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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: CNE Runner on September 15, 2009, 04:50:42 PM



Title: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on September 15, 2009, 04:50:42 PM
I have finally started on the Monk's Island Brewery - referred to in my thread "Excellent Small Layout Website".
(http://i395.photobucket.com/albums/pp38/Allegro34/Model%20Railroad%20Pictures/The%20Monks%20Island%20Brewery/MonksIslandBrewerytrackplan.jpg)
I firmly believe the devil is in the details and accordingly constructed a computer generated track plan. From the computer plan (and its numerous 'tweaks') I then assembled a 1:1 mock up on a large piece of cardboard - using Peco track templates and photocopies of flex-track (luckily our hot water heater failed and the shiny new one came in a super box...the cardboard box only cost $500).
(http://i395.photobucket.com/albums/pp38/Allegro34/Model%20Railroad%20Pictures/The%20Monks%20Island%20Brewery/1to1mockupshowingtransfertables.jpg)

After 'tweaking' (there's that word again) the 1:1 mock up, I started putting together the most complex track arrangement and placed it over the templates. Again, there will be some final, but minor, tweaking done.

The next step will be to electrically check the turnout/double slip/crossing arrangement for polarity. This will be done with a power supply and a multimeter. The electrical connections must be correct before the numerous components are soldered together.

You can check out my progress on my Photobucket page at:

http://s395.photobucket.com/albums/pp38/Allegro34/Model%20Railroad%20Pictures/The%20Monks%20Island%20Brewery/ (http://s395.photobucket.com/albums/pp38/Allegro34/Model%20Railroad%20Pictures/The%20Monks%20Island%20Brewery/)

From my progress so far you can tell I believe in thinking, planning, and testing each step along the way. This will be essential when I get into construction of the two transfer tables (transversers) in the future. This layout plan is on Carl Arendt's website. The finished layout will measure 62"x 11" and will be highly portable.

Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: jward on September 15, 2009, 10:40:57 PM
it looks like a time saver on steriods.....hope it works well for you and gives you many hours of enjoyment running it.


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on September 16, 2009, 09:46:08 AM
Jeff - Thank you for your good wishes. The Monk's Island Brewery is definitely not for beginners; what with wiring the double slip and 3-way turnouts (SPDT switches or autoreversing circuits are needed) - as well as design and fabrication of the two traversers (transfer tables)...heavy duty stuff. The purpose of this thread will be to [hopefully] inspire, and expose others to the world of micro layouts. Readers: there are lots of easier (more sensible?) layout choices on Carl Arendt's website. Save this plan for the time you have mastered the mysteries of sector plates and the frustration of traversers (transfer tables).

Due to a much needed lawn mowing, I didn't get the chance to begin the electrical testing of the trackwork already assembled (and today doesn't look good either). Once I determine there aren't any electrical short circuits, I can permanently assemble the tracks and wire the layout...lots of work yet to go - before I turn a wheel!

Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on September 18, 2009, 12:11:02 PM
I have completed the electrical continuity checks, of the central track complex, and everything is a 'Go'. Many of the track components pictured are Peco Electrofrog units and require some insulating joiners as well as SPDT electrical switches. Because of the complexity, I decided to hook up my DC power pack to various parts of the track and check its continuity with a multimeter. [BTW: I do not recommend the use of Peco Electrofrog components in a complex arrangement of trackage - unless you are familiar with wiring. Peco Insulfrog turnouts etc. work well in almost any situation and require much less electrical know-how.] The central track complex tested is pictured below and consists of: Electrofrog turnouts, a double-slip turnout, a crossing, and the flex-track components to join each of them:
(http://i395.photobucket.com/albums/pp38/Allegro34/Model%20Railroad%20Pictures/The%20Monks%20Island%20Brewery/Centraltrackcomplex.jpg)
The next step is to glue the Styrofoam to the plywood benchwork. Ah...progress at last!

Ray

This posting was modified on 11/27/09 to include: Take your time and check the continuity on all track components. I didn't and suffered for it later on...don't assume that because a component came [new] from the factory it is OK.


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: jonathan on September 18, 2009, 08:02:51 PM
Ray,

Thanks for setting up the photobucket account so we can follow your progress!  It's like watching kids grow up, only much faster and cheaper.

Was I wrong or is your actual track going to be a little wider than your original plan?  If so, will this affect your scenery, or will you just build out a little from your benchwork?  I don't know much about microlayouts (never heard of them until I read about it here).  Just curious how much wiggle room you get from an original plan.

Thanks again,

Jonathan

P.S.  Aha! I just discovered your other layout photos!  Very nice...


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on September 21, 2009, 10:22:20 AM
My new industrial switcher, for the brewery, has just arrived. I test ran the little guy and was very pleased with the smooth, quiet running characteristics of this locomotive. The next step is to remove the body shell and repaint/add details/weather the unit such that it looks like it has spent a long time shuttling cars along the bayside.

(http://i395.photobucket.com/albums/pp38/Allegro34/Model%20Railroad%20Pictures/The%20Monks%20Island%20Brewery/MDTPlymouthswitcher.jpg)

Incidentally, the seller says that this product is easy to convert to DCC. If you are interested in micro layouts; this locomotive would be a good investment.

Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: jsmvmd on September 23, 2009, 10:48:39 AM
Dear Ray,

Very impressive !  What software did you use to design this ?  I have tried Atlas and get frustrated with the learning curve.  Thus, my designs are usually to place the track, then use the saw and/or flex track to make connections.

Any plans to convert to DCC or R/C ?

Will anxiously await the finished product !

Best Wishes,

Jack


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: jsmvmd on September 23, 2009, 12:26:12 PM
Dear Ray,

Being a Pittsburgh boy, I am chagrined to say I never knew of Carl Arendt.  Is the fellow still with us, and if so, how can I contact him ?

Best Wishes,

Jack


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on September 23, 2009, 06:25:07 PM
Welcome to the micro/small layout corner of the forum Jack. First of all Carl Arendt is definitely still with us (I received an email from him very recently) and can be 'found' at:
http://www.carendt.com/index.html (http://www.carendt.com/index.html)

If you are at all interested in micro/small layouts I suggest you purchase a copy of his latest book Carl Arendt's Small Layout Scrapbook @ $21. I should warn you that the book is a compilation of articles found on Carl's website.

I like to use AnyRail software for my model railroad CAD projects. AnyRail is a German product that is available FREE on the Internet (Google: AnyRail) in a limited version...or you can pay a fee (I did) for the full version. The learning curve for AnyRail is fairly shallow and the track libraries have just about all the major manufacturers represented. Again, I have to state that a CAD production is not a substitute for a 1:1 mock up.

Given the complex nature of the trackwork for the Monks' Island Brewery, I highly doubt I will convert it to DCC. I would need 3 automatic reverser circuits to just handle the Peco Electrofrog threeway turnout (and we don't want to discuss the double slip). I suppose I could change my mind in the future. That little Bachmann Plymouth switcher is strictly DC - although it would be fairly easy to add a decoder.

All I have accomplished, in the past week, is to glue down the Styrofoam and paint everything tan. We are getting ready to attend a motor home rally; so I don't think I will have much time between now and Monday to attach the track complex (aka rats' nest). When I do get the track assembled, I will be sure to add those images to this thread.

Jack, I would suggest that you avoid building such a complex micro layout as (I assume) your first attempt. The Monks' Island Brewery has lots of complex trackage (read: expensive) and two transversers that will require an inordinate amount of engineering as well as 'bang on' construction. Carl has designed a rather simple micro called 'Peek's Pike' that is designed for beginners OR you can choose any one of the featured layouts in his book.

Keep in touch,
Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: renniks on September 24, 2009, 06:38:01 AM
Ray,

You say   quote-I do not recommend the use of Peco Electrofrog components in a complex arrangement of trackage - unless you are familiar with wiring. Peco Insulfrog turnouts etc. work well in almost any situation and require much less electrical know-how.-unquote.
So why are you using Electrofrog?
I use Insulfrog turnouts,3way and dble.slip on DCC. Not only easier but cheaper too.

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa1/damsonskin/Charity.jpg)

The red circled turnout is a Peco Streamline short - all other single turnouts are Peco Setrack. Curves are Setrack 3rd.radius (<20").
The only switches used are SPST on the 2 loco standing tracks off Peco TT.
I am in On30 and run Moguls, a BLI C-16 and smaller locos ,but have run a Bachmann HO Lt.Mountain 4-8-2 over all the layout with no trouble.

Eric UK


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on September 24, 2009, 10:41:02 AM
Eric - an excellent question. I tend to use Electrofrog turnouts because I usually run smaller wheelbase locomotives. My statement was directed at someone who may be unfamiliar with the complexity of wiring some Peco Electrofrog units require. Insufrog track components work well for most locomotives...why pay more and work harder you say? Well, frankly I think you are correct...stick with Peco Insufrog components and keep life simple.

BTW: the double-slip turnout is Insufrog, however the 3-way is Electrofrog (because sometimes I don't take into account the consequences of my actions). Your use of an Insufrog 3-way certainly makes things a lot easier.

I like your layout...lots of action in a [relatively] small space. Post some pictures if you have the time.

Regards,
Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: jettrainfan on September 24, 2009, 03:22:21 PM
a great layout! something to put up in a persons bedroom or other crowded areas. I don't know why i have not seen this one yet but... thanks and hope you enjoy it! When i start making track, i should try some of these! thanks for sharing!


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on September 24, 2009, 05:06:35 PM
jettrainfan, I'm glad you liked the Monks' Island Brewery. I have had several large layouts in the past and grew tired of running trains in our garage. Someone put me onto Carl Arendt's website and I fell in love with the concept. Seriously, you can have a micro layout just about anywhere. The Monks' Island Brewery is toward the deep end of the pool...probably a little more than I had envisioned building.

BTW: Carl Arendt defines a 'micro layout' as having an area of less than 4 sq. ft. The Monks' Island Brewery is a bit larger and probably should be called a small layout.

My neighbor has just purchased a Bachmann On30 Davenport. He has ordered the track (Atlas) to build another layout from Carl's website. Prior to seeing Mr. Arendt's website, my neighbor had dreamed of a train layout; but couldn't find the space. His new pike will run atop bookcases in his living room. Now all he talks about are sector plates and transversers.

Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: BestSnowman on September 24, 2009, 08:37:53 PM
Looking pretty nice Ray, though I got to wondering. What are the odds that monks on a small island would both have the expertise to build complex trackwork, operate a small railroad, and brew beer?

Then again maybe the monk beer market is good enough that they could afford an outside contractor.


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: pdlethbridge on September 24, 2009, 09:23:23 PM
Where do you think they get the money to buy those nice robes?


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: BestSnowman on September 24, 2009, 09:48:43 PM
Where do you think they get the money to buy those nice robes?

I hear there is an island with monks that just make robes though I'm not sure if their railroad is standard or narrow gauge. Perhaps there is standardized "monk" guage. Perhaps thats what the M in EMD really stands for... Electro Monk Diesel grand conspiracy.


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: pdlethbridge on September 24, 2009, 10:08:28 PM
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on September 25, 2009, 11:37:00 AM
I [foolishly] offered to cover for another therapist while he took a long weekend off and these posting are just what I needed...thanks to all!

Good questions & comments...excuse me whilst I revisit fantasyland: The railroad predated the monk's present business venture. Apparently it was built and used to transport illegal booze during the Prohibition years. When that enterprise dried up, the monks bought the entire operation and began brewing their famous beer. Quicker than you can say; "Gregorian chant"; business was flowing and expansion was evident (on the brewery AND the Chief Abbot). [Since this is a micro layout, we are dealing with a micro brewery.]

Bestsnowman: I don't know how you found out about the 'M' in 'EMD...but Rome isn't amused. Funny that you should mention 'robes'. The monks are just now planning a building dedicated to robes and really cool rope belts.

I started to glue down the 'rats nest' last night and needed to drill some holes for the 3 way turnout's wiring. I had just bought a couple of new batteries for my Sears cordless drill. Guess what? The batteries fit the drill OK...but will not go into the recharging receptacle in the charger!! 'Guess where we are going today?

Peace,
Brother Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: BestSnowman on September 25, 2009, 11:45:34 AM
I [foolishly] offered to cover for another therapist while he took a long weekend off and these posting are just what I needed...thanks to all!

Good questions & comments...excuse me whilst I revisit fantasyland: The railroad predated the monk's present business venture. Apparently it was built and used to transport illegal booze during the Prohibition years. When that enterprise dried up, the monks bought the entire operation and began brewing their famous beer. Quicker than you can say; "Gregorian chant"; business was flowing and expansion was evident (on the brewery AND the Chief Abbot). [Since this is a micro layout, we are dealing with a micro brewery.]

Bestsnowman: I don't know how you found out about the 'M' in 'EMD...but Rome isn't amused. Funny that you should mention 'robes'. The monks are just now planning a building dedicated to robes and really cool rope belts.

I started to glue down the 'rats nest' last night and needed to drill some holes for the 3 way turnout's wiring. I had just bought a couple of new batteries for my Sears cordless drill. Guess what? The batteries fit the drill OK...but will not go into the recharging receptacle in the charger!! 'Guess where we are going today?

Peace,
Brother Ray

Hmm, I guess you are going to Home Depot :) Just kidding, I kind of lucked out with the drill I bought. I got a black and decker a couple years ago and its charger is in the drill so you plug the drill in to charge the battery. When my battery dies I just plug it in and keep going (probably not good for the battery but replacing it would be cheaper an extra battery and external charger).

As for Rome, I didn't realize it went that far. I guess that explains the cryptic message I got this morning from someone calling himself dan brown. Something about a book he was writing and conspiracies. I guess Tom Hanks is already pre-booked for the movie after the book is done.


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: renniks on September 25, 2009, 01:54:27 PM
Ray said "I tend to use Electrofrog turnouts because I usually run smaller wheelbase locomotives."
The largest insulated frog section that I have found on the Peco Insulfrog Setrack and Streamline small turnouts,slips and 3-way measures under 1". I do not have a medium or large turnout but, having looked at them on a site where they are shown against a ruler,their insulated section appears to be no larger. The smallest wheelbases I have found are on the Porter 0-4-0 and the Forney---both are 1 & 3/16". This would suggest that if you have trouble with a small wheelbase loco the trouble most probably lies with the loco pickups (or dirty wheels) not the turnout.
If you are thinking of using Peco track, get one turnout with some lengths of Flexitrack and lay down a temp.setup to test your small locos before you decide which way to go (Insul versus Electro). Peco Setrack turnouts are ideal for mini layouts.

Eric UK
 


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: BestSnowman on September 25, 2009, 02:24:50 PM
Ray said "I tend to use Electrofrog turnouts because I usually run smaller wheelbase locomotives."
The largest insulated frog section that I have found on the Peco Insulfrog Setrack and Streamline small turnouts,slips and 3-way measures under 1". I do not have a medium or large turnout but, having looked at them on a site where they are shown against a ruler,their insulated section appears to be no larger. The smallest wheelbases I have found are on the Porter 0-4-0 and the Forney---both are 1 & 3/16". This would suggest that if you have trouble with a small wheelbase loco the trouble most probably lies with the loco pickups (or dirty wheels) not the turnout.
If you are thinking of using Peco track, get one turnout with some lengths of Flexitrack and lay down a temp.setup to test your small locos before you decide which way to go (Insul versus Electro). Peco Setrack turnouts are ideal for mini layouts.

Eric UK
 

You do have a point on the problem being with pickup, however if you want to run older models it could be a problem. I've run into models that only pickup on one or two axels and it can be more work than its worth to get it up and running.

It could also be that Ray enjoys the challenge.


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: Jim Banner on September 25, 2009, 08:54:14 PM
Hmmm.  Checking deep into my knowledge of American History, I seem to remember a small island, bought for 200 beers, or maybe it was the price of 200 beers.  It was only 60 square kilometers but had good water.  Fast forward a few years and this little island should be able to support a brewery and a railroad.  It has a population of something like 1.6 million.  Now here is where I get confused.  Is that Monk's Island?  Or is that Manhattan Island?

Jim


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on September 26, 2009, 09:19:22 AM
Let me clear up a couple of things right now: 1) it has been my experience (a very expensive lesson btw) that Peco makes some of the best products on the market...and that is why I recommend them, 2) the difference between installing Electrofrog turnouts and Insufrog turnouts is two insulated rail joiners...that's it. The difference between wiring an Electrofrog double slip turnout and an Insufrog double slip is HUGE. As long as you have locomotives with multiple pick up wheels there is little reason to use Electrofrog versions - I was trying to head off any chance of trouble in the future. I think all our posters are capable of inserting 2 insulated rail joiners on the frog rails - making Electrofrog turnouts a viable option...again, this is an option as Insufrog turnouts will more than suffice in most applications.

The Monks' Island Brewery track plan called for a double-slip and a 3-way turnout. I opted for the Insufrog version of the double-slip. The 3-way is only offered in Electrofrog; because the frog(s) polarity must change due to which route is selected (two routings must change together). To accomplish this one must install 2 SPDT electrical switches...more complication. I do not recommend the Monks Island Brewery plan for someone who hasn't done a fair amount of track laying and wiring. There are lots of other interesting, yet simpler, plans on Carl Arendt's website.

Coupled with the complex track and wiring are the two traversers (transfer tables in the US). These 'gems' have to be absolutely square - and remain so during the entire length of their travel. In each position the track ends must mate up EXACTLY...everytime. Again, one traverser (or a sector plate) is enough challenge for the normal person...why do you think I became a psychologist?? If you have the time, construct a cardboard traverser table and you will see what I mean (did you remember that the rail heads must be dead level with respect to each other?). To add insult to injury, at least one of the 'table tracks' must line up when the table is all the way forward AND all the way back.

Guys, I am trying to encourage people to get off their couches and start building...micros are a great way to accomplish this. Build one, sell it, and then build another of increased complexity. I would not want to see you try something that is overly complex and then abandon the entire process.

Regards,
Ray

This post was modified on 11/27/09 due to a glaring error on my part.


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: renniks on September 26, 2009, 06:20:48 PM
Ray

I commend your efforts to get folks building layouts but must contradict you about the Peco 3 ways.  Peco Streamline code 100 HO/OO #SL-99.

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa1/damsonskin/SL99.jpg)

Could have saved yourself some hassle.

Eric UK


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: Jim Banner on September 26, 2009, 06:54:14 PM
Ray,
I was busy a bit earlier taking apart an old CD ROM drive for the drawer motor and the bearings, when it hit me.  Two guide rods, bearings, a motor, a gear trains, and a rack and pinion drive.  There is almost a complete traverser kit in there.  I see lots for sale on eBay for under $5 plus shipping.  I don't know if you have local on line auction houses down there, but on Kijiji Saskatoon I see them for less than a dollar, and being local, there is no shipping charges.

Jim


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: BestSnowman on September 26, 2009, 09:01:21 PM
Ray,
I was busy a bit earlier taking apart an old CD ROM drive for the drawer motor and the bearings, when it hit me.  Two guide rods, bearings, a motor, a gear trains, and a rack and pinion drive.  There is almost a complete traverser kit in there.  I see lots for sale on eBay for under $5 plus shipping.  I don't know if you have local on line auction houses down there, but on Kijiji Saskatoon I see them for less than a dollar, and being local, there is no shipping charges.

Jim

I've actually got a DVD drive that might be on its last legs. I'll have to do some testing to make sure it is but I could probably let it go for the cost of shipping. I'll dig through my old computer parts to see if I have any others I could get rid of.

Let me know if you'd be interested Ray.


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: renniks on September 27, 2009, 09:23:31 AM
Jim,

Can suggest an even better base for a traverser but probably too big for Ray.
Remove the casing of a Scanner and replace the reading dodads on the traversing arm with a top deck. I stripped down a defunct one but only kept the gears and toothed belt (silly me) for possible use as a TT drive. The motor may need replacing as I haven't sorted out the connections or power needed but this should be fairly easy.
 Remember that the carriage is longer than and travels the width of an A4 page (or letter page in the US).

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa1/damsonskin/Scannerdriveparts.jpg)

The bits I kept. The belt is fixed to the carriage with a spring wire clip.
Should pick up an old scanner cheap.

Eric UK


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: jsmvmd on September 27, 2009, 09:40:26 AM
Dear Ray,

Psychologist, eh ?  Maybe you could help me out:

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic,
And so am I !

The above is from an old edition of OMNI magazine which also stated:

Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana !

Best Wishes,

Jack


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on September 27, 2009, 02:21:13 PM
I wanted to reply to these excellent posts. Eric: I checked with Bill's Trains & Tracks (my Peco supplier) and he carries the Peco SL-99. I guess I didn't know of its existence - because I use Code 75. Given your new information, and looking over Peco's Code 100 Streamline and Setrack offerings, I would suggest micro modelers stick with Code 100 to simplify the wiring. Thanks Eric for that heads up!

This brings us to Jim and [back to] Eric - who are a couple of extremely talented guys. I can see how someone who is mechanically gifted could have transversers that are largely automatic as well as powered. My transversers will be manually operated to keep in line with the KISS principle (not to mention my woefully inadequate mechanical/electrical talents). Jim and Eric's suggestions just serve to illustrate how far anyone can go with the micro layout concept. Many thanks guys.

Another big thank you goes out to my good model railroad buddy Tim Anders. Tim not only offered to design the transversers (transfer tables); but also said he would build them!! Tim, I deeply thank you and will respond off line. Model railroading brings out the best in all of us. I also do not want to forget Bestsnowman, who offered the components to a DVD drive for use in this project...thanks friend.

Regarding helping you out Jack: well.......

I am holding off on doing anything with the transverser units until I have the track: laid, wired and thoroughly tested. Then armed with your suggestions, and a large bottle of Prozac, I will dive into the astonishing world of transversers. If you have the time, it would be really great to build a working model of either a single or double powered transverser and post it here (as well as sending some pictures and description to Carl Arendt's website so others can benefit from your research).

To those modelers (or potential modelers): Fall is coming and is the perfect time to begin work on a micro layout. I will probably not have any progress on the Monks Island Brewery to report for a couple of weeks. This, in itself, is OK as this is a hobby and meant to be relaxing...not a task with a fixed timetable. Why not pick something from Carl's website and start building?

Many heartfelt thanks for all the suggestions...please keep them coming.

You guys are the best,
Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: renniks on September 28, 2009, 07:19:21 AM
Ray

First--apologies for the contradiction. Was not aware that you are using code 75. Have just seen on another thread that you now have a MTD(sorry WTD). If you want a small steamer, Bachmann are reintroducing their HO 0-6-0ST with DCC fitted -- has extra gearing for slow running. Have one with a Backwoods conversion for On30 and with start voltage adjusted you need to look twice to check that it is moving at slowest speed. :o
About the scanner based traverser;no need for any 'expertise', just attach a deck to the scanner bar after removine the 'electrics'. Then remove drive motor and operate by manually turning the gear wheel.or remove all the drive components and push/pull the deck. No alterations or adaptations other than adding the deck and removing unwanted items.
For your use, a couple of DVD disc drawer units with disc drive removed (and eject mech. unless you want to use it as a Car 'thrower') would suit you fine.
If I didn't already have too many roundtoits, would be tempted to try both versions altho' I have no need for either.
One of the European manufacturers has just released a powered HO traverser which costs just under 200 in the UK. Would rather play with a scanner(even a new one) at that price.

Eric UK


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: jsmvmd on September 28, 2009, 11:17:16 AM
Dear Ray,

From my best English to Latin translator, here is an answer for the "M" remark:  Rome mos non exsisto amused

Dear Eric, in the good old UK,

What kind of controller would you use for your recycled scanner motor, simple switches or computer ?

Best Wishes,

Jack


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: renniks on September 28, 2009, 07:15:14 PM
Jack

Motor I have has a shielded 5 pin socket. I'm guessing that it is a stepper motor. Would make an adapter plate to mount a standard 12v can motor and control with a cheap TCS decoder.

Eric UK


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: jsmvmd on September 29, 2009, 11:33:58 AM
Dear Eric,

Don't have a clue to what you said, my being electrically challenged !

However, I will show it to my brilliant son who I am sure can help me out.

Things sort of go fizz and pop when I wire them  ::)

Best Wishes,

Jack


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: buzz on October 02, 2009, 06:11:42 AM
Hi guys
reading this makes me wonder if there are prototypes for the micro that could later be Incorporated into the big railway.
Without the use of sector plates and traversers that could cause problems incorporating it into the big layout.
regards John


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on October 05, 2009, 04:09:16 PM
Hi Everyone. We just returned from a motor home rally - and I really need to get working on The Monks' Island Brewery again. I promise I will have the holes drilled for the wires from the Peco 3-way turnout; and possibly glue the whole 'rats nest' down. There will be more pictures forthcoming once I have all the major track components in place.

Buzz: There are several micro/small layouts in Carl Arendt's website that incorporate one (or more) switching puzzles into a larger layout. The link, below, isn't the one I was looking for; but Carl's website has so many articles to choose from that I decided to show one and let you peruse the site:
http://www.carendt.com/scrapbook/page24/index.html (http://www.carendt.com/scrapbook/page24/index.html)

If you scroll down the article, you will come to Ronald Halma's "The Shop". Ron hails from the Netherlands and has designed/built a micro layout dedicated to the servicing of steam locomotives. I can only imagine the 'fun' one would have switching this layout...especially if a time limit is imposed. The sector plate on the right would be eliminated if this were part of a larger layout. I would suggest you check out the Scrapbook Articles on Carl's website for other examples.

Transversers are tough, but the prototype railroads used them. The Monks' Island Brewery (designed by Andreas Krause of Wiltshire, England) copies two of the 13 transversers used by the Coor's Brewery of Golden, CO. [In the prototype, there are 7 loading doors on one side of the building and 6 additional doors on the other side...each with two traversers.] Traversers can be made very simply (using ones finger to move the table) or difficult (see the suggestions from the other technologically adept posters above). BTW: Walthers offers a single transverser (transfer table) that is powered.

Sector plates are a very simple way of shunting cars from one siding to another without the additional tail track a turnout requires. As you already know, they have no place in prototype operations and are used in micro layouts to save space yet increase operations (although one could argue that a turntable is a form of sector plate). You could have a hidden sector plate within a scenery element or building and accomplish the same end...just a suggestion.

Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on October 22, 2009, 09:09:51 PM
I haven't done much with the Monks' Island Brewery micro layout due to an inordinate lack of spare time. Most of the track (excepting the car ferry and transfer tables) has been laid and I thought everything was progressing smoothly. After installing the last turnout before the transfer table(s)' pit, I painted all the track using Joe's Model Trains 'Rusty Rails Painter' [Walthers #350-103]. Installing this turnout allowed me to run the Plymouth WDT all the way to the pit edge (using the opposite leg of the crossing). 'Guess what? The switcher stopped cold and the circuit breaker tripped on the DC power pack.

Leaving out all the blood and guts, I spent hours trying to figure out where I went wrong in the wiring. Trust me: Hours doesn't begin to describe the amount of time/effort I put to the problem. Finally, this evening, I decided to check all the legs of the crossing (it is an Peco Insulfrog unit) for continuity. Prior to this I had been using my trusty multimeter to check for current flow...and couldn't get any on one leg of the crossing (if I used a jumper from another track, it would cause a short).

The problem? I strongly believe the Peco crossing was incorrectly made. On an insulfrog crossing, the frog is non-powered; and each converging rail is separated by a tiny piece of plastic...one frog was (no continuity between the converging rails), and the other side wasn't! In the picture below you can see the offending frog off the tip of my finger. Solution? I ordered a new crossing and will carefully check its components BEFORE installation. I cannot overstate the importance in having (and using) a multimeter.

(http://i395.photobucket.com/albums/pp38/Allegro34/Model%20Railroad%20Pictures/The%20Monks%20Island%20Brewery/Defectivecrossing.jpg)

This has been one of those weeks....I hope you profit from my omission.

Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on November 17, 2009, 12:28:35 PM
I have finally made considerable progress on the Monks' Island Brewery (name changed to Monks' Island Railway to allow for a future expansion module). The exacting work has begun on the transverser tables (transfer tables in the U.S.). By 'exacting' I mean that everything must be in absolute square. In the first image, you will notice some white lines - drawn on the transverser pit floor. The outer two lines represent the location of the transverser table's outside edge. The inner (4) lines will be the location of the brass support rails. One cannot emphasize enough the care that must be taken in laying out and securing the brass rails.

(http://i395.photobucket.com/albums/pp38/Allegro34/Model%20Railroad%20Pictures/The%20Monks%20Island%20Brewery/Transversersreferencelines-1.jpg)

In the next image I show the foamcore templates for the transverse tables. The first thing that is noticed is that the tables were mis-measured and are too short (longitudinally). I will correct this with another set of templates...better to waste foamcore than the real item. BTW: the tables will be constructed of a foamcore middle that is sandwiched between two pieces of basswood (the upper one scribed). The gray object between the two pieces of scrap flextrack is a track separation device that keeps two adjacent tracks the NMRA recommended distance apart.

(http://i395.photobucket.com/albums/pp38/Allegro34/Model%20Railroad%20Pictures/The%20Monks%20Island%20Brewery/Traversertabletemplates.jpg)

The little Bachmann WDT continues to run well and already the switching problems, this design offers, keeps me busy for hours...which doesn't get much work done on the ferry, ferry slip nor transversers. Oh well...it is a hobby.

Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: BestSnowman on November 18, 2009, 12:15:09 PM
Looking good Ray! I'm intrigued as to what industries are next for Monks Island, maybe the monks will need to take on the production of kegs or barrels to store produced beer in the future.

As an update on the switching layout you've inspired me to build, I got some free N-scale track and have decided to build small Inglebrook layout. I even found an N-scale Plymouth WDT for my switcher. Now all I need is some turnouts and rolling stock.


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on November 19, 2009, 02:45:53 PM
'Way to go Bestsnowman...you are on the road to micro layout construction.

The module, that is presently under construction, will only feature the ferry slip, a grain mill (Walthers background building) and the Monks' Island Brewery. The track, in the front of the layout, is designed to run (to the right) and connect the harbor (as yet unnamed) with the rest of the island - including the fishing village of Sweethaven at the other end of the island. I imagine the Monks' Island Railway to be something like 10 or 15 miles in length.

In Sweethaven, there would be a fish cannery, a lumber yard, a coal/oil dealer, and a team track. [The Sweethaven harbor is too shallow to allow anything but smaller fishing boats...hence the Brewery/ferry side of the island and the railway to connect both.] Whenever I get to designing (and building) that portion of the island; it will probably measure the same 11"x 62" the brewery module measures.

The Monks' Island Brewery is challenging to operate (especially when there are more cars going outbound than the ferry can handle). Designing and building the transversers [transfer tables] is extremely challenging and has definitely slowed the progress. If anyone is interested in the transversers, contact me off line.

Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: Robertj668 on November 23, 2009, 12:04:49 AM
Ray
Everything looks great.  I love the little red switcher!
Robert


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on November 23, 2009, 11:54:58 AM
Robert - Thanks for the positive comments. That little Bachmann Plymouth WDT actually runs very well for an inexpensive locomotive. I have painted and weathered all the rail and ties and am in the process of tackling the transfer tables (the needed brass supplies should arrive, from Micro Mark, today). To be honest, I spend inordinate amounts of time playing (oops, I mean operating) the layout - and have found the switching chores to be extremely taxing (which means I love it).

Every layout should have an overview (an expression of its history, purpose and environment) as well as which industries are included and their activity. Waiting for those needed supplies has given me a chance to think about the Monks' Island Railway. What industries are on the island? What do they require or produce? What rolling stock do they require and how often? I have kept the servers at Google busy over the past week researching these questions.

Eventually the Monks' Island Brewery module will be joined by an equally-sized module depicting the opposite end of the island and the harbor of Sweethaven. While I have put a lot of thought into this future project, I need to finish the brewery module first.

Stay tuned as I will have a separate thread on the transfer tables and their construction. My hope is that this will inspire some readers to try their hand at micro/small layout construction. It is raining, in Alabama today, so I will probably 'push some iron' on the Monks' Island Ry. Hmmm, another thread idea is how I set up my switch lists (the layout is too small to effectively use waybills or car cars in the traditional sense). 'Good project for the new year.

Cheers,
Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on November 27, 2009, 11:34:15 AM
Folks, I found I had to modify some of my earlier posts as they contained incomplete or incorrect information. I also have to apologize about the lack of progress on the Monks' Island Brewery/Railway project. To be honest, the transversers (transfer tables) are giving me fits.

Each table is constructed with a center of white foamcore (I know, I know...I could have used black foamcore and saved myself some edge painting). Laminated to the upper surface of the foamcore (which was cut to 78mm x 170 mm) is a piece of scribed basswood [Micro Mark # 60859A]. The plan was to laminate the bottom surface of the table, with the same material, as a spacer...more on that below.

The tables will ride on 'rails' made of 3/32" x 3/16" brass rectangular tubing soldered to .064" x 1" solid brass strip. This amount of brass is a huge heat-sink - so I had to use an old trick involving our kitchen oven to accomplish the deed. Two of these 'rails' are required for each table (one side will be wired '+' and the other '-').

The basswood laminate (glued to the foamcore with Locktite No Mess Adhesive) caused the foamcore to bend slightly (yep...I put weight on each table overnight to no avail). To combat this, and to keep the whole table absolutely level, I will secure two pieces of brass strip to the underside of the table and use it to hold the two pieces of brass channel that will: 1) keep the table square on the 'rails' and, 2) provide an electrical connection between the 'rails' and the table's tracks.

Stay tuned...this is turning into quite a project!
Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: pdlethbridge on November 27, 2009, 05:08:18 PM
Why don't you add a second piece of bass wood underneath to counter the bowing.


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on November 28, 2009, 11:01:54 AM
Good morning 'P'. I had thought about adding a second 'layer' of basswood on the underside of the tables; but decided upon the brass strips. The brass channel presents a very narrow gluing surface - causing me concern about adhesion. While I do plan on using epoxy glue to secure the channel, there just isn't enough surface area for good glue/foamcore contact. The plan is to solder the brass channel to a piece of brass strip (two per table) - and glue that lot to the underside of the table. This should solve two problems: glue surface area, and a larger place to attach feed wires. Additionally, the brass strips will add weight to the table that can only assist in electrical conduction (the brass rectangular tubing is electrified - which is then conducted to the overriding channel and hence to the track).

Regarding the lower table rails/guides. The brass strips do not have to be in perfect alignment (although the closer the better). The rectangular tubing and the channel pieces must be perfectly aligned...there is virtually no room for error. One method to accomplish this task is to draw a perpendicular line along the pit floor and measure from it to each end of the square tubing (making sure the line is absolutely perpendicular to the layout edge...don't rely on measuring from the edge of the pit as it [probably] isn't square.

Readers, I know this sounds complicated; but, let me assure you, it is the easiest way to construct a transfer table. If you so chose, a simple motor-driven screw arrangement could be used to move the table(s). In lieu of the brass work, one could use N-scale track (and trucks) as well as some type of electrical pickup. As I have promised, in past posts, I will take (and share) pictures of the construction process as well as a materials list. If I possessed the proper tools, this would be a fairly easy project. As it stands.......

Ray

PS: To those of you who have contacted me off line; I double-dog promise to take copious pictures - as well as the inclusion of more complete instructions.


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on December 01, 2009, 11:17:45 AM
This is just a little update on the transfer table project:
    As I write this I have cut both pieces of foamcore, laminated them with scribed basswood, and put the first coat of weathering on the wood. Problems arose when the weathering dye dried - causing the basswood laminate to warp. This is fairly common with craftsman structures and can be remedied by painting the opposite side or placing a weight on the offending piece overnight. For some reason, the latter procedure did not work. So now what? I will cut another two pieces of foamcore and will either paint them; or laminate each with styrene (which itself could be scribed, if a wood look was desired, or scribed into plates if a metal deck was the intended look).

    Sadly, the pieces came out well (in appearance anyway); but they are unusable. Given the amount of overnight pressure applied; no amount of gluing/reinforcement/pressure will remove the warp - short of distorting the foamcore base. Oh, I tried gluing basswood to the reverse side of a table...didn't work either.

(http://i395.photobucket.com/albums/pp38/Allegro34/Model%20Railroad%20Pictures/The%20Monks%20Island%20Brewery/TransversersStage1.jpg)

Back at the drawing board,
Ray


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: pdlethbridge on December 01, 2009, 06:51:51 PM
Why are you using such light material?  Wouldn't 1/2" plywood work better for an application that will see lots of use?


Title: Re: My new micro/small layout
Post by: CNE Runner on December 01, 2009, 08:25:36 PM
Half-inch plywood would have been great...if it fit. When one adds up the height of the 2 brass strips (lower on the pit floor and upper on the underside of the table) as well as the brass rectangular tubing and (to a much less extent) the brass channel on the table itself; the result is a surface that was above the layout's surface. This put the top of the table track rails a considerable distance above the entry rails. [If you go back to page 1, you will see the entry track is much too short to somehow 'elevate' it to match a higher table.]

The second table material I examined was 5 mm furniture-grade birch plywood. Why didn't I go with that? Because I was worried about warpage in use...go figure.

I think the foamcore - laminated with sheet styrene - will fit the bill. Foamcore, by itself, is stout and does not warp. I have already cut new foamcore tables and now have to head to Huntsville for some sheet styrene. Actually the only rolling stock to be on each transfer table will be a 40' box car, reefer, or beer car - and the little Plymouth WDT switching locomotive. You do have a point: If one were putting a large steamer (or diesel) locomotive on these tables, I would definitely consider something a little more durable.

We are getting there...one mistake at a time.
Ray