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Hi

I am working on my first layout and I had some questions come up.

Firstly I was wondering whether point motors are necessary. I only have four pionts on my layout and they are all within easy reach from where the controls are. Since this is my first layout I was wondering whether its worth to have them or not? and whether not haveing them will become a problem running the trains later?

And I have just bought some underlay? To use it do you just stick it in and pin the track over and then glue the ballast on top?
 

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Hello Sigma,

Having manual points should have no effect on rollingstock, but would drive me mad after a while, since this is your first layout it's always good to gain experience and one way of doing that is to install perhaps just one point with a motor so that you develop 'know-how' for the hypothetical gigantic second layout! I would recommend point motors anyway since there are only four points and it's nice to be able to control everything from one spot...

Also were you to install motors later then it would require reballasting/adjustment/turning the layout upside down etc. which would be more hassle than installing them first.

Goedel
 

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Hi Sigma,

You haven't said how big the layout is, but I'm assuming it's not huge. There is another option you may wish to consider, and I am not saying you shouldn't use point motors, which is the wire in tube method. I have used this succesfully in the past where all points are close together and near the operating position. I wouldn't recommend it for a run of more than 18" or so.

Hope this helps.

Regards

John
 

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I quite like the idea of manual point control with little levers connected using push-rods to the points. It would work on a simple layout that you describe.

There are ways of doing this: pushrods, wire running through metal or plastic tubes or just a series of levers under the base.
 

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I've a feeling Dean Sidings offer a commercial version of "wire in a tube" , using plastic sliding tubing . They should have an advert in the back of the Railway Modeller
 

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i dont think its dean sidings. it might be patronics or all components or someone like that.

If i were you i think i would put a couple of point motors on the far side of your layout where you cant reach them. although it is a pain in the neck you can add more later if you want to.

"And I have just bought some underlay? To use it do you just stick it in and pin the track over and then glue the ballast on top?"
Yep! stick it down with PVA glue. pin the track down and then ballast.

Peter
 

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Suppliers of 'wire in tube' include:

www.gemmodelrailways.co.uk - the long-established 'Mercontrol' system.

Patronics sell model lights as their principal product - no web-site listed on a recent advert - telephone 0116 2994397
There was a firm 'Modeloil' (or something like that) which used to advertise, but I cannot find them in any recent magazine and think they may have packed up.

Best wishes for your first venture into model railways,
Regards,
John Webb
 

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I've not tried it myself but I've long considered that perhaps bicycle brake cable would work the same way as wire in a tube and maybe offer a cheaper alternative? If any readers have experience of this I'd be interested to read their opinions.

Personally I use either metal coathanger wire, old rails or umbrella ribs for under baseboard point rodding, but with my small layouts it is possible to reach over a foot or so and operate all the points from the same place so I don't actually have the need for longer runs of mechanical point 'rods'.

On foam underlay - 1. Fit it to the underside of the track then pin the track down - or 2. Glue it to the track then glue the combined track/ballast unit down. Depending upon what your baseboard surface is made of and how tight your curves are if using flextrack. A combination of pinning and gluing is the belt and braces approach. Use PVA glue it won't disolve the foam.

Either way of fastening down though you need to add ballast to track before adding track and ballast to the baseboard. If you lay the ballast strip first you'll never get all the sleepers to fit into the moulded recesses.
 

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>wire in tube
I once used piano wire in empty biro ink tubes. I was at university at the time and was getting through a Bic once a fortnight with all the note taking. It worked pretty well.

David
 

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QUOTE (Sigma @ 16 Mar 2007, 09:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi

I am working on my first layout and I had some questions come up.

Firstly I was wondering whether point motors are necessary. I only have four pionts on my layout and they are all within easy reach from where the controls are. Since this is my first layout I was wondering whether its worth to have them or not? and whether not haveing them will become a problem running the trains later?

And I have just bought some underlay? To use it do you just stick it in and pin the track over and then glue the ballast on top?

Hi Sigma

Like you, I am also working on my first layout, and have decided to use Gem manual point control.
I like the idea of working the points myself, so I will give it a go, as my layout is not very big.
If you can get hold of a copy of MODEL RAIL magazine SEPTEMBER 2006 issue, there is a very good article on page 62 by
Chris Leigh in which he describes using the Gem point control system, complete with photos.

Hope this helps

CHEERS
 

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The model aircraft fraternity have some bowden wire in nylon tube methods of operating their elevators, rudders and aerolons. They also have some nice plastic angle brackets.

You could consider adapting these if they are not too costly.

Colombo
 

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QUOTE Like you, I am also working on my first layout, and have decided to use Gem manual point control.
I like the idea of working the points myself, so I will give it a go, as my layout is not very big.
If you can get hold of a copy of MODEL RAIL magazine SEPTEMBER 2006 issue, there is a very good article on page 62 by
Chris Leigh in which he describes using the Gem point control system, complete with photos.

I have two 4 lever gem frames frames. I was going to sell them on Ebay. But if you prepared to pay the postage I send each of you one, just contact me off list. You'll need a packet of Omega loops which go between the frame and the wire to take the slack out of the wire, and if your going round corners a packet of angle cranks, their both available from Gem. I used thin Stainless Wire about 3mm and this was running in nylon tube, I cut groves in the base board surface
using a dremel and a mini router attactment, I buried the tubes in scenery. The Gem lever frames work well and are very attractive if painted as if they are a signal box.
Contact me off list if your interested.
 

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QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 18 Mar 2007, 08:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You'll need a packet of Omega loops which go between the frame and the wire to take the slack out of the wire


Hi MMaD - are these available from Gem ? & do they have a website ?

TIA.
 
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