My (N gauge) table football 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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PinkNosedPenguin
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DCC decoders

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:43 pm

I'm new to DCC and I thought that, if you didn't want fancy features, then most decoders are the same. Seems I was wrong.
I now have two locos:
- Dapol Pannier Tank
- Graham Farish J39
I bought an Uhlenbrock 73410 for the tank engine, and a Bachmann 36-558A for the tender loco.
Both fitted in the space available into their respective 6 pin sockets :) and both ran :D

However neither engine performed to my satisfaction: :evil:
- the tank engine ran beautifully but sometimes stopped randomly for no apparent reason (very annoying!)
- the J39 ran ok but the slowest speed was actually rather fast
For the latter I played around with the CV's = start voltage (already on minimum) and tried a logarithmic speed curve :?: . The latter at least allowed the loco to run at slower speeds, but it was very jerky until picking up speed. So I then adjusted the back emf settings but this had had no discernible effect :x At this point I decided this decoder did not suit this loco.

So I purchased a Lenz Silver Mini and put that in the tank, swapping the Uhlenbrock into the J39. Now they both run very nicely indeed, including at very slow speeds. :) The J39 has only stopped once with the Uhlenbrock so far... My theory is that the high gearing on the tank engine caused the Uhlenbrock decoder to shut down occasionally (although there was no sign of heat or excessive current?). Anyway it seems to be behaving itself in the J39.

What I have learnt:
1) a better quality decoder is worth the extra money - I'm gonna use Lenz silver mini's from now on!
2) different locos suit different decoders - size is obviously a factor (isn't it always!), but other things come into play too (though a bit tricky to quantify these until you try it out!)

Any comments Gentlemen? (and Ladies)

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Control Panel

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:18 pm

Not sure if anyone is reading this except me :oops: but anyway its a record for me of my progress . . .

I will be controlling my points using 9v DC supplying my Cobalt motors via DPDT switches. So I wanted a mimic track plan so I know which switch controls which motor. This is how I did it:

1) I created a schematic track plan in Microsoft Word on my PC and printed it out. I borrowed my wife's laminator and laminated it. Then I used an 8mm hole punch to cut holes where I wanted the switches to be located on the plan:
Image
IMG_2365 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

2) I bought a small piece of clear Perspex on eBay (for £4.50) already cut to size and marked where the holes would line up with the track plan. These were carefully drilled using a 6.5mm drill bit. I glued the track plan behind the Perspex and installed my switches:
Image
IMG_2369 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

3) I built a crude box to support the control panel. At first I was going to have it at an angle, but I decided (a) that was probably beyond my woodworking skills, and (b) flat would be better for standing up operation. As it is I can easily use it standing or sitting and there is plenty of room for tracks to run underneath. By the way, it is so high because there will be a higher level loop of track running under it as well as ground level! I will put a removable vertical divider to allow the wiring to be kept away from the track. The panel can be removed for wiring up (and if there are any derailments in the tunnel). Of course the sides of the 'box' will be a hill when I get to the scenic part of the construction:
Image
IMG_2373 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

Now when I have laid the rest of my track I can wire up the point motors . . .

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skyblue
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Re: Control Panel

Postby skyblue » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:22 pm

PinkNosedPenguin wrote:Not sure if anyone is reading this except me :oops: but anyway its a record for me of my progress . . .


Well, that's not the case! (I sometimes feel like that with my layout thread). It looks like you are doing things 'properly' with a control panel etc. It's an interesting idea to mount the layout on a table football table. I look forward to seeing this progress.

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flying scotsman123
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby flying scotsman123 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:25 pm

I'm reading it, and yours skyblue, I don't always comment on people's threads, but if I have done in he past, chances are I'm still watching it, as it pops up in my "view your posts" which I check regularly :)
"listen carefully, i shall say this only once"

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skyblue
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby skyblue » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:28 pm

flying scotsman123 wrote:I'm reading it, and yours skyblue

I appreciate your comments on my layout thread - its nice to know that someone is reading it and I know how PinkNosedPenguin (interesting name by the way) feels.

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Location: Wiltshire

Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:19 pm

Thanks guys - I'm reading about other layouts but not necessarily commenting. I'll try to contribute more too!

mst1664
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:06 pm

Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby mst1664 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:38 pm

Hi guys

I have just found your thread and will follow it with interest. I'm considering a small N gauge layout for in the house as the 00 in the garage is a bit chilly at the moment.
If I may, I will pose questions as you go as I'm very new to layout building although I find it fascinating.

Regards

Mark

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:05 pm

mst1664 wrote:If I may, I will pose questions as you go as I'm very new to layout building although I find it fascinating.


Of course, though I am hardly an expert :D

Lofty

Re: Control Panel

Postby Lofty » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:56 pm

PinkNosedPenguin wrote:Not sure if anyone is reading this except me

A little bit of late visit, but I try to get around all the layout threads.

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Pevensey Flyer
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby Pevensey Flyer » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:15 pm

You're going to have some quite steep inclines on that size of layout which might restrict the length of trains you can run. Wheel slip could be a problem?

To answer a recent question - Woodland scenics inclines do make it easier to create raised track levels and yes they do cater for a 9" radius. I used some for Boship Abbey . However, if you do use these polystyrene inclines you will need to cover them after. I always use double lapped plaster bandage. A description of what to do can be found on Boship Abbey layout below.
Then you will need track bed. If you use WS inclines you will need suitable track bed such as WS trackbed which is 3mm deep but absorbs any lumps or bumps in the track bed so hence smooth quiet running and less chance of derailing. Using anything less will cause a bumpy track.

Once you've got the track plan laid out I recommend you lay all your track bed ( WS ), build your terrain THEN cover the whole lot with plaster bandage. Wait until dry.Next lay the foam on top of the track bed then lay track on top.

To get an idea take a look at Boship Abbey ( below ). Think of building the base layers of a layout in stages. Then you add all the scenics and details AFTER- not during!!!

regards

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:37 pm

Thanks Flyer. Your Boship Abbey layout looks amazing! In my case I will only have two levels - both on flat ply - so I will only use the Woodland Scenics incline for the gradient joining the two. It will be a 3% gradient. Still haven't decided what to cover the polystyrene incline with for a track bed . . .

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Location: Wiltshire

Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:29 pm

A last push today to get my lower level oval of track completed before Christmas :D

Track laying has been quite slow (not that I mind!) what with fitting point motors and doing all the wiring (DCC bus droppers, frog switching and connecting the point motors themselves)
Image
IMG_2403 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

Anyway, I finally got the lower level circuit completed this afternoon with 5 point motors working and wired up to the control panel. Unfortunately 2 more point motors were faulty :( - but luckily Cobalt point motors are guaranteed for life (!), so Hattons gave me no problems accepting them back and promising to send me replacements :) . One just didn't do anything and the other I could hear the cog wheels slipping and jumping inside so thought I would not accept it. They cost enough so should have a guarantee :!: . Anyway, the two I couldn't fit are for my reverse loop which I have not laid yet (also need to get a Dual Frog Juicer to wire it up!).

Top side view:
Image
IMG_2421 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

Under side view:
Image
IMG_2424 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

So, for the first time since about 1981 I was able to play trains :D
Image
IMG_2418 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr
Image
IMG_2407 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr
Image
IMG_2419 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

Question: How much fun can you have with two locos, 5 trucks, 2 coaches, an oval of track and 5 working points?
Answer Quite a lot actually! Had a great hour or so with my kids (12 and 16) playing trains!!! Of course they wanted them to go 'fast' and 'crash' but I was having none of that :lol:

The trains ran pretty well for their first time - I've got one point where the J39 derails occasionally in a certain direction so will need to check that. The Dapol easi-shunt couplings, while a definite improvement on the standard Rapido ones, are not perfect (see my other thread on that). Many successful uncouplings and recouplings, but also problems doing either on a tight curve (and my layout has a lot of these :cry: ). Plus also a couple of unintentional uncouplings when running over a magnet on the 'main line' :oops: I'll have to adjust the couplers to stop that. Gave the track a good old clean beforehand with some Woodland Scenics solution and a cotton bud - I think I'm going to have to keep it very clean to get reliable running.

Anyway, I'm now swapping back to the table football for Christmas, and we're away for New Year, so a rest from the railway for a week or so . . .

MERRY CHRSITMAS EVERYONE!!! - and may the New Year bring us all new modelling challenges and successes! (not to mention Santa bringing us a little something too :D )

ttfn, PnP

wharf lane
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby wharf lane » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:02 am

Merry Christmas to you as well, I have been watching this thread closely, now where's my dining table? :D

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:27 pm

Thanks wharf lane. Actually I forgot to say that, unlike back in 1981(!), my train playing now is with DCC. And I have to say it really improves the experience a lot. Even with my current limited set-up, we were able to use both locos simultaneously. One train could crawl around the loop whilst the other loco deposited trucks in a siding, or left coaches in the (future) station and ran off to its (future) shed. The two trains could follow each other around the circuit, one using the outer loop, the other the inner. Quite tricky to ensure you control the right loco from the (single) handset and have the points set correctly for such dynamic train movements! This was my first experience with DCC and I loved it :D . It definitely feels like you are controlling the trains, not the track. Would definitely recommend it to you die hard DC-ers out there :lol:
Last edited by PinkNosedPenguin on Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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flying scotsman123
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby flying scotsman123 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:34 pm

I have to agree with what you say about DCC. I went for the Hornby elite so I could have two knobs at once, but then I downloaded JMRI and hooked it up now I could control all of my locos at once :twisted: I discovered the difficulty of points with multiple engine movements, so I got point motors so I don't have to run around changing them!
"listen carefully, i shall say this only once"

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