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Author Topic: My new micro/small layout  (Read 17272 times)
BestSnowman


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« Reply #15 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.
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-Matthew Newman
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2009, 10:08:28 PM »

 Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #17 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
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
BestSnowman


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« Reply #18 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 Smiley 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.
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-Matthew Newman
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renniks


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« Reply #19 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
 
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BestSnowman


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« Reply #20 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.
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-Matthew Newman
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #21 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
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #22 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.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 11:08:30 AM by CNE Runner » Logged

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renniks


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« Reply #23 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.



Could have saved yourself some hassle.

Eric UK
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #24 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
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BestSnowman


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« Reply #25 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.
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-Matthew Newman
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renniks


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« Reply #26 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).



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
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #27 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
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #28 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
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renniks


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« Reply #29 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. Shocked
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
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