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· Noob, but I try my best...........
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Well having thought about it for a long long time, thought its about time that I got started on my layout, and deal with the problems and mistakes I make as the arise. Got up real early today and decided to have a good day on putting my baseboard together, its turned out much sturdier than I thought it would, not finished yet there are a couple of foling sections still to be added.

Wanted to say thanks to everyone who has advised me to get me this far.

Here are some pictures that I took.

Any comments are very much appreciated as its my first attempt Im sure that there are areas where I could do things better.

Thanks alot

Willy................

This is how the garage looked when I started.



Then cleared it all away and started to make a frame.



Then just got on with building it all up, encountered a few little problems on the way, also decided to make a shelf, not sure if this was a good idea, here are the rest of the pictures Ive tried to put them in order.













Although the pictures dont show, got a bit carried away but I did put a 2" by 2" brace in the frame every foot before attaching the baseboard.















Ill try to get a bit more done over the weekend.

Willy..............
 

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Hi Willy,

Well you've certainly made some good progress and the foundations for your railway certainly look solid.

HOWEVER


Because you are building your boards in a fixed position you will have to do all of your wiring from underneath and the shelf you have installed is going to make that very awkward.

I'm not sure if it's too late to start again but it would have been better to build your baseboards as separate removable units which would then be fixed down onto your framework once you have done most of the track laying and wiring. By having the boards as removable units you can place them on edge on the garage floor and do the track laying from one side and the wiring from the other without having to scrabble around on your back underneath the layout.

Just out of interest have you thought about the problems of trying to solder connections from underneath the boards. Solder does not run uphill very well.


Sorry to rain on your parade Willy but better to find out about the problems now rather than later.
 

· Noob, but I try my best...........
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (Expat @ 20 Aug 2010, 18:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Willy,

Well you've certainly made some good progress and the foundations for your railway certainly look solid.

HOWEVER


Because you are building your boards in a fixed position you will have to do all of your wiring from underneath and the shelf you have installed is going to make that very awkward.

I'm not sure if it's too late to start again but it would have been better to build your baseboards as separate removable units which would then be fixed down onto your framework once you have done most of the track laying and wiring. By having the boards as removable units you can place them on edge on the garage floor and do the track laying from one side and the wiring from the other without having to scrabble around on your back underneath the layout.

Just out of interest have you thought about the problems of trying to solder connections from underneath the boards. Solder does not run uphill very well.


Sorry to rain on your parade Willy but better to find out about the problems now rather than later.

As you know Im totally new to this Trevor, so Im very grateful for your advice, Your not raining on my parade at all Ive posted the pictures so people can make comments.

I have got enough materials to make separate removable units and I today did intend to do as you have suggested, if the units are separate and on the garage floor I can see how it would be easier to fit the track and wire, but I was wondering how Id lift one section at a time into position if they are all connected together or am I missing the point.

Im thinking now if Ive done the right thing with the layout, food for thought.

I really appreciate your comments Trevor.

Willy..................
 

· Noob, but I try my best...........
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (PatTheSteam @ 20 Aug 2010, 18:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Bloomin 'eck! That's a serious frame there...

You building a model or the real thing?


Pat

Hi Pat

It is pretty sturdy to say the least,


Best regards

Willy.............
 

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Hi Willy,

The easiest way is to use choc block connectors to make the connections between each board. You can complete the wiring to each board and make the cross board connections with choc blocks once it's positioned on the frame. You probably won't have more than half a dozen connections to make and all you need is a screw-driver to make them.

Just remember to tin the ends of the wires before you use them with the choc blocks though as the screws can chew up the wire unless you do.
 

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Hi Willy,

I am impressed with the baseboards. Reading what Trevor has said I would agree about the wiring. Soldering from underneath is not easy at all, having tried to do it. I am currently looking into using wire connectors that bring the droppers from the layout and the power wires together without the need to solder or cut the wires. That may be another way forward for you.

The other thing that panicked me a little when I looked at the pictures was the shelf of heavy items above the baseboards near the garage doors. You might want to consider moving that lot somewhere else because if they fell on to the layout they might cause some damage to your layout.

Mike
 

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A fine sturdy base you have constructed for your layout.
As you say alot can be trial and error and changing your mind
is all part of the hobby I think.Well it is in my case as I've changed
my original layout a few times.
I'm in the process of relaying at present due to a bad joint between boards.
John
 

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Bloomin 'eck Willy, are you building baseboards or competing with the Forth Bridge?
That is one serious set of baseboards you've built. Have to agree with Expat (Trevor) on his comments re soldering, In fact Brian (Consadine) and I were discussing this very subject this afternoon whilst dismantling St. Laurent ready to take it to a show.

Here's how I would do it.
When building the baseboards make them separable with locating dowels fitted for accurate alignment. Clamp the Baseboards (BB) together.
Then Id lay track and points in position, using pins to locate the track into position. Than once I was happy with the track layout I would trace round the track with a pencil and mark where track ends join together.
Then Id lift the track piece by piece and solder the droppers to it, working along and drilling the holes for the wires as I go, feeding the droppers through. Where track runs over a baseboard joint, after soldering the droppers I would remove some sleepers each side of the BB joint and slide in and screw a peice of copper clad board to the BB each side of the BB join where the missing sleepers are. Then Id solder the track to the coper clad board. Then using a cutting disk in a dremal Id cut through the rails above the BB join and then BETWEEN the rails Id score the copper clad board enough to make each rail electrically isolated. (other wise you'll have a short circuit at every coppercald board!)
Now you can remove the clamps and seperate the BB and go about soldering the droppers to the DCC bus in comfort. You can also fit point motors and do the wiring for them at the same time.

Once this is done you can then turn the boards over and test run the track with your WORST performing loco and once you are happy with the track you can then get on with painting the track sides and ballasting.

I use Rail Match sleeper grime in an aerosol can and spray the entire track. Wiping the paint of the tops of the rails with kitchen towel. Then I paint the sides of the rails with a rusty rails tool and rust coloured paint, again wiping the tops of the rails with kitchen towel to remove the paint from where it should'nt be. Then I ballast. Then I weather the ballast. Then I give the track a stonking good clean and run trains as my reward!!
Then I start doing the scenics.
 

· DT
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You don't have to solder from underneath.

Drop wires can be easily dropped. Then connected to the BUS wire if you use a good connector.

I group feeders together and connect them to the DCC BUS using this type of connector:



The DCC BUS itself is low resistance (6mm²) speaker wire that maintains a good DCC signal all around the track. I use a continuous wire from one side to the other. That is why these connectors come in handy - they allow me to add feeders wherever I want without cutting the copper. I just trim back a bit of the insulating plastic, drop in the wire under the screw, replace the screw, tighten and add the cap.

 

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Those are interesting connectors Doug but isn't there a danger of the screws chewing into the stranded Bus wire and possibly breaking some of the strands ?

When I use choc block connectors I always put a 'blob' of solder on the end of the wire for the screw to bite into without damaging the wire itself.
 

· The black and white cat
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Hi Willy
Sturdy looking baseboards you have there, I have to agree in principle with Trevor about the problems you may encounter with wiring in such a limited place. My advice is do a practice piece before commencing with rest of the layout. If the lower boards can take your weight and your comfortable wiring/soldering in that position, why change it. I would recommend getting a miners light that you wear about your forehead.
Regards Mike
 

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QUOTE Hi Willy
Sturdy looking baseboards you have there, I have to agree in principle with Trevor about the problems you may encounter with wiring in such a limited place. My advice is do a practice piece before commencing with rest of the layout. If the lower boards can take your weight and your comfortable wiring/soldering in that position, why change it. I would recommend getting a miners light that you wear about your forehead.

Whilst others have made valid points, I have to totally agree with Doug and Mike Pyers. For the size of the layout you are doing, I would keep your base as you have done it. Wiring etc can be worked around what you have in place. You definately don't HAVE to solder the wires.

You've done a grand job and it will be a lot easier to lay the track on the boards as you've done it. The wiring is definately still do-able. I have done it the same way and got on fine.
 

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QUOTE (silky_jack @ 21 Aug 2010, 21:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You definately don't HAVE to solder the wires.

Agreed Ian but that is only half the problem as I see it. The presence of that middle shelf could restrict movement under the layout whether the connections are soldered or not and point motor installation could be quite difficult. There is then the possibility of future lighting and any associated circuitry to be installed.

Sure, nothing is iimpossible, but why make life difficult for yourself ?
 

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A nice solid base for your railway. Are you living in an earth quake zone !
. If wiring up proves to be a problem just remove a section of the shelf to make it easier while your busy wiring. On a small layout like this it isn't essential to solder every joint, either use connector like Doug has, or you can wrap droppers around the bus. I guarantee they will never come loose, and always make a solid connection if you are using multi strand wire. I've been using this method with DCC since the mid 1990's and never had a problem yet. Far too many people make a big deal out of it.
From your photo's I would give a bit of thought as to how you mount a back drop, since access to storage appears to important to you. Rather use chip board screws for fix thing rather than nails they make a much more secure joint, consider more cross bracing to support the top to prevent warping. This will be of more importance if at some time you decide to go multi level, which always adds a bit more interest in a layout.
 

· Noob, but I try my best...........
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
QUOTE (Expat @ 20 Aug 2010, 18:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Willy,

The easiest way is to use choc block connectors to make the connections between each board. You can complete the wiring to each board and make the cross board connections with choc blocks once it's positioned on the frame. You probably won't have more than half a dozen connections to make and all you need is a screw-driver to make them.

Just remember to tin the ends of the wires before you use them with the choc blocks though as the screws can chew up the wire unless you do.

QUOTE (fishytrains @ 20 Aug 2010, 21:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Willy,

I am impressed with the baseboards. Reading what Trevor has said I would agree about the wiring. Soldering from underneath is not easy at all, having tried to do it. I am currently looking into using wire connectors that bring the droppers from the layout and the power wires together without the need to solder or cut the wires. That may be another way forward for you.

The other thing that panicked me a little when I looked at the pictures was the shelf of heavy items above the baseboards near the garage doors. You might want to consider moving that lot somewhere else because if they fell on to the layout they might cause some damage to your layout.

Mike

QUOTE (craw @ 20 Aug 2010, 21:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>A fine sturdy base you have constructed for your layout.
As you say alot can be trial and error and changing your mind
is all part of the hobby I think.Well it is in my case as I've changed
my original layout a few times.
I'm in the process of relaying at present due to a bad joint between boards.
John

QUOTE (wolverton bloomer @ 20 Aug 2010, 22:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Bloomin 'eck Willy, are you building baseboards or competing with the Forth Bridge?
That is one serious set of baseboards you've built. Have to agree with Expat (Trevor) on his comments re soldering, In fact Brian (Consadine) and I were discussing this very subject this afternoon whilst dismantling St. Laurent ready to take it to a show.

Here's how I would do it.
When building the baseboards make them separable with locating dowels fitted for accurate alignment. Clamp the Baseboards (BB) together.
Then Id lay track and points in position, using pins to locate the track into position. Than once I was happy with the track layout I would trace round the track with a pencil and mark where track ends join together.
Then Id lift the track piece by piece and solder the droppers to it, working along and drilling the holes for the wires as I go, feeding the droppers through. Where track runs over a baseboard joint, after soldering the droppers I would remove some sleepers each side of the BB joint and slide in and screw a peice of copper clad board to the BB each side of the BB join where the missing sleepers are. Then Id solder the track to the coper clad board. Then using a cutting disk in a dremal Id cut through the rails above the BB join and then BETWEEN the rails Id score the copper clad board enough to make each rail electrically isolated. (other wise you'll have a short circuit at every coppercald board!)
Now you can remove the clamps and seperate the BB and go about soldering the droppers to the DCC bus in comfort. You can also fit point motors and do the wiring for them at the same time.

Once this is done you can then turn the boards over and test run the track with your WORST performing loco and once you are happy with the track you can then get on with painting the track sides and ballasting.

I use Rail Match sleeper grime in an aerosol can and spray the entire track. Wiping the paint of the tops of the rails with kitchen towel. Then I paint the sides of the rails with a rusty rails tool and rust coloured paint, again wiping the tops of the rails with kitchen towel to remove the paint from where it should'nt be. Then I ballast. Then I weather the ballast. Then I give the track a stonking good clean and run trains as my reward!!
Then I start doing the scenics.

QUOTE (Doug @ 20 Aug 2010, 22:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You don't have to solder from underneath.

Drop wires can be easily dropped. Then connected to the BUS wire if you use a good connector.

I group feeders together and connect them to the DCC BUS using this type of connector:



The DCC BUS itself is low resistance (6mm²) speaker wire that maintains a good DCC signal all around the track. I use a continuous wire from one side to the other. That is why these connectors come in handy - they allow me to add feeders wherever I want without cutting the copper. I just trim back a bit of the insulating plastic, drop in the wire under the screw, replace the screw, tighten and add the cap.



QUOTE (Expat @ 21 Aug 2010, 03:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Those are interesting connectors Doug but isn't there a danger of the screws chewing into the stranded Bus wire and possibly breaking some of the strands ?

When I use choc block connectors I always put a 'blob' of solder on the end of the wire for the screw to bite into without damaging the wire itself.

QUOTE (Mike Pyers @ 21 Aug 2010, 12:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Willy
Sturdy looking baseboards you have there, I have to agree in principle with Trevor about the problems you may encounter with wiring in such a limited place. My advice is do a practice piece before commencing with rest of the layout. If the lower boards can take your weight and your comfortable wiring/soldering in that position, why change it. I would recommend getting a miners light that you wear about your forehead.
Regards Mike

QUOTE (silky_jack @ 21 Aug 2010, 21:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Whilst others have made valid points, I have to totally agree with Doug and Mike Pyers. For the size of the layout you are doing, I would keep your base as you have done it. Wiring etc can be worked around what you have in place. You definately don't HAVE to solder the wires.

You've done a grand job and it will be a lot easier to lay the track on the boards as you've done it. The wiring is definately still do-able. I have done it the same way and got on fine.


QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 22 Aug 2010, 06:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>A nice solid base for your railway. Are you living in an earth quake zone !
. If wiring up proves to be a problem just remove a section of the shelf to make it easier while your busy wiring. On a small layout like this it isn't essential to solder every joint, either use connector like Doug has, or you can wrap droppers around the bus. I guarantee they will never come loose, and always make a solid connection if you are using multi strand wire. I've been using this method with DCC since the mid 1990's and never had a problem yet. Far too many people make a big deal out of it.
From your photo's I would give a bit of thought as to how you mount a back drop, since access to storage appears to important to you. Rather use chip board screws for fix thing rather than nails they make a much more secure joint, consider more cross bracing to support the top to prevent warping. This will be of more importance if at some time you decide to go multi level, which always adds a bit more interest in a layout.


Many thanks for all the guidance everyone, I apologise for the delay in responding, last month I made these areas in my garden so my good lady and I could sit out.





So I have used all of the surplus materials I had left to try to keep the cost down, I know that what I have put together is a bit on the sturdy side, but I thought its better to be sturdy, but Im not sure if its overkill, but it will survive at least force 7.


The baseboards are screwed to the frame, so I am thinking that its feasible to just unscrew them whilst I do my wiring, I intend to use some male female plugs and make up a wiring loom that has some redundancy for additional wiring.

Im in a bit of a dilema now, I have made the shelf easy to remove so I feel it is possible to get underneath but it would be easier if they were removed.

Also I have now removed the shelves over the layout.

I appreciate the suggestions on wiring and connections, I was thinking of wiring rs232 plugs has anyone done this before.

Another one of my interests is Radio controlled cars and planes, which started me thinking about using servos around the layout, servos could be used for points etc, has anyone ever done this on thier layout.

I have put some extra bracing in and have started to make the folding sections this morning will post some pictures up soon.

Want to say a big thank you to everyone for the help and advice, I really appreciate all the comments.

Best reagrds

Willy..............
 

· Noob, but I try my best...........
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
QUOTE (Nat&John @ 22 Aug 2010, 12:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>hiya Willy,

Wow your garden looks lovely! Really nice job there and on the layout!

Out of interest, can anybody post a picture of choc block connectors? Just so I can see what they look like.

Cheers

Nat x

Hello Nat

Thank you for your comments here is a pic for you.

Regards

Willy..............

 

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So I have used all of the surplus materials I had left to try to keep the cost down, I know that what I have put together is a bit on the sturdy side, but I thought its better to be sturdy, but Im not sure if its overkill, but it will survive at least force 7.


I appreciate the suggestions on wiring and connections, I was thinking of wiring rs232 plugs has anyone done this before.

Another one of my interests is Radio controlled cars and planes, which started me thinking about using servos around the layout, servos could be used for points etc, has anyone ever done this on thier layout.


Nothing wrong with sturdy.

RS232 & other computer connectors have been used before - personally I would not use them at all - they are data connectors not power connectors.

RC servo's can be used - one of the "electronic" groups has, AFAIK some circuits to enable them to be used. You could also have a look at Richard Johnsons Cobalt slow action units see his website www.dccconcepts.com - there is also shedloads of useful advice there too.
 

· Noob, but I try my best...........
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 22 Aug 2010, 12:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>So I have used all of the surplus materials I had left to try to keep the cost down, I know that what I have put together is a bit on the sturdy side, but I thought its better to be sturdy, but Im not sure if its overkill, but it will survive at least force 7.


I appreciate the suggestions on wiring and connections, I was thinking of wiring rs232 plugs has anyone done this before.

Another one of my interests is Radio controlled cars and planes, which started me thinking about using servos around the layout, servos could be used for points etc, has anyone ever done this on thier layout.


Nothing wrong with sturdy.

RS232 & other computer connectors have been used before - personally I would not use them at all - they are data connectors not power connectors.

RC servo's can be used - one of the "electronic" groups has, AFAIK some circuits to enable them to be used. You could also have a look at Richard Johnsons Cobalt slow action units see his website www.dccconcepts.com - there is also shedloads of useful advice there too.

Many thanks for the link, I understand what you are saying about the rs232, was just trying to think ease of connection.

Willy...........
 
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