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Beginner's mistakes!


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I am in the process of designing my first proper layout and I have had a made a few small mistakes even in measuring. Since I feel a bit self deprecating, I thought I would share what my mistakes were.

 

Note to self:

-Know the difference between what the radius of a circle is and what the diameter of a circle is (and no, they are not the same). This confusion may lead you to waste an hour of precious designing time trying to figure what went wrong.

 

-Know how to read a tap measure correctly (125 inches is not the same as 12 feet 5 inches). This may also need to wasting designing time with the tape measure remeasuring over and over and over.

 

:mail:

 

We all have to begin somewhere...

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Haven't done that, but I DID attempt to re-design a CJ Freezer design and tried to squeeze a quart into a pint pot.

 

The layout never got finished and I wasted a LOT of money I didn't have.

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The first fundamental mistake I made - quite accidentally of course - was to build a loop in the fiddle yard which came off one track but ran out onto another. It was therefore effectively a crossover and I was mighty frustrated when trains wouldn't isolate when parked there until I figured out the reason by tracing current flow :ireful:

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There are people out there who can't read an Imperial ruler? :O

 

How on earth do they cope ordering beer in pints??? ;)

 

Many, many of them. My eldest lad is 26, currently studying engineering at Loughborough.

 

When he did an apprenticeship, and worked as a plater, he had to self-teach the imperial system, since it's no longer taught in schools.

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550ml? You have to allow for the head you know ;)

 

Back to the OP - Taking each layout in turn:

 

First - gradients too steep, and not relaxed for corners (they weren't curves...), and inaccessible hidden track.

 

Second - not thinking how to operate it before building (points/motors/wiring that weren't needed, and not enough storage), and pointwork too close to baseboard joints.

 

Third - Trying to do too much in the space, making it impossible to get a plausible scenic treatment, and inaccessible hidden track.

 

Fourth - Trying to do too much at once, before being able to run trains.

 

Fifth - Back to operating potential being limited (though that may be fixable with a bit of work).

 

Sixth - I'm not sure yet, but I'm sure there will be some...

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Using insulfrong points as I thought wiring electrofrog would be much too difficult. In fact as my layout can be operated with just one controller (there's only 1 of me after all) it was posible to use electofrogs pretty much everywhere. I've only got one point in an important position where I'd really like to change it (but it is quite tricky - mojo on order but seems to be in cyberspace somewhere).

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Guest stuartp

Goods yard with no road access.

A kickback siding which could only be shunted by removing everything from said goods yard first.

A diamond crossing across a baseboard joint (no moving parts so that should be OK yes ? No...). In EM that one.

Building two boards across a built-in wardrobe which wasn't used very often. Well it wasn't, but it was used more often than was good for my back lifting the damn things out of the way every time I needed to find something.

Building boards in-situ to fit the room then not being able to separate them far enough for the dowels to disengage.

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...building layouts using 1st and 2nd radius curve track, then purchasing locos & rolling stock that won't cope with them... :nono:

 

Why do the major model railway manufacturers bother with 1st radius track ??

 

Anyone want some R1 curved track..? :no: NO, thought so !

 

Cheers, Gary.

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...Building boards in-situ to fit the room then not being able to separate them far enough for the dowels to disengage.

The third board for my current layout is still in the garage while I work on the other two indoors. When I read that I had a moment of panic and had to go and measure it. Fortunately, the dowels protrude by 12mm and I have 15mm to spare :imsohappy:

 

Now, I wonder what other errors I haven't noticed yet...

 

Nick

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Too much track and not enough infrastructure

 

Too much track of the wrong sort - Settrack curves or insulfrog

 

Too much track on multiple levels without gradients and easing to suit or access space between levels

 

Too much track for the sake of it, more than half of it in hidden sidings or FYs

 

Too much track badly laid - forced into incorrect geometry, uneven, on a camber, with too many points

 

Too much track badly wired AND TESTED so that faults occur immediately or show up later

 

Build the layout not the track (that's not an implication on hand-built track) - just that most people put the track plan first with little thought to the space around it - once again, too much track

There are people out there who can't read an Imperial ruler? :O

 

How on earth do they cope ordering beer in pints??? ;)

 

I'm yet to find a ruler that can measure volume !

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Currently building my first ever layout. Gone for two track oval in a 4X2 baseboard. Big mistakes so far, no real theme or plan. Being too neat with ballast and having to add extra ballast around perimeter. Putting a metcalf tunnel opening on a track bend makes it a bit tight for trains to go through. Because I have gone close to the edge of the board I can't build a two platform station along the straight edge.

 

Still, I guess we learn from our mistakes. Ha, ha, ha.

 

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Ballasting & weathering track before I'd checked alignment and tested the wiring.

It's a bit of a b*gger having to lift points that look as if they've been there for years.

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Being too ambitious with what I could hope to achieve in given time/space/budget. Collecting a miss match of things that took my fancy along the way. Choosing to build a layout in an unheated loft above a garage, it was either too hot or too cold. Not creating enough drawings and plans before beginning to cut wood. Trying to model somebody else's model. Not looking enough at the real thing. In general though all these aspects come under not thinking the project through in it's entirety.

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My first attempt at a proper layout (still using the Triang track etc. ) was an out and back but with no loops on the return loop and restricted space in the station. I could keep one train in the loop then assemble another but couldn't send that out until the first came out of the loop but the second one was in the way..... Never got resolved as Motorbikes,Beer and young ladies became of greater interest.

Since then I have repeatedly made the mistake of moving usually building baseboards seems to result in moving. Mostly for very good reasons but you start to wonder is there a link?

Don

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