LUMSDONIA ¦Layout and Website

Discussion in 'Members Personal Layouts' started by TimberSurf, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    I am an Electrical Design Engineer with a large house and a departed family, heading toward my twilight years, I am re-invoking my long lost hobbies of electronics and model railways. I built my first layout in the 70’s in a shed in the garden, a 6ft x 4ft effort that started the ball rolling while I was at school. The second incarnation was an end to end affair some 15ft long by 18ins wide in my friends loft. The third was a rehash of the seconds boards in my siblings house. There was then a pause for the fairer sex, marriage and a family. Next came the resurgence in the form of a new layout at my current abode, with some influence that it was for “the little ones”, a 16ft long by 30in wide board was erected. The little ones became big, and I was persuaded to relinquish the spare room for teenager “personal space”. Eventually they wanted better “personal space” and moved out! The room once again became the train room and soon a new 10ft 6in by 4ft layout was constructed, on the premise it was for the “little one”, a later addition!
    That was 10 years ago!
    Work away from home has given me little time to indulge my hobbies at home, but has been a means of giving spare time to buy huge quantities of stock and materials to create a monster layout!

    Recent events have allowed me time to design phase 2 and I have started documenting it in my website

    LUMSDONIA

    HOWEVER, my involvement in another forum and my unusual (for my age) dexterity with PC's and the web (I have had a website for 20 years) has led to the development of a website for my musings and general spasmodic updates about my layout. But over the last year or two, it has rapidly become a Model Railways resource of info! I also have a complimentary Youtube channel, mostly about investigating new animated features for my layout.

    Sections include my layout, guides for beginners, ever expanding "How to's", tips, glossary and guides and even a shop section of FREE downloadable pdf's




    Happy to field any questions comments good or bad.
     
    jakesdad13 likes this.
  2. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    So now I have a big rambling house, no kids in it and less working away from home, its about time to start building that fine 3D plan I have in the 16ft by 12ft second floor room.
    Phase 1 is already "body in white", next step is to build the frames for the under layout storage yard, then construct the boards!

    Wohaah there Cowboy! Hold yer horses!

    I'm thinking there's two or three whopping problems with that thar plan!
    As a professional project consultant, I can see, that thar plan is flawed!

    So listening to myself, we have to analyse the problems and rationalise a solution:headbanger:
    Number one, Phase 1 has a design flaw, the gradient on the tight curves (which makes it worse) are 1:15 (4in lift in 180deg of 3rd radius)
    It was cobbled together without much thought for the benefit of young number 3 son.
    I will never be happy having to drive at full tilt with a short train just to make it up the hill!
    It needs to be fixed or thrown out!
    Fixed?
    Might as well start again, for all the strip down and effort it would take!

    Number two, the room has never had the full refurb it has needed for the last 30 years (we moved into the house, essentially a wreck, with a five year plan, 30 years later we have only completed 75%). The top two rooms have missed out on the the fulls works, so well overdue, a complete strip out, new plumbing, new electrics, ceiling skimmed and fully decorated, is on the cards, somewhat difficult if 4 walls are supporting 3ft wide layout boards!

    So I bit the bullet and dismantled Phase 1:faint:

    [​IMG]
    This final plunge to destroy my layout was not done without without due reluctance.
    I actually did the complete refurb, including fitting the carpet BEFORE I broke up the layout!:confused:
    Was I holding the project plan schedule sheet upside down? :whatever:
     
  3. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    So at this stage, I have a lovely freshly decorated room, its seems a shame to start drilling holes all around the walls to fix a layout to it :hammer:
    Plus thinking long term, we now have no kids at home and a huge rambling house for two of us, I could expand into a second bedroom!:D
    Um, maybe not, we need to downsize within the next few years, which means any plans I have for a huge layout will mean ripping it out!
    Even then, how can the current layout design, that is specific to the the size and shape of this room, possibly fit into where ever we move to?
    So essentially, I cannot build the current design, nor fix it to the walls.
    So there is a cunning plan!
    a. I will build a modular layout, small sections that can be bolted together but that can be easily split and transported
    b. First sections will be generic enough to be flexibly integrated into the final location
    c. I will concentrate on development of infrastructure and my build skills, rather than layout build

    This is the original design for the attic bedroom
    [​IMG]

    So the first two sections, will be a cut down (the back one foot were the bridges are will be missing) version of the TMD and station.
     
    steve and jakesdad13 like this.
  4. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Messages:
    11,551
    Likes Received:
    845
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Wow you are keen. Shame about ripping up the old layout and knowing that you are downsizing in the future and doing the same again ..... geesh. Still, at least if your modular plan works it will be transferable. The plan looks very interesting with no end of running potential. Good luck with the build, I look forward to following it.

    Cheers for now.

    Toto
     
  5. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Thanks Toto. So to continue the story, with a fresh room and a fresh start of boards, timber was bought and chopped up, 1/4" ply top with 1x4" PAR edges and 2x1"stringers. I rebated the top inner edge, so the ply sits flush with the top of the frame {fancy :cool:}. M8 bolts hold the two sections together and the legs are 2x1"

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This gives me 13ft by 2ft, enough for a 8 carriage train platform and a TMD. The TMD sidings and back tracks off the roundabout (turntable if you wants it proper) will end a bit further when eventually the next board is made. Although the platform is longer than one board, it will be removable (it's a principle I will apply to every structure on the layout) and strong enough not to snap when you do so.
     
  6. York Paul

    York Paul Full Member

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    949
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Hi Timbersurf:hismiley:, now this is a thread I'm already loving:thumbup: because I like the way you formalise the situation by breaking down elements of your project analyzing the pros and cons in seeking a best way forward. The modular layout idea is a good one, my O Gauge layout is designed as modular and runs on castors so it can be positioned about the studio room when it comes to making additional sections which can run across the landing and into the next spare room. Anyway enough of my ramblings I'll await your next postings with interest.:tophat:

    Cheers for now,

    York Paul
     
  7. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Thanks paul
    My analytical approach just seems natural, probably because I do project design for a living:thumbs:

    So where were we? Do we want to see the progression of the two boards or outline the future first?

    Tough! you will have to wait for more piccies! :avatar:

    So the approach is based on a few principles, I like long trains in big landscapes. I like multiple trains running (semi realistically timed). I will use DCC. All electrics other than driving trains will be non DCC. I like multi tracks (not single lines). So this leads to a very large layout with double track. I am also (not a cheapskate) very thrifty (for thrifty, read efficiency) (and not just in money) so the track path will be one loop, but the same train will pass in both directions at some point to the viewer.
    This ambition for a large layout, means careful consideration of all the high numbers involved. Example, I will need 40 points with point motors, so I am making my own to keep the cost down! Most of the off the shelf solutions cost £10 to £25 each, mine will be £6 max. But that's for another thread!

    So if anything, the 'Big build' will be even larger than the original design, which leads to a life changing decision, I need to sell the house. I need to buy another house, that is very small and has a HUGE room for the layout!

    I am thinking 60 x 20 foot, S>H>M>B>O may think otherwise! We have agreed that we will not get the second biggest bedroom so the layout can go in the biggest :mad: , which means I have to find a house with :- large cellar, massive add on ground floor extension, out building (stables or the like), triple garage or at worst, large back garden that the money I save on not finding suitable previous, can be invested in a massive (well constructed) shed. We will see what the state agents come up with :worship:.
     
    York Paul likes this.
  8. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    5,751
    Likes Received:
    851
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Maybe worth looking for a series Tommy Walsh, he did on a garage build, in which he raised the man cave up out of the way when not required - I seem to remember he had a bar and sofa in the cave.

    Paul
     
  9. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    I had a look Paul. It's way too small! You can't do electronics and scratch building lounging on a sofa! And a bar? That's not going to improve my eyesight for the fiddly bits! :avatar:
     
  10. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    5,751
    Likes Received:
    851
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    On the other hand, you'll not get sent out to the cave, if the living environment is better than in the house with the boss.

    Over the last few years I have moved from the loft, to a shed and now to the spare room downstairs, the official reason - Loft we store a lot of "stuff" up there, real reason the boss doesn't like heights, and the loft ladder is adjacent to the stair case, so whenever I was required there was a very pale shaky head would appear through the loft hatch.
    The shed, offical reason during the winter it's very cold, real reason, we live in Scotland, so during the Winter (Spring, Summer & Autumn) it rains, and the phone signal / wifi signal doesn't reach the so the boss would get wet when I was been summoned, now all is good as I can be supervised with ease :avatar:.

    Paul
     
    York Paul, Rob Pulham and TimberSurf like this.
  11. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Once I get the current house in a state ready to sell, may take a year or two! It may take years to find the perfect house with the above attributes, before I have to capitulate and go for a big garden and build myself a shed (walk in the rain, no food, no ablutions = pain in the arse). I did some quick CAD sketches today of possible layouts and I am adamant the shed needs to be 20ft wide and an absolute minimum of 20ft long, 40ft long would do, but as its only a bit more cost, will go for 50-60ft to allow for storage, workbench etc. (I can dream can't I?)
    But all of that is in the future, I need to keep my nose to the work grindstone and keep making lots of money to finance the dream!
    So with the plans set, what can I do now?

    a. Build skill set for the 'big one', maybe do some dioramas, but have them "based", so that rather than being a waste of effort (other than a learning curve), they will be "dropped into" the layout later.
    b. Learn to scratch build buildings and make them in advance of the layout.
    c. Add lighting to above, with connectors ready to drop the building and plug in!
    d. Service (read - recondition, overhaul, DCCify) current stock of Loco's
    d. Re-wheel and weather all wagon stock
    e. Re-wheel, LED light and populate all coaching stock
    f. Develop Arduino skills and make projects ready to drop on layout.

    So I have plenty to do in the meantime. {If I achieve all above, nicely boxed up for the move, and kick the bucket before or during the layout build, I will be well miffed off! :eek: :whatever:}
     
  12. York Paul

    York Paul Full Member

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    949
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Sounds like you've cracked it Dundee Paul :drums::drums::D
     
  13. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Learning a lot from trawling through all the forums and other websites and combining with my previous experience, I have made a start with the two modules.
    New principle for tracklaying. In part due to wanting to run DCC sound engines, I have opted for closed cell foam rather than cork underlay. This was stuck down to the boards with PVA. The track is laid with no screws or nails, but stuck with dabs of copydex and held in place by weights with tracksetter guides holding the curves in shape. After ballast was laid, a liberal coating of IPA was sprayed on, then a 50/50 mix of copydex and water was dribbled on. Each point has 3 wires soldered on to the underside of the rail. Every length of flexitrack has similar droppers and each of the turntable outlets.



     
  14. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    What may not be apparent in the pics above, is that all the tracks across the join are cut to the end of the board and joined with fishplates. For the move, the two boards need only to be unbolted and the 2.5mm bus cable disconnected from its choccy block connection. This is actually temporary, as once all the block detectors are fitted to the appropriate tracks, most blocks will cross the join, so a multipole connector will be needed to bring each block feeder from both boards to one, for the detector.
    Which leads me to explain how the layout will work. The intent, is not to use PC controlled blocks. As this system implementation is a long way off, I might be convinced otherwise!
    In the meantime, I will stick with my base principle of asymmetric control. So each half block will be 72 inches long, (isolated) thus giving a 144 inch detection zone, of which half will be capable of being switched with diodes in circuit. Why split in two? If the whole block was braked, a train suddenly being inhibited from entering the next block, if just entering this one, could immediately start to brake and stop across two blocks. With only the later half braked, even if the block is stopped, the train will still enter to the halfway point before starting to brake and as the braking distance is settable, it should always just stop short of the end of the block. Each block will feedback backwards, thus if one train stops, every other behind it will stop in sequence all the way behind it.

    [​IMG]

    Originally this was to be all hardwired, however, as my knowledge of the Arduino progresses, I think it will become an integral part of the design and although this diagram shows SPI as the 'coms' between blocks, I think this will become CanBus and will also be fed to a mimic panel and possibly also to distance signals. Very much still in development!
     
  15. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    There will be 2 x 32 Lighting circuits, actioned via an Auto-Off-Manual switch, driven in auto from a PC based program through a “LED-WiZ” USB output circuit. See Tip201 and P1MRC Thread. This will be built in to the “Action” control panel, With a LED on the front to show status. There will be a 37 way ribbon cable from each 32 way switch panel to a bus splitter board wich will divide 8 circuits on a 10 way IDC cable along the length of the main board, at various points an IDC connector will be fitted and required channel picked off from a 0.1in female 10 pin connector on a sub distribution board via 0.1in pins to servo motor leads (2 circuits per lead). These will run to resisters and the LED building and street lamps. I will create a seperate thread about this as I can do a full write up on the subject
    There will also be a 12v bus for auxiliary circuits, originally it was to have a 16 way PC USB relay driven outputs to switch my animatronics, but this has mostly migrated to Arduino circuits, so will more likely be driven by CanBus and somehow supervised either by a master arduino or else a PC
     
  16. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Points! Yes there will be a few near the station and TMD but over 24 in the storage yard, I estimated 40 are needed!
    Not enamoured with solenoids and slow motors are to expensive , so cheap RC servos is my answer. I was convinced megapoints was the best option with servo's, so bought a couple of 12 way boards to start me off. I have since got into arduino's and successfully got servo's running off them, so I may revise the driver, at some point in the future. I have now developed a mechanism to hold the servo and give local switching. The first attempt included some 10x35 wooden batten with a hole routed in it to accommodate the servo, two micro switches mounted on the top of the wood and piece of wood at right angle to mount with. The fulcrum point for the 1mm piano wire was an issue, too sloppy and will wear over time. I decided to make the head of the tee with aluminium and screw to the wood, but realised it would just be simpler to make the whole thing from metal. A lot of research later and I have found some right angle aluminium bar that is just the right size, some "off the shelf" brass spacers to offset the servo from the face and the design is done! Servo, two micro switches, piano wire, 2 types of screws and the aluminum will total £1.89 per point!
    So £2.50 for Megapoint per point and £1.89 for parts (+20p for servo harness) = About £4.60 per point! (not counting a switch)



     
  17. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    5,751
    Likes Received:
    851
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Are you jig drilling the holes on your brackets ?

    If so could I suggest using set screws set into the board from the top side, so that if you need to replace a motor assembly, you just undo two nuts and disconnect the servo cable and micro switch connections.

    upload_2018-7-22_0-21-21.png

    Paul
     
    TimberSurf likes this.
  18. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Messages:
    11,551
    Likes Received:
    845
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Looks like you have your work cut out for you with your intentions timbersurf. Mighty Impressive.:thumbs:
     
  19. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Yes, I made one bracket that is offset by the aluminium thickness, so I can put a blank in it and use it as the drill guide, one of the advantages of aluminium.

    Using wood screws is good enough (accessible from underneath) but does limit adjustment if you get the first holes slightly out. I like your idea for two reasons, one it eliminates the issue I have with the board being 6mm (barely enough for a screw to bite into), but also means I could make the holes in the aluminium top oversized, allowing lateral adjustment and correction for the holes not being perfectly in position in relation to the centrepoint of the track. Good suggestion, thanks Paul.
     
  20. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Cheers Toto, less intent and more reality. Surprisingly it takes just minutes to drill and assemble, done as a production batch, an hour or two will knock a dozen easily. To be honest, it's the prepping and soldering of the micro switches which is the time consuming element. :mad:

    Here is the system at early instal, some don't need micro's switches for the electrofrog as they are code 100 insulfrog slips


    Here is how I make my point mimic panel, printed picture sandwiched between aluminium and perspex. The construction is cheap and lends itself to easy changes at a later point. Note the use of different styles of switches to allow tactile location without eyes involved. LED indication is for the future (it may end up via Arduino) Note the use of an odd position of the switches, reason being they are routes, not individual control of each point.



    Sandycroft is the name of the Station/TMD
     

Share This Page