Discussion in 'Planks' started by Dr Tony, Jan 1, 2018.
Dr Tony wrote:
Thanks Tony will be good to have a local source for these pattern Dowels
Finally some more progress here. All the track is down now and I have just made my first point remote controlled using Gary's method. Had to use styrene tubes as modern radio control equipment uses 2.4Ghz these days and has stub aerials, no my local hobby shop did not have any of the old aerial tube. Can still get the stuff, but I've had enough delays with this project to not want to wait another week or two. Drinking straws would be to thick here I think.
Realising why in my electronics work I haven't used this sort of switch for ages, it's hard to drill a rectangular hole.
But it's in and it works nicely, now for the other 4!
The astute viewer will notice 2 hammers on the layout, can never have enough really?
Looking good Tony. I would recommend smoothing out the S curve below the top hammer, making it much more gentle than what is there currently.
Have you wired up the frog to the switch yet ??
Did someone say ....... hammers ..... I'll second that. ........ never too many. good progress with the track ..... see what a hammer can do.
I like nail guns there's a lot less effort involved.
Here are some hammers for you Toto... but please not for use like that.
Slow progress here but here is the latest update. As Gary suggested I have smoothed the S curve, although it was pleasing to the eye, it would be more than silly to ignore good advice from the master.
Now have all point rods in place with their switches. Will be using Gary's wiring plan for them, but that's a job for when I have split the layout back into two pieces and it is easier to work underneath. Have also made small boards out of PC board for the sleepers next to the join. Cutting this stuff was a pain and a real exercise in trial and error in technique, the usual methods for perforated vero-board just don't work.
Next task is to cut the rail with the dremel. That may have to wait until the weekend when there is not a little boy sleeping upstairs above my workshop when I get time to do this sort of thing.
The little Hornby wagons go up and down it all with ease.
Even tidied all the extra rubbish off the top so it looks like a layout.
Looking good Tony.
I use the dremel to cut copper-clad PC board, and or a hacksaw !
The trouble I had with using a hacksaw, apart from the problems of getting a nice straight line, was the fact that this stuff really goes through blades. For about 200mm of cut I pretty much destroyed a blade, no teeth left. Had the same result with the scroll saw. Ended up using the 4inch angle grinder with a very thin metal cutting blade. Have heard good things about using a small table saw with diamond blade, as is used for cutting tiles, but they do have a cost.
It isn't the easiest material to cut and if you do a search for HO/OO scale copper clad sleepers, they seem to be rare in Oz... I have been told that they are available from Gary at Model Railroad Craftsman in Blacktown : 'Clover House PC Board Ties #266'.
Hive of activity here, first step tonight was to put the anchoring screws in the pcbs "sleepers"
Then use the dremel to make the finest cut in the rail that I could.
And then, after releasing the bolts under the boards securing them together, and then making a slit in the cork after the boards would not separate
Once re-connected the test wagons run over the gap with ease. Yes, I will remember to cut a slit in the boards to avoid a short circuit, but that's for another night.
Next will be making a cradle for each board so I can work on the wiring underneath with ease.
It was great to have Gary around on the weekend. I was able to show him the almost running layout, and find out if I'd made a major blunder. Luke certainly gave the points a work-out. Now tonight I have it working. All the wiring worked and the tracks come back together in the right spot every time the boards are separated. Full description to follow when I have a bit more time to type something up. The honour of the first powered train goes to Duck, as it is going to be a layout for kids to use, who enjoyed shunting some trucks around. Next thing I need is buffers to avoid a disaster, they are currently being built.
The white things are my decouplers, I will detail how I've made them later too and how they work.
Looking good, yes don't forget to slit the PCB sleepers!!
PCB sleepers may still be available from http://www.railcar.com.au/clover_house.htm Railcar in NSW is closing down
Got some time for some more build photos. Hadn't decided where all the wiring underneath was going, my brief was to make it as neat as possible, but also to be reliable and avoid fouling the uncouplers. So initially I made short wires, all orange as this is the colour that is used around here for all wire that connects to the rail, it could be weathered to a white-pink colour, these wires were all soldered to the rail and poked down a small adjacent hole where other wires could be soldered underneath all at once, so I wasn't turning the boards over and back all the time.
During this process I installed a master switch, just a simple light switch, I wanted one of those round red emergency stop switches but they stick out a long way and can get damaged, the light switch is familiar and fairly low profile. This master switch is on the back side of the layout, the front side has the controller and all the point controls. Having watched kids layouts recently a master kill switch seems like a good idea.
Another of my briefs with this build was to keep the costs down in as many ways as possible in order to make the hobby more appealing to families. The most common rolling stock around is Hornby (or equivalent), it is generally well built and the older stuff was very popular with the current generation of parents when they were young. Chances are they still have the stuff somewhere, and more likely that not it will not be broken and will still work, maybe with a little bit of care. Another part of keeping the cost down and the complexity, especially with time, there is not much of that with modern family life-styles, then the modifications should be kept to a minimum. It would be great to install KaDee couplers to them all and have this system, but this adds costs, $4 per wagon, plus the time and the fact that people may have a sentimental attachment to their old stuff and don't really want to start butchering it. The variations in coupler mounts in old Hornby is enormous and there would be considerable modification required to some types to get Kadees to the right height. Only the dedicated will go down this path. Kadees to me don't seem as robust, especially when kids drop the whole thing to the floor.
So with that in mind I set out to make a system that uncouples the normal tension lock couplings on demand, not every time that a coupling passes over it. It involves a plate which comes up between the rails and pushes the couplers up.
This is the plunger, telescoping square tube to keep it all in alignment.
It then sits under the couplers in its rest state and does not interfere with normal movement of trains like this
This is the underneath of my proof of concept prototype
It consists of the plunger for the rail end at one end of the wooden lever and an actuating plunger at the other end. It is pivoted in the centre. The plunger has to move up 4mm for this to work reliably without lifting the cars off the track. This is achieved by having the plunger exactly 4mm longer than the barrel it slides in. The barrel is epoxied to the baseboard and to the wooden beam which doubles as a brace for the board. For this proof of concept I made a very simple retainer for the other plunger involving some bent nails. There was a spring at the pivot to make sure the rail end plunger was always low. Having the pivot in the middle of the beam, no matter how long the beam was makes the plunger that the user operates all the same. This is because all the user plungers are lined up, but of course the points are at various distances back on the base board.
When up the plunger looks like this on two Mainline wagons
It seems quite Ok with other brands as well, here is Hornby and Lima
And a Grafar van and a ViTrains NEM coupler
The camera doesn't show it too well but Kadees travel over the top of it just fine
The actual build of these uncouplers had some differences to the prototype. I would have the same plunger in tube at each end, made out of styrene, still epoxied to the board
And now I would use a piece of angle aluminium, this was the best thing the local hardware had and with some modification it has worked very well. I originally wanted some small gauge aluminium tube, but I couldn't drag Luke to another shop, but I think this has worked out cheaper. I was concerned that the wood may warp in time with moisture. I tried styrene but it wasn't rigid enough for the spring. Here I have made a cut out for the pivot bolt and the return spring. Not up to Gormo's high standard of metal fabrication, but it works and no-one sees it under the layout.
The pivot was a 3mm screw with some nylon washers as a standoff. The centre pivot spring was done away with as it caused alignment problems with skewing the beam and was hard to find in consistent size and tension. They were all pulled out of dead electronic things years ago. A screw was put in the beam to hold a tension spring, this was much more successful.
A nyloc nut was then used on the pivot and the beam was in place.
So far it all seems to work well.
Tony, it was great to catch up and see the progress you have made with Gundah Junction. Your uncoupling method works a treat and is very cost effective that anyone following this thread could do, as well as any modeller, new or old.
Well done and thanks for sharing your methods.
All finally together and operational. Actually it's been operational for about a week now, but it has taken until now to photograph it.
All tracks have Peco sprung buffers at the ends to try to save locos and wagons from hitting the floor, they work well for locos, but not so well for lightly loaded wagons as they tend to jump up when they hit the buffers as they are pushed in by a loco.
Track working a treat with the electro-frog points. Now that I have made myself a method of cleaning loco wheels quickly and reliably all engines are fine on this, especially the 0-4-0s that this layout is meant for.
Now to just pla... practice with it for a while and iron out all the bugs in the uncouplers and any that might appear in the track. The uncoupler heights will need a bit of fine tuning, but the couplers themselves are proving to be a nuisance, even seemingly identical ones don't work consistently, wonder if they were designed by British Leyland
Here is a picture taken playing with my new phone, it has a dual lens system so lends itself to low light shots quite well, depth of field does suffer though. Harry the engine here is bringing up some coal wagons to get stuck in a dead end with them. This shunting puzzle is harder than I thought, but if it was too easy I would certainly lose interest!
I really like this stage of a layout Tony the Pla a a ay testing phase where you iron out the bugs and have a bit of fun as well the tension locks are often quite different, from one model to another, even with the same manufacturer you can have about 10 versions eg hornby they all basically work just maybe not all together.
Gormo has been adapting the later style tensionlocks to some of his stock that was originally fitted with the early versions and in his videos they looks to be successful, may be worth looking into if you don’t decide to go to Kadees or some others type.
Have fun testing