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GNRi1959

Derry Road Runabout

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This is a new layout that I have started from scratch in my beloved garden shed. It is based on the steam era on the Derry Road and although it has nothing at all that resembles Omagh, it is hoped that it will give have a flavour of GNRi operations there.

All track is laid and wired and thanks to two  forum members, who were very generous with their spare time, advised me  on the design and wiring of the layout - you know who you are!

Tomorrow I will fit my turntable well and hopefully start fitting and wiring the point motors.

I am pleased with how things are progressing and I promise I will post pictures soon.

Edited by GNRi1959
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Some testing carried out today on completed track work and wiring

 

 

 

Edited by GNRi1959
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Some pictures today.......

Was able to re-arrange the paintwork into the fiddle yard and all is complete at this side. A siding to the back provides storage also.

 

Still some temporary wiring in place until I decide on the best operating side for my controller.

 

I managed to salvage the mock up Goods Store I had and it fits well in this corner. One additional point to add to allow a siding to the rear of the platforms.

 

Edited by GNRi1959
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Hi Tony. Fascinating watching the iterative evolution of this layout. Its a kaleidoscope of change as you discover what works best for you. Well done. Noel

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Noel, you hit it on the head.

This layout started with the view to building Omagh and through all the frustration and setbacks with that evolved a layout that is simple, functional and leaves all to the imagination. My aim is a layout with a flavour of the steam era on the Derry Road, where my grandfather was a ganger on the permanent way, starting as a plate layer on 26 Jan 1924 and giving them 43years of service.

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Plywood fitted today for 12” backscene and little ply shelf in place for controller and switches.

 

Edited by GNRi1959
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Look to be some lovely flowing curves there, while the height of the backscene will enable the viewer to really immerse themselves in the scene.

 Nice!

Edited by David Holman

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Backscene board at door entrance complete and ready for grey primer

 

Edited by GNRi1959

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Slowly adding point motors, never easy on your own - lying on your back trying to work above your head!

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It seems like nothing is happening on 'Derry Road Runabout' but I have been fitting point motors, wiring CDU, buying mini toggle switches and now wiring under the baseboards. Hard work lying on your back looking up but I'll get there. The locos are tested daily and run around the layout with no hesitation. Hopefully, the weekend will see the points are wired and switching well.

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Wiring something to be endured for me, but so essential! Sounds like you are doing all the right things and at least the testing stage means you can enjoy running trains.

 Minor (major?) panic with Arigna at Guildex yesterday, when had no power to track after setting up. Traced it to a failed transformer. Probably my own fault as have long used cast offs from old printers and the like. Thankfully, Guildex not exactly short of traders, so soon managed to buy a 'proper' one. However, warning from the trader that most plug in transformers these days are DC and Gaugemasters need 16v AC.

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Despite a painful bout of sciatica in my left hip I am still braving the undersides of my baseboards connecting the point motors to newly installed toggle switches. The shed is a mess of cable, tools and stripped wire ends. I hope to complete the wiring completely by the close of the weekend.

Whats the next thing I should do - ballasting?

Edited by GNRi1959
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Enjoy some running to check, check and check again that all is ok and have some enjoyment after all the hard work. Suggest painting the sleepers and rails before ballasting, though it will all need going over after ballasting as well. On Fintonagh, have spent the last week fettling and still not completely right. Wheel back to backs v point clearances always a potential problem with handbuilt stock and track. Then just when you think everything is sorted, a loose wheel nut causes problems.

 Another problem can be when stock gets turned round and doesn't always run as well in the other direction! So extensive testing before ballasting always a good idea, but don't expect it to work perfectly afterwards, there are always a few stray grains around to gum up points and details stock!

 Life is complicated, which is why it's fun.

Allegedly!

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Thanks for that advice David.

One thing that I've noticed with Gaugemaster Point motors and Peco electro frog paintwork is that the throw of the point motor is greater than that of the point blades. Does this make sense. I don't have the paintwork fixed but I do have the Flexi track at either side of the point. When I switch the point I can see a light movement in the point as if the power of the motor is causing it to jump. Is this common?

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You could fix the point near the place where the moving bar is - the actuating pin will flex to take up any extra motion then.

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Despite a painful bout of sciatica in my left hip I am still braving the undersides of my baseboards connecting the point motors to newly installed toggle switches. The shed is a mess of cable, tools and stripped wire ends. I hope to complete the wiring completely by the close of the weekend.

Tony

As David has observed, wiring is something to be endured.

As for the back trouble - I found a sort of mini lounger at B&Q for £7 - very low slung - which allows me to sit / lie under the layout and work above my head more comfortably - actually let's be honest - all this wiring stuff is over my head!

Leslie

 

 

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At the close of place yesterday evening, I have one final point motor to wire to a switch and I'm done. I have one that I need to re-align and I'm good to start running locos again and checking all points are trouble free.

I'll 'pass' on the B&Q lounger, I'll only fall asleep in the shed if I get too comfortable.

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Presume the point motors have their own internal switches for directing track current? Peco points have always been poor at directing current, even O gauge ones, so the extra shove from the motor will no doubt help keep blades in contact with the stock rails.

 Always good to have a couple of spare motors, as they will go wrong - they can lead a hard life!

 Nice story in the Gauge 0 Guild manuals. They made test machines to check the capacity of various motors. Most were pretty good, even the cheap ones, but the Tortoise motor actually wore out the test rig! That is not to say they are perfect though, internal contacts can get dirty and fail, while they are expensive too and need about 10cm vertical space below the baseboards.

 Stick with what you have, then when you start your next layout in a few years, you will know from experience if any changes are needed. Who know, everything could be holographic by then!

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David, each switch is individually wired back to a separate toggle and activated from a panel next to the controller. Tonight I ran a loco around and discovered the loco stalled at a crossing. I soon discovered that the point blades weren't in contact with the stock rail so I had to make a slight adjustment to the point and also secure the position of the point with a track pin to hold it firmly. I will have to repeat this around the entire layout until everything runs smooth. Getting there.

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Its a really nice feeling that the wiring is now complete and all point motors switched. Everything is running perfectly so I can now enjoy a couple of weeks testing wagons and locos to iron out any minor problems that may arise.

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Track testing and testing wagons on a pre-paint runabout........

 

 

Edited by GNRi1959
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Great to see the trains running Tony - treat us to longer videos please!  Also maybe include your OO works locos?  Small query - is the roof of your cabin maybe on the wrong way.....?

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Patrick, yes the roof was just set on without thinking!

i didn’t want to bring the 00 locos down to the shed while I was spraying wagons. I’ll do another video soon with them and make it longer.

thanks

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Testing continues on the Derry Road with the arrival of a CIE B141 class loco on the layout. It ran like a dream straight out of the box but I'm really disappointed by the performance of the GNRi locos. I need to go back to the thread where Kirley tested them and had to add weights to correct the problem. Anyone else have the same problem with balance and contact?

 

 

 

Edited by GNRi1959

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Nice video, Tony - probably the fastest train ever to traverse the Derry Road! :) Good to see the layout coming together. 

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GNRi1959. 

Somewhere in these pages - there is information - on resolving problems with the OO Works U Class. I had the most fearful problems with mine when it was delivered. Stalled on points and crossovers, nodded back and forth like a demented animal in captivity. A most disappointing purchase. From negative to positive.  Nodding was resolved, (in my locomotive) by placing a tyre weight in the underside of the cab roof. Stalling was resolved by installing a Stay-Alive decoder. Additional weight was also placed in the leading wheels.

Hope this helps - I'll search for the thread - and post it if, I find it. 

Edited by Old Blarney
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While knowing nothing of the models in question, there are a number of basic factors which can help improve the running of any loco.

1. Cleaning and oiling. Shouldn't be a problem on a new model, but stray paint might have got on the wheel treads. Arigna Town locos are cleaned before and during every show.

2. Pick ups. Are they in contact with the wheels? If not, a bit of gentle tweaking should help. Test by inverting the loco and putting fly leads (I use crocodile clips from my ancient H&M controller) on different pairs of wheels to find the culprit. Pick ups can also be too tight and limit running. Check to see if the motor is getting warm.

3. Add more pick ups! Spread the load over as many wheels and as much length as possible

4. Weight and balance. 4-4-0s can be a problem. Certainly need weight over the driven wheels, but front bogie probably needs springing too. Weight in the tender bearing down on the drawbar to the loco (and hence the drivers) can help.

5. Wheels. Check the back to backs, should be the same. Is there any sign of wobble? Are crank pins ok? If the loco stops, at low speed, at the same point (eg 3 o'clock), quartering may be the problem, or the crank pin holes may need opening out a little.

 The above are the common ones when kit building, but take nothing for granted. Having run ok for several days of testing, one of Fintonaghs's locos became rough. Turned out a wheel nut had worked loose. On another occasion, a lump of foam from the scenery had somehow got into the mechanism!

Sod's Law applies at all times!

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