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What height is your layout?





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#1 OnTheBranchline

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 04:10

Hi everyone,

 

Just out of curiosity, is there a general rule of thumb that you go by for designing how high your layout is from the ground?


Edited by OnTheBranchline, 15 March 2018 - 16:51 .




#2 PaulRhB

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 06:32

No it's a matter of personal taste and also rather controversial once certain people get involved ;)
For a show layout you may want to consider the full spectrum of possible viewers but you will still find some that will complain it's too low or high.
Think of what's comfortable for you to operate it first, then how you want it to be viewed. There are various solutions to view it lower, seats, or higher, stools and periscopes.
Just remember you will still be wrong to some ;)
I settled on 1 metre simply because I wanted it to be viewed from a wheelchair or by kids of a similar height upwards. It's comfortable for me and friends to operate and work on it too.
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#3 Kris

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 07:09

The perfect height for a layout is the height that is perfect for you, or if you have a specific advance in mind, the perfect height for them. After that everyone else gets what they get.


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#4 steve1

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 07:50

The perfect height for a layout is the height that is perfect for you, or if you have a specific advance in mind, the perfect height for them. After that everyone else gets what they get.


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#5 Stubby47

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 07:59

Also consider where you want to operate the layout from. If from behind, can you see and reach all parts of the layout?

If from the end/front, what view do you want - eye level, overbridge, small hill or, helicopter?
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#6 chriswright03

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 08:04

This has been discussed on here a number of times before but the search function is a little clunky at the moment.  Here is one with other stuff in the thread.

 

http://www.rmweb.co....t-for-a-layout/



#7 Joseph_Pestell

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 08:32

I took our dog to a vet in France a couple of weeks ago for a check-up and stamp on his passport before coming home. Unlike our vets here where you have to lift the dog (fortunately ours is not too big at 25kg) on to the treatment bench, she had a very neat table in the form of a scissors lift.

 

That seems to me to be a good solution to adopt where you need to view a layout at different levels.



#8 MartynJPearson

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 08:40

The height I chose was based on the height of bookshelves that would be under the round the wall layout.

 

I settled on 87cm at one end and 85cm at the other end because of a faulty bubble in my spirit level. 


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#9 Kylestrome

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:27

I chose the height of my layout to be exactly the same as a piece of string.


Edited by Kylestrome, 12 March 2018 - 09:30 .

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#10 PatB

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:28

The height I chose was based on the height of bookshelves that would be under the round the wall layout.

 

I settled on 87cm at one end and 85cm at the other end because of a faulty bubble in my spirit level. 

 

You sure it's not a faulty house? Mine sags at the ends quite appreciably :D.


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#11 Pete the Elaner

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:18

I remember seeing a layout at a show which was at about my chest height. Viewing across the scenery rather than from a scale 150' in the air made it look much better.

Unfortunately a wheelchair user would have been denied the chance of seeing it & any children would have needed a lift from an adult or stepping stool.

As mentioned earlier, a taller layout makes it harder to reach a derailment on the other far side of the board, especially if there is backscene in the way.



#12 The Johnster

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 15:03

You sure it's not a faulty house? Mine sags at the ends quite appreciably :D.

 

You can get a cream at the chemist's for that...


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#13 BMacdermott

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 15:10

Hello OnTheBranchlIne

 

A factor that I took into detailed consideration when planning the height of my layout was: Can I reach all the switches on the control panels without 'awkwardly bending'?

 

Brian



#14 Nick C

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 15:11

For a home layout, whatever suits you. Mine is 90cm because the timber I used for the legs came in 180cm lengths...

 

For an exhibition layout, no higher than eye level to a seated person, otherwise you're preventing wheelchair-bound visitors from seeing it - bear in mind that an adult can always lean or sit down to see a lower layout from eye level should they choose.



#15 The Johnster

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 15:12

I try to set my layouts at the highest point at which I can easily reach stock for uncoupling from my operator's seat, a swivel work chair whose height is itself adjustable.  I have it so that I can rest my feet comfortably on the ground.  Fortunately for me, this is not much higher than a standard workdesk's height, and a lot of the furniture upon which the baseboards sit tops out at that,

 

This is a strictly home layout that will never be exhibited; I did some exhibiting in the past and it ain't my bag, man. I prefer exhibition layouts to be set high and presented in proscenium arches which facilitate good lighting on the sides, not the tops, of the models to those that are viewed from a higher viewpoint and overhead lit, but accept that this is not suitable for children or wheelchair users; in fact, I don't think the usual exhibition set up is particularly suitable for them either, though I have no constructive suggestions to offer...

 

Height and baseboard width in a home operator's layout are, to my view (literally) part of a holistic approach which also encompasses sight lines, lighting, operator comfort, and presentation if the layout is in a shared part of the home (mine is in a bedroom and the squeeze has to be considered).



#16 grahame

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 15:31

bear in mind that an adult can always lean or sit down to see a lower layout from eye level should they choose.


Unfortunately, not all adults can 'lean' without falling over or experiencing pain.

G
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#17 LBRJ

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 15:48

Like everyone says - It varies, and some have very firm views on the matter !

 

Personally I think around the 52 inches off the deck mark is ideal and should also suit most viewers (if that is to be  a consideration).

 

I have checked this out before

  • It is about chest height for the typical adult, so they get less of a helicopter view
  • my sitting eye level in a random chair, is 52 inches so I get a perfect view
  • the typical 10 year old is about 4'6" so they also get that perfect view

 

That should work for most people.


Edited by LBRJ, 12 March 2018 - 15:49 .

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#18 Clive Mortimore

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 16:54

Hi everyone,

 

Just out of curiosity, is there a general rule of thumb that you go by for designing how high your layout is from the ground?

Hi

 

It is your layout, you are the one who potentially could hurt you back with too much bending if too low or too much stretching if too high. It is your layout think of yourself first.

 

Edit, if an exhibition layout then consider the time the average viewer spends in front ? 5 minutes, how many days , weeks months etc are you going to be working and operating the layout. It is your layout think of yourself first.


Edited by Clive Mortimore, 12 March 2018 - 16:57 .

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#19 davknigh

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 16:56

The ideal height for a home layout is that which allows you to reach the furthest siding without having to resort to a stool or other device. The ideal height for a show layout is that which allows you to operate all day without pain. FWIW I chose 53” for both.

Cheers,

David
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#20 dolydd

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 23:16

You need to get at wiring underneath so if it`s a fixed home based layout, I would suggest a height that lets you lie down on your back underneath with arms extended upwards to fiddle with point motors etc. This tends to end up with a layout at around normal desktop height, which then allows operation while sitting down.

#21 newbryford

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 23:21

I took our dog to a vet in France a couple of weeks ago for a check-up and stamp on his passport before coming home. Unlike our vets here where you have to lift the dog (fortunately ours is not too big at 25kg) on to the treatment bench, she had a very neat table in the form of a scissors lift.

 

That seems to me to be a good solution to adopt where you need to view a layout at different levels.

 

 I can see it now.

 

Height wars.........

 

"It's too low - please could you raise it up?"

 

"Errr - excuse me - it was right for me - I was here first, can you lower it back again?

 

 

 

Cheers,

Mick



#22 AdamsRadial

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 08:29

My layout is at mid-chest height because it had to fit over some items already present in the room that couldn't be positioned elsewhere at the time. I had to cut access holes in the baseboard to be able to reach the rear tracks, but I designed it such that all points are on the front 15" board. I find viewing layouts at this height more pleasant than having to look downwards, and the sight at eye-level much better.

 

I have wondered about the wheelchair-bound and child issue before. One high-tech solution to this might be to install a TV screen low down, with a web-cam and periscope controls so that the user can swing the camera to and from.



#23 Dunsignalling

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 09:15

For viewing mid-chest height is about right, as it cuts the "helicopter" effect; for me that's around 48".

 

For access, anything higher than waist height will restrict ones ability to reach the back of the baseboard (unless they are no wider than your arm's length) or risk damaging things near the front as you lean across, so I keep a plastic "hop-up" handy.

 

The domestic sort are around 10" high which is fine for most things but, for more serious/prolonged work, I use my DIY/decorating one which is about 18" with a larger platform. If you use manual couplings, you'll find it more convenient to do everything from floor level so lower and/or narrower boards will suit better. 

 

Mine (under construction) is for home use only and its location rules out wheelchair viewing anyway, but if I want to make it more exhibition-friendly, making an alternative set of supports isn't that difficult to do.

 

John


Edited by Dunsignalling, 13 March 2018 - 09:37 .

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#24 Nick C

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 13:54

Unfortunately, not all adults can 'lean' without falling over or experiencing pain.

G

 

but they can still see it from above without any problems - wheras with a high layout, a wheelchair user, confronted with something several inches above the top of their head, is totally excluded. Which would you rather - one group of people having to view from a slightly less than optimum angle, or another group not being able to view at all?


Edited by Nick C, 13 March 2018 - 13:55 .


#25 Stalwart

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 14:19

Mine is in my garage which is also home to a classic Morris Oxford so it is at a height that clears it's roof, so about shoulder height, with a lift out section behind the garage door. The perspective you get when viewing the trains go by at that height reminds me very much of halcyon days watching Hydraulics go by in the sixties at Twyford Station and sitting on the embankments at Ruscombe and Waltham! 


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