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TEAMYAKIMA

BEIJIAO - A CHINESE HO EXHIBITION LAYOUT

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Posted (edited)

Have continued to work on my shed - to make it a 'museum of my life'- more photos as/when I can.

 

But also have been working on the layout. The four scenic boards have suffered and will need care and attention, but my three top priorities have been ROUTE SELECTION, ROUTE SELECTION and ROUTE SELECTION! In fact most have my operators have threatened not to do any more shows until the route selection was in place.

 

Operation at our first two exhibitions suffered because the promised route selection never materialised. Our tame 'expert' had three attempts at getting it to work, but then had to pull out of the team due to health issues. An appeal for help has resulted in finding a modeller who had experience of using the software, but lives miles away and a IT expert with no particular interest in model railways who lived 10 minutes walk away - put the two together (via mobile phone) and 'hey presto!' we have progress!

 

My new IT friend and I spent about six hours over two Sundays trying to programme the software and we 90% cracked it last week but we could only set up one end of the fiddle yard in my new shed. So today we set up the whole 26ft long fiddle yard and whilst there were some teething troubles eventually we got things sorted.

 

IMG_20190630_155701.jpg.0bef961db105bb98ae86d16a87d33336.jpg

 

On the left we have keen operator (and China railfan) Gordon Massey and on the right we have IT guru and model maker (not railways) Paul Richardson.

 

The route selection is now put to bed - still some very minor issues which can be by-passed by careful operation. However, it seems 'unfortunate' that hardware/software sold for the 'average enthusiast' seems to need such specialist expertise. I would never have coped without Paul and (name withheld lest he be pestered by others for help) - not for the average enthusiast!!

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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I don't know which software you are using for route selection (the options I know of are JMRI and RR&Co), but at least one of them took a LOT of my time to make it do what I wanted, not what it wanted, and it still has some...abnormalities...in the programming, and that's using a whole metric ship full of flagmen to do what I want it to do !  There are 6 sheets of switchboards used for LM, and only 3 of them are physical representative of Long Marton and the staging yards.

 

The biggest problem I found was that there often is no easy way in RR&Co to link an action to an atribute.  At times, that has been very frustrating, resulting in extra little blocks of "code" in the form of flagmen operated by multi conditions to get a single thing to happen.  The lack of documentation inline has also been a bit of a @#[email protected]#[email protected]#, when I go back to make changes I have to look to see what exactly I did to make something work before I break it.

 

Two Tone Green posted in .dcc about how to bend RR&Co 5.x to your wishes, along with Beast 66066.  

 

I've never tried the Digitrax firmware way of route selecting, and are probably much happier not to !.  How I would deal with route selection using RR&Co or JMRI is to use dummy switch instructions, probably in the range of 1-100, keeping the actual turnout #'s much higher.  That way, you would address #1 track as #1 (and possibly #2 for the "out" end...), and so forth, and then cascade from there to operate the turnouts as needed.  For Long Marton, early on I ended up with a spreadsheet of the assigned #'s to each DS-64 (mostly) used for controlling the Torti.  That includes the ID #, and the range of outputs used.  That made it simpler when I found troubles with particularly the DS 54's (obsolete) that I had used for specific tasks.  

 

James

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Beijiao announce at Warley 2019. 

 

 

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Am building up a new train for the industrial line. They come in plain black and a sheet of decals!!

 

1830988859_IMG_20190726_081416(2).jpg.cef51b19c27094f4070081dc930ee84e.jpg

 

One down, eleven to go!

1253102408_IMG_20190726_081412(2).jpg.4a7d7e0957f61dab3546a6aa56585126.jpg

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 05/07/2019 at 06:39, peach james said:

I don't know which software you are using for route selection (the options I know of are JMRI and RR&Co), but at least one of them took a LOT of my time to make it do what I wanted, not what it wanted, and it still has some...abnormalities...in the programming, and that's using a whole metric ship full of flagmen to do what I want it to do !  There are 6 sheets of switchboards used for LM, and only 3 of them are physical representative of Long Marton and the staging yards.

 

The biggest problem I found was that there often is no easy way in RR&Co to link an action to an atribute.  At times, that has been very frustrating, resulting in extra little blocks of "code" in the form of flagmen operated by multi conditions to get a single thing to happen.  The lack of documentation inline has also been a bit of a @#[email protected]#[email protected]#, when I go back to make changes I have to look to see what exactly I did to make something work before I break it.

 

Two Tone Green posted in .dcc about how to bend RR&Co 5.x to your wishes, along with Beast 66066.  

 

I've never tried the Digitrax firmware way of route selecting, and are probably much happier not to !.  How I would deal with route selection using RR&Co or JMRI is to use dummy switch instructions, probably in the range of 1-100, keeping the actual turnout #'s much higher.  That way, you would address #1 track as #1 (and possibly #2 for the "out" end...), and so forth, and then cascade from there to operate the turnouts as needed.  For Long Marton, early on I ended up with a spreadsheet of the assigned #'s to each DS-64 (mostly) used for controlling the Torti.  That includes the ID #, and the range of outputs used.  That made it simpler when I found troubles with particularly the DS 54's (obsolete) that I had used for specific tasks.  

 

James

 

Hello James

 

Many thanks for your interest in my problems, but my biggest problem is that I barely understood a word of your post - literally! I have reluctantly concluded that I will NEVER understand advanced electronics - I literally don't understand the concepts. 

 

BTW the software is LOCOANALISE

 

Now here is the bad news ………………...

 

Since our totally successful test session in the garden a few weeks back I made some VERY VERY minor electrical (not electronic) upgrades to the track and decided to just check they worked before packing the fiddle yard away and forgetting about it until the Fareham show in October.

 

I tested one end of the fiddle yard - TOTAL failure!

 

I am gutted...……………….

 

NO ROUTE SELECTION AT ALL!  But worse than that all DAC20's are not responding at all and so individual points are not working and so  we are in a far worse situation than ever. A few DS64 controlled points are responding but none controlled by the DAC20's. So I am only glad that I decided to be cautious and test the boards again - at least I have 9 weeks to get things sorted.

 

I have spent hours and hours on the phone to three of the UK's top Digitrax experts and they cannot explain what has happened. One of those is going to make a site visit soon and hopefully we can get to the bottom of it. 

 

I have now stopped worrying and moved on - it is a very weird problem - we have tried everything!!!  I just don't want to think about it again until my Digitrax expert comes and sees for himself.

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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DCC UPDATE

 

AS regards my problems - nothing has made sense to me (as a complete non-expert) but more worringly nothing has made sense to the three experts I have been in contact with.

 

The DAB150 controls points linked to a DS64 but not to those connected to any DAC20. My dealer had one of the DAC20's back a few weeks ago and it worked with his DAB150.

 

I have now sent all the hardware - my DAB150 command station and 2 x DAC20 modules - back to my Digitrax-trained dealer I bought them from for testing.

 

I await his report.

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New business!

 

Does anyone reading this have any CHINESE HO stock they want rid of?
 

 

If you do PLEASE PM ME rather than post on this thread or you can email me on [email protected]

 

I'm not really looking for much, but I am looking for .................

 

1. A Bachmann S12 caboose

2. A green type 22 XL baggage with bright yellow (not cream) striping.

 

Are there any out there?

 

Paul

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On 10/08/2019 at 13:47, TEAMYAKIMA said:

DCC UPDATE

 

AS regards my problems - nothing has made sense to me (as a complete non-expert) but more worringly nothing has made sense to the three experts I have been in contact with.

 

The DAB150 controls points linked to a DS64 but not to those connected to any DAC20. My dealer had one of the DAC20's back a few weeks ago and it worked with his DAB150.

 

I have now sent all the hardware - my DAB150 command station and 2 x DAC20 modules - back to my Digitrax-trained dealer I bought them from for testing.

 

I await his report.

 

 

OK …….…………………….

 

Good news ……………….

 

Still not exactly convinced how this happened but it appears that the problem was that an internal electronic 'switch' inside the DB150 had been 'switched'. Once my dealer had discovered that this was the problem a simple return to factory settings seems to have solved all the problems.

 

FAREHAM EXHIBITION HERE WE COME!

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Have now turned my attention to other matters...…………...

 

A little maintenance ……………………..

 

The power buses use what I would call chocolate block connectors …………. the trouble is when trying to disconnect them sometimes this happens...………..

 

IMG_20190815_182708.jpg.843beaa114527a008bbc9dceccb2e5ea.jpg

 

 

The trouble is that if you try to straighten them with pliers they just snap off …………….. so replacement is needed...……….. trouble is that they came from Maplins!

 

So some careful 'knitting' is needed to replace just the two right hand pins ………… can you see the join?

 

IMG_20190815_183618.jpg.33046b1d6bc733751b1800c337d1ad2b.jpg

 

 

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Talk about 'one step forward, one step back'!

 

In moving the now perfect fiddle yard boards from my shed/workshop into my garage/storage room I temporarily stood the boards on their long edge in the garden as I re-organised things.

 

There was no wind - or at least I thought that was the case!

 

They blew over and the first/bottom one hit the corner of a wooden flower  basket.......................

 

IMG_20190821_093333.jpg.f4296b55d5d87adbe82490d50c9e514a.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Other jobs tackled today …………….

 

Fitting protection to this surface mounted point motor - the FY stack and in the past this somewhat exposed motor has taken a bashing during the stacking process - not any more!

 

433020687_IMG_20190821_10023719204.jpg.a7be161ee5ab40a7fa2feead2b7feb4d.jpg

 

Later checking for clearance ………..

 

2116359113_IMG_20190821_101013(2).jpg.85f679642d1bf950956160b0e31eba3d.jpg

 

 

Also I started working to replace the damaged track …. I only needed about 10.5 cm of PECO code 100 …. but without a 'local' model shop buying just one yard of track can be difficult. Luckily I have some overlong loco headshunts that can be trimmed back in times of need...……………...

 

IMG_20190821_112508.jpg.882d4a8b171d40494d2999c7d6fb5bc1.jpg

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I have been very busy lately but have finally repaired that track

 

IMG_20190826_093837.jpg.a4839aca0c15dda644c69bfb8e1f1bfc.jpg

 

 

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Have finally moved all the fiddle yard boards into storage in the garage which means I can finally start on the scenic section again.

 

This has also allowed me to tidy the shed and make some improvements.

 

First improvement …………….

 

IMG_20190827_123630.jpg.7a08ac3c6a6efa29ab8fc6d921869375.jpg

 

 

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Back to the new rake of KF-60 dump cars today.

 

I associate these with steel works but sometime they are used for coal. Anyway I like them!

 

IMG_0767.jpg.14ca5d2b70bc58192975026f9049de84.jpg

 

I have now completed 8 of them (4 to go!)………………..

 

IMG_20190901_184541.jpg.2607d03a7dff95cec39ba58898b11bd6.jpg

 

 

But as one stock box will only carry 8 I will call it a day for the moment and return to working on the layout

 

IMG_20190901_185440.jpg.63b022e4f01ae4076c105edc0cd2f641.jpg

 

 

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Storing the boards on their backs (as shown in the old photo) has had a negative effect on the bridge abutments -

 

DSC_0068.JPG.38474367a2b11e47b455dfbc2d8fd1aa.JPG

 

 

Gravity has had an impact...………..

 

IMG_20190903_093835.jpg.f9146d41cb03e5c506a3f0ca47a30faa.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Am now working on the layout up to 9 hours a day preparing for the Fareham show.

 

Have assembled three of the scenic boards in my shed...…………. have fitted a new stronger, straighter plywood backscene to replace the warped thin MDF original...…..………..

 

IMG_20190911_085844.jpg.aa3c2d59d0521dcd9d7faf2bcee32182.jpgIMG_20190911_085923.jpg.c5e74a08d5509c7b675039c1a85ee018.jpg

 

 

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And is that one of those G1 QJ’s? Is that the next layout? :diablo_mini:

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1 hour ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

 

Oh, you noticed that did you? Hmmmmmmmmm!!

I was very very tempted but on realising I really needed two and 40+ wagons . . . . fortunately the wallet didn’t run and hide but got a big stick and beat sense back in ;) 

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Another significant move forward today.

 

AS you can see in this previous photo, because the boards piggy-back onto each other I have had to have a 5ft x 3ft FY board up at the far end of the shed only to support the far end of scenic board #4. This meant that to get from one side of the layout I had to duck under the layout as there was no passageway around the boards.

 

IMG_20190911_085844.jpg.c29526765ffa24a2583ad37225777f44.jpg

 

 

Today after a visit to B&Q I made a 'leg' which supports scenic board #4 and replaces the 5x3 board - so I can now walk around the layout - much easier!

 

IMG_20190912_185959.jpg.e17f28e13996f3a0ed7f44f1afc10ddd.jpg

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All moving in the right direction. With most of the electrics debugged, we can start moving forward with the scenery. 

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I have been spending a lot of time getting the internal building lights correct - very time consuming - no more light seeping upwards/sideways into neighbouring rooms.

 

At Bristol the light from the hotel foyer seeped up into the floor above...………….

 

1106136301_DSC_0194(2).JPG.afb0f0638b1a76d0c0b4883d9f9377d2.JPG

 

Now ………………...

 

DSC_0186.JPG.3a5a3f38c09094efa7fab4f572fcf0aa.JPG

 

Plus adding more figures - mainly in the hotel ground floor at the moment.

 

As I have pointed out before, one of the real problems with this layout is that Chinese people are, in general, far shorter than Europeans and 99.999% of commercial HO figures are European. Just changing the skin tone and painting the hair black just doesn't do it for me - having European size Chinese people just looks wrong! The layout needs people and so two solutions -

 

1. Make it a tourist destination - not just Western gricers photographing trains, but also general tourist in town to visit some palace or ancient ruin - something like X'ian or Chengde. So the hotel lobby is full of standard Preiser figures planning their day out......

 

DSC_0188.JPG.ae58717c52afc49440e85411b0dfa0b7.JPG

 

And how they look in situ ……………….

 

DSC_0187.JPG.0f42e00c5a958bdab549b5c4a3c7a6e5.JPG

 

2. Drastic surgery. The hotel café has a maitre-de , here he is in process of being China-fied…………...

 

IMG_20190912_174113.jpg.d20fc7a267d5bb7763d3ced6707e5a36.jpg

 

And in situ …………....

 

DSC_0189.JPG.ebceb4e403bfd0a610507655ee8b8f8d.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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Over the years this project has become more and more a personal story om my (and my friends) journeys to China.

 

One lasting memory I have from the early trips was the Sino-Swiss hotel in Beijing. All the Derek Phillips tours ended there the night before we flew home. In the foyer was a man handmaking souvenirs and I bought several over the years. I recently culled a load of photos of China in order to make room in my albums, but he survived the cull as I have fond memories of watching him at work.

 

1372194369_IMG_20190915_094420(2).jpg.0dd59108a588d18c7aad41958da81e05.jpg

 

 

 

If he survived the cull then he needs to feature on the layout - hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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I have also stayed at the Sino-Swiss hotel on many occasions Paul, I also remember watching this chap at work, happy day's.

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Have been working on the hotel foyer - many hours work with very little to show for it - mainly because I am getting more and more anal!

 

One of the problems is that it is more difficult to see the detail the further back it is - so we need to put the best detail as far forward as possible in order to grab viewers' attention - then hopefully they will crouch down in order to view the detail further back.

 

So have moved the tourist at the back of this group, the one with the over the shoulder bag, into the foreground and turned him around to show the bag off more clearly.

 

From this ……………….

 

DSC_0188.JPG.ae58717c52afc49440e85411b0dfa0b7.jpg.1219d891a5658ffe67bc9ee54af40e75.jpg

 

To this .…………………………………. 

 

DSC_0203.JPG.a6d0680095b6f85770ff84a7a9631530.JPG

 

And notice how the replacement figure is positioned further forward

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