Outer Melbourne

Post details of your T gauge layouts and the progress you are making.
martink
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Outer Melbourne

Post by martink »

My second linear motor layout is now taking shape. This is another small Aussie layout, a 48" x 17" model in T scale (1:450) of a typical but fictitious location on the outer edge of the Melbourne suburban network. Quite a few lines around Melbourne drop down to single track for their last station or two before the terminus. The setting is the 1970s / early 1980s, and will feature electric multiple unit stock from that period, all 3D printed.

The track plan is a simple stretched oval, which will mainly run as a point-to-point shuttle. The rear half of the oval is concealed behind the backscene. Having a continuous run helps during testing, and will allow a great deal of operating flexibility. As usual, the layout will be fully automated, with up to 4 trains running in a semi-random sequence.

The layout will also feature a working two-lane road system, and a fully functional level crossing. Road traffic will stop and give way to the trains.

As with Monbulk Creek, the linear motor system is my own implementation of a product from IDL Motors.

The heavy construction work is almost done, just needing me to fit the magnetic sensors under the tracks before permanently fixing the road in place. Basic testing of each track loop is complete, and the next couple of weeks will be devoted to the electronics and software needed for the full bag of tricks.
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msimister
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by msimister »

Looking forward to seeing this, Martin. What scale will it be?

msimister
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by msimister »

Doh, sorry, just seen that it's 1/450th scale. Have you made the motors smaller than for Monbulk Creek?

martink
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by martink »

Uhh, the track IS the motor, so it is the same design as Monbulk Creek. The only difference is that I am using 120mm/45-degree curves instead of 160/30. 1:450 is my default working scale for this technique. The reason I changed up to 1:350 for the last one was the short narrow-gauge coaches, which have to be at least 24mm long (including the inter-vehicle gap). Sticking with T also means that I can use Eishindo car and truck bodies for most of the road vehicles, rather than having to make my own. That said, I may do a future one in 1:600 for really long trains.

martink
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by martink »

While acquiring all the bits for the electronics, I have started work on the trains. Here is a first build of a Victorian Railways "Tait" suburban rake, in service from 1919 to 1984. I'll see how the windows look when simply painted, and then go to paper overlays or DIY decals if necessary.
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msimister
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by msimister »

Doh, again, thanks Martin.

martink
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by martink »

I've been making steady progress on the electronics, which is now finally complete. Built, tested, and installed. The support wiring (power supply, controls, etc) is also done. The next step is to upgrade the simple test software I have been using to something that can bring the layout to life. I'll see about making a short under-construction video when it gets to that stage.
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martink
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by martink »

A working version of the software came together much faster than expected. This simple version only handles 1 train and 5 road vehicles in each direction (instead of the planned 4 and 10), but it proves that everything works as a complete system.

https://youtu.be/3YGRxwQjGcQ

msimister
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by msimister »

Impressive, Martin, impressive.

martink
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by martink »

The trains are now taking shape, with the first basically finished and the rest not far behind. The pantograph is just sitting there for now.
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Nutter
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by Nutter »

looking good
Mike
DON'T knock it at least I am trying to do something, with only one good hand.

martink
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by martink »

A basic set of three trains for this layout is now complete. They cover two of the main types of suburban stock in service in Melbourne around 1980. If there is time before its first exhibition in late August, I may see about building an example of the third type as well, the one that was starting to replace them. As usual, the models are 3D printed and hand painted, with decals for the gold lining and Eishindo pantographs. The video shows them running on Monbulk Creek for a bush setting, as there are still spots on the network that look much like that.

https://youtu.be/gzXDuVlWTtA

msimister
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by msimister »

They look convincing Martin. Great stuff

martink
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by martink »

One major problem that had to be solved for this type of layout was how to make the artwork for the rail and road track surfaces. The linear motor track needs to have a paper surface in order to make it look like a railway or roadway, as well as to give a smooth running surface. Matching dummy tracks and roads also need to be made, purely for scenic purposes, all with a fair amount of detail. Making realistic roads is also an issue for conventional T layouts.

The rail surface for Monbulk Creek was generated using Anyrail's 3D mode, and while this worked OK it took a fair amount of fiddly hand editing and doesn't easily scale to more complex layouts. Similarly, the short stretch of main road under the bridge was drawn up using GIMP. Again, while this did work, it was a painful process.

So, for the new layout, I adopted my traditional solution to this sort of problem: design a simple computer language to define the road network, then write a program to implement it, then write the control scripts to generate the graphics.

After a long days' work, here are some of the key road pieces and some sample rail pieces. When printed on A4 paper, all are correctly scaled for T. The rail side is 5'3" broad gauge with correct sleeper sizing and spacing, but no frogs as yet. So, not quite finished, but close!
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martink
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by martink »

That nerve-racking step when the layout gets turned over and shaken to get rid of the excess scatter has now been performed, and things are looking pretty as hoped for. And it still runs. Now to start filling in the details...
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Nutter
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by Nutter »

Martin can you show how you sorted the magnets to drive the road vehicles.
Mike
DON'T knock it at least I am trying to do something, with only one good hand.

martink
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by martink »

Nutter wrote:Martin can you show how you sorted the magnets to drive the road vehicles.
Not quite sure what you mean by that question. A literal answer would be a pic or video of me moving a stick of 3 Ø x 2 mm magnets to one side of the table for use in most models, and the thinner 3 Ø x 1 mm ones to the other side. I am pretty confident that isn't what you are asking for. :)

I have one old thread that went into a bit of detail that might be more to the point:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=130&start=10

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Nutter
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by Nutter »

martink wrote: I have one old thread that went into a bit of detail that might be more to the point:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=130&start=10
Thanks for the link, That covered exactly what I wanted to know :roll: even more embarassing it was me discussing it with you back then.
Mike
DON'T knock it at least I am trying to do something, with only one good hand.

martink
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Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:13 am
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by martink »

It is finished at last! Well, almost - there are still a few rough edges and some chickens that have come home to roost. It is, however, ready for its first exhibition (Caulfield, Melbourne, Australia) this weekend. I'll deal with what shortcomings I can after the show, then freeze its state so that I can get started on #3.


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dkightley
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Re: Outer Melbourne

Post by dkightley »

Brilliant, Martin....

And good luck for the weekend.




PS I've embedded the video using the YouTube tag. It looks better that way!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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