Dartmouth progress

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Paul Townsend
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Dartmouth progress

Postby Paul Townsend » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:00 am

Gosh, nearly a year since I updated!

Here are a couple of pix taken during the preparations for its first outing at Scaleforum.

The baseboards are shown plonked onto their normal high domestic underpinnings but not joined together. They are taken from a high position to give an idea of how it will be seen at Scaleforum in Aylesbury in two weeks time as part of the Scalefour Society Bristol Area Groups demos.

The state of the layout is most track laid and wired and currently under test and debug for simple dc operation to suit the rolling stock being lent for the exhibition. A test load yesterday has proved that they will all fit into my Skoda Octavia Estate. ( Phew! ). The current task over next few days is to rerig it onto the lower trestle and girder underpinnings which will be used at Aylesbury. For this first outing the layout will be a bit over 1Metre above floor...this "low" display height will make debugging easier at the show. Because all is very new, I expect some faults will develop in transit and re-rigging.

There is no scenery, buildings, lighting or backscene yet. These are planned to be on separate narrow boards behind those shown here. They will eventually travel in another car.

Inevitably I have not progressed as much as I hoped.....every job still takes longer than expected! This winter my tasks will be to complete my first two Broad Gauge locos which will enable the conversion to dcc and continue developing the MERG electrics towards the goal of partial automation which will allow operation by one bod. Some scenery and backscenes will also start asap.

P1030649.JPG


This above picture shows the station end of the layout.
The middle section with track on gradients is the rural area and the right hand end leads into the fiddle yard traverser with carriage sidings and MPD in front seen in the pic below
The traverser is just manual now but I have a proven stepper motor drive system which will allow control from the station operating position.
P1030643.JPG

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kelly
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby kelly » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:36 pm

Looking forward to seeing this after your talk about it previously at a merg meeting.
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Paul Townsend
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby Paul Townsend » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:53 pm

At this stage the MERG content is non-existent. I ran out of time !
However I did spend some weeks last winter developing the MERG content on a N-Gauge pseudo-Dartmouth which I hope to bring to Aylesbury if there is car space. It wont be live but may cause some conversations :D

Phil O
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby Phil O » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:28 pm

The layout was looking good on the Sunday afternoon, when I had a look too see the progress, it's come on a long way since I saw you demoing the bridge and associated track a few years back.

Phil.

Alan Woodard
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby Alan Woodard » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:26 pm

Hi Paul.

I saw this at scaleforum and was most impressed with the track work. Did you manage to run a train in the end ?
The clerestory coach was beautiful, a superb standard of modelling. Looking forward to seeing it all completed.

Cheers.

Al.

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kelly
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby kelly » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:03 pm

It was great to get a chance to have a look at this at Scaleforum. It was very impressive and will be even more so when you complete it!
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Le Corbusier
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:13 pm

I would add my voice to the praise Paul. Fantastic to see the scale and scope of the track work in the flesh. I am really excited to watch this develop over the next few years ... inspirational stuff :thumb
Tim Lee

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby Paul Townsend » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:56 am

Alan Woodard wrote:Hi Paul.

I saw this at scaleforum and was most impressed with the track work. Did you manage to run a train in the end ?
The clerestory coach was beautiful, a superb standard of modelling. Looking forward to seeing it all completed.

Cheers.

Al.

We succeeded in running the occasional train as promised. It will be easier when the 4th turnout on the run round loop has switches!
Credit for rolling stock goes to Chris Jones

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby Paul Townsend » Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:01 am

Le Corbusier wrote:I would add my voice to the praise Paul. Fantastic to see the scale and scope of the track work in the flesh. I am really excited to watch this develop over the next few years ... inspirational stuff :thumb

The first booked showing as a fully operational layout is RailWells 2020.
There should be scenery and some buildings by then. If I have completed minimum of two locos so can go dcc there is the intention for the Merg operated partial automation too.

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby Paul Townsend » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:51 am

Another 18 months gone by!
Following S4um 2018 where the embryo Dartmouth got a bit of exposure, Chris Challis confirmed his invitation to display at RailWells in August 2020. So I drew up an 18 month schedule of tasks to move the layout forward.

I was pretty much on time at March 1st 2020 but had been getting alarming messages from our two sons and their families in Rome and Tuscany, since early February.

Well we all know what that was about and how it has changed all our lives.

Sylvia was glad that I would have " a stay of execution " and could be more relaxed about my schedule. Fair enough but I know that a deadline focusses the mind on essentials and setting priorities, so didn't want to turn off all the plan, just add a year and re-juggle priorities.

The effect on Dartmouth is that I can now envisage that by August 2021 I can have the desired option of DCC in use. The plan for this August was DC only, that decision driven largely by the certainty that with so much to do on the layout infrastructure I would not have time to complete any of my own locos. Thus the 2020 show would rely on chums' BG locos which are all DC. AFAIK no-one has built a BG DCC loco! YET :)

Then Editor Tim pops up with his lockdown project of building an old Mke Sharman white metal BG loco kit!

Great. He will have the honour of running the first BG DCC train in the world.

So I have been spending my modelling time, since we went into vouluntary lockdown on March 1st, on the new schedule plan.

My other Tim chum, known locally as Ancient Tim to distinguish from Young Tim, aka Editor Tim, had just finished building the last and 18th mixed gauge turnout for the carriage sidings/MPD zone and was able to do a no contact handover in early March. That got laid on Baseboard 10 which enabled me to wire it up, initially for DC only like all other boards. These are all future proof in that the necessary wire bits for DCC use are in place together withn the traction feed changeover relays. The original plan was to defer the building and installation of the MERG kits to do all the DCC trickery for partial automation until after RailWells 2020.

My revised schedule meant that I could fully equip Baseboard 10 with its electronics from the start. It has now been tested with NG locos on DC and DCC. BG has been tested on DC only, and awaits YT's loco for proving on DCC.

There is a great deal of mixed gauge track that is laid, wired and tested on both Baulk Road and transverse sleepered track. In the latter case it is using my hybrid Brook-Smith and C&L chairs technique. We laid all that track with soldered rivets every 5th sleeper and 100% in turnouts. Whole plastic chairs are in place but not yet butanoned. That makes for easiest tweaking on initial trials.

I have commissioned Richard Lane to turn the required turntable well for me, using a special form of hard mdf which is understood to be very stable. Anyone who saw Pete Tarver's Ilkley shed at S4um 2018 or RailWells 2019 will have seen an example of this in use. Like Pete my TT bridge is using the London Road 50ft kit.

The works will be my own design using a microstepping motor, toothed belt precision drive and Arduino controlled.

The well and bridge will resemble the prototype of the original Brunel turntable unearthed a few years ago at Westbourne Park. BGS was invited on site to measure and photograph some unusual features.

This TT will go onto Baseboard 10 as soon as Richard is able to deliver the hunk of wood. I declared it as my lockdown project !

Once that is in place I will have no excuse to delay any longer a dreadful set of essential chores:
Butanone all those full chairs, chop and stick half chairs to soldered rivets, paint rail sides, ballast and weather.

My sanity will be preserved while doing those tasks by starting scenery and buildings.

Because of the nature of the work since S4um 2018 there is very little to show so no photos here, most is boring hidden stuff. Next update WILL include some piccies....

Terry Bendall
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:23 am

Sounds like very good progress Paul. It will be good to see the layout at Wells 2021.

Terry Bendall

davebradwell
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby davebradwell » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:57 am

If you're micro-stepping the turntable, why do you want a belt drive? Just mount the deck on the motor shaft. Cut out the middle-man. You'll need a motor with a decent size shaft, of course, and real bearings. Less work all round.

DaveB

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Dartmouth progress

Postby Paul Townsend » Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:27 am

davebradwell wrote:If you're micro-stepping the turntable, why do you want a belt drive? Just mount the deck on the motor shaft. Cut out the middle-man. You'll need a motor with a decent size shaft, of course, and real bearings. Less work all round.

DaveB

Fair comment inn general but I don't have enough baseboard depth to do that.
The belt drive also allows a backlash free "gear"reduction ratio of 5:1 so microsteps can be bigger and get more torque at the business end


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