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Bisley Junction - 1990s EM Gauge


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Occaisionally opportunites come along that are too good to be true.

 

I've long held an ambition to build a layout thats a bit like goonbarrow sidings but with a station. In the cupboard I've got quite a bit of stock for a china clay layout that hasn't been converted to EM and haven't got round to building a layout it as two things have previously put me off... these being baseboards and flatbottom points. My plan called for a main line with flatbottom crossover with a branch and holding sidings made up of bullhead track. I saw an advert for an EM layout "Bisley Junction" which Martin wished to sell and was rather surprised to see that it's very close to my plans...

 

The "crossover" board

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And a close up of Martin's excellent flatbottom crossover which was the clincher for me going for it!

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Martin's plan was for this to be a SR terminus with some oil sidings and this would have been rather excellent. I'm going to have a crack at changing it's location, have a small re-jig of the bullhead rail and hopefully do it all justice. Lots to learn about electrics.... DCC... TOUs etc etc. which are definitely not in my comfort zone! Mind you it was fun at Ally Pally asking lots of questions!

 

cheers

Will

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My first priority is getting the "mainline" (i.e. crossover) up and running. The crossover itself has Colbat point motors installed underneath but the screws to mount them have raised the trackwork so will need looking into. Also the tiebars are broken so I'm trying to find a neat solution for these. At Ally pally I purchased some rather nice loooking turnout operating units from C&L which I plan to try out over the next few weeks.

 

The layout was supposed to operated by a Digitrax Zephr that I use to use for my test track. However I find my Spog so much easier to program so haven't used it for a while. On trying it out on the test track it's shorting.... and it shorts on its own.... which is rather disappointing. Anyway technology has moved on so came home from Ally Pally with this;

 

image.png.41f9bfcd251d59cc09d724c5f836b910.png

 

Remarkably I've got it up and running on my test track using my mobile and Z21 software. It seems rather neat and I think opens up potentially quite interesting operation ideas.

 

Current Track Plan

I can't use Templot but Martin kindy provided me with his track plan;

 

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At present I have about 16-17ft for the layout to be operated at home. So my current ideas are to create a through line layout but operate it at home as a terminus.  Current thoughts are the crossover end (Right Hand Side) will be the entrance to a traverser and one of the sidings in the yard (RHS) will be a passenger/clay industry branch. I think I can create a smaller board (LHS) which will be the station and a few extra sidinings to hold China Clay wagons. The refuge siging at the bottom I think could make a small fertiliser loading siding (like Lapford). There might have to be a bit of a re-jig of trackwork in the sidings but the "main line" will stay as it is.

 

 

 

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I second Joe's comments Will, I thought I'd seen that plan before.

 

Will look forward to seeing your take on it. 

 

I'm thinking of adding an extension to my layout Trevanna Dries but haven't had time to figure it out yet.

 

Cheers

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It's fair to say I don't get on with track design software.... so far Ive tried a number of packages and cannot get on with any. Imo you can't beat plonking a few points around on a board and seeing if it looks any good.

 

While being a little bored watching some football I've drawn up a Z21 plan to try and show some ideas I have for tweaking the plan.

 

Screenshot_2019-04-01-22-15-07.png.e7402ee4b578d3d0041da9ce376be11c.png

 

It doesn't look great and tbh I can't really use the app but is a doodle of my thoughts. The flow of track looks a bit better in reality.... hopefully isn't too much track or stuff crammed in. I should have space to include a small board extension to the left to allow a part station to be modelled. 

 

I suppose the only difference to the current plan is the addition of two holding sidings.

 

I think I'm going to use the old bridge cliche to hide the storage sidings as in the space I have I can't think of a better plan! My biggest unknown is the back of the layout as there's not much space between the backscene and the branch line. I'll need to have a think of possible ideas.

 

One to sleep on

 

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The easiest thing I've built... a C&L TOU

 

 

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Actually there is nothing to build apart from sticking it squarely together with superglue. The idea is to use the supplied wire to attach to the two point blades which then drop through the baseboard and then attach to a point motor. I have yet worked out to attach it to the Colbalts that came with the layout though!

 

Second plan is to use cosmetic tie bars but keeping everything a bit springy. Will hopefully experiment at the weekend!

 

cheers

Will

 

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I've had a bit of fun (?) installing my first C&L TOU;

 

20190406_124118.jpg.a1d5ef4952a1169a6e4059669555e91b.jpg

 

To be fair i think the job would have been much easier without the point already being installed as attaching the droppers to the point blade was a little tricky. I had to remove a bit of the baseboard strengthing to make space which I'll replace shortly as soon as I have installed the motor. I think I'm going to mount it to the right of the TOU on a bit of wood. A job for next weekend as I dont' have anymore small screws!

 

Above the baseboard a few things have been happening;

 

20190406_124358.jpg.23464b355bd4035251560db30f066ed8.jpg

 

A couple of new holes have been drilled for the droppers which have been soldered to the point blade and when everything is working I'll fill in the hole in the middle. I'm planning on fitting some costmetic tie bars which I'll simply glue on as getting the droppers soldered on wasn't the easiest of exercises. I've also attacked the point blades with a file so they sit a litte tighter to the rail, and also rounded the ends off. So far so good and it works nice and smoothly.

 

You may notice some missiing track... well due to space constraints I plan to use a traverser and so to make life a little easier the track will leave this board straight and square to enter the fiddle yard. To slightly change the alignment it seemed easier to simply lift and relay a gentle curve to allow this. I've got some track bed filing to do before i lay the new lengths which to make it look like it'd been relayed will be concrete sleepers.

 

I'm beginning to plan what to do about a back scene, which I want to be fairly sturding so as to protect the layout when stored.  At the moment the boards are super light so I don't want to make them too heavy. I think these and some removable boards will be essential as there is some damage to the track by the baseboard ends. I also haven't made up my mind as to how tall it should be..

 

Something to think about on a cold and damp weekend!

 

 

 

 

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I've being playing with DCC toys;

 

20190411_171515.jpg.f739cc4c78833c034aa85dc34c606c62.jpg

 

I've programmed the DR4018 using JMRI panel pro.... but then found out it was just as easy using my Z21 app on my phone. The eventual aim is for route setting etc. running off a laptop or something similar as it saves building a control panel. For the time being the Z21 app is doing rather well and I'm quite impressed. 

 

 

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Fitted a DR4018 to the first board which will hopefully run all of the points.

 

I'm struggling with the Cobalt point motor. The DR4018 has two pre-set functions for turnouts.... one with a time delay and one without (i.e. always on). Setting the maximum pulse time doesn't throw the point enough so is a non-starter... using the other preset (always on) correctly throws the turnout but the Cobalt  point motor humms/buzzes really loudly. All a bit disappointing tbh and I'm not sure why the Cobalt is unhappy. I've tested different Cobalts that came with the layout but if you have any ideas please comment! 

 

On a positive note the first loco has run on Bisley.... a class 09 shunter has negotiated 10 cm or so and one turnout!! I've spent the evening adding droppers to each section of track on the main line as quite a few were missing.

 

cheers

Will

 

 

 

 

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My attempt at simulating bullhead track panels;

 

_1150261.JPG.60402932859ceb9657f6ce94751500ec.JPG

 

Being a bit lazy I want to avoid soldering lots of wire droppers so rather than doing individual lengths I've taken one length of flexitrack and just nicked the top of the rails with a razor saw. Then glued some C&L plastic fishplates to the side of the rails and to attempted to simulate the panels by cutting the webbing on the flexitrack (by the fishplates) to move the sleepers closer together. I'm quite pleased with the effect so I'll be doing all of the sidings this way.

 

No photos to show but I've been quite busy the last few days. The second crossover now has a C&L TOU fitted and I'm laying a bit of cork in preparation to lay the double slip. Point Motors are still an issue that I've not resolved and I'm getting tempted to try another brand to see they buzz as well. I'm a few short so will need to buy a few anyway.

 

cheers

Will

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Thanks Paul.

 

I've tried cv47 set to 6 and 13 but not tried it without the 4101. I'll have a go later in the week and report back. Totally agree on the documentation.... all I have is that you need one but not why. The only way I was able to set up both devices was to follow the YouTube videos by ironplanethobbies.

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Thanks Paul.

 

I've done a bit of reading and think the 4101 effectively helps smooth the power supply.  At the moment Ive just used the DR5000 as the power supply and it was the same connected to the track or direct. I do plan on using a separate power source though so will have a look around my old electronice and see what I have spare

 

Thanks for your help 

Will

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I decided to take up some of the trackwork on board one of Bisley to align with my original plan and make it a through line with a branch. A snap on my phone;

 

20190422_130000.jpg.4876ce9f541cd7a208e4afa7950c91c3.jpg

 

The bottom of the photo is the access to the fiddleyard which will most likely be a traverser so those lines leaving the board will be straight at that point. The main line has shifted left a little so it's its going to be a gentle curve and I might try a bit of elevation on it. (The cork i used was rolled so I'm using a bit of the roll on the curve and have sanded it flat on the straight sections.

 

There are two thickness of cork on this board with the thinner stuff being on the sidings although have a bit of difficulty as the wood glue got through the thinner stuff and stuck to the piece of wood i was using to glue it flat with.... doh!

 

I'm keeping the original bay but turning this into a fertilser siding so will be lightweight bullhead track. There's a double slip to go in at the top which will access the main line and bay and in the other direction a short siding and branch. And to the top right a pair of sidings for empty china clay traffic wagon storage.

 

The branch at the bottom is a little tighter to the rear of the layout that i'd have liked but I'm planning on a bridge so hopefully I'll be able to disguise it a little.

 

I've also been tidying up some trackwork that I've picked up secondhand over the years. Lots of sleepers have been replaced and checked for trueness.

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The original builder was rather good! I'm in two minds about the tiebars on whether I should put in more realistic ones or as they're at the back of the layout go for robustness of copper clad. Lazyness and robustness may win the day but as you may notice in the photos above I've drilled 3 holes per point just in case i change my mind ;)

 

Mind you I've not messing about with the doubleslip... thats staying copperclad!

 

What a great Easter weather wise! :)

 

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  • RMweb Gold

From 8 minutes onwards, there is a rather nice pair of class 37s on a short clay working. 

 

 

Lots of weathering potential in this clip!

 

Regards,

 

Nick

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On 16/04/2019 at 20:15, bigP said:

If you speak any Dutch, or Flemish I suppose, there’s a bit here re 4018/4101 with Tortoise motors.....

https://forum.beneluxspoor.net/index.php?topic=70348.0

 

Essentialy they are saying that one should use a separate power supply for the power feed to the 4018.

Of note is that the circuitry in the 4018 is removing 1V - 1.5V from the power input to that available at the switching outputs.

One poster is advising a separate power supply of 12V - 14V DC, and then to refine the output voltage by ‘dimming’ using CV 113 on the 4018.

 

Hope you find a solution.

 

Paul

 

Hi Paul

 

I've hooked up a 12v dc 3A power supply and the humm is noticibly quieter on the cobalt but still there. I've also tried a tortoise and that one is quieter still. The humm I'm hearing is a small vibration of the point motor itself which I think is being amplified when the unit is attached to the baseboard. I've never used stall motors before so I'm guessing this could be normal behaviour?

 

I think if I mount the unit with some foam for vibration absortion then I reckon 'm not going to be able to hear anything so thats the route I'm going to try next.

 

I've also had a play using CV113 (for the first point motor) and it does indeed dimm the output, but dimms it so much the motor is not getting enough power to fully throw. Do you know if there is a CV value that works?

 

Also had a chat (via youtube comments) with Ryan of Ironplanethobbies and he suggest a lower 10v dc 0.5A power supply might just do.... which i reckon he's probably right!

 

Still - At least this feels like progress and a route forward!

 

cheers

Will

 

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I've been busy rewiring, lifting track on board 2 and laying some track on board 1 (well in between removing some DIY jobs from my list provided by my wife).

 

I had a really enjoyable trip to the Epsom MRC show last Saturday and got lots of inspiration which i hope to try out here. One thing that stuck in my mind was wiring.... and following watching an excellent DCC layout experiencing shutdown due to shorting I've decided to split mine into two power districts (Main Line & Branch/sidings) so if the inevitable short occurs only one half will stop working. Not exciting but board one has been pretty much fully rewired to do this now. Just need to save up for a power district board!

 

The short on the Epsom Show layout happened to occur on a double slip... so with a few nerves I've laid mine;

 

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Hopefully I've wired it correctly! I'll find out in a few weeks as I have some Tortoise motors on order will be able to switch polarity when they're fitted. The double slip needed a bit of tidying with some new sleepers and gluing of chairs and I've kept the crude (but hopefully reliable) tie bars. I've also added some fishplates to the main line, and plenty more wire droppers (one per rail section) so this runs ok now. The FB point in the picture is providing entertainment to get the switch rails aligned. I'm just having clearance issues to sort out on the blade and to try and sort this out I've soldered a small pcb board for the tiebar. This looks ok but not great and the clearance is still more P4 than EM.  Something to sort out.

 

The fertiliser siding to the far right has also been laid with track from the lifted section at the back (which needed cleaning etc). False 45ft sections have been added and I'm quite pleased with the look of this. Probably the most important section of track as it's near the front!

 

The original layout had a point constructed across the board which had received a bit of damage. So I've made a decision to remove this and not have any points that don't have a piece of replaceable track between the point and the baseboard edge. This point will hopefully become a catch point on board 2 for the fertiliser siding.

 

 

_1150266.JPG.25dd56f7493b93326116eba356cfc8bc.JPG

 

And finally a shot showing a test of alignment for the points into the rear sidings and also hopefully shows the different ballast shoulders I'm going to attempt.

 

To try and explain my plans.... tracks leaving the board from left to right , holding siding 1, holding siding 2, branch bay, mainline access, up main, down main, fertiliser siding.

 

The (branch) track between the double slip is currently straight but will be gently curved to meet the rear point accessing the holding sidings. I had planned on fitting an electromagnetic kadee uncoupler between the rear point and the holding siding... two issues though... it's on a change of incline between the different ballast shoulders and there's a frame support underneath. Looks like it'll be simpler but less efficient to include two uncouplers in the holding sidings themselves on board 2.

 

Got a busy month coming up but hopefully there'll be some progress in between.

 

Happy Modelling all!

Will

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  • 2 weeks later...

How not to do layout planning;

 

20190510_170301.jpg.e2f00cf718ff77c020164f01d5f4cfe4.jpg

 

I placed some track down to try and imagine what it'll all look like -  there is probably a bit too much and I worked out what to do scenery wise at the back of the layout (LHS in the photo). But then again with too much track it'll probably be more interesting to operate! Board 3 (currently unbuilt) will be shorter as I have limited space and will have a bit more of the station.  I'm planning on an offset station so only the bay and up main will have a platform in this shot. Looks like I should be able to fit at least a 2 car DMU in the bay.

 

The foam on the right has had a bit of a hack to allow a longer fertiliser siding. Now just go to work out the best material to cover it and start forming some contours.

 

Also had a go at installing a tortoise motor on the double slip with limited success. Point doesn't always throw... as the wire simply bends. Something to try and fix but I may have to try a thicker gauged wire.

 

cheers

Will

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DCC is full of challenges! I still haven't cured the buzz of the tortoise and cobalts. Fitted a second tortoise and for some reason the DR4018 refuses to throw a point (and point) on one cv. Tried a reset and still hasn't got enough power to throw. I'm a bit stumped on this one.

 

On the positive side of things the double slip is wired in and surprisingly works :) 

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