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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 - 06/05/2020 : 4:33:44 PM
More work on the drop gate. I laid the track end-to-end.

Then I marked and cut notches through the homabed/homasote. Talking to Don Ball, he suggests using MDF at the interface, as it's dimensionally more stable. That makes sense to me, I've had problems with homasote expansion. So I cut the notches for the piece of MDF.

Also I glued some pieces of 1/32 plywood to get a piece of 1/2 homasote to the correct height. The glue is drying today, tomorrow I can cut that piece into strips and test-fit into the notches. I'm sure I'll need to do more filing/sanding to get rid of the glue residue and get everything back to level.

deemery Posted - 06/04/2020 : 8:40:38 PM
In the olden days, they'd test bridges by driving a train full of locomotives on it:

In this case, the bricks are holding the homabed in position. But it does show how rigid the aluminum gate is.

deemery Posted - 06/04/2020 : 1:31:34 PM
I'm working on the dropgate. The frame is extruded aluminum, which makes it very strong and sturdy. Here's the hinge

and on the other side, the barrel latch. It's not really designed to be affixed like this, so I used an MDF spacer to align it correctly.

The view from above:

Holding the subroadbed in place to check alignment, functionality (i.e. dropping and restoring the gate), etc

Finally, adjusting the homasote height.

Next steps are to lay the center line for the track, add the actual roadbed, and ponder the electrical and track connections. I have some ideas...

railman28 Posted - 06/01/2020 : 7:52:43 PM
just turn them sideways so that the arm is moving vertically. Check this out; https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/magazine/mrh-2012-03-mar

deemery Posted - 06/01/2020 : 6:45:39 PM
I pulled some bus wires through the benchwork, and then hooked up the DC powerpack to the HOn30 line in the main train room. Then I ran the test loco up the mountain to the quarry location and tested both spurs there. All good.

My FastTracks order arrived today with the long ties for the crossover project. I'll need to decide if I want to tackle that project next, or do something that I enjoy more than trackwork :-)

deemery Posted - 05/31/2020 : 5:21:29 PM
I'm using Tam Valley SwitchWrights, with the relay (and DCC receiver, not currently using that) http://tamvalleydepot.com/products/switchwrightmachine.html The relay powers the frogs. I got a couple of the similar Walthers products to experiment with, there are some places on the standard gauge where I might well use them, even if most of the standard gauge I end up using 'manual' turnout controls.

For the standard gauge staging yard tracks, I'm looking at Berrett Hill (relay) controls http://www.touchtoggle.com. And for the track power interlocking at the standard/narrow crossover, I'll use a custom Arduino-driven set of relays (and hopefully also the automated ball signal, still design work to figure out how to best convert a servo rotary motion to vertical motion to raise/lower the ball.)

Bob, any thoughts on servo motion to vertical motion?

Oh, and today I ran the test loco through all the turnouts and on both runarounds.

railman28 Posted - 05/31/2020 : 4:04:34 PM
Dave, which switch machines are you using?

deemery Posted - 05/31/2020 : 3:59:54 PM
In order to label the switch machine power feeds, I needed to figure out a naming scheme for the turnouts.

If/when I do powered switch machines for the standard gauge, I'll do a schematic and naming scheme for them, too. If nothing else, I'll have switches to power on/power off each standard gauge staging track, and those will need power. (The board is the Tam Valley 12v-5v converter board.)

Back to running the 12v DC auxiliary power bus around the layout....

Dutchman Posted - 05/31/2020 : 10:53:59 AM
A milestone for sure, Dave.

BurleyJim Posted - 05/31/2020 : 10:33:55 AM
Congrats Dave!

deemery Posted - 05/31/2020 : 09:28:00 AM
Some of the bumps are due to a slight track height mis-match. The reworked Peco turnouts are code 75 or maybe even code 80, the rest of the rail is ME code 70. I've tried to smooth out those bumps, but more work there may be needed.

Bill Gill Posted - 05/31/2020 : 07:59:02 AM
A moving experience captured on video, Good Going, Dave.
Michael Hohn Posted - 05/30/2020 : 11:35:14 PM
Alright!! Itís N-ergized!!
Orionvp17 Posted - 05/30/2020 : 10:49:49 PM
Congratulations, Dave! It runs!

in Michigan
railman28 Posted - 05/30/2020 : 9:39:11 PM
all right Dave! Congratulations. It's looking good.

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