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Going large - building large layouts - Layout Design, Trackwork & Operation. - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Aug 23rd, 2017 12:46 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Thanks for your comments guys.

Tony - its actually cheaper than it looks because I have already acquired the locomotives and a lot of the stock.  I have a clear materials list which means I am already buying switches, wire, bits and beaks whenever they come up cheap.  The other advantage of bigger projects is the option of bulk buying.  I have investigated timber prices and find that you get a much better deal when you want 20 sheets of 8x4 rather than 1 or 2!!!  The yards are also keen to deliver 20 but expect you to strap 1 or 2 onto your car roof.

I am technically retired but have a small income from a bit of work so this gets diverted into the Final Grand Plan.  When the work starts in earnest, I am planning to retire properly so the more I can stock up now, the better.  My pension covers all the bills and gives a bit left over and my wife and I have some letting income that pays for the holidays so on paper, its all good.

I am 60 next year and apart from the usual knocks and scrapes, enjoy decent health.  I reckon this is a 5-7 year project working on it as a part-time job.

What can possibly go wrong...................................

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 Posted: Wed Aug 23rd, 2017 01:06 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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:mutley



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 Posted: Thu Sep 7th, 2017 09:13 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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The phone rang the other day.  My father, knowing that I know a house alarm engineer, offered him/me his old CCTV system that was no longer on use.  The kit turned out to be a box, monitor and 4 cameras with connecting wires and power supplies etc.

Luckily, a great friend of mine works for the BBC and therefore is good at making clapped out kit work perfectly.

:mutley

Renewing the various missing/broken connectors and replacing the knackered power supply cost me less than £30 inclusive of the alcohol needed to cover his labour costs!!

I now have an answer to the question of "lines of sight".  The cameras are set and working on the current layout and, on the new system, will allow me to monitor activities under the baseboard where I would otherwise not be able to see from the operating position.

What a wonderful thing - luck  :Happy

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 Posted: Thu Sep 7th, 2017 09:30 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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That's very interesting, Barry.  Can you show us some shots of it working?



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 Posted: Sat Sep 9th, 2017 10:29 am
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Barry Miltenburg
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As requested, here are some pictures of the installation.

 

Here is the screen sitting on top of the box of magic.  The display can show me all 4 camera positions or one at a time on rotation.  There is even a remote control to change things from my operators chair.  Luxury!!



You can see that the cameras are labelled CH1, CH2 etc - unfortunately, this cannot be altered.  CH1 is showing the exit of the UP storage cartridge with the train on the UP main avoiding line.  CH2 shows the entrance to the UP cartridge.  CH3 shows the entrance of the DOWN cartridge and the branch unit and CH4 shows the exit of the DOWN cartridge.

 

There are 2 types of camera (not sure why).  The dead spiders etc will be removed when the cameras are installed in their proper locations!!

 

The big bonus is the option of infra red.  The top photo shows the view I get with the shed lights off.  This is how I imagine the "under baseboard" images might look.  Above is the camera in the dark - excuse the wobbly picture but the exposure was about 5 seconds!!! 

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 Posted: Sat Sep 9th, 2017 11:12 am
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Petermac
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I want one !!!   :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

That's fantastic Barry - lucky you. :thumbs



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 Posted: Sat Sep 9th, 2017 11:50 am
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Barry Miltenburg
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Peter

You know, when I was younger I saw a layout at an exhibition using headsets and microphones and CCTV and thought "Flash bar-stewards!!"

Now I sooo get it..............

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 Posted: Sat Sep 9th, 2017 11:51 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Thanks, Barry.  It looks like my home setup with four cameras around my house.

You'll have some fun with that.

What are the gizmos with the alligator clips?



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 Posted: Sun Sep 10th, 2017 11:34 am
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Barry Miltenburg
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Hi Max

The crocodile clips are part of the cartridge system - the cartridges have pcb pieces glued to the top corners to transfer power from the track to the cartridge.  Putting the cartridge in place and clipping on the crocs allows the train to arrive/depart.



This is a very old photo when I used "Dog-clips" as we call them here but they were not as good as crocs.  Hopefully this picture will give you an idea of how it works.

There is a video on my Yarslow YouTube channel about cartridges for more info.

Thanks for your interest!

Barry

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 Posted: Sun Sep 10th, 2017 12:43 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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Thanks, Barry.

We call them fold back clips.  :lol:



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 Posted: Mon Sep 11th, 2017 01:24 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Barry,

Dog clips? :mutleyThey're known as binder or (gasp) fold-back clips in the UK. Bulldog clips are a different beastie, they usually don't fold down.

Apropos CCTV cameras. For anybody interested, this is not an expensive item. Costs less than a new locomotive. You can get a 4 camera system with1080 resolution for around £100 (without monitor). Drop to 720 resolution and it's around £50-£70. Most systems have WiFi capability, so you don't even need a monitor, the laptop is fine. Also useful for monitoring that layout when away from home - most gave an inbuilt DVD, motion detector and email alerts. 

Nigel



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 Posted: Mon Sep 11th, 2017 04:54 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Thanks Nigel - Dog Clips, Fold-back?? Who knows.  I worked in a bank for 32 years where we used Treasury Tags - remember them?

The CCTV info is interesting.  I knew I wasn't getting something wildly expensive (because my dad bought it :twisted:) but the whole concept is just amazing.  I was planning to use mirrors but now I have CCTV - how posh am I???? :lol:

Barry

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 Posted: Mon Sep 11th, 2017 09:03 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Barry,

Treasury tags - yes I do.I also remember using index cards with holes on the sides and top and bottom with letters and numbers top and bottom. More choices than an Excel spread sheet as more than one number/letter could be used. Used to have a couple of thousand with information on each one. No need to have them sorted. The "knitting needles" did that.

CCTV? The next layout is planned to be some 14 feet long and linear. Not sure I need it for that. If I have a couple of fiddle yards at the end a couple of cameras could prove useful however. For $60, why not? I suspect it's an item that over 10 years had decreased 10-fold in price.

Nigel



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 Posted: Tue Sep 12th, 2017 01:39 pm
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Allegheny1600
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Hi Barry,
This looks a great project, I wish you well with it.
I once bought my clubs old exhibition layout which was 27' x 9' and built a shed of 32' x 12' to house it in.
My first mistake was when the contractor came to do the concrete foundation asked "how big", I told him the above measurement - I didn't realise that he meant how big do you want the foundation!?! When the guys came to build the actual shed, we managed to squeeze a shed of 31'6" x 11'6" on the foundation, giving an inside measurement of about 31' x 11' - which left barely 24" to squeeze down the side of the layout, no way could two people pass each other.
Operating mainly on my own, I managed okay but when I had guys from the club around, it was tight!
The main lesson I learned was that you need an automated system of track cleaning as to do it by hand every time was just too time consuming. I found the CMX cleaner to be good although it needed a powerful diesel loco to haul it.
It was not sufficient though, I found that a scouring action was also needed so I would recommend you investigate Lux Modellbau track cleaners, mine seems okay but I got rid of the big layout prior to getting mine. I had also tried the Dapol cleaner but found it's only use was as a vacuum cleaner, it was rubbish at cleaning track!
Next, duck unders.
As your building is not finished yet(?), how about dropping the floor under the duck unders by a step or two? This would give you a 'walk under', as a back pain sufferer, I wished I had had these.
My layout was analogue already and I am very incompetent when it comes to masses of wiring so, after a while, I did convert to digital operation, which I found much easier but each to their own, I do understand your concerns about the cost of equipping a large fleet with decoders, sound or not.
I believe it depends on what you want out of a layout - if you want to send trains flying round and round, analogue is fine but if you want to start double heading, adding/removing banking engines, complex shunting and so forth, then digital is really useful as you can just drive the locos without worrying about section switches and the like.
Ultimately my layout was too obviously British for running my German or American trains on so I sold it, that's my "butterfly" effect influencing me but your track plan looks very promising indeed.
You have different routes to choose or a nice branch, hopefully enough to maintain interest for a long time (forever, even).
Cheers,
John.



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My other club's exhibition: http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=15048&forum_id=65
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 Posted: Tue Sep 12th, 2017 03:32 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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John

The duck-under, walk-under?  I like that idea.  The building is nowehere near starting yet alone finished so there is still plenty of time to change things around. I guess if the sub-soil, drains etc allow it, then a bit of a well under the centre could be very useful

Thanks for the thought

It seems everybody has got a "big layout" story and I am keen to hear them all - the more mistakes other people have made already, the fewer there are left for me!!

p.s. the architect has been told on pain of death that the INSIDE dimensions of the room will be 24ft x 16ft. :thumbs

Barry

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 08:54 am
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The Q
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Being the architect/ builder / labourer of my shed I'm the only one to blame If I've got the dimensions wrong for my shed.
http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=14227&forum_id=21&highlight=ludgershall.

The Biggest problem I've got I know of, Is I haven't remembered to leave a place for the control panels...:sad:



The main compromise was getting Planning permission from SWMBO, so one end where the non scenic  track will run round the edge of the shed is her art studio...



 I love the Idea of the security cameras for the view of the layout, I had thought of  individual cameras systems for the distant parts, but yours is a much more integrated approach.



A drop under! I wish I'd  thought of that, that might well be the solution for two of my layouts get under problems rather than bridges.

 luckily I have wooden floors so it still might be achieved. Measurements will take place shortly...



You guys are proving a mine of useful ideas...:lol:




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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 01:57 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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The general feeling amongst folk seems to be that this project is on the large side and comes therefore with inherant dangers.  Whilst I would tend to agree with the sentiment, I have the advantage of being a single-minded so-and-so (not sure that is the wording my wife would use) and that I have lived with this thing for 3 years so I know every inch of it and can see it in my minds eye.

I also have the advantage that I am in control of my own time (as I work for myself) and look upon this project as a part-time job.

This week has seen then passing of a couple of important milestones.  Elsewhere on the forum I discussed the recent purchase of a Bachmann J11 - this is the final locomotive required to complete the stud of 53 locomotives.  Admittedly, some would be replaced given the opportunity as they are older Hornby types but nevertheless, they are fully working and, for now, fill the need.  Going forward, I would identify possibly 6 to replace (Old Hornby Cl.25, Hornby Cl.29, Hornby old B12, ancient Hornby N2, Hornby D49 tender driven, Ivatt Cl.2 pretending to be a BR Standard).  There is also an old 4F who's tender drive is being used for a J27 build (see another thread).

There will be 51 trains on the layout, of which 4 do not exist at present.  2 of these are 6-coach Express passenger trains but I already have 4 such trains waiting to be uprated to 8-coach sets and space precludes any more.  1 train will be a third Stopping freight service running a trip across from a LMR branch (giving me an excuse to run the beautiful LYR 2-4-2T) and so this train only needs to exist for now as an engine and brake van.  If you have a look at my Yarslow YouTube channel, there is a video on Stopping freight trains and how I run them - this gives you a clue as to how this trip working will be made up.

The final missing train was going to be a class F unfitted freight but I am really struggling to find photographic evidence of a prototype to copy as they seem very rare beasts.  As I prefer to follow the Frank Dyer "mundane" school of modelling, this train may well morph into a Class J "mineral" working and consist of a random assortment of wagons - there are plenty of photos of freight trains running on secondary main lines carrying J headlamps but which are clearly NOT mineral workings.  Hopefully, I can find a suitable photo and it will end up being an F class "unfitted" after all.

I can accommodate this train on the existing layout but only 12 wagons of it so if it does come into being, it will be a short version.  I am minded to build those 12 wagons from kits for no other reason than it would make a change from just buying stuff!!

My existing layout can only handle 6 coach passenger trains and 20 wagon freights so there will need to be an expansion prgramme when the time is right to produce the 8 coach expresses and 28-30 wagon freights that will run on The Final Grand Plan.  However, that expansion is in the future and so I can happily say that, within the confines of the present layout, the trains required for the Final Grand Plan are (in some form or other) existing. :Happy

Last night I went through the plan (v21.3 by the way!!) with my finest tooth comb making sure that everyting was as it should be.  Ideas have changed over 3 years and it's easy to opt for 4-coach trains whereas the original thought was 3-coach and then find that the run-round in the terminus is too short!!!  Happily I avoided such schoolboy errors but I did notice that the facing turnouts on the double junctions were medium radius (Peco Code 75) so I changed them to large radius.  There were a few trap points missong and these have been added in.  I have also experimented with diamond crossings to find that the dead frog versions are every bit as reliable as the live frog versions and a lot easier to wire.  The jury is out on whether I opt for settrack turnouts in the storage sidings (I have a load which makes it tempting) or stick with the planned short radius live frog Code 75.  In any case, I now have a shopping list of track and turnouts.  Deducting those I hope to salvage from my 2 present layouts, that list still runs to 70+ units!!

Running the various trains in my mind have led to the inclusion of an extra siding (for brake vans) at the large through station so that reversing Stopping freights (the LYR-hauled train mentioned above) can run round without the van getting in the way.

I continue to collect photos and ideas for scenic treatment of the various areas and this has inspired a move of the branch wayside station towards the traverser by about 8 inches, opening up the possibility of an inlet/low overbridge/mill-race type scene.  This would remove the need for the branch to emerge from a tunnel - it could simply appear from behind the mill a-la most of Iain Rice's layouts.  [That's not a dig - I admire what he does and see "copying" as "flattery"] .

So the page turns and I move on to (a) starting to acquire track, cork sheeting, wire, point motors, switches etc ready for the start of construction, (b) improving the trains now sitting on the old layout - weathering, adding loads & passengers, loco crews, brake van lights etc etc and (c) upgrading existing equipment ready for the new layout - signalbox interiors, rebuilding the old Hornby breakdown crane into something more realistic, making the signals work, building an engine shed for Yarslow etc etc etc.

Yes, the project is daunting but I am making great progress towards D-Day.  Unfortunately, for various reasons, that date is not yet on the calendar but, looking on the bright side, that's more time to do (a), (b) and (c) above :) :)

B

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 06:40 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Oh and a couple of other minor changes - the main city to/from which all of this ran has always been Barchester or Bardchester - I am a Trollope Barchester Tales fan - but the real Barchester(!) was really Winchester so the name always rubbed a bit when I chose it for a NER station.  Similarly, Maidstone Lane was a name from an old layout that I just liked.

As of yesterday, the city became Beckbridge (sounds a bit more NE I thought) and therefore the terminus will be Beckbridge Trinity Square.  The through station will become Marystone as a nod towards the original.

I know that names are not vital but, for me, they bring a project to life and allow a bit of back-story telling that starts to make like you really want to live in Yarslow and get the train to Beckbridge every morning to go to work.....

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2017 10:20 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Here is a quick look at v21.2 as a reminder. 

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