Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Building a layout on a rotisserie

27908 views
645 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, July 18, 2020 9:59 PM

rrinker
 Yes, that will work. The toggle positions will not match, but the LEDs will indicate properly regardles of which toggle is used to change the Tortoise.

Hi Randy,

Yes, I realize that the toggles won't indicate turnout position. That's why I'm using two LEDs to indicate the available route. I know that is redundant, but I need things to be obvious so my wee brain doesn't get confused.

Using illuminated momentary push buttons would also probably confuse me because I would have to remember which route was the through route. I'm not real good at that sort of thing.

Thanks,

Dave

P.S.

Sorry about the 'induction coil'.Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh I took a couple of lines out of the diagram and forgot to straighten out the wire.

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, July 18, 2020 10:26 PM

Pivot locking pins in place:

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,735 posts
Posted by rrinker on Sunday, July 19, 2020 12:21 AM

 Looks good. They look plenty sturdy enough to keep it stable.

With the pushbuttons, one button would be on the diverging and one would be on the straight, whichever one you pushed is the way the train would go, regardless of which panel you did the pushing from. And the LEDs would still be there for indication of which direction was selected. Just another option, not trying to make you change at this point in the game.

                                   --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, July 19, 2020 12:30 AM

rrinker
With the pushbuttons, one button would be on the diverging and one would be on the straight, whichever one you pushed is the way the train would go, regardless of which panel you did the pushing from. And the LEDs would still be there for indication of which direction was selected. Just another option, not trying to make you change at this point in the game.

Hi again Randy,

Apparently I made some incorrect assumptions. The push buttons sound interesting. Can you suggest a source?

I'm always open to options, especially where they will make things simpler to operate. I thought I had all the panel LEDs and DPDT switches on order, but apparently all the crap with China has caused them to be cancelled. That puts me back at square one so all options are possible.

Thanks,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,735 posts
Posted by rrinker on Sunday, July 19, 2020 12:27 PM

 This one of Rob Paisley's circuits is the one I was thinking of:

http://www.circuitous.ca/556Stall08.html

You can't just crank up the power supply voltage to put all the LEDs in series with the Tortoise, but the circuit can drive 200ma, and as shown with 2.2k resistors, each LED set in parallel is about 5ma. Plus the Tortoise at 15ma (so you can easily put 2 Torti on one output for a crossover). 4 LED sets plus 2 Torti would be no more than 60ma, well within the rating of each output. Even 4 Torti for a double crossover would only make it 100ma, half the max rating.

 This does require DIY assembly - Rob hasn't updated the details on his older circuits, but he does list complete kits with the PCB and all parts. Each unit controls 4 - 4 sets of pushbuttons, so 4 individual turnouts and/or crossovers.

 With the recent rise of inexpensive PCB houses, a nicer board (with labels and solder mask) can be made more cheaply, even factoring in using express shipping. I'm not sure how well delivery to Canada works, I've done 4 different boards now and I get them less than a week from the time I submit the order, and there are no customs issues. I know some countries do run into issues with ordering from these Chinese PCB places and their shipper of choice (they use DHL - I've NEVER had a problem with them in the US). If you're wondering how you would get such a board - it's a simple circuit and it probably wouldn't take me more than an hour or so to generate it. And the company I use, JLCPCB, also itegrates with their supply arm, LCSC, so you can order the parts from them all in one order.  Only thing I've found is they have a somewhat limited choice of pushbuttons, so I had to order those from Mouser to get the ones with LEDs built in.

                                         --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, July 19, 2020 11:38 PM

rrinker
 This one of Rob Paisley's circuits is the one I was thinking of: http://www.circuitous.ca/556Stall08.html

Hi Randy,

I have studied the circuit and how it is installed. I have to admit that it is all a bit above my comfort level but I'm not going to give up just yet.

Can you show me the type of pushbutton that you used?

I have run into a snag with regard to the size and position of the control panels. If I line the tops of the control panels up with the top of the layout surface, the bottoms of the control panels stick down too far and interfere with how far the layout can be rotated. If I raise the control panel up far enough to allow full rotation, the tops will be about 4" above the level of the layout which I don't want.

My first solution will be to split the control panels in two. Currently the diagrams have the opposite side of the layout on the top and the near side on the bottom of the same panel. If I put the two sides beside each other the panels should be okay.

Another option would be to make the panels a lot smaller but things are already pretty close together as is.

Dave

Edit:

I split the panels in half and they will fit just fine.

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,735 posts
Posted by rrinker on Monday, July 20, 2020 8:11 AM

 These are the ones I used:

https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/E-Switch/LP1OA1AW?qs=0JU57JYmZjvtN8Jl842L%2FQ%3D%3D

(this specifically is a white LED, they come with red, green, yellow, and blue as well.). They are small, about the same size as the typical red and black button ones we used to get from Radio Shack and that Miniatronics sells. They are nothing special, just a momentary pushbutton with an LED inside, there are 4 connections, 2 for the switch contacts and 2 for the LED - no resistor or anything supplied. 

 I have to get some pictures of my little PCB I made to mount the buttons and conver to RJ45 connectors for easy hookup.

                                  --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 12:32 AM

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 2:27 AM

I did something tonight that I should have done a couple of weeks ago. I checked the actual dimensions and clearances on the layout compared to my drawings. It's a good thing I never became a structural engineer because the dimensions didn't match as I had hoped. When the benchwork is tilted the edge is about 2 1/4" closer to the floor than what I had anticipated. That means that the control panels and arm rests will hit the floor before the benchwork is fully rotated. I want to maintain the maximum rotation to make the bottom of the benchwork as accessible as possible so that means I have to raise the whole assembly by 2 1/4". I don't think that will make much of a difference in the reach in distances when the layout is level so I'm simply going to put 2 1/4" shims above the castors.

This is the first real complication that I have encountered so I don't think I'm doing too badly.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • From: 53° 33′ N, 10° 0′ E
  • 2,508 posts
Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 3:23 AM

I think you are doing a great job, Dave!

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 3:34 AM

Tinplate Toddler
I think you are doing a grat job, Dave!

Thank you Ulrich! I value your opinion.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Richmond, VA
  • 1,890 posts
Posted by carl425 on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 9:38 AM

hon30critter
I'm simply going to put 2 1/4" shims above the castors.

You could just get casters with larger diameter wheels.  Then it would look like you designed it that way from the start. Smile

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.

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,735 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 11:43 AM

 I like the way you think. Bigger wheels will be less likely to make nasty bumps if rolled across gaps like expansion joints in the slab.

                                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 11:17 PM

carl425
You could just get casters with larger diameter wheels.  Then it would look like you designed it that way from the start.

I hadn't thought of that possibility but upon examination it is a rather expensive option. The existing casters roll very smoothly on the 'not quite smooth' floor so that isn't an issue. I had to order longer bolts to fit through the shims needed for the existing casters but they were relatively cheap ($24.00 on line). I would have to go to 10" casters to get the needed increase in height, but they are roughly $50.00 each. The shims are already paid for. I have lots of scrap 3/4" pine.

I'm not worried about appearances! Any guests who are staring at the floor instead of the layout can leave!!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 12:57 AM

After much knashing of teeth and scratching my head, I have decided to not raise the layout. I did a test and the additional height pretty much negates being able to work on the layout from a seated position. The compromise of not raising the layout is that the layout will not be able to achieve its maximum rotation, but that really isn't a big issue. I will still be able to access the underside easily although it will be on a bit more of an angle. This lets me position the control panels and arm rests where I want them which is level with the top of the layout.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 9,243 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 1:53 AM

hon30critter
I did a test and the additional height pretty much negates being able to work on the layout from a seated position.

As always, a simple test is worth 1,000 theories and 10,000 opinnions.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 2:14 AM

SeeYou190
As always, a simple test is worth 1,000 theories and 10,000 opinions.

Hi Kevin!

Exactly right! Plus it saves me a whole lot of awkward work trying to fit the shims above the casters. I wasn't looking forward to that!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 2:24 AM

During my height test I laid a piece of the 2" pink foam on top of the benchwork. The additional height that it added caused me to question why I would use it at all. The main reason initially was to allow me to carve some depth into the layout for a couple of small water features and ditches. There are other ways to gain enough depth for the water features, and the HO scale cork roadbed will allow me to create the appearance of shallow ditches. The result is that I may reduce the depth of the foam in order to lower the layout a bit more.

Decisions, decisions!!!

Apparently there has just been a massive earthquake in Alaska.Grumpy

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 3:14 AM

Okay, based on the question I posed in my previous post, if I don't use 2" pink foam over 1/4" plywood, what thickness of plywood should I use if I'm only going to use 1/2" pink foam?

Thanks,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 4,094 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 5:54 AM

Good morning Dave.

You know, ... You need not to feel bad.  What you're doing constructing a great Idea and making that Idea come to life is the same as so many other construction projects.

As the old saying goes in construction.  "Hindsight is the best site"   Similar to when a good-looking woman walks by and your head turns.  You see what you didn't see before,  afterLaughSmile, Wink & Grin

I know you'll get things figured outYes

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Richmond, VA
  • 1,890 posts
Posted by carl425 on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 10:25 PM

hon30critter
I would have to go to 10" casters to get the needed increase in height

I understand this is no longer an issue, but I'm still curious to know why you think you need to upgrade to 10" casters to get 2.5" of additional height.  Are your existing casters 7.5"?  They don't look that big.

Another idea for you... it would be fairly easy to build a set of ramps along the lines of the type you use to change the oil in your car to get the layout up a few extra inches if you ever need to.  Just roll the casters up the ramps to the flat spot on top.

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.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 10:34 PM

carl425
I understand this is no longer an issue, but I'm still curious to know why you think you need to upgrade to 10" casters to get 2.5" of additional height.  Are your existing casters 7.5"?  They don't look that big.

Hi carl425,

Math was never one of my strong points so I probably have the numbers wrong, but my reasoning was that 10" casters have a radius of 5", and 5" casters have a radius of 2 1/2". Using larger casters would only raise the height by the difference in radii, not diameter.

Does that make sense?

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Richmond, VA
  • 1,890 posts
Posted by carl425 on Thursday, July 23, 2020 8:56 AM

hon30critter
Does that make sense?

Nope Smile.  In the case of the caster, the whole wheel is under the structure so you should use the diameter in your calculation.  Remember, you are moving the axle down by one radius as well to provide clearance at the top of the caster.  If you were just changing the wheels in the existing casters you would use the radius.

BTW, I'm enjoying following your progress.  You've created an interesting engineering puzzle.  Thanks for sharing.

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.

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,735 posts
Posted by rrinker on Thursday, July 23, 2020 10:00 AM

 Well, it DOES make sense, except for leaving out the part that the support for the caster ALSO has to get taller by the change in radius in order to clear the larger wheel. Big Smile  So 2 radii change, or change by the diameter. At least. The overall height of a 10" caster compared to a 5" might be even MORE than just the difference in wheel diameter, as the larger one is likely rated for heavier duty and has a heavier structure supporting the wheel.

 Sometimes, the math is simple, but the answer ain't. Laugh

                                               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 9,243 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, July 23, 2020 11:27 AM

When calculating height from casters, the measurement that matters is from the bottom of the wheel to the top of the mounting pad.

That measurement is not what is displayed in the store.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, July 23, 2020 9:03 PM

carl425
Nope .  In the case of the caster, the whole wheel is under the structure so you should use the diameter in your calculation.  Remember, you are moving the axle down by one radius as well to provide clearance at the top of the caster.  If you were just changing the wheels in the existing casters you would use the radius.

Hi carl425,

Okay, that makes better sense! Like I said, I'm not an engineer.

Anyhow, it's all academic. I'm going to stay with the existing casters and live with the loss of full rotation. The difference in the maximum rotation angle is about 17 degrees so it certainly doesn't negate the concept of having the layout rotate in order to get at the bottom.

Thanks for your interest!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, July 26, 2020 12:30 AM

I haven't worked on the layout for a couple of days. I have been trying to decide what steps to take next, and how to handle the wiring connections between the layout and the support frame.

As far as what steps to take, I'm trying to decide whether to install the bus wires before I put the 1/4" plywood on the benchwork. Doing the wiring now might be easier. Also, I'm trying to decide whether to drill holes in the framing for the wires or use cable hangers under the layout like RRMel did. (Mel, where did you get your hangers?). The hangers would be much faster if I can find the right ones.

Related to that is when to install the control panels. It might be easier to do the wiring without the plywood in place, and then mount the connector strips on the plywood afterwards.

Another design issue is where to mount the power bar for all the wall worts. It would be easy to mount it on the end supports, but running the wires to the layout while still allowing the layout to rotate would be a challenge. I'm inclined to mount everything below the benchwork including the power bar/surge protector and not bother with the end supports at all.

It's going to be too hot to work in the garage this week so I'm going to spend my time figuring out how to address the above situations, plus I need to decide on the depth of foam as I indicated in an earlier post. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 27, 2020 12:02 AM

hon30critter
Another design issue is where to mount the power bar for all the wall worts. It would be easy to mount it on the end supports, but running the wires to the layout while still allowing the layout to rotate would be a challenge. I'm inclined to mount everything below the benchwork including the power bar/surge protector and not bother with the end supports at all.

Further consideration of this issue has made me change my mind about where to mount the power supply and how to connect everything to the layout. If I mount the power supply under the layout it will be difficult to access when the layout is operating. If I mount it on the end supports access will be easy. So, I decided to see what sort of plug arrangements were available so I could have just one or two cables running from the wall worts in the power supply as well as the DCC connections. Here is what I came up with:

(Sorry, the DigiKey website won't allow me to view a full sized picture of the second plug)

I have ordered two sets. That will give me 24 connections between the end support and the layout which should be more than sufficent. The power capacity is well over anything that the plugs need to handle. I will make the cable bundles as short as possible to minimize any interference with the DCC signals. If possible, I will use one set of plugs for DCC and the other set for other power.

When I want to rotate the layout all I have to do is disconnect the plugs. If I need to have the power on to deal with things like Tortoise throw direction when the layout is rotated, I can always get a couple more plugs and make up a jumper.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 1,166 posts
Posted by snjroy on Monday, July 27, 2020 1:50 PM

Hi Dave. Here are two thoughts for your consideration: when I built my framework, I drilled holes every 8 inches in all the cross-beams for my wiring. I still had to drill a few extra holes, but the bulk was there when I installed my wires. 

Your dilemma about the powersource is an interesting one. Where will you put your actual DCC station? I would be tempted to install something at one of the ends where the table pivots, some kind of little station that would not move when turning the roast. Then you only need a few wires to plug/unplug to the layout. Maybe I am picturing your layout wrong...

Simon

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,735 posts
Posted by rrinker on Monday, July 27, 2020 4:51 PM

 Instead of worrying about wires moving and plugs, why not just put it all on the layout? You don;t have to reach under the layout to turn things on and off - you plug the power strip into one of these types of things:

 https://www.amazon.com/Century-Wireless-Electrical-Household-Appliances/dp/B07FK5SP9H/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=remote+control+wall+outlet&qid=1595886245&sr=8-8

ANd just turn the whoel layout on and off from the fob. There are others that use WiFi so you can control them from an app on your phone. I have a heavy duty outdoor version of this for turning all the lights and animations I set up for Halloween and Christmas on and off without even opening the front door. I had some leftover X10 modules I used on my previous layout so I could turn the whole layout on and off without crawling under. Also used one on a different channel for my workbench, so it shut off all my lights, soldering iron, Dremel, etc, without having to reach around on the flkoor for the power strip.

 Just tuck a power strip up under a corner (wire ties unless you have one with screw holes), maybe wire ties to hold in wall warts, run the cord to the center, plug in an extension cord, and use one of these devices at the wall outlet you plug the extension cord into. Single point on/off for the entire layout, and by running the power cord down to the center of the table, no cord draping all over the bottom of the layout as you rotate it to work on the underside.

                                --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!