Trucks in a Tizzy

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.
MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:52 pm

Dragons causeway

Like the famous Giants equivalent the Dragons causeway is formed of geometric shapes here they are of two evenly distributed hexagonally based shapes. The stacks of each shape are from Green stuff world’s pavement moulds using plaster for most layers. The clear layers are made using a UV curing water resin effect again from Green stuff world. The tiles are glued together using war world scenics basing glue and any gaps were filled with plastic putty. The clear tiles get their colour from neo pixels controlled by an arduino this allows them to change colour rather than just flash on and off distinguishing it from the lights built into the rear rocks. The light shines up a hole drilled in the tiles rather than any fibre optics which when I tried them didn’t seem to improve. I have cast over 500 of each shape in plaster and about 36 in resin.

First layer of tiles and testing lights.
Image
Image


I glued some tiles on top of each other and used Blue stuff a thermoplastic material to make a mould to get some variety in depth for both the slate and clear tiles. These were not entirely successful but added some natural erosion to some of the stacks. Most stacks ended up being individual tiles stuck on top of each other.


Former for moulding
Image


Blue stuff melting
Image

Squidging the blue stuff around the former
Image
Image

The finished mould
Image

Casting
Image

How they came out and some made with the Clear UV resin
Image
Image


A basecoat of Vallejo slate pigment in thinners was put down with my favourite quick shade washes used to add some colour on top. Before applying anything else on top I applied Humbrol matt varnish which destroyed the paint underneath giving a white coating to the whole thing.

Failed paint
Image

I started again using water and mod Podge as the pigment medium and this stayed in place. I found it covered the clear tiles sides too well so had to remove and clean them all before replacing them. Having not been happy with the washes I did a test with some colourshift paint from green stuff world. This paint is prismatic and switches between two colours. I had bought some of the purple for touching up the cave dragon after surgery and had got the Azure one too. This gave a good effect so I ordered their set 3 giving me a further 6 colour shifts to play with.

Once this was painted across all the tiles randomly I brushed on some more of the slate pigment so that the causeway was still mainly slate coloured with some of the prismatic showing though and sealed it with war world scenics layering spray adhesive. A final check of the lights and then I mounted the arduino on the back. I took this opportunity to reroute all the arduinos to there to.

The LED’s under each of the holes. (There are 26 in total)
Image

The top of the finished causeway
Image

The causeway leads to the dragons cauldron a 2 way mirror, in the baseboard, shaped similarly to the tiles (as if mystical itself). This stays mirror like until lighting underneath reveals a dragons eye with an infinity mirror effect to further the mystery.

The base mirror is standard acrylic with a plasticard shape mounted on it. I have used the neopixels again which when programmed means the colour of the infinity effect changes. The neopixels are joined using old resistor legs cut off from other bits of the project.

The dragons eye was made using Fimo oven bake clay and a video on you tube for the instruction, The central part of the eye is from a set of eyes bought of eBay but this didn’t bake well so a further neopixel was used for the dragons eye but this is not programmed to colour change.

Dragons Cauldron
Image


Pavement moulds £19.98
Clear UV resin £19.95
UV Light £10.50
Eye insert £3.69 (was for 10)
Eye Fimo £5.00
2 way mirror £19.98
colour shift metals £17.83
neopixels £22.80
more arduinos £19.60
Basing glue £11.99
Layering spray £11.99
Blue stuff £5.50

Running total - £1169.96
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench

MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Tue Dec 07, 2021 3:12 pm

Exit Gates and Buffer stop
The design of both the gates and the buffer was generic. After a quick google for designs the first version were cut from basswood and then painted. They appeared a bit clunky to I made a mk2 using matchsticks which worked better even if they were harder to make but then when I cut them down to fit better I didn’t like the look so much. Watching a Chadwick model railway video where Charlie was looking at prototype signal boxes I saw a crossing gate with just 2 cross sections with the red stop circles on a central vertical support which I then used for my design. Naturally the gates were painted white and then once installed dirtied up with dark tone wash and wiped most of it off with a cotton bud so that it looked dirty rather than black. The red stop circles caused further issues as I could not cut a straight line let alone a round one! in the end I bought some 8mm plastruct rod and cut off a couple of thin circles, filled them with plastic putty and painted them red.

The Gates don’t move to stop the trucks driving through them (as is their troublesome nature!) Of course I couldn’t leave them without some lights so DCC Concepts rear train lights were glued in place although I had forgotten how difficult it is to see enamelled copper wire in order to solder it.

Image


The buffer stop at the end of the front line is just a few old sleepers glued together and painted with some wood colours and dark tone wash. Again I added a loco lamp to it (well it was a box of 6)

Image

All in place
Image


Having seen these bits in place it highlighted the need for some extra furniture on the lower level so I have started looking at trackside signs and other random bits that would fit in.

Plastruct 8mm £2.57
Superglue activator £9.99
DCC Concepts loco lamps £17.76

Running total £ 1200.28
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench

MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Sat Dec 18, 2021 8:29 pm

Top board

Using some scraps of wood from Seren’s current build I made a top board to go behind the rocks. This had a dual purpose of hiding the wiring for the lights in the rocks and adding some more scenic interest.

Image
Image

Two pieces of n gauge track sl-300 was purchased to form a short line going around the top of the board. I drew an initial line to show where the track was going to go and then considered the landscape.

A dip in the top of the rocks and having seen an animation of a rabbit popping up beside the tracks on a train shops website gave me the idea of having a dragon pop up and look around. We have a collection of dragons and some spares in the loft which we bought as wedding favours to go with treasure chests filled with the usual chocolate and sugared almonds. One of these had major surgery being reduced to a head and neck and fibre optic eye implants inserted. The cable ties just held the optic fibre while the glue set.

Image


Some ebay gears and plastruct rod and tube were employed to create the left right motion using a standard servo. The raising and lowering used another set of the 3d printed parts I had used for the cave door.


Image


To fit the mechanism I had to cut a hole in the skirt at the back of the baseboard. Using another arduino I programmed a sequence which lit the dragons eyes raised it got it to look around and then lowered it again.

Image

Image

I used some modelling compound from geek gaming scenics, similar to sculptamould, mixed with woodland scenics slate pigment to create some undulations in the landscape, level the train track where it met the 3mm plywood roof of the cave and to fill in gaps around the roof.
Image


Having watched too much Chadwick model railway on youtube I tried Charlie’s method of glueing the track down with copydex which worked but I didn’t get as excited about it as he does. I used the same sieved slate for the ballast this time applied with a teaspoon and brush rather than a spreading machine as I’m not sure how much n gauge track I will ever use so didn’t want to buy one for this project. During the ballasting the copydex lifted which meant I had to weigh down the track again and it’s now fixed by the ballast.

Image
Image



This left the need for something to run on the new gauge track as inconveniently all my trains were oo gauge and no n or oo9 so I purchased Skarloey so that the track would get used. Skarloey visited for a short while before being sent off to Wickness models for a dcc chip to be fitted. Stepney another awkward dcc fitting joined Skarloey on his trip and they both got lenz silver mini decoders fitted. his means Stepney can take over to give Toby a rest when he is tired. On the subject of DCC chips the one I tried to put in Thomas went onto Percy and a replacement Thomas has arrived courtesy of ebay.

Image


So that Skarloey goes off scene I added another piece of rock. A microswitch connected to a bi colour LED made an indicator of when he had reached the end of the line. This was meant to be the last LED to be fitted to the layout but then i ordered something else which had an LED in ce la vie! I ran out of IPA while cleaning up, the bottle I had was about 10 years old, but knowing I will want more in future for 3d printing I ordered 5L and some superglue debonder to clean up a few drips in wrong places.

Image
Image




I did not have a convenient place to run the wires from the last led so I made a rusty old pipe from some of the plastruct tube painted with matt and metallic blacks and added some of the vallejo thick mud for texture and rust pigments to complete the effect. Some of the pigment and mud was painted over in order to give the effect of rust below the paint surface. I bought a set of rubber brushes to make using the thick mud paint easier. I also bought a small bench vice on a trip to cheltenham model centre which I used but can’t for the life of me remember what on!

Image

I added a back panel to the rear of the upper track layer

Image

Again inspired by you tube I used custom moulds to create a thin layer of plaster rocks. The moulds were made by placing slate in plasticine and the painting it endlessly with latex rubber the process was laborious and took several days.

Image
Image
Image

Having got bored I bought a silicon rubber set with mould release. In addition some surgical gloves stopped my hands getting covered in the stuff. I made a different mould out of this using slate in plaster as a former. This gave me 3 in total to work with. The third mould worked the best and the 2nd which had slates laid flat as well as the textured side was only really used for the roof to Skarloeys tunnel.

Image

I painted the most visible sections at the edge of the cliff face in Vallejo weathering effects thick mud to give the impression of erosion. The less visible bits were painted in brown acrylic.

Image

This third area of rock was given yet another different paint style. This time I started with 2 coats of Vallejo dark slate pigment mixed with mod podge and water. This was then leopard spotted fairly heavily with woodland scenics earth colours slate and then I used various colour shift paints the same as I had used for the dragons causeway. This actually gave me my favourite look of all the rocks so will use it if there is rocks on my future projects.


Image

This was then treated to static grass to create a cliff top. On the left of this top layer the grass is mainly 2mm dread grass and some autumn 2mm too. Around the dragon I used 6mm Spring grass having masked him off with tape to ensure he didn’t grow a grass moustache.

Image
Image

In between shakes of the applicator while it still had grass in it I found the perfect stand for it.

Image

The largest grass area used 2mm and 4mm grass with a greater density of autumn to dead grass and a small sprinkling of spring in places to add more variety. The top of the rear rock had 2mm dead and autumn grass and the section in front of the pipe and behind the rail just used 2mm dead grass. All the static grass came from Geek Gaming Scenics. I can’t remember how many layers I put on only two or three but I started with the war world scenics basing glue and used their layering spray for the extra layers. I found that I got a more useful and controllable spray pattern by decanting some of the layering spray into a small spritzer bottle. Some small bits of slate, a few bits of coloured aquarium gravel, some dried earth and slate powder were scattered onto the grass to add texture. Extra additions include some heather plants which were purchased ready made, some bushes made of reindeer moss stained with woodland scenics burnt umber and some leaf cover from Noch drizzled on and some woodland scenics natural ste
raw field grass was cut down to make a few small clumps.

Image
Image
Image

On the lower level I added couple of small areas of static grass in-between the lines where it seemed appropriate.
The entire board was then sealed with Matt scenic sealant from Geek Gaming Scenics again using a small spray bottle rather than the one it came with.

Image



As for the costs there is a big jump in the total as quite a lot of work was covered in this post which in reality took place over several months. I think the first top section board was added in March and the static grass was laid just a couple of days ago.


Sl-300 £9.50
n gauge tracksetta £23.85
Copydex £4
Skarloey £104
Skarloey DCC £80.55
Stepney DCC £72.55
modelling compound £9.45
Weathering effects Thick mud £4.50
Static grass applicator £49.99
Static grass £42.01 (I’ve bought loads of it for a future project too)
Heather £5.99
3mm plywood £8.45
Plasticine £3.50
Liquid Latex £10.40
IPA £18.47
Superglue £4.50
Superglue debonder £2.78
Surgical gloves £11.49
silicon rubber £22.50
mould release £9.95
Small scissors £2.50
Noch leaf cover £16.43
Reindeer moss £4.50
Scenic sealant £5.99
Servos £22.99
gears £6.65
optic fibre £53.19 (i bought lots of sizes to see which would be right)
rubber brushes £7.99
scalpel blades £5.00
pigment binder £4.99
purple tone £2.34
slate pigment £3.00
Mini drill bits £9.00
Bench vice £6.99
dcc concepts black decoder £23
Replacement Thomas £34.98
Vallejo model air red £2.30 (missed from gates post)
Dcc concepts b2b wheel gauge £8.86 (missed from trucks post

Updated total - £1912.42 hmm the 2k mark is looking close!
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench

Dad-1
Posts: 6737
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby Dad-1 » Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:52 am

He, He, Mr H,

I think they should get you on the scenic side of Dr Who.
I bet you could do some fantastically frightening scenes !
Poor Thomas will be afraid to go out.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:05 pm

Thanks Geoff, I do have a 00 Tardis I’d hesitate to say it works but it does have a flashing light. Had no plans to put it on this layout though!
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench

MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Tue Dec 21, 2021 12:22 pm

Tree

I wanted to add a tree to the stepped front of the layout growing haphazardly out of the rock. I used some garden wire which was a bit too thick twisted together. After two failed attempts just 3 lengths of wire were used.

I don’t think this pic is the final armature.
Image

This was covered in milliput and left to cure. The Vallejo wood paint set was bought in to paint the trunk and mahogany from the vallejo model air basic colour set made the trunk darker. Sea foam was used to create the branches to give a flat windswept look. This was dipped in liquid latex to add strength. I sprayed it roughly with some hobby craft burnt umber acrylic mixed with water and mod podge as an undercoat to the branches. I then added a layer of Geek gaming scenics dark green tree foliage stuck on with the layering glue. A few bits of lighter foliage were added before a sprinkling of the loch leaves in two colours to finish the greens. Underneath the tree canopy i used some old brown flock I had in the box to make it look a little more dead than the top. I did not end up using the brown flowers I had bought to top my order up to get the free postage!

Image

Image

I originally planned to add some extra roots but in the end decided not to.

Image


Milliput £3.25
Vallejo model air 16 basic colour set £31.99
Sea Foam £15.99
Tree foliage £9.40
Brown flowers £5.99

Total - 1979.04 nearly….
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 13489
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Dec 21, 2021 12:52 pm

Hi, the moulded rocks are excellent, you mention Vallejo a couple of times, where do you get their paints from? None of my usual places stock them. I inherited a few along with my stepson's compressor, I've used them whilst practising with the airbrush and they are far less trouble than thinning Humbrol and the dropper bottles beat hands down using a pipette.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Tue Dec 21, 2021 7:18 pm

Hi Bufferstop,

My work is getting greater influence from tabletop wargaming than trains so I tend to use those types of shop. The main one I am using is https://www.the-outpost.co.uk/. They have a shop in Sheffield but I’ve never been there. I have found there customer service brilliant as did my wife when sorting out my christmas present.

I have also bought some bits at incom gaming in Cheltenham but cant remember if they stock Vallejo.

I tend to use the model air paints even though I’m always using a brush as I prefer the consistency to normal paints. I am getting an airbrush kit next year at some point but it wont be in a hurry as I need more space to store it.

Hope this helps
Howard
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 13489
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Dec 21, 2021 10:45 pm

Thanks Howard, we've got a wargaming place in Stratford, I'll give them a try. Space is an essential for airbrushing. My "railway room" is a three metre square alcove off the downs stairs landing (upside down house) and has glazed double doors to the garden, I've made a spray booth from a large Amazon box which I can put on a card table in the open doorway. By the time I'd rounded up all of the bits and pieces there were two airbrushes a dual action and a single action, a small diaphragm compressor, a rotary compressor with tank, air pressure regulator, and water trap, a washthrough bottle and a collection of paints and thinners. All of got to do now is to master the beast. So far I've stripped and painted the same coach body half a dozen times!

Merry Christmas
John.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Wed Dec 22, 2021 8:03 am

John,

If it’s branded warhammer or Games workshop they wont have Vallejo as they only do their own brand stuff.

H
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench

MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Wed Dec 22, 2021 10:00 am

Dragons pool.

I filled the gap between the pool and the board with milliput which i mixed too much of when making the tree. This was then primed with Vallejo Israeli sand primer the only primer I’ve got not in a rattle can. This was then painted with the woodland scenics slate grey as I ran out of vallejo pigment when painting the top board rocks. The finishing touch was using the colour shift paints again to paint each of the faces a different colour.
Image




Mobile phone base

I hadn't finished this in the previous post about the cave. In the end I made a small base of plasticard and used some brass rod and tube to make a way of taking the phone in and out to turn the video on which powers the flame. This was stuck in the right place using superglue.

Image



brass rod £3.29
brass tubes£8.51


Total £1990.84. - still not 2k!

Little (Tiny) Additions

In order to add some more features to the layout I bought some speed, whistle and tram signs from Scale model scenery. These were accompanied by oil drums including a light up (fire) one and some native animals from Langley models

I bought the unpainted version of the animals once again underestimating quite how small they would be and overestimating my eyesight. I only used the Badger, 1 rabbit a squirrel and the hedgehog. I painted them with appropriate colours and gave them a coat of army painter soft tone wash so they weren’t too pristine.

I downloaded a couple of beware of dragons signs off the web and printed them off and glued them to some of the spare wood from the laser cut whistle and speed signs. These were then glued to some of the spare ‘W’ whistle signs and treated to some military share weathering.
The speed and whistle signs I used where painter fairly normal metallic black and white with a touch of military shader.

Image
Image

Once all of these were dry I installed them on the layout. The fire barrel was a right pain. I installed it and It didn’t light up so I ended up having to take it off again. I had to trace through every bit to discover a fault in the resistor they supplied with it. Replacing this with one of mine meant it finally worked. When it was lit too much light was leaking through the side so a quick repaint and a fresh application of rust and it was done.

Rabbit
Image

Hedgehog(not very clear but it is teeny tiny)
Image

Badger
Image

Squirrel and signs
Image

Tunnel signs
Image

Barrels
Image




P&D Marsh signs £8.99
scale model scenery signs £18.47
Langley animals £8.66
Langley oil drums £7.92
Langley burning oil drum. £16.28 (i bought 2 but only used 1)

Total £2051.16 *****Over 2K now but nearly there.


Tidying wiring

Once again having added loads more electronics it was time to complete tidying the wiring. When everything was attached to the various power busses I discovered that the Arduino’s refused to be programmed. Although they were not connected to a +5v power supply at this point they were using the 5v bus to draw power from the computers USB port via the arduimo that I was trying to program. To get round this I added a switch box and some mini switches so that I could isolate a board if I needed to reprogram it for some reason. At this point I hadn’t finished the coding for all the boards as I wanted to add some random delays so that they would not all be running at the same time or appear in different configurations adjusting the programs so the delay was at the end of the cycle meant I could then use the switches to trigger the animations by turning them of and back on again. The two animations with Servo’s I added a running light to the switch box for so that I know not to turn off the units when the servo’s aren’t in their home position.

Any wires with lots of slack were shortened and all the wires were cable tied to holes in the board or where this was not possible I hot glued the cable tie to the base.

To reduce the number of power supplies needed to run the model I used a power buck which takes a 12v on a little power plug in and has a loop out at 12v connector block and 5v output on USB to feed the phone running the flame animation and a further set of connector blocks that output 5v to the arduinos, servos and neopixel LEDs.


Image


This was fixed in a little box as it didn’t have any screw holes like the tiny ones on the arduinos.
I bought a 12v 4a power supply to run all the off track electronics. The DCC bus runs the trains (obviously) the cobalt point motors, the lights in the trucks and has a 2amp power supply running the Digitracks Zephyr controller.

Tidy Underneath the board
Image

Tidy at the back too
Image

And as I it’s Christmas (or any other day of the year) I can’t be without lots of lights…..
Image


Did you notice the roll of Solder in the underneath pic? Thats the roll that had more posts about it than any other part of this build and there is just a tiny bit left! I have been using it for other things too like making audio multicores and cables for work. I was never really happy with this solder as it was too thick so I’ve bought two 100g reels one .8mm and one .6mm. Not quite as expensive as the deceased Maplin shops but still...

Image

12v-5v power buck £5.99
Project boxes £12.72
Switches £5.95
Cable ties £1.60
Power supply £12.99
tiny screws £7.99
Solder £13.06

total £2,111.46




To make sure everything is accounted for, here are the The I don’t know when but they were bought and used used bits -

Pin vice i bought this soon after restarting the work this year but wish I had just got the Archimedes drill which I bought at a later date.

While I was doing major electronics I ordered a new set of helping hands from America which were super heavy and had four arms to better hold stuff this was quite expensive and I also wonder if I should have bought one with a giant magnifier!

Image

I also missed off some more of the army painter tones which I kept buying, the aquarium gravel used in the grass area and the m2 screws to attach the servos to the 3d printed parts.

a bright led clamp on angle poise desk lamp which has been invaluable since the nights have been getting darker and my eyes dimmer….


Pin vice £8.99
helping hands £26.88
Army painter tone £4.68
led lamp £21.99
m2 nuts and bolts £8.99
Aquarium gravel £5.99

total - £2188.98
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench

MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Thu Dec 23, 2021 2:07 pm

I had hoped to get this finished before Christmas but all I'm not going to make it. The last set of signs the P&D Marsh ones have yet to arrive and won't get painted before Christmas now.

I have been doing plenty of testing too which has thrown up a few issues.

Cleaning and run testing.
Cleaning the rails was done in stages as it was quite awkward. Starting with the narrow gauge track on top not only did i have to clean the track but Skarloey was a bit wide for some of the static grassed areas to I had to chop those back and repaint with my Vallejo slate mixture.

New edge behind the dragon

Image

A little bit of gardening near the tunnel
Image



Tobys rails cleaned up fairly well but I found a dead spot on one of the points the stock rail joiner must have come off so added a tiny drop wire to the stock rail and attached it to the dcc bus directly.

Image

Unfortunately after this Toby started to short out the track at the points so I moved the connection so the blades switch with the frog. The short persisted so I tested it with Stepnet to see if he had the same problem as I was concerned the short was coming from the bottom of Toby grounding out. It wasn't this either in the end I suddenly thought I haven't checked Toby's wheels and low and behold they were too close together pulling him onto the blade as he traversed the point. My DCC concepts wheel gauge came to the rescue. I also made sure the point was moving correctly cleaning any glue out of the through hole.

The next problem was also points related. When everything was running the points would randomly change direction which would strand Toby and cause some more short circuits. I wired new buttons direct to the points and this seemed to sort it so I set about placing them in the rats nest I mean control box. This was already cramped so I hadn't wanted to open it again. Changing the push buttons was not easy and another one broke in the process so I am going to separate the points and decoupler controls to a separate box which I don't have so will order after the Christmas rush and refit then.

So I hope Christmas goes well for you all and I will catch you again probably in the new year.
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench

MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Mon Dec 27, 2021 6:27 pm

The last signs arrived while I was away for Christmas and have been installed so a couple of overview pictures are in order. I have also rerouted all the point and decoupler worse to the other side of the board waiting for me to order the new box.


Image
Image
Image


Image
Image
Image
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench

MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Wed Jan 19, 2022 5:12 pm

I'm working through troubleshooting some issues on the layout at the moment which will eventually make it into a proper post. I was getting frustrated by the fact I had blown two leds in the building so I decided to rebuild the control system using the same neopixels as the rest of the effects and controlling it all using an audio. As ever the old maxim to err is human but to really mess it up use a computer.....

Having programmed an Arduino to change all the light appropriately including automatically generating the colour of truck required I tested it with servo's to replicate the uncouplers which I had written into code and everything started to flash and jitter. It turns out that Neopixels and Servo's don't play nicely together as they both want to hog the clock.

So far I've tried a separate servo board and various software attempts to correct it but I want too much from. Next atteppt will be a different type of multicolour led called a dotter which uses a different clock set up and the internet suggests that this will play nicely with servos.

Anyway hopefully I will move forward next month now back to the wOrkbench....
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench

MrH
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: Trucks in a Tizzy

Postby MrH » Mon Feb 14, 2022 2:50 pm

Additional rolling stock.

Over Christmas I visited the Swedish house mafia I mean Ikea and got some more storage drawers which enabled me to tidy everything and get the rest of my rolling stock out of the loft. The smaller brown troublesome trucks while less interesting in themselves I could fit more of them on the layout so it will make running them more interesting. I currently only have 4 so will have to delve into ebay to get 4 more. I sorted a load of the aquarium gravel to be able to have different coloured loads.

Image

I will also need to test if they can be lit as the stones aren’t translucent but may reflect some of the light.


Control panel redo.

In a previous post I mentioned about the points switching randomly and that I was going to put the switches for these and the uncouplers in a different box. Also linked to the control box was the indicator lights for the truck selection. A couple of the LEDs in the building indicating which truck is supposed to be prepared have blown as have both the LEDs on the back of the building for spotlights.

I started to experiment in Tinkercad to see if I could program an arduino to run the selection lights for me. It took a while but I got it to select two trucks and display red and green on other neopixels to show if the truck was in the right place. This is triggered manually to switch between red and green on both the control panel and the building.

I further developed the program so that it would take control of the uncoupler servo’s negating the need for not only the uncoupler circuit boards but also the microswitches which activated the lights showing if the uncoupler was up or down.

Image

The tinkercad work was downloaded and a string of neopixels made to go in the new control panel. I carefully took the roof off the building and extracted the previous panels and all the wiring that attached to them. I made new panels for the neopixels and painted them as I had the previous panels. This reduced the number of LEDs involved in this part of the layout to 10 down from 24!

I ended up ordering three different box sizes and decided that as I had reduced the wiring considerably and changed the rest that I could return everything to one control box by using the largest size I had bought.


I rebuilt the layout in anyrail and exported a new layout picture which I then cut out and painted onto the new box lid before mounting the switches and leds.

Sadly while testing this I discovered that neopixels and Servo’s don’t like sharing the arduino’s on board clock something which tinkercad ignored.

Initially trying a separate servo control board, Research suggested that Dotstar LEDs would play nicely with servos so these were subsequently ordered. They need 4 cables +ve, ground, data and clock but run off a separate bus on the arduino. With this all working I used my superglue debonder to release all the neopixels that were stuck into the box and replaced them with the dotstars. I treated myself to a new soldering iron tip too to make this soldering easier as my previous one had disintegrated.

Image


Testing showed Skarloey is too light to activate the switch that changed the tunnel signal light. I considered an Infra red beam across his tunnel mouth. Realising the IR beam would need to be linked to the control system I bought the beam detector and added a dotstar led to the end of the chain. This was a really simple thing to program as it connected directly to the arduino input pins and the code activated an internal pull up allowing the circuit to switch on low not high as the other buttons did without any extra circuitry.

Image

The tinkercad button circuit I had built used external pull up resistors. While this worked fine I discovered that when I had the 5v power connected to the input buttons that it powered the arduino through the input pins rather than it being run from its own power feed. Googling showed this was not a good situation long term. Having used an internal pull up on the IR beam I adapted the program to use internal pull ups on all the input pins and swapped the buttons so that they went to ground. This did mean that all the switches then had the wrong colour cables on so the pin connection wire was now red not purple and the grounds were either black or yellow.

As the dotstar leds are really bright I cut 2 layers of diffuser left over from some stage lighting work and glued this over the lens. The ones in the building were mounted on balsa again but I added an extra layer above the leds which had holes cut with a hole punch in to make the light appear round again. These were then treated to some clear UV resin to make a concave front .

Image
Image

Installing the new control panel took two days tracing faults and reprogramming anything that wasn’t quite right. I will at some point go back to the lighting colours and reduce the intensity so that they are not so bright. I will also get some thin plasticard in black to tidy up the front panel of the control box using the hole punch method to make the lights both round and tidy.

Image
Image
Image

Although the arduino has enough PWM outputs to be ale to run the points off servos too I have retained the cobalt point motors mainly so that I can still have the frog switching. In a future model I might use servos and frog juicers but didn’t see any value in changing them here. So that the point setting lights are correct I wired the spare switch on the cobalts to mimic the push buttons on the control panel which just switch the LEDs.

Replacing the LEDs which indicate that the uncoupler is in action to be part of the control system gave me the opportunity to try attaching them using UV resin this gave a good bond for both holding the acrylic rod in place as well as transferring the light better than the hot glue I had used previously.

Image


I have yet to refit the servos for the uncouplers as I ran out of time but I took them out completely in order to strengthen the brackets. with some brass rod soldered onto the fold. I am also planning to remake the piano wire lifters as one of them doesn’t sit flat.

I replaced the surface mount Leds on the back of the building. Initially I tried using enamelled copper wire which didn’t work so I used just 3 strands from some 7/.2 wire twisted together. To solder the reduced wire I turned to solder paste instead of normal solder which I was able to put in place then heat up which meant that I didn’t melt the tiny surface mount LED. These lights will now be wired to the 5v bus rather than the 12v previously used as it would mean only needing one power feed into the building. I’ve not finished reinstalling these panels either as I ran out of superglue.

Box £5.97
Dotstar LEDS £33.59
Solder paste £12.95
Soldering iron tip £1.69
IR break beam sensors £7.98
Balsa £3
Servo board £13


Total : £2267.16
My layouts and workbench

Trucks in a Tizzy
my wOrkbench


Return to “Personal Layouts - Under Construction”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 27 guests