Good day readers wherever you may be, and whatever you may be doing. It has been a while since my last post. That’s mainly down to my work schedule being all-consuming, and the days being long and the start times being all over the clock face. Nine months into my new role as a tram driver I’ve just managed a couple of weeks off and needed every moment to recover.
While recovering and looking around for some layout baseboard design ideas today I stumbled across Rick De Candido’s Fillmore Avenue Roundhouse blog.
His section of layout concepts (click this link to open a new window) has several great ideas. He really thinks outside the box on many of his designs. There is such creativity from this space starved modeller.
POST UPDATE – August 8, 2019 It appears that Rick’s WP site has been removed. I’m trying to contact him through multiple sites to see if there is a new site for this layout. I’ll do my best to keep this post updated.
His terminal layout is something to see too, and can utilise up to 6 operators on the layout during each 2.5 hour operating session. Well worth the time to visit the site and take a long read through the many useful posts there. Thanks to Rick for sharing his passion.
Unfortunately I have no contact details for Rick, and there is nothing on the site where I can post a comment to let him know that I’ve profiled his site. If any of you can help with getting me in touch with Rick would you please reply to this post?
While I chose not to (over) design my layout, there are some aspects that simply have to have a structured and logical approach to simplify troubleshooting for the longer term. These need to be in place to allow me to add to and grow the layout in the future. This post focuses on the wiring standard for all layouts that I build going forward.
After watching the current work being done over at Everard Junction with the wiring of the new section of his layout (+ Link) one of the things I noticed was the colour code in use. I feel that in the future he’ll find that there’ll be more stress and confusion in the future when tracing and troubleshooting.
As a former telephone technician colour codes are very important to me. As a result I’ve written a module / baseboard wiring standard. If you are not worried about troubleshooting your wiring in the future you can ignore this post now. Each module / baseboard will have a dual wiring BUS. One BUS will power the Locomotives and DCC accessories (the DCC BUS) while the other will power the DC accessories and other non-DCC devices (the DC BUS).
You might be wondering why I’d have non DCC accessories. Think for a moment of LED lighting. LED Lighting is 12V DC so lighting the module / baseboard is made easier using the 12 volt BUS. Additionally internal building lights, signalling and repeater panel lights that do not use DCC to operate can be powered off this BUS. Finally there is no extra effort required to wire these up later; its wired into the module / baseboard from the get-go. There’s no extra work to get DC powered items wired up beyond setting up dropper wires to the DC BUS.
The wiring standard for the boards and modules is a work in progress. You are welcome to download version 1. Please keep in mind it is not in the public domain. You may use it for personal use only. Any commercial applications of the document should be run by me first.
I don’t claim that this is the standard you should be using; it works for me. If it works for you too, then please download and use it.
Originally Posted on the Old HVL blog March 24, 2013
OK, so a little about the design and build of the layout boards.
In general all wood is fine quality pine dressed all round (DAR). The board top is 12 mm ply (1/2 inch), while the sky board is 6mm (1/4″) ply. THe legs are “L” girders using 1×2 and 1×3 DAR pine glued and screwed on the along their length. At the base of the leg is a glue bock of 2×1 DAR pine which is used to locate a T nut, with a 5/16″ bolt as a leveller. The nut for the 5/16th bolt mounts on the top of the glue block locking the bolt in place once you’ve levelled the board. I’ll be building a better foot arrangement at some point in the future that is easier on the floor, most likely a wooden ball with a 5/16″ nut through the centre of the wooden ball.
All of the side and end rails are 3 x 1 DAR pine and these have not been glued, but have been Kreg pocket screwed together. The ply was then glued and screwed to the box. Nice, tight and very rigid. There is one rail across the board in the centre of 2×1″ DAR pine, this has also been Kreg pocket screwed to the sides and the top was glued and screwed tothis also. The skyboard is glued and screwed to 1×2 pine DAR which acts as a stiffener and mounting point on the back of the main board. Mounting to the rear of the main boards is achieved using Kreg pocket screws.
The legs are mounted to the main board using 3 screws on each side to the sides. The top horizontal board bears the weight of the main board above; while the bottom horizontal board acts as a bearing face between boards and allows the boards to lock together using a wooden clamps from offcut of the hozontal boards and 1 x 2 DAR pine. Think an inverted U locking the two legs together. Nice, tight, simple and about 3 months in the planning.
Overall what are my impressions? Very happy to be over the hump of the work. The boards are light and strong. I can lift them fork lift style on my own without hurting myself and as I have a 50 year old back; this is a good thing. Thanks to my wife (Janette) for suggesting the mounting height for the sky boards. At 400mm above the plane of the board they are high enough to be at or just below my eye height, and with the 2×1 stiffeners behind allow easy mounting of lights that will hang out over the board for better simulation of daylight.
I’ve a few sketches and such to put on the gallery site later in the week. This should give you an idea of how the parts look. More photos will be coming before I paint everything later this month or during April, depending on the weather. Well a great day in all, now some remedial work on the old boards to bring them up to spec and height, and then my work is done.