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 Posted: Sat Mar 10th, 2018 12:03 pm
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DaveH_Murcia
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Here are a few photos of progress on my layout. I decided to lay the track in the hidden fiddle yards first. Every single piece of track, no matter how small, has a dropper cable soldered to it.

The first photo shows the southern fiddle yard which leads on to the scenic section directly.



This next photo shows the two halves of the northern fiddle yard. The track wiring above board is complete and checked. Once I have completed the points and tested everything the two halves will be moved under the central scenic section on which they currently sit.



The final photo shows the slope which allows trains to descend to the northern fiddle yard and climb back to the scenic section. All up inclines have DCC Concepts Powerbase plates installed. I have actual run one of my Deltics up and down this section to check all is OK.



It's taken a lot of time to do all the droppers and fit the track but at least I can move on to the scenic section soon. Travelling back to the UK next week to pick up much needed supplies including the main Digitrax controller and boosters along with the first batch of train detection hardware - trying the Digikeijs detectors.

Looking forward to lots of testing once I get back and then the difficult move of the northern fiddle yards.

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 Posted: Sat Mar 10th, 2018 06:50 pm
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Petermac
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That's looking very impressive Dave and I'm partularly green when I see what space you have to work in.

A question on your metal framework - are the joints pop riveted ?  That "tin walling" stuff is great in straight lines but I see you've also used it for triangulating your frames and wonder how you made all the angled joints............. :hmm



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 Posted: Sun Mar 11th, 2018 12:26 am
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DaveH_Murcia
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Hi. Nearly all the metal framing is simply pop riveted together although there are a few places where I have chosen to use nut and bolt fixing (I have a couple of sections that may need to be removed at a later date should I have problems on the lower fiddle yard).

The structure seems very stable with the additional cross-bracing pop riveted in. I don't trust it to take my weight when accessing areas near the wall - it would probably be ok but.....

I have made four adjustable props about 200mm long which bolt into the top of my Workmate and then screw up to the underside of the board. That's one "tool". On the side walls I purposely left a ledge about 100mm deep above the scenic side boards, so I have also made a frame which sits on top of some 3 step access steps and bridges across to the ledge. Covered in padding it is an easy way to reach stuff and will become invaluble once I get major scenics in place.

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 Posted: Sun Mar 11th, 2018 10:27 am
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Danielb
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Wow, that's one heck of a track plan! :D

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 Posted: Sun May 27th, 2018 08:24 am
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DaveH_Murcia
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Well just a short update. Been a couple of months or so and work has been progressing. Both fiddle yards now have track laid with droppers soldered to every piece if track no matter how small. The main fiddle yard shown which will be under the central scenic section is where I have been doing most of the work. All points are now wired up and powered by Gaugemaster PM20 point motors controller by DDC Concepts ADS8FX controllers. Whilst back in the UK I picked up my Digitrax Evolution controller along with 2 boosters. I also collected some of the Digikeijs DR4088 feedback units I will be using although I wanted to test them before buying the rest. The sections are now about 80% wired up and I should be able to start testing the fiddle yard thoroughly within a couple of weeks before putting back the boards for the scenic section above. Anyway a pic.



And finally can I ask for some advice. At the end where the entry and exit is to the fiddle yard I have a crossover. Can anyone suggest how I might split this into sections for train detection to avoid collisions.


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 Posted: Sun May 27th, 2018 03:00 pm
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John Dew
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Hi Dave
I continue to be amazed whenever you post an update. Quite apart from the sheer size you make such rapid progress.

Regarding the xover. I would have each of the four approaches detected and set up in TC as blocks ( have you progressed with RR&Co at all?) ........it doesnt matter that they may be fairly short......with TC you can control exit and entry to either end of a block.

Regards

John

Ps You mentioned way back that you would be installing a turntable.......have you decided on the make?



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 Posted: Sun May 27th, 2018 03:42 pm
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DaveH_Murcia
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Thanks for the advice John. I haven't bought TrainController yet but have been playing around with it in Demo mode. Didn't think there was any rush to buy it until I am a bit closer to actually running trains. I have used it before on some layouts I helped build at an ill fated visitor attraction in the UK before I moved to Spain.

I also haven't chosen a turntable. I have to see what is available and really if it will fit in the position I have planned as the lower central fiddle yard doesn't give much room vertically. My main thrust is to get both fiddle yards in and tested and then I can start on the track and points around the scenic section.

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 Posted: Sun May 27th, 2018 04:06 pm
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John Dew
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Glad to be of help.
I wasnt sure how familiar you were with TC. As you know it has quite a steep learning curve. If you have used it before, i agree there is no compelling reason to purchase until you are nearly ready to run trains.

I mentioned turntables because I have just gritted my teeth and replaced a quite expensive Heljan with a rather more expensive Fleischmann. In theory you can run non supported turntables (Heljan) with TC but in reality I found there was too much conflict, coupled with Heljan's occasional memory loss. Fleischmann is fully supported by TC and so far I am very impressed

Regards

John



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 Posted: Fri Jun 1st, 2018 05:40 am
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DaveH_Murcia
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Well what progress this week. Got the last of the droppers in the main fiddle yard hooked up and commenced testing. Problems so far:

1) My Deltic test engine refuses to reverse over 1 of the points without derailing - as eveything goes one way round the yard it shouldn't be a problem, but will investigate and fix before hiding under scenic layer.
2) One track dection area not being picked up - found to be a fault on one port of the detection board so just switched ports.
3) 3 sections showing as occupied all the time. These are the main loop line and are by far the longest. Can't see any fault in the wiring and it is suspicious it is all the same loop. They are by far the longest so answer may be to make more sections. Sent a support message to Digikeijs to see if they can shed any light on it.
4) One point motor not being activated - as there was a spare section on the DCC Concepts ADS8FX I tried that and it works so I suspect a failed circuit.  As there were two spare circuits on the board anyway that's sorted.

And to add to the joy Hatton's suddenly emailed me to say the point motors (PM20s) for the other fiddle yard are being shipped so by the time I have sorted the problems on the main yard I should have the bits to continue on the smaller yard. That does mean getting to grips with boosters etc but how difficult can that be.....(famous last words)...

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 Posted: Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 06:19 am
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gdaysydney
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Hi Dave

Just caught up with Tinkers End - thats an impressive size layout you have there and you are making good progress with it.
May I suggest (from my experience) that you invest some time in working out why the Deltic is derailing even if there is no current plan to run trains in the direction that is causing it to derail. Sods or Murphies law is bound to apply at some time in the future ...

Best wishes



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 Posted: Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 03:12 pm
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DaveH_Murcia
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Thanks for the advice and comments gdaysydney.

As it happens I haven't had a response from Digikeijs yet but decided to split one of the long sections that was showing occupied all the time. So now instead of one long 5 mtr detection zone it is two and guess what, it works perfectly. So this morning I split the other two sections, one of which meant taking up the track which leads away from the point causing the derailment. Having carefully refit everything I was suprised to find the deltic is now quite happy reversing over the point. So the fiddle yard is now complete with all section detecting occupancy as they should.

The down side is that it would appear that the Digikeijs DR4088 detection units don't like long sections so I will have to install more boards than I was planning, 7 in the centre section, 4 on the left and 3 on the right sections. This will also mean modifying the ramps I have already installed to brek them up into 4 rather 2 sections on each.


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 Posted: Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 03:44 pm
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John Dew
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I do like a happy ending......glad you got it sorted.
You will probably be glad you have those additional blocks when you start setting up your schedules

Regards

John



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 Posted: Sun Jun 3rd, 2018 05:55 am
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gdaysydney
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Hi Dave,

Pleased to hear you found and solved the problem.
As John has mentioned in his posts extra block detectors are not a problem and can be better once you start running trains especially if you have short trains running as well as long ones.
regards




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 Posted: Sun Jun 10th, 2018 06:14 am
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DaveH_Murcia
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Good progress this week. The last of the wiring associated with the central fiddle yard has been installed which just leaves one point motor on the exit that needs to be fitted. Also temporarily connected the ramp and test loop on the right hand section using a DB210 Opto power booster. On power up all appeared OK until I connected it to the main controller at which point everything went dead. Took it all apart, start from scratch following the instructions, still no joy. Got out the other DB210 which I had bought for the other side and that worked perfectly so that's one unit on its way back to Digitrains for replacement. Following on from that, got a Deltic and eight coaches (it will only have seven according to the plan) going round the main fiddle yard up and round the right hand temporary section and back to the fiddle yard.

Next job is to complete the other fiddle yard on the left hand side and check that access ramp. Once I have both ramps operational it will be time to get out all the locos and rolling stock and do a final check to make sure everything can get up and down both ramps. As both up tracks have DCC Concepts Powerbase installed I should hopefully just need to add magnets to any problematic locos - here's hoping.

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