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QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 24 Feb 2021, 18:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>34C, your last post really interests me. My layout has a minimum radius of 2' or 610mm so I think that my wagons (nearly all swb ones) could be coupled closer than they are as bought. Please could you provide a photograph or diagram to show exactly what you mean...
QUOTE (John Tinsley @ 24 Feb 2021, 19:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi 34C, thank you for that advice. I know what you mean but not sure how to achieve it. Hopefully your response to Robert's post will reveal all...
Hello both. No photographs as I have no digital camera, but I should hope the description will be simple enough to follow, as the 'technique' is about as crude as it gets.

Current RTR OO has the coupler fitted with 'swallowtails' push fit clipped into 'NEM coupler pockets'. Pull the coupler out. Cut about 2.5mm off the tail, and a similar amount off the front of pocket. Reassemble. Usually the deformation of the plastic caused by the snips is enough to retain the shortened coupler in the shortened pocket. If not a dab of cyano secures.

This is all very imprecise isn't it? What you are aiming at is the leading edge of the bumper bar in the same plane as the bufferfaces, so that as the wagons buffer up on straight track the fronts of the bumper bars just come into contact too, which is the protection against bufferlocking. Now here's the thing, the amount you trim off to set the couplers like this varies slightly between designs of wagons. I typically do sets of the same wagons in one go to obtain consistency, mark up and chop.

The effect is most satisfactory with Bachmann's pattern of coupler, as the slack is 2mm, bob on for roughly 6" between bufferheads when the wagons are pulled. The hooks begin to pull tight on curves at about 24" radius, so that's the minimum radius. It isn't possible to uncouple the wagons on curves, by lifting the hooks, until the curve radius is very large, over 6 feet. (Kit wagons and old RTR I use Bachmann's screw-on patterns with DIY mounting blocks.)

Hornby's miniature tension lock coupler has about 3mm slack due to the longer hooks, so will have more slack and allow smaller curve radii. (I determined by experiment that mixing these two maker's patterns of couplers significantly reduced coupling reliability, which was near perfect if trains were coupled using just one pattern exclusively; since i was buying 30 Bachmann to 1 Hornby wagon, for simplicity I went with the Bachmann pattern only. Not tried with other maker's patterns, with a grand total of about 30 from Heljan, Dapol, Rapido, Oxford, not enough of any one type to do a reliability test in a realistic time.)
 

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34C, thank you, I knew how you did it but couldn't figure how it retained once cut. Some of the wagons I've bought are old ones and I'll be fitting EM pockets, so would the shorter versions of the couplers be what I would
need?
Kris', I realise that the inclines will be long, but I want a 4F with a short local goods to be able make the trip. A 10 to 12 min circuit (at scale speed)would be brilliant! So I don't mind if I go around twice.LOL. I'm going to build it using shelf brackets screwed to the uprights of the frames. I'd like more that 100mm. (is that a "Garrett" I see on your layout?)
This is the sort of thing I'm after. He's running diesels, so far more power than my steam, so steeper inclines. It takes 3.2min to do a lap and 8.40 to do the full circuit.


Cheers
 

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There's a few things here which I would recommend are considered by the OP before starting.

Firstly, 16x10 is of a size which is big enough to create a decent layout. If it was me, I would probably be using 900mm wide boards all round, maybe reducing them to 600 on one side for a fiddleyard.
16x10 is sufficient for 4ft+ radius curves around each end. Please don't waste your opportunity by building a 'wall hugger' shelf layout with tight curves basically rounding off the corners of the room - such layouts never look realistic (if realism is what you are looking for). You have the space to push your radii up - as we all should.

My own layout demonstrates the concepts I promote:

http://www.mrol.com.au/Pages/Vu/AshpringtonRoad

With your space and a desire for 4 tracks and a decent time to run around the layout, I'd be considering a figure of 8 folded back on itself. It would give you some gradients and the opportunity to create the second level you are looking for.

With regards DCC bus, I concur with other comments here on the use of a single bus using mains rated cable. Be aware that every joint has the potential to reduce power ever so slightly, so you may want to have a 'booster' cable slung from one side of your room to the other.

Regarding droppers, I use the following approach:

http://www.mrol.com.au/Pages/Vu/PowerFeedingwithDroppers

Using this method as opposed to the one where people drill holes under rails and poke wire up, expecting them to line up, this method ensures that there is significant adjustment to slew track to align it: you can align your track where you want it to be rather than where the droppers want it to be.

I would strongly recommend AGAINST soldering track together. If you must solder rails to screws at board joints (personally, I don't), make sure that there is AT LEAST one joint in the track along the length of the board to allow for rail expansion, preferably more. Be aware that anchoring rails at one end changes the dynamics of expanding rails and can cause problems with droppers breaking. Best to lay track in the warmer months.
I would also recommend AGAINST soldering to fishplates. While it works initially, you will find that over time as oxidisation takes place, it will eventually fail and if you paint your rails (as I do), you'll find that fishplates should not be relied upon to deliver power, hence the need for droppers.

Likewise, I would recommend AGAINST setrack. You have sufficient space that you don't need to compromise. Use large radius turnouts EVERYWHERE. Ashprington Road uses Peco code 75. The moment you use settrack, it becomes the controller of lowest common denominator of all your rolling stock standards. Don't do it, because it is a false economy, even in fiddleyards and you don't need to anyway.

I use chain couplings on all rolling stock which prototypically used them. I use Kadee and EzMate (http://www.mrol.com.au/Pages/Vu/FittingKnuckleCouplings) to simulate buckeye couplings on rolling stock which had them prototypically. With a few minor digressions....
The key to preventing buffer locking is not to fit unsightly bars across buffers! It is to lay your track properly in the way that the prototype does. In other words, use a length of straight track between curves of opposite direction and always use a transition to ease from a straight into a curve (mandatory on passenger lines, but not sidings)(Tech info here: http://www.mrol.com.au/Pages/Vu/CantandTransitionDesign). I have done this and I can push all my rolling stock around without any buffer locking anywhere, except the odd bogie vehicle against a 4 wheel vehicle, which would be a problem for the prototype, so adjust the consist.

Agree on hex juicers being a waste of money. They are designed to part the uninitiated from their money. Having said that, turntables probably represent the only justifiable use for them.
 

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34C, thank you for that explanation. I now understand what you mean. My confusion was thinking that "bar and buffers in the same plane" meant the same horizontal plane whereas I now think that you meant the same vertical plane. I will definitely have a go at this procedure especially as nearly all my wagons are Bachmann ones.

Robert
 

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QUOTE (John Tinsley @ 24 Feb 2021, 23:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...Some of the wagons I've bought are old ones and I'll be fitting NEM pockets, so would the shorter versions of the couplers be what I would need?...
For this it's Bachmann's 36-061. https://www.bachmann.co.uk/product/category...28x10%29/36-061

The NEM pocket requires a mount to be attached to the wagon underside, which kit makers such as Parkside Dundas (now with Peco) sell as a spare. For the purposes of closer coupling, on most SWB wagons it is possible to locate this mount such that the bumper bar is positioned as required, with no need to trim pocket or coupler tails. The rear of the mount moulding may need to be filed down slightly to clear the axle on some wagons, it's rather bulky.

Thus my preference for the screw on types 36-025 and 36-026, which at one time were also cheaper per piece than the NEM fitting type, and didn't require the further purchase of a moulded mount for the pocket. A smaller DIY block from scrap to glue or screw onto kit or older RTR wagons, done.
 

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34C, thank you very much for all the info on couplings. Graham, a long and informative post. Very interesting, lots for me to think about, thank you. Re; the figure 8 design. I'm 76 yrs old with mobility problems, so I'll be zooming about on a office type chair and need the clear space. I will have 900mm boards on the top level and will keep to maximum rad curves as advised by yourself and 34C.
Now...another question...lying in bed last night, thinking about things, (I've never stopped thinking about it since deciding to do it LOL) and a bit excited at the prospect of the postman delivering my "Deltic". I was thinking of the rat a ta tat sound that is so characteristic of the expresses of the day. I assume track was laid in 60ft lengths then, 240mm scale length. I'd like that consistent rhythm, but I'm using 915mm flexitrack. If I make my boards in multiples of 240mm and put cuts in the top of the rail at 240mm, would that do the trick. Lots of questions I know, but I'm trying to be ahead.

I looked in on "Little Salkeld" today, lovely layout. The section he's shown in the first pic' is almost identical to the "Selside" section I intend doing, the lower track replaced by a road and the addition of a couple of cottages.

Cheers
 

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QUOTE (John Tinsley @ 26 Feb 2021, 10:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Re; the figure 8 design. I'm 76 yrs old with mobility problems, so I'll be zooming about on a office type chair and need the clear space.
By figure of 8 folded on itself, I meant a circular layout where each track goes around the layout twice before you get back to where you started like this:

https://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Forum...pic.php?t=50904 Scroll down to the 4th message.

In your case, you could use two parallel tracks all the way around and this would result in 4 track sections.

QUOTE (John Tinsley @ 26 Feb 2021, 10:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If I make my boards in multiples of 240mm and put cuts in the top of the rail at 240mm, would that do the trick. Lots of questions I know, but I'm trying to be ahead.

It's not something I do myself, but some people do it. I'd suggest that you would only need very fine groves to achieve the effect. Or if it is really important to you, why not just lay your track in panels and use real joints ? Clickety-clack sounds a bit odd when there are no matching rail joints to be seen.
 

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Hi John,
Just a couple of details about your great concept.
If planning the S&C mainline it would probably be better to start with a 2 track mainline concept this will enable two things to improve the realism....
1. You'll be able, as Graham says, to use more realistic curves and with your space available this will look great
2. You'll be able to have more interesting and prototypical operations for this line by including passing loops on both up and down lines to hold freight while passenger trains pass.
Additionally...
3. If you already live in the area you'll get awesome advice from the DCC Concepts people at Settle Station, they are very good on all aspects
4. We all like the clickety-click sound, but remember in many cases you are remembering this from the aspect of sitting in an express coach underway, and they're the wheels of your carriage that you are hearing. If you put too many notches in the track you may generate a cacophoiny of unresolved clicks and clacks. I reckon you will get better sound definition from just the odd track connection that you have left a bit apart. You will get a lovely clickety clack as your Thames-Clyde speeds past.
Cheers,
6991
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
6991, thank you for your interest, you make some good points. I didn't know DCC were on Settle station, I shall visit when travel is allowed. Thank you for that!
Cheers
 
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