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Guilford Colliery - a Kent coalfield 'might-have-been'


TurboSnail
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  • 5 weeks later...

I'm in the process of designing a controller at the moment, so here's a poll for the masses:


Do you prefer a linear slider or a round knob for controlling loco speed? And part 2) do you prefer centre-off control (i.e. no direction switch) or a full range controller with a direction switch?

 

I'm struggling to decide what type I want to design in - I think I'm leaning towards a slider with direction switch at the moment though. The controller is intended to be small, cheap and suitable for micro layouts as that's what I'm planning on building. At the moment it has PWN control though so hopefully will be good at slow speeds. We shall see!

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  • RMweb Gold

A direction switch with a accelerate x3, coast, brake x3 switch.  That’s what I liked best when I built my PWM controller.  Except for shunting.

Actually, it depends how it’s mounted.  I had a slider with direction switch mounted in a long narrow box as a walk around controller which I used for shunting - left one hand free for uncoupling.  (Switch at the ‘top’ so as my thumb could operate it one handed.)  But with a ‘longer’ layout with good motors I much preferred the accelerate/brake control, but they need to be panel mounted or screwed down.

’Fraid I’ve gone DCC now and the computer does it.

Paul.

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18 hours ago, 5BarVT said:

A direction switch with a accelerate x3, coast, brake x3 switch.  That’s what I liked best when I built my PWM controller.  Except for shunting.

Actually, it depends how it’s mounted.  I had a slider with direction switch mounted in a long narrow box as a walk around controller which I used for shunting - left one hand free for uncoupling.  (Switch at the ‘top’ so as my thumb could operate it one handed.)  But with a ‘longer’ layout with good motors I much preferred the accelerate/brake control, but they need to be panel mounted or screwed down.

’Fraid I’ve gone DCC now and the computer does it.

Paul.

 

I like the idea of having acceleration and braking but that's a bit complicated to add to this controller, I'm aiming for a minimum space, minimum cost job. I could probably buy a controller cheaper than making it myself, but where's the fun in that? That's also the reason I'm not into DCC, I enjoy making all the electronics myself!

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  • RMweb Gold

Mine was ‘bashed’ together from an old design in an early 60s Railway Modeller which was in essence a common emitter current amplifier (OC26 output stage) with a PWM built from 4 op amps that meant a voltage input could be used. Was just a pot for the simple controller and a more complex array of pull up and pull down resistors (plus capacitor) for the momentum version. I had a 5 pin din on the input to the amp so that I could switch between controller types as the mood took me.

Paul.

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1 hour ago, 5BarVT said:

Mine was ‘bashed’ together from an old design in an early 60s Railway Modeller which was in essence a common emitter current amplifier (OC26 output stage) with a PWM built from 4 op amps that meant a voltage input could be used. Was just a pot for the simple controller and a more complex array of pull up and pull down resistors (plus capacitor) for the momentum version. I had a 5 pin din on the input to the amp so that I could switch between controller types as the mood took me.

Paul.

 

Whereas I just bought a 555 chip that does it all for me :P It's a very basic circuit with a sliding pot that feeds the chip to control a darlington pair. Probably not as robust, no idea how it will perform as I've modified the original plan considerably with some improvised add-ons.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was not expecting these to turn up so quickly! Some PCBs for the controller - very cheap if you know where to look, and more difficult to get wrong when soldering than on veroboard or point-to-point. Plus I think it looks cool. Already discovered a couple of minor errors (I bought a couple of components the wrong size) and I'll need to borrow a smaller soldering iron than I have now, but hopefully should be up and running soon.

 

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many moons ago I walked the old track bed from Eythorne to Guilford those few remains of the track are  from the WW2 spur laid by the RA together with a couple of derelict ammunition stores built at the same time located a few hundred metres from Eythorne

 

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Nick

Edited by nick_bastable
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I'm starting to think about the baseboard construction for Guilford Colliery - since the layout will be housed in a flight case (or DIY equivalent) it doesn't really need to be structural. Therefore thoughts are turning to some kind of foam, maybe 50mm thick, which can have channels carved out underneath for point motors and wiring, and lightly profiled on top so the whole layout is a bit less flat. And it will keep the whole thing a bit lighter than adding wooden boards.

 

Has anyone got any experience of doing something like this? Or alternative ideas?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Printed the trackplan out over the weekend and spent some time playing trains. I think most of it checks out (for clearances etc.), but I might have to shorten it a bit. I'm considering getting boards laser cut, which would create a 1200mm max length. Currently about 50mm too long.

 

Can anyone else spot any flaws/issues before I commit to this trackplan?

 

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  • RMweb Gold

Tom - I was wondering about this today and thought, if you have the workshop doors open, could you have the option of a clip-on short extension stick at the right hand side to give you enough room for a loco and two wagons in the headshunt? It could help you a lot operationally?

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5 hours ago, Corbs said:

Tom - I was wondering about this today and thought, if you have the workshop doors open, could you have the option of a clip-on short extension stick at the right hand side to give you enough room for a loco and two wagons in the headshunt? It could help you a lot operationally?

 

Genius! Yes, I could - I want to limit the length of the headshunt to increase the challenges involved, but would like to be able to get 2 wagons in at a time. Obviously that wouldn't fit with the Hudswell 1800 as pictured, but fortunately most of my locos are a little smaller. I'll add it to the ideas pile and see if I can integrate it practically!

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  • 4 weeks later...

A bit more work has been done on the trackplan over Christmas, the whole layout has been shortened a tad (explained later) and widened to allow a bit more scenery, to try and make it look a bit less packed. Some pathways have been added too (in black), the barrow crossings will be forming the lifting parts of the uncoupling system. The engine house has been downgraded to a workshop to better reflect the actual buildings that were there, with the processing building added in green on the photo (tracks in red). The headshunts at either end are sized to just about allow a loco and wagon to use them, most of the locos I plan to use are under 100mm long(!) - I'll have a play around with this once it's physically there to double check, I can always make the run-round loop a little shorter if needed.

 

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The baseboard plan is coming together too - I've abandoned the flight case idea (too expensive), so the reduction in length mentioned earlier is to allow the boards to be laser cut (maximum length 1200mm for most machines). I've been putting together the CAD files needed to cut them, which will be sent off to someone like 4D modelshop or another laser cutting service. Then I'll have a big flatpack slot-together kit to assemble...

 

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36 minutes ago, Gordon A said:

Would the explosives storage hut be so close to the railway line?

 

Gordon A

 

No, it wouldn't really. However, this layout is built primarily to be entertaining to operate in a small space, with prototypical accuracy coming a distant second. Hence lots of compromises like densely-packed track, short radius curves etc. It's in there to add a bit of operational interest by being rail-served - one wagon from every train in or out has to be shunted to or from the hut. 

 

Although, thinking about it, it doesn't have to be an explosives magazine - it could be storage for some other rail-delivered item that would be stored away from the rest of the site. Any ideas?

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Thanks for the suggestion - tooling of some kind might be a possibility, but then again, why keep it so far from the shafts?

 

I've made a start on the building itself, it was meant to have a flat concrete roof and be built into earthworks, hence no back wall. It's made of offcuts of card and a cheap sheet of brick plastic sheet I picked up from SE Finecast's 'seconds' bin.

 

Does anyone know a source of beige (or otherwise mortar-coloured) primer? 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Slow progress as I've got far too many projects on the go at the moment, but the building now has doors, courtesy of the 3D printer. Since the picture was taken its had a coat of Humbrol desert tan to represent the mortar courses so I can start colouring it in soon.

 

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  • 1 month later...

The laser cut baseboards plan has come to nothing, I was quoted £180 for the set I designed (see a few posts ago) which is not really affordable for me! I'm aware there are relatively cheap sets on eBay but the size I want is fairly specific, designed to fit under my bed and be small and portable. Plus, one of the aims of this layout is to make or design as much of it myself as possible.

 

So it looks like we might have to do this one the old fashioned way, get some plywood from Homebase and plan a weekend at the parents house so I can borrow the garage space and The Big Saw. Which, while not as good as properly engineered boards, will be fun in its own way.

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Hunt around for a 'proper' Timber merchant rather than Homebase (other DIY Sheds are available)

 

Well worth paying the extra for good quality Birch ply

 

If you can refine your timber cutting plan without tabs & slots, most good timber merchants will cut it for a small sum, far more accurately and faster than most of the rest of us can.

 

I had 1 x 8' x 4' x 18 mm and three 8' x 4' x 6mm Birch ply cut to my requirements for less than £140 a couple of years ago.

 

Hunt & Swain in Melton Mowbray, but there are still proper timber merchants around the country.

 

Regards

 

Ian

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For the Birch Ply, I had to place a special order with Hunt & Swain.

 

Delivery was fast, and the cutting was done well within the time I had specified.

 

Great service. And great quality, too. No warping on anything over the last three years, despite less than ideal conditions in the garage, and occasional forays into the house when  Mission Control wasn't looking.

 

As I don't know which neck of the woods you are in, it is hard to make a recommendation, but have a look before going down the DIY Shed route. Money spent at this stage should repay itself many times over.

 

Regards

 

Ian

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The baseboard saga so far:

 

Plan A: Laser cut boards - quoted £180, so canned that idea

Plan B: Get good quality ply from timber merchant, cut to size - quoted over £100 so canned that idea

Plan C: Go to chain DIY shop, get slightly lower quality ply cut into strips, so I could just make a few simple cuts in the garage - store cutting service out of order, no other shops within reasonable distance so canned that idea

Plan D: Buy smallish sheet of 1220x607mm ply, cut in half in garage to make backscene and board top. Fill in the ends and bracing with scrap I could find in the garage.

 

Plan D currently underway! My sawing arm is very sore, as I only have a finecut handsaw available. Total cost <£30. Might be a tad warpy but as the whole thing is only 1220x350x275mm, I'm not too concerned.

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Plan D worked! I didn't have time to make a cover (working in my parents garage over the weekend, had to be back for work Monday morning), but other than that it's gone well. Maybe 8 hours work total, plus drying time for a coat of Danish oil, plus a coat of varnish. Now I have to start saving up for track!

 

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