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Kyle - on the Fiddle - Part I

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Update - The last two nights have seen progress on the fiddle yard area. Due to the number of boards/joints on the layout, cassettes were decided as has been depicted in a number of previous sketches.

After much consideration and options I decided that two single and two double cassettes [which can be joined together] were required. Why double? Because when a loco is running around its train, due to the small length of the layout, the rolling stock will need to be pushed back partly in the fiddleyard to clear the turnout and then the resulting loco needs a road to run on to. Two singles in this situation would not have fit. For other situations, the single cassettes can be used on their own acting as loco lifts if need be.

The construction of the cassetes is from grey card [to keep down weight] and the idea is that they double up as rolling stock storage in the 'upside down' fiddle yard boards. These will fit into removeable trays [thanks Donw ;)] so these can be set aside whilst the boards are joined together.

For the joints between the cassettes I have used brass tube and rodding to allow alignment, electrical continuity and structural strength, which means you can pick up two cassettes together without them collapsing in the middle. The tube is 100mm in length on each side of the join and the connecting rod which will be inserted upon set up is 200mm in length.There will be a small wire soldered to the EASITRAC brass sleepers located 100mm from the ends and this will be soldered to the brass tube on the corresponding underside. For alignment and power to the two scenic boards I am thinking of using a similar system.The last job was to cut down the size of the two fiddleyard support boards to allow for the depth of the cassettes.

I still need to complete the two single cassettes and the associated sparks but I have included a few shots of the work to date.


Cassettes stored in upside down fiddleyard boards...


Two twin road and two single road cassettes...


Once removed give this...removable tray to be made still...


The top and the underside showing brass tubes for strength, alignment and power...


Joined together using the brass rod...


Giving this...


Alignment and power to scenic boards will probably be similiar...


Dapol sprinter...which is just slightly longer than the cassettes :icon_mutter:



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That looks good.

(what may seem a daft question)

I'm still a little confused on the brass rod connectors. if they are on the underside of the cassettes how do you connect them up as the cassette will be flat on the table, if the extend beyond the edge (like a plug) then they would prevent the cassette going back into their boxes?

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Kenton - thanks.


Not a daft question - The idea is that the 4 brass rods that connect the two cassettes are kept seperately in the same box and when the two cassettes are set out flat on the table [right way up with the rolling stock inside] the rods are inserted into the brass tubes, one side then the other and the cassettes simply slid together. It sounds a little fiddly but it actually takes longer to explain it than it does to do it!


Hope that clarifies a little further? Pete

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Thanks, I was going by the third photo down - showing the brass tubes on the underside? of the cassettes. I couldn't see in any of the photos the tubes visible on the top surface (next to the track) which is more typical an arrangement.

I think I now understand how you are doing it though.

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Kenton - Your absolutely right, the more usual method is to have this sort of arrangement next to the tracks, normally soldered to PCB sleeper strip however for this layout I wanted something a little different and also more minimal and discreet in appearance.


The scenic break will be the road bridge and as people will be able to see beneath it and straight into the fiddleyard I wanted to try and avoid large brass fittings/bulldog clips etc between the tracks...if that sort of makes sense - Pete

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Thanks Donw - once the cassette/fiddleyard storage is finished I will complete the turnouts, sort the sparks and hopefully get some trains running!

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