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Tulloch Bridge, West Highland Line, Mid 2000's - Present day, 4mm Scale


Rammstein2609
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Now that looks very nice and those buildings are excellent. You should consider selling them as kits - I'm sure there's lots of folks out there would be very interested in a West Highland building of that quality.

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2 hours ago, scottystitch said:

Ketton Cement was broken up?!...:(

Yeah I’m afraid so.

 

There was a group interested in buying the layout with all the stock but the deal fell through in the end.

 

The baseboards were sold to a fellow club member after I’d stripped them back.

 

Ketton was on the exhibition circuit for 3 years and visited many shows in Scotland and England and also won two awards, one being at Model Rail Scotland so I was pleased with it all.  I just felt it was time to move on as I was getting frustrated with fiddly details and locos which needed constant care and attention, plus the eyesight is starting to go downhill so it was time to move up a scale.

 

Cheers

Martin

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16 hours ago, Rammstein2609 said:

I have designed all of the buildings and platforms myself and laser cut them.

 

Excellent use of laser cutting tech there. It’s nice to see the station building with the correct wall texture. I’ve no doubt that it’ll be well worth watching your progress with this layout. Great stuff so far!

 

David

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Hi All

A quick little project this afternoon was this little cabin which is based on the one currently sat in the yard next to Tulloch station.  Presumably it's some sort of workers mess room with a generator in the left hand berth.  I've made the main structure from 0.8mm board then the outer ribs and details are overlaid in 0.5mm board.  I tried to re-create the lifting loops on each corner of the roof but crushed them a little so will modify the design to have slightly larger openings to push these into.  The vent grille has been cut down to 0.2mm bars and the door handles have been made from 0.3mm brass wire.

I'm just waiting on a paint order arriving before I can prime and paint this one ready for the layout.

Cheers
Martin

Tulloch cabin 1.jpg

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Hi All

Another quick update on work carried out today.  The electrics are almost complete, the building/platform lights and RETB circuits will be set up once they're actually added to the layout.  These will be controlled from a relay board as it reduces the wiring required from the control panel.

 

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The lighting pelmet now has a length of aluminium section specific to LED strips along with a plastic diffuser.  This helps to give an even light and reduces the individual 'spots' you normally get from LED strips.  The LED's I'm using are called RGB + CCT which features an RGB LED alongside a warm white/cool white combined LED.  This is hooked up to a specific controller which also contains an RF receiver for the remote control.  This has allowed me to hide this on the layout as there is no need to have an IR receiver.  The remote control allows you to change the colour of the LED's and control functions/timers but it also allows to you change the temperature of the white.  There are 6 presets and these can be adjusted using the + & - buttons.  This allows you to set the feel of the layout depending on the season and time of day which is quite nice.  I tried to record a video to show the different temp's but the camera couldn't really pick the differences up.

 

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The control panel has been wired up and works well.  I had to use 4.7K resistors for the blue LED route indicators which is great in person but the camera picks it up as a really bright light.  The Arduino for the EzyBus system displays the layout name but also lists what each switch is controlling when they are actuated.  This is great for fault finding which I haven't had to do yet luckily.

 

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Lastly, I picked up two new arrivals from Rainbow Railways today ( Usual disclaimer applies).  These are Realtrack Class 156's re-painted into Scotrail 'Swoosh' livery.  These look fantastic as Colin has used his printing machine to give a factory finish to these models so everything is lined up perfectly and paint is loverly and crisp.  I believe these are the only two he has done so far and they will eventually be joined with other stock suitable for a 2004 running session.  I will also add sound into them along with the rest of the fleet.

 

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I did try to take some better photos with my DSLR today but my SD card decided to give up so I've ordered two replacements which should arrive tomorrow.

Cheers
Martin

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Hi All

Today I managed to finish the electrics and fully test them so everything works as it should.  I replaced the tie bar on the turnout as I wasn't happy with it and it didn't operate very well.  The new one is much better functionally and will eventually be disguised so it's less obvious.  Track has had an initial spray of sleeper grime so I'll hopefully get to paint the rails and chairs tomorrow.  Ballasting will have to wait though as I'm waiting on a paint order arriving so I can paint the platforms and fix them in place.

 

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My new SD cards arrived today so I managed to get some photos taken in the garden before the light disappeared.  

 

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Cheers
Martin

 

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Its a shame you've given up on 2mm Martin, but this new project does look stunning!

 

I'm a real fan of that early National Express Scotrail livery too - and those 156s look beautifully resprayed.

 

The LED strip looks really interesting too - they seem to move on really quickly - I bought an RGBWW strip a year or two ago and was really impressed, but RGB+CCT looks even better. The controller looks handy - I had been experimenting with Arduinos to control the colour via PWM as controllers seemed quite poor value, but that side of things has probably moved on quite a bit too?

 

On 11/08/2020 at 21:09, Rammstein2609 said:

Another quick update on work carried out today.  The electrics are almost complete, the building/platform lights and RETB circuits will be set up once they're actually added to the layout.  These will be controlled from a relay board as it reduces the wiring required from the control panel.

 

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I was briefly a member of MERG, but felt a bit out of my depth - I don't remember seeing the EzyBus system though - could you talk us through what you're doing with it here? Is it just linking the input and output pins of a pair of Arduinos over a bus wire? How does that relate to the relay board?

 

Cheers

 

Justin

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On 09/08/2020 at 00:13, Rammstein2609 said:

Yeah I’m afraid so.

 

There was a group interested in buying the layout with all the stock but the deal fell through in the end.

 

The baseboards were sold to a fellow club member after I’d stripped them back.

 

Ketton was on the exhibition circuit for 3 years and visited many shows in Scotland and England and also won two awards, one being at Model Rail Scotland so I was pleased with it all.  I just felt it was time to move on as I was getting frustrated with fiddly details and locos which needed constant care and attention, plus the eyesight is starting to go downhill so it was time to move up a scale.

 

Cheers

Martin

 

I thought it was a wonderfully realised and presented layout. The presentation in parcticular was excellent.  I missed it being for sale...,otherwise...

 

Anyway, good to see another Scottish model and in a period virtually untouched.

 

Best


Scott.

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7 hours ago, justin1985 said:

Its a shame you've given up on 2mm Martin, but this new project does look stunning!

 

I'm a real fan of that early National Express Scotrail livery too - and those 156s look beautifully resprayed.

 

The LED strip looks really interesting too - they seem to move on really quickly - I bought an RGBWW strip a year or two ago and was really impressed, but RGB+CCT looks even better. The controller looks handy - I had been experimenting with Arduinos to control the colour via PWM as controllers seemed quite poor value, but that side of things has probably moved on quite a bit too?

 

 

I was briefly a member of MERG, but felt a bit out of my depth - I don't remember seeing the EzyBus system though - could you talk us through what you're doing with it here? Is it just linking the input and output pins of a pair of Arduinos over a bus wire? How does that relate to the relay board?

 

Cheers

 

Justin

Hi Justin

 

The EzyBus system has been designed and developed by a MERG member who has published all the necessary details in order to allow anyone to build the system as it currently isn't supported by MERG itself.  The only thing you can get from the kit locker are the PCB's for the input and output modules.

 

Basically, the system has been designed using Arduino modules and will allow you to control up to 128 outputs per system.  These outputs can be servos (you can add servo bounce too for semaphores) or digital only outputs which can be used to power LED's and relays.  The output module also allows you to control a servo and digital output on the same channel so you can control the frog polarity with a relay when the servo moves.

 

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The above photo shows a test system I rigged up when I was trying this out.  The Master module (in the blue rectangle) is an Arduino UNO with an LCD & Keypad shield added on top.  The sketch (software) for the UNO is easy to download and if you know what you're doing, you can also change a few things such as the layout name to display on the screen.  The master effectively controls the whole system by reading inputs from the input module then telling the output module what to do.

 

The Input module (red circle) has 16 inputs which I've used toggle switches to control.  This reads the state of the switch and relays this information to the master so it can work out what action to take.  This board contains an Arduino I/O module which isn't programmable.

 

The Output module (orange circle) utilises an Arduino Nano to power servos and the digital outputs.  Each Output module has 8 outputs which is extremely handy if you've got loads of turnouts and/or signals.  The master module allows you to program the movement and speed of each servo and this data is then saves onto the Nano until changed again.

 

The whole system reduces wiring because each of the modules run on an i2c bus for data and a 12v bus for power.  This effectively means that you can have one master, 8 input modules and 16 output modules per system.  It is also very cost effective if you shop around for the Arduino parts.  The last time I checked, the parts needed to run 16 servos came in at under £15 (not including the servos, relays or switches) so if you include a decent servo like the Hobbyking ones I've used then add relays and toggle switches, it comes in at around £4.20 per turnout.

 

I've probably left some info out in the above explanation but the person who designed the system has uploaded a 32 page booklet explaining how to build, program and setup the system.  It's a well thought out design and is kind of open source because you can infinitely customise the system or design new add on modules if you know about Arduino.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Cheers

Martin

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Hi All

 

Further to the topic of Arduino from above, I wanted to build a representation of the RETB signals on the WHL for this layout so thought that using an Arduino Nano would be the most cost effective way to go since I had a few spare.  I worked out the sketch using some Arduino examples and uploaded this to the Nano.  This version allows for the control of 4 LED's in 2 pairs which will allow me to control both sets of RETB signals at each end of a station.  I only require one for Tulloch Bridge but this will come in handy for a much larger project in a few years time.

 

Anyway, the idea is that the LED's will connect to this board along with the toggle switches required to change the state of each from solid blue to flashing blue.  Instead of writing a technical report on what/why/how I did it, I thought it would be better to upload some images of a small demo display I've built for use at exhibitions.

 

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This is the Nano fixed onto my own custom board using veroboard.  This allows for the LED resistors to be soldered to the board meaning that all I need to do is run wires from the LED's directly into this board.

 

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This shows how I've connected two toggle switches to control 4 LED's.

 

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Here is a very quick mockup of the RETB boards.  The signs were drawn up in Photoshop using photos as a guide then printed onto photo paper.  When I do this for my layout I reckon I will varnish the photo paper after printing as it is easy to damage during construction.

 

Lastly, here is a quick video showing the different states when activated:

 

Cheers

Martin

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All

Progress on the layout has slowed as I recently returned to work from Furlough so I've been trying to get some painting done as and when I find some time.

The platforms are coming along nicely, I just need to finish painting the edging strips on top along with the tactile paving before adding a few washes to tone everything down.  Once this is done, I can add them to the layout and then ballast the track which has had a coat of sleeper grime and rusty rails.  The bare MDF platform tops will eventually get a layer of finely crushed ballast which is typical of WHL stations but this will only be added once the buildings and footbridge have been completed and added.

One job I did manage to finish (still needs weathering) is the temporary workers cabin for the yard.  I've sprayed it up with Humbrol Matt 121 then painted the doors Phoenix Precision P232 SW Trains Blue.  The base has been painted Phoenix Precision weathered black and then the lifting hooks painted with their P977 track colour.  Finally the door handles have had a coat of Humbrol metallic 11 and now I'm happy with the results.  It's not an exact replica of the real thing but it's a representation designed to fit into a particular space.  Photos show up some marks on the surface of the paint finish but in the flesh it looks far better.  It will eventually get a light coat of weathering before being added to the layout.

Cheers
Martin

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Tulloch cabin 1.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/08/2020 at 18:41, Rammstein2609 said:

Hi All

A quick little project this afternoon was this little cabin which is based on the one currently sat in the yard next to Tulloch station.  Presumably it's some sort of workers mess room with a generator in the left hand berth. 

 

 

 

Hi Martin,

 

Left hand door is the 'thunderbox' usually, right hand door is the messing/office area. The genny/storage area  is though the double doors on the end.

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

Hi All

 

Progress on the layout has slowed since I returned to work from furlough back in August.  I've been working in the background as and when I get the time on the electrics including layout control using JMRI (Perhaps a post for another day).  I've also been working on the design for the station building.  Tulloch Bridge is a kind of test layout so I have long term layout plans which will involve me building several WHL station buildings.  This has sent me down the path of creating a WHL station building kit of parts which I can simply cut on the laser and build at my leisure.  So far the kit for the station building alone has over 600 parts!

 

I'm pretty happy with the building structure so far but the roof needs tweaking to get it just right.  I have attached a few photos below of the first full test roof construction.  There are obvious 'panel gaps' at the ridges which need to be addressed and I'm awaiting a delivery of suitable tape to represent the ridge caps along with the flashing around the chimneys.  I've also purchased a box load of some fantastic 3D printed guttering and downpipe components from ModelU which I'll use on my station and signal box.

 

The photos below may look off as the roof hasn't been properly attached to the main building yet so sits at a slight angle.  This roof is just a test so will be discarded once I've modified the design and built a better version.

 

I should be able to make more progress over the next few months since I'm going back on furlough from tomorrow until the end of March so should have plenty of time to get cracking.

 

Cheers

Martin 

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  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

Hi All

 

Nothing much has happened on the layout scenically lately as I've been sorting out some laser cut designs for other projects/people, I've also purchased a resin 3D printer recently which will come in very handy for the layout soon.  

 

At the beginning of January, I was put back onto furlough which was supposed to last until the end of March so I thought I would use the time wisely and learn how to design PCB's as there were several ideas I had for things I would need multiples of for this layout and future layouts.  After some researching I downloaded KiCad and set about learning how to create my ideas as custom PCB's.

 

The first project was to create a PCB for my RETB control unit.  This uses an Arduino Nano which plugs straight into the board and works just like my prototype board which I posted about further up this topic.

 

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The second project was a 16 channel DCC accessory decoder.  This one has a slight issue where my bad planning has meant that it is only a 14 channel decoder but at less than £7 for a 14 channel accessory decoder, it's an absolute bargain!

 

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My biggest project (for now) was to create an adaptation of the Arcomora ArLoco and Okkie block occupancy system - https://www.arcomora.com/arloco/ .  I purchased several of his boards and once built and tested, worked perfectly with my new Digitrax system and JMRI.  I wanted to create a version which suits my requirements better so decided to design the encoder board as a single board which runs off an Arduino Nano instead of the UNO.  I also designed 2 channel occupancy detector boards as these will make wiring my planned fiddle yard a lot easier.  My PCB's were made by JLCPCB in China and so far work as intended.  I'm really impressed with the block detection system though as the encoder board is powered from my 12V DC bus and feeds data back onto the Loconet system via the RJ12 connectors.  When I set a test board up in JMRI, all of the attached occupancy boards automatically populated the sensor table when they were activated so this saved me a lot of time adding each sensor individually.  So far, this all works out at £1.61 per block which is really cheap.  I could get this cost down ever further if I sourced all the components from China but I've decided to stick with trusted UK suppliers for everything with the exception of the PCB's which were made in China.

 

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My next step is to make a few tweaks to the encoder board design and also design a 4 channel occupancy detector.  I also have several boards for something I'm calling ServoNet coming from JLCPCB, I won't say anymore for now but once they arrive and testing has taken place I'll update everyone on this topic.  Lastly, I think I've figured out how to quickly and easily produce the RETB signal boards complete with blue LED's but once the design has been completed and sent to be manufactured I'll post the details on here.

 

Cheers

Martin

Edited by Rammstein2609
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All

 

I've brought Tulloch Bridge into the house from the shed to allow me to start working on it again.  The plan over the next few days is to repaint the brickwork on the platforms and ballast the track now that the rails have been painted.  Everything will be blended together at a later date with some subtle weathering.

 

While the layout was set up on its new legs, I couldn't resist getting some stock out of the cupboard.  There seems to have been a DRS takeover!

 

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The DRS Class 20's are the new Bachmann release but one was renumbered to 20309 by Rainbow Railways.  It means I have a matching pair for duties such as the RHTT.  The DRS MK2 barrier coaches are conversions and repaints by Rainbow Railways who have added the windows to each of the coach ends.  These may end up getting lights fitted along with some appropriate figures for KUA duty when they arrive.  I know they don't really fit with the theme of the layout but I like DRS workings so can sneak a few workings in.

 

I've also been working on a 4 channel DCC controlled servo & relay module.  The idea was to start with an Arduino to prototype the circuit and then move it onto a custom PCB when I'm happy with it.  So far, I have everything working the way I want it but now need to bring the price of each module down to make it worthwhile.  Each of the 4 servos can have their movement and speed easily programmed with the onboard buttons and the DCC addresses can also be easily programmed when the module is connected to the DCC bus.  I've added 4 relays to the mix too which will change along with the relevant servo to allow frog switching or signal control.  I have uploaded a short video showing off each feature below:

 

 

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The above images show the prototype circuit which works as designed so now I just need to finalise the PCB design.  The board will use an ATmega32A processor rather than an Arduino Micro for size and cost reasons but will have all the same functionality as the prototype.  I'm also working on adding the extra circuitry required to either power each board off either DCC or DC.  At the moment my prototype is being powered off DC and the DCC feed is just providing a signal.  The PCB design is so far 78 x 50mm but may get slightly longer to accommodate the extra components.  I still think this is a nice compact unit and is easy to setup and use.  All the wiring is kept local on the baseboard to help reduce the amount of wires crossing baseboard joints and to also help with fault finding should the need arise.

 

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I'm hoping that now the layout is back in the house I can crack on with finishing it as I now have a deadline of June to complete the scenic section.  I need to have a think about possible fiddle yards either side too.

Thanks

Martin

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Awesome work Martin - the DRS 20s do look superb. With all of your fantastic control via DCC, what about a DCC automated traverser? ;)

 

Looking forward to more more progress soon.

 

Will

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  • 3 months later...
Posted (edited)

Hi All

 

I've just realised it's been a while since I posted any progress on this layout as a lot of my modelling time has been focused on electronics recently.  I've taken advantage of some good weather this weekend to get the layout outside to paint the back scene, glue the platforms down and use the airbrush to slightly weather the track work.

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The block paving portion has been glued to the platform which will allow the station building to be dropped in at a later date to give me access to the back of the layout to fit the scenery.  The platform tops will eventually get a layer of ballast added once the signal box has been attached along with the footbridge (both 3D printed).  I've utilised some street lights which I bought from a Chinese seller on eBay a few years ago who advertised them as N scale, they're clearly too big but perfect for what I need in 4mm.  These have been sprayed silver with a blue portion at the foot.  Station signs will eventually be attached once these have been installed on the platforms.  The main structure is made from brass tube with a plastic head which holds the 0603 LED so I'm hoping these will stand up to a few knocks over time.

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I've recently been working on designing and manufacturing my own feedback, block detection and DCC accessory decoders so I've decided that this layout will now become a small roundy roundy which will be used as a test bed for some of my custom electronics.  I will also use it to dip my toe into automation with JMRI using a Raspberry Pi and touchscreen which I have already got working but will keep the details for a future update once it has been fully integrated into the layout.  Here are a few of my custom electronics designs just waiting on the flux residue to be cleaned:

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4 Servo & relay DCC controller (prototype discussed in previous post above)

 

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16 Channel Loconet feedback encoder with enclosure

 

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4 Channel & 2 Channel block occupancy detectors

 

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Turnout position indicator

 

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RETB control board for once set of circuits based on the ATTiny85

 

I've ordered some Peco code 75 track for the fiddle yard and already have some of Tim Horn's curved boards which were left from a previously abandoned N gauge layout.  I've got a few projects on the go which need to be completed next but I'm hoping to have a working layout within the next few months.

Cheers
Martin

 

Edited by Rammstein2609
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14 minutes ago, sulzer71 said:

Hi

 

Hope you don't mind me asking but what ballast are you using?

 

Cheers

Hi Sulzer71

 

I've used Peco PS-311 medium brown ballast as I find it looks the closest to the pink/red stone found on the railways in Scotland.  It's not 100% correct but I'm happy with the result.

 

I originally tried the Woodland Scenics red ballast but it's far too red unfortunately.

 

Cheers

Martin

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