Jump to content

New to O gauge - Any advice?


APT Fan
 Share

Recommended Posts

I agree that track power is more effort, but not a lot more. Further, if you have a larger number of locomotives changing these all to battery power (when not running live steam or clockwork) is a lot more effort. And hopefully I may disagree with your statement about 16mm/ft and G-scale (G-scale??); toy trains might be tinplate trains; model trains should be in a correct gauge/scale combination.

Regards

Fred

Link to post
Share on other sites

What I was trying to point out is that the 16mm/ft and G-scale/gauge communities have a heck of a lot more knowledge of what works well outdoors than does the indoor 0 scale/gauge community. The 16mm/ft guys especially have a long tradition of radio controlled steam and battery power.

 

Of course, a lot depends upon individual needs, but this thread was started by a guy who has, I think, one loco, and not one where there would be any worry about interfering with the integrity of a collector’s piece of converting it to battery power.

 

 

PS: it could even be prototypical, in that one, possibly two, 08s has been converted to battery on an experimental basis. 08649 is the one I’m sure about.

 

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold
2 hours ago, APT Fan said:

 

That looks the business, are those Turbot's carrying the beer bottle's? Nice loco too!

 

In terms of control, I already use DCC systems which can be controlled remotely from an Android phone. 

 The wagons are OAA by Heljan and the Loco is a Class 31 by the same company.

 

My set up is also DCC controlled but I utilise the NCE setup. I completely rebuilt the outdoor section las year with my great friend Ray as we learnt by our original  mistakes. I have to admit that version 2 is standing up to all the elements of the great british weather....

 

Good luck with you venture

 

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I ran 16mm scale 2’ prototypes on 32mm track for several years, some 20 years back.  
I won’t claim “dead scale” but but surely finescale.


Locos were steam and battery electric.  Most of the stock was built from wood, some scratch, some Tenmille kits, though lots of Colin Binnie’s plastic skips, and one Ruston was plasticard, the other was brass.  
 

R/C using the old 28MHz was crude but good enough for the larger locos, the little Rustons were digital, you poked the switch with your finger….  Modern digital r/c is another world, and will easily fit 4mm models, so everything could have been remote control.

 

There was one signal and the points were locally controlled.  My trains didn’t carry beer, but it was clearly possible!


 

 

if I were going outdoors now, given that I have built up an extensive finescale 7mm collection, I would obviously use it.  I would use live rail traction, with DCC, with Peco points, and Peco Flexi track.  Every piece of track would be bonded to the DCC bus so no reliance would be placed on the fishplates for continuity.  I would use off-the-shelf track so it can be replaced without major disruption.  Experience shows that 20 years outdoors leads to some scrap track.  I would use Tortoise motors in Tupperware-style boxes linked to the blades by wire-in-tube.  I know this will work for 5 years, though can’t vouch for more.  I would continue to experiment with BPRC as it is clearly a viable option, though the solution that I would wish to achieve would allow automated on-track charging to minimise handling of stock, and would provide synchronised sound, and DCC control, preferably from wireless handsets.  Hopefully this would be a viable solution to convert my roster before the tortoises become un-maintainable.

 

On the other hand, if I were starting from scratch outdoors, I would probably go for gauge 1 or 16mm to allow for live steam, I would do exactly as Nearholmer suggests, and go dead rail from the start.  I would not bother with track cleaning, just brush the leaves, snails, etc., off.

 

You can run track powered N gauge outdoors if you want, or anything larger, but it will need maintenance, and cleaning.

 

atb

Simon

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 21/07/2021 at 03:11, APT Fan said:

 

The other issue is that I haven't been able to get any Peco track, should I go Bullhead or Flatbed? Also I've read that the bullhead can be joined with SL-10 joiners as used on OO gauge - is that correct?

 

 

Yes, the OO joiners are the ones sold by Peco.    But they are the very devil to use in my recent experience.    I need to use a small screwdriver to open them out a bit, and still have to force them on with a small pliers.

 

I'm told that Atlas makes metal joiners that are a better fit, but you may have difficulty finding them in the UK.

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, bluestag said:

Yes, the OO joiners are the ones sold by Peco.    But they are the very devil to use in my recent experience.    I need to use a small screwdriver to open them out a bit, and still have to force them on with a small pliers.

 

I'm told that Atlas makes metal joiners that are a better fit, but you may have difficulty finding them in the UK.

 

I have used these on my layout.  They can need relieving - I use a scrap piece of rail, suitably filed, and run it through the joiner a couple of times.  I also use a cutting wheel to reduce the length to about 10mm which is about the right dimension for track ends.

 

Oh, and yes, these should be only be used for track alignment.  Each piece of track should be connected via droppers to the DCC bus.

 

John

Edited by brossard
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Its Very addictive.

2) Given 1, try your best to stick to an area/era, I am doing my best to stick to Scotland c1993 but have already had a dabble with a couple of wagons outside this area/era.

3) I have gone outside with the railway effectively on a wall buried within raised beds, this should give a stable base for a long time to come, the top blocks are lightweight breeze blocks which take track pins. 

4) The outside layout is as others have said only laid with fish plates for track alignment, all sections of track are wired at both ends into a bus wire. THis may be overkill but it is also building in some extra reliability. 

5) If using analogue or DCC (I'm using DCC) make sure you can reach the whole layout with a track rubber if need be. 

6) Enjoy yourself.

7) Its VERY addictive!

 

My Garden layout is here if you're interested which includes some of the build: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/164666-modern-image-7mm-in-the-great-outdoors/

  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, D6775 said:

1) Its Very addictive.

2) Given 1, try your best to stick to an area/era, I am doing my best to stick to Scotland c1993 but have already had a dabble with a couple of wagons outside this area/era.

3) I have gone outside with the railway effectively on a wall buried within raised beds, this should give a stable base for a long time to come, the top blocks are lightweight breeze blocks which take track pins. 

4) The outside layout is as others have said only laid with fish plates for track alignment, all sections of track are wired at both ends into a bus wire. THis may be overkill but it is also building in some extra reliability. 

5) If using analogue or DCC (I'm using DCC) make sure you can reach the whole layout with a track rubber if need be. 

6) Enjoy yourself.

7) Its VERY addictive!

 

My Garden layout is here if you're interested which includes some of the build: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/164666-modern-image-7mm-in-the-great-outdoors/

 

I like the idea of a breeze block wall as a foundation and I did wonder about fixing the track to it, so its good to hear that you are happy with pins. I generally prefer screws for fixing most things but breeze blocks don't tend to accept rawl plugs very well.

 

I used to design vehicle electrical systems and volt drop could be an issue on larger vehicles which is the main reason why lorries have 24v systems. I often wonder about this with larger layouts especially with DC, I'd imagine less so with DCC. What size cable have you used for the track wire? Also do you have figures in terms of the total length of the layout, I used to rely on a Ford spec as a guide to cable sizing.

 

Its great to see the BR blue era being modelled in O gauge, they look so realistic.

Link to post
Share on other sites

An alternative occurred to me last week as I humped large amounts of timber for younger daughter. Decking would make an excellent base for a single line garden railway. Two 3.6m lengths screwed to form a T shape would make an easily levelled and rapidly assembled track bed. The timber should be straight and pressure treated so, with a couple of extra coats of preservative should be good for a decade or two. Curves can be done by multiple mitre cuts and doubling over the joints. Equally important to electrical continuity is thermal expansion. There is a lot of advice to read on line.

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

And wouldyabelieveit ? Whilst trawling through my usual you tube mix of car restoration, guitars and railways I come across ",building an elevated railway". Worth a watch.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 21/07/2021 at 15:33, Hal Nail said:

Whilst every new o gauge thread has a boilerplate post saying you will never go back, the endless supply of barely used Dapol locos available on ebay suggests that, in fact, most give up!

 

Good point. I am building the scenics and maybe the track to see how it goes on the "Oil Store" first before any serious Traction outlay. Although if the Heljan 26 is released on my slow timescale I might have to go for it.

 

CS 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 22/07/2021 at 22:56, bluestag said:

Yes, the OO joiners are the ones sold by Peco.    But they are the very devil to use in my recent experience.    I need to use a small screwdriver to open them out a bit, and still have to force them on with a small pliers.

 

I'm told that Atlas makes metal joiners that are a better fit, but you may have difficulty finding them in the UK.

 

C&L Finescale have  Brass fishplates with "bolts"

 

CS

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 22/07/2021 at 15:59, brossard said:

 

I have used these on my layout.  They can need relieving - I use a scrap piece of rail, suitably filed, and run it through the joiner a couple of times.  I also use a cutting wheel to reduce the length to about 10mm which is about the right dimension for track ends.

 

Oh, and yes, these should be only be used for track alignment.  Each piece of track should be connected via droppers to the DCC bus.

 

John

John,

 

The scrap rail filed sharp is just brilliant.    If a bit fraught.   But it works a treat.   I solder a lot of my joints to reduce the need for droppers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, bluestag said:

John,

 

The scrap rail filed sharp is just brilliant.    If a bit fraught.   But it works a treat.   I solder a lot of my joints to reduce the need for droppers.

 

Good to know.  Soldering joints is OK I think, but you will need to leave some loose to account for expansion and contraction.

 

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, bluestag said:

  I solder a lot of my joints to reduce the need for droppers.

Seems to be quite a common practice & often recommended on the left-hand side of The Pond. I wonder if house/indoor temperatures are more stable in the USA than the UK, as they often have air-con as standard?

In the UK soldering the rail joiners is usually asking for trouble with rail expansion in hot weather, such as we've just had in the last few days.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, F-UnitMad said:

Seems to be quite a common practice & often recommended on the left-hand side of The Pond. I wonder if house/indoor temperatures are more stable in the USA than the UK, as they often have air-con as standard?

In the UK soldering the rail joiners is usually asking for trouble with rail expansion in hot weather, such as we've just had in the last few days.

My layout is in the garage, and is subject to all sorts of weather.   My mentor in all things 7mm, John, he of the exquisite layout in northern San Diego, swears by soldering joints, says he has no trouble with what expansion and contraction he has in his garage.

Link to post
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, bluestag said:

My layout is in the garage, and is subject to all sorts of weather.   My mentor in all things 7mm, John, he of the exquisite layout in northern San Diego, swears by soldering joints, says he has no trouble with what expansion and contraction he has in his garage.

My SM32 runs around a green/summer house with plenty of ventilation. In summer the track buckles all over the place if I have forgotten to remove the half dozen "fillers" needed in winter.  These consist of 4mm length of rail soldered into a Peco rail joiner. The track isn't ballasted. Am I missing something?

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My SM32 runs around a green/summer house with plenty of ventilation. In summer the track buckles all over the place if I have forgotten to remove the half dozen "fillers" needed in winter.  These consist of 4mm length of rail soldered into a Peco rail joiner. The track isn't ballasted. Am I missing something?

Dunno.

 

But I am leaving some rail joiners unsoldered as much for fear of having to take the track back up as for expansion.    I'm just saying that John has no trouble with his garage layout that is exposed to some temperature changes.    When I asked him about it he said that the baseboards shift more than the track.   He used to have a wooden lift out bridge that was tight in the winter and loose in the summer.  Apparently.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold

On the MKI version of Ayr Road we had screwed the track down with small screws in the centre of the sleepers and although my garden is south facing, the seasons played havoc with the track but I also believe the boards had a part to play in the track warping. Throughout the year the boards would move as well as the track, here we have a few pictures to show what I mean and in the end we decided to totally rebuild the outside section on a more sturdier base.

 

post-12217-0-57185500-1530599465.jpg.c4bf5027282a1d32f92401fd6cc3f94f.jpg

 

post-12217-0-97601400-1530599530.jpg.24967e0c72573ee46ad6538529807e43.jpg

 

On rebuilding the railway we decided to nail the track every 10 sleepers on the outside rather than in the centre and leaving a 2mm gap at the end of each section. On the curved sections I overlapped the rail joints so the joins would not be opposite each other (although this used an extra piece of rail) and the track hasn't moved in over a year considering we have experienced -10 through to 30+.

 

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, jcarta said:

On the curved sections I overlapped the rail joints so the joins would not be opposite each other

I did that as well, but because I was following prototype American practice, not with thoughts of rail expansion!! ;)

From previous threads on RMweb I think there is a two-fold problem, and baseboard expansion can play as much a part as rail expansion in hot weather. My layout is in the loft, which although insulated got pretty warm recently. my 'baseboards' are Knauf Spaceboard extruded styrofoam, not wood.  I didn't run trains on the hottest days more because it was too hot for me!! I did look but didn't notice any track distortion, but then again with some of my track who would notice the difference??

000048504576.Jpeg.d54c3a48464445e0280c842ee37bfcaf.Jpeg

 

20210508_222631.jpg.3c90bbf5019189477543eb8eae8df468.jpg

 

I did notice a problem with rail expansion once on my British O layout; stuff was derailing on a Peco point where nothing usually derailed; one of the rails had distorted in the heat and opened out the gauge. It returned to normal when temperatures dropped. It probably happened again last week, but I didn't run that layout anyway.

Edited by F-UnitMad
Added 2nd photo off my phone.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, brossard said:

It looks like you have faithfully replicated short line track.:jester:

 

John

Yes, that was absolutely the intention. :good:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...