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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
This is a brief overview of my HO layout in the loft.
I started collecting Fleischmann track, locos and rolling stock back in the seventies but only had the space, and time to create a couple of temporary layouts.
In 1989, after starting my own electrical contracting business, I decided I needed some permanent office space, so I moved up into the converted loft space. Well, I didn't need all the space for an office, did I
!
I spent the next 5 years or so, on and off, designing and building my layout. It is not meant to be prototypical in any way and is purely the product of my imagination. I wanted only steam locos, but there are
probably some items of scenery and signals that belong to a more modern era. By the mid nineties, I had a working railway that I could run 8 locos on and about two thirds of the scenery completed.
The layout includes 3 round and round tracks and a shuttle line from the main station, that works its way up over 3 levels to another station on the top level. Each of the 4 tracks has a passing zone hidden
behind the scenes.
This was of course, a DC layout, and I used block signalling to run 2 locos on each of the 4 track circuits.
By this time I had noticed the onset of DCC and was amazed at what it could do (and the prices
) This left me a bit disillusioned with my layout and I left it untouched for several years running it occasionally.
This time last year, my grandson was 2 years old, he is a typical boy who loves cars and trains. That was all the excuse I needed to re-start the layout build. Being of the age where I find myself with a bit more
disposable income, I decided to go DCC, and over the past year or so I have stripped out all the spaghetti of the DC control wiring, installed a DCC bus system, soldered up hundreds of droppers. completed a lot
more scenery, including the main railway station, and invested in several DCC sound locos (all Fleischmann) and had some of my old DC locos converted to DCC sound.
The layout also incorporates an original Faller Road System. When it ran with the DC layout, it was synced with the level crossing gates and lights to stop the cars when a train approached and the barriers closed.
That went when I stripped the old control wiring out, but I will eventually re-do it with DCC control. I have new Viessmann electronic barriers in place , as the original Faller ones were controlled with lengths of
cotton that eventually tangled and snapped, the Faller level crossing house is still standing though.
The next job is to rewire all the points back and connect them to DCC control.
At the moment I am using a Fleischmann MultiMAUS system to run the locos. I have purchased a Z21 system and eventually want to run the majority of the locos with Train Controller Gold.
Below is a track layout plan. The thin red line represents the loft wall or scenery line, all track above and to the right of it cannot be seen.



Below is a brief video overview of the layout to date, please excuse the dodgy video.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/xvQjgm8CjXo?rel=0

Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
[quote name='Adrian Ross' date='4 Jul 2016, 10:48' post='476945']
Hello,

thanks for the video. It wasn't that dodgy.

unlike this:

QUOTE
the original Faller ones were controlled with lengths of cotton

Thanks Adrian
LOL, that was the technology back in the day. Faller B-174





Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
QUOTE (Babz @ 4 Jul 2016, 12:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Alan Good Afternoon Thank you for Sharing, Your Layout Plans and Little Video, VERY VERY Nice Indeed, I am glad i am not the only one who wants and Uses Fleischmann Track, I know it has it's Faults and is Quite Pricey But I really Like it. I promise when I start Laying my Track I will Give Picture Updates as I go along. Babs

Hi Babs,
Glad you liked it, as said, I've always chosen Fleischmann. Back in the early seventies I think it was the best quality you could get in the UK, and the brass track was a revelation. No Profi Track in those days

I know things have changed now, but I still like Fleischmann/Roco
Look forward to seeing your layout progress
Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (Ian555 @ 4 Jul 2016, 13:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Alan,

Another HO Layout...looking good.

I hope you have a stair for access to the loft...


Ian.

Hi Ian,
Glad you liked it, no stairs up to the loft. Access by loft ladder. It keeps the other half out of the man cave

Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE (Allegheny1600 @ 4 Jul 2016, 13:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hello Alan,
A lovely video of a lovely layout!
Thank you for sharing and it's really good to see another Fleischmann fan and also a fan of Prussian railways!
Pröst!
John.

Hi John,
Thanks for your nice comments.
Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE (Victor Chong @ 4 Jul 2016, 15:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Alan looking at your video on the layout makes me feel ashamed on my uncompleted layout since i started "building" it 20 years ago.

Hi Victor,
Thanks for your comments, I know how you feel, mine was left untouched for many years, it was only getting a grandson spurred me into carrying on.
I'm so glad I did though, I'm really enjoying it, going to DCC was like starting again. Probably by the time I've finished there will be newer and better technology
Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi all,
Further to my recent layout post, I thought I would show you the sloping control panel surface that once housed the multitude of switches, relays, timers and other controls, not to mention the transformers
that were needed to run the layout in its DC days, every hole you see drilled through it had several cables coming through. I have now added programming track along the bottom edge.
My plan is to extend out 10 - 12 inches along the top edge level with the base board to put a row of houses / shops on the other side of the road to the station.
The Viessmann 5574 push switch is just temporarily connected so I could test a couple of items.





Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi all,
I have decided to invest in a Train Safe storage system

http://shop.train-safe.de/en/home/

I think its a great idea, a dust proof storage / display system for locos and rolling stock when not in use.
It is pretty expensive, but good quality stuff, and when you consider the amount of money we have invested in our locos and rolling stock, it puts it more into perspective


The first job was to plan where on the layout I could use the system , in my case, there was only one feasible place to load and offload traffic, and that was from the roadway that runs along the front of the layout.



This is the area that needed some adaption to take the track adaptor. It meant I would need a new right hand curved point and point motor, easier said than done when you're working with old Fleischmann brass
Model track

I removed some fencing, measured up, and cut away the grass sheet to take the new track work.



After finding one on ebay, from Holland ! , I cut a section of track and fitted the new point, track and adaptor.



Then re-routed and reinstated the fencing, adding a working gate.



Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I decided on their " Vision" system, as you can actually drive trains in and out of the storage units, and the basic aluminium racking system, as it reasonably cheap, holds more storage units and is expandable.
I have purchased some racking, one 50cm tube, and one 120cm tube to get me started, and I will get more tubes as finances permit

For this racking system, they make single brackets, as shown below.



Or double brackets, a great idea if your short on space.



Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here is a video of the system in use, I can get to this location from anywhere on the layout, with some forward and reverse shunting, which makes it fun to use too

Sorry if its a bit long winded. The storage units do slot in place a lot easier when I'm not trying to get around the camera and tripod


http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed//xCl5HSkXras?rel=0

Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi all,
I've started on a little agricultural area in one corner of the layout, where I will have a wheat field and probably a potato crop.
I am using Busch 1204 wheat strips, quite time consuming but looks good (imo).



I have got past this awkward corner ,so can now construct the full 10cm X 10cm box contents and hopefully lay them quicker.



Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Continuing with the front extension, I made up some brackets to suite the angle and installed some Conti Board shelving to give me about 8inches additional width to fit a small street/town scene on the other side
of the road to the main station.





I then bridged the gap and made up the slightly different levels with varying thicknesses (between 0.5 and 2mm) plasticard, to give me a nice smooth clean suface.



and I've added a Noch "country road" (as it was grey) to come off the faller roadway and wind its way around the left hand end of the layout.





You may notice that I've removed some of the Faller road surface near the level crossing, this is another ongoing project to fit stop magnets and sensors under the road surface for use with the Faller Traffic
Control System which will operate the crossing barriers and allow up the 3 vehicles to stop behind each other on either side of the level crossing. That is still in the early stages and I will keep you posted on that.
I have purchase several kit buildings including a church and some farm buildings that will keep me busy constructing over the Christmas break.
Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Over the last few months, I have added to the Train Safe storage system and the display wall is now looking quite impressive IMHO





Kind regards
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all

Alan
 

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Hi all,
Just an update of what's been happening lately. physically not much.
You may remember I was going to swap my control to Z21 and install Train Controller Gold Software to automate the layout a bit.
Well, after doing that, it took me some time, what with work and other things, to create my "Swithboard" etc in train controller but that all went well.
Then I started to connect the points to the to the Z21 system, I was a bit apprehensive about this as I was using Roco 10775 turnout controllers to operate my 20 odd Fleischmann points,
as I had read many accounts of how difficult it was to set them up regarding the addressing, but I downloaded the Roco maintenance tool to remove the +4 issue and everything went fine.
That is, until I tried to operate the double slip. The switching action was juddery and didn't always make a full switch over ( as an electrician, that's something I would associate with wrong voltage)
Its a long time ago now but I'm pretty sure it worked fine when the layout was DC and it was controlled with the little green Fleischmann switches from the AC side of the old transformers.
But in saying that, every other point worked fine. Tried cleaning it up and removing any debris (not that I could see any) from around the moving parts but too no avail. Needless to say, this double slip
has got to be one of the worst turnouts to get access too
Just to remove the point motor I had to remove part of a station platform

Even with the motor removed from the point, it was still not switching positively Next step , replace the motor, but in trying to do that the lever arm snapped off inside the point

Fearing there could be some unseen debris inside the mechanism causing the problem, and a quick google search to see if I could still get a Fleischmann brass Model track double slip, decided to replace the
whole thing. So, de-soldered 8 droppers

Then used a fine cut dremmel blade to cut through the 4 sections of rail at one end to allow removal

For easy locating/fitting of the new unit, I cut the fishplates in half, allowing them to move back and forth along the rail


Tested operation of slip, all ok, and re soldered the droppers

A little bit of rust pen onto the rails, re ballasting of track and fitting back the platform.


Everything working fine now from Z21 control or Train Controller. Next step is to add the magnetic reed switches into the track work to create control blocks for train detection.
Well, that was a long winded way of not telling you much

Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
QUOTE (Peter Ankers @ 26 Nov 2017, 15:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Alan

I've only just come across your thread as a result of your recent post. I am mightily impressed with your layout and have watched the video demonstrating the Train Safe storage system in use several times. The flashes from the camera of the lineside trainspotter are a wonderful touch !

Best Regards,
Peter A

Thank you Peter for your comments, yeah, I like the little guy too
Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
QUOTE (bjrangi @ 27 Nov 2017, 03:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>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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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
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.

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
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

Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Well, nothing is simple is it
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

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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