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NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Hey everyone new to the forum here. Just got back into trains and thought I would do some online researching. Looks like a great website to learn stuff.
Nick
 

Trucula

Drum Driver
Welcome aboard Nic...I see you have a ticket already...Yes this site is VERY helpful...What ever your looking for there are allot of great people here with all levels of talent...If one can't answer your problem the next can. I've learned allot here already even tho I been modeling for years!
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Thanks for the welcome, I'm still need to learn the proper ways of building inclines and elevation of track and also the proper way of laying track. I have a DCC system ordered, I was planning on building one but I would rather focus my time building the track and not the controller. I plan on doing a small L-shape track maybe or a 4x8 for the time being until I buy a house in the next couple of years. Probably going to focus on the 1950's era of american trains. Thanks again and I look forward to talking to everyone on here.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Hi Nick and welcome aboard! Glad you are going with DCC. I have found out that in the long run, it is much cheaper to buy than to build electronics and like you, prefer to use my time on modeling. Just fire away with your questions and the members will jump in with the answers. Since you are thinking about an eventual move, you may want to think of building your layout in modules that can be moved and setup in your new house. Many clubs that transport their layout to shows do this by having sections that plug into each other for the wiring and have locking pins (i.e. pin hinges)to physically join them. Easy to expand this way and you won't have to tear your work down.
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
I like the idea of the modules, I'll have to research that some more. Do you have any links to any good detailed pictures of the joints where these modules meet??
 

pa3de8

GO PENNSY!!!
Welcome back to the hobby and welcome to the forum. I, myself just got back into it over the past 3months.

Scott
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Nick, I built one like that years ago and used door hinges fastened to the outer side of each section. When you want to move it, just pull the pin. Wiring can be done in several ways, from using plugs to terminal strips on each section and jumpers from one to the other. Let me get Cjcrescent on here to tell how his club does their big layout. They can take it apart and move it to a show using a U-haul trailer. Don't know about a link, but let me look and see what I can find. Also, EngineerBill on here just made a move and has started connecting his dioramas together with excellent results. You may want to make a post in the layout and construction section and get a lot more input. http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=15
 
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Years ago I belonged to an HO modular club in Yakima, WA. They used N-Trak protocol with the dimensions changed to HO scale. The modules were fastened together with C-clamps.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Nick, I built one like that years ago and used door hinges fastened to the outer side of each section. When you want to move it, just pull the pin. Wiring can be done in several ways, from using plugs to terminal strips on each section and jumpers from one to the other. Let me get Cjcrescent on here to tell how his club does their big layout...
Nick;

CJ here. What we have done on the clubs modules for physical connections is door hinges with removable pins. We also used this method on the club in Mobile.:p For electrical connections we are currently using Military grade Cannon Plugs. These are large, 50 or so pins but come in different sizes, and are very rugged, no matter the size. One problem is that they are very expensive,:eek: esp. when compared to something like a Molex type plug, which should serve "on the home front" better than the Cannons. We use the Cannons to make all electrical connections between all the modules, track power districts, loconet, signalling, aux power taps for lights, pushbutton wiring for switch machine wiring, you name it we use it.
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Cool thanks for the information, I use to work for an electrical engineering company that did military work I have a buddy that can hook me up with those type of connections. I do have a few questions regarding wiring up the track. I've seen where several people have blocks and that it looks like they feed every so many feet of track with their DCC 2 wires do they insulate these blocks with DCC or do they just have all their connections hooked up in parallel on the blocks?? Also here is a picture of a layout I really like I'm still new to some stuff about DCC, they track has the potential of turning a train around on it's same track where do I need to figure to put in some auto-reverser's??

hpoor4cg.gif
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Cool thanks for the information, I use to work for an electrical engineering company that did military work I have a buddy that can hook me up with those type of connections. I do have a few questions regarding wiring up the track. I've seen where several people have blocks and that it looks like they feed every so many feet of track with their DCC 2 wires do they insulate these blocks with DCC or do they just have all their connections hooked up in parallel on the blocks?? Also here is a picture of a layout I really like I'm still new to some stuff about DCC, they track has the potential of turning a train around on it's same track where do I need to figure to put in some auto-reverser's??

hpoor4cg.gif
First of all, if that is one square to the foot there's a lot of area you can't reach, maintain, scenic, fix derails, fix turnouts, etc. unless it is free standing.

If it is free standing, it's possible you could have a lot more layout for the space it takes up. IF you add 24" walking room around the layout to the size, that is the foot print of space it occupies. Now if you put the walking area in the center and build a U shape, you end-up with a larger layout for the space.

For a layout that size, I would not insulate between the feeder wires. But you want to trust wires to conduct electricity not the joiners.
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Ok I'm not a 100% sold on this layout I like it alot but my wife is wanting to limit me somewhat since we'll be moving in a year or two and I'll probably put it together in modules. So as far as wiring goes should I leave everything uninsulated and run a parallel feeder wire from a bus every so many feet or what?? Thanks for the replys already, and it probably will be free standing.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Ok I'm not a 100% sold on this layout I like it alot but my wife is wanting to limit me somewhat since we'll be moving in a year or two and I'll probably put it together in modules. So as far as wiring goes should I leave everything uninsulated and run a parallel feeder wire from a bus every so many feet or what?? Thanks for the replys already, and it probably will be free standing.
I should probably have asked if it was a walkaround table or pushed against the wall. You can have a U shaped layout that is free standing and modular, but pushed against the wall.

I'd go with every 3-4 feet. Every piece if you go flex. You may want to solder the rail joiners if you are using sectional. Leave the turnouts unsoldered in case you have to replace them.

What do you like about the layout and what don't you like?
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
What I do like about the layout is I could have one long train running continuously on the large outer loop and on the smaller inner loops I could do some switch work while letting the larger one work. What I don't like is figuring what to do if I get my train running on the outer loop and take a turn near the inner loop and all of a sudden it looks more complicated as far as DCC equipment goes because that is where I understand I need an auto reverser to switch the polarity and I don't know how this would affect my other train running on the inner loop have the polarity on the track switched.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
What I do like about the layout is I could have one long train running continuously on the large outer loop and on the smaller inner loops I could do some switch work while letting the larger one work. What I don't like is figuring what to do if I get my train running on the outer loop and take a turn near the inner loop and all of a sudden it looks more complicated as far as DCC equipment goes because that is where I understand I need an auto reverser to switch the polarity and I don't know how this would affect my other train running on the inner loop have the polarity on the track switched.
Okay, There is a short section of track that need some way or reversing polarity. With DCC, no other train will be effected by the switch in polarity. Think of this, if the train on the track that switches polarity is not effected, why would anything else be affected.

Now, personally, I don't believe that whether or not you know how to do something is worth worrying over in the design phase. My concern here is that this does not look like a layout you can grow into. What you see is what you get. Ideally, you want to design a layout for who you will become as a model railroader when the layout is finished, so that you aren't bored to heck before you are half-way into the project. You can spend a lot of time and money on that mistake.

I wrote a primer, for people starting out. Spacemouse's Beginner's Guide to Layout Design. It is intended to keep people from making the costly mistake--both in time and money--of poor planning. It takes about 5 minutes to read.
 




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