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Author Topic: My new micro/small layout  (Read 17298 times)
CNE Runner


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« 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".
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).

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:


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
« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 11:52:57 AM by CNE Runner » Logged

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jward


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« Reply #1 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.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
CNE Runner


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« Reply #2 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
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #3 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:
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.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 11:11:19 AM by CNE Runner » Logged

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jonathan


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« Reply #4 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...
« Last Edit: September 19, 2009, 07:54:05 AM by jonathan » Logged
CNE Runner


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« Reply #5 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.


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
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #6 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
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #7 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
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #8 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:

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
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renniks


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« Reply #9 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.



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
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 06:58:03 AM by renniks » Logged
CNE Runner


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« Reply #10 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
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 12:46:38 PM by CNE Runner » Logged

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jettrainfan

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« Reply #11 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!
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #12 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
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BestSnowman


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« Reply #13 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.
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2009, 09:23:23 PM »

Where do you think they get the money to buy those nice robes?
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