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Big jim's (now dismantled) 12 x 6 shed layout

big jim

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  • RMweb Gold

a quick hour in the shed earlier, done a couple of little but quite significant tasks.


first up was to solder the track to the PCB and split the track, doing that means the removable section is exactly that again, removable!



i then had a think about the high level area and how it would link to the removable section, i noticed while looking back at my pics from last week that the legs for the high level section were set back slightly from the edge of the board which gave me an idea, that being to fit a length of the same wood i used for the baseboard framing up against the legs, with hem being set back slightly i would just about be able to screw up from below baseboard level into the wood and also screw into the legs too


as it happens the length of wood i found had a piece cut out at one end (i had used the removed piece for the edge of the high level board on the opposite side of the layout) which left me with a "tunnel mouth" which was handy!!



i then trimmed down the existing high level board to fit between the new wooden edge and wall, ive got to add some bracing below it and it will be ready to secure in place as there is nothing needing wiring below it





and with the removable section in place, ive got to add a tiny fillet of bridge deck to the inner edge on the right hand side to allow me to start the curve a bit futher back on the removable section so the lines are central on the fixed high level bit



payday on friday so i can get myself some more track to continue up the inclines next to the yard and into the station area but before that its wiring the points in the removable section and possibly fitting the point motors so i can 'box off' the whole hidden area

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  • RMweb Gold

another sneaky hour after pickingthe kids up from school.....


first job was to add a piece of wood to the edge of the removable section, screwed from below so very solid



then i cut a lower bridge deck with an 'outrigger' to allow me to fit the curve as described in the previous post



which i fitted below the thin ply....



and gave me this.....



next up, secured the outer edge with a piece of wood below and a single screw going across to pull it down a bit



which i covered with a piece of thin ply



that i then PVA'd to the other piece and have left clamped overnight to get them nicely bonded, similarly with the bridge deck



you can see from these pics the difference between adding the fillet of bridge and not, without the inner curve (4th radius) is close to the wall



with the bit added the tracks are a lot futher across giving me more scope for track laying around the station area


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Hi Mate


Some excellent POSTS on here, like the Photos and the Progress you are making on this Thread, I'll watch with interest.  Keep the photo updates coming they are very good.



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  • RMweb Gold

bit more done


first up wired up the crossovers in the hidden section, got it right first time so trains can cross over from the down to the up without shorting or stalling


next up i moved on to the removable section, continued the tracklaying across the bridge including the points for the sidings



fitted the point motor, had to recess it by a couple of MM as i was using the motors off the old layout and i'd cut the pins down to suit however this layout has slightly thicker boards and cork so they were too short, the wires run off under the bridge in readyness to be connected to the main board mounter accessory decoder via a socket (which will also carry the track wires)



i then went onto the pcb strips on the other side of the removable board



split, soldered and wired



the completed low level section



not shown but i then went onto the wiring, i have put droppers from both the high and low level tracks on the fixed section to chocolate block connectors under the layout, from that i have added wires to the gaugemaster reverse loop module


after that i temporarily wired that lot to the controller too see if we had power and hey presto, power, i was a bit bothered that the reverse loop module may not do what i wanted to, anyway ran the Bachmann 57 round the mainline and towards the yard, over the join and 'click', the module did exactly what it should, i then set the points so that the tracks were set for the 57 to leave the yard on the down, cross over via the new points to the up and re-enter the yard from that side which it did without electrical issue, only one dead section on the 3 way point but ive not wired the polarity switch in yet which should cure it.


got a few sections of track entering the yard that i need to pack a bit as the loco derailed a few times but that should be a simple task


so basically i can now run a train in a complete loop round the low level part of the layout!

Edited by big jim
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  • RMweb Gold

had an unxpected morning in the shed today before work, unfortunatly i've run out of track pins and there are no model local shops open today to go and get any so i decided to go ahead and do a bit of woodwork


inspired by the way i did the first part of the high level area last week i decided to continue the rest of the edge of the high level in the same style, got a piece of wood from B&Q this morning to continue with it, the first thing i did was to cut the board back by the width of the plank as can be seen here, (the existing crossmembers are no longer flush)



a bit hard to see but i drilled pilot holes through the baseboard



and screwed the plank up from underneath



i then continued the edging round the top corner of the layout, to secure it i had to remove the baseboard cross member edging to enable me to screw up from below and then refitted it, i also cut the top edge so it is angled as per the wall side



with the top in place



still got to put some beading around the inner edge of the new sides for the baseboards to sit on before they are secured proper, however before its all secured i've got to fit point motors to the hidden points and cut some reach through holes under what is going to be the slightly lower shed level so i can fit point motors, lights, electrics etc


here is the shed area in place, sat on a piece of foam board but it is at the height i will be at when its fitted permanently



and with the shed placed pretty much where it will go, i am going to cut 3 shed doors in the end of the building


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • RMweb Gold

couple more little jobs done, fitted the point motors to the hidden area points, seen here part way through wiring, hadn't soldered the track feeds in place in this picture, i did however get round to doing it this evening



fitted the accessory decoder below the baseboard, to make things simpler i've mounted it on the shed wall, nice and simple to get to incase of any problems, going to run a power bus to it round below the baseboards with feeds off it to various other decoders, lighting points etc



then onto this evening, first i made a shelf to house the decoder/lighting power supply and controller/ transformer, realised after i'd screwed the board to the cross members on id put them on the wrong side as id left space at the rear for plugs to feed through so ive got to redo it so he board is sat on top of the crossmembers between the legs!



and with some of the bits in place, the power supply for the decoders is a maplin regulated 12-15v 7amp DC supply, an ebay bargain for £10



i then ran a temporary wire from the power supply to the decoder and soldered the point motor track supplies in place and hey presto, working point motors, took me a while to get them to work properly, kept catching or not springing over but i realised that some of the blades were catching the sleepers, i pinned the points in the middle which cured the problem, may need to wire one of the points blades to the polarity switch on the point motor as the blade sometimes doesn't go over electrically


next job will be to tidy up the wiring from the power supplies to the various point motors as well as the wiring from the point motors to the decoders and then wire and fit the decoders to the yard

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  • RMweb Gold

did a bit of track replacement earlier, basically the curved point into the yard was causing me problems as the main line rises up the bank but the diverging route stayed on the level so i was having problems with locos derailing where the track dipped into the yard


the solution ws to remove the points and refit a set of short straight points instead so it would all be on the level


first up, removed the curve point



refitted the short point



reconnected the tracks to them, i did a bit more fettling since this pic and have taken some of the cork from the mainline to level it out a bit



you can see the difference between the point lengths here



and testing them with the sound chipped 70, quite a large loco so a good one to find rough bits of track!



EDIT: you tube link not showing when posted on ipad

Edited by big jim
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  • RMweb Premium



and testing them with the sound chipped 70, quite a large loco so a good one to find rough bits of track!




Best loco to find dodgy track levels is an early Bachy 66! There is very little vertical play in the bogies.




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  • RMweb Gold

A little bit more.......


Sorted out the controller shelf



Then began the wiring from the regulated power supply, ran the cable along the wall below the layout, clipped into place which connectors in place where the accessory decoders are going to be fitted, should i decide to add any extra decoders or things like yard lights, buffer stop lights etc then i can merely cut the cable and fit a chocolate block connector



Then i cut a hole in the end board with a 25mm hole cutting bit



So i could fit the lenz handheld controller plug in place, just need to get some telephone type cable to join it to the controller



Forgot to put last week, that i'd laid the track up the inclines



A trip to maplin tomorrow to get some more cable then after payday a couple more accessory decoders, can't really carry on with the high level bit until i'm sure all the points that are below are working correctly with the decoders

Edited by big jim
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  • RMweb Gold

tonight i just felt like playing trains so i got my "sinfin tanks" out and had a bit of a run with them, used them primarily to check out the trackwork, had a few problems with derailments at first but i fiddled with the track a bit, closing rail gaps, straightening entrances to points etc and i seem to be getting there, still a few problem areas but nothing major


one little job i did was to wire in the lenz remote plug, got some 4 core telephone cable from maplin which i soldered to the original lenz wires last night before fitting it today, worked spot on so i secured the wiring in its final position ready


my version of the sinfin tanks train i worked the other week!



last nights video of the 70 testing the yard light engine



and tonight testing it with the tanks behind


one bit of advise i'm after though, the seep point motor "track feed" tabs are soldered to the track at the actual toe end of the point, would it be possible or indeed would there be any benefit to wiring them to the bus wire i'm running to the decoders from instead of the track, its a 13.8V DC regulated supply?


or possibly as shown in the decoder instructions should i wire the TRACK and POWER inputs on the accessory decoder together but run it to the regulated supply rather than the track feed?


the reason being the motors don't seem to have much of a "kick" when i operate them despite going over ok (i have not run a track bus wire under the layout, the whole lot is currently fed from the one power point)

Edited by big jim
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  • RMweb Gold

Been thinking about the high level boards this weekend, but before i could do anything i had to move all the stuff off the top of the boards so i could actually get to it!


Found a piece of formica that was left over from a Sharps bedroom installation which i cut down to make a shelf below the layout to put it all on, going to make another one for the opposite side that can house the removable section




After doing that i could get to the boards where i began looking at track setups, originally in my head i wanted a 2 platform station with a loop going into some sort of industrial complex, want to try and avoid hugely complicated track set ups due to space etc, after a play about i came up with this set up......



If you can picture it there would be a platform on the left (next to the shed building) then the "down line" next to the "up line" then a wider island/double faced platform with the "up loop" on the extreme right



Looking closer at the other end we have the entrance to the shed coming off the "down" (propel in move), on the "up" there is a curved point to get over to the loop with a set of points going back into the industrial bit (which is a lot smaller than originally invisaged) going futher into a small Y point to 2 "discharge sidings"



The depot will have a 3 way point to the 3 roads in the shed with a point coming back off the right hand line back to the fuelling points which are on the high level bit


Once im sure thats how i want to do i will crack on with getting point motors in place before i secure the top and fit the cross bracing to the framing, much easier to fit the bracing once motors are in place and the beauty of this particular set up is all the points are on the one board.


as i want to reuse the seep motors from my previous layout which now have slightly too short pins i am going to mark their positions and use the plunge router to take a few MM of base board depth away from underneath so the motors are sat either flush or recessed slightly to give me the length back on the pins, doing it this way will at least mean the recess is level throughout as opposed to it possibly being skew-wiff if i use a hammer and chisel

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  • RMweb Gold

this morning i decided to make a start on the high level, only the points end so far, first thing i did was to mark up the point positions



drilled a pilot hole so i could do a bit of work below



turned the board over and marked up where i was going to router out a bit of wood so i could re-use the points motors from the old layout that had short pins, marked them in blue so i could see it through the router guard!



not the best finish but it does what i want





quick test of a point with some cork under it, looks about right



next up i corked the top in readyness for track laying



then onto the afternoon, popped to maplin for some LEDs and wire to experiment with points detection, inspired by another thread and a link to bryan lamberts excellent DCC wiring website i give it a shot


without going too deep i used the dcc track power and switching frog to operate some of those self adhesive LED strips that you can get from maplin, worked fine under test



and with power....


red for the diverging route



green for straight ahead



i then made myself a mimic board with all 4 points showing



which i wired up



at this point i realised i'd had a james may "oh cock" moment, namely the mimic board i made didn't actually mimic the trackwork!


all was not lost so i cut the board down the middle, which was still not right so i ended up cutting it into four pieces



which i then tacked to a piece of wood and loosly wired to the track, the result being this.....


this picture shows both routes set for diverging routes



route set across from the down to up and straight on



both set for straight ahead



and one set of points set wrongly



i am going to add another set of green led strips to the "plain line" bits between the points at the top and beyond the points on the bottom line to show a bit more route


i'm going to mount the lot into a panel which i will secure above the windows of the shed, i'll look at using some sort of 12 pin socket arrangement so it can be removed if needed




if it looks good i'll do something similar for the station area!

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then onto the afternoon, popped to maplin for some LEDs and wire to experiment with points detection, inspired by another thread and a link to bryan lamberts excellent DCC wiring website i give it a shot


without going too deep i used the dcc track power and switching frog to operate some of those self adhesive LED strips that you can get from maplin, worked fine under test


This is truely awesome.


Any chance you can link us to the original thread or explain in more detail the wiring for this?


I'm going to be primarily using JMRI to control my layout, however having indicators like this as well to show where the points *actually* are for Start-Of-Day etc. would be amazing.


I'm assuming you're using electrofrog points here?



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  • RMweb Gold

This is the thread




Yes they are insulfrog points btw


The only other thing im going to do with the mimic panel is put some resistors in to dim down the LEDs a bit


Just been thinking about a way of simplifing the wiring to the panel, i think i would i get away with running a single pair of "live" wires from the tracks (one to the red leds and one to the green) and linking ALL the strips together on the positive side and then run the 4 separate negative switching wires from the track to the panel to each individual point indication


my thinking being looking at the wiring ive set up temporarily there are 4 individual power supplies all picking up from the same external supply (the track) which i think are not needed, as long as i keep the negative switching side point specific (as they are now) then it should work, it will reduce the wiring from the track to panel down from 12 wires (3 per point) to 6 (2 positive track wires and 4 negative)

Edited by big jim
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  • RMweb Gold

back to the points indicator today


first job was to fill in the gaps with more led strips and mount the lot onto a board



i then tidied up the wiring, i was hoping to be able to use 2 wires for all 4 points live sides and 4 switched negatives but it kept giving me "wrong side" indications on the opposite tracks to where i was taking the feed from so i ended up running 2 separate set of lives (red and green) from the up and down line which solved the problem



i then added a top and bottom to the panel





i then noticed i'd had another "oh cock" moment when i realised i'd mounted the panel upside down!


next job was a bit of "brass rubbing", using a piece of A4 i rubbed over the top of the led's which i then taped to a piece of plasticard, i then drilled 6.5MM holes in the plasticard where the LED imprints were showing which left me with this



and back on test



and here it is in action, just need to add some sort of plug so i can remove it if needed, as well as adding the "line of route" to the panel, then mount it on the wall  


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