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Making a go of it

Postby Reith01 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:02 pm

This is a very modest layout compared to many here but one has to start somewhere. Measures 6' x 2'10" in the form of a folded 8.

This one is putting on styrene foam cut from bits used to pack domestic electronics.

Image
...
Below: Most of the modroc-ing/plaster is done. The track to the front will be lifted tomorrow to take advantage of
nutter's tip on isolating at the points. It's going to save cutting the track. As pieces of track are wired separately,
connection is no problem.

Well, I cross my fingers. The track has got somewhat dirty but at least I know it forms a continuous circuit.

Image

.
As a beginner I'll report problems and how I try to solve them, and will always be grateful for advice.
I have no 3D printer so buildings and bridges have to be made from wood, card/styrene sheet and DAS pronto. They'll take time no doubt.

Cheers,
Reith.
Last edited by Reith01 on Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Making a go of it

Postby SmallCentral » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:23 pm

Superb work .
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Re: Making a go of it

Postby mattd10 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:49 pm

6' by 2'10 is anything but modest! Any chance of a track plan?

Look forward to following this!
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Re: Making a go of it

Postby rvn2001 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:45 pm

That's bigger than my 5' x 14" layout. It looks like you're making good progress on it. I'm looking forward to seeing more of it.
Thom Welsch
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Re: Making a go of it

Postby Reith01 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:02 pm

Crikey, I got the dimensions wrong. It's 6ft x 1ft 10.

I hope I do better with measuring when it gets down to buildings, roads and things....!

I did most of the basic wiring under the board today, now awaiting a couple of points for the sidings.
I'm really not happy about these points. Not specially happy about making my own (because steel tracks will be difficult to solder) so once the "permanent way" is working near flawlessly I'll think about that mod of NoelDollimore's.

mattd10 wrote:6' by 2'10 is anything but modest! Any chance of a track plan?

Look forward to following this!

A little more modest now I've declared the right size. But it's just a single track with a station loop and a couple of sidings. No way as bold as some layouts in this forum. A learning experience. I'll take a snap of the track layout when I next have it upended.

cheers.
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Re: Making a go of it

Postby NeilM » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:46 pm

This is quite an impressive start for a first layout, far bigger than my own 20" x 30". Do not forget that (if my maths does not fail me) a run of over 12' is a scale mile, which you will have easily achieved with your trackplan - just drop that in now and again to make modellers from larger scales really envious!

Hope the use of the points goes OK for you. I know other have got them to work, but for my first attempt I did not use them so just have one continuous run.

All the best with this, and do keep us updated on progress.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450
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Re: Making a go of it

Postby Reith01 » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:34 pm

Some progress. Included is a photo that shows the track. I took it to get a bigger picture of the plastering. It does need some work. The track is complete except for ballasting and sidings to go in the ‘corked’ area (top left). Well, they may…. I started to put in some roads and the base for an industrial site. These won’t need more treatment except smoothing/filling cracks/painting.

The bases for the main village have been cut out.

Image

The points problem won’t go away. I had hoped I wouldn’t need to mod chasses but may have to otherwise it’ll be just a single track and sidings that are decoration. Even the blades don’t conduct reliably. There is a further option which I dread to think about as the rail is steel. (It may look good though!) There’s also mechanising the points. I’ll experiment but this is bigger money and work so I’ve deferred it to push on with at least some of the scenery.

I’m also worried that the day the track expanded enough to bow may have altered the gauge enough to cause problems. Next time I have it running I’ll test difficult spots with a gauge.

Is it exactly 3mm?

Otherwise I started on street lights. The Eishindo ones are fine for main roads but side roads need something smaller, as does the forefront of a theatre thing I want to make. They need about 20 ‘globe’ lamps, hoping to use fibre optic but this gives variable results and it may come down to individual leds.

The photo shows an experiment with these lights. Unfortunately the exposure proved too long and, yup, camera-shake. The stands for these lamps are the fibre and when installed will give a height of 7mm, base to the top of the globe. The stands look too stout in the photo: they're 0.25mm - camera shake again. They’re all over the place in the photo as I was just testing if they worked. The one on the right is about the right height. I had to use the photoshop brush to wipe away some of the effects of camera shake but they do light up a bit! Not visible in the photo they cast some light on the ground.

Image

So...on we go...!
Any advice is always welcomed with thanks.

Ivor (aka Reith)
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Re: Making a go of it

Postby martink » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:36 am

I tried a number of techniques for the fiber optic pedestrian crossing lights (Belisha beacons) on mine - melting the ends, drops of glue, etc. By far the best results came from whittling the end of the fiber into a blunt point (a sort of square pyramid). Those facets spread the light out through 360 degrees. Also make sure that the LED end of the fiber is cut cleanly and squarely, and pointed correctly at the light-emitting part of the LED.
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Re: Making a go of it

Postby Reith01 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:43 am

martink wrote:I tried a number of techniques for the fiber optic pedestrian crossing lights (Belisha beacons) on mine - melting the ends, drops of glue, etc. By far the best results came from whittling the end of the fiber into a blunt point (a sort of square pyramid). Those facets spread the light out through 360 degrees. Also make sure that the LED end of the fiber is cut cleanly and squarely, and pointed correctly at the light-emitting part of the LED.


Thank you for that. I'll try that out. These were made by gluing the fibre to microbeads. The prop they're in is the jig I put together to make them.
A (slightly) better photo as I have daylight to film them:

Image

They weren't finished in the shot. The stands need painting up to the globe and a base has to be fitted for which I have some brass tube.

To adopt your system would seem better with beads having a threading hole so the fibre can sit in them. I'll have a look around for something. (It would make construction considerably easier.

Cheers,
Ivor
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Re: Making a go of it

Postby Reith01 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:48 pm

Over the weekend I did some extensive surgery on the scenic side. The scene wasn’t feasible when I thought about roads and a village. And I had to cut spaces beneath bases of the village to install electronics. A nice result was that some of the “rubble” that came from the hacking settled here and there on the board looking like boulders and real rubble so I glued them in.

Still having trouble with tracks. I’ve learned that my tracklaying is some way from perfect and the problem of points remains. I stuck the track down and there are still trouble spots so it means going over with a magnifier once the scenic plastering and paining are finished. Heaven know what if I have to pull any up so an experiment with cyano solvent is on the books.

One thing I’ve learned is getting the sequence right. I don’t think I did – laying the track + wiring first then building the scenery around it. Next time I’ll get the trackbed down then the scenery, tracklaying last. I didn’t plan enough. The scenic electrics have to be planned early too.
I did listen to/read a fair bit of advice but didn’t apply it properly it seems.

Some of the leds are going to be tiny. One has to be careful with those pre-wired 0402s. It isn’t that the soldering is bad but it doesn’t take much to pull the connection pad off the led with the wire – no surprise, it’s meant to be surface mounted, not wired! Maybe some of that solder glue will allow replacement of the pad.

But…we soldier on… almost said solder on….

Ivor (aka Reith)
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