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Piedmont Blues - O scale 2 rail exhibition layout.


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  • 11 months later...

Hi Jack.

 

Not a lot to report lately, I've been having a break to work on other things.

 

I've been considering revamping some areas of the layout a little, but I've got to build a backscene first.

 

Thanks,

Dan

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, I think the layout has waited long enough for me to start to address the rather long list of outstanding jobs.


First of all, I need to address some issues we've had with the structures due to the portability of the layout. Namely, this beast - the Georgia Hardware building. Now, this building is MASSIVE, and used to hide the sector plate.

 

Now, we've had issues with it because...

 

  • Exhibition crowds just lean around it to see how the sector plate works.
  • As the building isn't permanently attached to the layout, it's been knocked over by people's bags more than once.
  • Due to the above, it's damaged and looking quite worse for wear.

As such, we've got a plan for it. The current building supplies spur at the back of the layout is going to trade places with the Georgia Hardware spur, with the buildings from that being moved there to replace it. I've circled the spurs on the overall layout shot to show what I'm talking about. Currently, Georgia Hardware is on the left of the shot, with the building supplies spur on the right.

 

At the back of the layout we are going to have a much larger industry but modelled as a background flat - a Coca Cola bottling plant. It's bothered me for a while now that the layout doesn't have a Coca Cola sign anywhere on it, considering that in Georgia they are as common as those old classic Mail Pouch Tobacco signs :D

 

So, once I have the wood for the backscene (tomorrow, if all goes to plan) I'm going to paint the wood with sky blue paint and then look at layering it with photo backscene buildings. That will allow me to add a few background flat buildings I've had to hand for a while now which I've been unable to attach to the layout due to the lack of a backscene.

 

This will also allow Ford to add in something he's been wanting to add onto the layout for a long time now - a working loose material loader that we can use for the loading of cullet - crushed glass from recycled Coke bottles. :)

 

Ford is heading over to my house at the weekend so we can spend the day working on the layout, so hopefully I can have the backscene painted blue and ready to be attached to the layout.

 

I've also realised recently that out of the 5 locomotives we have for the layout, we currently don't actually have a complete and fully working locomotive. The Plymouth needs paint and details, the two RS3's don't currently work due to rusted wheels, and the GP35 has a DCC sound chip fitted but I don't have an NCE power booster to allow it to be used on the layout due to their £200+ price tag. What we do have is a perfectly running Red Caboose GP7, but it's undecorated and needs to be painted and assembled before it can be used. This needs to be remedied asap.

 

At any rate, we've got a lot of work to do. :D

 

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Well would you look at that - backscene wood for PB and the HO layout I'm planning for the other side of the layout room. :)

 

In addition, some Redutex cobblestones arrived from DCC supplies ready for the revamped sector plate. :)

 

I think they will fit fine with the existing carved ones. :)

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On 07/10/2019 at 21:05, DanielB said:

 ...snip...

Now, we've had issues with it because...

...snip... and looking quite worse for wear. 

 ...snip...

At any rate, we've got a lot of work to do. :D

A lot of the buildings here in the south are that way so that one would be quite prototypical. So you really do not have that much work to do!:biggrin_mini:

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On 08/10/2019 at 02:05, DanielB said:

the GP35 has a DCC sound chip fitted but I don't have an NCE power booster to allow it to be used on the layout due to their £200+ price tag

If just the one loco is on the layout, I'd have thought the standard NCE Powercab could cope with it? Although I usually use an NCE SB5a booster, I still have the original Powercab board set up so I can swap the bus bar feed to it to use the programming track feature if I need to, & don't have a problem with any of my sound fitted locos running on what is basically a 1amp system - even my Weaver Geep with it's big Pitman motor.

You could also rewire the GP35 motors to run in series; that cuts down power consumption & also reduces the speed nicely as well. My GP35 is wired in series & has a TCS Wowsound HO decoder; never had any bother with it.

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I'm not sure, Jordan. The locomotive doesn't run. Sound works, but when I try to move it, the sound stutters and the loco goes nowhere. There's no short that I can see, I think it's just not getting enough power.

 

I'll try testing it again another timeb just in case.

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Clean the track, wheels & pickups too if you can, or at least the inside faces of the wheels. What's the decoder? I find sound decoders a bit 'fussy' when it comes to dirty contacts - Soundtrax Tsunami are the worst by far for stuuttering on track that other decoders are ok on.

Even dust can be a problem - I recently did some inset track with filler, & after it was dry & I'd cleared the flangeways it still took ages for my locos to run on it - just brushing the dust away was no good, I had to wipe the railheads with cloth.

If your layout has been in storage for a while dust might be a problem.

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Hi Dan

Good suggestions already and:

GP35: if all else fails take the motor out of the cab-end truck for less amps and space for cab detail (OK for a man in a hurry(?) cab detail is a tease).

RS3s: is that really rust on the wheels?  Remind me, are they Atlas, Weaver, ... er, Kemtron, other trucks?  NWSL replacement wheels?  Glass-fibre pen and thin(nest) oil.  I ask about the makes 'cos I may still have a spare Weaver wheelset or two. 

Others: paint and details - you're on your own!  I still have a box of unwanted decals I'll be taking to Winchester :mosking:  ... OK, Leigh?  Oh, that's April.

 

Talking of wheels, Peartree make a nice UK 7mm 3'1" steel wheelset, near as dammit Nth Am 40" diesel wheel, on 3/16" axle.  

Jason

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Thanks for the pointers guys, I'll take another look at the GP35. The decoder is a Loksound V4, and I believe the motors are already wired in series.

 

I had a bit of free time tonight so I did another few inches of rail spiking, then when it got too late to use the hammer I turned to painting the rails with another coat of tamiya red brown.

 

It's messy at the moment as it's not finished, but it's already a massive improvement.

 

I figured it best to get this task done before the weekend as once the backscene is fitted I'll have to turn the entire layout around so I can work on it from the front.

 

The benefit of this is that it will allow me to make up a staging track coming off the main along the back of my desk. Should allow for more interesting operations when at home.

 

Next little project is to make a shelter for the bus stop, to go with the greyhound - which I REALLY need to repaint at some point. :)

 

I guess that's yet another task to add to the list!

IMG_20191011_033143.jpg

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Great work Daniel!

 

To all the good advice above I would add the following:

I have been using Loksound Select HO for many years and recently LS 5DCC HO in Atlas dual-motor drive locos. I have not had one fail in use pulling up to 15 x 1lb cars each on level track with some 36" radius in hidden areas.  None draw more than about 1A or slightly over at wheel slip. 

 

I add a TCS Keep Alive to all my LS decoders. Again, no issues with any in service.  NB: LS has been muttering that this may invalidate their warranty and only their PowerPacks should be used, but so far so good.  ;)  

 

As well all track is powered, turnouts are DCC friendly with powered frogs and closure and switch rails wired to stock rails. Sadly I find track cleaning is still very important even with all these belts and braces, but worth it for me as sound dropouts, re-starts and flickering LEDs are eliminated in normal operation.        

 

By way of encouragement, here are a couple of clips with Atlas dual-motor drives, motors wired in series, LS Select HO and 5DCC HO decoders, TCS KeepAlives and Tang Band speakers:

 

Atlas GP35s with LS Select HO

 

This is an Atlas C424 chassis "virtually" consisted (no physical connection between the locos) to a C&LS RS11 with Maxon gearhead motor upgrade, both LS 5DCC HO

 

 

And coupled up with the sound on:

 

Looking forward to seeing your layout in operation!

 

Pete

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Thanks Pete, good to know that I don't need more expensive kit, I'm just a Muppet who is terrible with electrics! :)

 

I had another play with the GP35 today and I'm starting to think it's cos the wheels are blackened and dirty. I'm going to have to have a proper go at cleaning it and see where I get.

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Sounds like the best place to start!  I recommend reading this article from MRH about the best things to use. I'm not going to start one of those "OMG product X changed my life" threads but I will say try to use things at the lower end of the Dielectric Constant scale. That really has worked for me.  ;) 

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/mrhpub.com/2019-05-may/online/index.html?page=9

 

Depending on the age of your GP35, it may have the newer phosphor bronze pickup wipers (good) or the older spring plungers (bad).  Plungers is normally a perfectly good option but Atlas chose to run the current path through the flimsy plunger springs and they can melt or loose temper and stop making contact.  

 

Once you have the cleaning done best you can and if running still not up to snuff, then I would add a keep-alive to the decoder next, assuming the pickups are working OK. 

 

Pete

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On 12/10/2019 at 16:56, DanielB said:

Thanks Pete, good to know that I don't need more expensive kit, I'm just a Muppet who is terrible with electrics! :)

 

I had another play with the GP35 today and I'm starting to think it's cos the wheels are blackened and dirty. I'm going to have to have a proper go at cleaning it and see where I get.

 

No electrics are used by Muppets ... they're hand operated -boom -boom :dancing:
Anyway, no abrasives on the wheels till nothing else works ... methylated spirits, lighter fuel, iso-propyl alcohol, acetone ... go steady, window open, etc.

If the body's off (6 screws and some fiddling with handrails, etc) try turning each flywheel to see if either of the trucks is jammed, touch each motor with the power leads to see if a motor is dead and if it's wired in series it will stop the other one turning.  These locos were originally supplied with the motors in parallel, but you knew that ... and that's why removing one motor still gives you a runnable loco without changing any wiring (series mod would need the removed motor's leads being joined).   Er ... that's enough, early night!

Jason 

 

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