Monday, June 20, 2011

Final Design

I fixed the final design for the layout thanks to some good recommendations from some JNSF members:

I sacrificed two staging tracks on le left and used them to ascend to the mountain, instead of installing switches in the main line like the previous design. This allows to run trains from the main station to the mountain independently of what's running in the main line. The only doubt still in my head is if I ascend with a double track or just one track allowing double sense of travel. In this second option I could keep one of the staging track....... will continue thinking about it.......

Here there is a render for those with lack of imagination like me:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Electrical Tip: loop and feeders

That's the cheaper and best way I found to connect the tracks to the DCC current:

* Create a loop with the main wires from the station arround the layout. In my case, I use 1,5mm gauge for this main loop.

* If you use flex track connect each one to the main loop with a feeder (0.75 mm gauge seems to work well), otherwise put a feeder at least in each meter of tracks. There is no problem with an excess of feeders, it's better than having isolated sections because of bad contacts.


And that's what I build to connect feeders to the loop. You only have to buy a sheet of baquelite with continous tracks and solder these terminals. Screw this in each point of the loop where you need to connect feeders. In the market you can find terminals as long as you need, but also can join some of them to make a feeder with so many outputs as you need.


This also allows you to isolate wires, tracks or sections in case you are searching the reason for a failure because makes it very easy to disconnect wires or place the tester directly in the metallic screws of each wire.

And for organizing wires, those auto adhesive clips are marevelous!! I also use adhesive bridle bases, this will be shown in other post.

See you soon!
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My tips for laying track

In this post I'll show how I fix the track with nails, because what everybody does is use a small hammer, but this doesn't work well (at least for me...) because it's difficult to keep the track in the exact place while the nail is going deeper, and many times the hammer hits my fingers instead.:@
Firs of all I prepared a gauge with a small piece of wood making some slots to fit the tracks at the desired space for the hidden yard:

After the track is in place I insert the nail in the place to fix and I use an old and small file which is 8 millimeters wide, so it fits between the rails:

You only have to make some pressure on it and the nail will enter smoothly because it doesn't slip from the file .

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Many people only uses nails at the beginning and end of a track section and glues it, or directly only glues the track. But for the hidden yard I prefer to use only nails because it's easier to dismount if someday it's necessary.

In this way the track will be placed exactly where you want. I hope it be useful!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Structure completed!!!!

After an insane work, I completed the whole structure. Still remains the third module, but it's just for the future because now I have enough work to complete this 2,60x1mt model ;)

I had some trouble because plans were printed something like a 5% bigger than 1:1 scale. I haven't found the error, something wrong with the printer I guess, but the following ribs' plans were printed in the right size (and that's the really important thing!).

I also prepared the base for the hidden stage yard and I've start laying tracks and connecting. I'm doing some tests with Uhlenbrock feedback modules, Intellibox and Rocrail. I'm getting really satisfied with it by the moment... In later posts I'll show how I'm planning the electrification.

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These are the materials and technique used:

* Ribs and frame: Phenolic plywood 1 cm.
* Track bed: Phenolic plywood 0,5 cm.
* Legs: 6x6 cm pine strips

Frame and ribs where fixed with cyanoacrylate glue (bought from Würth here) and the intersection between ribs with a special water resistant white glue for wood (E+D3 glue). This kit has an spray to activate the cyanoacrylate and fix it IMMEDIATELY!!! I'm not kidding, it glues immediately with your fingers, your shirt, tools, everything in contact will be fixed. So I suggest to buy the full kit or you will miss the cyanocrylate remover.... Don't put cyanoacrylate in one side and the activator in the other or as soon the two pieces get in touch it will not be possible to separate. Put cyanoacrylate just in one, joint the pieces (you have 5 minutes to adjust) and once they are well situated, slightly spray the joint. I also screwed the union between ribs and external frame. And again I suggest you to use the Würth "ASSY PLUS" screws with a special drilling end that will not break the wood and you don't need to drill before screw, and half thread to push one piece to the other instead of separate them as it happens with normal screws.