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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

This is my first layout,  so please be kind 😇 any pointers would be great at this stage as its small in size 6x4 but trying to pack as much track on it , after putting the base and 6 x 4 9mm plywood, I put down a German made grey ballast pattern down first which was very easy to use.

I'm thinking of plenty of containers and freight from the 70s up.

What do you think of the way the track is set up before I pin it to the board? 

Thanks 

 

20240606_162356.jpg

Edited by Davenport
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Looks good! Though  you may want to consider adding a way to get power onto each loop. From what I can see, you've only a single point of power on the outside loop which will leave the inner two lines and sidings without power

 

Barring that, looks good! There's plenty there to keep you busy!

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Hello Davenport, 

Firstly, any layout is a good layout !, so enjoy the experience, learning & fun (plus occasional frustration at times🙂). From my own experience, I put far too much in to my first layout, learnt from that over ambition, which takes me to my second observation, 'less is more" - consider perhaps one less main line. Next consider how many sidings  do you need, perhaps just one set rather than the two showing ?. Also consider the space remaining for scenics, and what type of scenic settings are you going for ? - Metcalfe card builds for example are relatively inexpensive, enjoyable to build, but even so, take up quite an amount of space, you will also need roads in/out for the freight trucks, an open yard for container storage and loading equipment/vehicles etc. Hope these few observations are of some help.

You are off to a great start - enjoy the adventure. 

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Looking good! I'm looking forward to seeing this progress. 

A few pointers:
- The lads are right about the crossing, you don't want to be spitting cars right out onto an active line! @DJ Dangerous has a good idea with the DAS clay/card.
- I'd be a bit concerned about the radius of your innermost curves, I think you might have issues trying to get longer stock around them. If you have the space,  it might be an idea to move the current inner loop outside of the outer loop using a wider radius track. 
- It might be worthwhile making those sidings into some sort of a freight yard with a through line. I'm sure you could fit some sort of a Timesaver/Inglenook shunting puzzle-esque setup across the middle if you reworked your points on the mainline, allowing you to keep your shunting operations off it.

What are you thinking in terms of scenery?

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Hi all,

Thanks for all the replies lads , wasn't expecting all of them all very good points but I was at it again today @Gortalainn I removed the inner smaller radius altogether and set out a goods yard @Galteemore@DJ Dangerous I think your right when it comes to the level crossing and also now looks better @Rush and Lusk ya your right less is better.

I'm going to be running DCC , not sure at this stage  what sencery,  i always  liked irish railway containers so some of that  🙂.

Anyway here are some pictures of the improve (I hope layout)

Thanks again lads 👍

20240607_160809.thumb.jpg.eb7cd542112339a511515bc5fb3d5504.jpg

20240607_160817.jpg

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Hi Davenport. Some good points from the lads above. I would have a think about down the road a bit. Do you really need all those sidings?, what are they going to be used for, apart from just having lots of track? Are you going to have platforms, and if so where?. And also. think about how much buildings and scenery you want. A little planning will go a long way. I know this from bitter experience. I had to rip up most of my original trackwork to make the layout work. (Shudder) But hey, it's your layout so go with what you want. Last thing, you can't get away with just putting down ballast first like that. No, you have to go through hours of blood, sweat and tears like the rest of us ballasting the tracks😀

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Hi Davenport  the changes you made are good, you might look at all the sidings the smaller ones will hold very few wagons and you may have problems with no power to some sidings with the number of points. You might consider low relief buildings to maximise the space available. Above all enjoy the building of the layout 

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The ballast underlay (mat?) looks really effective for a layout of this nature which features a lot of track and action in a small space.

It reminds me of the vintage Hornby & Triang layouts that sometimes appear at some clubs and exhibitions and are great fun to see in action.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQBu8vWVHZQ, possibly best to focus on the track trains and railway buildings and leave the scenic side to a minimum.

Reach-in to the opposite side of the layout (to clean track, re-rail stock, change points) could be challenging as the long side of the layout appears very close to the wall for a workable isle. Two foot is generally considered to be a workable limit in terms of reach in distance.

One of the advantages of Set track is that you can test and if necessary alter a layout before pinning down the track or gluing loose ballast.

Looks like an excellent layout for watching trains and displaying stock with a double track main line and several sidings

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On 7/6/2024 at 5:00 PM, Davenport said:

Hi all,

Thanks for all the replies lads , wasn't expecting all of them all very good points but I was at it again today @Gortalainn I removed the inner smaller radius altogether and set out a goods yard @Galteemore@DJ Dangerous I think your right when it comes to the level crossing and also now looks better @Rush and Lusk ya your right less is better.

I'm going to be running DCC , not sure at this stage  what sencery,  i always  liked irish railway containers so some of that  🙂.

Anyway here are some pictures of the improve (I hope layout)

Thanks again lads 👍

20240607_160809.thumb.jpg.eb7cd542112339a511515bc5fb3d5504.jpg

20240607_160817.jpg

Now, I don't know a lot but I for one quite like all those sidings! looks very Northwall to me (whose never been to Northwall! ) Keep it up, I'm lookin forward to seeing this progress.

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Hi all, 

Thanks again for the pointers, I was at the layout again today, and I think I'm just about there , I'm going with the main focus as a Continer, goods yard with minor residential buildings,  I'm thinking of a bus stop outside the carlow station as well.

I've cut down on alot of slidings as you guys suggested,  after this stage I'll move to sitting the cable for the DCC.

Again any suggestions are must welcome,  thanks. 

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Hi all,

I'm going to  start the DCC work but need some advise, I have purchased a digitrak zephyr DCS 52 controller and also 5a cable both red and black and cable connectors for bus wire but a few  questions please, 

I have two oval tracks so do I need two runs of bus wire (both red and black) because of these  or will one run of black and red 🤔 do? 

Should I run the bus wire as a straight line end to end  or should it be in a oval shape?

Also do  I need dropper wires for each section of track?

Again many thanks!

20240614_130541.jpg

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1 hour ago, Davenport said:

Hi all,

I'm going to  start the DCC work but need some advise, I have purchased a digitrak zephyr DCS 52 controller and also 5a cable both red and black and cable connectors for bus wire but a few  questions please, 

I have two oval tracks so do I need two runs of bus wire (both red and black) because of these  or will one run of black and red 🤔 do? 

Should I run the bus wire as a straight line end to end  or should it be in a oval shape?

Also do  I need dropper wires for each section of track?

Again many thanks!

20240614_130541.jpg

Personally speaking I have soldered droppers to ever piece of track I've laid so far on my main layout including points. Peace of mind and all that! Others may correct me, but I think one run of bus cable of each colour should do (less connections to worry about), this is a relatively smaller layout.

 

As for the bus, again, open to correction, but I've read the best way to do it is follow the track underneath but don't complete the loop. In some cases this can cause issues with the signal on DCC layouts apparently. I've no firsthand experience with this issue so maybe someone can chime in and yay or nay me on that.

 

There are more experienced and knowledgeable amongst us, so maybe wait for them to put in their advice too and see what the consensus is

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Meathdane's advice is sound. You will only need one pair of bus wires. Received wisdom suggests that, for reliability, each piece of track should have droppers to the bus wires to avoid relying on rail joiners for connectivity. Received wisdom also says it's wise to keep droppers as short as possible so this will dictate where you route your bus wires. This always involves some compromise but looking at your layout, a horseshoe shape a bit inboard of your inner oval might be a good arrangement. The odd long dropper is neither here nor there, as long as the connections are sound.

How are you planning to connect your dropper wires to the track?

Good luck with your project, Alan

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Thanks lads, all sound advise @Tullygrainey I'm going to use the connections as I have in  the photo 20240614_154924.thumb.jpg.8b1352e03945d4ea0ef0db6993f884d1.jpg above, ive used them before in  cars and are a sound joint , just not really into soldering.

Just as a side project i stripped back a transit and put eircom transfers on it, to be added to the layout.

 

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Not suggesting you copy me, because dropper wires to an under baseboard bus, is the correct convention as Alan says. However, in building over a dozen layouts over the years (and taking them to over 100 exhibitions), have never used the approach. Instead, just solder wires to each track section and then run them to tag strips under each baseboard. Power goes to the tag strips from the controller and transformer. Any track joints in each section are soldered too.

 Taking layouts to shows involved repeat dismantling and reassembling of baseboards, with the electrical connections between them achieved with multiple computer D plugs and sockets. Over the years, have had the (very) occasional failure of a solder joint, but easy to find and fix.

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Just to share my experience. I'be been told my approach to DCC was 'unorthodox' because I bought into the 'just two wires' concept when DCC was first launched years ago so my main layout Kingsbridge which started life as DC has just one pair of power wires (ie droppers) per oval and there are four long ovals of track running around the 16ftx12ft baseboards, with fishplates for conductivity between tracks. Its worked fine for me I have a few extras for sidings, and nearly all my locos are sound equipped by now. The track is in effect my DCC bus and I have no bus running under the base board each of four ovals is approx 54ft long. I adopted a slightly more 'orthodox' approach on our second more recent layout Gort which has about 20 droppers mainly because I used electro frog points instead of insulfrog and the breaks in track at baseboard joints needed power as well as the sidings. Most of the droppers were actually to the electro fog points and a few sections of isolated track. I didn't subscribe to the mantra of droppers to every single separate piece of track because in my experience fishplates were adequate and reliable, and I wanted simplicity and less wiring to do. I used DaveMcCabes DCC dropper PCB board to hook up the droppers under the boards to a Single DCC bus for the entire layout. (on photos below its the little 1"x2" PCB with screw connectors on the vertical baseboard bulkheads)

 

On gort I used my good friend DaveMcCabe'd DCC dropper boards daisy chained to make up a bus. Dave @junctionmad designed these for WMRC little siddington. Dave advocated connecting every piece of track so I used these fab PCBs on Gort which made the wiring so much easier than soldering or crimping droppers to bus wires under the baseboard. Dave was an electronics genius and significant contributor to MERG. 

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Ultimately there's no absolute right nor absolute wrong, do what's right and practical for you. Get the trains running and drive trains. :) Enjoy watching your progress, keep up the good work.

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4 hours ago, Noel said:

Ultimately there's no absolute right nor absolute wrong, do what's right and practical for you. Get the trains running and drive trains. :) Enjoy watching your progress, keep up the good work.

Absolutely agree. If it works, it's not wrong 😄

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Hi lads, 

Jess blowen away by the responses, thanks 😊 

Not much of an update as been rescreaching into DCC, 

Can I ask what type of solder do you guys use for the dropper cables ie size , make ? Any link to purchase 

Another question,   I'm using hornby track point but I see you can purchase clips that fit between the tracks to allow power to pass when the are changed over when using DCC, have any of you use these ? Are is it better to solder cable between the tracks?

Thanks a million. 

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1 hour ago, Davenport said:

Another question,   I'm using hornby track point but I see you can purchase clips that fit between the tracks to allow power to pass when the are changed over when using DCC, have any of you use these ? Are is it better to solder cable between the tracks?

I'd say don't bother with the clips, solder wire connections if you can - they might not be needed depending where your other power feeds are.

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Posted (edited)

Hi lads,

Back at it today went on a soldering marathon 😬 I decided to solder every section of track but not the level crossing ( hopefully would

Wont need it) and also ran the bus wire following the flow of the layout , under the table,  I'll leave the hornby points off awhile and see if I can get away with the clips because it isn't a big layout , from research I note that these points are insulfrog type which are useless with older short based locos so hopefully will get away with it  with the Irish locos 😀 if not I can revisit it.

So drilling marathon tomorrow me thinks and solder the dropper wires to the bus wire,  hopefully with everything complete tomorrow I might even the the first run on it 😅 

20240627_172708.thumb.jpg.49689ef4d6047a393c2b199176fc97d3.jpg20240627_173413.thumb.jpg.5e21a900db4bb83cdfb4b80c9dd55f12.jpg

 

Edited by Davenport
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Hi lads,

Looking for some advice on point wiring,  I have hornby insulfrog points with DCC power clips in them ,  but do I need to solder dropper wires + and - on each part of the track marked in red in the picture below ? Or is there another way 🤔 

Thanks

 

20240703_222757.jpg

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1 hour ago, Davenport said:

Hi lads,

Looking for some advice on point wiring,  I have hornby insulfrog points with DCC power clips in them ,  but do I need to solder dropper wires + and - on each part of the track marked in red in the picture below ? Or is there another way 🤔 

Thanks

 

20240703_222757.jpg

Depending on how you feel about soldering, I would do it as per the below image, just cut away at the webbing between the ties and solder the inner two rails to the outer two. More reliable running, you're not relying on the contact between the blades and rail to carry power, any bit of dirt or play in the blades isn't going to cause a cut. If you wanted to be absolutely sure, you could also solder the two small pieces of rail (marked blue) but I don't think it's necessary once you've got a solid connection between the point and the next piece of track, you could potentially solder at the fishplates either

Snapchat-1459653284.jpg

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1 hour ago, Davenport said:

Hi lads,

Looking for some advice on point wiring,  I have hornby insulfrog points with DCC power clips in them ,  but do I need to solder dropper wires + and - on each part of the track marked in red in the picture below ? Or is there another way 🤔 

Thanks

Not to get too technical, it's been a while since I've wired anything, but this website is great for layout electrics: https://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Electrical-Page-2.html

The below image from that site shows a potential issue of shorting as the train crosses the frog if not dealt with correctly:

Insulfrogwithinsulatedjoiners-1.thumb.gif.3d10b1181ed7da3885a5855e0ec8a178.gif

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