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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Postby dkightley » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:29 pm

And here's the first dry assembly....which went together very well!:
P1020034_red.JPG
P1020034_red.JPG (66.63 KiB) Viewed 630 times


I've a lot more printing to do before I get any idea whether this is actually going to work or not!!
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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Postby Nutter » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:28 pm

Looks interesting.prefer mechanical stuff, in theory easier to fault find than the embeded electronics stuff.
Good luck with the rest of the bits.
Mike based on the Southern side of London

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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Postby dkightley » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:35 pm

Away from mechanics of the Tamar Bridge, I'm busy looking at other aspects of the layout....and where I can introduce new things that will add to the challenge...

I've recently joined the Model Engineering Railway Group...or MERG...after I saw a demonstration of DCC at the Soar Valley MRC show that showed that you don't need to spend huge amounts of money to get amazing results.....and this has got me thinking of how I can get the extreme slow running needed...scale speeds under 15mph.... for trains over the Royal Albert Bridge. With the new DCC controller cards from CT Elecktronik....and a couple of the DCC kits from MERG, the cost of using a DCC system to accurately control trains on the layout is not looking as if I need a lottery win to fund!

My current thoughts are to use a spare smart phone I have to connect to software on a laptop via wifi that controls trains fed through a MERG DCC control system....costing approx. £70 plus £30 per DCC chip. And having a computer involved, addition of some clever things is realistically possible.
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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Postby dkightley » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:10 pm

One of the plusses of being fluent in the use of 3D CAD is that before you commit to starting to hack away at materials, you can visualise what you're intending to build....and then change the design before committing to starting things. This helps sort out conflicts and getting things to fit right. Here's my current view of the layout:
OctView1.JPG
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OctView2.JPG
OctView2.JPG (47.98 KiB) Viewed 427 times
OctView3.JPG
OctView3.JPG (42.34 KiB) Viewed 427 times


And I'm even looking closely at what things look like behind the scenes:
OctView4.JPG
OctView4.JPG (47.39 KiB) Viewed 427 times
OctView5.JPG
OctView5.JPG (42.93 KiB) Viewed 427 times


Obviously, the behind the scenes view is very much a "work in progress" insofar as the track positioning, etc is concerned....but as I'm intending to incorporate a "flexi-traverser", I do need to know what space I have!
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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Postby dkightley » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:21 am

A bit more progress on the virtual design of the layout general arrangement:
OctViewB1.JPG
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OctViewB2.JPG
OctViewB2.JPG (55.31 KiB) Viewed 384 times


Notable additions are the lighting structure....and I've taken into account wiring routing this time (as its ended up a bit messy on The Bridge)....and a place for a laptop...which will be the main controller for the automation. I've still got the backdrop and the boxing in at either end of the front to do....which shouldn't take much head scratching. At least I can sort out the flat-pack arrangements for the whole layout before I start buying wood, etc! And I can re-use parts from The Bridge!
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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Postby dkightley » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:13 am

Its nearly a month since I last updated the build.....and a fair amount of progress has happened.

I've made good progress with the DCC side. I've finalised the track sections....twelve in all, and the locations of the spot train sensors....fifteen of them! This should allow me to know exactly where all trains are....how many I have on the layout! I have bought and built an array of pcbs, six nicely named "Twin Toti" boards, four CBus input boards, one output board, one servo control board...and a handful of the LDR detector circuits. Some are function tested, some not. No decoder boards yet! So I can't really go much further on the electronics.

I now have a tube full of flexitrack sections ( thanks, Alan) so I'm ready for getting some track laying done....but no board yet! I have, however started looking at the points. behind the scenes, I'm having my specially named "flexi-traverser"...a three track double bed traverser where each end is independent of the other end. It works as a point, a mini-fiddle yard, and a link from the main track loop to the branch line. I'll be explaining more about it when I start building it. Out front, there's a single wye point between the single track bridge and Saltash station....and I've started building this beast.

I began with a 3D printed mock-up of the track layout based on the layout scale size print I have:
IMG_3282_red.JPG
IMG_3282_red.JPG (64.07 KiB) Viewed 180 times

This allowed me tp make the initial plan for the point build. I next created a build jig that I could use to form the curves and start building the trackwork. Here's the current state of the point fitted into the jig:
IMG_3284_red.JPG
IMG_3284_red.JPG (65.37 KiB) Viewed 180 times

To get to this point, I cut and carefully slid the sleeper moulding off most of the track. With the small section left on, I then fitted the track to form the outer rail. I then stripped the sleeper moulding off a short section of track so I had two pieces of rail to file a taper on to form the vee-section. In the rig, these two pieces have been soldered together ready for further steps in the build. The two sections of sleeper mouldings are destined to be threaded onto the two newly formed point exit rail paths...I'll need to trim bits off where they get close. Here's a second shot of the point in the jig with the sleeper mouldings:
IMG_3286_red.JPG
IMG_3286_red.JPG (103.65 KiB) Viewed 180 times

The plan is for the point as you see in the jig to be mounted on a ply base, which will hold the pivot points for the moving blades and the servo and micro-switch needed to ensure correct power connections.

PS Anyone confused about the sleeper moulding being clear? Its a piece left over from when I built the Bridge, and Alan supplied me with a number of lengths of track that were from a sample batch with clear sleepers.
Doug Kightley
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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Postby Nutter » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:46 am

Will be following the point build with interest.
What did you use to solder the vee?
You do also realise that you may have to make point jigs available if everything is sucessfull. :?
Mike based on the Southern side of London

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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Postby mattd10 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:12 pm

I've been away from T for a little while and I come back to this?! :shock:

Some truly excellent work here Doug!

But as has been said, you may have to branch out into point jigs in the shop! :lol:
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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Postby msimister » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:52 pm

Fabulous work Doug. Commercialising good points could be your next project...
Cheers,
Malcolm
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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Postby NeilM » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:57 pm

Good work Doug, very keen to see where this goes. I have been quiet on T gauge for a while, but seeing a good method for building points that really do work could get my layout plans back on track.
Neil

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