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gavino200

Gavino200s next layout

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gavino200

I'll be moving this summer, so I'll need to rebuild. It'll be an opportunity to change a few things that I'm not quite happy with. We'll be shopping for houses in April, so I don't know what dimensions the train room will have yet. But I'm going to start with general things.

 

 

Room and Furniture

The train room will also be a reading and music room, so I want it to look good and be comfortable. One thing I don't like about my current layout is the visible bare wooden legs it stands on. I also don't like pleated cloth skirting. I'd like to have a cabinet maker make a custom table. My inspirations for this are  VJM (see page one of the thread below) and JR500 (see page 22 of the thread below. I'm thinking more of the look that VJM has, but what I like about both these layouts is that they're both good looking finished pieces of furniture.

 

 

 

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gavino200

Tabletop material

 

My current layout surface is MDF covered by one inch foamboard. It has worked well. However, I remember, when this layout was new I was shocked by how loud it was. I've since gotten used to it and don't notice the sound at all. But I'd like to research this again and consider what materials to use. 

 

Considerations:

1. Strong but simple to drill through.

2. Sound properties optimized

 

I may consider using track underlay. 

 

I discussed this before in a separate thread, I need to go through it again and harvest the ideas.

 

 

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

Layout Terrain

 

My current layout is flat, with a about half the loop set up on an incline. I love how the incline looks, but it's sometimes a mechanical challange for trains.

 

Instead I'd like to keep the tracks level, and vary the "ground level. Perhaps I could have half the layout at a higher level with tracks at ground level. As the layout ground level falls, The tracks could be elevated to stay level.

 

Another track could be at ground level over low ground and underground at high ground level.

 

Also, I'd like to contour the landscaping, rather than having a "flatland" layout.

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gavino200

Layout Electronics - currently leaning toward no change

 

Currently my setup is all Digitrax. Super Chief controler, PM42 short protection, and a PR3 USB interface. 

Pro's: it works fine

 

Cons:

1 . I don''t like the Digitrax throttles/cabs much, although I have to say I've gotten quite used to them. I may buy a Daisy II, which would be cheaper than a new system. And I may try the wifi throttles again. 

 

2. I thing JMRI sucks. I know that's controversial and that lot's of people like it. I find it to be less reliable than direct programming. And I find direct programming a real headache. Just a personal dislike of the system. If others like it, I'm happy for them. I don't know of any alternative anyway.

 

So far I'm leaning toward keeping the system as it is and trying a new handset. 

 

Block detection

 

As far as I can tell there are only a few uses for block detection. I think the technology is cool. And learning how it worked was sort of geeky fun for me. Inobu explained it to me. But I'm not convinced it would be something I'd enjoy playing with.

 

1. Automation

2. Signalling

3. Train location display

 

I actually enjoy running my trains manually. And when I'm doing something else in the room, I'm happy to just leave the trains circling their loops. I don't really display my trains except to friends of mine and the boy, and people generally are more interested in "having a go" than watching. Automation would be great for a museum piece, but I'm not convinced it would be fun for me.

 

Also, having signals change "correctly" as trains come and go is a nice detail. But it's a lot of work for a detail. I'd have to get a whole lot better at modelling for inauthentic signals to be the weakest link on the board. I'm thinking this isn't necessary for me. Perhaps a few prominently placed signals with infra red sensors would be enough for me. 

 

A touch screen display is something I geeked out about earlier, but the more I think about it the more superfluous it seems. I'm finding, that with time I'm finding modelling more interesting than fancy electronics. Besides, technical complexity generates a lot of headaches. As  long a my yards are designed in a logical way, turnout control with simple switches is very simple.

 

I'll keep mulling this over for a while, but I'm thinking that a simple technically system that's bulletproof reliable is what I need.

 

 

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

 

Work room/ Hobby room

 

The workroom is probably as important as the layout room.  My current work room is nice and big with a great work table that was build by the previous house owner. I'll probably try to replicate it in our next house.

 

Work room goals:

1. Sturdy work table, Large enough for two people to work side by side.

2. Separate area for painting booth.

3. Lots of plug sockets, especially at the work bench.

4. Perforated board on wall over the work bench for hanging tools.

5. Lost of shelf space.

6. Good light and heating. 

7. Air extraction fan.

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

Track plan

 

I won't be able to make a track plan until I know the room dimensions and have decided how much of the room, the Layout will take. Currently I have a double loop with a yard and a tram line. I'd like to have more trains running, but I want to have room for modelling. 

 

It's tough to have more than two loops without realism suffering a bit. I like how double viaduct looks, but there's no reason to keep the track double all the way round the layout. The tracks could be double in one area and then go their separate ways in another area.

 

A possibility could be an E-shaped layout where one limb is double track. Each track, after the double track splits could go to one of the other to limbs of the E.

 

For the end of the double loop, I think I'll build in the tunnel that I made for my current layout. I spent quite a bit of time on it and am happy with the result. I may use the same method again to make a visible subway tunnel and station. 

 

I'll have at least on major station with at least four platforms. 

 

One large yard. Alternatives would be:

1. Below table storage with an incline track or helix.

2. Off table storage with a line feeding onto the layout. 

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

Layout Theme

 

Most likely generic "ModernJapan". Urban, suburuban, with a little bit of rural. If I have enough space, I may play with the idea of separating it into different zones. 

 

However. even thought the layout will be contemperary Japan, there'll be occasional old and international trains running on it from time to time. 

 

An idea that I'm half considering is dividing up the layout into sectors of continually progressive time epochs. The landscape would be continuous while the time would progress in zones. For example a road or street would progress Epoch I, II, III, IV, V, VI as it progresses through the layout. 

 

 

Layout Modeling

 

I'm going to try to use a modular technique, so that basically every piece of modelling will be an lift-out segment. That way I'll be able to work on modelling on a workbench and place each segment onto the layout in sections.

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

Track

 

Probably I'll stick with Kato Unitrack, with Tomix Finetrack for the tramline. However, I may look into Tomix for double Viaduct as I'm not at all impressed with the variety of Kato double viaduct.

Edited by gavino200

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chadbag

I am liking just using blue foam insulation sheets for my table.  There is nothing underneath it to support except a cross piece of the frame and I am at 8'x4' (2 pieces of 8'x2' foam).  Smaller modular tables would work just as well.  1" thick foam.   You can do anything including easily pierce for wiring, make ditches or trenches for wiring, whatever.  When I do my "permanent" layout once we move end of 2020 I will do kind of like you are describing but still use the blue foam as the flat top.  I don't see the need for MDF or ply or anything.

 

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Sheffie

What kind of blue foam is that? Do you know the material?

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cteno4

It’s extruded polystyrene Wall insulation. The Dow chemical brand name is FormulaR, but there are other brands as well. You can get it most places in the us at home despot or lowers or many builder supply shops. Comes in 0.5”, 1”, 1.5”, and 2” thicknesses, usually 2’x8’ in size (sometimes in 4’x8’ or 2’x2’). In warmer climes it may not be sold as not used as much, but some refrigeration companies that make walk in coolers may have some to sell.

 

It stays very stiff and easy to carve up with serrated knives and shapes well with 60 grit sandpaper. It is messy and be ready with the vacuum to keep at all the statically charged bits! You can also hot knife/wire cut it as well, but this can leave a hard melted surface that can be harder to shape out and will let off noxious fumes when cutting. It’s a base a lot of folks use to carve down into or build up with.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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chadbag

Yeah.  The stuff used for insulation.   I got mine at Lowes (DIY home center type store).   I got the 1 inch thick stuff  (about 2.5cm).   

 

I have another piece of thicker stuff that has been hanging around my parents' house for 20 years that my brother bought for various projects (forms for an RC boat etc).  I inherited it when my parents were cleaning house.  I will use it for scenery.  Very useful.

 

They also make a pink version.   I think the difference is density.  I know the RC glider guys use both but tend to use pink for their wings.

 

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cteno4

Color can vary with manufacturers it turns out. I think the glider guys use the pink is it’s usually the Dow formulaR that seems to be better quality. I’ve gotten some cheaper quality and density pink extruded polystyrene from builders supply (not big box) stores in the past.

 

jeff

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Sheffie

Interesting. Thanks

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