Michael's N Gauge Layout - Work in Progress Nov 2008

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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Michael
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Michael's N Gauge Layout - Work in Progress Nov 2008

Postby Michael » Sun Oct 15, 2006 7:43 pm

:oops:

Bit scared of posting in here... :?

Anyway, I'm going to be getting started on a layout of some sort soon, so I thought I'd make my own little nest in this folder in anticipation.

I think I'm going to have to buy everything new. My old track, locos and scenery bits and bobs are bit worse for wear, don't really work, are bent, bashed and have bits missing, so I think it'll be easier if I build a layout new, and then see what I can use from my old stuff.

Space. Space. They say space is a big place, but it ain't for me. :(

I can manage a baseboard of about 6ft x 4ft, maybe a bit bigger, or perhaps a longer, but thinner, one. Depends on what my layout is going to be, I guess.

It sure is complicated, all this model railway-ing.

Anyway, I'm going to try and get to grips with XtrkCAD and come up with a layout that I like. It'll probably have quite a lot of sidings, since I'd like to have lots of rolling stock shared between a few locomotives.

Now, I've been reading a bit about DCC, and I think I'll get in on it as early as possible, rather than down the line. I've been looking at the E-Z one from Bachmann, the Hornby one, and the Lenz one. But, tbh, it's all a bit overwhelming. Everyone keeps saying that it isn't and it's quite simple, but it is complicated really. All those wires. All those different decoder types. All those different things and bits and bobs and stuff. And the fact that nobody actually says what each thing does in english terms. It's all 'ALLOWS XPRESS NET 100 CONNECTIONS WITH ACCESSORY DECODER MODULATUM TO POWER SOMETHING OR OTHER' and I don't know what it all means. :(

Also, what do you recommend for track? Is Peco Streamline good?

Also, where do I need power clips with DCC? How many? Why? I understand what electrofrogs and insulfrogs are, but I don't know what that means... in... english. What is polarity? And what do I need to do... with it. :lol:

I'm a complete noob. This thread is probably going to be overwhelmingly full of Q and A. :lol:

I think it's going to be a long time before I start making scenery too. I'd rather just get the track layout done, all wired up, all done, all underlayed, all motorised, all bish bash bosh, before I start scenery, because I think my mind will explode if I have to take them both in at once.

:(

Also, again, baseboards? MDF or ... plywood? Softwood? Laminate? :lol: What's the best materials for making it, and how do you make it?

Sorry, I just want a table with track on and trains that I can control like the real thing. But it's all complicated! :cry:
Last edited by Michael on Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:04 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Raider
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Postby Raider » Sun Oct 15, 2006 7:56 pm

Glad you decided to start a thread - it's a good place to keep all your thoughts and ideas in one place!

For the baseboard I went for MDF as it was cheap from B&Q. I havn't covered it anything other than the track so far.

I know you have probably mentioned where you are putting the layout, but I can't remember off hand - would you have more space if it wasn't an oval track plan? This would give you more room for sidings and give more operational interest potentially (this coming from a man who has a couple of loops on his layout)

Look forward to seeing your progress

Chris

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Michael
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Postby Michael » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:04 pm

Yeah, I thought this would be better than posting in all the different sections.

With MDF, do you have to make bracing underneath? Is that with softwood, so that it doesn't sag? I'd have to cut holes underneath the track for point motors too.

I don't have an exact location for my layout yet, so the space can vary. I think it would be best to have a straight plan, or perhaps an L shaped layout if I can get a corner in one of the rooms.

Thanks.

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Postby Raider » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:12 pm

This is a photo of the underneath of my 6 X 4 section:-
Image

I made the cross bracing with some wood from B&Q. Since starting on the layout I have had to drill holes through the cross beams for the wires to run, but that wasn't too tricky.

You have a couple of options on the point motors - attach them to the points (which I have done) or mount them under the board, which only needs a small slot for the pin to move. It would be best to have a track plan in place first so that you don't have the cross members where the point motors need to go.

HTH

Chris

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Michael
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Postby Michael » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:22 pm

Yeah, I see now.

The point motors, they only need a small slot of underneath mounting? I've seen big holes on some layouts, with the motor snuggly inside. Is that another way of mounting?

Hmm, the brings up another problem. Seeing as I want lots of sidings and what have you, and 6ft x 4ft or whatever is only just enough for Hornby Trackmat layout (And that isn't much in the way of sidings), I may have to look at N gauge.

Hnnnnnggh, this is annoying! :x I've just bought OO gauge catalogues as well! I always do things without thinking! BAD MICHAEL! BAD!

N gauge: Less selection of locomotives, more in one space, DCC possible?
OO gauge: More stuff, less in one space, DCC definitely possible, but insanely complicated...

I can see that it's going to be a while before anything is put together. I need to find out how much space I have, make as big a layout as possible in that space, with both gauges, see which is more interesting and which is most feasible, and then get to work.

:cry:

B&Q has everything for the baseboard? Do they sell electrical things there too? I guess Maplins is better for that though?

I think I need to slow down a bit.

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Postby Raider » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:30 pm

Decisions decisions - thats always the name of the game unfortunately.

With N gauge you will get about double the track in the same space that you could with OO. DCC is definetely possible and you may be surprised by the range of rolling stock that is available - have a look at the Graham Farish Website. There are also other manufacturers such as Dapol that do N gauge stock as well.

Going back to the point motor mounting - the option that only needs a small slot has the point motor mounted to the bottom of the baseboard with the pin going through a slot to the point. I have gone with the on-point method of mounting (Hornby motors and points) and when I get round to ballasting I will probably put some thin cardboard over the hole to cover it up - not sure yet.

A model railway is all about compromise really. You could get a load of sidings in a 6 X 4 section, but not a lot else or you could have a couple of ovals and not a lot of anything else. Have a look through the personal layouts section and you will get an idea of what people have done with the Hornby Track Mat layout.

Chris

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Postby Danny » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:43 pm

Raider wrote:With N gauge you will get about double the track in the same space that you could with OO.


You can actually get around 4 times as much track in an N gauge layout, in theory. With N gauge you may find that you have more space on your board to put scenery in because the tracks take up less space, being of a smaller width. Though OO in my opinion is much easier to work with. I still prefer N gauge, but it is your choice.

Danny.

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Postby Raider » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:46 pm

Thanks for the correction Danny - I forgot it was double in both directions making it 4 times the track :oops:

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Michael
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Postby Michael » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:04 pm

Just bought 00 (or OO?) gauge catalogues too... :(

I'll have to get some N gauge now, and compare the two.

George is converting me over MSN too. I CAN'T RESIST! :o

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Postby Danny » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:08 pm

Alot of people converting from OO to N gauge are usually really chuffed because of all the space they have to run longer trains to put more track in. Though starting on N Gauge may not give you the same effect.

Danny.
Last edited by Danny on Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Raider » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:08 pm

Don't forget this is your layout not anyone elses - have a look at some of the N Gauge stock at your local shop to get a feel for how small it is compared to OO before making a final decision. The last thing you want is to make an investment in a particular Gauge and then find that you don't get on with it.

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Michael
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Postby Michael » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:12 pm

It was really tongue in cheek about George. I was dead set on N before I got caught on OO with the wider range of things, but now N is looking better due to my lack of space for what I want from a layout.

I'm going sometime this week to the nearest model shop, in Warrington. I don't know if they do N though. So... See what they've got.

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ClikC
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Postby ClikC » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:17 pm

If you use N gauge, your going to have Great difficulty with fitting Decoders to locomotives.

Also N gauge is notorious for Rubbish electric motor's, more so in the British outline range, than with across the pond.

My big piece of advice, FORGET about power clips, use a Bus wire, regardless of your choice too use DC or DCC.

Peco Streamline code 100 is excellent track.
ImageImageImage

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Postby m8internet » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:18 pm

Have you considered joining a local model railway club, even if just for a year?
That was how I started, before making my own layout at home
I ran their layout on the opening day at an exhibition one year

At the time OO gauge was the way to go, as the modern image range was very good in the early 1990s (Lima pretty much released the models as soon as the liveries appeared!)
N gauge was very expensive, compared to now

After a 10 year gap and disposal of my previous collection I made a return this year
Thankfully from the previous experience making a decision on gauge was relatively easy
I wanted a layout based on the ECML, with 4 running lines, and able to operate full length trains, so clearly N gauge was the way to go
A quick look around the manufacturers and most of the modern image items I required were available

As for electrics, due to the complex layout and large amount of rolling stock, DCC was pretty much the only option, and although expensive for the equipment, this will save me vast amounts of time on wiring and control
Glasgow Queen Street Model Railway layout : modern image N gauge using DCC

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Postby Westleigh » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:18 pm

Metheringham wrote:You can actually get around 4 times as much track in an N gauge layout, in theory.


Yes - worth remembering that the rolling stock is also half the width and half the length, so effectvely a quarter the size of OO. You can get a lot more in any given area, but it is quite tiny.

If you are thinking about N guage I'd recommend going to a local exhibition and having a good look.
Nick


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