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About deepfat

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    Southern 1930-1945, especially routes to Hastings & Brighton. However I am completely new to railway modelling especially DCC.
    I am also a keen artist as you can see from my own website

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  1. @Roy Langridge Nothing like a recommendation from someone using this stuff so thanks for sharing. However specifically which ones do you have the clear, pure travel and what is the gauge I need to work with Peco 75. I have a Raqpido apt-e, a Bachmann crane and other fragile stuff to protect.
  2. I am thinking of bodging a LOTI by using the spare bogey from the lovely Bachmann City of London to get rod of the huge gap. Has anyone tried this or are there other ways to get the front bogey to be as good and close as on the Bachamm City class?
  3. Hi AVS1998, I am also modelling Hastings and so I have Pullmans and the usual SR coaches.

    My father moved us to Hastings in 1966 and he went to st Olaves grammar school during WWII so I have that loco on my layout.

    My mission is to build the amazing Hastings station as constructed in 1931 .. 


    this is the plan but I am a long way from finishing the scenery, as I am currently finishing up automation & detection.  However I am interested in your layout and your sources for research.


    1. Mallard60022


      PM might be better than public?


    2. deepfat


      sure but we haven't met and it might be creepy, I am nervous about social media even though it's part of

      my day job

    3. Mallard60022


      I mean PM on here deepfat. Many folk are mistaking the two message facilities.


  4. I have some 2 part glue that Westland helicopters use to glue the 5 sections of tail rotor shafts of the EH101 Merlin helicopter together. It's made by 3M and It really stinks of fish but when I stick a bit of white metal to brass is stays there. Excess can be filed down and there is no melting of anything
  5. While it's possible to run trains automatically on a layout by relying on accurate measurement and knowing exactly how fast your trains are moving, in practice you need feedback about where your trains are to make automation reliable, otherwise positions will drift due to all sort of variations and inaccuracies. There are several ways to detect a train on a track including optical detectors, switches, magnets and by measuring a voltage drop on a section of track. However in most of these scenarios there is no information on exactly what has been detected, a bit like your neighbourhood fox tripping you PIR activated lights around the house where what you really want is to know when a person is there. As I wanted to know which loco was where on my layout, I went for a Railcom based system because I think this is the only way to do that right now. This allows a Railcom enabled decoder to send its ID and direction of travel back to a feedback detector module and then to the controller and finally to the control software. The best bang for your buck in Railcom feedback detection is probably the Digikiejs DC5088RC which has 16 detectors on it for about £100-ish and that's what I went for they are easy for a geek like me to setup - you just plug them into your laptop taking care to only c9onnect them via USB isolator if you want to test them while the DCC system they are connected to is on. Here you can see my APT-E (ID 152) showing up in the Digikeijs software: The next question is how many feedback detectors are needed and where do they need to be? Here's my plan (with thanks to Iain Morrison for getting me started on this): You can see I have 5 feedback detectors giving me detection across a maximum of 80 sections of track. You can also see I have two reverse loop modules and I'll discuss those in another post, when they are installed and working. I am using iTrain and this works by using a combination of detection, accurate speeds for trains and recording the lengths of all the sections of track and points that make up a layout. So when a train is detected iTrain can predict when it will enter the next detection section and use this to set points and stop trains in a station and so on. However it is not precise - Say there is a 1% margin of error on a 2m length of track. By the time a train comes to the end of that section you could be 2cm out, so having more detectors where trains are likely to brake and stop reduces this error. For example in my 3m long station I'll assign 3 detectors , two short ones at either end of the platform for stopping depending on direction and a longer section to connect them. Precise positioning is also important for shunting and uncoupling and that's another thing I plan to automate later on. iTrain has a concept of a block that mirrors how real railways work where a block can only be occupied by one train (where a train is made up of one or mor locos plus other rolling stock) at a time. Each block can have many feedback detectors but does not include points, so just one way in to the block and one way out or none if it's a siding. As an example in my main station I have a block for every platform each with 3 detectors in. It's pretty simple if a little tedious to describe blocks and feedbacks in iTrain but then I need to make that real by making changes to my layout: Wire up the feedback detectors to my track, Connect them via Loconet (Lnet in Roco speak) back to the DCC controller (Z21) Enter the details of the feedback detectors in iTrain. Test, Test, Test That and splitting my single bus setup into a track plus accessory bus configuration required a lot of rewiring. Part of that was to add track power to each outside rail of all my points as I planned to fully insulate them from the adjacent tracks as I may want to add detection over points at a later date. This means the only things I have directly connected to the track bus are the detectors themselves - all power to detected sections, point rails and frogs flows through one of these units.. so I sort of have 7 buses on my layout! One for each of my 5 feedback detectors , the track bus and the accessory bus. I am aware this might be overkill but it works. It's also worth noting that both rails must be gapped between one detector and the next so that the common rail (pink in my diagram) gets power from the same detector that's doing the detecting Of course drawing diagrams is easy so here's the spaghetti under my layout.. I guess I could have invested in a more Technicolor wiring scheme but the sticky labels I have attached to the wires are good enough for me. I know I do now have a real mess of wires like my DC friends and some of the runs of dropper wires are longer than usual as the black wires all need to go to one of the five detectors. However, the difference is that I now know exactly where my trains are as we'll see next time. Finally thanks to my new friends Rich at YouChoos and James at DCC Train Automation who have been really helpful
  6. Having deleted RailMaster, put my Hornby Elite in the electronics recycling bin and swapped in a Roco Z21 controller with iTrain I wanted to see how they worked with my layout before getting into the detection side of things. Here's my layout in Hornby RailMaster Pro I have enabled displaying the point's ID numbers as I want to refer to them when setting up the same points in iTrain. The old Railmaster diagram does resemble my layout .. Comparing that to a pretty close schematic of my layout in SCARM It's roughly the same but RailMaster is confusing for me - Even at 50% there aren't really enough squares to make it look like it is and you have to fudge 3 way points and double slips by using two points for each of these. To be fair my first go at iTrains was daunting. Some things are familiar but there lots of detailed settings and of course the jargon used is different. I started by slowly by just creating the switchboard to reflect my layout: To my eye this looks neater and more like the actual layout: There are specific symbols for 3 way points and double slips rather than the Railmaster bodge of using two points to represent them. I can see my station and the turntable is resizable although I have yet to try and see how to get an ADM turntable to work with it The size of the grid doesn't matter so much and the curved corners are more elegant Another key feature for me is that iTrain supports modern operating systems from Windows 10/11 (I am running it on windows 11 myself) to Apple (OSX and IOS) and linux distros The obvious downside of iTrain Plus edition is at least double the price the price of Railmaster Pro. However unlike RailMaster which is strictly per device, iTrain can be installed on many devices so I can design layouts in my office, use my all in one Touchscreen PC as my main layout controller, and have it on a laptop right next to where I am working if I am troubleshooting or configuring new stuff. I can use any of these to drive my layout. Moreover iTrain is designed around detection and automation and because I’ll be using those features, it is better value for money for me. I also think some railway modellers can be put off by the complexity and richness of iTrain. That's partly why I am writing this. I could have spent hours getting confused on YouTube watching others try to explain how to use it and use it and all the theory, but I chose a different path. Start simple, learn the basics and apply the principle of RTFM (Read the ... Manual) : Get the switchboard looking like the layout you have Configure every point so that they throw correctly to match what you can see on the switchboard Add a test loco and run it! All the advanced stuff for routes, detection and speeds can wait until you are ready to explore more. It's like learning to play guitar , learn three chords (may be enough if you are a Quo fan) , learn strumming, learn timing and rock 'n roll you are making music. Sure there are more chords, licks and playing with your teeth, but that's for later That's what I have now done and a couple of days I feel at home and I really like using it - For example the fact that all of the settings for every accessory, loco and can be seen in a list that can be sorted and there is a diagnosis screen to show you what needs fixing later -For example I have not done any measuring yet (more on that later) It's also really really stable. So now I have found my way around iTrain my next task is to fix the wiring - Both to move to a track/accessory bus setup and to wire in the Digikeijs DR5088RC detectors. Finally a polite request - if there is anything wrong in here please let me know, as I do see a lot of conflicting advice out there, and my mission is to keep things simple but accurate.
  7. Oops fixed it by enabling Railcom on cv29 - I set the value to 42 so clearly Douglas Adams knew more about DCC than I do
  8. Hi, I have installed railcom detection using digikeijs DR5088 on my layout and while it picks up that something is on my layout where my apt-e is it is not returning its ID and direction. I am guessing this is because the decoder is Loksound 3.5? BTW I have APT-e no 0017
  9. I have several posts on RailMaster(pro edition) on this blog as I got more and more into it. It is simple to use and suited my needs as someone new to DCC. However I have been more and more frustrated with its reliability: It is not designed for Windows 10 It has an arcane licensing setup It has a lot of lag on throwing points and sending functions to locos as it is working like an old dial up modem over a com port and this also means it takes ages to read and write CVs to locos It now has an annoying feature (aka bug) where newly added locos only go at full speed when you set any throttle at all. I was also hoping that detection would be added one day.. However what I have seen is Hornby reverting to DC control and no innovation of either its ageing Elite controller or the RailMaster software, so I finally decided to swap out the Horny components, but for what? My goal has always been to run two or more locos at once without worrying that they'll collide, derail or cause a short as they run across points that are set against them. I have sort of prevented this up until now by having safety track where the power is only applied if the point is set correctly, but this is crude as the loco just stops as do any sounds or lights it has. Now thanks to a great afternoon with Iain Morrison I have seen how detection can bring a layout to life by having multiple trains running without needing to watch over them constantly. I have pretty much decided to replicate what Iain uses, having read a lot of forums and watched a lot of YouTube. I budgeted for £2K for this project which might sound a lot but most of my fellow enthusiasts have spent over 10K on trains alone. I was more worried about how much rewiring I had to do which I'll cover in an a separate post. This is what I ended which is also what Iain has: iTrain Plus software for automation Roco Z21 and Z21 single booster for DCC control as I now plan to have a separate track and accessory bus 5 x Digikiejs DR5088RC detection units and a loco net hub However I did do my own research: iTrain Plus My decision was based on quality, reliability and innovation, coupled with ease of use. I could have used the free jmri but the interface is awful I couldn't get it to install and the manual is a train wreck. Train Controller is way more expensive and doesn't seem to be as innovative or offer anything I need over iTrain. Roco Z21 Not the cheapest, but supports loads of standards and it just worked when I plugged it into my home network - I did not even need to use the supplied router as I am whizz on computer networks. I really liked how it resets a short and the booster has the option not to pass the short to the Z21 itself ( the Z21 drives the accessory bus and the booster is used for the track bus). Plus it's got great diagnostics and update tools and just works with iTrain. I was also impressed with its programming on main and how fast it reads cvs on locos. Digikiejs DR5088RC detectors They do what they say on the tin. I was impressed with the diagnostics software and if you get an isolating usb dongle to connect one of these to a laptop and have it powered to your track you can see it detecting: So at £90 for 16 detection points the cost seems reasonable to me Putting that combination together I was able to quickly test that iTrain picked up that detection information to display it on the switchboard of my layout. City of London 3439 in siding C There's a lot to setting up automation, but I have already seen the benefits of this new setup: I can control my layout right near where I am testing as my laptop running iTrain is on the house network along with the Roco Z21, so if I have made a mistake somewhere I can test much more quickly without navigating all the beams in my loft: iTrains running on my laptop with no wires attached In the following posts I want to share my journey to make all this work, as I have noticed there is good content on each part of the system by not how they work together
  10. These new additions to my layout are very smooth, but I am not sure I have the capacity for a rake of six


    1. Hroth


      Just get 'em well oiled....  :crazy:

    2. sulzer27jd


      Need to run a following relief service!



    3. truffy


      You mean to say that Pullmans don’t carry their own relief facilities? :o

  11. I thought rapido were going to do N gauge if there was enough interest? I studied the APT-E as part of my MSc at the open university and saw it as a boy so I have one even though everything else is steam driven on my layout. That's why I needed to hide her when she's not in use.
  12. I am taking photos of my loco collection and resizing them down for ITrain (360x160)



  13. This is a little of topic so perhaps could be mocved elsewhere.. I am sure most friends on this thread run flexitrack and I do wish we could be told what the minimum radius was for these things rather than fiddling around with tacky wax to see what works. Also maybe some of us would design layouts around specifications rather than being disappointed that sand pipes and foot plates near bogies can't be fitted. My other gripe is tender loco drawer bars so I am going to get some made to get a closer fitting between the two setting we are normally supplied with
  14. @Compound2632 ah sorry not that prince of wales this Prince of Wales and I sure you have seen Hornby are doing a new model of this not a revamp of Cock O the North
  15. Mine is SECR lined as that is what mrs Deepfat likes and it's bang on compared to the pictures @AY Mod shared. I have other preserved locos to Q1 C1, the flying banana the Duchess of Hamilton, Evening Star and Tornado, with the Prince of Wales on order
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