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Author Previous Topic: On30 Sugar Cane Hauler in 1920s Haiti Topic Next Topic: The Depot (at Carendt)
Page: of 24

Grabnet
Crew Chief



Posted - 09/23/2017 :  9:45:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kumard

Thanks Tim.

With the diorama finally out the way I'm getting back to The Town.

List of work:

  1. Design a control panel in Sketchup and then go ahead and build it.

  2. Build second cassette - I need to be able to run trains on and off from both ends during wiring.

  3. Move light switch and design a small switch panel - maybe in brass to fit on the side.

  4. Start wiring. Pull up track on non crossovers-turnouts (ie the straight sections) and relay using prototypical rail lengths and joint bars.

  5. Wire track into sections, connect turnout motors and connect to the control panel.

  6. Purchase cassette cradles for the exit points.

  7. Test and move on.


Its essential that the layout work and not be a diorama so wiring is a crucial part of the project. Here we go.







Looking forward to more work on this fascinating layout. Doc Tom



Country: USA | Posts: 603 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/27/2017 :  12:54:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi all.

It's been a while since I last posted but finally I'm back working on The Town. The Town had been sitting under my desk while I worked on the diorama. I eventually realized that it is impossible to work on two projects at once and decided to put the weathering project on hold and get back to The Town.

Controller Box

I wanted to keep the design of the box very simple - just the basics - a firm flat surface for the switches with a couple of angled supports to join it to the main board. I did a quick design in SketchUp to get a feel for what I needed and then built a foam board demo.

This was my first attempt. I added a couple of hinges on the inside so that I could pull the cover forward to do maintenance. The biggest issue then became how to join the box to the main board.


I couldn't figure out how to join the angled brackets to the main board - screws? glue? What about maintenance? The box needed to be removeable for access to the switches but it also had to be firmly fixed to the board. I didn't want to use angle brackets as they just don't look good. After a few days pondering the problem I had a lightbulb moment! Why not design the brackets in SketchUp and have them fabricated in hard plastic by Shapeways?

This is what I came up with:

Each brackets sits flush at an angle against the back of the controller board.


There is an overhang of the board that hides the brackets.


The slotted bracket attaches to the main board via screws. I included screw holes to make them easier to install.



The sliding bracket has been designed to simply slide within the slot. I put a stop at the bottom of the groove to prevent the sliding bracket from falling through the bottom. This design makes the controller board easy to remove for maintenance while still being firmly held against the main board.


I uploaded the designs to Shapeways and ordered them in firm white plastic. This material has proved in the past to be strong enough for this type of project. The cost for the four pieces is around $40. I'll get them back in about a week.

The controller diagram


I started the design in SketchUp and then transferred it to Photoshop to add some features. I quickly realized that I didn't need SketchUp at all and could design the whole diagram in Photoshop quite easily. I've been using Photoshop vector tools for years so it made sense to use them for this project.

Here's some of the process:

My starting point. It needed color and I needed to figure out the dimensions.


I added color and made the lines quite thick. The colors represent the different sections and I'll be adding or removing them as needed.


In Photoshop I added some details such as the track ends and some arrows indicating the track going off-layout. I also added the positions of the switches - DPDT and SPST for the turnout motors and the sections.


By now I was very confident with Photoshop and decided that the lines just looked too thick. Therefore starting over I made the lines thinner and figured how to print to 1:1 scale so that the diagram came out sharp and clear. I did a quick test to see how things were looking before proceeding.


After redoing the diagram and adding the extra details I printed it out on glossy photo-paper. It came out really nice and of course I can make changes and print out a new version as needed.


I added this to my little mock-up to see how it looked and overall I'm happier. It looks less sturdy than my original box but is more elegant and the size of the panel suits the module better. The proportions of the different components are more balanced.

The brackets will be set back from the edges giving the panel a 'floating' look. The panel itself is made of hardboard.


The final brackets are being made by Shapeways and should arrive next week.


Thanks all.


http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 11/27/2017 01:06:27 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer
Fireman



Posted - 11/27/2017 :  10:28:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well done, nice to see you back at work play back in training.


Edited by - Frank Palmer on 11/27/2017 10:29:22 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 5326 Go to Top of Page

Tim Hebert
Engine Wiper



Posted - 11/27/2017 :  12:26:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, the simple look appears to be more visually appealing and will not add excess weight to the layout. On a side note, I liked the clutter look of your workbench while working on this project...that tells a marvelous story in itself!

Tim



Country: USA | Posts: 145 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/27/2017 :  1:00:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Frank >> There's a lot I haven't mentioned about my absence but anyhow glad to be back. I work late every evening (programmers tend to work best in the quiet hours) but I have managed to carve out the 9pm to 10.30pm slot for working on the layout. The house is quiet at that time and it's very pleasant working in the silence.

Tim >> On a side note, I liked the clutter look of your workbench while working on this project...that tells a marvelous story in itself! >> I often take photos of the work bench when filled with tools and materials. I find the clutter fascinating - almost a work of art in itself at times.

Luckily it never gets to the point of Francis Bacon-style studio chaos. I have a tidying up ritual I go through before starting work every few days.

Francis Bacon's studio


Not quite Francis Bacon but it can get pretty cluttered.


http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 11/27/2017 3:28:35 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

Tim Hebert
Engine Wiper



Posted - 11/27/2017 :  3:12:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks again for the follow-up photos. I bring up the "clutter" workbench and layout sub-roadbed because it tends to reveal the passion and deep thoughts that are concurrently swirling about when we build our layouts...regardless of its size. For me, I work on my little 1x3 switching layout on our kitchen counter island and I have stuff all over the place. I may even have a bag of Cheetos lurking on the periphery of the workspace. I simply find our individual methods fascinating as observe things for a living and can't help but see these wonderful details emerge...as you say an art in of itself!

Kind regards,
Tim



Country: USA | Posts: 145 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 11/27/2017 :  3:24:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Several years ago we posted pictures of our workbenches. Kumar, yours would have looked like most of the others. I had a friend that had a sign on the wall of his office that said, "If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what's an empty desk a sign of?"

George



Country: USA | Posts: 15183 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/27/2017 :  3:31:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Tim and George. I can imagine that everyone's workbench can get pretty crazy at times. The next time I get an interesting composition of clutter I'll post the pictures. Glad to see others find the clutter fascinating.

http://thedepotonline.com/

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/04/2017 :  12:55:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone.

Here's the latest.

I managed to set up the internal AC electrical system which provides power to the DC adapter/s and the lighting system. I built the lighting system a while ago but had housed the switches in an ugly box that protruded from the front. I removed this and have now located the switches on the control panel.

Iíve covered the lighting system in the past but as a quick reminder here are some pics of the process:

Power comes into the module using this adapter which itself connects to the mains.


Power is run via internal wiring to the back of the module. There is also a connection to the light switches on the front.


The internal wires connect to adapters into which the wires from the backdrop lights connect.


There are two sets of lights: the spot lights and the fluorescent lights.


I built a small box to house the switches. I have since removed this as it looked pretty ugly.


I took this basic AC system and rewired it to accommodate the control panel and two new lighting switches.

I grabbed a two-plug outlet from my box of AC components left over from various projects. The power input now connects here first before heading to the lights and light switches. I added a two plug adapter in case I wanted to run two DC systems Ė one for the turnouts and one for the throttle. Iím not yet sure how I am going to set up the two systems but I have the option of having two separate systems if needed.


I added a couple of AC switches to my vector diagram in Photoshop and then printed out a black and white template. I used this to position the drill for the switch openings. I added two larger holes for the AC toggles.


I added a couple of AC toggles to the control board. They look a little clunky right now. Iíll remove the small on off indicator plates later this week. The switches can be removed from the board if necessary. In fact the diagram is going to go through several changes/improvements so everything has to be easily removed.


Iím still waiting for my brackets from Shapeways but things are coming together nicely in the meantime. The lights worked as soon as I turned them on. No shorts and no issues whatsoever. Now Iím ready to tackle the DC system which is going to be alot more complicated.



THROTTLE



Iíve decided to get rid of my original throttle plan as Iím trying to reduce the footprint of the controller as much as possible. I found this hand-held throttle online and ordered one. Iíll just connect it via some kind of plug-in male/female adapter. It will connect to the DC system and then to the various sections. Iíll have more on that another time.



The goal is to have a simple lightweight control panel that gets the basic job done. Iím slowly getting there.


Next week

  • Powering the first section and turnout.
  • Fitting the control panel to the main board.


Thanks all.



http://thedepotonline.com/

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 12/04/2017 :  10:16:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kumar,

As always, very neat and well thought-out work on your part. Your lights look quite effective in regard to lighting up the whole area evenly. Your posts are highly instructive.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 5187 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer
Fireman



Posted - 12/04/2017 :  10:53:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It's nice to see all your wiring is UL approved.

So what's with the drum set? When you get tired of training you bang out some tunes?






Country: USA | Posts: 5326 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/04/2017 :  12:38:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Mike and Frank.

I don't particularly enjoy the wiring part of the project but it's still worth doing a half-decent job. I've cut corners with the wiring in the past in my eagerness to get modeling and paid the price for it.

Frank >> So what's with the drum set? When you get tired of training you bang out some tunes? >> Yep. Nice to play along to a bit of Rolling Stones while thinking through AC wiring problems! I was semi-professional touring drummer in my youth until life got in the way.

For the drummers: it's a Gretsch kit. The bass drum is tucked away in the corner behind me for the sake of the neighbors.



http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 12/04/2017 1:11:33 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/04/2017 :  1:24:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Two points regarding the 110 VAC wiring. First, your power feed is fastened to the underside of the deck. I prefer to run wires on the sides of framing members where possible, reducing the chance I'll drill into them when working on the track or scenery. Second, the use of a 'euro-style' terminal strip to distribute power to the lights has a tiny risk of accidental contact to the screw heads. Wire nuts are not as neat, but they are what an electrical inspector would expect to see. You could get the same effect by taping over the screw openings, I guess.

Note that I AM NOT AN ELECTRICIAN (or inspector). Your work is nice and I admire your progress.



Country: USA | Posts: 5866 Go to Top of Page

Carl B
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 12/04/2017 :  1:27:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cool stuff Kumard on your layout.

I can claim the same, as a drummer for hire, when I first got out of school.

My kit was Ludwig Blue Vistalites. Hope you don't mind the pic...




Edited by - Carl B on 12/04/2017 1:45:09 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 3397 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/04/2017 :  1:58:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
James >> I prefer to run wires on the sides of framing members where possible, reducing the chance I'll drill into them when working on the track or scenery. >> I had not thought about that. I'll probably leave the fastenings in place on the main deck as the sides are thin to hold any kind of fastening. Gonna have to be careful though.
Second, the use of a 'euro-style' terminal strip to distribute power to the lights has a tiny risk of accidental contact to the screw heads. >> I'd say high chance of accidental contact! Not an ideal solution but I'll stick with it for the moment. No work gets done on the lighting with power turned on. Safety is paramount however and I will do a safety check next week to make sure that wires and contacts are nicely isolated and secured.
Carl B >> My kit was Ludwig Blue Vistalites. Hope you don't mind the pic... >> I've seen a few kits tucked away in the background of modelers' photos on the forum so I knew I was not alone! Fine kit by the way. Ludwig always made nice looking drums. Still playing?


http://thedepotonline.com/

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page
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