We need a place to let each other know about progress on our layouts, ideas, dreams, and learning experiences... that means stuff that didn’t go quite as planned.
Paula and I have had a busy and mostly non-train summer BUT it is time to get back to business. Our layout is primarily N and W, home of the beautiful dirty coal dripping black engines and the beautiful 611. Yeah, there are also diesels of various types and colors and we interchange with other railroads that come close to Suffolk, Va.
We started back to work adjusting yard turnouts and lights after track was painted and ballasted and have completed the freight yard and most of the main line. Thank goodness for the Ballast King which made the job far easier. I gave info on how to install Tortoise switch motors and Ross turnout lights on MTF.
Hopefully the photo will attach properly.
This afternoon, we began working on getting the DCS system to meet our needs. We want to be able to control sidings and some blocks with the remote and also about 20 turnouts. This requires relays, both locking and regular. A relay race is the total of what I know about relays. This will be interesting. TIU, AIU, locking relays, wi-fi, and Barry’s book. We are set. I found out that six wire cable comes with ends that match and ends that reverse. Naturally we have the wrong one. Amazon to the rescue.
@ oldhokie70 I really like your yard areas with the lighted switch lanterns but alas I never could get mine to work meaning if the lanterns moved correctly to show all green or red then the switch points did not align I gave up! seeing your yard tracks I have to ask why the use of relays? lastly 17 layout versions ago I had a single 4 yard track 16 feet long but when the termites arrived the entire layout had to go and we never rebuilt it the same but now on layout 18 and we are content to scenic it and be as finished as one can be! hope your relays work as you want with little head screatching.
I actually changed my entire layout over the last month or so. Before anyone gets too excited, it is important to note that I have only been back into the hobby for a year and my layout is a modest 4x8. I simply hadn't gotten very far with the initial layout.
I was only 14 or so when I originally "left" the hobby, if you can call a single loop with a single train set really hobby level. So this last year has been a whirlwind of learning. I learned what I wanted in a layout and realized my initial choice of track plan was sorely lacking. I also realized that I loved maintaining and running the trains most. While I like the other stuff (model landscaping, etc.), I don't have the time for it so I wanted to minimize it.
Goals of the new layout.
1. Minimal landscape modeling. The answer, use one of those roll-out grass mats. It is simple and looks decent. I can put the buildings on it and slowly add some other detail. This way the layout doesn't look half-done for long periods of time. Some day when i have more time I may get fancier. 2. Ability to loop at least 2 trains. The answer, one outer loop and one inner loop with a cross over between them. I am also planning an upper loop using some trestle's I am 3D printing. 3. A way to reverse Direction. The answer, a pass-through from one side of the inner loop to the other.
Here is a link to my Smugmug site of a short video of the current state of the layout. I will post more pictures and videos as things progress.
@ oldhokie70 I really like your yard areas with the lighted switch lanterns but alas I never could get mine to work meaning if the lanterns moved correctly to show all green or red then the switch points did not align I gave up! seeing your yard tracks I have to ask why the use of relays? lastly 17 layout versions ago I had a single 4 yard track 16 feet long but when the termites arrived the entire layout had to go and we never rebuilt it the same but now on layout 18 and we are content to scenic it and be as finished as one can be! hope your relays work as you want with little head
We want to control some of the turnouts with the MTH DCS using remotes for the main line tracks.
Tortoise switch machines won’t operate directly from the MTH AIU because the AIU doesn’t provide current long enough to throw the switch fully. Locking relays do the job... if you can figure out how to make it all work. We started trying to get the AIU working today and switch a simple one bulb yard light on and off.
No luck yet and I may have to ask for help yet again.
The lanterns were a real pain to adjust. We got about 80% to do really well; the other 20% are close enough. I got tired of redoing.
I pulled out the shopvac and vacuumed around the layout and the rest of the basement. My next task is cleaning the track. I haven't done that in a while. Then clean the little spider webs and dust that has settled on the cars and trucks.
DennyM Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement
Mackerel I like the video. It looks nice and your trains are not racing around at 100 MPH like so many people like to run them.
When you get the 3D printing done, please show all of us how you did it. That seems to have tremendous potential.
Will do. I have a few things on the layout that is already 3D printed (Water Tank, Train Station, General Store). Results have been a bit mixed, but some of this was printed when 3D printing was new to me. Believe it or not, I dove into model railroading and 3D printing in the same year. Lots of fun and lots of new things to learn.
The trestle i am planning to use is this one: www.thingiverse.com/thing:1946407 However, I will need to modify it to work with tubular track. Working on a few options.