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T O P I C    R E V I E W
deemery Posted - 04/11/2018 : 10:24:02 AM
I'll start a blog to talk about constructing my new layout.

First, the space. We finished part of the basement to serve as layout space, shop space and some extra living space. It's my 'playground' but that doesn't mean I get to use all of it for the layout.

This room is dedicated layout space. Unfortunately the building inspector insisted I had to build a closet around the electrical panel in the left corner, and that really messes things up.

I can also extend into part of the general living space.

The shop area is against the back wall, and I'll use the near right wall for the main yard.

We also built a 3/4 bath in the basement (and that drove the construction budget well over estimates, since we had to do an up-flushing drain system to the septic field.)

I did some special electrical arrangements in the basement. First, one of every pair of outlets is switched. That means I can hit one switch and make sure all tools and DCC equipment is turned off. I also added some ceiling outlets for layout lighting, and those are switched separately from the main room overhead lights. The flooring is high quality vinyl plank with integral thick cork base. This stuff is supposed to be 'waterproof' (but the basement is very dry), and it's a lot more comfortable to stand on than the concrete slab. The oak color matches the flooring in the rest of the house, and more importantly it's relatively easy to find most things I drop on the floor.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
deemery Posted - 05/28/2020 : 09:13:36 AM
If it's too tall, I'll bump my head on the benchwork. That's the probelm with my current 18" homemade stool.

jbvb Posted - 05/27/2020 : 9:12:11 PM
Search for 'mechanics rolling seat'; most are a little higher than 12", but they can carry tools with you under the layout.
Orionvp17 Posted - 05/27/2020 : 7:00:04 PM
Glad to hear this, Dave! Congratulations!

in Michigan
Michael Hohn Posted - 05/27/2020 : 6:52:40 PM
Glad you found it relatively quickly.

I think doing the wiring on my layout is one area where my impatience serves me well. As soon as i get a frog wired I have to fire up the power to check it out.

Everything looks neat and organized under your layout.

tloc Posted - 05/27/2020 : 4:35:17 PM
Dave glad you found it.

deemery Posted - 05/27/2020 : 3:00:37 PM
Progress... First turnout had the frog feed mis-wired. Of course, that shorted everything out. I'm slowly moving down to where the rest of the turnouts are.

Step by step, inch by inch....

update: Done!! One mis-wired frog can mess up your entire track bus. And several of them were wired backwards.

At least now I have the debugging pattern down. But I need to build a 1' tall stool to sit on, so I don't have to stretch to work on the underneath wiring.

Orionvp17 Posted - 05/27/2020 : 2:14:28 PM

Also have a very close look at every turnout to ensure that an eighth-inch long or shorter piece of solder is not crossing a gap. Do this before you cut any wires! Don't ask!

in Michigan
Carrie Creek Posted - 05/27/2020 : 1:44:26 PM
Dave, you might want to double check the track gaps. If you used some pc ties check that the copper cladding has the proper gaps.
deemery Posted - 05/27/2020 : 1:18:33 PM
Well........ I started to hook up the frog feeders, and there's a short somewhere along the power bus. So I went and unhooked the bus from each connector (the connectors paid for themselves today). Now to start hooking up the bus, feed-by-feed, to figure out where the short is. :-(

jbvb Posted - 05/26/2020 : 08:22:46 AM
Looks good indeed.
BurleyJim Posted - 05/25/2020 : 11:59:00 PM
Nice job Dave, cut and paste that wiring description into your layout "user guide", so when you get old and can't remember, you'll have that handy.

Michael Hohn Posted - 05/25/2020 : 8:31:07 PM
Dave, you’ve been busy. Remember, you only need standards for yourself and your layout. You can let the rest of the world have their own.

deemery Posted - 05/25/2020 : 7:49:54 PM
Yesterday I didn't do anything on the layout, I just read some books. Today I made up for that.

All of the switch machines (Tam Valley SwitchWrights) on the HOn30 line are now wired in.

I do have a color code for wiring, even if it doesn't follow standard practices (that's in part due to materials and in part due to starting some parts of the wiring before I saw some standards.)

The (Black or Grey) and White wire are the track bus. The wires taped together are for the HOn30 line (if they're not taped, they are the standard gauge wiring.) Track frog feeders are red. Switch Machine power (5v DC) is Red and White. The 3 wire cables are extension cables for the switch machine controllers.

Everything is connected together with Wago lever connectors. That way I can separate each significant wire from its source/destination.

There's still more work to do, particularly including checking and correcting the frog relays. On the right switch machine, those are the Grey, Red and White wires coming out of the screw connectors at the back of the PC board. Grey and White are connected to the power bus, Red to the frog wire. I'll power up the switch machine and check connectivity on the turnout, to make sure that the frog has the right power for how it's thrown. If not, I just switch the Grey and White wires on the switch machine itself. The other "adjustment" is making sure the controller for the turnout has the right indication. But that can wait for whenever I get around to installing the fascia. In the near term, after I get the switch machines powered, I can just have the controllers hanging loose in front of the layout. (Of course, before I do that, i'll have to check the connectivity on the full run of HOn30 track!)

So still more work, but at least the worst of the under-layout wiring and connecting is done. And I've learned how to construct Dupont connector jumper cables.

deemery Posted - 05/24/2020 : 08:32:59 AM
The double-sided tape sticks much better to the plywood here than it does to the Masonite splines.

BurleyJim Posted - 05/23/2020 : 11:52:47 PM
What Pete said! I see you went with the WAGO connectors.


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