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APA Park - N Gauge in an Ikea Box


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Another project…

Wanting something to divert some attention away from the modelling of Melton Mowbray, I have been inspired to try an N gauge modern image APA box…

Heres a few pictures of the progress so far… only to be described as building the box and putting some stock in it!

 

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Ikea APA box. N gauge model railway, Apa road. by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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Ikea APA box. N gauge model railway, Apa road. by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

I have decided to use the lid as a removable fiddle yard. I am also toying with the idea of putting the long side back in and removing the panel from the end of the box so it is viewed from the end?

 

I’m currently swaying towards the second idea (trackplan below) having a two road island station and the other track gives the impression of the end of a run round loop. Draw big loco and a wagon or two under the bridge and run round and then depart, could be any type of train either (even a steam special going to the headshunt for servicing)

 

 

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Ikea APA box. N gauge model railway, Apa road. by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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Ikea APA box. N gauge model railway, Apa road. by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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APA Road 2 by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

 

Edited by stevepurves
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Now thats a good idea...

 

Also developed the idea into this, viewable from the small ‘end’ the modern platform and station in on a high level, maybe an old ‘recycled’ viaduct (like the tram station in Nottingham) with an adjoining modern multi-storey car park up to the same height and a low relief shopping centre alongside. The freight bit at the bottom level would be viewable through and above the multi-storey or from the side (if opened). It would be a bit overgrown and unloved, perhaps with some additional mothballed/lifted lines and a bit of decay!

 

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APA Road 3 by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

Now how would I hide the scenic break on two levels effectively? Can I have some suggestions/inspiration please?

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Steve - see if you can get hold of a copy of the Railway Modeller with Glasgow Emerald by Andrew Knights in it - That was British HO but may give you ideas - sorry I don't know the issue date although there is a bit on Youtube here - starts at 3:01 - in fact the scene below is of that layout

 

Edited by shortliner
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I have made a start on constructing APA Park My micro project. The lid of the box becomes the fiddle yard which will attach to the right hand side. The lower level is designed to give the impression of the end of large yard. Loco and the first few wagons emerge under the bridge, uncouple and run round/draw forward. This will enable me to run a variety of stock. The very front line will be edged with concrete apron to the front but not set in the tracks (I have a plan for this). The top level will be a new build station ‘minimal’ on a recycled blue brick viaduct built to serve a shopping complex which will be low relief behind. To the left will be a low relief multistorey car park that you will be able to look through and see the activity in the yard. To the right will be a modern concrete over bridge carrying a major road.

Last night I cut the boards and started laying track ‘loosely’ to work out where isolators and droppers will need to go. Tonight I will start cutting out the ends of the box for viewing and for the fiddle yard access.

Some pictures for you r perusal… Comments and suggestions invited

 

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APA Park. N gauge in an Ikea toybox by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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APA Park. N gauge in an Ikea toybox by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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APA Park. N gauge in an Ikea toybox by Steve Purves, on Flickr

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Morning All…

Been cracking on with Apa Park over the weekend… just passing the time until I can afford the point motors (x3), controller (walkabout), wire, switches and connectors.

Firstly I have finished the baseboards that fit in the box. I lowered the height of the upper level to 45mm, which I think looks better. I then cut the hole in the end of the box for the ‘exit’ and then came to the problem of how to join the boards together… Because the lid is so thin I struggle to get a catch to fit so had to fix some bocks on to the lid and mount the toggle catches over the two. This now means the lid won’t fit anymore but it will sit on top with the fiddle yard exposed.

 

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Apa Park. Modern N gauge... progress by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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Apa Park. Modern N gauge... progress by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

I bought some Mounting Card on Saturday, never used it before always preferring plasticard, but I must say it’s a joy to work with. I started by making the bridge but then got carried away and cut out the shopping centre and retaining wall blank. The bridge is supposed to be a modern concrete overbridge…

 

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Bridge made from card on Apa Park by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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Shopping centre added to Apa Park. by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

Leaving it there for the day and looking at it periodically it didn’t sit right to my eyes the more I looked so decided last night to modify the bridge to put it on an angle and an incline… the removes some of the boxiness of the box! An offcut from the bridge parapet became a workmen shun on the lower level and I then made a start on the platforms. Unfortunately I am 1 length of peco concrete edging short to complete *would anyone have a spare length? I don’t want to buy a pack for one length if I can help it…* Finally, I put some trains on it to see how it looked…

 

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Apa Park update by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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Apa Park update by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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Apa Park update by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

Happy Days

Steve

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Would anyone be able to look over my wiring diagrams for me? Its a long time since I did this!

 

Points are Elecrofrog.

BB denotes Baseboard Join

Switch bank is for isolators.

All points will be fully isolated at the toe.

 

Is this correct practice?

 

Points:

Point Diagram.pdf

 

Isolators and Feeds

Wiring Diagram.pdf

 

Steve

 

 

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DC or DCC? Looks too much wire for DCC and S is for section? What I don't understand, if DC, is the Common +.

 

Point wiring is fine but I wonder if you should not have a bit of pointwork in the goods fiddleyard to increase operating potential - or else a traverser.

 

 

Layout is DC, sorry I should have put it.

There is no issue using a common return for all points?

 

There is a common + and -, there are certain areas of the layout will be live at all times, with only the stubs (platform roads and headshunts) isolated.

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Looking at your wiring diagram I think you will have a short circuit on the T3 crossover. You show a continually live track on the right hand side of T3. THis means that if just the toe of the point is isolated you will get a short circuit when the 2 points are switched to allow movement from one track to the next. For these 2 points you need to insulate all 3 tracks to avoide short circuits. For the upper tracks with points T1 and T2 you don't strictly need to isolate the points but you could still gtet a short of you select P1 as the route the point is facing and then switch on P2 by mistake from the controller.

Your best bet would be to fully isolate all the points then you won't get any short circuits.

 

John  P

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Nothing really ‘physical’ to update really but I have been doing some wiring…

I bought one of the £8.99 Parkside soldering irons from Lidl just after Christmas so it’s the first time I have been able to use it in anger, I must say its great to use and very handy to have a ‘soldering station’ as I used to just have an Iron.

I have completed the scenic boards power feeds and isolators, to a terminal block, for the baseboard jing I bought a 20 pin computer extension cable from ebay for £2.99 and cut it in half, wired one half to the other end of the terminal block and will mirror the other side on the fiddle yard board.

For the controller, I am going cheap and cheerful… Hornby produced a trainset controller with a plug in transformer and a 16vAC output, the R965. I am going to de-case this and panel mount it in a small box with my switches for motors and isolators on the far end of my fiddle yard board, well, that’s the plan when it turns up!

 

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First stage of Wiring completed by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

The points on the layout were bought secondhand to save pennies… They arrived very tarnishedWas just going to give them a whiz over with the track rubber and hope for the best but we have an ultrasonic cleaning bath at work so I thought I would try a set of points and see what happened. Two 20min cylces later, wow! New points! I believe the units can be picked up on the home market reasonably cheaply these days.
Has anybody else tried using one of these cleaners? I’m sure there are dozens of uses for one amongst our hobby…

 

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Refreshing old points using an Ultrasonic Bath by Steve Purves, on Flickr

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Moving on from the wiring, I have been scouring the net for free building papers (I’m on a tight budget for this box) I found several 00 gauge downloads that I could scale down. I have been having a play with these printing on to A5 self-adhesive labels and putting the onto my mounting board ‘boxes’

 

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Untitled by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

Looks alright I think… Now for some paint aswell!

 

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Some buildings painted on Apa Park by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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Some buildings painted on Apa Park by Steve Purves, on Flickr

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Good Morning All

Another update for you all… Quite a big one this time.

I am going to switch to DCC

In other news, the trackwork is complete and soldered to brass screws over the board join and I have made an attempt at the retaining wall using the free brickpapers I downloaded last week. Having got to this stage I decided to pose a few trains on it to get an impression of what things will look like and clearances.

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Untitled by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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Untitled by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

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Untitled by Steve Purves, on Flickr

 

Continuing with the headline news, DCC. I have pretty much narrowed it down to an NCE Powercab for the controller but as yet am still undecided about the decoders. My aim is to go down the sound route, so I am going to start with a cheap PCB class 47 chassis I bought (I need a body still) and try and convert that to sound first and then decide whether I can do the more expensive locos!

For sound I believe the LegomanBiffo sounds take some beating but what is in your opinion the best class 47 sound set out there? And what chip would you use? I’ve read good reviews of the CT chip with sugarcube speaker…

For the rest of the fleet I am going to get standard chips,

Farish 60 – Hardwire

Dapol 58 – 6 pin

Farish new 08 – Hardwire

Does anyone have any reccomendations for chips for these?

 

Steve

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I have enjoyed looking at this as I am thinking of something similar in N - but steam era. I think a BLT or tank engine and two suburban coaches should fit easily. Can I ask which point motors you are using and how are you fiting them? Wondering about motors and the 'floor' of the box.

 

I have also gone down the DCC route in N and am very impressed with my Powercab. Took longer to unpack than to set up! With regards to decoders I have mostly used Digitrax ZN125in. My 08 is away with Digitrains for fitting - they have recommended a CTe DCX75

 

Hope this helps

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