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defor

defor's "tray table" inspired layout experiments

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defor

About a month ago, I was having a discussion about the space requirements of the smallest possible layout options for N scale while coincidentally, riding on an Amtrak Northeast Regional train.

The sudden urge to make a bare-bones layout that would fit on a train or airplane tray table struck, and I decided I should explore some ideas of what can be done in a highly portable layout.

Clearly, a basic loop or oval using R=117 Unitrack would fit in a ~12" box, but this was a bit on the boring side, and while it would achieve the goal, I decided that I should concentrate some efforts on slightly larger designs so as to allow for basic landscaping capability.

 

The B-Train Shorty "Dedicated Base" would already work for the "Let's put a train on a tray-table" idea, so I decided to shelve that goal for the immediate moment, and concentrate on some more homemade solutions.

 

First up, I wanted to tackle the issues of a simple folding oval box, and as a result, have come up with the following prototype:

 

In order to create a solid connection with the unitrack joiners, but still allow box to be opened and closed smoothly, I cut the joiners at an angle.

They still protrude from the box, but they also work as "feet":

818195734_PhotoJun2570355PM.jpg.481f60e767b55bff849366aaff422d05.jpgPhoto_Jun_25,_7_05_03_PM.jpg.1d6920d3c3aa2d1921e3a21a0c9eea18.jpg

 

You will note that not only does the main joiner body need an angular cut, but also the flange that will go above the track as well, or it will still require effort to insert.

 

Track is nailed down only near the joint, and glued elsewhere.

 

I'm currently taking some of what I've learned from this experiment and applying it to a larger "box layout" that I hope to show soon.

In the meantime, I should probably make some kind of basic terrain...

 

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toc36

 

Defor,

 

Try this for your next project!!.

 

I got to shake your hand at Sakura Matsuri.

 

Toc

 

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cteno4

Nice work defor! very fun. bet you get some fun looks from others on the train!

 

just need a little battery power pack built into a building, or a cheap pwm power supply and wall wart built into buildings.

 

bet you get some interesting looks tomix tight radius might work well as well with their mini points. maybe two or three modules that stack into a case and is a little switching puzzle to noodle on!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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defor

Toc, that solution is definitely interesting- too shallow however for any decent amount of scenery though...

Also wow, that's pretty HUGE!

I've actually got a second box in the works that should be a little more flexible- I've solved it by using a deeper box and re-hinging it along the short side.

I've also switched to more precisely aligned tracks, and by using the hinges to pass power between each side, I can forgo the unitrack joiners.

Still trying to find a good solution for a portable power source- all the variable speed throttle circuits I see referenced appear to produce a good amount of heat, but i'm sure theres a *correct* way to do it...

 

To be honest, I'm mostly experimenting with different solutions for portable small scale exhibition layouts. Will i finish one of these layouts as is? probably not- prototypes are just that.

In the end I'll hopefully mix techniques to get what i want.

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gavino200
1 hour ago, defor said:

 

 

In order to create a solid connection with the unitrack joiners, but still allow box to be opened and closed smoothly, I cut the joiners at an angle.

They still protrude from the box, but they also work as "feet":

818195734_PhotoJun2570355PM.jpg.481f60e767b55bff849366aaff422d05.jpg

 

 

 

 

Amazing project!! The connection mechanism is pure genius! Do the unitrack joiners really stand up to being used as "feet"?

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defor

the use of them as 'feet' was more in jest, and they're a lot less structurally sound with that much plastic removed, but the material seems to be pretty rigid- a kind of nylon or the like- a little flex to it.

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gavino200
1 minute ago, defor said:

the use of them as 'feet' was more in jest, and they're a lot less structurally sound with that much plastic removed, but the material seems to be pretty rigid- a kind of nylon or the like- a little flex to it.

 

Maybe you could design removable caps that would fit over the square holes, to work as functional 'feet'.

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