Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

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sishades
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Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby sishades » Tue May 27, 2008 3:00 pm

Fosse Park is a fictitious location whose football team Leicester Fosse are not very good. But footie aside Fosse Park has been 8 months in the making. It is 27 feet long and about 6 feet wide with a gangway down the middle and is located in my loft. The original plan was to have 4 main loops, some sidings and the other usual stuff. It was DC based but this changed a couple of months ago when I decided to rewire the entire layout and go DCC. For anyone who is contemplating DCC, go for it. There is so much more enjoyment to be had having more than one train on the same track and opens up new areas of running a railway.

So first things first. The loft had to be converted from a draughty, dark and spider web ridden area into a dry, light spider web ridden area. So for the first time in 10 years I ventured up into the loft last July and started to clear out all of the mess, including metres and metres of copper piping, an old shower system, 2 large plastic water tanks (with no rodents thankfully) and rubbish spreading over the previous 30 years.

A few months and lots of spent cash, 15 sheets of 18mm chipboard, 1000 screws, 10 litres of magnolia paint , 250 quids worth of airtec insulation (an absolute must), and a favour from my electrician brother (who also fitted a loft ladder) a railway room was created.

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This was the first time that I had attempted anything on this scale before and the end result was more than satisfactory.

The next stage was to build a system of tables that spanned around the room. When doing this, ensure that you use planned wood. I did not do this and as such the layout has a dip near the loft hatch but it does not affect running performance and is barely noticeable.. I started in one corner and made my way gradually around in a circle. Here they are at the beginning with my six year old having a giggle looking dapper in his Leicester City Hat.

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I now needed some track and thanks to The Great Eastern Toy Company in Norwich I was able to negotiate a large discount on 100 yards of semi flexible track and 40 express points, for a total price of 500 pounds. I had contemplated using just flexi track but the semi was able to keep its shape whilst negotiating curved inclines. Each piece of track and point were painted using Humbrol 113 paint. A process that took up 5 hours per day for some 2 weeks.

Although I had made a plan using XtrkCad I soon started to deviate from it as track was being put down. Each piece of track was to have drop outs attached and for DC the wiring was Ok but unfortunately totally unsuitable for DCC to which I will discuss later in this thread.

Over the next few months I soldered, stripped and attached hundreds of thin wires to the tracks, and drilled hundreds of tiny holes in the 12 mm mdf base boards. The track was then fixed atop of 3mm cork purchased at 3 quid a pack from B and Q in Norwich. In total 10 packs were bought leaving Norwich devoid of cork based materials for some time to come.

Along the way I constructed 2 sets of inclines as 2 loops had to pass over the main express routes. However on powering it all up I quickly discovered that the gradient was far too steep, at around 1:25 only locos were able to negotiate the stiff climbs. With a tear in my eye I duly ripped up the inclines and started again with a new gradient of 1:70.

My main concern whilst constructing my layout has been one of longevity, and as such they include carriage sidings, a large engine shed, a goods reception area, diesel depot and eventually a large freight yard. The next big change was to convert to DCC which meant taking up every piece of track and rewiring each piece and adding two power buses. I will cover this in the next post as the images that I have uploaded are too big to be shown right now.
High towards the far post,Howard with a header,Hes done it!Steve Howard has scored for Leicester City,Bedlam here at the Walkers Stadium. the Leeds United players are flat out on the turf in utter despair. Leicester City are going to win again

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sishades
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby sishades » Tue May 27, 2008 3:32 pm

Wiring the layout.

Converting a layout to DCC took about a month to do. DCC is less forgiving than DC and as such I decided to employ 2 power buses and solder 2 wires from every piece of track. Rapid electronics provide free posting for items over a certain amount so I purchased 2 reels of thick red and black cables, a large reel of lead free solder and 400 blue connectors. Holes were drilled in the sides of the tables for the power buses to traverse. Next starting at the loft hatch each piece of track was lifted, the original wires were removed and the new ones attached.

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If you decide to employ this method then remember not to squeeze the blue connectors too hard as this will make it difficult to connect another wire to it. use a pair of pliers and squeeze gently until a faint click is felt or heard.

The next stage was to decide on the power supply and control unit. I therefore decided to purchase a Bachman dynamis and although my original impressions of the unit were good it quickly got on my nerves and was inappropriate for my needs. The first irritation is the infra red method of transmitting a signal. In a confined space such a loft I was constantly having to bend around in vain attempts at making connections. Although programming locos is simple enough I wanted to be able to read CV values and not have to guess. My other gripe was one of build quality and reliability. I had to return two units back to Hattons for replacements as the units were constantly failing to accept signals. Also the unit did not like being in a room with energy saving light bulbs??? So I bit the bullet, robbed a petrol station for funds and purchased one of these instead.

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ooooo baby! Its alive I tell you, its aliiiiiivvvvvvveeeee!

At around 350 (yes 350 heart in mouth fans!) pounds it is a Digitrax 8 amp super chief complete with additional connecting socket and DT 400 hand controller. It is quite simply - outstanding. I purchased this from our good friend at Bromsgrove Models and believe me it is worth every penny. The manuals are very detailed and the pack also includes a decoder testing device (not figured this out yet)! The thin manual explains everything you ever wanted to know about CV values. However there is a small But! The pack does not include a power supply. Bummer! I eventually sourced one from a company called Allcomponents and as this was a 8 amp unit one had to built for me at a cost of around 70 pounds, the supply being an M9 unit (this is the beige coloured unit sitting on the floor). So bear that in mind should anyone decide to buy a super chief. Digitrax do sell their own range of power supplies that look great but do tend to be more expensive.

I have just managed to attach the additional connecting panel to the side of my engine shed tables and next need to build a containment unit for the command station to sit in, as it looks quite lonely sitting on the floor. Last week I wired it all up and everything worked perfectly. Over 400 wires and not one short circuit. However I did come across 1 bug in the software. Power can be turned on and off at a press of a button. Power on is indicated by an orange light on the command station. If the on button is pressed a second time the power appears to switch off despite the orange light remaining on and a humming noise emanating from the track. This caused me several hours of head scratching trying to figure out why all of my trains stopped working.

Although not a bug, it is advisable to leave the loco remaining on the programming track for a few seconds after the chip has been set.

If you are still awake then in my next posting I will attach some pictures of the various parts of the layout.
High towards the far post,Howard with a header,Hes done it!Steve Howard has scored for Leicester City,Bedlam here at the Walkers Stadium. the Leeds United players are flat out on the turf in utter despair. Leicester City are going to win again

Sprintex
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby Sprintex » Tue May 27, 2008 10:22 pm

Makes great reading so far :lol:


Paul

smallman28
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby smallman28 » Tue May 27, 2008 10:47 pm

sishades wrote:The next stage was to decide on the power supply and control unit. I therefore decided to purchase a Bachman dynamis and although my original impressions of the unit were good it quickly got on my nerves and was inappropriate for my needs. The first irritation is the infra red method of transmitting a signal. In a confined space such a loft I was constantly having to bend around in vain attempts at making connections. Although programming locos is simple enough I wanted to be able to read CV values and not have to guess. My other gripe was one of build quality and reliability. I had to return two units back to Hattons for replacements as the units were constantly failing to accept signals. Also the unit did not like being in a room with energy saving light bulbs??? So I bit the bullet, robbed a petrol station for funds and purchased one of these instead.


Finally,someone else who had problems with the Dynamis not connecting,I was beginning to think I was going mad or dreaming it :D

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby SouthernBoy » Tue May 27, 2008 11:11 pm

Definitely ready for more :)
Can we have a trackplan too sometime ?

mumbles
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby mumbles » Tue May 27, 2008 11:39 pm

With a start like that, I'll be tuning in to future updates.....
Waiting for those pics!! :D

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davek
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby davek » Wed May 28, 2008 4:29 pm

Interesting read and I fully endorse the idea of exploiting children as railway building slaves...or am I reading too much into a picture? :D
Last edited by davek on Wed May 28, 2008 6:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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MrT
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby MrT » Wed May 28, 2008 4:41 pm

Nice to see a layout thread - if I remember correctly from the van tour last year, the track work looks pretty impressive. Am looking forward to more pics.

I'm probably preaching to the converted here but if you need a decent (ish) and very fast pic resizer, the Microsoft one plugs into Windows directly (ie right click on a picture and press 'Resize Picture'). Its called ImageResizer.exe on this page.

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sishades
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby sishades » Wed May 28, 2008 5:58 pm

Over in the far right hand corner (NE) of the layout, between the roof and chimney breast is a diesel depot. Although the picture includes a Metcalf engine shed this will be placed elsewhere to make room for a proper diesel shed and fuelling centre

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On the opposite side in the far left corner (NW) I have installed some carriage sidings. I have yet to decide whether to leave it as such or build a terminus. The longest siding can accommodate 8 carriages.

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Looking up at the carriage sidings

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On the near left hand corner (SW) I thought about adding a goods depot.

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And finally in the SE corner a further carriage siding, although I may build up some embankments and place a dummy tunnel at the end, to give the impression of further lines. I seem to have lost a picture of this but it is quite similar to the other carriage siding.

On the North side I have place two tables which will accommodate my engine sheds, turntable, coaling depot and other bits which are associated with these areas,

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To keep all this together are 4 main loops, 2 outer which employ inclines and 2 inner which are the express routes. With strategic positioning of my points I can have 4 independent loops, and 1 massive double inverted figure of 8. Its hard to describe with words,

Looking at the North side

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The south side

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Some more later. I have also today started to scratch build a viaduct, I will post some pics later on this little project as it is my first ever attempt at modelling without instructions or hair gel!
High towards the far post,Howard with a header,Hes done it!Steve Howard has scored for Leicester City,Bedlam here at the Walkers Stadium. the Leeds United players are flat out on the turf in utter despair. Leicester City are going to win again

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davek
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby davek » Wed May 28, 2008 6:10 pm

Wow.

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live-frog
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby live-frog » Wed May 28, 2008 6:18 pm

Blimey ! there's a job for life ballasting there !
Loads of operational interest coupled with some mindless circuiting. After changing my mind 'n' times I've come to the conclusion that I like that set-up best.
sishades wrote: it is my first ever attempt at modelling without instructions or hair gel!

Where does the hair gel go ? :?
I do love big layouts and this is right up there -- BIGG !.
Are you DCCing all the point work eventually or did you already say :oops:
Regards
Ron

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Lewis Nash
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby Lewis Nash » Wed May 28, 2008 6:27 pm

very impresive layout :)
long enough to operate prototypical lengh trains and enough space for 2 depots! 8) :)
a very long incline and carridge sidings,GREAT! GREAT!GREAT! :D




Lewis Nash (Arpley Road) :)
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sishades
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby sishades » Wed May 28, 2008 6:58 pm

At the moment all of the point work is operated ala God Mode. I would love to have a large panel with LED and switches rather than operate it with DCC. This will be scheduled in maybe early next year.
High towards the far post,Howard with a header,Hes done it!Steve Howard has scored for Leicester City,Bedlam here at the Walkers Stadium. the Leeds United players are flat out on the turf in utter despair. Leicester City are going to win again

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Lewis Nash
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby Lewis Nash » Thu May 29, 2008 10:34 am

cant wait for more progress pics! :)
NASHTON
website- http://nashton.webs.com/index.htm


ARPLEY STREET
http://arpleystreetmodelrailway.webs.com/
class 60 preservation group-http://www.c60pg.co.uk/
Lewis[ArpleyModeller]

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Kirton Fen
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Re: Fosse Park Sishades obviously titled layout (photo warning)

Postby Kirton Fen » Thu May 29, 2008 11:04 am

Same, just read the thread right through and I must say you have a great layout here mate! :D
Look forward to more progress! :wink:

Chris


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