The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

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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DrStroganoff
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The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby DrStroganoff » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:16 pm

Hi guys.

A new thread for a new layout!

The last few months I really havent done anything apart from doing the odd hour up the loft dismantling the old layout. So with my day off yesterday I decided to get up there and get cracking.

Some of the old boards still need dismantling, but I am trying to reuse as much of the old boards as possible. For instance the old chipboard baseboards, all 4'x2', I've just flipped them upside down for the new layout !

The plan this time is utilize all of the space available, and have a straight run down each side of the loft, which is about 20' long.... Plenty of room for long trains, and having large sweeping curves rather than set-track.

After playing with some digital items in the shop recently I am completely sold on it. I'm planning on getting the Gaugemaster Prodigy system in the next few weeks, and will have to chip my locos!

I say it every time, but I am REALLY going to take my time with this one. Most of my time is taken up with the shop these days, and so I can only really do the layout on Mondays for a few hours. So hopefully this will end up being a long-term project.

Saying that, I've acquired some rather special locos recently, and am itching to get them running around the loft !!! :D

Anyways, heres a couple of photos I took tonight.

Lets start off with Kestrel
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These are the boards I laid yesterday, messing about with a trackplan. 2 lines on the left are the mainlines, and to the right will be a TMD area
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And looking back down from the other end
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A nice long station will be on the opposite side of the loft
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So this is one end of the loft, the board on legs in the middle still needs dismantling. The layout is running between the joists on the left and right, and will go right down to the wall.
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And then same goes for the opposite end of the loft
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And another one of Kestrel
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And to finish, heres one of Falcon on the shelf downstairs. Its factory-weathered... but I have started weathering it further with the airbrush.
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All of the points are Peco insulfrog... and from what I understand, I definately need to change them all for electrofrog if I'm going DCC. So thats something I've got to start thinking about.

Also, maybe someone could explain this a little better for me... Im thinking I'm going to have to run a DCC Bus wire under the whole layout, and have the track connected to it in as many places as possible using droppers. Could someone explain what the droppers are? Are they like little clips that will clip onto the bus wire?

Lets hope I can run some trains soon !

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EddScott
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby EddScott » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:34 pm

Kestrel looks very nice. Its in this months Model Rail and although I have all modern stuff it would be nice to pretend it was preserved.

My layout is DCC and I have a DCC bus around the layout. I have soldered dropper wires onto every section of track and then soldered the dropper wire onto the bus wire.

I know some use the automotive clamps that allow one wire to be joined to an unbroken wire (if you get me) but having used these for real cars I don't like them - plus if its a large layout and you use Halfrauds to buy the clips its expensive.

I lay the track, make two holes in the board where the wires will pass through, solder the wires to the track at 90 degrees and pass the wires through the board. The main buss wire is stripped back a little and the wire (or dropper) from the track is stripped back enough to wrap the dropper wire around the bus wire. I then solder the "join" together and wrap some gaffer tape around to make safe.

Hope that helps :)

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DrStroganoff
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby DrStroganoff » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:20 pm

Thanks EddScott. Most helpful.

Thing is, I'm a bit of a numpty when it comes to soldering... and the thought of going under the baseboard to solder the droppers... well, its not happening. Which is why these clip type droppers sound perfect for me! Any chance of a link to show me what they actually look like?

Also.. re: soldering to the rails.... again, I've tried this before, with questionable results (mainly melted sleepers)... how about if I were to solder the dropper wires onto the bottoms of fishplates? I think I could just about manage that !! :lol:

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PeterH
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby PeterH » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:07 pm

A very promising beginning! I look forward to see this layout develop, are you going to model a particular period? Love the Kestrel!
"Gentlemen, pray silence for the President of the Royal Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things."; 'Make Tea, not Love.'
Camel Spotting Thread.
My layout thread.

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Black-Marlin
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby Black-Marlin » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:17 pm

The Strogaloft reborn! Hooray!

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joshing_man
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby joshing_man » Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:07 pm

Good to have you back modelling.

Andrew
The Original Smiling Man With Train (SMWT):

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DrStroganoff
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby DrStroganoff » Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:31 pm

Thanks fellas.

I've got a good feeling about this one... I'm feeling really motivated to get on with it. So motivated in fact I ventured back up the loft tonight to carry on clearing up the mess of the last layout! 3 bin bags of rubbish later and I've ran out of bin bags.... so have knocked it on the head for now. I'm trying to get it all cleaned up ready for me to sort out the remaining baseboards next Monday, and then I can start thinking about wiring then.

PeterH... as for period... No period in particular... I think thats one of the reasons I've got bored with previous layouts.... When I was doing the BR Blue-era I was missing the steam locos.... and then doing the big-four layout I was missing my blue diesels !!! So if I was to say in what period the new layout will be.... I guess it will be mid-70s... ish... Apart from Kestrel, Falcon and the prototype Deltic, the rest of my stock is steam (Coronation, N15, Super D, Jinty 3F).... So, saying that,,, I'm not going to limit myself to any one period.... Apart from anything post-2000 - doesn't interest me at all. I'd quite like one of the new HST's, plus the Baccy 4Cep in blue/grey.
I'm pleased Heljan have announced the Baby Deltic, I'll be sure to pick one of those up, have got a bit of a wait yet mind.

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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby Loconut » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:33 pm

Hi Gareth

Good to see the pics of Falcon!

PM sent

Loconut
I need more space !

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EddScott
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby EddScott » Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:26 pm

Image

This is a tap connector. You can get them from Halfrauds or probably a cheaper solution would be fleebay.

Soldering the wires to the fishplates, I think, would be cause you more problems than solve - they are much more likely to move around and not join properly etc etc.

I've used Peco 100 flex on my layout and with a sharp stanley cut a few sleepers from the section to expose the rail. Then solder the wires to the rails. Place the track on your table and mark roughly where the wires will pass through the board. Drill the holes oversize because they'll need to move a little bit and then pass the wires through.

If your going to use DCC and want to change to electrofrog, there is a issue of whether you want to convert your points to the frog being switched by the point motor switch. If you want to make that conversion, its quite fiddly so you may need to improve your soldering skills. The very best single thing you can do to improve solder joints is to invest in a good iron. I always bought cheap and caused me headaches. I bought a 2nd hand metcal sp200 from ebay (£80 but worth it) and its like a completely different task. Its still tedious but the results are far far better.

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DrStroganoff
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby DrStroganoff » Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:52 pm

Thanks for the advice EddScott.

I've been doing a bit of research myself, and I can see that soldering to fishplates isnt generally recommended. I shall have a good practice of soldering on some scrap-track. I do think I will try those tap-connectors though, as I dont really fancy soldering under the baseboard.

When you talk about converting the frog on the points.. I take it you mean if I want to convert my insulfrog points, rather than change them all for electrofrog. I didnt think there was any conversion work needed doing to an electrofrog point?

I've got an Antex soldering iron that I bought from Maplins a little while ago (An upgrade to my Tesco Value iron!). I'll try with that first, and then judge whether I need a better one.

I have a mate coming over on Sunday to help me finish off the baseboards, and I've got a box of flexi-track on order, so I will be good to go then !!!

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EddScott
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby EddScott » Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:32 pm

I've never used insulfrog points so can only comment on electrofrog. From what I understand of the reasons for the conversion is that as the moving blades are switched the polarity of the frog changes. This happens by the sweeping of the blades which can become problematic over time.

To resolve this, switches are used with the point motors (either as well as in regard to Peco motors and "on board" with regard to SEEP PM1s) and the switch changes the polarity for reliability reasons. If you google search peco electrofrog modding you should get a few guides as to how to do it - and probably a much better explanation of why.

It doesn't need to be done but I have :)

As an aside - where do you buy from? I'm in west wales but if I'm around Cardiff I go to Lord & Butler. Wife was hovering over me last visit so spending was kept low :( ;)

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DrStroganoff
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby DrStroganoff » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:01 pm

Ahh cheers, I'm just having a google now.... I didnt realise there was 'work' involved with electrofrog points & DCC...

Lord & Butler used to be my regular shop.. until I opened my own! But I do still pop back there from time to time if I need any Bachmann items !! :wink:

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iankemp
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby iankemp » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:36 pm

EddScott wrote:Wife was hovering over me last visit so spending was kept low :( ;)


My Ex used to moan at me for the amount that i spent on loco's but i just said to her about her hobby! she made her own cards and spent loads on pieces of paper and card and rubber stamps! she shut up then! My new girlfriend is cool about what i buy she don't mind as she knows it is something i like and she is ok about it!

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DrStroganoff
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby DrStroganoff » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:39 pm

Ian, my girlfriend is 100% the same! Shes into making cards, and scrap-booking, and anything 'crafty'... and believe me , she spends more time in her craft-room than I do up the loft !!! So at least theres no moaning there. :lol:

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iankemp
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Re: The Strogaloft - Construction Begins... Again!

Postby iankemp » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:52 pm

DrStroganoff wrote:Ian, my girlfriend is 100% the same! Shes into making cards, and scrap-booking, and anything 'crafty'... and believe me , she spends more time in her craft-room than I do up the loft !!! So at least theres no moaning there. :lol:



well lucky for me i got rid of my ex (the one who made cards) my new girlfriend loves the way i am over my model railway. she asked me what railway stuff i wanted for Xmas unlike my ex! i am in the process of making a list but will mark out the important stuff i want! it is mainly track at the min!


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