Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

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.
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

Bit more progress, first up all but one of the folding electrical panels are now installed, the other is being used as a bit of a shelf and will probably get done over the weekend. then ready to start wiring the bus lines when the rest of the connectors arrive.

had been working out how to retain these flaps in the folded position, first thought was magnetic catches, tried that, not strong enough. second though was small bolts, couldn't find any small enough or sensibly priced, so in the end I did this:

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3060.JPG

its a small metal strip that comes with holes, meant for joining things together and repairs, well here it gets one screw not really tightened and can rotate

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3061.JPG

open and closed can latch the boards in the stowed position nicely, a bodge but one that works.

completed the stripwood bracing on the boards so the whole thing is now pretty rigid, though not "accurate", one gap is a bit of a mess and will need some filling sections. the deck can easily be extended to cover it, just needs some filling wood so the retaining clamps can be set tightly. this is an artefact of having to eyeball angles so one or two are less square than they should be. in effect the layout is 7' wide at one end and about 7.5' wide at the other. I'll live.

finally, also progressing the stripwood sections that will support the open frame track bed sections

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3062.JPG

this is board "B", the middle one on the wall/scenic side of the layout, clamps holding strips wood at both ends, this board has pure gradients, the clamps are for the gradually rising section left to right, I need the track bed in on this board so the gradients on the ones to either side can be set up properly.

may be a stretch but goal for the weekend is to get the rest of the electrical connectors installed (if they turn up) and to try and get the rest of the track end supports done with board B seeing its track beds added... will see how far I get, then next week get the bus wiring done to all the boards and continuity tested
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

More wood butchery, have been out most of the day so only a few bits

Board "B" had gained its scenic deck and lower track deck, upper deck cut (needs the stripwood cutting and gluing before its installed)

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3063.JPG

shows the two inclines reasonably well, two more supports to go in still as well so its supported at 12" intervals.

cut and fitted a few more of these:

Image [ url]http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3064.JPG[/url]

12mm plywood, there is another the other side, these are where the electrical connectors between the boards get mounted - perils of using 9mm ply for the frame, not really thick enough to screw stuff too. using this method with one half screwed half way up also makes it hard to plug in in backwards

Accurate measurements, turns out these may have been a good idea, can work with it though

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3065.JPG

and finally the last of the non-scenic side boards ("F") has gotten its deck adding completing the full 12' length. though as is always the way it has accumulated clutter already.

with "B" part done it starts to become easier to do the other two curved boards with their gradients as now have the middle bit to match up to. not sure how far I will get tomorrow but the focus is on the wood "working". also picked up some XPS foam to be able to start the track beds, needs the main bit of wood messing done though before it goes down, also need some more copydex
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

another slight change of plan, today I assembled the enclosure for the electrical power box

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3067.JPG

made from an old Oak shelf, 1" thick, decent wood, took an age to cut - about 3" deep, 10" wide and 12" high, the backing board is the same wood and is a little larger.

shown here with the three AC-DC converters roughly in place and the mains socket roughly fitted. connector at the bottom handles the 5V, 12V & 15V DC out with a common ground.

naturally with mains in there it needs a cover

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3068.JPG

this is thin ply, the strip to the left will have the screws for the hinged, on the right will have the screw for the magnetic catch, its also a handle. rough fitted is one of three combined voltage and current meters, one for each voltage channel. the socket to the side has the on/off switch.

all pretty basic, but should be functional, ventilation comes from the door being a few mm proud of the frame.

and then primed a mid grey, prior to the gloss grey going on during the week (other side of the door also needs priming)

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3069.JPG

and in between all this have connected the bus wires to boards B & C, including the point where the power will feed in eventually, board H has the connectors but not the wires as yet, waiting on more connectors before progressing further.

and thats today done in the cellar
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

More progress!

Board "C" now has the upper deck partly installed, mid deck is cut and the scenic deck at the front also added

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3076.JPG

there is a "need" for a small scenic filler for the internal corner, probably not hard to add later, just to bridge the two scenic bits at right angles.

mid deck will get two more supports towards the back to hold the curved incline correctly, now spirals round quite nicely.

scenic bit at the back needs cutting to side to install it around the rear board framing, same with board "E" (on the right of the image), the rear scenic areas need sorting out.

this end is not far off having the track bed added and then actually some track.

also top tip: see those electrical connector blocks? while they are very good make sure to tighten any unused terminals or the things vibrate loose and drop off where the dust bunnies eat them
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

out this evening and tomorrow plus the weekend, last bit before I do today at lunchtime, and hopefully tomorrow lunchtime a bit more

got the bits photographed yesterday now properly supported and the same for the rear incline on the central board, hopefully tomorrow can get the "hump" incline bit thats cut installed, means two boards excepted where some wiring needs to go in first the actual main baseboards are done..

just the three or four for the upper deck and the weird shaped bit for the reverse loops thats coming later still to do

getting scary close to having no excuses not to actually start adding track
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glencairn
Posts: 4933
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:09 pm
Location: Both sides of the Border

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by glencairn »

aleopardstail wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 1:10 pm
getting scary close to having no excuses not to actually start adding track
[/quote

Feel the fear and do it anyway. :twisted:

Like walking - one step at a time. One length of track at a time. 8) :lol:

Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.
I Cannot Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

More on the track deck, split in the incline now in place, also rough cut the scenic board that sits behind this, needs a few batons fixing to carry it (and the other rear bits on an adjacent board).

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3077.JPG

just two more boards to fit the track deck to now
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

Going to be a somewhat quiet week, away last weekend and managed to find most evenings busy so really just a few odds and sods.

doing a touch more work on the planning side, thinking for example signals, I want them to work and to that end have ordered a Ratio kit to have a go at and see just how badly I mess it up, cheap enough its worth a try. Likewise a Metcalfe signal box, which is really too large for Leopard Junction but will do as a bit of a placeholder and has a reasonable price.

the main point though being to work out how to run some (non-functional) point rodding and signal wires such that I don't make that harder later with the track down - basically where does webbing under the rail need removing stuff.

A few more bits have arrived though, for example the DCC-EX base station is now assembled and tested over WiFi, needs a base printing for it and its little screen, plus some hot glue on a few wires to get it mounted. the ESP-32 microcontroller that will be what passes for a brain on the first board has also arrived to experiment with, along with the servos and servo control board.

additionally the crimping tool, and sockets to finish the power box arrived yesterday, hopefully by Sunday that will be completed and tested, maybe even actually wall mounted

hopefully tomorrow sees the last fiddly bit of track bed bracing which means I can start to think about getting the XPS and cork down at one end too.


so a slower week but not a totally dead one
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

Drafted a signalling plan, needed as it will lead into the track circuits plan to allow it to work

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/signalling%20plan.png

I think its reasonable, there is compression on the station approach roads, ohh boy is there compression. the bit to the right is reasonable though. this distance from the junction to the starter on the right is circa 11' which I think is fine, the one on the station approach is closer to 8' (trains on the station approach are closer to 4-5 foot in length so should be decent and not too nose to tail.

the LJ outer home to the inner home is again about 8'-9', with the purpose being to be able to stack two trains approaching the junction from the station - likewise the starter and station home allows two stacked approaching. the LS distant is laughably close to the home, however for a dense urban route, on an uphill gradient and lower speed line with compression its acceptable.. just about.

lower lines have larger spacing as they will (eventually) see longer freight trains in the through loops that come out and circulate occasionally, these will be able to be more or less twice the length of the passenger trains (in practice probably about 150%)

all the off stage stuff is virtual signals to allow for JMRI automation.

operation is, roughly, thus

1. train is selected from the reverse loops (could be time table, could be random, could just pick one) - from the three forward positions.
2. this train leaves and completes a circuit of the loop coming back in on the running line
3. from here it is routed up the incline to the station
4. human operator at the station is responsible for turning it around ready to leave
5. departs station area back down the incline
6. completes a circuit of the loop coming back to the LJ box
7. routed into one of the storage loops - in the rear position.

some automation shuffles the rear position to the forward position as space becomes free.

lower level can thus hold six trains in the reverse loops and two longer freight trains that basically just get in the way occasionally

the hidden area (denoted by the grey lines) gains RFID readers just inside the tunnel portals, and likely also short blocks to allow for RailCom - identifies the locomotive DCC address and can read the train type to know where to route it to.

of course this all depends on my being able to make this work so will see how it all goes
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

Enough pontificating, lunchtime excursion to the cellar

Image [ url]http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3078.JPG[/url]

Board "H" got the required incline supports added, not visible really from this angle but a bit of a clamp and be seen. then board "C" and most of board "H" got the XPS track bed added..

needs the infill bit doing, this will however not be fully filled as some RFID boards will be here. then board "C" behind needs doing, edges tidying up and the cork for the actual track bed adding.

then painting. these are however pretty trivial lunchtime activities and will hopefully be done by the weekend.

then maybe, just maybe, the first bits of track (a pair of turnouts and a diamond) may go in, or at least the outer line turnout so I can test the servo mount for it.

block detection board (MERG DTC8) is on order, a bit more wiring on board "H" (nearest in that image) and the DCC-EX station can be added and wired up, while a controller for it will have to wait I can run with WiThrottle on my phone in the short term when testing stuff - though actual powered movement is unlikely until towards the end of next week (need some actual track first to have enough to move something on)

Question: is it likely better to lay one point then the plain track either side, or lay the whole junction and then add the plain track? just wondering from experience which is easy to work with
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

initial XPS finished

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3079.jpg

bottom right is the 3d printed base for the DCC-EX station with a bracket for a small screen, need M2 screws (tomorrow) to fit the screen, bit of hot glue on some connectors to stop them becoming disconnectors and that can be installed and wired to the power & track busses
Phred
Posts: 560
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2023 10:53 pm
Location: Queensland Australia

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by Phred »

I like it. :)
So complex but well thought out.
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

Phred wrote: Wed Jun 19, 2024 9:30 pm I like it. :)
So complex but well thought out.
its actually simple, very simple, the basic plan started out as a very small micro layout from a CJF design, single loop, reverse loop, high level station

its only really two loops and a twin track branch to a terminal, with reverse and storage loops.

the scenic area started as flat deck with an incline, got me 3" clearance, laziness wanted 5" to put point servos directly to the upper board, so shifted the incline start, means the lower deck scenic area, indeed all the scenic tracks outside the station are inclined to some level (on purpose instead of just ending up that way). threw in the space allowing the scenic tracks to pretty much all be gradually curved and you get this somewhat oversized mess, but more board than track. could probably fit the idea into 5'x8', I wanted some open space.

open space looks good and is cheaper than track :)
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

Cork trackbed is now down, well the beginnings of it

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3080.JPG

the gap will get some thin plastic card over it, as will the board joins (the latter to support PCB sleepers for track alignment, the former to bridge where RFID readers will sit)

fun getting the 20mm strips round the curves but got there in the end, bits towards the top are not stuck as they too need to go onto a corner.

will stick more down tomorrow lunchtime, also have some grey emulsion to go over it all once its set, I've got the two turnouts and diamond for the junction, will be ordering the actual trackwork next week, then its a long list of jobs to actually power this lot up and run trains properly, mostly individually small stuff, that board at the other end with rubbish alignment is going to get replaced with one thats not square but does actually fit properly for one thing.

to actually run trains though means:
- finish the power box to at least output 15V DC (in practice will do the 5V and 12V at the same time), have all the bits for this
- install the DCC-EX board
- actually lay some flipping track
- assemble the first of the DTC-8 block detection boards to install and wire up (the micro controller will come later but this means the actual track connections can be sorted)
- test first the first servo and wire up the polarity switches after adjusting them (again it doesn't need to be powered initially, just to have the polarity work for straight ahead running)
- switch it all on...
aleopardstail
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:48 pm

Re: Leopard Street, LNER 1930's

Post by aleopardstail »

Corktastic!

Image http://www.aleopardstail.com/IMG_3081.JPG

first three boards now have the cork down, there is technically a bit more, board nearest the camera has a siding along the near edge - however the pointwork isn't on this board so leaving for now, likewise the junction bottom left has another track to spur off, also not due to be fitted soon so being left.

couple of bits of plastic to cut and fit (cover the RFID sensor gap and reinforce the board joins to take PCB sleepers), will do them later and they get the paint out from the car.

the tighter 18" curve was a pain to lay the cork and measure out, the rest were easy, the rear curves are laid freehand and look about right, nice and gentle, closer to 36"
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