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Author Topic: My new micro/small layout  (Read 14251 times)
jsmvmd

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« Reply #30 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
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renniks


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« Reply #31 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
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #32 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  Roll Eyes

Best Wishes,

Jack
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buzz

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« Reply #33 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
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A model railway can be completed but its never finished
CNE Runner


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« Reply #34 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:

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
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 04:11:46 PM by CNE Runner » Logged

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CNE Runner


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« Reply #35 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.


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

Ray
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 05:49:55 PM by CNE Runner » Logged

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CNE Runner


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« Reply #36 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.


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.


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
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 12:42:29 PM by CNE Runner » Logged

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BestSnowman


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« Reply #37 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.
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #38 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
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Robertj668

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« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2009, 12:04:49 AM »

Ray
Everything looks great.  I love the little red switcher!
Robert
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #40 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
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #41 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
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2009, 05:08:18 PM »

Why don't you add a second piece of bass wood underneath to counter the bowing.
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #43 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.
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #44 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.


Back at the drawing board,
Ray
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