Hamley Circuit

Discussion in 'Members Personal Layouts' started by Dr Tony, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    As I alluded to in the thread on another of my layouts, Gundah Junction, I have started building a new layout.
    This time it is going to be a U-Drive layout for the kids. This will get an outing about once a month at our local markets and potentially could travel further afield, especially if someone was starting a new exhibition and did not have a club with an existing U-Drive layout.
    The layout has 4 modules that will join together to make a 2.6m x 1.4m layout. It is designed to fit inside a hatchback for transportation.
    It is similarly constructed to my previous layout, with 42x19mm pine for the frame and (thicker this time) 9mm ply for the deck.
    DSCN3071.JPG
    It is braced underneath
    DSCN3072.JPG

    I have also had fun making a stand for it all to live in, this also doubles as a new stand for my old layout Poppy.
    DSCN3070.JPG

    At some stage in the future, Poppy will move into the house into my son's play area, I can then expand the storage up after this.
    A lot of aspects of this layout will be very conventional and not at all adventurous, it will be flat (also for storage and transportation) and have 3 concentric loops, as this is where the kids are really at, the younger ones especially.
    I will be building in control units, probably with a slider pot, rather than a rotary control based on my experience at the last exhibition with kids and controllers. This controller also won't have a reverse switch (not needed, if they want to shunt, they can graduate to Gundah Junction, which will often be exhibited alongside).
    Where I want to differentiate this layout will be the scenery. Most often I see these layouts and they are often comprised of leftovers, bits put together, often with no theme and sometimes without much appearance of care. I want something bright and cheerful.
    To that end I will be using some wow factor kits with movement, a removable, working ferris wheel has been purchased, along with a real water fountain and there should be a windmill somewhere.
    The rest will be scratch built, using kid's story books as inspiration, not necessarily accurate to real life, but accurate for the illustration I am basing it on. I got the inspiration for this is making a Simpsons Nativity scene last year, it is quite easy to make cartoony things based on illustrations and TV shows.
    It will be in HO or OO depending on the day, as it will be 'cartoony' I don't have to be too fussy. I have the next layout for that, and that will be fussy, some of the material has been bought for that already, need more time.
    The name Hamley, continues my theme of local trig station names. This one is along the Pacific Hwy in Mt Kuring-gai, near where the old La-Mancha caravan park was, for those who know Sydney. Hamley is also the name of a famous toy shop, so that seems appropriate for a kids layout.
    Cheers
    Tony
     
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  2. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    Bit more progress this week. Sealed and painted all surfaces, trimmed off edges flush with new power tool, a laminate trimmer with bearing bit, but not in that order.
    Tonight was lining it all up, making sure it all comes together square, which it did:cheers:
    Then bolting the sections together and adding the dowels to keep the alignment. PSX_20190925_220600.jpg
    Cheers
    Tony
     
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  3. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Wow ..... some size
     
  4. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    Yes, it is quite a size all set up.
    I had some time to myself on Friday after doing some night work with the mobile scanner so I got started on the legs. Constructed much the same way as the legs for Gundah Junction with the L shaped uprights and bracing, but this time the diagonals are aluminium. They will all have height adjustment on each leg and have been lightly stained.
    All the baseboards are sealed on all surfaces. PSX_20190929_211549.jpg
    Cheers
    Tony
     
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  5. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    You're not mucking about with this build Tony. That is some nice base board construction and the stand is exceptional to say the least. Looking forward to reading more !

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  6. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    I think mr Brunel would be very impressed mate :tophat::tophat:

    Pete.
     
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  7. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    First class. Very neat and made to last.:thumbs::tophat:
     
  8. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    Getting to the part of construction that is a little like work, doing set-out. (Except that we don't do set out, it's often boring, long hours, and very cut throat in pricing, we do the high end interesting stuff...)
    This is just going to have simple track geometry, after all, kids are just going to drive the locos as fast as they can. Made myself another compass with 2 pencils and another piece of hardwood venetian blind. PCB "sleepers" are all cut out now, this time I used a 4" angle grinder with a narrow disc to cut the PCB, I had to make 24 of them, so needed some sort of shortcut. Probably not much progress soon, exhibition to go to tomorrow, and a day ony Dad's yacht on the public Holliday Monday PSX_20191005_213835.jpg
     
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  9. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    More progress this afternoon, have now the legs built. Basically the same design as for my other layout as it works very well with only a couple of minor improvements. Then put it all together and it still fits and lines up! It's very solid, which is what it needs to be.
    PSX_20191006_210135.jpg

    Now to lay track, got to have a decent time window for this, simple but a lot to do
    PSX_20191006_210208.jpg
     
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  10. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    Weather turned out to be not so good for sailing today, so I had an unexpected full day to work on the layout, and it somehow managed to take all day too, where does the time go?:scratchchin:
    Was a little nervous that I didn't have enough stuff, was one box of track enough? I did calculate the amount required but that was a while ago. And where were all the track joiners. Finish the track laying or not, the layout has to be pulled apart tonight and put back in its storage shelves as the car needs to come in to the garage. This layout was good practice in joining tracks at baseboard joints. There are 3 tracks and 4 board joints, so 24 Times I had to solder a pair of rails to PCB. I know that the hand laid track guys do a lot more than this, I take my hat off to them for it.
    Then slit each PCB with the Dremel to eliminate short circuiting the tracks, test with a couple of carriages for alignment and clearance. After that took the plunge and cut each rail so the boards could be separate once again.
    Finally a test with an old Lima 12 wheeler. If this can get round the tracks without problems, then the trackwork is good, and it did, it's a great feeling when it all works.
    PSX_20191007_223955.jpg
    Final job of the day was colour coding all the braces to make assembly quicker. This way makes it foolproof and does not be instructions, just have to match the colours (won't work for colourblind people I guess) this idea worked well on Gundah Junction.
    Next job is wiring, this can be done module by module.
    Cheers
    Tony
     
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  11. MalcT

    MalcT Full Member

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    A super job on the baseboards Tony, enjoying watching this layout develop:tophat:

    MalcT
     
  12. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    Bit of a change of pace. Now that all the track is down it's time to solder droppers to every bit of track. Reliability is the key here as this layout is going to be set up and packed up a lot. This time I used house cable. Upon stripping, this cable has a number of 1mm diameter strands, which are perfect. Simply drill a 1mm hole between sleepers on the outside of each rail at a strategic point on each track section, poke the wire through the hole, the hole has just the right amount of friction to hold the wire in place. Then bend it into position and solder it to the outside faces of the tracks so that wheel flanges do not hit it.
    With 3 loops big track and a fair few track sections, I ended up soldering 72 droppers in.
    Next step is the bus wire to connect them all up and connectors to electrically join each module.
    Bit of tidying up to do, but once it's ballasted and painted, it will disappear.
    PSX_20191016_223703.jpg
    Cheers
    Tony
     
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  13. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    I have finally done something new for this, all manner of other things going on here, bush fire prep, boating, general projects around the house etc etc.
    Started the wiring, bus wires, one for each track are soldered to the droppers. The ends of these wires will combine into a heavy duty 6 pin connector to bring power to the next board. All stapled down, not quite as neat as I was hoping for, but I have another 3 boards to get it right on.
    PSX_20191210_221207.jpg
    The great thing here with the layout at this stage, is that I can spread out some rubber carpet underlay on the bench, turn the module upside down on it and work away in comfort.
    Cheers
    Tony
     
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  14. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    Bit more progress, slowed down a bit by almost cutting the tip off my finger, that's another story for another time.
    Decided that the controls are going to be a slider for the speed rather than a rotary control. I was amazed at the last exhibition that kids just did not understand the concept of a knob as a control. I would like to train kids for that, but it gets a bit draining after a few days, and the kids miss out on train time having to learn this. I found that sourcing slider potentiometers was quite hard, finally found some as parts for an audio mixer desk. Then I cut out abs sheets for the panel (this is where I cut my finger) had to make a groove for the slider. Bought a new attachment for the Dremel, a router guide with a few cutting bits. Made up a jig, and the sizes worked out just right for the shape of the router guide and the length of the slot needed. Jig was made very quickly and made that part of the job much easier.
    PSX_20191228_095021.jpg
    Then it was a matter of making the grooves just a bit longer and drilling tiny holes for 2mm mounting screws.
    PSX_20191228_162647.jpg
    Now to make the housings.
    Cheers
    Tony
     
  15. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    More progress today, finished the underneath wiring with the exception of the interconnect bits. This was the most complex board where the controller circuitry is. The outputs of the controllers go straight to the track bus wires, the red and the black. Then the white 3 core cable comes from the circuit board to the XLR points. Connected into these will be the remote speed control panels.
    PSX_20200103_211645.jpg
    The circuit boards are installed on the upper side of the board. I could have put them under too, but I can check on the status lights much more easily this way, and there will be a structure built over them to protect them and to allow two of the boards to stack on each other. The PCB stand offs are made of 5mm lengths of styrene tube, made up very quickly with my new chopper.
    PSX_20200103_211558.jpg Tomorrow I might finish the top wiring and the controls, and if I'm really lucky on Sunday I'll get to do a full assembly of all boards and do a test run.
    Cheers
    Tony
     
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  16. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    Really good thread Tony thanks

    Ian vt
     
  17. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    Thanks Ian
    I was going to try to do a full test yesterday with all boards connected. But time and other ideas got the better of me. I had a dual purpose idea of something that would protect sensitive bits of the underneath of the layout when putting the boards on top of the legs, and something that would keep the floppy interconnect cables out of harm's way when the boards are moved or stored. This, of course ate time, but it should work rather well.
    PSX_20200106_220129.jpg
    These boards have holes for the legs to fit into, and they hide the wiring under the controllers.
    I did manage to get a partial test. All controllers, and all tracks (at least on the first board) work. And the remote throttles work too. Pictured here is one of the typical engines for this layout hoping that I can stop it in time before running out of track.
    PSX_20200106_220217.jpg
    Cheers
    Tony
     
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  18. Gloria Aldridge

    Gloria Aldridge Full Member

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    Hi Tony,
    I agree a very good thread indeed. Also very interesting with the lovely wiring. Looking forward to seeing the finished project the track work looks nice neat as well I take :tophat: off to you sir, being a woman I don't wear one :giggle:but here are some :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup: up for you.
    Regards,
    Gloria.
     
  19. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Nice work Tony. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

    That outside track looks rather close to the edge of the baseboard in the last photo.., especially if the young ones are hurtling trains around the layout ! :eek:

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  20. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    Thanks Gloria and Gary
    No worries about the edge, that is the rear so there will be a lowish fence of sorts along it.
    Will also experiment with some superelevation, but probably not too much.
    Work will slow a bit soon as we go for a brief holiday in Tasmania for a week, but I might just bring back some sifted Tassie sand for ballast, worked a treat on another layout, and might need some more for this project.
    Got some more soldering done tonight though.
    Cheers
    Tony
     
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