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Arlamine

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Blu Bianco
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I've been a member here for a while and not put up anything about a layout. That wasn't intentional, its just I don't start things until I've got some sort of concrete idea, have all the materials to hand and most of all, the time to do it. Sadly the time has been much constrained but I'm nearly there now. I will warn you though that progress on it may not be as quick as others on here due to said time constraints but I will get there, and keep you updated when things do happen.

 

I've managed to get upto a 10 by 4 foot layout. Although not huge, it is a far better option that what I thought I was limited to before. (Baseboard) Dave kindly constructed an excellent baseboard for me.

 

I'm planning to go with ballast underlay for the tracks, mostly due to noise absorption, for reasons I won't go into.

 

SCARM is an invaluable tool in layout design. I wanted at least a few sidings and lay-by tracks, along with at least two main-lines.

 

It is a purely fictitous representation of a station/sidings/general country area in Ireland. Although you will see the creeping of the 20th/21st Century as the townscape begins to look a bit more industrialised! I'm not as talented as some on here who go for all out realism. I've had to make do with what I can, therefore there maybe English type stations and signalling, etc, present, which I hope in time and that if I wish to, to be able to amend to more realistic Irish stock. But again, be pre-warned that I am in no way stating that this is 100% realistic, its just Irish-based and set in no particular era, although there will be no railcars, steam or 201's present.

 

I'm calling it Arlamine, which is 'somewhere' in South Wicklow. Maybe a small town, slowly growing or hub for goods/freight in the middle of nowhere with its typical out of the way station in relation to the town! Its name gives away its one-time association with the long since gone mining industry. Remnants perhaps maybe visible, who knows! I hope to be able to fit all or some of the following in, works/mills, along with a passenger station, a goods/diesel depot, cottages, encroaching industrialisation of the scene and some greenery/countryside.

 

I'm working on getting some pictures together, which will show the work in progress. I hope to take them and add these over the coming weeks. For now, I've got the track down and am starting on the ballasting.

 

Currently I have 13 points on the layout, all insulfrog. I am aware of the issues with them that have been discussed on here, however I was bought the bulk of them as a gift and it seems a shame to waste them, if I can get them to work. My stock, engine-wise, will solely be 141's, 181's and 071's, and with the length and weight of them, extended wheelbases, etc, I'm hoping with a clean track, level baseboard, etc, that running over these points should be alright. Any thoughts?

 

However, I am looking into the possibility of slightly altering the layout to replace these points with Peco Electrofrogs, however that is a cost issue and if I can do it at all it would be unlikely I'd be substituting all 13 points! I would have to bring the points down by a few. But the issue I'm encountering with this is the different Radius. All my track is currently Hornby. Given the different Radii of the Peco Electrogs, this naturally throws everything out of kilter. I've managed to get 95% of the layout designed (within the confines of my layout size), piecing together ok with Electrogs, but then the last 5% about could be out of line and I can't get it to join up. I can't afford to replace all my Hornby track with Peco track and thats why I would hope to be able to use the Hornby straights and curves to some effect with the Peco Electrofrog points, but it is proving troublesome. Anyone got any tips here? Or should I just press ahead with the insulfrogs?

 

Thanks for reading this and I hope to be back now and then with updates.

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Currently I have 13 points on the layout, all insulfrog. I am aware of the issues with them that have been discussed on here, however I was bought the bulk of them as a gift and it seems a shame to waste them, if I can get them to work. My stock, engine-wise, will solely be 141's, 181's and 071's, and with the length and weight of them, extended wheelbases, etc, I'm hoping with a clean track, level baseboard, etc, that running over these points should be alright. Any thoughts?

 

However, I am looking into the possibility of slightly altering the layout to replace these points with Peco Electrofrogs, however that is a cost issue and if I can do it at all it would be unlikely I'd be substituting all 13 points! I would have to bring the points down by a few. But the issue I'm encountering with this is the different Radius. All my track is currently Hornby. Given the different Radii of the Peco Electrogs, this naturally throws everything out of kilter. I've managed to get 95% of the layout designed (within the confines of my layout size), piecing together ok with Electrogs, but then the last 5% about could be out of line and I can't get it to join up. I can't afford to replace all my Hornby track with Peco track and thats why I would hope to be able to use the Hornby straights and curves to some effect with the Peco Electrofrog points, but it is proving troublesome. Anyone got any tips here? Or should I just press ahead with the insulfrogs?

 

Thanks for reading this and I hope to be back now and then with updates.

 

Hi Blu and welcome to the forum.

 

You don't mention if you are using DCC or DC control for your layout but just to give an opinion on your question about points...

As far as the insulfrog points are concerned my layout is all insulfrog, albeit a mix of Hornby and Peco. If lay them level and keep them clean you will have no trouble running any of your locos on insulfrog. The 141's/071's have power pickup on all wheels so they will glide over the points once they are clean. The only locos that will give trouble are short base locos like 0-6-0 diesel shunters or those with poor pickup such as the older Lima models. I use DCC and have sound installed in many of my locos and don't have any problems ONCE THE TRACK IS CLEAN!

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Thank you everyone who posted for your support.

 

I'm not on anyrail yet 201bhoy, will see about downloading it or another way of putting plan up when get the time.

 

Hi Blu and welcome to the forum.

 

You don't mention if you are using DCC or DC control for your layout but just to give an opinion on your question about points...

 

Its going to be DCC, sorry, forgot to mention that! Appreciate the comments on the insulfrogs too, gives me a bit more confidence to go ahead with them.

 

Happy belated birthday by the way! Hope you had a good one.

 

Looking forward to seeing some pictures, always an exciting time seeing your ideas coming to life!

 

Totally, once you see something down in front of you, it gives you that extra push to move on ahead and see how its all going to look in the end. Though your mind's eye and what actually appears in front of you as it envelops maybe an entirely different thing but I'm going to try and keep to my ideas as much as I can.

Edited by Blu Bianco
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Its going to be DCC, sorry, forgot to mention that! Appreciate the comments on the insulfrogs too, gives me a bit more confidence to go ahead with them.

 

Happy belated birthday by the way! Hope you had a good one.

 

 

 

Birthday was lovely, thanks!

 

Good to hear you're going with DCC, only way forward IMHO....

 

What I said about keeping the track and loco wheels spotless is even more important with DCC as even a momentary breaking in signal will cause locos to stop dead. For DCC you should consider modifying the points as insulfrog are "power routing" and only supply current to the direction they are set. DCC needs the entire layout to be live at all times.

It's a simply job to modify the points, only takes a couple of minutes and a little soldering. Steer clear of the little clips which Hornby sell to do the same job, they can cause problems.

 

Here is an excellent source of info for wiring DCC (and DC) layouts - http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/index.html

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  • 8 months later...

Sorry for the delay, been a long time I know due to work, not feeling tip-top and other smaller issues!

 

Nearly ready to get going, have the track down and I will get a picture to you in the coming week or two.

 

Before I finally get it all hooked up in the coming month or two about, I'm looking for some advice here.

 

Here's the story:

 

As a recap, my layout is going to be DCC operated, 10 x 4, and I will have a fair few loco's to run, but I won't be running 6-8 simultaneously or anything, maybe two or three at a time, with others stationery in sidings, etc.

 

I will have two main lines, with a parallel full secondary line operating on the outside, which leads into sidings, etc, on the main straight. Naturally there will be inward turns, which lead into the centre of the layout. There will be many tracks veering off into sidings, leading into stations/yards/sheds, etc. I plan to have my layout fully wired, linking all tracks, soldered, etc. I think I have about 17 sets of points!

 

My question really concerns having the necessary power/capability to run my layout sufficently.

 

I have a Hornby Select Controller, a Hornby C7024 4 Amp Digital Power Control (for plug into wall), and more powerful than the one amp one originally supplied with the Select. I also have the Hornby R8239 Power and Signal Booster DCC Accessory.

 

My question is, with all these additions, will the Select be boosted enough to operate sufficently with enough power, than it would have had originally, to cope with my requirements or would you recommend a different Controller/Operating system?

 

If you do, please bear in mind that I don't have endless finances, anything bargain to mid-range would be better! Gaugemaster or Hornby, etc, or something else, and their relative ease of availability?

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More than enough to be honest. The only trouble you'd get from the select is the lack of higher number functions (especially relevant for sound locos) and (to my mind) the DCC signal isnt as clean as other options. But then again, it's a great value solution, and should work absolutely well for your size layout.

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More than enough to be honest. The only trouble you'd get from the select is the lack of higher number functions (especially relevant for sound locos) and (to my mind) the DCC signal isnt as clean as other options. But then again, it's a great value solution, and should work absolutely well for your size layout.

 

I think I will proceed then as is, and if I ever wish to upgrade then I can at a later point. It was more the issue of not spending anymore on other stuff if I had to put it into a new controller right now, if my listed combination wasn't going to work that well. I won't be running sound locos (for the foreseeable anyway) and that kind of deals with that issue!

 

Thanks for your help, it eases my mind.

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