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

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:54 PM
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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:25 PM

I watched one of the videos in the link I posted, and it was a demo of changing colors of an led by adjusting screws on his shield, but not useful for our purposes.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:18 PM

BigDaddy
That takes me to my own yahoo email.

Ooops,

I'll try and find a better link. I'm not recommending the particular starter kit that they offer, but the tutorials are excellent.

Edit: Try this:

https://exclusive.drduino.com/MRR-Offer

Dave

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, February 20, 2020 7:51 AM

hon30critter

Dave That takes me to my own yahoo email.

There are a couple videos here 

Then there is someone named drduino who has videos on hematology speaking in one of the numerous languages of India  Big SmileBig Smile

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 20, 2020 7:41 AM

 There are numerous 'starter kits' for Arduino. Note that all of the basic designs they present are from sketches (programs) that are part of the Arduion development environment you install, and the circuit diagrams for building them on a breadboard are all freely available on the Arduino site. 

 Most of the kits are the same - they have an Arduino, a breadboard, and a bunch of part, plus connecting wires. They mostly differ on how many parts they containt - not just discrete parts like resistors and LEDs, but sensors like temp sensors, humidity sensors, and things like buttons and joysticks. I just looked at what was available on Amazon and compared which one seemed to give the most variety of stuff for the price. Mine might not have actually come with the Arduino, I may have gotten that separately. Or the added price to include one wa more than someone else was selling it for. I ended up with at least one other kit, a smaller one that came with lots of LEDs and a couple of interesting ICs.

 I built the first couple of simple circuits, and then kind of went off and did my own thing. The canned circuits are good for learning the environment, and how the various libraries work. You can then find examples of interesting circuits to build which you will need to order specific parts for - to see how it worked, I got some wireless modules and built a temperature and humidity sensor that connected to wifi, and I could go to a web site and see the readings. I was just copying instructions for that one. A better way would be a more recent one I saw using two Arduinos, one with the sensors sending the data and one with a display receiving and displaying the results, no internet required.

 After that I was pretty comfortable with the environment and went off completely on my own and worked on my turnout controller. But I came into it understanding the electronic components, the only thing really new to me was the Arduino language syntax for accessing the data pins.

                                     --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 riogrande5761 on Thursday, February 20, 2020 6:16 AM

hon30critter
Not long ago MR offered an Arduino starter kit. Arduino starter kits are all over the market, but this offer came with something else that I think will unlock the secrets of Arduino for everyone who is interested. It is called 'Dr Duino' and it is a free online series of videos that put Arduinos in plain language. So far, after only viewing the first four videos, my understanding of Arduino has increased tenfold. I can't believe that the lessons are free. Here is the link: https://mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/4/messages/AIKJmjJX837IXkU7xgnPuO2f9ss The first page is a sales offer for the starter kit. I'm not sure if you have to buy a kit to get to the Dr. Duino lessons. I did buy the kit. Dave

The link didn't seem to go to anything about Aduino, it played commericals and something a story about a data breach.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 11:11 PM

davidmurray
I agree that not going back would be the best thing for you for the next couple of years.  Nothing will have changed, except you will not be president.  This is not enought IMO to end the stress you suffered.

Hi Dave,

Thank you for your support and advice. The more I think about what was going on at the club, the more I realize that I really wasn't enjoying things all that much. Like Randy said, I was constantly herding cats.

In addition to working on my own layout, I have discovered (more acurately, rediscovered) an interest in Arduino. Not long ago MR offered an Arduino starter kit. Arduino starter kits are all over the market, but this offer came with something else that I think will unlock the secrets of Arduino for everyone who is interested. It is called 'Dr Duino' and it is a free online series of videos that put Arduinos in plain language. So far, after only viewing the first four videos, my understanding of Arduino has increased tenfold. I can't believe that the lessons are free. Here is the link:

https://mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/4/messages/AIKJmjJX837IXkU7xgnPuO2f9ss

Corrected link:

https://exclusive.drduino.com/MRR-Offer

The first page is a sales offer for the starter kit. I'm not sure if you have to buy a kit to get to the Dr. Duino lessons. I did buy the kit.

Dave

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Posted by davidmurray on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 4:05 PM

hon30critter
The interaction with the club member whom I deeply respect has given me pause to think about my decision to leave the club, but I have decided that I won't go back anytime soon, if ever.

hon30critter
The interaction with the club member whom I deeply respect has given me pause to think about my decision to leave the club, but I have decided that I won't go back anytime soon, if ever.

Dave:

I agree that not going back would be the best thing for you for the next couple of years.  Nothing will have changed, except you will not be president.  This is not enought IMO to end the stress you suffered.

Dave

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 10:08 AM

 IMO, you probably need to stay away, if only for your sanity. Sure, MOST of the members were friendly and wlecoming, fairly low stress (though sometimes it seemed you were herding cats), but unfortunately that one person that took away all the joy you got from the rest and then some also remains there and unless they've someone completely changed their personality, will still be doing the same sort of thing.

 Keeping in touch is a greta idea though, I'm sure not a few miss your input and are wondering why Dave doesn;t show up any more, and if you keep in touch with the more positive members, change may happen. At least it keeps the door open, versus just completely walking away. It's a shame human nature is such as it is, and a couple have to take the political aspect to extremes and cause issues for other. 

 I'm about to head to work to have a 'discussion' with one of the PMs on my next project about what she calls a 'template' which provides no example of what I'm supposedly filling out, just two columns in a spreadsheet, and one of them if for the client to check off. I think it's supposed to be a way to request what access I need to do my job - in which case, at a minimum it should have columns for who's requesting, what system they need access to, what level of access they require, and a short explanation. That, to me, is the way you present a customer with a list of access requirements to their systems. But what do I know, I've only been doing this stuff for 36 years. It's all internal politics. This is the way our newly acquired group did things, and like all our previous acquisitions, they come in thinking they acquired us.

                                 --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 snjroy on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 8:18 AM

Dave, I live near Ottawa and I could not imagine having a layout in an unheated garage. The track would shrink and expand big time. At the very least, I would not permanently lay the track. Is it that warm in Southern Ontario??

Simon

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 3:00 AM

The club had its 50th annual show last weekend. By all accounts it was a great success. One of the members of the club Executive took the time to tell me how well the show went and to thank me for all the work that I had done during the planning stages before I left the club. I am gratefull that he chose to keep me informed.

The interaction with the club member whom I deeply respect has given me pause to think about my decision to leave the club, but I have decided that I won't go back anytime soon, if ever.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, February 13, 2020 7:32 AM

Tinplate Toddler
Dave - when MR published the Beerline series, I was very much intrigued by the flexibilty of the layout with its possibility to be configured in various ways. Ech module (or segment) measured only 2´b 4´, using a rather lightweight method of construction. I think even with the impediments we share, those modules are easier to build and handle than what you are right now aiming for.

Hi Ulrich,

I had forgotten about the modular aspect of the Beer Line. Being able to rearrange the layout sounds interesting but I don't want to get into the possible complications that modules might create.

My old club's 6' x 12' portable layout is divided into nine - 2' x 4' modules that sit on three folding tables. The modules are light enough that one person can lift them, but it is always done with two people because the modules are more awkward than they are heavy. Even if they were half the weight they would still put a strain on my back because I would have to lean over to get my hands onto the middle of the module. That isn't going to work. I have tried it at the club.

I'm also not in favour of using modules based on the club's experience with the portable layout. The club has constant problems with alignment and the layout seems to be under constant repair to try to address those issues. By nature, a lot of the track going from one module to the next is on curves. Those gaps are a never ending source of problems.

The portable layout also does not like temperature changes. My layout will be in an insulated but unheated garage. The temperature rarely drops below freezing and it doesn't get extremely hot in the summer, but the temperature swing is far greater than what the portable layout experiences when it is set up. The club has regularly experienced an increase in derailments even when the temperature has only gone up by a few degrees. A single piece frame would be much more stable.

As far as how difficult the rotating benchwork would be to construct, I really don't see it as a problem. There are swivel plates that are designed to carry a lot of weight. They might not work perfectly smoothly on their sides but they won't be rotated very often:

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/richelieu-square-steel-swivel-plate-6-in-x-6-in-500-lbs-227-kg-zinc/1000401601?rec=true

If those won't work then maybe just a couple of pieces of iron pipe with a flange on one end to stabilize them:

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/aqua-dynamic-fitting-black-iron-floor-flange-3-4-inch/1000126395

The rest is no different than building benchwork using 1x4s or 1x6s. I'll have to figure out how to keep the end supports parallel to each other. I have some ideas.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, February 13, 2020 6:37 AM

maxman
I hope that you know I was not really making fun of Dave.  You did look at the link, correct?

Yes, I knew you were joking! Igor's back pain apparently isn't as bad as mine. I could never move that fast, regardless of who I was chasing!

Dave

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, February 13, 2020 6:18 AM

Back pain is no joke and it's not just for older people.  I injured my back around age 29 and was bed-ridden for some time.  After that I re-injured it over and over it really crippled me at times over the years following.  I've talked to a number of people who had serious back issues at young ages too.

About 15 years ago I had a job mostly in the field overseeing oil well plugging operatoins and sometimes I was in the office bent over looking at oil well maps.  Man, that would often make my back hurt and I'd have to be careful not to strain it to the point of re-injuring my self.

When I hurt my back while in college at age 29, the doctor told me he thought it was happening because the muscles were too tight and I needed to stretch regularly to help prevent strain and re-injury.  I did find if I did those stretching exercises, it did help.  Over the  years things have improved, but I still need to be careful to pace myself.  Now that I'm building benchwork for a sizable layout, there are times I find at the end of several hours of bending over on the floor drilling counter sinks, pilot holes and screwing together pieces, it catches up to me and I need to take a break.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, February 13, 2020 3:16 AM

Back pain is one of the reasons I had to quit being an active model railroader. Like Dave, I cannot stand up more than a couple of minutes before my back starts yelling insults at me. Bending down is also impossible. My back issues come from a bad car accident 40 years ago. While not present at first, they have slowly developed over the past 10 - 15 years to today´s level.

I may go back to building N scale mini-modules again. I can build the "benchwork" comfortably sitting at my desk. As I am using Kato Unitrack for the modules, wiring is no issue at all.

Dave - when MR published the Beerline series, I was very much intrigued by the flexibilty of the layout with its possibility to be configured in various ways. Ech module (or segment) measured only 2´b 4´, using a rather lightweight method of construction. I think even with the impediments we share, those modules are easier to build and handle than what you are right now aiming for.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, February 13, 2020 12:53 AM

davidmurray

I have only met Dave once.  His back pain is severe.  It may or may not get better.

Old age hits some people earlier than others.

 

 

I hope that you know I was not really making fun of Dave.  You did look at the link, correct?

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 8:48 PM

I feel your pain, luckly my back pain went away after a few years of sleepng on a wood floor. You could run the buss in a trough on the front of the layout and run wire burried in the foam, no need to go under the layout then.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 5:28 PM

 OK. The sections I was envisioning would be 10 pounds or less, at a guess. No legs, the heavy support part would remain fixed in place. But I wasn't aware of just how severe your back issues are.

 However, in that space, instead of a big solid layout, you could probably get even more run length by doing it as a narrow shelf that isn't just a big square donut. Set at a height that is reachable from a chair, if you can get to both sides you could work across both sides of any part of it while remaining seated. 

                              --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, February 12, 2020 5:12 PM

snjroy
If I were you, I would ask some guys to install some metal supports and build a really simple, point-to-point shelf layout. No scenery - just a nice commercial background, trackwork and foam.

I would really like to have continuous running. Strictly point to point doesn't interest me very much. There will be plenty of opportunities for switching with the Beer Line concept, and I will be able to watch trains go round and round all I want. If I grow tired of that then I'll just have to design another layout.

I will consider adding in some HOn30 track. That will probably be point to point. Most of my critters are HO.

snjroy
I see a lot of leaning happening if this is going to be a 60 inch wide layout.

There will definitely be some leaning, but only when I have to do scenery down the center of the layout. If you study the plan, there is almost no track that is more than 20" from the edge of the layout. If I have the pivot point 34" above the floor the layout will be able to rotate 360 degrees. At that height I can comfortably reach in 26" from either side while sitting. That will leave a 12" swath up the middle that will have to be dealt with either from a standing position, or built off layout and dropped in, but it will be all scenery.

Please keep the comments coming. All of the points that you are making have made me pause and think some more about whether or not this can work. So far, everything seems to be easy to address. I have a reasonable amount of woodworking experience so actually building the frames shouldn't be a problem. As I said, I will need help with some of the assembly.

Dave

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Posted by davidmurray on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 4:37 PM

I have only met Dave once.  His back pain is severe.  It may or may not get better.

Old age hits some people earlier than others.

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 4:34 PM

maxman
I think you complain too much.  Your back certainly can't be as bad as Igor's, and he didn't seem to have any trouble handling a couple of heavily packed bags. See:  https://youtu.be/SrAs4xnFOZc

LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh

Dave

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 4:22 PM

hon30critter
I don't think that you grasp the severity of my back issues. To try and put my back problems into perspective, I can barely carry a couple of lightly packed grocery bags from the car to the kitchen.

I think you complain too much.  Your back certainly can't be as bad as Igor's, and he didn't seem to have any trouble handling a couple of heavily packed bags.

See:  https://youtu.be/SrAs4xnFOZc

 

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 4:09 PM

The rotisserie build seems complicated to me... I tend to agree with the others: the only reason why you would go underneath would be for the electricals. Just keep everything on top. If you are running DCC, or not installing any complicated blocks, just run the wires on top and hide them with something. On the other hand, I see a lot of leaning happening if this is going to be a 60 inch wide layout.

If I were you, I would ask some guys to install some metal supports and build a really simple, point-to-point shelf layout. No scenery - just a nice commercial background, trackwork and foam. An HO line, and an HOn30 line next to it. Ok, so add a few background buildings here and there, but keep it simple. That will allow you to concentrate on building neat little critters and kits and watch them run. And when your back gets better (it happens you know), then build two return loops. That's my plan when we move out of the house when I hit a certain age...

Simon 

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 3:12 PM

Geesh! You guys really don't want me to build this thing do you?!?Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Seriously, I very much appreciate all of your suggestions, but I don't think that you grasp the severity of my back issues. To try and put my back problems into perspective, I can barely carry a couple of lightly packed grocery bags from the car to the kitchen. That might be 25' and six stairs. By the time I get all the groceries into the house I have to sit down for several minutes until the pain stops. I can't get the garbage to the curb without having to lean on the garbage cans until my back stops hurting. The driveway is 42' long. Every time I try to carry anything that weighs more than a couple of lbs. my back hurts. If I push myself like I did last weekend I will be in constant pain for a day or two. Either that or I will be doped up on pain killers. What you consider to be a light and easy lift is a painful challenge for me.

Therefore, I am trying desperately to avoid doing any lifting at all. The rotisserie allows me to do that. The parts are readily available. I can get help with the initial assembly. After that all I will have to do is pull a couple of locking pins, tilt the layout to where I want it, reinsert the pins, sit down comfortably and go to work. If the layout is set at the right height, half of the benchwork (lengthwise) will be at shoulder level when it is tilted onto one side. The other half will be either too high or too low to reach comfortably. (Probably too low - I haven't decided on a layout height yet but I'm inclined to go low so I can sit in a chair to operate it). All I will have to do to wire the other half is rotate the benchwork 180 degrees.

Randy - there will be lots of clearance on all sides. I have half of a 2 1/2 car garage to work with.

Thanks for your input!

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 12:54 PM

 Would you have clearnace on all sides - I only ask this because you could probably do away with the rotisserie if you can - by building it low enough to sit in a rolling chair. Wiring along the fascia edge, so no need to crawl under. Or then it could be built in sections which can be light weight enough to easily handle, sitting at a workbench and flipped over or tilted up to get to the underside if needed. Some more sturdy benchwork to hold each section, which is where you might need some help, but once that was in place, each section can be something you can handle easily. Once set in place, final connecting and operating would all be done from a sitting position.

                                    --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, February 12, 2020 12:00 PM

rrebell
what if your legs were wider, maybe a foot. then you could have stabillity.

The drawing is just a rough concept. Nothing was measured to scale, so what size lumber I will use hasn't been decided yet. I also haven't included any cross bracing at this point, but obviously there will need to be some.

rrebell
if you build a 1x4 frame and use 2"  foam, even you can lift it into a table to do the underside.

My point with the rotisserie was to never have to lift it, other than once during initial assembly. It also eliminates the need for a table large enough to be able to support a 5' x 12' frame, or for saw horses. I also have to be able to sit to work on it. That is a given. I can't stand for more than a few minutes without experiencing pain. I can sit for hours.

Dave

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 10:10 AM

Have an idea, what if your legs were wider, maybe a foot. then you could have stabillity. Could use quick connects for power and either a permanent track or temp. track inbetween. But in reallity unless you need an over and under, if you build a 1x4 frame and use 2"  foam, even you can lift it into a table to do the underside. I could lift my 2'x4' modules with one finger. You could use Posi-taps or other electrical conectors between modules.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 5:30 PM

Here is the first attempt at a track plan. If it looks familiar it is because it is a close copy of the Beer Line:

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 5:05 PM

Here is a rough drawing of how the rotisserie would work:

The layout can be positioned right side up, upside down, on its side or any position in between. When it is on its side I can sit in a chair and do almost everything on the top or bottom except for some parts of the scenery process. I would probably lay track with the layout the right side up just to get a proper perspective.

Dave

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