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TimWay4

Electronics for a Box File layout

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TimWay4

Hopefully this is the right place for this (apologies if it isn't) I'm looking to do a box file layout, but I don't know where to start with the electrics. I want to be able to take the box files apart really easily, but also (obviously) i need to be able to put electricity to them all. 

 

At the moment I'm just looking for where to start to see if it's feasible for my skill level.  

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chadbag

Can you elaborate for us dummies who haven't a clue on what a box file layout is?

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Sheffie

Something like TTrak?

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TimWay4
38 minutes ago, chadbag said:

Can you elaborate for us dummies who haven't a clue on what a box file layout is?

 

Yes of course!! So in the UK we have different types of file for storing documents, a box file is a deep(ish) file that is (and apologies if this sounds dumb) essentially a box with a lid.

 

I like them because they are small, cheap and easily store able, and also because I have some doing nothing at the moment

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chadbag

So how does the layout fit in with the box file?    Lid come off and is used to make the layout on?   Still in the dark.   Thanks.

 

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Kiha66

Should be fairly easy, at the most basic you could use tomix or kato track and just plug in the controller when you set it up.

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cteno4

Tim,

 

id look at what welshbloke came up with for his battery controller. It uses a little Pwm motor controller board you can get for a couple of pounds on ebay. Add a reversing switch and then you can plug it into a standard dc wall wart transformer like 9-12v or even do batteries if you want. The board is tiny so you could put it in a small project box or even into the layout base and just plug the wall wart into the base for power.

 

Cheers

 

jeff

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TimWay4
14 hours ago, chadbag said:

So how does the layout fit in with the box file?    Lid come off and is used to make the layout on?   Still in the dark.   Thanks.

 

You build the layout inside them module style like @Sheffie mentioned T-Track style (but I won't be adhering to the T-Track Standards (for this anyway) 

 

Yeah sorry I should have been more clear (working late and writing posts slightly sleep deprived is something I should stop doing) the main question I have, is if I have two of them how can (do) I pass power from one to the other using only one controller? I know with Kato/Tomix I can just push the files together and they'll just power normally, but I was thinking of using Peco track, mostly to just try something new and get some new skills. 

 

Thanks for the help (and sorry for my terrible replies :()

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EdF

Peco, and any track sends power through the joiner.  The trick is holding them together, which kato and tomix do.  You could velcro the box file together, on the outside, as opposed to between, so you could get a little compression.

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Martijn Meerts
4 hours ago, TimWay4 said:

You build the layout inside them module style like @Sheffie mentioned T-Track style (but I won't be adhering to the T-Track Standards (for this anyway) 

 

Yeah sorry I should have been more clear (working late and writing posts slightly sleep deprived is something I should stop doing) the main question I have, is if I have two of them how can (do) I pass power from one to the other using only one controller? I know with Kato/Tomix I can just push the files together and they'll just power normally, but I was thinking of using Peco track, mostly to just try something new and get some new skills. 

 

Thanks for the help (and sorry for my terrible replies :()

 

If you want to use Peco, you could just solder some wires to the track on each module / file, and attach some connectors to those wires, so you can hook the modules to each other.

 

Also, you might want to think of a way to align them correctly. The Peco track joiners aren't the sturdiest, and it's easy to knock them loose if you bump into a module. 

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cteno4

So you will be hooking these together like Ttrak, correct? 

 

If the track connections will be between modules then they may be weak as Edf points out if they are not a sturdy Tomix or Kato connector. 

 

Ntrak modules (the big brother to Ttrak) uses 5” pieces of track to span each module joint so that the rail ends are not right at the module junctions for damage and to give a little wiggle room while assembling. Maybe do this between your modules with a short piece of track like 1-1.5”

 

for the track joiners if you solder one side a tiny bit you can at least make one side of each one not come loose with time and connecting/disconnecting  (usual problem with sectional track that only relies on the metal joiners to make the electrical connection and hold the track together). Sort of like Unitrak then with one joiner held in place.

 

any place you can engineer some little clips or clamps to hold the modules together? Velcro might work but can be touhnin some situations tearing blocks apart using it. Magnets on each module to suck them together? Neodymium disc magnets are pretty cheap on ebay or aliexpress (like 12mm x 2mm) and can hold things pretty tight but pry apart cleanly if you can engineer a slot between modules to stick s screwdriver or pry of some sor to pop them apart. Also would easily do module alignment

 

is there a standard at all for these or just an idea to hook together multiple modules or layouts? Do you have a picture of one of these?

 

jeff

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Welshbloke

In all honesty I'd stick with Kato or Tomix and use the adjustable track pieces to fill in the gaps. That way you can keep the unijoiners back from the edge of the boxfile.

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TimWay4
Posted (edited)

Hey guys, thanks for all the responses, I've taken the easy way out as I went to a show yesterday and picked up some Kato Unitrack, still going for something a bit different as it was HO gauge unitrack, but it was too reasonably priced to say no to, so I think I'm going to run with that. Thanks to everyone that responded 🙂 

 

@jeff No real standard, just an interesting challenge for a Modular Micro Layout, I'll dig them out later today (I'm at work right now) and I'll upload some photos either later or tomorrow 🙂 

Edited by TimWay4

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Welshbloke

I am slightly surprised boxfile layouts haven't caught on in Japan, given the ready availability of tight radius curves, tiny turnouts, and short stock (either shorties or scale models of small prototypes/trams). Done well, you end up with a fully functional micro layout which can be stored on a bookshelf. Try searching "boxfile layout" on YouTube to see what people have built.

 

I have been sorely tempted to try a container-themed boxfile layout for B Train Shorties. Need to have a play with some track plans to see if there'd be enough space for a convincing yard.

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Welshbloke

There was a vogue for using Ikea Apa boxes here for a while, unfortunately Ikea discontinued them before I got a chance. A very convincing Tsurumi Line-inspired branch terminus would have fitted into an Apa, with a bit of running line to boot.

 

Boxfiles are popular because they're so cheap and easy to obtain. I could pop down to the supermarket now and get one for a few pounds, if you work in an office you might well find some heading for the skip. Older ones are often a lot more solid - we have some at work with what appear to be thin chipboard sides instead of the thick card used now.

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Space Beaver
On 3/25/2019 at 7:38 AM, Welshbloke said:

I am slightly surprised boxfile layouts haven't caught on in Japan

 

Maybe because there aren't any boxfiles?

 

Not the solid British type anyway. The closest thing I've found is a 'file box' made of thin unreinforced cardboard with a separate drop on lid. Not solid or secure enough.

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TimWay4

For Reference here is the first boxfile I have, I need to repair it as one edge has split, but that should be an easy fix, then for this one I think it'll just have straight tracks in it, but I'll see 🙂

 

I'll probably make a planning post soon. 

boxfile.jpg

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