out. I am a person who has a plan in my head and work on it as I work on it, hopefuly it will all work out. I have learned a lot on the last two layouts and hopefully that will help me avoid the same pitfalls. I am so looking forward to laying some track, the right side of the fiddle yard will be first. The fiddle yard will be more conventional than the previous yard which wasted a lot of space, I will be following a plan in the the Peco set track book but using code 55 track and points, it should work.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on November 20, 2019, 09:37:21 PM
Doesn't this paint take ages to dry now adays, some has been on 24 hours and is still tacky.

But if the paint was able to dry quickly you'd complain it was too hot up there to be comfortable :P
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 20, 2019, 09:42:34 PM
@Newportnobby (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264)  True........

Next summer I will be ready, with the new layout I will have room for the Air Conditioning unit........if it still works.....
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on November 20, 2019, 09:54:59 PM
I am a person who has a plan in my head and work on it as I work on it

A man after my own heart!   :thumbsup:  I can not form a plan and stick to it, I find as I go along I am making changes.  :)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 20, 2019, 10:34:09 PM
Thanks @dannyboy (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4209), Yes I am no good with plans I just plod along ,making it up has I go along.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on November 21, 2019, 05:40:49 PM
 :hellosign:
  Excellent progress Chris coming along a treat. Personally love making plans on "Scarm", forever changing them but all part of the fun.
          regards Derek
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 21, 2019, 07:37:46 PM
Thanks Derek @cornish yorkie (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4216) , I think I have already said I could not get my head around Scarm but found Anyrail more to my liking. I messaged them to find if I had bought the full version and now I have the full version thanks to the developer sending me the key. I might have a go sometime and see what I can come up with.
Today I have assembled the now painted boards, I have had to do some more tweaking to get them level. Take a look at this pic and look at the far left support plus the beam going across the room. It will be worth it though to get it right at this stage and avoid problems later like a unwanted gradient. I intend to give the top of the board a coat of primer/undercoat before I lay any track, thats the bit I am looking forward too.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-211119193608.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on November 22, 2019, 06:55:47 AM
You're getting there, Chris.  Once the track starts to go down, it'll begin to fee like a real model railway.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Elvenhome on November 22, 2019, 08:22:22 PM
OK I now have you bookmarked so I can follow the development of the layout

Stephen
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 23, 2019, 11:36:33 PM
Thanks Fred,  @Elvenhome (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4596)  only joking I mean Stephen. I am hoping to make a start on the track soon. If you have time take a look at my old layout in this forum https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29492.2385 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29492.2385)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 24, 2019, 05:51:31 PM
More work today, I have finished my first front scenic board for the right side. This board is part open plan, I have used my last piece of ply for the right side. I planned out my track plan on the floor last night and everything is looking has if it will work out ok. The front section is 4'6" x 2'10", it connects to the fiddle yard with two cabinet makers dowels, held together eventually with suitcase catches, a G clamp for now. The next job is to make some legs for the front section, a piece of wood propping it up at the moment, they will also have castors fitted for easy movement.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-241119174312.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on November 24, 2019, 08:33:13 PM
 :hellosign:
     Tidy work Chris, looking good  :thumbsup:
       regards Derek
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 25, 2019, 09:22:45 PM
More work today after going to B&Q for another piece of 9mm ply plus a couple of pieces of wood. I have added two supports on the front of the fiddle yard board so you can rest the front scenic board on it while you line up the dowels. I have fitted dowels to the end of that board and fitted dowels ready on the left fiddle yard board ready for when I have made the left scenic board which is more open plan. All four of the boards are fitted with dowels joining them to the next board and all will be fitted with suitcase catches although some will be under the boards.
The old viaduct section from East Lanc lines will be fitted in the front of the left scenic board, I still need to figure out how to do that. Tonight I have fitted leg supports under the right scenic board, I then need to make legs with castors for the front section, this is proving to be difficult with the leveling situation. One solution I have thought of is to use the leveling brkts I have from the old layout but mount them on the side of the legs at the top, and then use them to adjust the height of the boards. The main problem is not just leveling left to right but also front to back at the same time, my spirit level is working flat out at the moment. I am waiting for the glue to dry now so no more work today, time for a well earned rest. By the way swmbo is impressed by the layout, and that is saying something.She prefers it to the old layout which she says was too big. This layout is bigger in some ways but a more compact unit and does not take up has much floor space, and more running track. I am looking forward to getting some track down and some running so watch this space.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on November 25, 2019, 09:33:40 PM
She prefers it to the old layout which she says was too big. This layout is bigger in some ways but a more compact unit

Of all the planning you have done for this layout Chris, that bit is probably the most clever.  How to get a bigger layout and make Val think it is smaller - brilliant  ;) :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 25, 2019, 09:50:49 PM
Thanks David @dannyboy (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4209) ...spot on it's easy when you know how. But this layout will definately have more running, and the beauty of it is for one lap/circuit the train goes past twice before returning from whence it came. I will have to try and knock up some sort of track plan. I am quite pleased with it though it has caused me some sleepless nights working it out.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 26, 2019, 10:06:00 PM
More work today on the baseboards, I was going to make a start on the left scenic board but I relaised it was a bit pointless while the other board is being held up by a offcut of wood. So legs it is, I have decided to use the same idea as on the fiddle yard board on the right end, a "L" shape support which is self standing. I will do the same for the left side, not sure what to do in the centre yet. I have made the fiddle yard supports substantial so they can support the front scenic sections too. Its all coming together, the left scenic board will be the hardest to make, it has the viaduct section and a small gradient on one of the tracks to build in. The river behind the viaduct will now continue under the monkey bridge, I have the scratch built model stored away in a box somewhere. I will also need another bridge where one of my tracks goes over the other, I am planning on scratch building a bridge off the East lancashire Railway down at Burrs country park. I will  go down there and take some pics, I have some pics in a few books but a few close ups of the real thing will help. Now where is that damm spirit level....???
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on November 26, 2019, 10:24:06 PM
The river behind the viaduct will now continue under the monkey bridge, I have the scratch built model stored away in a box somewhere.Now where is that damm spirit level....???

Probably in the same box as the Monkey Bridge :D
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 27, 2019, 07:36:56 PM
Here is my latest pic of my baseboards, you can see the spirit level on the top Mick @Newportnobby (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264) . The right scenic board still needs painting plus the supports but I am nearly there now so quite pleased with myself. Next job is to make a start on the left open frame, you can see the dowels already in place. I will also add some strengtheners once I have decided where the track is going.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-271119193300.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on November 28, 2019, 11:57:17 AM
My spirit level tends to be my Adam's Apple. It tells me when I'm full - hic :D
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 28, 2019, 07:53:24 PM
Hooray I have completed the basic frame of board four, which will be open plan. I need to finish the leg supports plus make the legs so a lot too do yet. Then of course these boards/ frames need painting. Now I can see the main outline of the layout, I need to work out how to fit the viaduct section to the right side of board four. The piece of wood on the end of the right board indicates the track height for the viaduct. The viaduct itself is 3" in height and is 2' long, my high level section will be 1"1/2", the viaduct sections also needs to lose a bit at both ends because the track comes down to rejoin the fiddleyard board. I can just manage to lose the height and keep the gradient to 2%. This layout will not have much straight track and the only track running pararell to the base board edge is the viaduct and that has a slight curve on it. The River Irwell that goes under the Viaduct will now continue on the other side going under the Monkey Bridge and continuing into the distance, possibly a road bridge if there is room. The only thing is on this layout the river is going the wrong way, in the real world Monkey bridge first then down stream to the road bridge and eventually under the Viaduct and through Radcliffe, but it's too late now, modelers licence applies, it is a fictional layout.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-281119193352.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 30, 2019, 06:11:46 PM
I did not manage to get much done yesterday, I did  manage to make the left leg, it needs two more legs adding to make a "L" shape fame the same as the other side. I have also fixed a piece of 9mm ply to the left corner, the space is where the viaduct section will fit in. I have cut that down to the minimum size, just over 2', the track will come over the viaduct then the track will lose height and into a tunnel. not sure if the track will curve before the tunnel or inside it, then eventually joining the fiddle yard.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-301119180044.jpeg)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-301119180257.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on November 30, 2019, 07:12:17 PM
It's starting to look like real progress, Chris.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on November 30, 2019, 09:44:12 PM
Thanks Laurence, I have finished the legs for the left end and have now glued the supports in, so waiting for the glue to dry. I am not sure what to do about the centre legs, they are just loose at the moment,the left one has not got a support yet. I need to make them rigid for forwards and backwards movement, I have two castors left so I could just make a square support. It does need to be has big as the one supporting the fiddle yard at the back, and I need to paint them. The left board frame is still very flimsy at the moment, it needs supports and cross rails. With it having varying track heights and a river, I need to work that before I put the cross rails in position. I am getting there, it all seems to be working out, some track down before Christmas........I hope!!!
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on December 01, 2019, 06:39:28 AM
Yes, go for it Chris.  Set yourself the target of running at least one train by Christmas.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 01, 2019, 05:28:53 PM
More work this afternoon figuring how the under and over will work. Two double track lines one crosses over the other, one rising and one going lower, its all fun. I have now placed a crossrail and another piece of ply on the frame with a down gradient cutaway. The lower track will have sweeping curves, go under a bridge down a gradient through a cutting, then over the Monkey bridge over the River Irwell then curving again before dissapearing into a tunnel. The scenic challenges on this layout are going to be fun, but watching the trains will be fun too.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on December 01, 2019, 08:15:00 PM
Sounds like it will be great to see, and if you've completed your Crossrail you're miles ahead of the real thing :D
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 02, 2019, 09:00:34 PM
I have been busy today painting, I bought a tin of quick dry gloss this morning so a lot has been done. Once the painting has been done I can then contentrate on sorting the levels of track before laying.
Here is a pic of something I bought last week in a sale, I already have two cleaning wagons a Sharge and a Tomix. The Sharge is a little too wide and a bit high and tends to catch on platforms and some tunnels, I had to alter my passenger platform bridge because of it. But because of the configeration of this new layout with hidden track etc, I do need something I can run round on a regular basis. I will make the layout so all track can be reached somehow with removable scenery, hatches etc.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-021219205346.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on December 02, 2019, 09:33:26 PM
 :hellosign:  :greatpicturessign:
   Good progress Chris, looking forward to seeing trains running
       regards Derek
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 03, 2019, 10:41:46 PM
More progress today, all the catches are now on connecting the boards together, some by nescesity are underneath the boards. I have also been working on fitting the viaduct section, care has been taken with this it is important to get the height correct. And provision has been made to extend the river behind the viaduct. I have also worked out how to fit the last leg in place, this will need to be shorter than the others because of the lower viaduct board. The next thing to do is to extend the river and boards behind the viaduct, the Monkey bridge will also cross the river with possibly a weir between the two bridges, that is good because the river needs be dropping towards the viaduct. I also intend to have a cutaway in front of the viaduct section so you can view the area of the factory and viaduct. Possibly some pics tomorrow night of the viaduct in position, waiting for glue to dry on the leg support at the moment.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 04, 2019, 04:30:05 PM
More progress, the viaduct section has been sorted, not glued in yet but I am nearly there. Plus I have cutaway the front frame for better viewing of the viaduct and factory, a even better view than when it was on the old layout.  Just need to finish the centre leg section then I can start on the river and positioning the Monkey bridge.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-041219162649.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on December 04, 2019, 05:09:21 PM
That seems to fit in very well, Chris.  :beers:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on December 04, 2019, 06:13:01 PM
Looking good Chris.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 04, 2019, 07:42:01 PM
Thanks for the reply's, this is just the first piece of the jigsaw puzzle, more to come.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 05, 2019, 08:13:30 PM
The centre leg section is finished, just has well I was running out of screws. It has now been painted, primer yesterday and gloss tonight. I was not happy with the finish on the front boards with the water based gloss so I gave them a coat of oil based gloss which looks a lot better. I can start work on the track bed levels next, I can not do that tonight I need to use the jigsaw which is a bit noisy, thinking, of the neighbours, children in bed etc. Getting so near now to laying the track, I can not wait to do that and see my plan come to fruition. I should have some trains running by Christmas, back to watching the snooker for now.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 05, 2019, 09:43:54 PM
Thought I would add this pic of the completed baseboard assys all fixed together with catches and dowels. I can now concentrate on building the actual layout, getting some track down, I have already bought over half a box of code 55 ready.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-051219214129.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: chrism on December 06, 2019, 07:00:53 AM
That viaduct's looking rather impressive.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 06, 2019, 09:58:09 AM
Thanks @chrism (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=7182) that is the only complete unit from my old layout East Lancashire lines. The viaduct is actually oo gauge,at the time it was built Metcalfe  did not do a n gauge viaduct.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 07, 2019, 09:44:52 PM
More work tonight, worked out the dimensions for extending the  river bed and used some old ply off the old layout. I have also fixed some ply in position for the track in one of the low sections with a small gradient, that needs a strengthener yet. I have also laid out a rough track plan on the right board so I can work out where the lower track transverses the river. I have not glued the viaduct in position yet to make it easier to work on the river behind it, it has some slight damage but that will easily be fixed. I am now waiting for the proverbal glue to dry, once I have something worth showing I will post more pics.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on December 07, 2019, 10:02:56 PM
 :hellosign:
   Thanks Chris, looking forward to seeing more presently.
       regards Derek
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 08, 2019, 08:49:27 PM
More progress, work today was getting the river bed in place behind the viaduct so I can work out the levels. Next I need to sort the foundations for the monkey bridge, where the track will go etc. I am not sure what is going here yet, one idea is where the river meets the back board, I will place a roadbridge to disguise the end of the river. In front of the real monkey bridge on one side it is a flat area, I could also make a road going under one of the arches leading to the factory. One of the pics I have posted is a un seen view of the viaduct from the other side. Getting there now doing the basic scenery structures, still not glued the viaduct in position yet till I have done the basics.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-081219203503.jpeg)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-081219203647.jpeg)
You can see a few repairs need doing on the last pic, but it still looks not too bad.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-081219203830.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: exmouthcraig on December 08, 2019, 08:54:48 PM
Can you use a mirror Chris to hide the end of the river????

Viaduct looks fantastic  :claphappy:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 08, 2019, 09:10:02 PM
Thanks for the comments, yes a mirror is a possibility, I will probably go with a road bridge, there is one at the location of the monkey bridge.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: railsquid on December 09, 2019, 01:02:28 AM
Looking good   :thumbsup:

Out of curiosity, why is it called the monkey bridge?
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on December 09, 2019, 09:43:17 AM
'Cos it apes the prototype :-X
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Bealman on December 09, 2019, 09:47:37 AM
I was thinking that the prototype may have been in Hartlepool. They hung the monkey, afterall  ;D
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 09, 2019, 10:02:56 AM
Thanks everyone for the comments @railsquid (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3832) the bridge goes over the river Irwell and is very low it also has a walkway between the arches and the girders across the river. It is still in use today now used by the Bury to Manchester tram.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 09, 2019, 04:09:38 PM
A few pics of the real Monkey bridge over the river Irwell. The first pic shows the side with the passageway on the side of the girders. Then a pic from the other side and then the passageway itself.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-091219160153.jpeg)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-091219160321.jpeg)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/84/1784-091219160425.jpeg)

Hopefuly I will post pics of my model later.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Milton Rail on December 09, 2019, 07:12:27 PM
Just caught up with your new layout Chris, is looking good already, the viaduct looks right at home there

Look forward to seeing it come to life as well as finding out more about the Monkey Bridge!
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 09, 2019, 08:12:16 PM
Thanks @Milton Rail (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4934) for the comments, I have dropped a clog with the river. I should have thought more about where the railway crosses it, should have made a straighter section. So redirectiong the river tonight so I can fit the bridge in place. The bridge I made for my first layout, it was made to fit the river on the layout and I made the bridge a bit shorter than the real bridge, I was also struggling to find components to make the bridge. If it had been made a bit longer I would not of had a problem, I will make it fit somehow, it needs some maintainance too.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 09, 2019, 08:20:39 PM
I have been to B&Q tonight for some more ply wood, I was going tomorrow but I saw the weather forcast and went tonight instead. Tomorrow the plan is to get the rest of the lower level track sorted where it crosses over the Monkey bridge. I will be able to use my jigsaw to cut the wood tomorrow afternoon so that will be fun. I need to make a section where the track is going down a small gradient to the river, the plan is to cut it out of one piece of wood. Once I have done that I could possibly make a start on laying the lower track level from the fiddle yard. The hardest part will be the three baseboard joins, the plan is to use the screw method, soldering the track onto the screws which worked quite well on East Lancashire lines. I then will have three base board joins at high level to do, that will be fun and a challenge, I love a challenge.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 10, 2019, 09:49:02 PM
Today I have been working on the levels again, its just a bit tricky. I am using 3.6mm ply for the open section and to be honest its a bit too thin, I could have used some 9mm ply. So I have put a strengthing strip down the sides, I knew that strip would come in handy lucky I bought it. I will continue using the thin ply it is easy to cut, I might double up on any long sections.
 I have also laid some cork on the right end of the fiddle yard board ready to lay some track. I am using a plan out of a setrack book which has 4 tracks, but I intend too add at least a extra track on each side and maybe a point back facing and using that has a end siding for extra storage. I intend to have a crossover but have decided to put that in the middle like I did on East Lancashire lines. The main use for that will be to allow my DMU to crossover and return down the other track if required. The two centre tracks will also be the through lines, something I did not do on the old layout. I have ordered a few points and some more track ballast from Rails so I will wait for those to come before starting laying the track. I thought I had plenty of points but sods law I do not have all the ones I require.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 11, 2019, 08:25:23 PM
More work tonight on the monkey bridge section, it is a slight gradient so no rushing I need to get it right. it is important to get the baseboard join bang on between the two scenic boards. I was luck on the last layout I managed to disguise the joins with either a tunnel or a bridge of some sort. On this layout it will be a little harder to disguise the join between boards, especially the track join.
I ordered some points and ballast from Rails and I have not had confirmation of my order, I have been out this afternoon and by the time I realised it was too late to ring them. The order is still showing has unconsigned/pending, I chose the Royal mail 24hr option so that was a waste of time. I will have to ring them tomorrow now to find out what is going on, very dissapointed now. Trouble is I usually go out on a Friday and Royal mail do not tend to leave with a neighbour, that means going to the sorting office to collect.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on December 12, 2019, 06:40:18 AM
Online orders can be good most of the time, but sometimes they are a nightmare.  Rails are usually very good though.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Johndra on December 12, 2019, 07:34:06 AM
Hi Chris.

Just read your progress posts. I particularly like your viaduct. I have started a layout (progress is slow) and modelling my viaduct section is the starting point.

I will be interested in your progress.

Cheers
John.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 12, 2019, 05:24:00 PM
Well I found out the problem with my Rails order, they had no stock of the ballast I had also ordered. So I cancelled the ballast so the order can proceed.it is a pity they did not let me know what the delay was. At the end of the day if I am not in for delivery I will collect on Saturday morning from the local sorting office.
Last night I finished the track support over the river, glued in position now and covered in cork ready for the track. I have now started to put down the layers of varnish for the river, it's water based and quick drying. I might use the toilet paper technique to give the river bed some structure along with a mixture of acrylic paints. I have also prepared the baseboard join for two of the tracks, I placed two pieces of track in position, then sprayed over with some paint to mark the position. When the paint is dry, It is easy then to fix the screws in place ready for soldering the track in place to the screws. I have glued the cork with pva but I intend to glue the track using Copydex. Once the track is glued down I will sort where the feeds are going, I want to be more organised with the feeds this time, they were all over the place on the last layout. I have kept all the bus wires from the old layout, I will sort out which ones are suitable and organise the feeds to match the bus wire to avoid any more soldering. I have a few sorts of solderless connections I can use where needed.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 12, 2019, 05:30:46 PM
Thanks John, @Johndra (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=7918) , this is my third layout since retiring from work. You learn a lot in this hobby, hopefully I will avoid any of the mistakes made on the previous two layouts. The viaduct is a old hand, it has been on all three layouts. It was originally curved then straighten'd out a bit for the last layout, un touched this time but it does need some repair work.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: port perran on December 12, 2019, 06:03:01 PM
Thanks John, @Johndra (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=7918) , this is my third layout since retiring from work. You learn a lot in this hobby, hopefully I will avoid any of the mistakes made on the previous two layouts. The viaduct is a old hand, it has been on all three layouts. It was originally curved then straighten'd out a bit for the last layout, un touched this time but it does need some repair work.
In my experience Chris, you certainly learn from your mistakes in this hobby only to come across other mistakes which, hopefully youíll earn from next time.
Itís certainly one big learning curve but, of course, great fun.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Johndra on December 12, 2019, 06:14:24 PM
Thanks Chris @lil chris (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=1784)

My last serious layout was in OO and was dismantled 50 years ago in the days when your landscape was built with chicken wire and papier mache. Then life, family and work got in the way. So I anticipate a lot of mistakes and back tracking.

I've started the mistakes in earnest by totally 'over-engineering' a section of the layout that I want to able to remove for access. When I finish rectifying things I'll post some photos in my thread 'Pitlochry - Killiecrankie - Dalwhinnie(maybe)'.

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=47136.msg606740#msg606740 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=47136.msg606740#msg606740)

The more I plan the less it is going to resemble Pitlochry , Killicrankie or Dalwhinnie but that's my inspiration. Mountains, river(s) and a viaduct.

Cheers

John
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on December 12, 2019, 07:21:42 PM
Yes, it's a pity they didn't let you know about the ballast when you ordered.  I have been using Noch Profi ballast, which looks good (at least to me).
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 12, 2019, 07:39:40 PM
Thanks laurence @Innovationgame (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3091) I use Woodland scenics fine dark brown ballast, which I think goes well with Railmatch sleeper grime on the track. I have been out this morning and purchased 2 bags from a model shop I use, not my local he did not have any. I knew he stocked it, that is where I bought from last time. The ballast was the same price has Rails although his Peco  code 55 points are a lot dearer, so I have saved a bit. I will not get chance now to lay some track till at least saturday night provided the points have come. No big deal there is a lot to do, four boards and track passing from one to the other, now where is that soldering iron ?
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 12, 2019, 07:55:21 PM
A quick pic showing part of the monkey bridge in it's position on the layout, a lot of work is required yet.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-121219195309.jpeg)
The track loses about half a inch from right to left over the length of the section you see here with the bridge part way.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: port perran on December 12, 2019, 07:57:47 PM
Looking good Chris.
I like seeing layouts at this stage and then watching  them develop over time.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 12, 2019, 08:01:10 PM
Thanks Martin, I am getting nearer and nearer to laying some track.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on December 13, 2019, 07:13:35 PM
 :hellosign:  :greatpicturessign:
  You are making excellent progress Chris, the Monkey bridge looking good
       regards Derek
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 14, 2019, 07:23:51 PM
Well progress has come to a halt, Rails of sheffield have let me down, still waiting for parcel, with some points, ordered with 24hr tracking. No idea when I will get it now, probably after stay in all day Monday waiting again.
The plan is to have a small station with a passing loop plus a crossover from one track to the other, I want to use the new points for that. I should not have been to hopefull of delivery this week, I was expecting too much,typically the tracking site seems to have gone down very convenient that is. Last time I could track it said the parcel was in M/cr at 6.03 pm on Friday, nothing has updated since.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on December 14, 2019, 08:05:53 PM
Is that the Royal Mail site @lil chris (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=1784) ? I am trying to track a parcel but no updates since yesterday lunchtime!
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 14, 2019, 08:56:57 PM
@dannyboy (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4209) yes last update time I had was 6-03pm last night. Its been the same all day today but now I can not access it at all seems to be down. It is Christmas so what do you expect, thats why I tried to order has soon as Tuesday, I did not want the delivery going into next week. Must admit that was on my phone not tried on the computer.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on December 14, 2019, 08:59:54 PM
Blame it on the the post! Oh, it is the post.  ;D
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 15, 2019, 08:42:53 PM
Well everyone, I can not lay the track but while watching some snooker I managed to make a start on the river bed using the loo paper and glue method, I will leave that to dry now.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-151219204125.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 16, 2019, 09:30:38 PM
Another bad day today regarding the parcel ( I am waiting for with some new points). I rung Rails twice this morning and later this afternoon, they just kept fobbing me off. I checked the tracking this morning and nothing had moved since Friday at 6.03pm. So this afternoon I tried Royal mail online then ringing Royal mail myself but that was a waste of time too. Anyway eventually this afternoon I checked tracking again and it had moved to 4.40pm this afternoon, so maybe somebody found it. I will keep my fingers crossed for possibly tomorrow, pretty good really when I ordered it with 24hr tracking last Tuesday Night.
Re the river bed well it is taking a long time to dry, I will have to see if I can find a hairdryer and use that to dry it out or it will be getting frost on it next.....lol.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 17, 2019, 04:23:05 PM
Well after such a ordeal waiting for my parcel from Rails it eventually arrived this morning, so much for 24 hour tracking. I have today been to the model shop I bought a tracksetta 3rd radius, which will help with the track laying. I also bought some plaster bandage ready for parts of the scenic areas. So I should now be able to get on with laying some track over the next few days.....hoooray......lol
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: port perran on December 17, 2019, 04:41:12 PM
Good news Chris.
Iím glad the parcel arrived, it can be very annoying waiting for deliveries. Especially when things are late.
Iím about to start on a new model railway related venture (for me anyway). Iím going to make some cast resin items (eg walling, barrels etc). However, the reason Iíve mentioned it here is that I ordered the kit (to make the moulds and the models) from N Ireland last Thursday. I had an email to say it would be delivered yesterday between 2.30 and 3.30 and it arrived at 2.45. So...sometimes it does work out (that was via DPD by the way).
Martin
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 17, 2019, 08:22:45 PM
Today I decided to do more work on the river, painted the river bed and a coat of acrylic varnish. I have just added some base supports for the monkey bridge, it was a little too low. I seem to be a few pieces missing off the monkey bridge, I will have a search for them and if required make some more. I have made the track bed a little narrow where the bridge fits but the plan is to add two strips of styrene onto the bridge itself. This wiil look like a walkway at the side of the track but also strengthen the bridge which is a little flimsy. Now I have the new points I can start to sort the track plan, I have not made my mind up where to start first. I think I should really start at the fiddle yard, this means seperating the boards again, then placing a piece of card between the fiddle yard boards so I can get a tight joint on the track. The fiddle yard will be controlled by two circuit breakers clockwise and anti clockwise. I had thought of left board and right board, but on a fault that would stop the whole layout from operating. I have not decided where all the electrical control boards are going yet. I can put them on the front of the layout but that will spoil the look so probably under the boards out of site.  The circuit breakers are already wired with a fault reset switch and two have a indicator light, it will be easy to wire a light on the other two boards. I am not sure if I will get trains running before Christmas, I do not want to rush this, it is imperative I get good running on this layout right from the start.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 18, 2019, 09:38:05 PM
More work tonight on the scenics, the basic infrustructre, pieces of wood ready for the scenery on the where the two scenic boards join. I thought it better too do this before laying the track over the section, it is important where the two boards join. They seem to get seemless scenery joins on the show layouts, some are better than others of course. Where it just a hill for example I will probably put a hedge or walls to disguise the join. I am also giving the river another coat of varnish, that is beggining to look good. Here is a pic showing the joining boards, there is card between them to stop the two scenic baseboards being joined at the hip.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-181219213610.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 18, 2019, 09:41:45 PM
By the way I should add the river looks white again, but that is the varnish it dries clear. Just thought I will add I need to start preliminary work on the points soldering the frog wires. One of the mistakes I made on the layout was wiring the point motors with red and green wire and then using another shade of red wire for the frogs, I had a shortage of wire at the time. I am going to use a different colour fro the frogs this time so I need to re wire any of the older points and change the colour. I only just remembered that, so the soldering iron will be coming out over the next few days.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on December 19, 2019, 06:40:13 AM
Good idea, Chris.  I use red and black for the point motors and green for the frogs.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 19, 2019, 09:17:02 PM
Thanks Laurence, the thing is I have lots of lengths of green and red fixed together so it would make sense to use those again for point motors. I will use black for the frogs, the old solenoid motors had 3 colours, I used red and green again and I used black has a common return, so I have lengths of black too, seems a shame to waste all that wire. Also the new unifrog points I have just been supplied have wires attached and I have lots of black heat shrink I can use. I still need to work out how I am working the point motors with the Cobalt Alpha. It has 12 switches so 12 points but you can use 2 or more motors with one switch. My plan is to have the four main fiddle yard controlling points, 2 at each end seperately controlled, then any other tracks will be controlled by one switch ie a motor at each end and also a crossover of two points also controlled by one switch. I have a mixture of Cobalt Digital IP motors and I also have some anolouge motors using a AD2FX, so there is some fun to be had wiring that lot up. I need to seperate the scenic boards from the fiddle yard then seperate the two fiddle yard boards themselves, then place a piece of card between the fiddle yard boards then connect the two fiddle yard boards back. When I have layed the fiddle yard track over the join I can then cut the track using a cutting disc. Then removing the card from between the boards and you then get a close joint. Both sides of the fiddle yard boards will be on the same circuit breakers. When I come to the joins between the fiddle yard boards and the scenic boards I will not use the card, I made that mistake on the old layout, and sometimes I did not get seperation of the sections probably caused by expansion or movement of some track. I also intend to wire in some way of splitting the track wiring into sections to help tracking any faults. That way fault finding will be a lot easier, its a biggish layout it makes sense to do it at this stage.
Tonight I have just done some more scenic work, I was not feeling like soldering, will probably make a start now on the soldering on Saturday night, back to the scenics......
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on December 20, 2019, 06:23:37 AM
That sounds like good progress, Chris.  I found the frog connector on the Unfrogs a real advantage.  It saved having to muck about with a soldering iron on the rails.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 22, 2019, 08:22:06 PM
Some more scenic work tomight, I decided to get the main infrustructre for the monkey bridge in place before laying the track. It involves plaster woodland scenics shaper sheet, plaster bandage, bits of foam and glue ie messy. Things are taking shape, the track in a clockwise direction will pass over a small rail over road bridge before going over the monkey bridge. I found the missing piece of the monkey bridge which is good news. It has eight pillars, two at each end on either side with a small arched walkway between them. The end pillars when the bridge was installed on the first layout I made were cut down, ie hidden by the undergrowth. I might make a couple more pillars or try to make them look better somehow, I will see how the bridge looks when I fit it in place. The hardest part is where the two scenic boards join, I want the scenery to hide the join, that is the challenge. At the moment there is clamps etc holding walls in place etc when things are looking a bit more like I will post some pics.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 22, 2019, 09:42:01 PM
Just thought I would Merry Christmas to everyone on the site and a Happy New Year, here's hoping we all get something nice off Santa.......
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 23, 2019, 03:21:35 PM
Well I have been out shopping this morning, model railway shopping not the other kind. I have bought some Woodland scenics shaper sheet plaster and some more plaster bandage. I must admit I bought the Woodland scenics type which is a bit dear but I will see how it compairs to the cheap stuff I bought last week. I have also bought some strips of wood to fix the back boards to the layout. I have always fixed them on the back or side of the boards but because I have my two front scenic boards connected to the fiddle yard boards I can not do that now. So the plan is too fix the 20mmx20mm on the top of the scenic boards at the back and then fix the boards onto that. I need to get some boards fitted so I can plan the scenery, I do not like the big open spaces on the boards. I am off now to get the wood cutting done, I might post some pics later.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on December 23, 2019, 03:22:01 PM
 :hellosign:
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and yours Chris, look forward to your progress on Irwell Valley.
          regards Derek
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: crewearpley40 on December 23, 2019, 03:25:12 PM
Look forward to progress chris.erm, thats boxing day scenery work when all the repeats are on tv. Happy christmas
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 23, 2019, 04:19:29 PM
Thanks for the reply's yes I am planning on working on the railway hopefully boxing day. I have just taken a break from sawing some plywood, I will just pull a few of these splinters out of my hand and then carry on. I usually lay the track and then start on the scenics this time I am doing the basic scenery first. Merry Christmas everyone.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 23, 2019, 05:05:14 PM
Just thought I would post a quick pic of the scenic backboards I have made for the rh scenic section. I have cut the ply wood ready for the lh side, I only have so many clamps, waiting for the glue to dry now. One has a tunnel cutaway for the track, it will need another cutaway for the high level, I will do that once I know exactly where the track will come through.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-231219170132.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 23, 2019, 09:09:24 PM
More work tonight, just painted the two boards with primer so hopefully I should be able to fit them tomorrow when the paint is dry.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 24, 2019, 10:04:29 PM
Well more work today, I finished the two left back scenic boards including painting them. A few refinements to the boards were made too, to help them butt together.
 I have drawn a rough plan of the proposed layout, bare in mind this is a rough drawing by hand and not bang on to scale. No curves are tighter than second radius, where the two front boards join in the centre, the track is straight where it crosses the boards not curved like on the drawing. There are a few gradients on the track, where the line from the station crosses the monkey bridge the track is going down to the left corner where it then passes under the line from the viaduct which is starting to lose height., that might be in a tunnel yet. There will also be a crossover in the station, I forgot to add it in the drawing which was my second attempt. I am also considering a few small sidings off the loop in the station to give some more running prospects, possibly some shunting. The straightest track is in the station and the track over the viaduct but that is slightly curved.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-241219215238.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on December 25, 2019, 09:07:24 AM
A decent run for locos to stretch their legs and it should also look great scenically.
Nice one, Chris
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 25, 2019, 08:10:03 PM
Thanks Mick @Newportnobby (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264) , notice no track running pararell to the sides and nice sweeping curves. Merry Christmas hope your mum is ok too.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 28, 2019, 07:12:31 PM
A few Railway related Items I have received for Christmas. The book is very good, I have nearly read everything in it. The two wagons are a GF 12 ton vent van weathered, and a 12 ton pipe wagon. Also a track rubber and with some money I have bought a Dremel 3000 kit, pity it has no chuck but I have ordered one of those off e-bay. I need the Dremel to help laying the track, the Rotocraft I have been using is ok but lacks any power, plus I had trouble with finding a collet to fit the cutting disc I was using which is essential for my 12 planned track joins.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-281219191200.jpeg)
All the best to everyone for the New Year.........
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: chrispearce on December 28, 2019, 08:10:14 PM
A tidy plan!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: chrispearce on December 29, 2019, 06:49:01 PM
I am seriously going to stick my little head above the parapet here but I have a question about the trackplan. Why is the viaduct at the front of the layout with the Monkey Bridge etc. behind it? Won't it block the view of the Monkey Bridge? If the lower line, with Monkey Bridge, was at the front with the viaduct behind wouldn't that make more sense?

It is merely me thinking and typing aloud for which I apologise. :(
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 29, 2019, 10:15:39 PM
Yes @chrispearce (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4141) I know what you mean about the bridges, the viaduct section has not been fixed in position yet, actually when I place it in position you can see the Monkey bridge ok. Its all to do with the gradients and the room needed to get things up and down and keep to the max 2% rule. The viaduct at the front gives me just enough track length to get it down to the level before the fiddle yard, it's only 1 and half inches height, but I have lowered the viaduct the same amount at the front, the viaduct is 3" high. I will fit the viaduct in position permanently after laying the lower track, then lay the high level track.
Today I have been doing some more work with the soldering iron, first remove all the red frog wires from the used points and replace with a black wire. I am also tinning the rails at the toe end, ready for feed wires. I have also bought a packet of Peco PL82 for in case I get stuck with a feed to some point feeds, I probably will not need them because I am happy with the tinning I am doing, plus the wires are not the same colour has my feeds. I have had some trouble with the new curved point I bought, the frog link wire came loose so I have had to carefully solder it back, I melted a few sleepers in the process but underneath so it does not show. I have prepared 10 points today so happy with that for a start. I prefer to solder the feed wires to the side of the track even on the scenic sections, it is easy to disguise the joints. I used to solder under the rails but if one comes loose you cannot see that once ballasted, so its harder for fault finding. I have used my helping hands doing the soldering, it sure makes life a lot easier.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: chrispearce on December 29, 2019, 10:51:03 PM
That all makes perfect sense. Thanks Chris.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on December 30, 2019, 10:06:17 PM
More soldering tonight whle the railway program on CH5 is on the tv. Love the sound of that Loco working, that's what adheres me to steam, what I remember from being on the railways has a child.
Back to the soldering, I realised I have made a mistake, I have been using the wrong gauge wire for the frogs, think it's 16/02, whatever its too heavy. I have found some that is more suitable so tonight I have been changing the wires over. Just for clarity some of you may be wondering where I tin the end of the points, here is a pic showing the tinning and the frog wire soldered underneath the pint. Where the point is tinned I use a craft knife between the sleepers to cut away the webbing, I scrape the side of the rail apply some no clean flux then touch with the iron with the solder. This is where the helping hands comes in use,avoid letting the solder run to the end of the track or you will have trouble fitting the fishplates ie tilting the point helps. By the way the point is a code 55 large radius SLE389F. When the track is laid simply drill a hole next to the point and feed a tinned feed wire up through the hole, press the wire against the side of the track, and you need a steady hand for this touch with the soldering iron and hey presto feed wire fitted.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-301219220104.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 01, 2020, 10:57:30 PM
Some more work tonight, I have finished the soldering ie preparing the points old and new. Out of all the old points only one is unsusable so that's not too bad, I might find a use for it has check point we shall see. I have disconnected the right front scenic board, I still need to remove the left board too. Then I can seperate the two fiddle yard boards and place some card between them, then lay the fiddle yard track across the join. I plan to lay most of the track but not the two curved ends, I will leave them till the boards are connected up again. I want a close joint with the fiddle yard boards but the scenic sections will be on different circuit breakers so the last thing I need is touching rails between sections. I need to leave room for track expansion with the temperature changes in this loft room.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: chrispearce on January 01, 2020, 11:37:43 PM
Thanks for that timely bit of inspiration Chris! Joining the boards with a piece of card in between, laying the track in a single length then cutting it wouldn't have occurred to me. Now THAT is an excellent idea.

Many thanks!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 02, 2020, 10:30:11 AM
Thanks Chris, I learned it on here so its good to pass it on. The hard bit is soldering to the screws,to place the screws in the correct position I place a piece of old track over the join and give it quick blast of a rattlecan of acrylic paint. That leaves a outline of the track and makes it easy to place the screws correctly,then adjust them for height.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: jpendle on January 02, 2020, 06:23:14 PM
Hi Chris,

I use single strand 24 AWG wire stripped from Cat5 network cable for all my wire droppers, it's a lot easier to use than 16/0.2

Regards,

John P
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: DarrwestLU6 on January 02, 2020, 07:23:21 PM
@lil chris (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=1784)  - Happy New Year, I've been reading the post with interest, keep us posted on how it's going!
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 02, 2020, 07:25:21 PM
Thanks John @jpendle (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3871) I must admit I used cable from mains for my droppers on the old layout. This time I am using thinner wire, it is thinner than 16/02, I have two reels Blue and Brown the same colour has on the mains cable I am using for the bus wires. I have started fixing the track down, I have two points down at the end of the fiddle yard, so making slow progress. I have decided to tin the sides of the rails for the feeds has I go along to make things easier when I start the wiring itself. I can then just pop the tinned feed wires through from under the board and touch with the soldering iron against the track and points, easy.
Back to work now, just working on a crossover on the fiddle yard, after that the only hard bit will be soldering to the screws on the board join.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 02, 2020, 07:26:53 PM
Thanks @DarrwestLU6 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=6745) , Happy New Year to you too. I am getting some track down at last.......wheeeeee lol

Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 02, 2020, 09:42:13 PM
Work today, giving it a rest now my knees are hurting. I have laid some track down in the fiddle yard, including 5 sets of points. One was one of the new unifrogs, no pesky insulated joiners required. I am pinning the track down in the fiddle yard and I am using a mixture of points, the first two which lead onto the curves I am using Large radius. I figured it would be easier on the loco's from the curve especially the anti clockwise direction. I have done the crossover the hardest part now is the board joins. Here are a few pics, the first shows my soldering setup for the points etc. the second a close up of where I solder the sides of the rail on code 55. the third shows some track down at last.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-020120213549.jpeg)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-020120213808.jpeg)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-020120213908.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: jpendle on January 02, 2020, 10:17:53 PM
Hi,

You might want to try soldering to the bottom of the code 55, I think it's easier than soldering to the side of the track.
I cut out just enough webbing to lay a wire under the first track and solder it to the second, I also cut out a bit more webbing on the first track to solder the other wire to. This means that the solder joints are hidden and there's less chance of melting sleepers, also, as I use twisted pair wires (Cat5 cable again!) it means that both wires can go through a hole on one side of the track and remain twisted.

Regards,

John P
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 03, 2020, 12:01:11 AM
High John, @jpendle (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3871) , I solder to the side of the track because I find it is easier for fault finding and I find it easier to lay the track. I drill a small hole at the side between the sleeper, and just pop the tinned wire up, touch against the side of the track and touch with the iron, you do need a steady hand. It should be even easier this time has I plan on using the thinner wire I mentioned before. I intend to lay the track then when finished do all the feeds at the same time.
 I soldered to the bottom of the code 55 track on my first layout, the trouble was some of the wires came loose, I was using thicker wire at that time. I found that I had  to pull the track up or solder wires to the side of the track, its fairly easy to do and disguise once the ballast is down and of course in the fiddle yard it does not matter.
I have glued some more cork down so leave that to dry now, I will start again on Saturday laying some more track.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on January 03, 2020, 09:42:48 AM

 I soldered to the bottom of the code 55 track on my first layout, the trouble was some of the wires came loose, I was using thicker wire at that time. I found that I had  to pull the track up or solder wires to the side of the track

I reckon that's the telling comment. Sure, soldering to the base of the rail makes it invisible but............if a wire comes loose................. :worried:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: jpendle on January 03, 2020, 06:12:05 PM

 I soldered to the bottom of the code 55 track on my first layout, the trouble was some of the wires came loose, I was using thicker wire at that time. I found that I had  to pull the track up or solder wires to the side of the track

I reckon that's the telling comment. Sure, soldering to the base of the rail makes it invisible but............if a wire comes loose................. :worried:

Then I just solder it back to the side  :D

And don't forget with a degree in electronics from the University of Liverpool, I'm a soldering whizz, NOT.

We were led to believe that there would be people to do that for us  :doh:

Oh, and do all the typing as well.

John P
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 03, 2020, 11:34:01 PM
I know what you mean John but with my way I am soldering the side of the track before I lay it, which enables me to be very carefull not to damage the sleepers. I have soldered to the side of the rail in situ before, but you really need a steady hand, it is definately a lot more difficult. I will stick to this way now, it is what works for me best.
I have not done much today in the railway room, I did manage to cut some ply for fixing to the back of the fiddle yard boards, I even give them a coat of primer. I do not want any stock falling off the back of the boards, plus it will give some protection to the high level track at the back from the sloping roof ceiling. And of course the boards are all on wheels, I have moved them forward a bit while I work on the track, it is still too low for even a small guy like me hence the sore knees yesterday lol.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 05, 2020, 09:19:10 PM
More work on the layout, back boards on the fiddle yard, I have fitted and painted in primer. I have made them 3" in height, any higher would stop the layout from going back under the eaves. They serve two purposes, protect the trains from falling off at the back especially when I will be moving the layout and at the moment they prevent my tools from falling off the back. Tonight I have laid a piece of track over the board join and successfully soldered the rails to the brass screws. I have had to make a decision tonight on the length of the fiddle yard sidings, I want the sidings at least two of them to take a train with six coaches, I was struggling just a bit so I have made the decision to pinch 6" off the down gradient. It will mean the anti clockwise direction will have a slightly steeper incline than I wanted but from previous experience with my first layout which had a steeper gradient I am pretty sure it will be ok, sometimes compromises have to be made. I will post some pics when I get some more track down in the near future.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 07, 2020, 12:17:58 AM
More prgress today, I now have a double track through the middle of the fiddle yard with both tracks soldered to the screws at the board join. I have also started on the gradient section on the back of the fiddle yard. I have cut the pieces from 9mm ply using my jigsaw a lot easier than by hand but not has straight.  But I also cut some curved ply with the jigsaw ready for the curved sections I need, also a lot easier than by hand. The plan is to try and sort most of the track on the fiddle yard before joining the scenic sections back and of course the wiring points motors and the track feeds, also needs sorting before connecting back up again.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 07, 2020, 09:34:09 PM
Tonight I have been working on the high level woodwork. It is a 6' incline 3' on each board to a height of 1.5 inches before it curves too the right to join the scenic board. I have used 9mm ply mounted on softwood blocks calcullated to give the correct height and it feels solid, it is glued and screwed. I have left the curved section, just screwed for now so I can remove it while I lay the lower curved track. I have thought of making it removable but it would complicate things because at one end is the baseboard join which is also high level, difficult enough already. A couple of pics showing the progress.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-070120213148.jpeg)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/85/1784-070120213259.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 08, 2020, 11:01:01 PM
More track down tonight I made another siding but then changed my mind about using a long radius point I used. I realised it compromised my siding for a 6 coach train, so I changed it to a small radius point. I am trying to avoid buying any more points, I still have another 4 small radius points left from the old layout to you use up plus a couple of y points. I have three brand new points plus a curved point which I have saved for the scenic section. I am not sure about those curved points, I have had trouble with one on the old layout we shall see how it works out.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on January 09, 2020, 06:36:33 AM
I have half a dozen curved points in my storage loops and they don't cause any problems.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 09, 2020, 09:36:31 AM
Thanks Laurence, the one i had trouble with was leading into the station from a long curve. I had trouble with certain locos that caused a short, i even bought a back to back gauge to check locos with. I managed to ease the problem but never completly solved it. I was planning on the using the same curved point on the new layout, I might use the long radius point instead and bite the bullet and buy some more medium radius points.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on January 09, 2020, 10:57:48 AM
At the front of 'Kimbolted' I have curved points off curves on both inner and outer ovals leading to large radius points to form a 'common' third loop and don't have any issues with them.
Hope you can solve your problem, Chris
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 09, 2020, 05:02:19 PM
Today I bit the bullet and went to one of my local model shops and bought 4 medium code 55 points, they are still the old stock not unifrog. I have just spent the last hour preparing them for fitting, feed tinning points and a frog wire.I hope to do more on the fiddle yard tonight.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 09, 2020, 05:12:26 PM
Yes Mick @Newportnobby (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264) not sure what my problem was caused by but I spent a lot of time trying to solve it. I painted the side of the switch rails at one point, I tried fitting a check rail before the point, I checked back to back's and they were within the correct tolerances. I ended up not running certain loco's in that direction to avoid the point, maybe it was just that one point I had some more curved points in the fiddle yard too. This layout is not set in stone yet so I may change the plan, I have a brand new curved point but that is the opposite hand for where the loop re joins the main line, I seem to remember the  troublsome loco's would go over the point in the reverse direction with no problem. Back now to track laying, and then I might start on some feed wiring so I can run something.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on January 09, 2020, 05:14:44 PM
Today I bit the bullet and went to one of my local model shops and bought 4 medium code 55 points, they are still the old stock not unifrog. I have just spent the last hour preparing them for fitting, feed tinning points and a frog wire.I hope to do more on the fiddle yard tonight.
Well done Chris.  Keep biting the bullet (but don't swallow any lead!  :D)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 09, 2020, 10:32:03 PM
Four tracks now in the fiddle yard it is begginning to look like a fiddle yard at last. I have also made some track feed wires and installed some of them to the track. I was using my trusty soldering workstation to tinn the track for the feed points as required has I lay the track. To save time I dug out another soldering iron I have thinking I could use that just for the wires unfortunately it is a bit too big, I melted a few sleepers. I have a even older soldering iron which I think still works with a small bit, so on my next session I will try that one. The aim is to try and get all the fiddle yard board tracks laid including the high level gradient.
I have made the decision to wire the track through two PSX circuit breakers, the down line and the up line will run independant of each other. In other words a short on one breaker will not shut the whole fiddle yard down like on my old layout. I also plan to do something similar on the two scenic boards. Once the fiddle yard board has all its track laid I can turn it on its side to do the wiring then I am getting down to the nitty gritty, and some trains running.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on January 10, 2020, 09:38:02 PM
 :hellosign:
  Thanks for the latest updates Chris, excellent progress & looking forward to seeing trains running.  :thumbsup:
        regards Derek.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 12, 2020, 04:46:26 PM
Some hard work last night and this afternoon, my knees are aching a bit now from kneeling. I have now laid most of the fiddle yard tracks and I have soldered all of them to the screws at the board join with no problems. I have made a head shunt on both ends of the smallest siding at the front and just one head shunt on the back track, there was no room at the other end. This should enable me to run the odd longer train around if I want too in both directions. The length of the fiddle yard itself is dictated by the gradient track lines coming in from the left and of course the curves at each end but some compromise has had to be made to allow some decent length trains and some good running prospects. The next main job now is the two high level lines across the back, I have the screws in place and tinned already. Here is a pic showing progress so far.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-120120163849.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 13, 2020, 10:00:34 PM
Today I have added some track to the high level across the baseboard joint. I have soldered the track to to the screws and feed wires on one side. I have been having a go at drawing a plan of the fiddle yard, I just need something to use has a wiring diagram where the feeds are etc, now on my third attempt. I have also fitted some more feed wires to the tracks then I run out of tinned feed wires so decided to make some more ready for tomorrow. The main thing is all the tracks now across the baseboard joint are soldered so I am ready to cut the rails that is a job for tomorrow afternoon. I should then be able to split the two boards and make a start on wiring underneath the boards. I have not made my mind up how I am going to aproach this yet. On my last fiddle yard wires where all over the place. Most of the point motors are in the centre and at each end so it would make sense to run the point motor bus down the centre. I will then run two feed buses down the outside of each board. The bananna plugs and jump leads I used on the old layout worked well so I will continue to use those on this layout, the only problem with them is they are the wrong colour, I might add a bit of paint to them this time. I am looking forward to getting some trains running.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 14, 2020, 08:33:43 PM
Nearly there, feeds to all track on the right side of the fiddle yard including the points is completed. I need to make some more feed wires to finish the job on the left board, so work in progress.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on January 14, 2020, 09:07:52 PM
You're working at quite a pace Chris.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 14, 2020, 09:39:30 PM
Thanks @dannyboy (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4209) I can tell you the best thing I have bought last year which I am using now is a automatic wire stripper. What a purchase that was, I saw Simon of "Simons Shed" fame ( Youtube)using one, what a good buy and such a time saver. Back to making the wires, nearly done enough for now.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on January 14, 2020, 09:47:54 PM
I bought myself an automatic wire stripper a couple of years ago and I have had my monies worth out of it! Certainly beats the old trick of rolling a wire across a Stanley knife blade to cut the insulation!  :goggleeyes:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: jpendle on January 14, 2020, 10:41:07 PM
What's an 'automatic wire stripper'? Does it have batteries?

Regards,

John P
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 14, 2020, 10:56:16 PM
@jpendle (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3871) Hi John, it would be even better if it did, no its like a pair of grips. You put the wire between the jaws and squeeze the handle's, beats doing it with the cutters like I have been doing for years.
I should add I  have made all the wires I need for now. I have taken the card out between the boards, one or two track joints are not quite has close as most of them, should not cause any running problems I do not think.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: jpendle on January 14, 2020, 11:07:48 PM
Thanks, I had a quick google and I assume you mean the ones where the grip 'automatically' cuts the insulation regardless of the wire thickness. As opposed to the 500 pound ones that run of the mains and meant for use in a factory  :D

I must admit that working in electronics I can't believe that yourself and @dannyboy (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4209) have been user cutters or a stanley knife??! That would drive me mad.

I have two sets of small gauge wire strippers, they aren't 'automatic' but they are way better than using my teeth!

Regards,

John P
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 15, 2020, 09:36:35 AM
Yes John these were less than £5 off e bay. I was quite good with the cutters, i had tried some strippers from the automotive use but found them difficult to use. My main problem was stripping wires in situ on the layout,trying to hold them tight without pulling the droppers off etc, these are so easy to use. I will finish the dropper soldering tonight and hopefully I can make a start on the main bus wires and where to place the control system. By the way i have never usŤd my teeth,probably the reason i still have some.......
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on January 15, 2020, 12:16:33 PM
I have to say that, although I have wire strippers of various types, for the last sixty years I have preferred to use a small pair of cutters.  There's a technique that I used to teach to budding electronics technicians.  It involves using your index finger between the handles to restrict the depth of cut, coiling the wire around your other index finger and pushing the knuckles of each hand against each other to effect the break in the insulation.  They used to pick up the technique quite quickly and, if you happen to need to strip insulation and there's no wire stripping tool handy, Bob (or someone else) is your uncle.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 15, 2020, 11:04:33 PM
I have today finished all the soldering all the feeds on the fiddle yard track, including the head shunts and the section of high level with track on. Tonight I decided to connect the left scenic board and lay the cork down for the low level track has it crosses the board join and then joins the high level ramp. I want to do the board joins where the track crosses over, I need to also sort the other track that is decending over the board join and then joins the left side of the fiddle yard, in other words I want to complete all the track on the fiddle yard board and solder the feeds for those has well before turning the board over.
I have not yet made my mind up where all the control boards are going and where I am placing the command station. I have been lucky too I have managed to buy three more Cobalt digital IP motors this week, I now have eight digital plus a couple of AD2fx boards so I can use some of my anolouge motors. I need to go again tomorrow to the model shop I need some more cork, having so many curves is a bit wastefull.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-150120230025.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 16, 2020, 09:19:20 PM
I am making progress now, I have laid track over the joint between the fiddleyard and the left scenic board, shown on my last pic. One of the hardist things I have found is trying to get a smooth transition from a gradient, espically at the board joint. The double track is now just short of the Monkey bridge, I still need to cut the joints with the cutting disc. I am concentrating on the fiddle yard boards for now. The next job I intend to undertake is the track from the viaduct that has to also go over the board joint but at a higher level, the track will be decending from the scenic board and then curve to join the fiddle yard tracks about 2' 6" from the left.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 16, 2020, 09:42:07 PM
Just thought I would post a pic showing the latest update. The signal box and front of the monkey bridge have been placed in position.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-160120214016.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on January 17, 2020, 09:49:11 PM
 :hellosign:
  Excellent progress Chris, thanks for the updates
       regards Derek.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 18, 2020, 11:09:00 PM
More progress tonight, I am working on the down gradient from the viaduct. I decided it was best to start at the viaduct and work back towards the fiddle yard. It's a bit of a fiddle, glueing pieces of wood and waiting for it to dry but I am getting there. I have a slight rise where the curved ply joins the straight section, I bit of sanding with the Dremel should sort that tomorrow. Anyway it is looking good and not as hard as I thought it might be. I will post pics when finished.

By the way just for anyone wondering the curved track shown on my post 177 has dropped half a inch and then goes back up to the fiddle yard. The track gradient from the viaduct that I am building now goes over this but is decending. That is the reason for the drop on the low level track and it has just worked out, I am pleased I got my figures right. Most of this part will be hidden under a hill, I will need to build in some access for track cleaning etc.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 19, 2020, 04:27:39 PM
This is my latest update, not bad while watching snooker has well. I have nearly completed the down gradient from the viaduct, the viaduct goes where the copydex bottle is. I need to finish the end of the ramp where it meets the fiddle yard points but that will be easier when I split the boards again. Tonight I will start on laying the track over the screws ready for soldering. I am quite please with the graidient I still manged to get it too 2% although it does include two curves. It will be good to run some trains and test it, that will be the big test. Of course I still need to do the right hand side yet so not finished by a long way but getting there.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-190120162008.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: DarrwestLU6 on January 20, 2020, 07:15:59 PM
Hi @lil chris (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=1784)  - It depends on how long trains you want to run. Curves and gradients at the same time are possible, I built a helix about 2% and used the following:
I can get some, but not all, the steamers up this with a rake of 5 coaches, BUT diesels are no problem. You just need to test them. Let's hope all OK, but test before you nail down all the track and finish the viaduct!

IF you find a problem and it's too steep, can I suggest a fix whilst you are still in building mode? If you can, could you drop the height of the tracks that go under the "flyover" tracks? So the tracks below dip down say 5mm under the flyover tracks and level up again after. This means the "flyover" tracks can be at lower height too (leaving a minimum clearance between top of rail and bottom of the wood of say 30-35mm- or your tallest loco/wagon load if taller) and the gradient will be less. Also a trick I adopted was to glue the flyover tracks to a strip of 2mm thick plasticard just for the flyover section (use a width of card with 1cm or so clearance either side of the track, you can easily glue some Peco truss bridge sides to it if you want). The plasticard is much thinner than wood, so will give more clearance, but is solid enough to support the track with wooden pillars either side of the "flyover" section to hold it up.

Just a thought if you get stuck. I had to do both techniques on my layout at one point to reduce the gradients.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 20, 2020, 07:29:10 PM
Thanks @DarrwestLU6 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=6745) I looked into a helix at the start of this project but ruled it out on the width of it plus the height under the eves would have been a problem.  What you are suggesting about lowering the underpass  track is what I have done already. The track from the monkey bridge is on a down gradient and drops half a inch so that the track from the viaduct which is also on a down gradient will clear underneath, then it rises back up to the fiddle yard board before the incline at the back of the fiddle yard board. I have tried to keep curves to a minimum of 2nd radius, I have a slight problem with the track on the fiddle yard where it curves, I am planning on working on that tonight
Since I took that last pic I have laid track over the board joint on both  levels and soldered it in place and added the feed wires too. I now need to connect the curves up to the straights on the fiddle yard board, the outside tracks are no problem but the inner ones I need to take care with finishing the curves. Once I have done this I can then start on finishing the tracks over the joins on the right scenic board so then all tracks will have been laid on the fiddle yard board.   pics to follow.....
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: DarrwestLU6 on January 20, 2020, 10:57:08 PM
Sounds good! I see from the photo that the flyover tracks are on a wooden base, but I can't tell from the photo how thick, so you could fall back on the 2mm plasticard idea as a backup plan if you need it. Let's hope it all works well when you wire it up for the test run! Fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 21, 2020, 10:04:55 AM
Thanks I have used 9mm ply for the flyover, I was going to use thinner stuff but it was too flexible. I have tried to keep the clearence under the flyover to 1.5 inches to be honest it is a touch lower so i might just thin the ply over that section to give a bit more clearance. I managed to finish the end of the ramp last night but decided to leave it and let the glue dry.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 21, 2020, 09:59:46 PM
I have today fitted the remaining track between the decent from the viaduct and the fiddle yard. I have fitted the feed wires has I fitted the track presoldering the wires to the track before laying the track. I decided to pull up the overpass on the front scenic board so I can slim it down a touch, if I mess up I will just bridge the gap with plasticard or thinner ply. I need to goto the model shop again tomorrow, unfortunately last week I got the wrong thickness of cork, its too thin which has stopped me from any more progress untill tomorrow night. I am getting so near to completion of the track on the fiddle yard board, the next big job is to lay the track over the right board joins. Again there is two levels of track, this time one is high level but there are no gradients involved.
I might complete the track on the two scenic boards, this would complete the full circuit of track, so I could possibly test the track with a dc controller and a Jinty tank that has not been converted to dcc. Once this is done I can seperate the boards again and make a start wiring the bus and installing the point motors.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on January 21, 2020, 10:01:59 PM
You are getting on at a fair rate Chris.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 21, 2020, 10:10:19 PM
Thanks @dannyboy (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4209) I am desperate to run something soon, I want to wire up the track soon as possible.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 22, 2020, 04:46:01 PM
I have been to the model shop today I managed to get the correct size of cork this time. I also managed to purchase some tag strips, I think these will be better than using choc blocks and  not take up has much room especially on the fiddle yard board. I think they will be a lot tidier although of course they need soldering. This afternoon after playing snooker I have used my dremel to thin the ply on the flyover down a bit, I am a lot happier with it now it just needs glueing back in place. Tonight I am planning to work on the right fiddle yard board and finish laying the track over the board ends installing the required feeds has I go, I have eight pairs of feed wires I prepared last night.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 23, 2020, 08:55:14 PM
Well folks I made a error, I had calculated the rh corner curve from the fiddle yard points wrong somehow. I also forgot I need to install the rh scenic back board because the high level comes out through a hole in it and of course there is a track join there too. I had to use the jigsaw to make the back scene hole larger that done I have now fitted the back scene board to the front right baseboard, that was a pig of a job, under the eves did not make it any easier. Another problem the board was not sitting upright in otherwords square to the baseboard so I have found one of those old metal shelf brkts to give support. I have also fitted one of the old scenic boards to the side, it will need a access hole cutting in it for access in the tunnel. So now back to installing the track over the baseboard joint, more soldering required, I need to glue some cork down first.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on January 23, 2020, 09:42:36 PM
Just think of all the money gone into the 'Swearbox for railway purchases' though, Chris ;)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 23, 2020, 10:07:07 PM
Thanks Mick @Newportnobby (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264) I need a new rh curved point for the lead into the station from the tunnel. Looking at the point I was going to use, it's damaged, sleepers at the toe end are missing and I think it was the point I had trouble with before so it's probably better to buy a new one.  The back board and right side board's are in place, the outer track now crosses the join, unfortunately on a curve but it is soldered in position now. The next job is the inner track then I can do the upper track which crosses over the lower track on the fiddle yard board.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: crewearpley40 on January 23, 2020, 10:16:55 PM
Chris. It's looking good but hopefully one will gain an insight into what went wrong and learn
 It will look good when you have that error made good and wiring which I dislike too come good. We are all here to help each other. Chris
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 23, 2020, 10:40:08 PM
Thanks @crewearpley40 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3894) The fiddle yard is a bit of a compromise, I had a plan which I changed slightly. The trouble with curves leading into fiddle yards is the room they waste at the front. Plus I need to leave room at the back for the high level ramp. I would have prefferred to have had a bit of straight track before the two points from the curve, has it happens the down track which is the inner leads into a large radius point, so that should ease it somewhat. On my old fiddle yard I had used code 80 curved points leading into the fiddle yard which made a couple of the sidings very long, maybe in the future I could change the right end. Its all coming together now the test will be when it is running trains.
I also have a idea for my electrics after seeing a video on youtube. I intend to put the electronic units on a board fitted with hinges for access.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: crewearpley40 on January 23, 2020, 10:44:14 PM
No worries chris. Apologies it's late. Hopefully one can rectify issues . Maybe one of the experts at track planning and electrics can help solve. Agree that curves can waste space. I m hoping on my own layout to tuck wires underneath the board with those
 Chocblocks holding all together
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: ptopo on January 24, 2020, 11:35:27 PM
Hi Chris, after being away a while Iím really impressed with the scope of the new layout - a really nice vision of a plan and coming along really well. The old layout was super so this has oodles of promise.

Iíve not quite got my head around the fiddle yard issue from the pictures but my best advice (to anyone) is not to stick down track but instead hold it in place with v. small screws between sleepers, itís then dead easy to move around if thereís problems. They can stay in until ballasting and removal the screws at the end and fill the holes with ballast. Sorry if bleedin' obvious.

On track laying I took and adapted my dads most sage advice, think four times, measure three think twice more, then act. Unless youíve had a beer... :beers:. Itís why my layout is taking so ruddy long...

V best, PT
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 25, 2020, 10:46:27 AM
@ptopo (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=409) thanks for the kind comments. The track in the fiddle yard is pinned down and i have no intention of ballasting it so change will be still possible. Tonight i intend to carry on laying the track over the board join,like i said previously i might finish laying all the track on the scenic boards too. Then its the wiring that will need doing,with the boards like they are i can seperate them and turn on there sides to make the wiring easy. The plan is four seperate sections,basically the up an down lines,a short on one does not close down the whole layout.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Chris in Prague on January 25, 2020, 06:25:51 PM
Thanks for all the updates, Chris. I'm looking forward to seeing some trains running, soon. You've certainly made very rapid progress.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 25, 2020, 07:54:12 PM
Thanks Chris, after reading the other post...https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=48053.0 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=48053.0) Ricky was having the same problem has me on my old layout. Seeing has I have a curved point in a similar place on my new layout which is a awkward place to work on ie near to a board joint, I decided to take the plunge and modify the brand new point I bought yesterday. I have done the same has the oo guys, I saw a guy doing it on his layout on youtube so thanks Charlie. Of course it is a lot more fiddly on N-Gauge the hard part is cutting the little link joining the two switch rails and of course soldering between two sleepers. I staggered the two links so has not to weaken the structure of the point, here is a pic of the modified point, there is a arrow pointing to the link that needs cutting plus of course the wire that leads to the frog which I have soldered a wire too, to attach to my Cobalt motor switch for frog control, just hope it works. Its too late now I have done it but hopefully no more problems with at least two of the loco's I remember having problems before.
By the way I left the black wire attached to one of the links in the picture so you can see how I did it, you cut that off before fitting to the layout.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-250120195254.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 25, 2020, 09:05:37 PM
Well a bit of a nightmare tonight, like I said the two lower tracks going over the board are at a slight angle because of my error. It is not a good idea crossing over a board joint at a angle, I had the problem of marking the track and soldering the rails and then the inner rail moved in the sleepers. Also trying to get the fish plates onto the point was a nightmare. The rails end of the point did not look parrarell, new point ?, and under the eaves so hard access. I wanted to have one piece of rail around the curve and then crossing the board joint ie no track joins especially on a curve that would be asking for problems. I have filled the swear box tonight I can tell you, I should have enough for a sound loco soon. The gap where the track joins the point on the inner rail is slightly large can anyone suggest something I could fill it with, the rail won't move now its soldered in place. I have packed in for tonight and turned off the soldering irons, I have the high level track to do tomorrow but I will not have the same problem with that one it is more straight, still one piece of track though with a curve.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 26, 2020, 04:53:14 PM
Well this afternoon I managed to reduce the gap on the inner rail. I put the soldering iron on the rail joint and loosened it then managed to push the rail through the sleepers and reduce the gap,I then resoldered the joint. I have now fitted the first point of the crossover along with a straight piece and fitted the droppers. The next stage i need to cut some ply for the high level where it comes through the back board,I will do that tomorrow.pics to follow.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Chris in Prague on January 26, 2020, 05:08:07 PM
Well this afternoon I managed to reduce the gap on the inner rail. I put the soldering iron on the rail joint and loosened it then managed to push the rail through the sleepers and reduce the gap,I then resoldered the joint. I have now fitted the first point of the crossover along with a straight piece and fitted the droppers. The next stage i need to cut some ply for the high level where it comes through the back board,I will do that tomorrow.pics to follow.

Congratulations, Chris. Well done.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 26, 2020, 10:31:21 PM
I have revised my plan for the small station, it was always going to be mainly a through station. I was thinking of a island platform on the up line but has soon has I fitted the curved point leading from the fiddle yard I realised there was not enough room. The curved point is basically a large radius point and takes up some room so it is now going to be slow line allowing small trains to stop at the platform. I will install a trailing point or possibly use a slip to allow access to a small goods yard for operational interest. Would you believe I am running out of new code 55 track and I bought nearly a full box. All the fiddle yard is new track, this part of building the layout is very enjoyable, ie sorting the track and I am taking care to lay it properly.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 27, 2020, 10:14:00 PM
More work today on the rh side boards. I cut the ply that is forming the high level section and fitted cork in position, After the nightmare with the two low level tracks with them being curved I have approached fitting the high level tracks in a different way. I sorted the screw positions out then put the pieces of track with a slight curve over the screws. I then cut the sleepers where required and soldered the sides and under the track. After tinning the screws ready I placed the track over the screws and clamped in position and then soldered the two tracks to the screws. The track needs the curves finishing on the fiddle yard side a join piece and feeds adding, but that will be a doddle after yesterdays exercise. I can also do that when I have split the boards before making a start on the electrics. When I install droppers on the high level section I have already drilled some large holes to enable the wires to go below the main board, I might make a larger access hole for incase of any future problems, trying to think ahead once scenery is in the way. I am not sure where to put the spur off the loop for the goods yard, t needs to be at the bottom somewhere because I need room for station access.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-270120215816.jpeg)
This second pic shows the fiddle yard the other side of the board join, the tracks still need joing up.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-270120215926.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: ptopo on January 28, 2020, 07:54:28 AM
Oh yes...! That’s going to make for great operation and running.

 :thankyousign:

Regarding the point modifications - I’d read about that approach and couldn’t quite get my head around the advantage vs the normal dropper from the frog (sorry, it’s been so long since I did point works). Is it to stop mis-timed switching of the frog polarity and actual movement of the switch rail causing a short? I dimly recall having this problem with some polarity switching options.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Milton Rail on January 28, 2020, 08:33:40 AM
You are making cracking progress Chris, the layout is coming along a treat  :beers:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 28, 2020, 10:11:15 AM
Thanks guys for the comments,regarding the point modification it's when you have problems with some loco's with the wheels catching the switch rails when they come round the curve and hit the point. I had this problem on the old layout with at least 3 loco's,i seem to remember one was my class 47 diesel. I checked back to backs etc at the time,even bought a gauge to do it with. I read a post the other day in the track section where somebody had the same problem so decided i would try to avoid it this time.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 28, 2020, 05:23:22 PM
More work today, to make life easier in installing the track I have assembled all four boards. The high level is now approaching the viaduct, the next job is to build the high level structure it might be a good idea to bring the low level track round first. I need a lh point to complete the station loop for the goods access. I was trying to make do with what points I have left but it's no good compromising the plan for the cost of one point, I can still complete the main line. The track on the fiddle yard high level still needs connecting yet, I will do that after splitting the boards again. Here is a pic showing progress.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-280120172245.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Shropshire Lad on January 28, 2020, 05:26:34 PM
Amazing progress Chris!
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on January 28, 2020, 05:38:47 PM
That setting for the viaduct looks perfect.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Chris in Prague on January 28, 2020, 06:06:24 PM
That setting for the viaduct looks perfect.  :thumbsup:

Seconded!
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on January 28, 2020, 09:07:55 PM
That setting for the viaduct looks perfect.  :thumbsup:

Seconded!
:hellosign:
Absolutely Third that's looking superb Chris  :thumbsup:
       regards Derek
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 28, 2020, 09:54:14 PM
Thanks everyone for the comments. Tonight I have sorted the approach to the viaduct on both sides. The middle of the two scenic boards is a track join so that was important to get right, I am waiting for some glue to dry now. Tomorrow night I will fix the final board join track screws in place and maybe solder some track over the join. The screws for the low level track leading over the monkey bridge are already in place waiting for the track. I went to the model shop today and bought another three lengths of code 55 unfortunately he had no medium radius points in stock but he has placed some on order, they will be uni frogs, but thats ok with me. I have plenty to do so I can leave the station loop and goods spur for now and concentrate on other things.  One thing I have done is modify the second curved point at the other end of the station loop, I have now fitted that in place so that I can complete the main line which after s bend curves leads over the monkey bridge. One thing I have changed is the position of the second curved point, I have moved it to the right slightly away from the crossover bridge, so the loop will be a touch shorter but I think it will look better. With moving the point the curves have moved slightly to the left and will be a bit more curvy, still nothing tighter than 2nd radius, it should look good though. I will post some more pics when I make more progress.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on January 29, 2020, 06:38:31 AM
That all sounds like good progress, Chris.  Let us have some more picutures whe you get the next bit finished.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 29, 2020, 09:18:56 PM
Thanks Laurence for the comments here is the latest track update. I am concentrating on the finishing the low level before finishing the high level. It is just has well because like I said I had to recaculate some of the curves. I have managed to lay the outer track over the board join towards the monkey bridge. While I was waiting for the copydex to dry on the track, I started on fitting some of the feeds I had missed  on the awkward curves, I managed it without damaging the sleepers and burning myself. I have run out of feed wires so I need to make some more, its remembering that on the front boards the wires are the other way round. I am using brown and blue, brown is the inside of the track and blue the outer rail. I do not think I have made any mistakes yet, that's tempting fate of course. Here is  the latest pic of my progress.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-290120211816.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 30, 2020, 09:54:33 PM
 I went to the model shop today and bought 4x more lengths of code 55 and some more cork, even though I bought 3 pieces on Tuesday. I also wanted a left hand med point unfortunately Peco only sent him rh points even though he ordered them at the same time has a box of code 55. I will wait while he gets them because I know he will be getting unifrogs and that suits me fine. I have gone over the track I have laid and made a few tweaks here and there, I have also checked each piece of track has feed wires, I found a couple I had missed. The bigest problem today was finding where I could put the track feeds after the track join's between the two scenic boards. There is a small over ( low) road bridge then  hill where the signal box will be then the monkey bridge. I decided to put the feeds just after the board join, the wires will be hidden behind the bridge suport wall, at least thats the idea, I drilled bigish holes in the board beneath the bridge position for the wires to pass through. The track board joins are soldered down to the screws, just before the join the track curves round has it is dropping some height but I noticed a slight dip. I first noticed the dip when the board was on it's side, so what I have done is pack the track there with two layers of cork to level the track out. The next job now is to finish the high level track over the viaduct, so I will have to fix the viaduct in it's final position ready for the track. Some of you may notice on the picture that I have been generous with the track spacing round the sweeping curves, this to avoid problems with running, I think it will look better once the scenery starts to appear. Most of the curves on the left scenic side will be hidden anyway, I have yet to decide where the tunnel mouths will go.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-300120213554.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 30, 2020, 10:15:20 PM
I have just glued the viaduct section in position ready for the next phase of building. Just thought I would post a pic showing the layout.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-300120221339.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on January 31, 2020, 10:18:55 AM
Something I have noticed since placing the viaduct in position is the little stacker truck on the factory scene has gone walkabouts. I did have a vacuum session yesterday so I need to check inside that, or I might find it with my knees which would be painful.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: chrism on January 31, 2020, 10:20:44 AM
or I might find it with my knees which would be painful.

I've got that t-shirt too  :o
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: port perran on January 31, 2020, 10:58:24 AM
or I might find it with my knees which would be painful.

I've got that t-shirt too  :o

Yes, been there and done that.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 01, 2020, 10:00:07 PM
More progress tonight, I have finished the rail over bridge structure ready for laying the track over on the rh high level. I have also laid the track round the curves from the fiddle yard and part way over the viaduct, that was a tight squeeze but I have managed to keep within a minimum of second radius. In the scenic sections the track is glued with copydex, the advantage is if you make a error when its dry just slide a thin blade under the track and your ready to make any corrections. The only problem I find is if you drill through where there is some copydex it gets wraped round the drill so I miss sections for the feed wires. The curved section I have laid tonight needs the feed wires sorting out yet. I still need some more track, I was trying to avoid having a track join on the viaduct because that would cause a problem with feed wires to that piece of track. I was also trying to avoid using old pieces of track so I might have to go to the model shop again and buy another couple of pieces of track to or use some old track after all.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 02, 2020, 06:03:50 PM
Well this afternoon I completed the up track over the viaduct including feeds. I have finished the up line apart from the fiddle yard at the back which needs connecting with a short piece.
I was using a old Burgess soldering iron I have had for years but unfortunately it has packed in. It was good for soldering to the side of the track adding the feed wires, with having a small tip. I am not complaining I have had my moneyís worth out of it,40 years approx. I have ordered a new small tip Antex iron from Rapid online. My main soldering iron work station has a very short lead and a very short mains lead too, so using a small iron was a lot easier. I have run out of code 55 new track now so I will wait till Tuesday when my model shop opens and hopefully my new iron will arrive by then. I had a crawl under the layout this afternoon, I try to avoid that nowadays. I did not find the missing stacker truck, but I did notice a point on the fiddle yard with no feed wires. So I am nearly there, I have done a bit of track tweaking in places, there are one or two places I need to keep a eye on when I finally do a test run.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on February 02, 2020, 06:19:23 PM
You are progressing well Chris - your model shop must love you!  ;)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 02, 2020, 06:55:38 PM
Thanks @dannyboy (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4209) yes they do at the moment spent a fortune recently. Here is my latest track update pic. I must admit I was nearly tempted to use some of the old track but the soldering iron packing in sealed it, it can wait a couple of days I want it right. I did have a slight problem this afternoon with one of the new board joints, I was trying to fix it when the soldering iron packed in so that will be the next job.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-020220185511.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 03, 2020, 05:35:08 PM
Well today I could not wait till tomorrow to get the track so I went to the second model shop in the area I know of, bit of a trip but I bought two more pieces of code 55 so I could finish the main line.I have laid the track now across the high level section. Tonight I will make a start on the track feeds, it means moving my soldering workstation, like I said its good but the leads are a bit short. I might have a change and make a start on eother side of the viaduct. You need a good reason to have a vidauct so really I need hills on each side to justify the viaduct.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: port perran on February 03, 2020, 06:56:16 PM
You are certainly rattling along with this project Chris.
Looking really good.

Martin
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 03, 2020, 09:21:55 PM
Well tonight after laying the track I have decided to leave solderingthe feeds to the track till I get the new soldering Iron I have ordered from Rapid. It should be a lot more nimble than the workstation I have has good as it is. I have also made a change to my plan for the station loop, the initial plan was for a trailing point off the end of the loop but I have changed that to a facing point instead. This will lead to the sidings with a head shunt and another point allowing goods trains to reverse and shunt into the sidings, I think that will work quite well. I have a couple of old points I could use but I intend to use a new unifrog point leading into the sidings for reliability. I have just put some cork down in the station area for the station loop and platforms etc. The station is only going to be a small suburban station with a loop on the upline and the goods spur. Building the scenery is going to be fun on this layout there is plenty of open spaces, there will be a few hills ( for the tunnels ) and of course justification for the viaduct over the river.
Just thought I would add a pic showing track so far.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-030220220818.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on February 04, 2020, 06:26:59 AM
It's all starting to come together nicely now, Chris.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 04, 2020, 10:37:30 PM
The new soldering iron has come today, the tip is a bit bigger than I would have liked. Not sure if I could cut it down a touch without damaging it, so I better leave well be. I managed to wire a few feeds in with it and tonight I have finished the station loop along with a rh unifrog point bought today. I have been putting labels on tag strips ready for the wiring, I have also made some feed wires ready to use. I have also painted the track with sleeper grime over the viaduct.
 A bit of frustration tonight, I can not find my box of shrink wrap anywhere, it has dissapeared into the void. Luckyly I found a piece that I could use, I needed it to wire the frog on the new point, I am also running out of metal joiners so another trip to the model shop. Today I bought a couple of Metcalfe kits, the warehouse kit pn182 which looks has near to a old mill I has I can get. I will probably modify it to make it more mill like. The other kit is a pn147 the Railway bridge in stone, I am hoping I can use this on the road from the viaduct factory, that will also need some modifications making to fit in place. I have seen lots of you guys on the site scratch building but I know my limitations, the monkey bridge is about my limit.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 05, 2020, 11:15:05 PM
Tonight was soldering night preparing the tag strips ready for installing my dcc bus. I then checked them all with my multimeter for continuity. I need to plan where all the equipment is going, I will be using 4 x Psx circuit breakers. Two for the fiddle yard up and down tracks and two on the scenic boards up and down tracks. On the fiddle yard boards where most of the point motors are they will have a seperate bus wired from the  Alpha control box. I am not sure what I am doing with the points and motors on the rh scenic board yet, there is not enough inputs left on the Alpha for the scenic board, all being used on the Fiddle yard boards. I might make a simple panel for the station loop and the small goods yard and use some of the old switches from the old control panel or save up and buy another Alpha unit but then I will also need more digital motors so a bit expensive.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 06, 2020, 09:06:53 PM
This afternoon I took advantage of the sun and went walking, only 3.6 mile but its a start.
Last night I bit the bullet and ordered a Weller soldering iron kit which comes with different sizes of tip, that should be more up to the job of soldering track feeds to the track. I am having problems with my main soldering station, the end keeps falling out which could be dangerous if it landed on my leg. It is a press fit, most have a screw holding the end in and tip in position. This has a sleeve which presses into the end of the iron with a screw on cap to old the tip in position, turning the screw cap and the whole thing turns in the end of the iron. Over the last few weeks it has become progressavely looser, like I said now a bit dangerous. I have tried some thread lock but that only last a couple of days, obviously the heat is too much for it. I might try drilling a hole and tapping it and putting a small screw in it to hold it in position. I bought it from Conrad a few years ago, it was not expensive and it has been very good with varible heat control and a sponge. I suppose you only get what you pay for, I will see what the Weller iron is like tomorrow.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on February 06, 2020, 09:43:02 PM
the end keeps falling out which could be dangerous if it landed on my leg.

Could be even more dangerous if it landed somewhere else!  :goggleeyes: . Good luck with the new iron.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 07, 2020, 11:08:45 PM
Well my new Weller soldering iron arrived late this afternoon, better late than never. Tomorrow night I can proceed with finishing the track feeds, this iron has two more tips, a pointed tip and a small spade one. Once the track feeds are complete it will then be time to start wiring up the layout. I will have a main bus which will be fed from the SB5 booster, which will then supply two Psx circuit breakers on the scenic boards and two on the fiddle yard boards. Most of the feeds if there is a few together will be connected to tag strips, via wago connectors, this will enable some sections to be disconnected for fault finding. The Cobalt point motors on the fiddle yard boards will have another bus of two wires from the Alpha unit, I have yet to decide about the point motors on the rh scenic board. I will post some more pics after I have made some progress.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 08, 2020, 07:19:27 PM
Well tonight I am going to finish the tracklaying and feeds now I have my new soldering ron with a more suitable tip. I have retired the Basetech for now, I might try to repair it sometime.
This morning I made a trip over to Heywood mrc on one of there open days, very enjoyable. Thanks to the two guys on the N- Gauge dept, sorry I am terible remembering names, you know who you are, thanks for making me welcome. Back to work now I need to get some trains running and do some testing on this layout. It is nice to know I can go over to Heywood and run some loco's there If I do not manage it before next month's open day.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 08, 2020, 10:07:21 PM
Tonight I have fitted some of the last track ie the head shunt for the goods yard, I have not laid the sidings yet has I have not decided exactly how many etc. I still have the threeway point from the old layout, unfortunately all the wires fell off it when I pulled it up, it was well stuck down. So that point will need a repairs to the wiring if I decide to use it. I have now added feeds to all the track on the scenic board using the new soldering iron, I think I managed to damge at least one sleeper in the process, but that is the way it is. I have been looking through the old bus wires for the old layout to see what I can use and I have decided where the controller and a board with two PSx's will go on the rh front scenic board, so that is the next stage.
I forgot I had to repair one of the track joins over the board joint it had come loose, it was so easy using the Antex 100w iron, that is now fixed. So buying that iron was not completely wasted it will be a good asset for doing any soldering on the heavy bus wires, I used twin and earth cable, you need heat for that stuff.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 09, 2020, 05:45:39 PM
Well I have finally got to starting on the wiring. This afternoon i have fitted the first part of the main bus this involved drill holes in the leg supports to allow it to pass through. This also gave support to it has a bonus, it needs to continue onto the fiddle yard. I have made a board to fix the psx circuit breakers to, I am in the process of painting that. I intend to make a box for the SB5 which will be mounted under the board at the front. The cable from this then plugs into the end of the main bus. I have already fitted supports under the board to support the box. Next to it will be the board with the circuit breakers which will be hinged for easy access. The sub buses from the circuit breakers will then supply the feeds to the track via tag strips,I will post some pics when more things are in place.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 09, 2020, 09:55:05 PM
Well more work on the railway, I have given the electronics board a coat of primer on the other side so that can be drying. Then back to working on the feed wires, First I have numbered them all and matched them to a plan of the wiring. Then I fitted two tag strips, I am trying to think ahead and not place them where other things will need to be like signals etc, so some of the feed wires will need extending. In which case I will extend with larger wire, some I have extended using wago connectors, I have found they do not work very well with the thinner wire I am using for the droppers so I have soldered some together. I am using seperate tag strips  for the up line and for the down line, they will be supplied with power from two buses and from two circuit breakers . Done enough for tonight my knees are hurting now so time to pack in but I am getting there. here are two pics, the first shows the start of the main bus the second the tag strips note the feeds wires which are now numbered.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-090220214251.jpeg)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-090220214421.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on February 10, 2020, 07:44:47 AM
That's coming on nicely, Chris.  For thin wires (in fact for all wires) I tend to use 'chocolate  block' barrier strip for connectors.  It looks like you have one down near the bottom left of the pictures.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 10, 2020, 04:55:46 PM
Thanks Laurence, yes I used chock block connectors all over the layout on the old layout. That was the trouble they were all over the place with multiple bus wires going to them. It is suprprising how much room they take up under the boards, I was struggling when I decided to fit signals and lights etc, they were fitted to the baseboard the side supports in fact everywhere. I was going to use some of the old bus wires but today I went to B&Q and bought some more twin and earth cable. The old bus wires had cables coming off all over the place, so if I cut some of them off there would be open cable with no insulation, I found a good piece for the main bus and another to extend it for the fiddle yard board. I have just finished painting the electronics board with a coat of gloss, when dry I will fit hinges to it and then mount the components, then I can begin wiring the sub bus's with the new cable. I am not sure if I am going to solder the connections onto it yet, I might use chock blocks it will look neater.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 10, 2020, 08:59:23 PM
More work tonight, I have fitted 2 of the circuit breakers to a new board which will be fitted under the rh scenic board next to the command centre (SB5). It is hinged and will fold up and held with a catch, thus protecting the circuit boards. At the moment these two boards are wired with reset switches but no warning led's. I have drilled two holes ready fo incase I decide to upgrade them, I will probably run the layout with them hinged down so you can see the short warning lights on the boards. The other two PSX's I have are wired with led's, I intend to use those on the fiddle yard and extend the led wires and reset switches to some where I can get to them easy. I am now in the process of making the box for the SB5, that will be fitted just under the board also for easy access.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-100220205108.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 11, 2020, 02:48:36 PM
Well  today I went to the model shop hoping to get some more tag strips, unfortunately he did not have anymore. Then I remembered a radio shop that used to be in Bolton, I thought it had closed a few years ago but luckily I found out it had relocated to Farnworth. I mangaed to buy some more tag strips from there so I now should have enough to do the fiddle yard. I was trying to figure out how to make the few I had last out, I can now fit the extra ones where needed on the boards and avoid long wires. Just finishing the box for the command centre at the moment, back to more soldering tonight.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: tc4332 on February 11, 2020, 04:55:15 PM
Wow Chris, I am enjoying following your progress and today you have taken me down a path that I thought had died. Modern Radio still lives!!!!!
I will be paying them a visit when I return home. I really thought that the business had vanished.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 11, 2020, 06:52:59 PM
Hi there @tc4332 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=7940) you must be local to me then. Yes Modern Radio lives its on Gladstone rd Farnworth now.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: tc4332 on February 11, 2020, 08:33:07 PM
Hi Chris,
Just another 80 year old living in Wigan. Drove down to Chepstow today for a meeting tomorrow. Then Thursday return via Bridgewater.
Retired electronics engineer.
No actual layout yet, waiting for son and his family to move out then I can use their bedroom. Lots of plans but hoping that they wont be pipe dreams for much longer. Apart from the kids I am on my own now, lost my wife 18 months ago.
I am really admiring your skill levels.
I'll keep in touch if you are willing.
Ray.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 11, 2020, 10:09:26 PM
Thanks Ray @tc4332 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=7940) for your post by all means keep in touch, I have sent you a pm.
Tonight I have done some more work with the tag strips, I have re wired the first two using smaller tag strips and labeled them up better. You have to way things up, for some reason in my brain I had used tag strips that had too many connections so I was wasting some. You tend to forget you need to seperate the up and the down lines and count the connections needed. I do not want long dropper wires, they need to be has short has possible and connect direct to the tag strips.I have also fitted the electronics board to the bottom of the baseboard, I will fit the box for the command centre when the paint is dry probably tomorrow night. One of the droppers came off a piece of track, luckily it was in a accessable place and I managed to solder it back in place without doing any damage. One of the next jobs is to fit the two pairs of bus wires in position and then run cables from the bus to each tag strip. I am thinking of using the wago connectors on the wires from the bus to the tag strips, this will enable me to dissconnect parts of the track which should help in fault finding If I need too.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-110220220754.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on February 12, 2020, 06:34:49 AM
It's all coming together.  I assume that the little boxes with holes in at the edges/corners of the baseboards are to locate the legs.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 12, 2020, 09:52:08 AM
Yes thanks Laurence, you are spot on they are the leg supports.I am looking forward to the next bit ie fitting the sub bus wires, i might be able to run something.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 12, 2020, 10:27:08 PM
Well more progress today, I have made a start on fitting the sub bus for the up lines. I have now run out of large Choc block connectors, I have loads of small connectors but they are not much use for the way I am wiring this bus. I saw the idea on Youtube, its a good idea but heavy on the choc blocks. On the left side of the board all the droppers are connected to the respective tag strips, next job, the tag strips will be connected to the sub up bus. On the rh side on the pic you can see the box for the command centre fitted below the board and too the left is the board with the circuit breakers in the folded up position. A trip to B&Q tomorrow and probably the model shop. By the way I have fixed my soldering work station, I managed to drill and tap the end and fit a screw. Has I was tightening the screw the head snapped off the screw but thats ok I have have filed it flush now, has long as it holds the end in.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-120220221754.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 13, 2020, 04:23:16 PM
I have been to the model shop today and B&Q. I spent some serious money today 10x Cobalt IP motors, this will leave me two spare after fitting the motors to the fiddle yard. The plan is to use all digital on the fiddle yard, I was going to use a few anolouge motors along with a AD-2fx but having all digital motors simplifies the wiring. The two spare digital motors I will use for the station loop and I can then use anolouge motors for the goods sidings and the station crossover. I was a bit lucky with the motors,a box of 6, my local model shop was going to return them has not required, he had only ordered single motors.
I have also got the 30a connectors strips ( choc blocks) plus a few more cable tie wraps which will come in handy for keeping the wiring tidy. In the picture you can also see the new tag strips I bought.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-130220162154.jpeg)

I should add on here please do not tell my wife it's not my birthday till August.........
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: port perran on February 13, 2020, 04:42:58 PM
Your secret is safe Chris.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on February 13, 2020, 06:21:21 PM
Your secret is safe Chris.

'Course it is ......... how much is it worth?  ;)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 13, 2020, 10:34:12 PM
Tonight I have fitted the down sub bus using the new cable. This time I bought 1.5mm mains cable which is lighter than the previous cable I have been using. I might have got away with using the smaller choc blocks if I had realised. They only cost £3 so its no big deal, just need to connect the tag strips on the left side, I have prepared some small tag strips for the right side where there are not has many feeds. I do not want to waste the larger tag strips, the fiddle yard will be the challenge, 10 tracks including the high level gradient and 19 points. The left scenic board should be a doddle by comparison, just a few feed wires. By the way the old soldering iron after the repair now works a treat and is now a lot safer to use.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-130220223338.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 14, 2020, 10:01:18 PM
Well tonight a bit of frustration, I usually go playing snooker with my two sons but being Valentines day they have give it a miss. I began doing more wiring on the bus connections checking with my meter has I go along. Has soon as I connected the down bus thats when trouble started, I started by back tracking trying to find the cause of the fault then it dawned on me. I tried the meter on the track itself and the down line and the upline where connected. I then realised the cause, I have used two uni frog points has a station crossover. You do not need insulated joiners, but of course on my layout they are two different district's so I need the insulated joiners between the two points. So I need to turn the board back over and pull up a bit of track and fit the joiners, it is glued down with copydex so easy enough to get too. Simple mistake to make but very annoying I made it, I seem to have wired all the droppers the correct way round.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on February 15, 2020, 06:42:59 AM
An easy mistake to make, Chris.  Also, you may have trouble when a loco uses the crossover, because it will bridge the insulated gaps, so a couple of frog juicers may be called for on one of the tracks, with IRJs on either side of one of the point. 
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 15, 2020, 07:23:05 PM
Well that was easy,I have fitted the unsul joiners already, two tins weighting the track while the glue drys and then back to working on the connections.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 15, 2020, 10:50:53 PM
A bit more frustration tonight, I solved the up and down line contamination, easy as described in my last post. But tonight I was still showing a problem on my meter with the left and right rails showing a fault. The obvious cause would be droppers wired the wrong way round but I have double checked them. The cause is the Circuit breaker, I disconnected that and no fault, unless I also connect one of the two digital ip point motors. The cause with the motor is simple, they are still in the centre position ready for fitting, once activated they will be easy to sort, if its still the wrong, just swap the feeds over. So it might be something similar in the circuit breakers, I will just leave them dissconnected for now while I finish the wiring. Tonight I have been trimming the cork to give a nice shoulder for the track and one of the tracks had come loose on the board join just near the monkey bridge so I have re soldered that. Back to finishing the feeds on this board on the right hand side tomorrow.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 16, 2020, 08:54:26 PM
Well tonight I decided to finish the high level track on the fiddle yard board,there was a gap of about 10", I also fitted the droppers. I would have done a lot more tonight but I have not been well for the last 24 hours so I am pleased I managed to do that.  I also fitted some buffer stops at the end of the 3 fiddle yard end sidings, just blocks of ply but thats all I need to stop a train running off the end. Hopefully I will crash on with the rest of the wiring tomorrow.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on February 16, 2020, 09:20:57 PM
You take care Chris, health is more important than layouts. I do think you could have chosen better words for your last sentence though.  ;)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 16, 2020, 09:58:05 PM
Just thought I would post this short video of my new layout. I made a few mistakes like not mentioning the name, not mentioning the left fiddle yard board and calling the left scenic board the right but you get the idea.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on February 16, 2020, 10:41:17 PM
A good explanatory video Chris.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on February 17, 2020, 05:28:56 PM
A good explanatory video Chris.  :thumbsup:
:hellosign:.
 Totally agree, nice work Chris
        regards Derek
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 17, 2020, 10:45:38 PM
Thanks guys for the comments. Tonight I have done more work on the first scenic board .I have added 3 more tag strips, all dropper wires are now connected to a tag strip. I have also wired the end of the bus cables to jumper sockets ready for joining the lh scenic board. I will use jumper wires to join the two scenic boards, they worked well on the old layout with no problems. To complete the bus wiring  on this board I just need to add feed wires from the bus to the tag strips. I have thought about connecting one of the bus to the SB5 direct and having a test run, I will let you know the result if I do.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Ricky B on February 17, 2020, 11:24:39 PM
I'm enjoying following your progress lil chris. Lots of wiring and gizmos- way above me most of that! Very impressive.👍
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 18, 2020, 10:36:06 AM
Thanks @Ricky B (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=6994) pleased you have sorted your point problem. Hoping that i do not have that issue with this layout, i should not has i have modified the two curved points for my station loop. Just having a few problems with the wiring i do not understand at the moment. I wired my old layout the same way which worked so it should be ok.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 18, 2020, 10:31:14 PM
Tonight I have finished the wiring on the right scenic board, all tag strips are connected correctly. My meter is showing a problem of a short if I connect a Cobalt motor or connect the bus's to the circuit breakers, maybe they need power to them so they can configure themselves. So tonight I tried connecting the up bus direct to the main bus from the SB5. I plugged it all in no problems except trying to run a loc through the points was fraught with problems. The springs have been removed ready for using the Cobalt motors and the frog wires are not connected yet. So I gave up on that and tried to run the loco on the high level up track( no points ), that was better after a track clean. I would show a video but I have no software for editing movies at the moment since I upgraded the pc to W10. At least I now know my wiring is correct and working.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on February 18, 2020, 11:30:18 PM
 :hellosign:
   Running trains is always excellent progress Chris   :thumbsup:
      regards Derek.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 19, 2020, 10:38:09 AM
Thanks Derek, I have more testing to do yet. I noticed last night after running the loco although it could not go over the board join, no power on the next board,  I tried a coach which was not good. At least one of the board joins needs some tweaking, one of the rails on one join looks lower which caused the coach to de-rail. I will continue doing the wiring then I can do proper testing and tweaking before ballasting, I want good running on this layout.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: DarrwestLU6 on February 19, 2020, 11:56:05 AM
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-030220220818.jpeg)

Great photo and progress Chris - looking good!
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 19, 2020, 08:57:04 PM
Tonight I have fixed the board join near the monkey bridge, It was a case of heating the solder and re aligning the rail. I have also found out a point on the goods yard was too near a crossbeam so I have swapped the point for a new large radius point which moved the motor a little leaving room for the motor. I am now just re soldering the feed wires which have all moved to the left. I am then going to fit the Cobalt anolouge point motors to every remaining point, only the two curved points are digital on the scenic board. The next job will be to make a start on the feeds on the left scenic board, there are not many bit they are a bit spaced out, no points to worry about though. Another job that will need my attention soon is one of the board joints from the left scenic board to the fiddle yard board. That will be difficult because it is on a gradient with curves, I was not happy with it when I looked last night. At the end of the day if I can not tweak it I will just relay it with new track over the join.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 19, 2020, 11:07:51 PM
I have finished re laying the goods siding point and headshunt and re attached the feeds. I have found another mistake I have made I have put one of the jumper sockets for the bus where there is the central board support, so that needs moving a easy enough job. I have just been checking my anolouge Cobalt motors, I have plenty spares motors but not sure if the bar is long enough to reach through the point, I must have something ie wire I could use to replace them if needed. I have also figured out which way the switches work to wire the frogs and wrote it down so I do not forget. I will start fitting the anolouge motors tomorrow now I have sorted the best ones. Out of 12 used Cobalt motors I only found one that did not seem to work off a 9v battery but some are slow some are noisier. I remember having one that seemed to take ages to work so that is probably the one.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 20, 2020, 07:34:49 PM
Well today I had a trip up to Settle with the good lady wife so of course I called in at Dcc Concepts shop.The weather was not too kind but she demanded we went up to Ribblehead so I duly obliged.
I have ordered some more bits today including a Cobalt value pack which includes some motor operating rods stickers etc. So I will wait for them to arrive before fitting the old motors,I must have used slightly thinner ply on the old layout, it will make fitting them a doddle. I have also decided to use Alpha aeu unit on the front scenic board with a small mimic panel for the station and goods yard. When I have been looking through the old wiring for my control panel I noticed some of the soldered connections on the 25way connector where loose. With my present eye sight it will save trying to solder those back. So tonight I will move the jumper panel that needs moving and then possibly make a start on the left scenic board wiring.
Forgot to add a couple of pics......
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-200220201841.jpeg)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-200220201931.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on February 20, 2020, 09:19:58 PM
I note you have expanded your viaduct, Chris ;)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: crewearpley40 on February 20, 2020, 09:44:10 PM
Brings back many a happy memory. Chris
 A picturesque shot or two
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 20, 2020, 09:46:36 PM
Thanks Mick @Newportnobby (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264) I wish....Mine is staying at six arches happy with that..... I could have bought a couple things while at Settle but I forgot. Apart from the weather it was a very enjoyable day we had a nice ride out.
Re the layout I have foxed the jumper sockets and taken another look at the bad board join I have left. I think I have found a solution that will not involve removing any track so once I have seperated the left scenic board I will take a good look I will have easier access. I have drilled a few holes for some bus wires from the high level, the second board will be a doddle to wire up. I will leave it till weekend now.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on February 21, 2020, 07:44:34 AM
Are you going to paint of those bits of plaster 'snow' in the bgackground?  :D
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: ptopo on February 22, 2020, 09:12:21 AM
Great stuff Chris with problem solving. As my mum says - these things are sent to test us.

Super video too.

Cheers, PT.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 23, 2020, 08:53:10 PM
Hello everyone, I have not managed to do much over the last few days, the wife had a big birthday and that took president. I have bought some more equipment for the railway, the Cobalt extra pack arrived along with a Cobalt Alpha AEU which I have bought from Costal DCC, ordered thursday night and received on Saturday morning so good service from Coastal and the Royal Mail. The Alpha AEU unit will take any switch and convert it to digital signal, I intend eventually to make a new control panel using one of the Alpha Switch D packs but they are on short supply. But I can run wires into the AEU from switches from my old panel with a tempory control panel for now. The only thing is there are only three of the operating bars for the points in the Cobalt switch pack, so I will have to find some wire somewhere to make some.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-230220205017.jpeg)
Tonight I have made a start on wiring the left scenic board, like I have said previously it is pretty simple. I have just used simple single tag strips and I used a old bus wire for one of the up bus on this board. The bus wire had soldered wires off it so I just soldered them direct on the tag strips, no need to over complicate things. I seem to have run out of letters for labeling, the ones I have been using were from Staples Office outlet now gone. The up bus needs extending to the left edge of the board and I of course need to make a Down bus yet but I am well on the way.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-230220204806.jpeg)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/1784-230220204926.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 24, 2020, 05:13:07 PM
I have managed to finish the two bus wires using old wires to finish the bus. A few droppers need soldering and another tag strip is needed. Another job was fixing the rising track on the fiddle yard left board. With the scenic board removed that was easy to fix without having to remove any track. I have glued it in position hopefully correct this time, there was a slight dip which would have caused some problems. Removing two corner wedge supports and then correcting the board and re fixing the supports in position. I am too busy to work on the layout tonight so hopefully I can complete this board tomorrow. I should then be able to start on the fiddle yard boards, that will be fun, lots of droppers and point motors.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 25, 2020, 09:05:45 PM
Tonight I have finished the wiring for the left scenic board all tag strips fitted and all feeds soldered in position and connected to the bus wires. I have numbered all the feeds and tag strips, I have also checked with my meter all wiring is showing no shorts. Of course the next job is just a bit big, sorting the fiddle yard boards. I have not made my mind up which way to go about it, not sure if I will fit the point motors first. By fitting the point motors first it will make sure they do not get in the way of the wiring. I need to fit a 2 wire bus for the motors, I am am not sure how I am going to wire them yet possibly with small choc block connectors. Then I need to wire the two lots of bus wires up and down again fed from two PSX circuit boards. The two circuit boards are fed from a large plug in choc block connector from the right scenic board Main Bus.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 27, 2020, 09:07:55 PM
Tonight I have began preparing the Cobalt motors ready for fitment. Has anybody any advice on the best way to number the point motors on the fiddle yard. On my last layout It was difficult to remember what to press which switch for any of the tracks. This time my idea is to have the two centre tracks has straight through lines, bit of a pity really has they are the longest tracks. I will have twelve switches on my control panel and I can not make my mind up. 1/ number the points in sequence for the up line first so the first 6 swithes will all be the up line and the reamining switches for the down line. Or 2/ have the first 6 switches on the left for the left side of the fiddle yard and the right switches for the right side. You can have one switch control more than one motor which is just has well because there are 17 motors. Two form a crossover so that one is easy. My tracks are in a ladder formation, here is a pic before it was finished, the front siding has a extra two points with two headshunts to allow longer trains or two trains. Any idea's will be appreciated........
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/1784-120120163849.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on February 27, 2020, 09:34:23 PM
Personally Chris, I would go for the switches on the left controlling the points on the left hand side and the switches on the right controlling the right hand side.  But, before long, you will have some one advocating your other option!  ;) . Have a think about it for as long as you can and then decide.  :beers:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 27, 2020, 10:14:10 PM
Thanks David @dannyboy (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4209) You made me think, I found the old panel. Looking at it it was numbered1-7 for the left, 8-14 for the right.I had to keep looking at the panel to see which switch to press and I even tried to colour code them. I want a system that is more intuitive, I am even thinking of a switch for a track has opposed to for a specific point. I might though give the four main points their own switch, anyway it's pickeling my brain at the moment. I will work something out I need to do a drawing of the tracks.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on February 28, 2020, 06:49:17 AM
Hi Chris

I have a chart showing which points control which loops.  '1' means the point are set to turnout and '2' means they are set to straight on.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/88/3091-280220064553-88017514.jpeg)

It means that I know exactly what to set up for the routes, but I can also use it for direct access to the loops.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 28, 2020, 10:02:06 AM
Thanks @Innovationgame (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3091)     Laurence thats a good idea, although i will name mine up and down lines. I have that in my head already, ie the outer track is up and inner is down. Having a think overnight i am thinking of numbering the points 1_6 for the up lines, i think it will be easier to remember.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on February 28, 2020, 10:03:56 AM
See you tomorrow pm, Chris?
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 28, 2020, 10:38:33 AM
Yes see you tomorrow Mick,watch out for that speed van if its there this year. I will be coming from the motorway again so i should miss it.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on February 29, 2020, 09:01:36 PM
A nice trip to Preston model railway show this afternoon, met Mick (Newport Nobby) and Ron (Lankyman), nice to see you today.
Tonight I have made a start on preparing to fit some Cobalt motors to my fiddle yard. I really should have done this has I was laying the track it would have been easier. Of the 17 motors I had drilled the hole for the operating rod in the correct position apart from one which I carefully expanded the hole without damaging the point. I was fortunate to have two templates for the motors,you used to get them in a pack of six motors, not any more. Fortunately the IP Cobalt motors are the same dimensions has the old anolog motors. One of my templates was modified I soon remembered why, so when you place it over the point on N-Gauge the hole is offset not in the centre like on our 00 Gauge cousins. Having the templet  offset, with it cutaway so you can see that the blades are central, then drill the four holes for the motor mounting through the baseboard.. I will split the fiddle yard boards tomorrow and make a start on fitting the motors with the boards on their sides, easier than crawling underneath.I can also make a start on the bus wiring etc.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 01, 2020, 07:44:21 PM
Well this afternoon I did some drawings so I can make note of the wiring on the fiddle boards, I have started numbering the drop wires. I have found a bad error, I have forgot to attatch two dropper wires after the point, the trouble is it is where the overpass is for the highlevel so I now need to remidy the situation. If that is the only mistake I have made I will be happy, watch this space.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 01, 2020, 10:06:55 PM
Well I sorted out my error, wellI think I did, it was a awkward place to solder wires. If the feeds are no good I will just add some on the bend after the overpass. I found another point with no feeds but that was easy to fix. The crossover points could have been fitted a bit straighter but has long has they work and I have no problems I will leave them for now. I have now fitted two Cobalt motors, I had put the screw holes on the wrong side of one of them, but they were still easy to fit. I have done one tag strip for the down lines and soldered the feeds, my back is aching now so time to stop for tonight.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/88/1784-010320220218.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 02, 2020, 08:35:19 PM
Well I finished the left side (easy side) of the fiddle board I am working on. I started to fit some point motors on the rh side, I found one where the operating hole was not quite correct, I tried to modify it from below and I have damaged the point, the switch rail has come adrift.So correction here... It is a new  points, but not a unifrog, and I have a spare point, so I can try to repair that point later on the workbench, I could then use it in the goods yard sidings. Knees are hurting again now so that is enough for tonight.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 03, 2020, 09:08:46 PM
Tonight I have fitted a new point, well yes I decided to buy a new one to replace the new one I damaged, ie like for like. I have now fitted all the Cobalt motors on the rh Fiddleyard board. I had to rework a couple of the holes that did not line up correctly without damaging another point. The next job is finishing wiring the droppers to tag strips, there are a lot of droppers on the right side of the board. The good news is they are all very much grouped together, I then need to sort the two wire motor bus. I have not made my mind up, do I use choc blocks or solder them to the bus. There will be the split type choc blocks at the end of the board anyway to extend the bus to board two..
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 04, 2020, 09:35:32 PM
More progress tonight, I have made up tag strips for the right side of the board including some for the motor bus and fitted them onto the baseboard. The next job is to finish wiring the droppers to the tag strips. Something I have forgot  when setting up the tag strips for the droppers is wires from the bus too the motors. Because I am using a seperate bus for motor control I need to use one of the accessory switches on the Cobalt IP Motor for frog control. So I need wires from the tag strips to the motor's, I have decided to solder the motor wires to the same tag as the feed to the same point. All the points on the fiddle yard have a feed at the toe end which also means using the Cobalt motor the otherway round, I have printed a diagram with the motor wiring to avoid confusion.
a pic showing progress
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/88/1784-040320214012.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on March 05, 2020, 06:36:59 AM
That's starting to look very tidy, Chris.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 05, 2020, 07:03:33 PM
Thanks @Innovationgame (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3091)  Laurence, that is the way I like it, it will get a bit more complicated yet though.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 05, 2020, 10:20:29 PM
Tonight I have managed to finish soldering the droppers on the right board, I managed to finish it before my left knee packed in with cramp. I also wired a feed to the motor switches at the same time, there are 3 motors on the left side I need to add the feeds to those too. Then I can start wiring the bus's themselves, a up bus, a down bus and a motor control bus from the sniffer unit. I still yet to decide where I am going to fit the two circuit breakers and the sniffer unit. I might make a hinged board similar to the front and fit them to that. I will also need to extend the reset wires for the circuit boards, I intend to mount them at the front on the front valance.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 05, 2020, 11:41:57 PM
Just thought i would post the latest pic of my fiddle yard wiring.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/88/1784-050320234046.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 07, 2020, 09:13:57 PM
Well tonight I have wired in the down bus, soldering to the tag strips. I have done half of the up bus before my old knees packed in. I think when I make a start on the left board I will prop it up a bit higher to make life easier. Two of the Cobalt IP motors have been used before, I have bought a couple of the value packs which include new operating rods and sticky pads, it is a pity you only get three operating rods in the kit, hence why I bought the second one. Having the longer rods makes it easy to fit the motors, you can poke the rod through the tie bar hole before the sticky pad takes a hold on the baseboard and then line it up with the pre drilled holes from the template, easy. Once the two bus's are installed I need to connect them to the PSX circuit breakers, the next job then is the wiring the sniffer bus, easy just two wires for all the motors. Then it is do more or less the same for the left fiddle yard board.
"Two of the Cobalt IP motors have been used before, I have bought a couple of the value packs which include new operating rods and sticky pads, it is a pity you only get three operating rods in the kit,"
Just realised this might not make sense, well the plan is to also use some anolouge motors on the right scenic board so need some rods for those, I might still need to make some out of piano wire.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on March 07, 2020, 09:16:13 PM
Keep at it Chris!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on March 08, 2020, 06:37:52 AM
I don't bother to pre-drill the holes.  My baseboard is 9mm ply and I find that, once the sticky pad is engaged the screws will self-tap into the ply, with a bit of elbow grease of course.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 08, 2020, 09:23:08 AM
H Laurence, by using the templet and pre drilling the holes it means you have the motor in the correct position. I have pre painted my boards so like you say the sticky pads hold the motor in position ok. Although this time i have been using a couple screws has well for safe measure.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 09, 2020, 09:59:00 PM
Well tonight was a bit of a frustrating night, I have made a board panel for the electronics much the same has on the front board. Only problem when I came to mount the circuit boards on the panel I could not find the spacers. Then I realised the down bus I wired the other night I had used the wrong cable for the bus, so I need to correct that. Then I found the spacers so I have fitted the circuit boards only to find two of the wires for the one of the led's are loose and need re soldering. It is probably just has well because all the wires need to be longer to reach the edge of the board, then they need extending to the front of the layout, reset wires and led wires.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on March 10, 2020, 07:49:11 AM
These little things are sent to try us!
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 10, 2020, 10:13:12 PM
Back on track today, I did not manage to do any work till tonight we had two new windows fitted on the house today. So tonight I got back on track, I fitted the down bus with the correct cable and I also made the link cable from the main bus to the circuit breakers. I have also fitted the board in position although I will have to remove the circuit breakers so I can solder the wires needed for reset and the led warning lights. Putting it in position makes it easy to see where all the connections will go and avoids any mistakes. I found some black and red cable which looks just right for the Cobalt motor bus. I was using black cables for the frog wires which was a mistake, so to avoid confusion I have give them a dab of green paint. I should have used green in the first place but I was planning on using up lots of red and green cable for the motor feeds from the old peco motors. When I get round to sorting the goods yard, any points I fit will have green frog wires from now on, you know it makes sense. I will post more pics when I have completed this board.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 11, 2020, 09:36:55 PM
Tonight I removed the electronics board and I have soldered new extended wires for the reset and led indicator lights. I was not happy with the writing I had done on the board with a felt tip, so I stripped it down and gave it a re paint. I have also found some better hinges to use and I have some letter's to use for marking up the board so it should look a lot neater.
The Cobalt Sniffer I am using has it's own power supply but the latest information is to fit a little device between the pwr supply and the sniffer. I was going to fit that on the electronics board but that would mean I could no longer just plug the power supply in, I would have to use the screw terminals. I have decided to fit this inline at the pwr plug end near to the socket, that way the wire will not get in the way and I can just unplug it. I will leave the board for the paint to dry now and then I can complete that tomorrow.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 14, 2020, 10:17:44 PM
Tonight I have made some more progress. I have nearly finished wiring the two bus's plus I have added the bus for the Cobalt motors. With the motor bus I have soldered the bus wires to tag strips, I have then soldered wires from the motors to the tag strips. I nearly finished but my knees and back have packed in, I only need to connect two motors and I will have finished this board. I still have three motors that need the frog switches connecting to the respective bus tag strips. I have used red and black cable for the motors, the bus is connected to the sniffer unit ready for powering up.I have used a plug in connector block for the bus to connect to the left Fiddle yard board which I will be starting on soon. I intend to have both fiddle yard boards next to each other connected together on their sides then I can program all the motors and make sure they all work. It saves having to climb under the boards looking for the little switches to set the motors. The first pic shows the circuit boards and the sniffer unit on the hinged panel with the extension wires for reset etc. Unfortunately I made the extension wires a touch short. I still need to connect the up bus to the board.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/88/1784-140320221301.jpeg)
The second pic you can see the red and black Motor bus cables down the centre, just two wires needed for controlling the motors.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/88/1784-140320221416.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on March 15, 2020, 07:09:46 AM
You've certainly been busy, Chris.  That looks like a really tidy job.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: port perran on March 15, 2020, 07:50:58 AM
That looks really tidy and organised Chris.
Itís well beyond my capabilities but itís certainly impressive.
Keep up the good work.
Martin
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 15, 2020, 09:52:40 AM
Thanks Martin and Laurence,I like to keep wiring tidy. I think it is neater with tag strips too than chocblocks although of course soldering is required. Regarding choc blocks does anybody find them a bit frustrating, you push the wire in and tighten the screw and the wire then falls out and its all curled up at the end,usually in a awkward place too.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on March 15, 2020, 10:09:14 AM
I wouldn't advise bringing your sniffer unit near me as pics of wiring just scare the  :poop: out of me :worried:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on March 15, 2020, 01:30:46 PM
Regarding choc blocks does anybody find them a bit frustrating, you push the wire in and tighten the screw and the wire then falls out and its all curled up at the end,usually in a awkward place too.
Hi Chris

I always double the exposed end of the wire back on itself before inserting it into the choc bloc.  That seems to ensure that it bites first time and stays connected.  It's some thing I have been doing successfully for more that fifty years.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 15, 2020, 08:41:28 PM
Yes thats what I do most of the time Laurence except when I am trying to get a few wires in the same connector. The Cobalt motors are a bit fidly to push the wires in but at least they do not need soldering.
 Tonight I have finished the board completely, I made sure to put my meter on to check for polarity before connecting the Circuit boards. One thing I have done tonight is to number the motors, to make life easy I have numbered them the same has the feed the frog is  powered from, which is the feed at the toe end of every point. The next job is wiring the second fiddle yard board, this should be a lot easier has there are no electronics on this board. It is just a matter of extending the bus wires from the first board and the same with the motors.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 16, 2020, 10:18:21 PM
More progress, I have started on the second fiddle yard board. First job was mark up the point motors using the jig and then after turning the board on its side fit the motors. So I have fitted eight motors relativly easy, one was next to a support beam so need some wood triming off the support. The two extra motors I decided to use on the fiddle yard board for head sidings,were too near to a support beam. And with the feed wires on the toe end of the point making it difficult to fit the other way round. So I cut slots for the wires and fitted the motor over them, problem solved unless I have problems with those two dropper feeds. The next job tomorrow is to position the tag strips for the dropper feeds, I also need to number the dropper feeds and make a wiring drawing for future refference.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/89/1784-160320222541.jpeg)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 17, 2020, 10:14:02 PM
More soldering tonight, one tag strip fitted and droppers connected for the down line. I have also numbered the droppers then I prepared some tag strips ready for the up bus and the sniffer bus. This involves soldering a piece of wire across the terminals to make them the same polarity, once soldered I check them with the meter for continuity. Getting there now, seeing has all us old folk will be confined for a few weeks perhaps months becuase of the virus, I hope to finish the soldering soon or I will go mad.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on March 18, 2020, 06:49:14 AM
Getting there now, seeing has all us old folk will be confined for a few weeks perhaps months becuase of the virus, I hope to finish the soldering soon or I will go mad.
My storey is that, for official business, I'm sixty-nine.  :D
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 18, 2020, 11:23:15 PM
More progress tonight, the down bus has been installed, the sniffer feed cable just needs soldering to the tag strip. I have soldered most of the droppers including feeds to the motor switch for the frogs. I think I may have connected some of the wires the wrong way round after taking another look at the Cobalt wiring diagram. It asumes you have the motor at the toe end of the point, because I have a feed there I have the motors the opposite way round which changes the polarity and the way the switches need wiring. Only problem tonight was I noticed a switch rail  has come loose from the tie bar on one of the main points on the fiddle yard. When I have finished the wiring and I turn the board upright I will see if I can fix it, possibly a spot of superglue or the point will have to come up, it was a brand new one too. I think it was damaged by a box behind where I am working on the layout, the side has split because it is overflowing, mainly with old computer parts and I think it snagged on the point. These things are sent to try us but I am getting there, I hope to have finished this board by weekend.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: cornish yorkie on March 19, 2020, 12:16:34 AM
 :hellosign:  :greatpicturessign:
  Looking very neat & tidy Chris, admit mostly beyond my skill level but looking splendid   :thumbsup:
        regards Derek.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on March 19, 2020, 06:54:12 AM
Hi Chris

All you need to do to swap the action of a Cobalt is to send it the address 197.  No need to change the wires over, although you may need to reverse the DCC connections if the frog polarity is reversed.  Also, I find that removing the spring sometimes causes the switch rail to come adrift.  If you are using the new Unifrogs, there is no need to remove the spring and, in most cases there is no problem leaving the spring in place becasue the switching happens after the electrical contact to the point blade has been broken.  I had problems with shorts when using the internal switch on Seep motors and I overcame that by installing hex frog juicers, which I don't need with the Cobalts.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 19, 2020, 09:48:42 AM
Thanks Laurence I am using the sniffer bus not off the dcc bus to control the motors. So I am using the switch with feeds from the dcc bus for the frogs. It will be a lot easier to wire them the correct way round for polarity of the frogs in the first place, I just need to study the diagram.
Thanks everyone for the comments.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 19, 2020, 09:23:47 PM
More progress on the 2nd fiddle yard board. I have wired 6 of the eight motors, I have connected the down bus. I have also connected the sniffer bus to the tag strip, I still need to connect the feeds for the polarity switches to the motors. Still not got my head round to that yet, you can see the loose wires still not connected.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/89/1784-190320212230.jpeg)

Ps I will stop posting these pics if its giving people nightmares with the wiring...........
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: jpendle on March 19, 2020, 10:55:41 PM
Hi Chris,

Have you checked that the 'Sniffer bus' on your DCC system can control your accessory decoders?
The reason I asked is that as I understand it a sniffer bus is used to connect the main DCC output from one system to a second system that is then connected to the tracks.
So I'm not sure how you could get a DCC signal out of a sniffer bus to a decoder.

Regards,

John P
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 20, 2020, 04:23:21 PM
Hi @jpendle (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3871) john, I am using a Dcc Concepts sniffer unit with a power supply which provides the bus for the motors. I am then connecting a Cobalt Alpha Central unit with built in switches to control the motors, all independent of my dcc bus.
Just thought I would add, using the Cobalt sniffer you only need two wires to the motors, so this system can be used on a dc layout. You can use the Cobalt Alpha Central like I am doing or use a Alpha AEU and use any type of switches including stud and probe.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 20, 2020, 10:07:53 PM
Latest update, I have nearly finished the wiring on the left fiddle yard board. I have fitted the up bus and fitted 2 tag strips for the extreme left droppers,2 droppers on each. I finished wiring the two motor feeds from the bus so all motors are wired up now, still need to connect the switch wires. I will download another copy of the cobalt instruction sheet, I have confused myself writing on the other one not realising the wiring on there was for a different orientation of the motors. When you turn a motor round, most of mine are not at the toe end they are under the centre of the point because I have dropper wires at the toe end. Two motors fitted where a crossbeam was in the way are at the toe end. These two points where a after thought, ie a header on the two sidings to allow longer trains to be kept there. I was not planning on having any points in the centre of the fiddle yard, but has you know plans can change. I only have to solder wires now to the left tag strips and soldering will be finished.....hooray....hooray !!! So the job will be finished this weekend.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 21, 2020, 11:24:22 PM
Well I decided to give the soldering a rest today. So I started on a job I have been putting off transferring my computer into a new smaller case. Everything working except no internet the built in network adapter as give up so using a I pad for this blog. I will get a add in network card on Monday from a local computer store,not pc world I may add. Itís a excuse for a ride out, I have ordered online for collect Monday. I will finish the wiring on the fiddle yard boards tomorrow, the next job will be programming the Cobalt motors before I turn the board over.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 22, 2020, 09:42:34 PM
Well I am back in the railway room. I connected the two remaining tag strips and then realised I had not connected the two small tag strips on the rh side. They were a bit difficult to get the soldering iron into without burning other wires but after some messing around I managed it. I need to do some testing and make a note of all the connections for future refference. I still need to connect the frog switch feeds, I need to download and print off a couple of drawings but with my computer downstairs offline at the moment it will have to wait till tomorrow. At least I have finished the soldering on these two boards....I think.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 23, 2020, 07:53:27 PM
Tonight I have sorted wiring the Cobalt motors using one of its switches for frog polarity. The thing to note is to forget the colours used, for a start I am using blue and brown. The outer rail is what matters and the orientation of the motor, most of my motors are mounted facing the other way because I have feeds at the toe end apart from two motors where a beam was in the way. If you do wire them wrong it is just a matter of swapping  s2-L and s2R over. But with 17 motors that would be a bit of a task so wiring them the correct way in the fist place helps. With my other computer back on line I downloaded and printed the diagram from Dcc Concepts site. There are lots of helpfull diagrams and videos on there to help wire their product range.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/89/1784-230320194556.jpeg)


Just checked the motors on the right board and I have already wired them correctly, what a good do.....
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 23, 2020, 09:35:41 PM
Well bad news I seem to have a short between the two districts, I have tried dissconnecting tag strips to no avail. The next job is to dissconnect the upper tracks maybe I have a rails connected to the wrong tag strips. A job for tomorrow now knees are hurting.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on March 24, 2020, 06:42:39 AM
Take it one step at a time, Chris.  If necessary, have a look at https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=41012.25 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=41012.25)
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 24, 2020, 07:36:47 PM
Well tonight I have realised what the fault is without needing to do any testing. For there to be a fault between the up bus and the down bus there had to be some wires connected to the wrong bus. With a fresh mind looking at the board I realised a big error, I have wired the outer track ( up ) to the down bus and visversa on the last two tag strips, so a simple job of swapping them over. Phew hopefully that was easier than  I thought.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: dannyboy on March 24, 2020, 07:44:10 PM
Amazing what walking away from a problem for a while can do. Glad you got it sorted Chris.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: port perran on March 24, 2020, 07:52:04 PM
Iíve always said that a problem is best walked away from.
Itís amazing how a break and a re-consideration often works wonders.

Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 24, 2020, 08:41:55 PM
Well I have done that but still have a fault. I have also made a blunder with my numbering system for droppers, the trouble was I was working backwords from the right board. I wanted to have consecutave numbers from left to right but I started work on the right board first because that is where all the electrics are located, back to the drawing board.......
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 24, 2020, 09:41:21 PM
Finally sorted, the fault was caused by a pair of droppers to the wrong bus tag, down instead of up. It was in the centre of the board and with the board on its side its difficult to pin point each pair of droppers. Only one wrong out of all the droppers is not bad going, I need to connect some of the motors back up now after I dissconnected them during the fault finding. At least I did not wire any the wrong way round, blue outer rail and brown inner rail worked for me.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 25, 2020, 09:02:46 PM
Like I said I sorted the track short last night, it was a bit of a longwinded exercise but I got there. Before I program the Cobalt motors I need to figure a way to control the 17 motors only using 12 switches on the Cobalt Alpha. My last fiddle yard was a pain to use even though I tried to colour code them, accidents were waiting to happen by the time you pressed the correct switches. My thinking this time is too number the sidings then have one switch control the two points ie one at each end of the siding. Just pressing one switch and a train can run straight through would be good, any thoughts or ideas on this would be appreciated. I now need to make notes of the wiring and make diagrams, not something I am not very good at but it needs doing, hopefully I will not do any more cockups......famous last words.....

Just thought I would add while working out my wiring I have found a tag strip with no feed so I need to sort that next.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on March 26, 2020, 07:41:41 AM
My thinking this time is to number the sidings then have one switch control the two points ie one at each end of the siding. Just pressing one switch and a train can run straight through would be good, any thoughts or ideas on this would be appreciated.
Hi Chris

I have 46 points on my layout, but I have grouped them together as routes.  For all the mainline storage loops, setting a route operates six points, eight on the Millk Loop crossover and four on the branch.  In most cases, I have set each Cobalt with an individual DCC accessory ID and then grouped them in routes.  But for crossovers and the branch runarounds, I have given two points the same DCC accessory ID number, so that switching one accessory ID switches two points at the same time.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 26, 2020, 09:37:39 AM
Thanks Laurence, I think I will do something similar , it is easy enough to program two or more Cobalts with the same switch.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: lil chris on March 27, 2020, 09:06:59 PM
I have drawn up a plan for the fiddle yard operation, basically points 1/2/3/4 control the up lines and 5/6/7/8 control the down lines, each switch controlling two points. For a train to go straight through the fiddle yard I only need to press 1 or 5 respectavily, simple. Number 9 controls one of the headers and number ten the crossover in the centre, leaving two switches spare. I am thinking of extending the sniffer bus to the right front scenic board and then adding Alpha AEU to control the anolouge motors. The plan is to have all the controls at the front of the layout mainly on the right hand side. I was going to program the motors tonight but I forgot about the broken point switch rail. It is the main point on the downline on the left side of the fiddle yard board, in otherwords all down traffic goes over it. I turned the board over ready to fix it and typically my small table lamp packed in. I think I have managed to glue it with superglue for now, I will see how it holds out. I have not got a spare point to use the same size, and it is a new unifrog point. If the worse comes to the worse I will fix it in the straight ahead position while the shops open again and eventaully buy a replacement. I am leaving it now tonight to see if the glue holds, the tie bar is still free, I have checked. Hope everybody is ok in these difficult times, Keep Safe.
Title: Re: Irwell Valley Railway
Post by: Innovationgame on March 28, 2020, 06:39:54 AM
The problem with streamline points is that the spring holds the tie bar rigidly in place.  If you remove it, the tie bar floats around and the point blade can pop out of its socket.  With Unifrog points, there is no chance of a short during switching so it's best to leave the spring in place.  When the cobalt changes the point, there is a fairly loud snapping noise as the spring flips the blades across but, at least, that lets you know the point has changed successfully.
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal