RSR new layout.

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Bandit Mick
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Re: RSR new layout.

#121

Post by Bandit Mick »

Impressive wiring skills there. ‘Respect’ as the young people say (well, younger than me anyway).🤩
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RSR Engineer
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Re: RSR new layout.

#122

Post by RSR Engineer »

Thanks, Mick, for your kind compliments. In some places I have managed to make the wiring fairly presentable; elsewhere it's a total rats' nest.

Cheers,
Artur
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RSR Engineer
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Finally getting some more work done.

#123

Post by RSR Engineer »

These last few months I've not visited the Forum much, partly because I've not had anything to report. Other tasks around the house kept me away from the railway a lot and a couple of problems with the layout were daunting enough to put me off.

Now I'm pleased to be able to report some renewed progress. The biggest problem was the power supply to the old boards. These were provided with bundles of wires (so-called looms) that plugged into the manifolds (see pix 538-48) mounted on the mainframe. With the reconfiguration most of the looms were too short. The first attempted solution for the sake of test running was to insert computer parallel interface cables between the looms and the manifolds. The speed of the trains varied wildly between the old and new parts of the layout and most of the points didn't work at all. It turned out that these parallel cables impose a resistance of 3 ohms, which caused enough voltage drop to starve everything of power. So I extended the looms with plain wire, which did the trick. One thing about this job, you must be sure to stagger the bare soldered joints. Pix 606-8.

It was now worth while to resume test running, which showed up quite a number of faults and defects (those old boards had been standing about in the unheated attic for 13 years) but these were eliminated bit by bit. Pix 529-35 show some of the documentation that resulted.

There was another problem with voltage drop. On the new layout a few track sections are some 5 metres from the power source and plain old rail joiners and the blades of isolating points didn't carry the current well enough. So I laid in additional bus wires to the northern and southern approaches and the headshunt. The trains now run at a nice constant speed all the way around. See pix 600/1/9 and video A35-01.

There are still a couple of little details to be dealt with, then I can finally get stuck into the turntable. This promises to be a challenge as well, since the new Fleischmann exit tracks, while nominally compatible, are made with integral ballast (their "Profi-Gleis"), which puts the railtops about 1.5mm higher above the baseboard.

Of course, this isn't real railway modelling, more an exercise in electrical boffinery, which I publish in case it's of use or interest to other members.

The work is, as usual, documented on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53775591@N06/

Cheers,
Artur
Bandit Mick
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Re: RSR new layout.

#124

Post by Bandit Mick »

Wow, cant believe the scale of what you’re doing. Mighty impressive. The only question is ballast ? Aaaaargh!
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bulleidboy
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Re: RSR new layout.

#125

Post by bulleidboy »

This really is some layout - great work Artur. BB
The dumbest thing I've ever purchased was a 2020 planner!!
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RSR Engineer
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Re: RSR new layout.

#126

Post by RSR Engineer »

Thank you for your compliments, gentlemen. Actually, Mick, the day I start ballasting is coming inexorably closer. I couldn't help being impressed with the the ballasting on the Torriden Rd and BB's Wykeham layouts. That's what I want my track to look like. Having said that, the old parts of the layout were created in the 1980s, at a time when coarse details were tolerated more than they are now (or have I got that wrong?). So I'm going to have to find ways to disguise all this gubbins that's lying (or sticking up) beside the track. I suppose the ballast and the right paint will help. Elsewhere I'll need little huts, cover plates, walkways. etc.

Cheers,
Artur
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RSR Engineer
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Turntable

#127

Post by RSR Engineer »

Today was a red-letter day. It was time to get the turntable back into business. First I installed the exit tracks but now needed more of them than before. It's been a long time since the old layout was built (late 1980s) and, of course, the makers (Fleischmann) have changed the specification of the product. They now have their so-called "Profi-Gleis" with moulded-on ballast, which makes for a thicker base, and, of course, turntable exit tracks to match. To accommodate these I had to put in thinner underlay. Then, naturally, I'd forgotten how to insert the turntable bridge and had to learn it again the hard way (you have to leave out five segments on one side and one opposite, which is not described in the instructions). So when I applied the power and it worked first time I breathed a great sigh of relief. Tracklaying is now all but complete, with just the roundhouse tracks outstanding. Then I'll have to get stuck in and start ballasting. I'd be interested to know if anyone has experience of the Proses ballast applicator.

The work is documented, as always, on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53775591@N06/

I also uploaded another video of a train running around the layout at nice constant speed: https://www.flickr.com/photos/188026976@N08/

It will be noticed also that I now have "my own" flick account.

Cheers,
Artur
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Steve M
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Re: RSR new layout.

#128

Post by Steve M »

Proses have two versions, one is a simple hopper (which I have used for years) while the other includes a reservoir for glue for a claimed ‘one step application’.
The simple version applies a neat, uniform stripe of ballast which just requires a bit of brushwork to finish off before applying the glue. This will also work if you mix the ballast with something like ‘Ballast Magic’. You will still need to do the points by hand using a small spoon to sprinkle the ballast in place.
I’ve never used the combined version but it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen in my opinion.
"Not very stable, but incredibly versatile." ;)
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RSR Engineer
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Ballasting machine

#129

Post by RSR Engineer »

Thanks for that tip, Steve, the "dry" version is the one I have (the BS-H0-02) on little wheels with an adjusting lever, although I don't remember paying anything like 32 euros for it. I'll give it a whirl. You're right; that one with the glue on board does look a bit iffy.

Cheers,
Artur
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RSR Engineer
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Re: RSR new layout.

#130

Post by RSR Engineer »

The turntable tracks have been installed, albeit temporarily, as I have still to decide whether to use the Fleischmann roundhouse ex-works or to modify the floor. Point is, the tracks inside the shed lie on thin crossbars and are in turn held down by small lugs that sit on top of the sleepers. So it is necessary to slide the tracks into the shed under the doors, just a bit too far, then set the whole lot in place, then pull the tracks back out again and join them to the turntable exits. This sounds all very well, until you need to get to said shed tracks again (say) to clean them. I don't much fancy going all through that rigmarole in reverse and then again from the start for this purpose, especially after having added scenic effects. Added to that, those crossbars cause a gap under the track, so I'd need to compensate by making rebates in the underlay to accommodate them. It gets hairier and hairier. So the idea is to remove said crossbars, lay the tracks (accurately!) directly on the underlay and set the shed down over them. It's quite a nail-biting decision so I'm putting it off and playing trains in the meantime while I make up my mind.

The work is documented, as usual, on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53775591@N06/

Cheers.
Artur
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