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> My HO Loft Layout
alanoes
post 27 Nov 2017, 20:07
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QUOTE (bjrangi @ 27 Nov 2017, 03:37) *
Hi,

Looking very nice..!
One question who is your photo hosting site.
I normally use photobucket!
But they now require a sum of money to be able to use there services so as i can post here.
Hence my non activity in posting on my forum "Palin Bay.
Your help would be much appreciated.

Cheers
BJ


Thanks BJ
I am using photo bucket. I have used the free version for several years and as far as I'm aware you still can, but it became very slow waiting for all the adds to upload, so I purchased the add free subscription
and its very fast and easy to use now, but there are other free ones out there
Regards
Alan
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bjrangi
post 28 Nov 2017, 04:46
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Hi guys,

Thanks for all responses..and Allan sorry for using your forum to gain info.
So no more, i have decided to use my Flickr account.
A new post from Palin Bay to follow.
Again Allan keep up the great modelling.

Cheers
BJ
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alanoes
post 16 Dec 2017, 21:10
Post #33


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Another little update.
As mentioned in the last post, I have started fitting the magnetic switches for train detection. I found some really small ones, here's one next to a 5p piece

They were small enough to fit in between the sleepers witch I thought would be a great idea.

Once re-ballasted you would hardly know they were there, but in practise they didn't work out too well, being low down I has to put 2 or three magnets under the loco to activate the switch and even then it
wasn't always a positive switching action. Probably sitting at right angles to the direction of travel didn't help. cool.gif
When you are using these for the most part to prevent locos running in to each other, you need to know that they will work every time, so I abandoned that idea and went for the next size up.

Certainly a lot easier to work with thumbsup.gif After bending the tags, soldering on a couple of cables and drilling holes down between the tracks, these switches run across the top of two sleepers.

A little bit of camouflage and it doesn't look too bad.

Even with one small magnet under the loco, I get a good positive action every time , even at high speeds.
I am still waiting on delivery of the sensor modules so haven't tested them with the software yet, but I'm confident they will be ok, so I'll carry on fitting the other fifty or so wacko.gif
Regards
Alan








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dwb
post 16 Dec 2017, 23:06
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That's interesting. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

David


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alanoes
post 18 Feb 2018, 17:13
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Well, nothing is simple is it smile.gif The track occupancy feedback modules that I was going to use (Roco 10787 at approx. £70 per unit) have been replaced by the Roco 10808 Z21 Detector at over £90 per unit.
The 10808 has many more features than the 10787 but not required if using simple magnetic reed switches. Both the Roco units only have 8 inputs each which works out mighty expensive when you need
50 odd inputs. I probably would have stuck with the 10787's if they had still been available.
I decided to use the digikeijs DR4088RB (opto) units, they are compatible with the Roco 10787 and give you 16 inputs each at around £55 per unit thumbsup.gif
They arrive factory set up as 2 X 10787's, that is, feedbacks 1:1 to 1:8 and 2:1 to 2:8, each additional unit has to be reconfigured in sequence. After a few false starts, I managed to configure all units and test
them on Z21 and Train Controller by connecting the one reed switch I have wired up at present to varying input terminals on the modules, all great.
Next issue, now that I have committed to fitting reed switches in the track work, I need to access the high level back part of the layout to fit the switches, easy before I built the main station area in the foreground,
but now very difficult without risking damage to something. I remembered seeing a frame work specifically for this while browsing the Micro Mart website model railway section a while back. It was called the
"Topside Creeper" Googling this gave no results in the UK (only US) and also showed it was actually a car mechanics aid that Micro Mart had found an extra use for. Micro Mart, luckily, did not ship to UK, as I
found it cheaper in the mechanic/engineering sites. It's not cheap at around £300 and being so heavy, the shipping from US was about £100, but its a great idea and has allowed me to reach the back of
the layout without having to clamber over anything.



It does fold down, but still takes up a fair bit of space, so once the back reed switches have been fitted, wired and tested, I will probably disassemble it and store the pieces round the back of the loft, ready for
when it is needed again.
Regards
Alan

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Allegheny1600
post 19 Feb 2018, 12:40
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Hi Alan,
Congratulations on getting a Topside Creeper!
I looked into getting one of these a few years ago but I found it impossible like you say, MicroMark doesn't offer UK shipping on it. I never knew where else you could get such a thing.
My plans changed and subsequently, I always plan to have slimmer layouts but it's good to know they can be obtained.
Good luck with those reed switches and detectors.
John.


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alanoes
post 2 Mar 2018, 15:54
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Thanks John,
I plan to dismantle it when I've finished using it as it takes up too much room even when folded down.


Here is a little video overview of my layout, I found it lurking on the iPad. It was taken at the end of 2016. I've had to overdub the sound track with music, as there is a lot of audio interference when the iPad
got down at low track level. You may want to lower the volume level rolleyes.gif



Regards
Alan
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alanoes
post 27 Mar 2020, 23:29
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Hi All,
Its been a while since my last update.
I have now installed and tested all the feedback module reed switches and done some messing around with Train Controller Gold setting up routes schedules etc.
I have decided to add some physical signals to the layout that will mimic the inbuilt control signals in TCG. I have purchased some nice Viessmann semaphore signals to fit on the lower level, but up on the top level station it was too difficult to fit those due to the drive unit needing to be below the signal mast. Up on that level there are 2 or 3 layers of timber with not much space between them, and solid in parts.
I found a couple of old Fleischmann signals that I've had for years and was surprised to find that not only did they still work but could be controlled via the Z21 and TCG.
These signals have a surface drive unit, and although it still wasn't easy, I managed to use a long drill bit and fishing wire to make a hole and feed the wires through all the layers.
Where the line stops at the end of the shuttle line station I've used a single arm signal that can show Hp0 (stop) and Hp1 (proceed at permitted speed). As this is the end of the line, it will always show Hp0, but if for some reason it gets switched to Hp1, as the loco enters the "block" before the station, TCG will switch it to Hp0. At the other end of the platform in the direction the trains depart, I've used a 2 arm signal that shows Hp0 and Hp2 (proceed at reduced speed) . When the train approaches, this signal also switches to Hp0, and when the train is ready to depart, switched to Hp2.







These signals don't have the same slow, smooth action as the Viessmann ones but will have to do.



Btw I doubt if any of this is prototypical and that's not a concern for me (there's plenty on my layout that isn't rolleyes.gif
Regards
Alan

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alanoes
post 30 Apr 2020, 14:05
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Hi all,
As mentioned in the last post, I had purchased some Viessmann semaphore signals (mostly 4501's and a couple of 4500's)
Have now finished installing them all.





Also decided to replace these old Fleischmann Shunting/stop signals with Viessmann 4517's

They were mechanically connected to electric uncouplers and would never return to the complete horizontal position. I will keep the uncouplers and just remove the mast.
Unlike the semaphore signals, where you just had to drill a 13mm hole to mount them (I say "just", but its not that easy in reality with other scenery in close proximity and lots of wiring beneath the baseboard).
With the 4517's , you need to cut a 15mm square down through the baseboard, which in my case is 6mm of fibre board on top of 18mm of chipboard yikes.gif
But I slowly and carefully got there

and am very happy with the result


Regards
Alan

Stay Safe x


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alanoes
post 30 Apr 2020, 14:17
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BTW
In case you didn't see this on my post in the "HO latest purchases" section , this video shows the slow smooth action of the Viessmann signals compared to the old Fleischmann ones.

Regards
Alan
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Norman Byrne
post 1 May 2020, 18:13
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Hello Alan,
Have just had a very enjoyable read through your loft layout thread, it being one that had not come across before, and it makes a very pleasurable and interesting read, including the videos. So good you rediscovered your interest and enthusiasm again, well done the little controller.
It’s a really nice layout, and am interested that you bit the bullet in terms of moving from DC to DCC; but have to say being still very much in DC mode in my loft, which has also had a pause in activity for a good few years, until recently, but also am impressed that you managed to get any electrical contracting work done in your loft office, with such a distraction being beside you.
Your pictures of your now defunct DC control panel and track diagram, was also very impressive, but the now use of the extended front baseboard area and new scenery looks great. Also well done on the recent challenging baseboard cut outs, in finished areas !
Good luck with the ongoing / future development of the layout, including all the more recently added new signals / etc. Look forward to seeing things progress.
Thanks, Cheers Norm
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alanoes
post 3 May 2020, 15:16
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Hi Norm,
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my efforts.
Yes , there were some days when not much office work got done biggrin.gif
I am so glad I did "bite the bullet" as you say, I have only ever purchased DCC sound locos and included or added smoke generators where possible, and have achieved a level of realism (with the sound mostly) that I could only dream of when running DC.
I remember having some units called "Chuff Boxes" I think, That generated a chuffing sound that speeded up as you increased the voltage on the track, it was pretty good for its day, but the sound was still localised and didn't fade off into the distance as the train moved farther away as it now does with DCC, the smoke is a personal thing, some people don't like it as it is not that realistic, but my grandchildren love it ! , and as I think I've said before, you can turn it off.
I have followed your build on and off over the years , you have a very nice layout, and its good to see you are back in the mix again.
Looking forward to some more recent pics.
Regards
Alan
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Babz
post 7 Jun 2020, 15:00
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Alan Good Afternoon Hope you are well, Can i ask what is the longest ( Trainsafe ) Case that you have as i have some long Trix trains 6 car Grey Mouse SBB and i do not want to keep taking them Apart all the time , also once you have the train in the case do they slide around or are they stable for a better word. Thank You
Babs
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alanoes
post 8 Jun 2020, 11:45
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Hi Babs
I am fine thank you, hope you and yours are well too.
The longest case I have is 210cm, that houses my Orient Express + 7 coaches that is approx. 190cm long.
That one has wall bracket support centres at 120cm apart.
They make cases from 30cm to 300cm
Most of the ones I have are in what they call the short range, that have support centres at 30cm apart , the longest in that range is 180cm
Regarding the stability, I can only comment on the "vision" system that has brass tracks embedded in the base that allows you do drive your trains in and out of the storage boxes. They are reasonably stable, obviously it is best to hold them as level as possible, and I think from experience that it depends on the loco etc inside them as to how much they roll when tilted in the horizontal plane. As for tilting or leaning them back and forth, again the trains stay pretty stable. I'm pretty sure I answered this question for someone else, but cant seem to find it, but we're talking about 25 / 30 degrees before the train starts to tilt.
If you have looked into it, you will know that this system is pretty expensive , they do a couple of other ranges that are a bit less expensive, one with flat base purely for display and one with "tracks" grooved into the base where you need to push the trains in and out onto your layout.
Hope this is of help to you
Regards
Alan

Stay Safe All
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Babz
post 12 Jun 2020, 13:21
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Alan Good Afternoon Thank You for all the info Sorry for the delay in replying, It is going to need more thought i am torn between the see through version or the carry version to protect the train you can still load the train onto the tracks in the same method.Thank you and stay safe.
Babs
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