The Bridge

Post details of your T gauge layouts and the progress you are making.
martink
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Re: The Bridge

Post by martink »

I've been wondering about long-term reliability as well. Your maths seems a little out - I figure 1-2 (real) miles per day given near-continuous running. That is still impressive for any model, and I know OO modellers who are having similar issues. My main concern was actually the bearings on Ozrail's older 4-wheel wagons, but they have held up well - for Sarum, call it 4 shows or about 12 miles.

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

The Bridge continues it's run of trophy collecting...... :D :D

"Best in Show" at the Falkirk Model Railway Show....as voted by the visitors! Report to follow when I've had chance to recover from the journey back! :|
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

msimister
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Re: The Bridge

Post by msimister »

Congrats again Doug. I'm sure the new Bridge layout will be as equally rewarded.

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Now I've recovered a little from the long weekend, I need to document a few things....

The automation system suffered its first major breakdown that couldn't be sorted out. Two of the LDR sensors failed to trigger their respective inputs into the PCB. One on the North side failed to pass its function test...and on investigation, I wasn't able to trace what the fault could be in the time I had. Whilst I was doing one of the many function tests, I noticed one of the LDR sensors on the South side also stopped working. I ran out of time and had to get the layout runnable with two trains chasing each other...which I managed just in time for when the show opened. I then had to spend the two days.....helped by Jim Rusk, who came over from Glasgow both days to help...stopping the faster train at one end of the layout for a while to create a bigger gap, then setting on its way again.

Both DMUs ran very well most of the time. The 3-car Class 170 did go through a spell where it was stuttering....but an application of track cleaning just in front of it a couple of times allowed sufficient alcohol to be picked up and clean the wheels. The 2-car Class 158 ran well most of the time..but one shell started lifting & catching on the bridge girder work. Blu-tack resolved it!

When I was trying to track down the sensor fault, I killed another signal head....which will need replacing.

No more notes....so I can comment on the show....

The show was well attended....and as expected, there were a fair number of locals who had good knowledge of the bridge and the surrounding area. Three visitors pointed out their houses...one who did the so in Glasgow...and two others. And a young lad pointed out the school he had attended up until this year. All were impressed with the accuracy and level of detail......which was reflected in the voting for the "best in Show" award....which I was told the layout was a clear winner. After the show, I was talking to one of the other layout operators ( who I know from the Tramway Museum) who had picked up two awards himself....and he was told that The Bridge was a close runner up for one of the awards he won.

A very good show...and a nice weekend away. I just need to get the issues sorted for the next show in January.....
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Just about ready for travelling down to Stevenage. Track all cleaned, Power unit axle sets cleaned...including removal of a three inch long thread that was wrapped round and round a geared axle!

I do have one possible issue with the automation. What I originally thought was a wiring fault on the sensors turned out not to be a wiring fault as all connections were sound. After a quick email exchange with Martin, we concluded that one of the programmable ICs must have gone faulty. Fortunately, Martin had a spare chip he was able to program up at very short notice.....and I'm currently awaiting the clatter of my letter box flap telling me the PIC has arrived from Australia!! Martin posted it Express Delivery ( 2-3 working day) last Friday....so it has to arrive tomorrow!

If it doesn't arrive and resolve the issue....then I'll be disappointed, but I'll still be able to run a couple of trains on the layout....but will have to constantly monitor their progress! If it works, then with the DMU power supply mods, I should have almost trouble-free running for two days....and can concentrate on persuading visitors to give T a try!

For future shows, I might even retro-fit DCC. That is if I get any decoder chips! I'll need to either modify the output module I've already built...or create a new module. With a bit of wiring modification and a bit of electrical plumbing, I could get The Bridge working with DCC!! Now that would be awesome!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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Nutter
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Re: The Bridge

Post by Nutter »

Doug said post it here :roll:
Second layout filmed
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyXaf1rt_iA
Mike
DON'T knock it at least I am trying to do something, with only one good hand.

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I'm in mid-preparation for the show at Doncaster which is now just over a week away....

I've made progress on the issue with the automation I've been having. A New programmable chip eventually arrived from Australia....and having plugged it in...exactly the same!!! After a bit of further prodding around with a meter, I finally established that two of the LEDs on the control panel had stopped working. It seems the sensors were working perfectly......it was the LEDs simply not lighting when they should!!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

New LEDs fitted....and semsors now test okay....but I can't check the functioning of the system without assembling the layout. SO.....fingers crossed for when I get to Doncaster.

I've also bought both DMUs a new set of boots! I fitted the new bogies this afternoon.....and boy do they run smooth and quiet!! :shock: You don't realise how noisy they get when things start wearing out!

Just need to clean the track and give all of the track connectors a good look over...and replace any that might start to cause assembly or running problems.

I'm looking forward to this show......as I'll have some company! Alan and Lorraine will be bringing down the TGauge.com stand...and the kind organisers have put us side by side! So now when I get the "I've never seen T gauge on sale anywhere" line form visitors, I can say "Look next door.....and buy some!!", put them in an arm lock.....and frog march them over to Alan! 8-)
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Just added three dates to the expanding list of shows The Bridge has been invited to........a grand total now of 19 shows!!!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

With all the investigation work I've been doing over the last few weeks and months on the subject of DCC and automated control of layouts using such things as computers, tablets and mobile phones.....and the arrival in the market place...at last...of the CT decoder DCX65, I've been thinking quite seriously of changing the tack of my layout development......and I have finally come to a decision.

Prior to incorporating DCC and CBUS into The Bridges at Saltash, I have decided that I'm going to upgrade The Bridge to DCC/CBUS operation. This will accelerate the process of me getting a DCC in T exhibition layout onto the circuit.....which, hopefully, may add to the "Stir" The Bridge has created in the model railway world in the UK.

The process of upgrading will mean I can use some of the DCC/CBUS hardware I have already built for the new layout.....and all of the sensors and LDR detectors I have already installed on the layout. I may need to replace some of the external wiring....but this will not mean any major hacking of the existing layout boards, etc.

As I already have a thread in the General forum section on the subject of DCC ( http://www.talkingtgauge.net/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=525 ), I'll post updates on that thread with occasional links from here as I reach key steps......
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

And I've just updated the list with the 20th show at which The Bridge will be attending.....this time at the NRM site at Shildon on 2nd & 2rd June 2018.
Doug Kightley
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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Settling down after a busy day at my local model show...a one-day show held at a village hall about two or three miles from home.

It was a well attended and busy show...and as with previous outings, there were a good number who had not seen T Gauge before. And to round the day off nicely.....the layout won the "Best in Show" trophy...which was voted for by visitors.
Doug Kightley
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Nutter
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Re: The Bridge

Post by Nutter »

You will have to do a photoshoot of all the trophies :P
Mike
DON'T knock it at least I am trying to do something, with only one good hand.

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Mike...I can't do a photoshoot of all the trophies as I've started returning them. The first went back a few weeks ago, and the next return is due next month! The bay window in my lounge still has several on it gathering dust.

Having tidied things away and checked for damage, I have a short list of things that need doing...

Replace one distant signal
Re-glue one house (and conservatory)
Find where it belongs and re-glue one tree

The next outing is three weeks away....so I'll have time to sort them.



But will I get time to install the DCC system in time for then?????? Hmmmmm....I'll have to see! ;) ;)
Doug Kightley
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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Apparently, the April 2018 issue of Railway Modeller has an article featuring T Gauge....and one of the layouts featured is The Bridge!

I'll have to get a copy and report back. I knew nothing about this...and am pleasantly surprised as I've had somewhat of a cool reception from the media at shows!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

mattd10
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Re: The Bridge

Post by mattd10 »

Have you seen the article yet Doug? I've subscribed for a month on my ipad and just had a read, overall very positive for the scale and a very brief mention at the end for the bridge! Hopefully will bring the scale a bit more attention!

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Hi Matt

Yes, I have. I managed to pick up a copy in a Tesco store when I had to call in to top up on food!

But I've not yet had chance to read the accompanying article...I'll have to do so!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I've been somewhat busy over the past few weeks. The layout made it's 17th outing over the weekend of 24th & 25th March....to Sheffield, where it was very well received by the public. I've also been very busy involved with the Easter WW2 Home Front event at the Crich Tramway Village, where I was one of the event organisers...and other personal responsibilities have kept me busy as well.

Despite all of the above, I'm now in the final phases of upgrading the layout to be fully computer controlled using MERG DCC and CBUS control systems. All trains will be DCC operated and train operations will be controlled via a CBUS command system run on a laptop connected to the layout.

Unless I'm mistaken this will be a couple of "first"s.....the first T gauge exhibition layout to feature DCC, and the first T Gauge layout to be operated with the MERG DCC system!

I'm working to a tight timescale, so I may not have time to post many details until after the next show....which is TrainWest at Corsham over the weekend 14th & 15th April.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I've made positive progress on upgrading the layout to DCC.

I've installed the system boxes onto the board on layout section 1, and connected up the CBUS input box connections to the existing LDR sensor wiring & cables and tested them all..and they all work. I've also connected up the DCC power connections to the four track blocks, connecting in to the existing wiring and have tested that I can drive a DMU power car under DCC control.

I've also done some basic testing of the train running script.....and it seems to be working. I need to retest after cleaning the track.

I have still to wire up and test the signal lights. I'm having to make up a new set of cables and install a CBUS output box at the layout section 8 end. I will need to make up connecting cables for this box as well.

The final task will be to get the rest of the power cars I want to run DCC chipped. I have bought four new 23M power cars so I can have brand new units DCC powered.

Hopefully, I'll have this list of jobs done in time for packing the layout on Thursday evening!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

gbtrains
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Re: The Bridge

Post by gbtrains »

Hi Doug

That sounds brilliant for what you have been doing Bridge Layout. :D

So does mean full Automatic on all systems now with onlt the soket to plug in? :?:

Well done


Regards
Graham :D

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

All jobs on the hit list completed....bar one! I still have one defective aspect on one of the distant signals. But, all other jobs done!

The only minus is that I'll only have two DMUs that I can run on the layout this weekend.....but they'll be running more realistically; better speed and acceleration/deceleration, and trains stopping at all stations.

Just final packing to do.....and collect & load the hire van.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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