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It is worthy of consideration, at the very least i think I am going to start pricing it up. 

Rich, I can't remember which DCC system you are using, but as you know last year I took the plunge and decided to operate my storage loop points using NCE Mini Panels for route setting and DCCConcepts AD-S8fx decoders to work the solenoid motors. I am very pleased with this combination (usual disclaimer).

 

Hope this helps.

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For the moment at least I am using a powercab, although I prefer driving with my old 511 it is on its last legs and I can't justify the cost to upgrade it to the 611.

 

I will have a look at the Nce panels, what are you planning for your scenic section?

 

At the end of the day it will probably end up coming down to cost, by my count I have something like 20 points on the scenic section and another 16 or so on the fiddleyard, so that's a fair few decoders and panels (though not nearly as bad as your requirements)

At the moment I keep looking at it as 2-3 hundred pounds of electronics vs 20 pounds of switches and a bunch of messy wires (plus a lot of coach kits!) though time will tell!

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For the moment at least I am using a powercab, although I prefer driving with my old 511 it is on its last legs and I can't justify the cost to upgrade it to the 611.

 

I will have a look at the Nce panels, what are you planning for your scenic section?

 

At the end of the day it will probably end up coming down to cost, by my count I have something like 20 points on the scenic section and another 16 or so on the fiddleyard, so that's a fair few decoders and panels (though not nearly as bad as your requirements)

At the moment I keep looking at it as 2-3 hundred pounds of electronics vs 20 pounds of switches and a bunch of messy wires (plus a lot of coach kits!) though time will tell!

Rich, for the scenic areas I won't be using DCC for points and signals. I intend to use Modratec lever frames at each station. Driving the trains and operating the signal boxes will be separate roles for different people.

 

You're right that the electronic stuff can be pricey but as you say we have to balance it all up in the end. I've now got to try to budget for some maroon Hornby Colletts as well...

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For the moment at least I am using a powercab, although I prefer driving with my old 511 it is on its last legs and I can't justify the cost to upgrade it to the 611.

 

I will have a look at the Nce panels, what are you planning for your scenic section?

 

At the end of the day it will probably end up coming down to cost, by my count I have something like 20 points on the scenic section and another 16 or so on the fiddleyard, so that's a fair few decoders and panels (though not nearly as bad as your requirements)

At the moment I keep looking at it as 2-3 hundred pounds of electronics vs 20 pounds of switches and a bunch of messy wires (plus a lot of coach kits!) though time will tell!

DCC need not be as expensive as you might think, MERG have a wide array of options. As you already have the main part, what you could use is accessory decoders to control the Tortoises etc. MERG do a suitable kit, (I actually do have a few built up ones in the spares box) from experience though, programming is best done with a SPROG. However if you think there will be less wires, that is a fallacy of couse. My own preference would be to stick with switches unless you decide to use DCC with PanelPro, which is pretty cool to use. Trying to control one loco (or more) and change points with just a handset all at the same time is not my idea of fun. Don't forget that you can solve your slip polarity problems with either a Hex Frog Juicer, or route setting with either the NCE Powercab or Panelpro.

 

MERG kit 53 is £10.00 and will control up to 4 Tortoise Motors (or similar) but in my experience need to be pre-configuring using a SPROG and DecoderPro.

Edited by Stephen Freeman
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This morning I have been once again working on the Avon bridge, the focus has been on the actual river span (more to the point the original south Devon railway structure.

 

The first job was to add the thicker section either side of the main span, both of which consist of a couple of layers of 80thou plasticard glued to the hardboard / 40thou plastic basic structure.

 

This was then clad in south east finecast random stone, clearly this isn't correct for the prototype but as the only correct option is the wills sheet (which I hate using if bigger than a single sheet) or scribing in clay, it will do. This is one of the structures that would be up for replacement on Brent mk2 in order to correct the curvature of the track, so I'm not so worried. At any rate there are a lot of railway structures in south Devon which do use this construction style.

 

The higher brick surrounds of the places to stand and avoid an oncoming train were added from SEF embossed brick, and various details were added from plastic sheet (including the arch stones).

 

It now needs the inner walls adding before I can move onto the second section

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Another week away with work means I cannot do anything useful on the layout, I have however managed to pack my CAD laptop.

So the aim for this week is to crack on with drawing up some of the remaining buildings for the layout.

Sadly the two I really want to work on (the bridges) will probably not be possible due to the need to adjust the design to directly match the layout (for which I have not been able to take measurements as we were away at the weekend.). So that leaves the signal box, water tower, up and down station buildings, a couple of housesand various huts.

The signal box I have the least info action, with few photos in original condition and no drawing. That will be done last. For the station building there are a lot more photos available, along with a part drawing (I think found Rob's nod to Brent thread. Finally the water tower there are a few photos, along with pictures on the old RMWeb of the very nice model built by Gravy Train for Brent+ (I really must buy the copy of MRJ to see the rest of the photos of that layout....)

The first job was to redraw the goods shed in a component view, I have recently joined a model railway club and this has given access to various machine tools. Better yet one member has a laser cutter and might be able to help with the windows. So, I have now drawn up a set of sides / roof which I intend to cut out of 4mm ply and then mill out the windows / doors. I have also completed a separate drawing for the windows to be laser cut (this however still needs some editing as I am not 100% clear on the drawing requirements for laser cutting.) the building will then be clad in SE Finecast sheet as per usual.

The next drawing was the water tower, my photos are not clear enough to count bricks so I have had to work from a model to assist in dimensions. It does seem to look right though. This will be built in the same way as the above, although I am giving serious thought to etching some overlays for the water tank sides.

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The poor ride quality on Class 166 units prevented any further work between Reading and Gatwick!

Next up will probably be the up station building...

Edited by The Fatadder
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Thanks GWR for loosing wifi signal just as i pressed post loosing everything I had written.....

 

Over the past few nights I have been working on the bridge over the river Avon. 

 

The prototype is a complex structure made up of 3 styles of construction, the down main is a 3 arch bridge constructed from dressed stone, the up main a 4 arch bridge made of rough stone and the up loop is on a cantilever structure of I beams out of the up main.  Due to the compression in length along with additional curvature on the layout, the bridge has had to be significantly shortened and split into two sections at different angles.  I have also decided to use the SEF rough stone throughout, given that the only available product which matches the prototype stone work is the Wills dressed stone (which I am not a fan of working with.)  

 

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Here is a photo showing the south side of the river bridge, you can clearly see the pillar for the up bridge in the middle of the river.

 

The construction of the fascia has been covered previously (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/108594-inspired-by-brent-june-1947/page-8), but in short consisted of a hardwood shell covered with plasticard and the SEF sheet.

 

The same process was used to added the inner sides, with 2 more sections of hardboard glued into position before cladding with plastic.  The down bridge has the SEF sheet glued direct to the hardboard whereas the up bridge was laminated  to some 1mm plasticard in order to add a  clearer change in construction between the two phases.  Once complete the arch was glued into position (this time made from SEF dressed stone blocks), and glued to the hardboard arch with superglue.

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Next was the up bridge, a basic design was sketched out (using a C&L bottle for the wider arch and a flux bottle lid for the narrower arch)  this was cut from some 40thou plastic (along with some spacers) and glued together as below.  

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Again this was clad with SEF rough stone, and SEF dressed stone arches before test fitting into place with the down bridge.  The arch stones (apologies for lack of a technical term) were then added with filler. 

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All that remains now is to finish adding filler to tidy up the joints, add the hand rail added to the top, along with adding the stone pile protecting the pillar upstream (which I forgot to glue on).  It will then be ready for paint before gluing onto the layout.

 

Next up will be the other half of the bridge over the foot path

It is now 

 

Edited by The Fatadder
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After a weekend away at a friend’s wedding, last night it was time to go back to work on the layout.

Following a false start attempting to fit a TTS sound chip into King George V (surprise surprise for Hornby there is some sort of wiring issue with the PowerCab indicating a short), I moved back to working on the Avon bridge.

 

This side of the bridge is every bit as complicated as the river span, needing additional arches through the supports (which should also be there on the river!) Construction has followed the same approach as before adding plastic sub-assemblies to fit in the walls. Typically I have now ran out of embossed stone sheet with one wall (and the retaining walls) left to build, so now stuck trying to find a source of South East Finecast sheet which is local to south west Gloucestershire…

 

One complexity that has been found is the painting. The new assembly includes a floor (given the height of the path is about an inch above the baseboard), and is very narrow. This will limit the ability to get a brush into the gap to pick out stones in different colours. In order to get round this my plan is to paint the walls before fitting the inner pillar or adding the arch. The arches will also be painted prior to gluing into place. Finally the overhangs to the front facia will be trimmed and filled, before touching up the painting when painting the rest of the bridge. Just need to get that plastic sheet then I can get started with the paints…

 

I need the weather to start warming up, I am running out of work to do on the bridge and he next job is to get back to track building. (for attempt no2 at building that dammed double slip!)

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The arch stones (apologies for lack of a technical term) were then added with filler. 

 

 

I think the arch stones are known as 'voussoirs'. But anyone out there feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - it comes not from any civil engineering knowledge but from memories of a Railway Modeller article in 1950 or 1960-something!   Bridge looking good.

 

John C..

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I think the arch stones are known as 'voussoirs'. But anyone out there feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - it comes not from any civil engineering knowledge but from memories of a Railway Modeller article in 1950 or 1960-something!   Bridge looking good.

 

John C..

Well remembered- here's the Wikipedia description:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voussoir

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An afternoon to myself should have seen a fair amount of progress on Brent, the original plan being to make a start on building points for the fiddleyard. This fell by the wayside when I realised that there was no chance of getting the old Blackcombe / unused baseboards into the loft without clearing everything that is stored in the layout operating well outside (into the rain). Instead I started playing around with a Hornby TTS chip very kindly supplied by Coach Bogie, every time I tried fitting it to a loco the Powercab would shut down with a short. Thinking that the usual dodgy Hornby soldering could be to blame I decided to remove the 8pin socket and refit to a spare Lenz harness (without success). Now assume that it must be a manufacturing error in the actual decoder.

As the soldering iron was hot, I decided to get on and have a go at fixing the problem double slip. I started off by shortening the switch rails by the required amount and re profiling the blades. The modified sub assemblies were then refitted to the sleepers and glued into position.
I then prepared a new tie bar and soldered in place. Test running it worked fine in all but one direction, further investigation showed up that the upper sub assembly had shifted by 2mm to the left before I soldered the tie bar into place!

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So off it came, a quick adjustment to the sub assemblies (this time soldering in position) and it was time to reattach the tie bar. Of course this time i manage to solder a switch rail to the main rail, in correcting the error I manage to strip the copper off the top of the tie bar. Remove and repeat twice more, in each case either soldering it solid or stripping copper (or both). Eventually I have given up until another day, i suspect I will need to remove the whole lot again to remove all the solder and copperclad remains from the switch rails before I will get a decent connection. the annoying thing is that as far as I can tell I was following the right approach (using cigarette paper as an insulator etc). Not having access to my decent soldering iron that died earlier in the year (and its higher heat / smaller bit) clearly doesnt help.


Before heading in I have test fitted the Avon bridge into position. I think I am going to have to modify the location of the house that sits between the river and the road to sit the other side of the footpath (due to the bridge being further away from the river than the prototype). But all in all I am quite happy with it, so will now progress to painting....

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Edited by The Fatadder
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Another go this evening has got the right hand end soldered up without too much drama, the left hand once again gave me a lot of grief. I have got it soldered up, but I don't think the clearances are wide enough so it will need redoing yet again...

 

I have tested it with a King's tender and a Hornby Hawksworth third from the branch platform to the branch line, and from the branch platform to the down main single slip. The other slip road can't currently be tested due to a lack of track either side. There is certainly an issue with a couple of loose chairs, my plan is to solder a couple of pins under the rail to hold in place in the affected area. (To the side of the switch blades which have been soldered and imspldered umpteen times.)

 

At which point I've called it a night, the next step is going to be building the loop and goods shed points (for which the sleepers are down and the first vee fitted). Time to get filing some more switch blades...

 

The point on the other side needs to have the sleepers fitted (as the point and approach track will be laid as one unit), of course this needs a trip to C&L to buy some more sleepers...

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Another morning of work, adding further refinement to the slip (the check rail assambaly in front of the right hand vee) along with repairs to some of the damaged chairs. More testing does highlight that the clearances on the switch rails might be a bit too fine, but I will wait until I can do some testing under power with the full track in place either side before I re do it.

 

Moving onto the next point, everything bar the check rails has been added(along with the copper clad bases for the latter), with the vee soldered up and installed on the goods shed point. Completion of the latter (this evening or tomorrow evening) will mean the line to the bottom siding can also be installed.

The track for the loops needs the other slip / points laying. The first point for the runaround loop needs moving on the plan (closer to the slip) so need to get a new template printed.

 

Will be heading to C&L after work tomorrow, aiming to get the remaining 3 packs of track bases, 2 more packs of point bases and maybe some point motors. I'm annoyed to have missed getting cobalt motors at the discounted price pre xmas, and to find they have ran out of tortoise. So motor buying may go on hold pending stocks of the latter (given there's much less of a price differential than pre xmas)

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Edited by The Fatadder
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Another slight spanner in the works, after looking to place an order for track bits on C&Ls website the Exactoscale OO FastTrack is out of stock (I need 3 more packs as a minimum to finish the yard) Hopefully they will get more stock soon....

 

Really regretting the fact that I didn't check their Xmas opening hours in advance, (and hence would have gone to stock up before they closed fro the holidays...)

 

Edit: thanks to C&L for making up a couple of bags of track bases for me, just need them to receive more Tortoise motors now...

Edited by The Fatadder
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Another evening in the garage, and another point nearing compleation. This time the B5 for the enterence to the goods shed, this would have been completely finished if it wasn't for me filing up two left hand switch rails..

 

The copperclad in the foreground is the base for the sunk in track through the cattle dock.

 

Having picked up the sleepers this afternoon, the bases have been laid for 2 of the remaining points (the link between branch and down main and the lowest yard point). The former should connect to the down loop which is missing from the layout...

 

This just leaves the down main point for the connection (for which the lift out section of baseboard has yet to be built), and the too loop points at the Plymouth end (run around and goods shed). The former needs the template reprinting as I need to move it about an inch to the left...

 

I have placed the plain track bases in position, there's enough for the built boards but not for the lift out section which could be short by about 8 lengths. Fortunately I still have some p4 bases which can be modified (if there's enough). It does reenforce the need to get on and get the board built.....

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Edited by The Fatadder
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Another evening in the garage, and another point nearing compleation. This time the B5 for the enterence to the goods shed, this would have been completely finished if it wasn't for me filing up two left hand switch rails..

 

The copperclad in the foreground is the base for the sunk in track through the cattle dock.

 

Having picked up the sleepers this afternoon, the bases have been laid for 2 of the remaining points (the link between branch and down main and the lowest yard point). The former should connect to the down loop which is missing from the layout...

 

This just leaves the down main point for the connection (for which the lift out section of baseboard has yet to be built), and the too loop points at the Plymouth end (run around and goods shed). The former needs the template reprinting as I need to move it about an inch to the left...

 

I have placed the plain track bases in position, there's enough for the built boards but not for the lift out section which could be short by about 8 lengths. Fortunately I still have some p4 bases which can be modified (if there's enough). It does reenforce the need to get on and get the board built.....

Been there, done that.

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Another evening in the garage, and once again a lot more progress.  The focus was on getting as much of the remaining track as possible glued into position.  Starting with the lower siding (soldering up the Vee, fitting the outer rails and then adding the sidings on to either end.

 

Next was the goods shed loop, first laying the goods shed track before adding sleeper bases for the point and soldering up the required vee.  Finally the loop siding point was relocated by about an inch to the left and again had the sleepers glued into position.  

 

I still need to solder up 4 more vees, along with a shed load of switch rails.  The aim for tomorrow night is to get the loop point's vee created and the goods shed point and loop point outer rails in position.  This means that the middle siding can be laid (and more importantly so can the loop), this will also include fitting the outer rail for the double slip (and enable the final bit of straight track laying.)

 

Excuse the mess, but here's the current view of the layout.

 post-54-0-89423000-1488320329_thumb.jpg post-54-0-26028400-1488320339_thumb.jpg

Edited by The Fatadder
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Certainly making good progress there! You always appear to have lots of stock in all your shots! That last one someone has stolen the chassis from a loco and the storm has blown the roof off a coach!

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It doesn’t feel like much progress, probably because none of this track is wired up or fitted with point motors.

 

As for the stock, this comes from being a bit to lazy to put it all away after testing. Currently a pair of Kings without tender tops, a Wartime Brown B Set and a D95 brake which need the roof spraying, two test formations of coaches (along with a couple of extras for point testing) a 72xx chassis that’s half way through DCC conversion (but the decoder didn’t fit), a 42xx chassis that’s being used as a decoder test bed, a clerestory brake awaiting paint and a couple of other locos which don’t currently fit in the stock box….

 

I really should tidy up a bit more before taking photos, but with a limited time available to work on the layout, time spent tidying is time that could better be spent on track building…

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A slow evenings work tonight, arriving home from work late after wasting half an hour at Sharpness Docks hoping to see Tornado pass on the other side of the river (before finding out from realtime trains via the Dean Forrest Railways Facebook page that t was delayed by an hour!)

 

Again the focus has been on track, another point has had the basic parts added (vee and outer rails) which enabled the fitting of another siding. This one is proving very difficult to locate given the change that was necessary on the double slip (and hence the headshunt being in the wrong place. Based on photos there is a raised platform between the middle siding and headshunt (the latter often being used to dump a horse box). However on my model the headshunt goes much further so the middle wiring has also had to be lengthened.

 

I can't find a prototype photo showing the area at the moment so there's a lot of guess work...

 

The other area to see work is the loop, with the flex track assembled and test fitted. The revised alignment looks a lot better and provides a better clearance to the goods shed. However I want to build and fit the loop point vee before I glue this in place, the curved tail of the loop point is formed from the same length as part of the loop in order to maintain the curve.

 

Finally I've drawn on the trap points locations, all 4 of which are integrated into the middle of points. My plan is to model all in the closed position adding short lengths of rail soldered to the point in appropriate places. Once the rest of the track is down and the points are tested I will add them...

 

That's likely to be it for a couple of weeks, as we will be in Devon for the weekend and I am in the Sevilla office next week. When I get back I hope to have received orders from PDK, Narrow Planet and EBay (with the parts for KGV/4292, numbers for the rest of the fleet and a Hornby Star to spray black as 4025 respectively. So I suspect that it's going to be time for a spot of loco modelling.

 

I have also noticed that it's almost a year since I drew up the goods shed, so feel like I really ought to get on and start building it...

post-54-0-10289600-1488408434_thumb.jpg

Edited by The Fatadder
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