"Westcroft". A computer controlled layout.

Post pictures and information about your own personal model railway layout that is under construction. Keep members up-to-date with what you are doing and discuss problems that you are having.
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DaiStation
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:57 pm

Postby DaiStation » Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:29 pm

sp4rky wrote:Yeah, that's the basic theory :)

you start needing a pretty powerful supply if you change too many points at once afaik. If you could find a way of changing them all in sequence from 1 button press then you'd only need a little power supply.


Gaugemaster (and others) sell CDUs - capacitor discharge units - which do exactly what you'd expect given the name: charge up then release a big lump of current when you throw the switch. Mine claims to be able to throw six points motors in one shot although I suspect that's a bit optimistic.

sp4rky
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:05 pm

Postby sp4rky » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:03 pm

I tiny weeny update...

I have just spent all day making this:
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Turns out, I can't solder for sh*t.

Oh well.

I've got me a little board to attach all the Capacitors and Diodes to:
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Then I went to play with some of my trains:
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And when I turned back, somebody had eaten my mouse!
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Well, it turned out she was only sitting on it. She seems a bit calmer than some of the cats I've seen on the forums here :)


Hopefully, by tomorrow I'll have all my points wired up in fairly decent way.

sp4rky
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:05 pm

Postby sp4rky » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:09 pm

I forgot to mention... The way the points were wired up before was with 2 switches controlling 1 point. Those switches are £15 a go, making £30 per point.

The new way, using the capacitors and a different switch means I now need just 1 switch to control 2 points (the reverse of before). This new setup costs about £8 per point.

I make that a saving of almost 75%. I'll take that :)

sp4rky
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:05 pm

Postby sp4rky » Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:20 pm

Today I got bored of trying to wire things up and the software part of the computer control is pretty much sorted now so I decided to think about a baseboard.

I was just about to take down my wardrobes ready for moving house when it hit me... My layout can be a maximum of 190cm x 100cm and the wardrobe sides are 180cm x 50cm.

The wardrobe:
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Becomes a baseboard:
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It's not very well made, I'll have to pop to B&Q next weekend to pickup something to make it a bit more solid.


I have now assembled some track (just to test it out). The inside curve on the right is a 1st radius and the 37 can get round it no problem.

Image


The plan for next weekend is to get some cork boards (or similar) and lay that under the track and make the base a bit sturdier :)

sp4rky
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:05 pm

Postby sp4rky » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:38 am

It seems I missed a few bits from the post above...

I used to wardrobe sides to make a baseboard:
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I bought some softwood from B&Q to make a frame for the board to sit on (no pics of that at the moment unfortunately).


After throwing a bit of track on top I got a bit carried away and wired most of it up:
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Due to the small space available I've had to use some 1st radius curves, but none of my loco stock has any problem getting round them (thankfully).


I was about to start putting a cork underlay down on the board when I remembered seeing a few people round here have just put the cork directly under the track whereas others have just put cork over the whole board.

Would anyone like to comment on why each approach might be used?

sp4rky
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:05 pm

Postby sp4rky » Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:27 pm

Well, last night I got bored so I decided to just cover the baseboard with the Cork tiles.

I made a real bad job of it, but after a few minor surgeries it's all stuck down and pretty much level :)


So tonight I have been setting up track to see where I want everything and I've pretty much cracked the layout:

The "North" end:
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The "South" end (with a touch of photoshopping added for where a tunnel will be):
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An overview:
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Overall I'm very pleased with this layout... I can use the outer loop to send a passenger train round continuously then fiddle around on the inside loop with something else. I've also got somewhere to play shunting puzzles with in the sidings at the bottom of the picture.


My next task is figuring out where to place all the point motors for this mess:
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Comments and criticisms welcome,

Rob.


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