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Author Topic Next Topic: HTRR - Chapter 2
Page: of 94

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/28/2015 :  09:28:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jbvb

What did you use for the boards themselves?



I used printed circuit 'experimenter boards' I found at radio shack. These boards just have single pads on the reverse side so you can solder the components to the board. The diodes are mounted, but I haven't yet run the wires on the back side to create the actual matrix. That's next.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13056 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/28/2015 :  09:32:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Hamer

Wow, Mark...electrical work, new urban scenery plus the rural landscape initiative...you're rolling along! It's amazing how just the placement of a few scenery items starts to bring the layout to life. As you mentioned, even though these structures were made by someone else, you can find enjoyment adding your own personal touch to the area with signs, parks, alleyways, sidewalk and street detailing. Yup, lots of fun activities ahead...and it's nice to take a little "recess" break and run trains once in awhile!



Thanks Mike! Yup, I'm kind of all over the board right now, not knowing what to tackle next. But getting the turnouts in staging powered up has become a priority, so as anxious as I am to continue on with scenery, I also want to get this project done first. To your point though, having regular op sessions is giving me the motivation I need to keep moving forward, and at the same time take a break to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Its fun to get as much done as possible between sessions and then hear the guys reactions also!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13056 Go to Top of Page

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 07/29/2015 :  3:52:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with Mike. Just a few buildings will get your scenery juices flowing. Sometimes mock ups are not enough but help in the placement of structures. I have several models on my layout that I also got at estate sales that were built by others, some friends (those are the best for memory of friends that passed away), that have taken a suggestion by the model and turned it into a scenery piece on my layout. Like I have said before. Structures give your model railroad a sense of 'place' and area. Those structures are typically eastern construction so they fit in well in your area of Pennsylvania. Very 'green' back east. I see quite a few thousand trees in your future too.[:;]

Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/30/2015 :  12:24:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes Bill, I was lucky! I knew I needed a lot of buildings and as much as I enjoy building kits, it would take me years to accumulate enough to get to this point. And most of these will be perfect. They just need some weathering and detailing. As I said, the best part is that once I started putting them on the layout, it was amazing how all the sudden I could really start to visualize the finished areas! So I'm really pumped up now. I just don't know where to begin!

As for the trees, oh yeah! I'm lucky though. I have Harsco by my side helping my come up with some ideas on mass producing trees! I see many a tree making work crew nights in my future!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13056 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/01/2015 :  2:08:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I recently received a couple of questions about how I was building the diode matrix for my staging yards. Rather than bury in here, I started a separate thread in the DCC and Electronics thread.

So for those of you who might be interested in building a diode matrix, take a look here...

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=45718


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13056 Go to Top of Page

CavalryTrooper25
Engine Wiper

Posted - 08/06/2015 :  10:01:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I came in late, and am only unto page 20, but so far this is a very interesting thread!

Horse




Country: | Posts: 429 Go to Top of Page

CavalryTrooper25
Engine Wiper

Posted - 08/06/2015 :  10:02:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CavalryTrooper25

I came in late, and am only up to page 20, but so far this is a very interesting thread!

Horse






Country: | Posts: 429 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/09/2015 :  5:47:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CavalryTrooper25

I came in late, and am only unto page 20, but so far this is a very interesting thread!

Horse



Thank you Horse! And don't worry, its never too late. This is ongoing with lots more to come!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13056 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 09/06/2015 :  01:51:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, itís been a few weeks since my last post! And a busy few weeks at that! To bring you up to date, I did have another op session a few weeks ago which went very well. I think the crews enjoyed themselves and better yet, the layout seems to be running better and better each time with fewer issues arising!

While I am enjoying having monthly op sessions on the railroad, I also have come to realize that to some extent, itís been slowing down my progress. Taking into consideration cleaning up for a session, then after the session, re-staging the railroad and then devoting time to address the few issues that may arise, it leaves little time to make big progress. And to add to the excitement, the NMRA MER annual convention is coming up in late October and this year itís in our area, so my layout will be on tour for the convention. So Iíve decided to suspend operations for the next couple of months so I can devote more time to making as much progress as I can for the convention.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I was starting on a long overdue project, which was to build and install the diode matrixes for my staging yards. I had hoped to have these done by my next operating session which didnít happen. Like many other projects I take on, this one is taking longer than I anticipated! But, 132 diodes and a pound of solder later, the boards are finally done and ready for installation! So now all I have to do is build the control panels, install the switch machines and wire it all together! Easy, right? Tedious is more like it! So here are the four finished matrix boards.



Other projects I want to accomplish in time for the convention is to finally install the black skirting underneath the layout that will finish off the underside of the layout nicely and also continue work on the scenery that I started a few months back, as well as a million other little projects!

So thatís the plan for the next few weeks. In the meantime, those of you planning on attending the MER Convention in October, I hope you take the time to stop by and see the layout in person. In addition to my layout, most of the local layouts in the south Jersey area that youíve seen here on the forum will also be open during the convention. For more information about the convention, see the convention website at http://delawarevalleyturn.org/.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13056 Go to Top of Page

Mario Rapinett
Fireman



Posted - 09/06/2015 :  04:11:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Hamer

Wow, Mark... Yup, lots of fun activities ahead...and it's nice to take a little "recess" break and run trains once in awhile!






Country: Australia | Posts: 5700 Go to Top of Page

Grubes
Crew Chief



Posted - 09/06/2015 :  12:21:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark,

Amazing how much you've accomplished. Benchwork, track work, electrical, scenery, ops. Every aspect of the hobby and so much to show for it. I'm disappointed that I'm now in Texas and won't be able to stop by during the MER open house.

Dave



Country: USA | Posts: 514 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 09/06/2015 :  12:28:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Mario and Dave!

Dave, I gotta tell you, it's been a long haul but its so rewarding to finally be at the enjoyable stage. Since operations is one of my favorite parts of the hobby, having the crew over and seeing the layout come to life is extremely rewarding.

The staging yard turnouts is really the last 'big' project, aside from signaling, which is low on my list of priorities right now. I am anxious to get into scenery, structures, details, etc. I think I have enough real estate to keep me busy in that area for many years to come!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13056 Go to Top of Page

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 09/07/2015 :  04:05:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Mark,

I am looking forward to the report on how these work in your staging yards. The boards look really nice.

As for suspending operations it does seem to interfere with the building of the layout. I know I have had to stop scenery and other construction projects for another ops session. But there are several ways to look at it. One, your actually forced to clean up after yourself. Even though you say that you will eventually, until a motivating factor like an op session forces you to do so. Then you realize it really needed it. I recall my wife on several occasions coming down to check on my progress and then declare "what a mess". Yeah, it a mess but that is part of building the railroad. So sometimes operations is s good thing. Otherwise we would all be wading through the mess to make another mess. You get used to looking at a mess and it doesn't bother you but it sure can bother someone else.

If its one thing I have found and that is operating sessions sure bring out what needs to addressed and fixed. Especially the problems that show up during a session. I would have not known about them unless someone found them for me. This just happened to me. As you know I had just finished scenicing my Hartford Yard. While it worked just fine when I cleaned, operated it and tested it myself, a couple of small issues and one large issue with a switch reared it's ugly head during operations when it was actually put to the test when used. These issues where taken care of but I would have not known about them until much later if I had nobody actually using it as intended. In this case operations helped me discover what worked as intended and what doesn't. I look at is as a trouble shooting event in addition to a lot of fun at the same time. So I use the operations as a troubleshooting tool.

Suspending operations temporarily can be a good thing. You would never get anything done if all you did was have op sessions. But I have come to realize it does motivate you to get something done and check that next project off your to do list.

Signalling is rather low on my agenda too. It never hurts to look around and start figuring out the system you want to use. If your planning on a track detecting system then now is the time to take a look at the wiring for it if you plan to go that route. If your going to use an optical type detection, and I think I am going to use this option, then you can plan for that too. You just don't have to implement it yet. Sure beats redoing the wiring in the long run.

I wish I was in the area and could stop in a see it. A convention is another motivator isn't it? We have a op event (not Rocky Ops)that is coming up at the end of October between our op buddies in New Mexico and us. This type of event will motivate you to get the layout more complete looking for sure. These guys were here last year and operated here. They will be here again this year and I want to show some progress. Nothing like scenery to show progress on your layout. But it's the other things are not visible that have to be taken care of for the layout to work properly first.

One big difference that you are going to make and see immediately is when you add the skirting around the bottom of the layout. It will dramatically and visually change and turn your construction project into a model railroad. It was like night and day for me. I'm sure it will be for you. It was one of those "well why didn't I think of doing this sooner" moments. Then have a beer or your favorite beverage stand back and pat yourself on the back. Bill.


Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Edited by - nhguy on 09/07/2015 04:15:47 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 09/07/2015 :  10:44:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill, boy can I relate to everything you said! As you know, I was really anxious to start operating and worked hard towards that goal and finally achieved it. Like you said, it takes operating sessions to reveal many issues, and that's exactly what happened. I've been persistent in staying on top of these issues and each session seems runs smoother and smoother. I would strongly recommend to anyone building an 'operating layout' to start operating as soon as possible so you can test the layout and put it through it's paces. Not to mention, it's fun!

I also agree with you when you say that having op sessions not only motivates you to get things done, but also keep things clean as when the next session approaches, you need to clean up. I found this to be very true, and I like it!

Ironically, this is exactly why I've decided to suspend the sessions until after the convention. As I mentioned, there are several projects I would like to complete in time for my open houses. These are big projects that will take time and make a mess! I would normally put some of these projects low on the priority list as many of them are superficial and don't have an impact on operations, such as installing the skirting. I needed to free up some time so I can devote that time to these projects and get them done for the open houses I will be having. But trust me, by the time the convention is over, I'm sure I will be going through 'op withdraw' and will resume operations immediately!

With regard to signaling, I have already installed detection. I have the DCCOD current detectors that I had on my old layout. I did this early on when I was wiring the mainline. Interestingly, I now wish I had held off installing them until I started operating because I have since realized that I need detection on the upper level where the branch lines are and really don't need them in the staging yards, where I did install them. I had originally planned the branch lines would be 'dark territory' as I didn't anticipate there would be much traffic on the branch lines, but after a few operating sessions, I now realize there is more traffic on the branch lines and detection will be more beneficial there, and there really isn't any use to have the detection in the staging yards. So this is one modification I will be making down the road. Another big project, but very low on the priority list.

And yes, I can't wait to see the skirting in place. That is the final touch!

As always, thanks for your input Bill!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13056 Go to Top of Page

LynnB
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 09/07/2015 :  2:55:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Coming along very nicely.


Country: Canada | Posts: 2314 Go to Top of Page
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