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Re: The Bridge

Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:43 pm
by Reith01
Well, Doug, you deserve every ounce of the award for that. It's brilliant.

Looking forward to new developments!


Re: The Bridge

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:20 pm
by Kupzinger
Congratulations! Great awards for your beat efforts!

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:23 pm
by dkightley
Only a week to go before the big show!! :shock: :shock:

I've had the usual list of jobs to do......repairs, finish off what I've not got finished before...youknow, the usual stuff! :roll:

I now have a working Turbostar three car set in Scotrail#s saltire scheme...this will probably be the main runner for the show! I'll probably get an Intercity 125 set running at some time over the weekend, though.

I've hopefully sorted an alignment issue out that was affecting the bridge cantilevers......I've cut 5mm off the bottom of some of the table legs! And I'll be able to fit the backdrop sheet better as I've slotted holes in a couple of fixing plates for the supports.

The 1:1 scale bridge has had problems with bits falling off. I've had the same! I have a small cross member to refit!

So....provided nothing else jumps out....I just have track cleaning to do, and get everything ready for loading up the van on Friday. And I've had offers via a colleague at the Tramway Museum to arrange for help on both show days....which will be most welcome.

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:16 pm
by dkightley
The layout has just been invited to another show.....Peak Rail Railway Exibition 10th/11th June 2017.

And I'm intending to drop in on the Severn Valley Railway stand at the Warley show this weekend to see if they would like the layout at their show next year that they are advertising for prospective layouts.

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:20 pm
by barneyadi
Great to hear you have another invite to show The Bridge. You are definitely spreading the word of T gauge.

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:04 am
by dkightley
Well....all set up at the NEC for this weekend's show. It took longer than expected to get the layout together, as I had issues with alignment of the bridge parts causing damage to some sleepers on one track section. Bits of broken sleepers ended up in the track slot, causing trains to snag part way through the tightest part of the bridge structure. Need to check for more bits first thing in the morning....and get the DMU I'm running "warmed up".

I've already had many "Wows!" and jaw-dropping moments...and that's from other exhibitors & traders.

I briefly met Geoff and Helen from GS Model Supplies...who have a good range of T gauge parts on sale.

Off to bed soon....I have an early start tomorrow!

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:15 pm
by barneyadi
If you go onto rmweb you can see some pictures of the layout taken at Warley.

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:31 pm
by dkightley
Just trying to get my strength back after a very busy and tiring weekend....

Sunday didn't get as busy as quickly as it did on Saturday...but the visitors were still three-deep for most of the day!! Lots and lots of nice comments from the visiting public.

I didn't get the "I live there!" comment....which I'm hopeful of getting in Glasgow next year....but I did get two close ones...."I fitted a kitchen in that house!" and "I know who lives in that house." And several people related their experiences either visiting or working somewhere on the layout.....which was pleasing for both them and myself. And whilst I was cleaning track before the show on Sunday, the layout was visited by Pete Waterman, who's judgement of "Absolutely brilliant!" set me up for the day! :)

All in all, I'm in two minds whether I'd actually want to exhibit at this event again. The Warley MRC staff were very friendly and helpful....but it was abundantly clear that they and all the exhibitors/traders were totally and utterly subservient to the "We're god!" attitude of the NEC security staff, who's "jobsworth" attitude got in the way of common sense. For instance, I and many other vehicle drivers left vans, etc as advised on the East Car park and to gain access to the hall for loading were instructed to go to a car park at the far extreme north end of the site to be guided in. As there were three big shows, there were hundreds of vans and I and many others had to wait over an hour for our turn to supposedly join a queue on a single access road that went past all halls....only then to be told to drive back round the site access roads to an entrance near to where we had been parked to enter the hall via a route that was "deserted".

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:46 pm
by barneyadi
The visit from Pete Waterman sounds great. From reading a forum or two it seems the layout was well received, only ever so slightly negative said although layout and scenery was great, operation was still a little simplistic. But a layout to me is what you want it to be.

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:35 pm
by dkightley
Now I've partially recovered from the "trauma" of the weekend, I'm starting to put together a list of jobs to do on the layout to get it ready for the 2017 season.

Firstly there's the inevitable repairs due to things being dented, knocked, broken, etc. Then there's changes and enhancements that will make the build-up and break-down at future events easier, etc....and finally I have a few upgrades in the pipeline.....

More to follow when I have the fuller list.

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:03 pm
by dkightley
So I can easily find it, I'm posting my list of things to do on the layout for the 2017 season. I'll update the list as I find new things and when I complete them:

1) Replace catches holding layout sections together & secure location dowels
2) Replace cantilever location bosses that have come loose
3) Resolve cantilever alignment issue
4) Resolve issues with damage to ends of track on lift-out sections
5) Resolve issues with backdrop transfer adhesion
6) Check & replace any distorted or damaged flexitrack
7) Check scenery components & re-glue loose items, etc.

Enhancements & Improvements:
1) Install automation, including micro controller & all additional wiring,etc
.1a) Plan location of sections, track breaks, sensors & future locations of lights
.1b) Plan wiring scheme for power circuit
.1c) Plan wiring scheme for sensors & signalling
.1c) Cut track on lift out track sections
.1d) Add power feeds to lift out track sections for central track area
.1e) Modify power wiring on run around sections (excluding connectors to cpu)
.1f) Build signal/sensor wiring looms & install sockets
.1g) Install sensors
.1h) install power supply connector & cable
.1i) Build signals
.1j) Install signals
.1k) Install controller unit & panel
.1l) Commission & test
.1m) Protect signal wiring underneath boards.
.1n) Fill air gaps where track cuts have been made to prevent shorts
.1o) Make transport protection pieces for venerable signals
2) Identify viaduct supports for easier assembly
3) Improve lighting cable fixing to stand frame - deferred to post- Newbury
4) Modify transport frame to make fitting layout sections easier
5) Create addn trains in appropriate livery (current day) (Class 68 loco & Mk2 coaches)

Item 1 in the enhancements list is the big one. I'll document it separately in case others will benefit from the information.....

As I complete items, I'll' mark them by changing the text colour to orange

Last update of list on 07/02/2017

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:23 pm
by dkightley
Today I found out one of the reasons I've been having issues with joining the layout boards together and getting the bridge sections to align correctly.

The latches joining some of the sections had become bent due to them being tighter than usual and giving way under the extra tension being placed on them by something rather unusual......the foam sheeting I used for the ground surface has expanded by a few percentage over time!!

This caused the joint between the end sections and the second section in from either end to bow, lifting the joint upwards, out of alignment. This then moved the ends of the viaducts out of position.....causing the whole bridge to slightly concertina, moving all of the joints out of position! This all now seems to explain why I had great problems getting the flexi-track to slide through the slots in the bridge deck when assembling the layout at Warley.

I've skimmed some of the foam off each side of the two affected joints and fitted the new latches....and all I need to do now is check the bridge and viaducts are now correctly aligned.

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:37 pm
by dkightley
I'm making good progress on the installation preparations for the automation module......which is currently being built in Australia!

I've started creating shells for a class 158 two-car DMU set that will be in Scotrail's saltire livery. This will give me two of the current sets that regularly cross the Forth. I'm still thinking about what to have for the third train.

I've also purchased a stock of SMT LEDs in red, amber and green ready for building the signals I'll need.

So....things are progressing well. The next tricky job is running power in a groove on the underside of the drop-in track sections.......

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:35 pm
by dkightley
Thought I'd show some photos of some of the changes I'm making for the automation.....

Firstly I needed to get separate power connections to one rail of each track at each end of the fact to this point...and the same at the other end:
Img_2836A_red.jpg (122.12 KiB) Viewed 15158 times
The double track from this point to where it disappears off the layout is in fact on a lift out strip of plywood, so I cut a groove out of the underside of the strip and laid cables in the groove:
IMG_3027_red.JPG (70.53 KiB) Viewed 15158 times
...and then ran the wires round the end to brass track connector pieces from track connectors. Here's the top view:
IMG_3026_red.JPG (62.57 KiB) Viewed 15158 times
The sensors for detecting train movements are located underneath the track. Here's a shot of where a sensor will fit...from below:
IMG_3028_red.JPG (51.58 KiB) Viewed 15158 times
...and above. Note they'll be almost impossible to see!:
IMG_3029_red.JPG (60.44 KiB) Viewed 15158 times
And finally for this post, I've made a start on creating the signals. Here's the first of the two wrong line working signals that will be constant red that are at the platform ends. It has no base yet, but will be planted trackside at the end of the platform. Sorry it's a bit fuzzy:
IMG_3031_red.JPG (51.89 KiB) Viewed 15158 times
And here it is lit:
IMG_3043_red.JPG (62.46 KiB) Viewed 15158 times
The signal post is brass microbore tubing which can take three wires down the bore! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:08 pm
by dkightley
I'm still pushing on with tasks I can do while I patiently wait for a delivery from Australia....which is not due for a week or so!

I've finished designing the wiring schemes for connecting the control system sensors and signals. I will have two eight core data cables connecting (via 8 pin DIN sockets) the two layout sections at each end of the line of sections...that's two at each end! I've made up the cables that daisy chain the sensor and signal bus's separately across the back of the board.

I've drilled holes for four of the eight DIN sockets for the above cables. I've also finished the rewiring of the power distribution circuit. There are now four separately powered track sections. I just need to fit the wires to the control board.

I've finished (to a point ready to install) the eight signals; three red/green for the platform ends (NB the fourth, if made & fitted wouldn't be seen as its behind the scenes), three amber/green for platform approaches (fourth off-layout as above) and two wrong line operation junction signals that will show permanently red. I still have to finalise how they will be mounted, though.

On the subject of mounting....I've had to order an extra long 5mm dia drill bit so I can drill down from the rail bed height down to the underside of the layout to facilitate the connecting wires for the sensor and signals. Unfortunately, I don't have the same technology that Eurotunnel had....and daren't drill from both ends with a normal length bit and hope the holes meet half way! :shock: :? :shock: And, as there will be voids, I need to line the bored I have some 5mm plastic drinking straws also on order to act as liners!

Finally....having to have three running trains, I'm part way through producing a two-car class 158....which will also be in Scotrail's saltire livery to go with the class 170 I have already. If I get chance, I'll also knock up a class 68 loco and six Mk 2 coaches to complement the DMUs.

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:58 am
by dkightley
I've moved on a little with the signals...

The long 5mm drill arrived okay, but the straws I ordered turned out to be useless. They were sold as 5mm diam......but were 6.5mm OD and 4.5mm bore!!...and useless!

So, in desperation, I tried 3D printing a tube 5mm diam x 100mm long using a mode in the slicer software called "vase mode", which essentially extrudes a single filament thickness around the perimeter in a continuous spiral. And it worked! I also designed and printed some small half adaptors to fit inside the end of the tube that hold the smaller diameter assembled signal. Here's a couple of shots to illustrate this:
Signal with heat shrink tube to support the brass tube, a set of inserts and a small piece of veroboard to which the fine wires are soldered
Signal with heat shrink tube to support the brass tube, a set of inserts and a small piece of veroboard to which the fine wires are soldered
IMG_3058_red.JPG (99.14 KiB) Viewed 15090 times
Signal assembled in the printed tube. This is a two aspect red & green..see the colour-coding on the veroboard!
Signal assembled in the printed tube. This is a two aspect red & green..see the colour-coding on the veroboard!
IMG_3049_red.JPG (56.66 KiB) Viewed 15090 times
I drilled holes down through the layout and pressed in the tubes:
IMG_3053_red.JPG (122.21 KiB) Viewed 15090 times
The signal is pushed up from the bottom....and the two-part insert superglued into the tube...and the heat shrink superglued in so it is flush:
IMG_3065_red.JPG (111.54 KiB) Viewed 15090 times
The brass tube is a tight fit inside the heat shrink tube, so I was able to adjust the height of the signal...and ensure it pointed the right way. Some grey paint on the signal post and ground colour....and the signal is ready to be wired up:
P1010812_red.JPG (123.56 KiB) Viewed 15090 times
The one on the left is a wrong line running signal....which will be permanently red, and the signal on the right is a two aspect red/green to control traffic leaving the station.

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:52 pm
by dkightley
More installation progress....

Wiring (fairly) neatly installed underneath layout board one, the one that hosts the controller board:
IMG_3069_red.JPG (81.53 KiB) Viewed 15078 times
Detail of the connections to the signals. Note how fine the wires to the signal are when compared to the connecting cables:
IMG_3070_red.JPG (127.68 KiB) Viewed 15078 times
I'll be protecting them with silicone rubber once I have everything working....

Here's the 9 pin DIN sockets for connecting the three other boards to. The hardest thing on assembly will be to ensure I plug all the red marked plugs into the red marked sockets!:
IMG_3072_red.JPG (92.25 KiB) Viewed 15078 times
And I now have layout board one ready for the control board, panel and sensors.....which are in transit from Australia as I type :) :
IMG_3067_red.JPG (136.96 KiB) Viewed 15078 times

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:57 pm
by dkightley
As far as the installation of the automation is concerned.....I've now done as much as can do without having the controller board!! 8-) 8-)

All eight of the signals have now been installed; all the wiring looms...for power, sensors and signals......have been assembled, and the connecting leads made up. I've tested the operation of all of the signal aspects..and they all light up when they should when power is applied to the wires that will clip into the connecting blocks on the controller board!

I can now relax a little.....and wait for the Australian and British postal services (and whoever they subcontract to for the bit in between Australia and Britain) to do their job.

I can now start taking a more leisurely look at whatever remains to be done in preparation for the layout's first outing of the season.

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:24 pm
by dkightley
It's like Christmas day here!!! :D :D Discarded boxes and wrapping paper all over the floor. The automation control board and panel have safely arrived.

Down to work installing it all.......

Re: The Bridge

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:04 pm
by commerlad
Do you have a list of this years events yet, I still want to see this in the plastic so to speak.