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About Trofimow

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  • Location
    Under the layout, Braintree, Essex
  • Interests
    Trains, preferably steam, most things that run on rails (except curtains)

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  1. It's a couple of months since my last update. There has been steady progress in the meantime, but not a lot to show you. A great effort has gone into wiring and basic systems infrastructure for the whole layout, not just the small portion built so far. One of the principles instituted as a result of experience with Effingham Mk 1 is to absolutely minimise under baseboard wiring, which had proved to be a PITA for all sorts of reasons. It is, in fact, all the more necessary to do this on the rebuild as the clearance under the baseboard at the lowest point of the layout is barely 7 inches. All the main wiring, including ring mains and busbars for the main electrical services is now carried along the front of the baseboards in cable ducts. Circuit boards for occupancy detection, the Megapoints system, etc. are mounted above the baseboard in 3D printed holders and identified with printed labels. The DCC control is split through a total of 10 PSX circuit breakers for the whole layout, and for the storage levels currently under construction, each PSX output is further split down through a control panel so that each RS-8 occupancy detector board and each point ladder can be individually switched out. These panels serve no operational purpose, but are purely for maintenance and to aid fault finding, which was previously a nightmare. All the main systems and infrastructure services are Alexa enabled and can be switched on and off by voice control. Why on Earth would I want to do this? Well apart from the obvious answer – because I can – there are practical advantages. Effingham Mk 2 is going to be a large and complex layout and already has multiple systems which have to be started up and closed down in the correct sequence. I could build a control panel with lots of switches that need to be operated in the right order. Instead, one voice command will start up or close down everything correctly. Additionally, whilst working on wiring a particular system, such as soldering feeds, that system can be switched off by voice, and the switched on again for testing without having to extract myself from a tight space and walk across the room to a panel. Provision has also been made to give some basic voice commands to RR&co Traincontroller, such as to pause or resume operations, once things progress that far.
  2. The RS-8 isn't really intended for driving LEDs. It is commonly used to report occupancy to a computer control system over the RS data bus. If you want to use RS-8's perhaps you might consider using an old PC or laptop for the mimic display. There are plenty of software options available, some such as JMRI are free and may do what you want.
  3. I use 25mm x 3mm. Other widths and thicknesses are available. It works well for straight track, but neerds cutting and shaping for curves, which can be a bit of a pain.
  4. Mine is black and I don't paint it. Its own adhesive sticks it to the baseboard (extremely powerfully) and I use a latex adhesive to fix the track. I have not yet started on the scenic part of the layout build, so have not added ballast at this stage.
  5. I use an industrial closed cell foam, similar to the plastazote referenced above. It can be obtained in strips just the right width for 00 track, and self adhesive on one side. Comes in 10 metre rolls and an be quite economical if purchased in bulk. The downside is you have to cut it for curves.
  6. The correct and reliable functioning of these 3 storage levels is essential to the success of the finished layout. The design is a little unusual in that the storage is in effect a one way system in that it is entered and left at the same points regardless of the route or direction that a train used while "on stage". Entrance and exit routes are grade separated. All this has been designed in SCARM, which has been a great help in ensuring that necessary gradients can be achieved. Ensuring that the gradients as built are actually as designed is vital. to help in this, I am using these aids; The first item is a spirit level with a digital readout of slope as a percentage. The Piko Messwagen is most useful in discovering unexpected humps, dips or twists in my tracklaying. It gives a real time readout to a smartphone as it runs around the layout.
  7. I've standardised on the Gaugemaster juicers for my current layout build, (30+ fitted so far). I find them easy to use and they just work every time, no fiddling or adjusting required. I've not noticed any arcing when they operate. I use servos for point operation and these are for my requirements the simple and reliable solution to frog switching. Other options are available...
  8. I had similar trouble with my Lenz system after a prolonged period out of use. I dismantled the handset thinking maybe one of the cores of the connecting cable had come adrift. It turned out to be the main IC slightly loose in its socket. A good finger prod to re-seat the chip and all came good.
  9. A bit more progress.... The basic structure of the second third of the bottom level storage loops begins to take shape..
  10. There's no mystery.... It'll be one of those ginormous antipodean spiders....
  11. Suede tan is in stock. https://www.amazon.co.uk/PlastiKote-Suede-400ml-Spray-Paint/dp/B07JYQYD6B/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=plastikote+suede&qid=1584286523&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExV0haTE1TQzhEN1owJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwOTA5OTAwV1AxTDFJUkFCMzZGJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA5MjQ0NDUyWU5IQ1FXU1FHR0MyJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
  12. It's still available on Amazon, sold by Plastikote.
  13. Several times this morning it took 30 secs+ to load a page. Right now it seems to be loading almost instantly. You never know what to expect...
  14. Track laying starts at last. The first one third of bottom level storage loops.
  15. Progress does happen eventually! The first baseboard structure is beginning to appear.
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