Alex3410 - My Railway

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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Bufferstop
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Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby Bufferstop » Wed May 30, 2018 1:31 pm

It's a matter of heat transfer which is better the larger the area in contact and the greater the mass of the bit compared to the rail. The ideal is to solder to the flat underside of the rail with a bit having a flat side to its point, a conical one will be virtually useless. For code 100 rail a 30Watt iron should be fine. Use 60/40 lead alloy solder (not lead free) pre tin both the end of the wire and the spot on the rail where you are going to make the join. The final step is all but impossible! You need to simultaneously bring together wire, rail, iron and solder (mainly for the flux). My take is wire in left hand held against rail, rest the side of your hand on the sleepers, extend some solder from the roll to as close as possible to the join then touch
the solder with he iron and apply it to the joint. Once the solder flows remove the iron and keep holding the wire until the solder solidifies.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

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alex3410
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Location: Essex

Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby alex3410 » Wed May 30, 2018 2:08 pm

Bufferstop wrote:Once the solder flows remove the iron and keep holding the wire until the solder solidifies.

its keeping them still to get a good join thats proving to be tricky at the moment, i need to dig out my tweezers etc to see if that makes life easier.

Bufferstop wrote:bring together wire, rail, iron and solder (mainly for the flux)

a good tip, i had been tinning the wire and the rail but not introducing new solder - i will give it a try and see if it helps, thank you :D

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Bufferstop
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby Bufferstop » Wed May 30, 2018 3:57 pm

When I had to learn to solder, solid wires to even more solid brass tags, the official way, they always insisted that the wire made a firm mechanical connection before the solder was introduced, if the tag had a hole in it the wire was supposed to go through the hole and be crimped over. But then they weren't overly concerned about re-using components or the time it took to remove an old wire. Years down the line someone realised that if you wound the wire on tight enough it wouldn't need the solder, it could be unwound and "wire-wrapping" was invented. Unfortunately 50 years too late to prevent us having to take a gas axe and bolt cutters to what had been the main distribution frame of a 1920s telephone exchange.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

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alex3410
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby alex3410 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:21 pm

Slow progress is being made, honest :lol:

Last night i managed to get a loop created for the first time, it uses some of what will be the inside loop and some of the outside as not all of the track is in place yet but still feels like progress

I have reworked the track layout a bit for the station area, the end result is another station track on the outside loop, so i now have two for outside loop only, one that acts as a cross over between the two loops, one for the inside loop only and finally one siding track for the inside loop.

I need to do an updated track plan at some point but will probably wait until the tracks all down & finalised, i think the station area is basically set now but want to fully test it before pinning it down for clearances etc as there are a few tight spots now i have introduced an extra track. I have soldered drop wires to the station track but not connected it up to the bus yet.

ImageUntitled by Alex, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Alex, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Alex, on Flickr


Working counter clockwise from the station this is the scenic area, i have the track in place and connected up to the bus - its working OKish but the track needs a really good clean, my plan is to get it all connected up so i can make use of the CMX track cleaning car. I have put down DCC concepts powerbase for the decline to the lower section, on testing i don't think i will need it but would rather have it down now as an option in the future should i need it.

I dont have the points to put together the lower section yet so its being used as a work space :lol:

ImageUntitled by Alex, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Alex, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Alex, on Flickr


The side opposite the station has the points in place but not all of the track yet, on testing i have had to redo some of the soldered connections (this was the starting point so the first bits i soldered) as the wheels caught the solder joins, i managed to move them to the outside of the rails without having to pull up any track.

The lower section is being used as a workspace again due to lack of points.
ImageUntitled by Alex, on Flickr


Finally we have the fiddle yard area, i currently only have a single track connecting up the outside loop, the lack of points has also stalled this area :roll: but at least it keeps things in manageable chunks. Once again any empty area is getting used as storage/workspace :lol:

ImageUntitled by Alex, on Flickr




With a loop in place i had been using my coaches you can see in the station shot to test the track, its a useful exorcise as it identified some soldering that caught on the wheels which needed rectifying. This got me thinking and the end result was a chassis from Thomas that i got cheap from eBay a few years ago connected up to a 9V battery that it pulls in a coal wagon! not overly attractive but suits my needs very well a video of its first run here i wired in a switch so i could turn it off!

It proved to work rather well but didnt help find out about longer trains, so i connected it upto my rake of coaches video here which it pulled around the layout nicely!

I am so pleased with it i think i am going to make a more permanent version for continued testing purposes.


Next job is to get the two loops fully down and then connect it all up to the DCC bus ready for extensive testing - especially of the station area, I am going to temporarily put down track in the fiddle yard to complete the loops and replace it when i am able to get more points. I also need to tally up how many points i need for the fiddle yard and the shunting area to decode which i want to tackle next.

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alex3410
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby alex3410 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:15 pm

The two loops are now fully connected up, at least temporary in the fiddle yard area, but still not fully connected to the bus yet so i am still making use of my trusty battery powered loco :lol: its now successfully ran over all track options in the station area.

I have also installed a wall mounted fan to help with airflow & to stop me from knocking it off as often!

Video of train running around the two loops, the loco struggles a little on the outside loop - there is an incline leading up to the viaduct. I have adjusted the risers slightly to even it out a little more which has helped but it had me worried so i thought i would test it with my A4. Video of my A4 running up the incline

The A4 cuts out when it goes over an electrofrog point as the droppers the other side of the point are not connected up yet, what do you think? should be OK?

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Mountain
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby Mountain » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:02 am

I think the incline is just fine as it is. Due to space restrictions, most of us would consider it luxury for a large steam loco to pull eight coaches up an incline, let alone twelve so your incline is great. Is a very well planned out layout so far. I'm impressed.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

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alex3410
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby alex3410 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:32 am

Thank you, I have put a lot of effort into trying to make it as good a possible - getting the mix between track and scenery balanced has been tricky as i tend to try and fill any empty space :lol:

I am really looking forward to getting both loops connected up to the DCC bus so i can run trains the whole length on both loops at the same time :D

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Mountain
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby Mountain » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:43 am

alex3410 wrote: - getting the mix between track and scenery balanced has been tricky as i tend to try and fill any empty space :lol:


One of the mistakes I've made on past layouts. :lol: Is not easy getting a fine balance for this.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

GWR_fan
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby GWR_fan » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:18 am

With a soldering iron if not soldering circuit boards you need a large capacity very hot iron. The trick is to apply maximum heat in minimal time. Many hold the iron on the area waiting for the area to heat enough to melt the solder. What this does is heat the surrounding area as the iron is not powerful enough to "spot heat".

I was always envious of the avionics people at my work with their battery powered soldering irons. The tip would remain cool until pressure was applied to the tip and then instant heat. Those irons, no doubt very expensive as is everything else connected with aircraft, would have been a godsend for model railway soldering.

GWR_fan
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby GWR_fan » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:21 am

Mountain wrote:
alex3410 wrote: - getting the mix between track and scenery balanced has been tricky as i tend to try and fill any empty space :lol:


One of the mistakes I've made on past layouts. :lol: Is not easy getting a fine balance for this.


My plan is highly detailed station, coal mines and viaduct scenes connected by unscenicked track. The track between the detailed scenes (dioramas) is to merely convey the train between the scenes. This saves the hassle of ballasting and scenery on the whole railway.

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alex3410
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby alex3410 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:41 am

Hey guys, the heat has made the loft very uncomfortable, as such progress has stalled! But now it’s cooling down a bit I am ready to get back to it.

In the meantime we have had the boiler replaced, a rather expensive job but the silver lining is the overflow water tank that used to sit right in the middle of the loft has now gone :D

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve tripped up over it :twisted: we have also knocked off the overflow pipe as well so all in all really glad it’s gone!

There were holes in the floor for the pipes etc but this let me push the extension cord under the flooring so it’s no longer a trip hazard - I have also put a sheet of 1cm chipboard over the holes and stapled an old rug over the top (had to staple to stop it moving)

End result is a lot more free movement without worrying about the tank, just in the dog house for staples in the wife’s rug!

I should have the rest of the points arriving today so with any luck I’ll be able to make some real progress soon
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Hymirl
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby Hymirl » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:31 pm

Great thread, its been quite a trip! Looks good being able to run express locos with a decent train behind.

NedFlanders
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby NedFlanders » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:47 pm

Thank you - I really enjoyed reading this thread. You answered a lot of my unasked questions and have given me much food for thought as I also harbor covetous thoughts for both a garden shed or the attic. :idea:

I like what you are doing at the moment - good work.

Ned.
Getting back into railways, one step at a time.

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alex3410
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby alex3410 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:35 pm

Thanks guys, its nice to know the time spent updating the thread is appreciated. I like reading others progress so wanted to give back but also keep a log on how its progressing.

Talking about progress, i have finalised the top left entrance layout to the fiddle yard
Image

The red tracks will rejoin the outter loop at the end of the fiddle yard, as will the green for the inner loop.

some very detailed working out of needed points :lol:
Image

The same for shunting area:
Image

I have not accounted for the inner loop fiddle yard sidings that don't rejoin the loop at the other end - these will have to wait until i have more spare funds - points are expensive!

Delivery:
Image

Placement of points to make sure my plans worked OK:
Image

Next up is actually laying them down and wiring them up - i just need to look into best way to wire them up to the bus to ensure no dead spots with points connected directly to each other.


One thing that did become clear when placing the points out was the need to clear the fiddle yard area of rubbish that seems to accumulate on any free space! one of which was the DCC controller.

To keep this out of the way i have added a makeshift shelf to the layout - making holes in the frame for the cables needed to connect it up:
Image

with a bit of slack so it can be easily undone:
Image

Controller in place (with a peek at how much rubbish i had):
Image



My next job with the controller is to run the cables to the power & data ports, i also need to connect up a programming track but need to give some thought as to where i want this (I might put it next to the fiddle yard if there is room or on my desk - or even both!)

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Montfort
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Re: Alex3410 - My Railway

Postby Montfort » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:37 pm

Congrats ! Wonderful layout in sight. I'm looking forward to your progress.
No matter which train you are waiting for, the wrong one arrives always first !


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