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Building a new club layout - Update: Moving on after the club

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 12:29 AM

We built the framework for the first module tonight. It went together very smoothly and quickly. Everybody was happy to see things start to take shape.

Randy:

We decided to return the roadbed and track to Rapido. We are going to use 3/4" plywood as a base, with 1/2" of Homasote on top of that, and then HO scale cork roadbed. We did discuss using the Rapido roadbed in the manner that you suggested but we are concerned that it might crush too easily when people are driving track nails. We are going to have a bunch of different people laying track so we want to eliminate as many potential problems as we can.

Dave

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 10:24 AM

hon30critter

We built the framework for the first module tonight. It went together very smoothly and quickly. Everybody was happy to see things start to take shape.

Randy:

We decided to return the roadbed and track to Rapido. We are going to use 3/4" plywood as a base, with 1/2" of Homasote on top of that, and then HO scale cork roadbed. We did discuss using the Rapido roadbed in the manner that you suggested but we are concerned that it might crush too easily when people are driving track nails. We are going to have a bunch of different people laying track so we want to eliminate as many potential problems as we can.

Dave

 

why aren't you using caulk to secure the track, much safer and eisier to undo if a mistake is made.

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 8:30 PM

rrebell
why aren't you using caulk to secure the track, much safer and eisier to undo if a mistake is made.

We thought that the track nails would be easier to adjust. We will have a number of different people laying track, some more experienced than others, so no doubt there will have to be corrections made to eliminate kinks etc. I guess you are suggesting that the track nails will be hard to pull. If we leave the heads up a bit then I believe that we will be able to pull them with side cutters. Once the ballast is glued down we would have the choice of setting them all the way down or removing them. Does that make sense?

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, October 5, 2017 6:59 AM

 I would suggest you instrcut the less experienced peoople to do just that, leave the heads up. Common beginner mistake when nailing track is to drive it in too hard, crushing the tie and narrowing the rail gauge. Have them leave the nails not fully seated, and allow oneof the more experienced people to confirm the alignment and seat the nails. That way more people can be involved without it resulting in a lot of redoing. As they gain experience, they can move to the finish gang.

                          --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, October 5, 2017 7:38 AM

I use nails to secure track to the plywood surface. But I drill pilot holes with a pin vise. And, I stop short of nailing into the ties. As a last step, I use a nail punch to carefully finish the nailing.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, October 5, 2017 8:26 PM

rrinker
I would suggest you instrcut the less experienced peoople to do just that, leave the heads up. Common beginner mistake when nailing track is to drive it in too hard, crushing the tie and narrowing the rail gauge.

That is the plan.

Thanks Randy

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 8, 2017 11:21 PM

(This post might be better off in the DCC and Electronics section, but since it mainly concerns the club's forward progress I will leave it here. If neccessary, I will start a second thread on the electronic details in the DCC section.)

Tonight I started to delve into the electronics, specifically yard ladder turnout control. Why not start with something simple and straight forward eh?Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughBang HeadHmm

A few weeks ago I found an article about using rotary switches and a few diodes to control yard routes. It was in the August 2011 issue of MR. Somebody in the forums was discussing the issue but I can't remember who so I can't give proper credit where due.

The article explains how to create a truth table to identify the connections and diode locations. All that is required will be the rotary switches and diodes, and likely some LEDs for route identification. There are more complicated solutions offered in the article but they involve adding additional SPDT switches which to me just makes the route selection process more complicated.

Some of you will ask why we are not going to go with stationary decoders and the reasons are pretty straight forward. The first is cost. One of our members has a pile of NOS rotary switches which he will donate, and diodes cost about 10 cents each. Stationary decoders cost .... let's just say a lot more.

The second reason is simplicity of operation. Nobody will have to look up turnout or route addresses. You want track #5, so turn the rotary switch to track #5. Done!

I have discovered that several of our members are not well experienced with DCC. In fact, a few of them need a bit of help just getting their locomotive addresses programmed into their throttles. Why on earth would we add more complexity to the layout operation by going to DCC turnout control when it would simply alienate some members of the club. However, just so you know, if and when we (my buddy Henk and I) get elected to the Executive one of the things we plan on doing is setting up DCC classes so our members will have the opportunity to learn how to really use the system. We can always install DCC stationary decoders down the road. By the way, I'll be in the classes, not teaching them.

Tuesday is the big night for the election. So far nobody else has put their name forward so I guess we are in.Tongue Tied

Cheers everybody!

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, October 9, 2017 7:47 AM

 I would not use a stationary decoder method that did not also have local buttons that you press - dialing up a turnout address is a pain in the behind no matter what DCC system you use. The stationary decoder advantage comes when you add dispatcher control later on.

 The rotary switch track selection is simple enough - as long as you don;t have more tracks than positions on the switches being used. Then you have to somehow indicate that the last position on the first switch points to the second switch which is used to select higher number tracks. As for diodes, as long as you stick with Tortoises and don;t go for any of those higher current alternatives like Cobalt, the little glass diodes you can get in packs of 100 for $3 are sufficient for the task, so if the rotary switches are free (not cheap if you had to buy them) then the only real cost is the Tortoises. If the rotary switches have more than one deck, you cna just tie indicator LEDs to the second deck, but if you want true indication that the Tortoises have moved, you will need to run wires through the various Tortoise contacts to control the LEDs. Just one pair, to the contact that is closed when a particular track is selected, unless you want unselected tracks one color and the selected track another. Red/green LEDS (not to be confused with the duct tape fan) could be confusing for anyone who is colorblind.

                                     --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, October 9, 2017 11:35 PM

rrinker
Red/green LEDS (not to be confused with the duct tape fan)

LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh

Randy - I wonder how many will get the reference. Red Green was a truly significant Canadian comic! He ranks up there with Mike Myers IMHO. A close friend of mine worked on the Red Green show for many years as a promoter. He sold replays of the series all over the world.

Thanks for the humour!

The plans that I have for yard ladder control do require rotary switches with two decks. The ones I have seen on eBay actually aren't that expensive. We need one 6 position double deck switch for each end of the yard. The other place that I am considering using a rotary switch is in the service area, but it would require 9 positions to do the whole thing. If we can't find the proper switch it really isn't a big deal.

Dave

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Posted by Old Fat Robert on Monday, October 9, 2017 11:38 PM

Dave: I get the reference. I even have plans for Port Asbestos on my current layout.

Old Fat Robert

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, October 9, 2017 11:40 PM

Old Fat Robert
Dave: I get the reference. I even have plans for Port Asbestos on my current layout.

LaughLaughLaughThumbs Up

Just don't use the real thing for your scenery!

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:00 AM

rrinker
would not use a stationary decoder method that did not also have local buttons that you press - dialing up a turnout address is a pain in the behind no matter what DCC system you use. The stationary decoder advantage comes when you add dispatcher control later on.

Good point!

I would like to have Tortoises on every turnout precisely so we can set up a Dispatcher system down the road. I think some of the members who are questioning the need for remote control of every turnout may be too used to just running trains around and around. Getting the club into operations will probably take some time, but we do need to have the layout set up properly for that if and when it happens.

That may preclude the use of manual rotary switches down the road, but I can't see any reason why we can't start out with them.

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 7:19 AM

 I'm just glad someone got it at all, since I tried to not make it super obvious and "duct tape fan" was the first thing I could come up with. They used to show it here on some of the more obscure channels, usually late at night, used to watch it all the time.

  I'm still mad at you guys for keeping Rush and sending us Celine Dione. Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh 

 If it weren;t foor the free switches, I'd suggest maybe Switch-8's and pushbuttons with a diode matrix to have 1 button per yard track, push the track you want to use. No one would have to know that oh yeah, you can call up accessory 401 for yard track 1. That capability would lay in wait for when people wanted to do it. Such a solution wouldn't really cost any more than rotary switches - IF you had to buy them. 

                                          --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 2:54 PM

Randy,

Who makes Switch-8s?

Any idea where I could find the diode matrix wiring plan?

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 3:08 PM

NCE.

It would be appoximately the same as a diode matrix for twin coil. You need to add the Button Board to the Switch-8 to get the button inputs. FOr each output of the Switch 8, there are 2 button connections ont eh button board, 1N,1R, 2N,2R, etc. This would be wired through a momentary pushbutton and a diode matrix exactly the same as you would wire a diode matrix for twin coil switch motors  even the connection references (1N, 1R, etc) are the same as those shown on setups for diode matrix routing. 

                                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 12:19 AM

Thanks Randy.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 12:31 AM

I got acclaimed as the Vice President of the club Tuesday night!

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 7:08 AM

 Awesome!

 

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 10:43 PM

Just a short update on the layout progress:

Tonight we put up the two corner sections of the layout benchwork. Whoopie, except something didn't look quite right. The President put a tape measure across the gap between the two corner sections. It should have been 108". It was 156".

You guessed it! The crowd of guys who eagerly dove right into installing the two corners didn't bother to check the plans before screwing them into the walls. Both sections were put in backwards. I'll say that again. Our Keystone Cops crew managed to get two out of two sections wrong!!

I will add that the concrete walls were brutally hard. The Tapcon bits would barely put a dint in the walls and the bits burned out quickly. Since it took forever to drill into the concrete we didn't manage to get the holes deep enough for the length of the original screws that we had. We managed to find a few shorter screws, but then there were the two guys who were a little too heavy on the throttle when screwing the Tapcons in and managed to break two of them off.Bang Head I think I said "...let's just use construction adhesive instead..." about a dozen times before the rest agreed. We will still have to do some drilling and screwing to hold the frames in place while the adhesive sets.

What a comedy of errors! All we could do was laugh. Some of the guys said "...well at least we got two corners in...". I said "No, we got four corners in, two correctly and two not!".

Please wish us better luck in the future. If this continues we will be laying turnouts upside down.Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Like I said, Keystone Cops!

Dave

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 11:24 PM

hon30critter

What a comedy of errors! All we could do was laugh. Some of the guys said "...well at least we got two corners in...". I said "No, we got four corners in, two correctly and two not!".

Please wish us better luck in the future. If this continues we will be laying turnouts upside down.Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Like I said, Keystone Cops!

Dave

Good luck.

No other comments at this time, but all that is missing is a rinky-dink piano . . . MusicMusic deedle-le-deedle-le-deet MusicMusic

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 11:29 PM

ROBERT PETRICK
No other comments at this time, but all that is missing is a rinky-dink piano . . .  deedle-le-deedle-le-deet 

Right! We should have filmed our efforts using an old fashioned hand crank movie camera like they used in the days of silent films.LaughLaughLaugh

Dave

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Posted by carl425 on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 8:34 AM

hon30critter
I will add that the concrete walls were brutally hard. The Tapcon bits would barely put a dint in the walls and the bits burned out quickly.

You need one of these:

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 8:49 AM

You could have just put legs on the backside.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 9:57 AM

 I've always intended to do a time lapse of setting up the club modular layout, then speeding it up and adding Yakkety Sax...

 I'd laugh more if I hadn;t some something similar myself, building oen fo the sections on my old layout upside down. Rememebred it while tearing it all down for disposal last weekend, one module had a rail that has extra holes drilled in it and dried glue where nothign was attached. Oh yeah, that was the piece that had been on the other edge, making it upside down. I did figure it out BEFORE the glue dried so I was able to take it apart and fix it easily enough.

                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 4:04 AM

More progress, and this time without the Keystone Cops antics! (or at least almost!)

We got two more sections of the benchwork framing built and installed with only one board being short by about 3/8". My bad!

However, that wasn't the Keystone Cops part. We have been building the framework sections on a couple of saw horses with a piece of heavy particle board on the top for a working surface. The particle board was only about 3' wide so it didn't provide the best support. Never the less we coped. Tonight one of our more astute members noticed that we had 10 sheets of 4' x 8' x 3/4" plywood leaning against a wall waiting to be cut into sub roadbed shapes. He realized that the 4' x 8' sheets of plywood would provide a much better working surface than the rather narrow piece of particle board! What a brilliant deduction! How astute of him to notice something that had completely escaped all of the other members!

Like I said, Keystone Cops!!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaughLaugh

Oh, by the way, we solved the concrete drilling problem. We had been using a new package of Tapcon screws with the supplied drill bit. The carbide tip was of such poor quality that we smoked it almost immediately. Tonight I brought in an old Tapcon bit which had a noticably more substantial piece of carbide steel in the tip. It worked much better. It still required a lot of effort to drill into the concrete but at least it didn't just sit there and spin like the newer bit did.

I'll probably get in trouble for saying this, but I'll bet money that the new Tapcon bit was not made in North America and the old one was. Lower prices are great! Lower quality, not so much.

Cheers guys!!

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 12:19 AM

carl425
carl425 wrote the following post 20 days ago: hon30critter I will add that the concrete walls were brutally hard. The Tapcon bits would barely put a dint in the walls and the bits burned out quickly. You need one of these:

A little update on the concrete drilling:

Once we put a decent bit in the drill we had no problems. It did help to put two guys on the drill at once so we were really pushing it into the wall.

On Tuesday night we actually managed to cut the first two sheets of plywood and Homasote! We were worried about the sawdust that would be created, but we found those concerns to be unfounded. We used Bosch jig saw blades that are ground to a taper instead of having the teeth 'set' in the traditional manner. The cutting was fast and the saw dust was minimal, even from the Homasote! 

I believe that this is the blade that we used. I'll confirm in a couple of days when I can get back to the club:

https://www.boschtools.com/us/en/boschtools-ocs/t-shank-jig-saw-blades-for-wood-t308bp-43107-p/

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, November 12, 2017 1:57 AM

Now that the majority of the 'around the wall' benchwork has been installed, I have been able to compare the actual dimensions to my plans. I am proud to say that we have built the benchwork framing to within 1/8" of the plans or less.Big SmileBowThumbs UpThumbs Up.

I have spent many hours over the last couple of days re-drawing the various cookie cutter drawings for the sub roadbed and the Homasote. My first drawings were approximate at best, so I have now managed to render much more accurate drawings which we can actually use to cut the plywood (at least I hope that they are accurate!).

On another front, we are in the thick of discussing a multitude of issues ranging fron wire gauge for the main bus to how the turnouts will be controlled. I won't bore you with all the details. However, one of our more electronically savy members did identify the fact that my really spectacular layout plan (my words - not theirs) had a major flaw with regards to creating a functional reverse loop on one side of the track. Suffice it to say that we had to make a couple of modifications to the plan, but the changes actually made for a better, simpler track plan so all is good!

Bottom line is that I am having a blast!! I am back to doing something really creative and rewarding bigtime!! Happy happy!!

Cheers all!

Dave

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Posted by Marc_Magnus on Sunday, November 12, 2017 6:40 AM

If you go for a future portable layout use lightweight products.

For hardshell, no more plaster, but gave a try to red rosin paper hardshell, light, cheap, a roll cover acres of terrain.

For turnout handlaid them or use a system like FASTRACK, it's worth well the investissement if you need a lot of turnouts.

Use servos in place of Tortoise, to move points of turnouts, cheaper and with Arduino hardware and JMRI the possibility of automation is endless.

Again servos and Arduino for any animating device on your layout.

See my post on "general discussion forum" of a new use of Kadee permanent magnet, it's so simple (not because it's my idea buti t's really is).

Use DCC for locomotives control or even better RAIL LYNKS the future of DCC.

Use gator foam and foam board everywhere it's versatile and lightweight too.

My list is long but these basis choice could be helpful I strongly beleive.

Congratulations to start a so big project anyway.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Sunday, November 12, 2017 8:19 AM

Hey Dave -

I try to keep up with the progress.

Have you posted the latest track plan? The one y'all are working to? And the framing and benchwork plan as well? Drawings. Some of us like lots of drawings. Photos too.

Good to see you're making progress.

Robert 

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, November 13, 2017 4:13 AM

ROBERT PETRICK
Have you posted the latest track plan?

I haven't posted the track plan for a while so I will post it again soon. I just have to remember how to do it!

Dave

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