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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:30 am
by dkightley
Having had a tidy up in the workshop (spare bedroom!) I've assembled the layout boards so I can get to a stage where I can actually run trains on the track!!

I'm working on finishing the electrical wiring loom.....rather than build the wiring into the boards and have joints in the wiring across board sections, I've gone for a car style wiring loom that I can simply unroll and lay round the back of the layout, behind the backdrop - a run of either six or eight wires. Two for track supply, two for CBUS, two for 12v power feed, and where needed, two for 5v power feed. The loom connects into the six electronics boxes via laptop power style plugs...and sensors connect to the boxes via RC servo leads and connectors.

Yesterday, I powered the electrics up for the first time. All sensor lights came on....and sensors tested out on all bar one of the boxes, which I need to take a look at. Once that is sorted, I can set up the point servo throws....and get parameter changes made in JMRI so that the right sensor triggers the right sensor input!

There's power on most of the track....I'll need to deep clean the track once I get the final track sections cut to length , etc......then I'll be able to get a train running!!! I'm aiming to have trains running under some form of auto control by mid February at the latest! That will then give me 6 months for scenery and the Tamar Bridge!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:13 pm
by gbtrains
Sounds really good Doug
Well Done :D

Cannot wait to see it now :D


Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:13 pm
by dkightley
Things are going well, Graham. Looks like busy times ahead!

I've now got all sensors working as they should, triggering the right inputs....and the schematic diagram reflects train location, etc. And with that done, I've mummified the wiring loom, so I have a black snake running round the back of the layout.

I did find an error in the schematic where I'd missed out a track section in the Tamar branch. The panel is sorted ; I now have to update my reference documentation for scripting...and make minor changes to the scenario scripts I've done so far. Should have that sorted this evening.....update - done!

The next job is to sort out a minor wiring issue in a little add-on I dreamt up over Christmas.....a small control panel to override the points. At the moment, two of the switches are transposed and the other is the wrong way round. With the switch panel sorted, I can install and commission the Saltash point and get the final trackwork in place. Then it's commissioning the flexi-traverser....and try out a train or two!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:44 am
by dkightley
A mini-update....and more midnight oil consumed!

The add-on control panel is now working correctly and I've done some fine-tuning of the operation of the flexi-traverser...shorter arms on the servos making the throw more powerful and accurate.

I've finally got the Saltash station point assembled and the servo moving the point for the first time! And I've checked out the electronic switching board for switching power to the point trackwork...and amazingly, it works!.

In between TMS membership work, my next target is to get Saltash station fixed down...its currently loose but "fitted"...and the Royal Albert bridge, approach viaducts and track finally fitted so the track is complete. Note that the bridge and the Saltash side viaduct will be removeable for layout disassembly.

Hope to be able to take some photos soon. I'm a messy worker and there's tools and junk everywhere making photos more embarrassing than impressive!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:02 pm
by dkightley
The first building on the layout that I printed was the Union Inn, which sits on the water's edge … I thought it right to make the same building the first to be painted!

Here's the inn...and its neighbouring building....both just about finished, the models, a Google Earth view, and a Google street view:
13-1_2_model.jpg (79.27 KiB) Viewed 6258 times
13-1_2_Earth.jpg (129.53 KiB) Viewed 6258 times
13-1_2_streetl.jpg (95.81 KiB) Viewed 6258 times

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:20 pm
by gbtrains
Hi Doug

Looking great and promesing to be a crackin layout.
Will have come and have a look when it is finished. :D :D :D


Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:16 pm
by dkightley
Oh dear! Looks like things got out of hand at the New Years Eve party at the sailing club. Some of the over-enthusiastic revellers appear to have whitewashed the clubhouse!
IMG_4040_red.JPG (92.26 KiB) Viewed 6236 times
Lets hope it washes off in the rain.

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:56 pm
by dkightley
Thankfully......a heavy shower later, all the damage has gone!
IMG_4045_red.JPG (93.76 KiB) Viewed 6234 times

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:34 pm
by dkightley
Some progress with Saltash station....and some pictures(!)..

Firstly an overview of the station:
IMG_4062_red.JPG (159.55 KiB) Viewed 6198 times
The pcb in the right front corner is the control board that switches power to the "vee" and moving rails of the point. The board senses the servo positions at each end of the throw and switches a latching relay at the half-way point.

The two pcbs wrapped in tape at the back are the drivers for the laser sensors. One of the lasers is built into the station building, and the other is inside the large green blob!...which will be disguised as a large bush. The receivers are the small green upright bits....which will also be disguised as bushes.

Two photos of the point...first set Westbound:
IMG_4061_red.JPG (88.9 KiB) Viewed 6198 times
And now Eastbound:
IMG_4058_red.JPG (111.72 KiB) Viewed 6198 times
The moving rails pivot just left of the centre of the moving plate....and the operating lever is underneath the rails with the servo also under the track on the right hand side (under the blackened area).

I now need to cut the rails on the viaduct ends so they fit the track on the bridge. Once the track is fitted, I can try running something through the points!!!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:31 pm
by dkightley
After an hour or so's work this morning, the area around Saltash station looks somewhat better!
IMG_4063_red.JPG (96.06 KiB) Viewed 6172 times
I had to insert a couple of wedges of foam to fill in the gap....looking very nice if I say so!!!!!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:09 pm
by kennyh
Looks brilliant Doug, is that the wall foam you mentioned to me by the way? 2"? If so it really does do the job. Great work!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:02 pm
by dkightley
That's the stuff! Dead easy to work cuts with anything from a scalpel to a hand-held hacksaw blade, sands using anything that's rough!...and glues together with evo-stick.

The only down side is the mess you get when sanding, etc! But a vacuum cleaner works quickly to clear up.

Here's what I use: ... 296_BQ.prd

Don't forget to let the board sit for a couple of weeks once you peel the aluminium film off each side. Try peeling off one side and look at it half an hour'll be bent like a banana. Peel the second side off....and it'll flatten out....just like magic!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:21 am
by kennyh
Many thanks Doug, and also for the link. Although it is not happening in the next few weeks I will be attempting the first try at landscaping and have been looking at the options on youtube.

I'd seen the spray foam method which I'd already thought of to be honest but with the scale of T I think it's overkill.

I then saw a bloke using scrunched up paper and covering with Modroc, now that looked effective and mess free.

However this 2" foam board looks to be a winner, and at 2 inches in this scale it produces all the height you'll need unless the diorama is set in the Alps. I'm asuming the "craggy" look will just come with trial and error? Many thanks again and I look forward to seeing your layout progress.

As an aside, I am now set up with my 4 x 2 board, in a snug back room I've had permission to take over :mrgreen: Just filling in all the countersinks where I screwed it together and waiting to sand it down for action.

A bit of a hitch with my order though, the rolling stock I ordered was not in stock but should be here Monday, then the whole order will be sent out.......I'll have a 3 month play with it then whilst the dark nights are with us then continue next winter.

Just need to get my hands on it now and see how it all works. Again Doug thanks and excellent work!!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:58 pm
by dkightley
Its 1st February.....and I think its time for a recap of where I am with things. I thought I'd done this before....but can't find a post. For reference over the next few months, I'm documenting progress on the layout in a little more detail so I can see how things are progressing......

Layout boards:
All boards made and jointing methods finished.
Backdrop boards (5 off) made and most theatre hinges fitted. Boards yet to have cut-outs done for track & Tamar Bridge; boards to be surfaced with cotton sheet and image applied using tee-shirt iron-on transfers ( already bought).
Some lights already obtained. More needed & quick-release fittings needed. Lights to be powered from as few power supplies as possible.
Both left & right front covers made & painted.
Shelf for PC yet to be made (posts already printed).

All track laid and joints made. Power connections all made & wires to power boxes done.
Saltash point installed and initial set-up done. Power switching board for pointwork built and tested.
Flexi-traverser built and initial set-up complete. Some more work on ensuring free-running needed.
Track not yet progress at an appropriate time. Clean track, check points, etc, & test run train.

Electrics & Automation:
All system boxes commissioned, & wiring loom made up.
All sensors commissioned & tested okay. All trigger correct LMRI sensors
All TOTIs (train on track indicators) function tested & trigger correct JMRI sensors.
JMRI throttle control script created & simulation tested.
Train blocks identified & reference info documented for scripts. One script (shuffle up/down Tamar branch from Trav1) written and tested under simulation.

Foam scenery shaped to rough shape and glued down.
Road sections defined and detail on a couple almost completed. Next step is to start fitting road sections to foam.
All identified buildings have been designed and printed. Two require splitting over layout joint and reprinting.
Start made on painting buildings, etc. Appx six completed to date, plus Saltash side boatyard.

Royal Albert Bridge:
All viaducts completed and painted.
Saltash side lower piers fitted to board and upper viaduct (removable section) assembled.
Plymouth side assembled & fixed to board.
Bridge arches assembled and 90% painted. Both end piers are still to be final fitted.

Tamar Bridge:
All main bridge components printed. Sections require checking & holes drilling for fittings, etc.
Under-deck girderwork sections printed. All require cleaning & checking for fit, etc.
Both drive sections have most parts printed. Parts need support removed, checking & cleaning up.
Main frame sections and roadways needed reprinting; need to establish which have been done & what printing is left to do.
157 vehicle drive chain sections printed...another 600 needed.
Suspension cable need building. Need to identify what cable/wire to use.
Transport board to be established....probably using back section of layout board with lightweight cover.

Rolling stock:
Class 800/3 shells printed & decals designed. Power units purchased. DCC chips to fit.
Class 150 DMU shells printed & decals designed & applied. Power units purchased. DCC chip fitted to one unit.
Class 170....two shells require printing & decals to design. To use existing 170 power units.
To decide on freight loco & wagons at a later stage. Aim is to have a minimum of four trains set up and running under automation control.....

Mics items, set:
Appx 140 cars & vans printed. More cars, vans & lorries/buses needed.
Already have a number of identify more as required.
Transport rig for layout and track sections, etc to be determined.
Trailer to be serviced/refurbished by JB. Cover needed.

I think the next update will be in the form of a to-do list, as opposed to a mix of what's done and what's left to do.

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:57 pm
by dkightley
I've started "fitting" the building into the scenery. As most of the buildings are on a slope, I've made them with flat undersides..and then sculpturing out foam so the sit level.

Here's a few (slightly hazy...didn't realize I had dust on the camera lens!!) shots:
IMG_4072_red.JPG (62.63 KiB) Viewed 6725 times
IMG_4074_red.JPG (72.62 KiB) Viewed 6725 times
IMG_4086_red.JPG (77.12 KiB) Viewed 6725 times
btw Its not an early Easter chick in the background of the top shot. Its just a curly bit of paper!!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:51 am
by dkightley
The bulk of my progress since the last post has been on Tamar Bridge.

I've designed and printed a drilling jig so that holes for the suspension cables can be drilled in the deck sections I've also cleaned the under-deck girderwork sections of all the remnants of support and printing "hair" so they all fit together nicely!

I decided to re-create the drive mechanism chassis at both ends. I've printed most of the chassis for one end...a couple of parts left to print, then I need to flip the designs to print the same for the other end.

I have around 350 chain links printed now....I keep setting one printer off whenever I can to print a batch of 25. And I think I've sorted out the suspension cables...16 swg piano wire with 20 swg hangers fixing to the main cable by either soldering or glueing. Not sure which at the moment. And I've confirmed the way of transporting the bridge....the rear section of layout board turned over forms a shallow tray that almost fits the whole bridge/drive mechanisms.....the outermost legs of the chassis will fit just outside the tray, leaving the rest sitting nicely on the underside of the board top! And with it already being a "tray", there's a level of protection there.

Finally, here's a photo of a spread of parts that form the bridge:
IMG_4091_red.JPG (115.66 KiB) Viewed 6681 times
At the front is the newly printed chassis with the yet to be reprinted chain distributer, then the ten deck sections and eleven under-deck girder sections; they fit together staggered for rigidity. At the far end is a complete old-design drive chassis. Most of it needs reprinting since I changed the design of the basic chassis! And alongside is the upturned rear layout board which will form the transport frame.

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:09 am
by dkightley
The past couple of weeks have been quite strange....

Things started badly with the death of a friend and fellow volunteer at Crich...and the resulting fallout of helping to deal with things that needed doing that he was involved in. I ended up having to spend a couple of days sorting out data for the tram crew roster system, and a day creating a new page on the roster system to help the yet-to-be-recruited new roster clerk.

I've also just done a 3D printing demo at the Syston MRC show, which went ahead despite the nearby brook overflowing overnight and roads in the area having to be closed!! I've also been persuaded to do a talk this Saturday evening at Crich on my layouts...and I have another 3D printing demo session at a local railway club on Sunday. All the preparations, etc have taken time....

On the layout, I've made a minor design change to the Tamar bridge vehicle drive system....and I've reprinted most of the parts of both of the run-around chassis. The final two prints are 50 hour plus prints, and the first is about 90% done as I type. I've also done a first fitting of the road bridge to the layout; I've cut out the edges of the scenry to accommodate the front of the run-around chassis at both sides. And not all that much else, I'm afraid...…

Apart from a minor step backwards!! Cleaning up bits of hacked & sanded off scenery foam there was a "ratt-tat-tattle" of something vanishing up the vacuum cleaner pipework. I think it was a corner of a building that fits at the edge of the layout....but a headcount of buildings will confirm when I get the chance. It's only a half-hour job to reprint!!! Good job it wasn't painted....

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:56 pm
by dkightley
Finally a bit of visible progress.....

Here's a shot of a very untidy layout with the suspension bridge placed when I marked out for fitting the ends into the scenery:
IMG_4098_red.jpg (142.49 KiB) Viewed 6345 times
And a couple of shots of progress getting the scenery in Saltash close to final shape with a few more buildings fitted in their holes:
IMG_4109_red.JPG (117.84 KiB) Viewed 6345 times
IMG_4105_red.JPG (135.34 KiB) Viewed 6345 times

You can see where one of the roads runs uphill from a flat area at the water's edge and goes under the first viaduct section....go under the bridge and turn left, and you're at the station!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:57 pm
by kennyh

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:46 pm
by dkightley
Finally managed to get a day's work on the layout...and its something I really like doing. Only problem is that my back has stopped talking to me. It's shouting!! Never mind...

And here's a shot of today's progress:
IMG_4113_red.JPG (102.23 KiB) Viewed 6249 times
And here's Google's version of the view.....
GoogleVerOf_4113.JPG (126.92 KiB) Viewed 6249 times
All the buildings you can see in the shot have been trial fitted into their location and the scenery surface shaped ready for fitting the road surfaces and finishing off!