Riccarton Junction in N gauge

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RailwayRobbo
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby RailwayRobbo » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:28 pm

A lovely scenic layout.
A real 'railway in the landscape' with a nice Scottish feel.
Hats off to you and your electronics skills with the vertical traverser.

Ex-Pat if you want a vertical traverser there's a commercial one available from a company called Nelevation.
Check out their website then go and buy yourself a lottery ticket. LOL.

Pete (RailwayRobbo)

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glencairn
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby glencairn » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:15 pm

Coming along excellently. Sheep on the line? Possibly! :) Pigs? Only those that fly! :lol: Fencing is a must. :lol:
Keep up the good work.

Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.

Ex-Pat
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby Ex-Pat » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:49 am

RailwayRobbo wrote:A lovely scenic layout.
A real 'railway in the landscape' with a nice Scottish feel.
Hats off to you and your electronics skills with the vertical traverser.

Ex-Pat if you want a vertical traverser there's a commercial one available from a company called Nelevation.
Check out their website then go and buy yourself a lottery ticket. LOL.

Pete (RailwayRobbo)


Thanks Pete - no, I'm not after one, and I see what you mean re. price. (Bet you're feeling richer already fourtytwo?!)

fourtytwo
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby fourtytwo » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:08 pm

Thank you all for your kind comments though I must apologize for the poor depth of view (distant focus) apparently this is caused by a large aperture in turn caused by insufficient lighting. I am purely a point and poke man with a Panasonic DMC-TZ1 that has been all over the world with me. Me-thinks I will either have to invest in arc-lights (and potentially burn the house down) or read the camera's manual OMG!!
An especial thanks for the kind comments on the stacker, it may appear a little heath robinson but does a good job, sheesh the commercial version is expensive! Mine was definitely under £100 (and probably under £50) although some bits did surface from the junk box (motors).
But also many thanks for the comments on atmosphere and curved platforms, I am pleased with the results and pleased I did some background digging to get as many pictures of the prototype as I could, I cannot claim to be a Waverly route expert as I am a southerner (spit) but have enjoyed may visits to the boarders and highlands.
I am still to chicken to embark on the signalling (I really want working semaphores even though I have home-made color lights recovered from previous layouts) so I think the next step is fencing, I think just the posts like the telegraph poles :)
Does the pain of N gauge steam ever end!

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glencairn
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby glencairn » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:40 am

If you google 'fences at Riccarton Junction in1950s' and you should get some idea of the type of fencing there.

Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.

BorderShed
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby BorderShed » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:50 pm

fourtytwo wrote:I must apologize for the poor depth of view (distant focus) apparently this is caused by a large aperture in turn caused by insufficient lighting.
Me-thinks I will either have to invest in arc-lights (and potentially burn the house down) or read the camera's manual OMG!!


omg! indeed, or worse still, never mind the house, - incinerate that beautiful model !! :o

Yes, a smaller aperture ( higher f# ) will help to increase the depth of field, however if you want to get a 'scale' depth ie. like as though it were a picture of the real thing, "focus stacking" software can be used, where several frames at different focus are combined in software to give focus over your chosen range.
Thus you can simulate 'real' short depth on a dull cloudy day or extreme depth on a bright sunny summers day ( can keep one busy for hours :) *)
A free one that I have had good results with is Picolay http://www.picolay.de/ there are others that are either more steep in learning curve or cost.
( if you can find it another easy to use free one was CombineZ, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CombineZ but it seems that its website is down and Yahoo group inactive :( , so looks as though it has fallen by the wayside. )

* (edit) PS: hours of fun with my Panasonic FZ18

dan8400
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby dan8400 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:14 pm

I can't believe I've only just found this layout. You are doing an incredible job. The scenery and station look amazing. And your vertical traverser is a masterpiece. Very clever indeed. Is there any chance of some more in depth pictures of it?

Thanks
Dan
My Layout Thread: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=30117

fourtytwo
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby fourtytwo » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:02 pm

Hi all a long time since my last update basically because for a while I didn't have the time nor inclination but having looked seriously at alternatives this railway survives as the best option! While examining ways to improve operation I came up with a random sequence generator as a way of creating operating challenge! Instead of the easy option of running whats available this randomly selects a movement from a list of possible movements and as operator I try to achieve it, as there is no interlock with the real layout sometimes a movement might be blocked by occupied platforms etc, the option is either clear the obstruction or select another random movement.

Initially I just had a printed list and playing dice, this worked fairly well except I was not convinced of the randomness and it was limited to the number of dice employed (I started with three). Eventually being an engineer I built an electronic one based on the ubiquitous PIC processor. The pictures show the number generator and printed list of movements. I have certainly found this an entertaining addition to my railway, I make no claim to originality other than it's original for me :)
P1160052.JPG

P1160053.JPG

P.S. Many thanks Dan and all the others for your kind comments.
Does the pain of N gauge steam ever end!

fourtytwo
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby fourtytwo » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:55 pm

Actually to continue upon the theme of improvements another one is a lifting section, being an oval with a central operating well it was becoming a real pain in the knees ducking under all the time and is one of the reasons the railway was becoming less used. I finally decided to take a saw to it in a suitably planned way to create a hinged lifting section or flap. This is amazing as when not running trains around the entire loop I can get in & out without scrabbling on my knees (a definite advantage as you get older) :D

Fortunately part of the layout is non-scenic making things easier and the stacker has a 50mm square timber frame fixed to the ceiling and floor making a very sturdy support for the hinged end. The hinges are of course fixed higher than railhead height to avoid railes grating on each other as it is lifted. Alignment at the floating end is done with a wooden wedge across the width under the flap that squeezes between horizontal wooden supports either side of the approach tracks. The ply baseboard simply overlaps the approach supports to provide vertical alignment. Power is provided by a simple flexible umbilical across the hinge side.

Of course there is now no layout wiring passing across this gap! so some had to be re-routed around the entire layout. Here are some pictures of the lifting flap both open and closed together with the hinge arrangement.
lifting1.JPG

lifting4.JPG

lifting2.JPG


Having gotten more back into it I decided to finally fix a point motor problem, this entailed excavating a platform where part of the mechanism was buried (that's what was putting me off). Due to the point location it has to be remotely operated but not just a simple throw but also involving a lever, the total lost motion was more than the original design could cope with. For these situations I still have a stock of H&M motors, but they are also fairly large and the available space very small. Suffice to say I was able to fix the problem by using a long throw crank and re-fitting the motor to make the shaft lock screw a little more accessible to pliers for tightening.
gloop_point1.JPG

gloop_point2.JPG


So I am once again enjoying my N gauge running sessions, loco wheel cleaning remains as usual (for steam) but I am beginning to think of retiring some of the worst offenders and introducing some elderly (60's era) diesels :shock:
Does the pain of N gauge steam ever end!

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TimberSurf
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby TimberSurf » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:08 pm

A non duck under is ALWAYS a better solution!
Can we hear/see piccies of your elevator please?
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Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

fourtytwo
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby fourtytwo » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:15 am

As requested (I am sorry Dan to be so late I was not around for a while).
The stacker was designed by me for my layout Riccarton Junction, it is a vertical storage unit as I had no space for horizontal loops as used in previous layouts. I cut down the maximum train length from the previous 10 to 7 coaches to further reduce space requirements, this sets the shelf length in the stacker being 122Cms enough to accommodate such trains (with attached van) and a tender loco with adequate end clearance.
Each shelf in the stacker contains two tracks, one in each direction as the stacker is inserted in a double track mainline within an oval shaped layout, all trains going around the oval must go through a stacker shelf in one direction or the other to complete the circuit, however similar to storage loops the stacker is used to exchange trains rather than them simply passing through.
The stacker has 10 shelves so a potential storage of 20 trains, in a unit only 20Cms wide including counterbalance. It is fixed to both the floor and ceiling of a room 225Cms tall but this dimension is non critical and could be shorter. The shelves are spaced at 50mm centers, again this could be smaller bit I chose to be able to get my fingers in there to correct derailments and clean track etc, it is also partly dependent on the shelf brackets (more later).
The critical component are the ball race slides, these determine the maximum stroke of the shelf unit as one is used each side between the mainframe and shelf unit to maintain accurate horizontal displacement between the shelf unit and baseboard tracks.
The frame must be stiff and the verticals as near then shelf ends as possible to control there horizontal deviation with respect to the baseboard that is also attached to them, in my case they are 50mmsq pse, in addition there is a horizontal bar of the same material fixed between the uprights at roughly baseboard level so the main frame is an H shape. To this the ball race slides are attached vertically at each side and in turn a piece of mature straight 50x25mm pse is attached to carry the shelves. The shelves are cut from MARINE 12mm ply (to ensure against warping) and attached to the sliding uprights using standard shelf brackets, these must be checked for 90 degrees as they determine the shelf flatness. Although two screws are used to attach the shelf itself only the top screw is used to attach the bracket to the vertical slide left slightly loose allowing the two ends of the shelf to move slightly with respect to each other (more later). The two vertical shelf supports are themselves attached by a single screw to a large vertical marine ply panel at the top (see pics) this is to ensure against twisting of the slides. Finally a central vertical support of 50x25mm supports a 3rd bracket in the middle of each shelf to provide support against sagging in either horizontal plane.
This whole moving unit is then attached by two nylon cords up over free running pulleys attached to the ceiling to a counterweight running up & down the other side of the main frame, the whole assembly from memory weighing some 20Kgs. The cords between the top pulley and counterweight pass one turn around a motor pulley (turned from hardwood) itself mounted upon in my case a 24V Bosch lorry windscreen wiper motor (a hefty front bearing is required to stand the side load).
The two motors are each driven by there own PWM from a PIC micro-controller via an H-bridge so they may be driven in either direction. An accelerometer mounted on the shelf unit provides leveling information, level is not automatic as the ropes climb up the motor pulley sides a bit meaning the ratio is not constant, software corrects for this by deferentially driving the motors to maintain level.
Limit switches at the top and bottom provide mechanical override and a means of initialization at power up when the shelf position is unknown (it is gently lowered till the bottom limit is reached).
Actual shelf position is determined independently at each end by hall effect sensors thus compensating for any thermal, loading or humidity effects that have distorted the frame in some way, this differs from units I have seen that attempt to level shelves by monitoring the motor shaft position :)
Thats about it, any questions to help you build your own for non-commercial purposes, please ask.
foot_limit.JPG

endb.JPG

enda.JPG

baseboard fixing.JPG

front.JPG


Looks like limit of 5 pics/post so will add more in another!
Last edited by fourtytwo on Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:26 am, edited 3 times in total.
Does the pain of N gauge steam ever end!

fourtytwo
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby fourtytwo » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:17 am

motorb.JPG

motora.JPG

level_traction.JPG

head_pully.JPG

rear full.JPG
Does the pain of N gauge steam ever end!

fourtytwo
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:41 pm
Location: Norfolk (Bodecia's country) UK

Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby fourtytwo » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:25 am

stacker control switch.JPG

shelf bracket.JPG

rear upper.JPG

rear lower.JPG

stacker processor.JPG
Does the pain of N gauge steam ever end!

fourtytwo
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Location: Norfolk (Bodecia's country) UK

Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby fourtytwo » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:25 am

stacker sensor.JPG
Does the pain of N gauge steam ever end!

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TimberSurf
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Re: Riccarton Junction in N gauge

Postby TimberSurf » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:59 pm

WOW!

Thank you very much for going to the trouble of that full explanation!

Don't take this the wrong way, but it looks a bit Heath Robinson, compared to the only commercial one available :D
However, I bet it gives little trouble in comparison!
Being a designer of such things in Industry, it is always interesting to see how non commercial designs are done. (I would not dream of designing one not in metal! :shock: )
The key to your design is the feedback of positioning, independent of the drive (not indirect, like most others that look to the drive and not the platform) and that you have two independent drives (that don't assume the brilliance of the mechanics and would never dare to be out of kilter :o )
It eliminates both the flexibility/size change(heat/humidity) variables and the vagaries of such a simple drive mechanism. Clever (read cheap) but simple mechanics that are overtaken by enlightened design performed by superior control.

Bottom line, that's terrific, congrats to both the mechanic and the programmer.

One day I will have a bash at making my own (but first, need to build a layout :roll: )
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Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!


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