P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

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Ian Everett
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P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Ian Everett » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:13 am

One of Barry Norman's designs in his Wild Swan "Designing a Layout" book - Tiviot Dale - calls for hidden trackwork running outside the shed in weatherproof boxes. It looks as though I might need to have my layout in a shed when we move house and I am wondering whether Barry Norman's proposal is a workable way if getting more space. *

I've seen such solutions working in 7mm scale and I know that the old Sundown and Sprawling railway was OO Peco Streamline in the garden but I model in P4 and the effects of distortion of the trackbed due to dampness in timbers and variations in temperature will be much more critical with P4 track and wheels.

I would like to hear if anyone has any experience of this sort of thing and can advise whether I should try it?

Ian

* (I am not sure I trust Barry Norman's designs - in many cases he is over-optimistic about how much track he can squeeze into the space available. Run-round loops etc. are often too short and he does not think through the needs for effective fiddle yards, so I suspect that this might be one of his over-ambitious ideas.)

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Tim V
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Tim V » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:17 am

Why not?

Decent timber, painted white (too discourage heat distortion), using Exatoscale quick track (more stable), with PECO rail joiners, should be OK.
Tim V

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jayell
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby jayell » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:34 am

You'd need a radio controlled breakdown crew to deal with any derailments 8-)

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:54 am

Does this count?

Platform board and control box.JPG


Oops, I forgot to add the rest of the layout to this board.

Taken some time ago so London Road is a bit further on now.

Jol

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Ian Everett
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Ian Everett » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:34 am

Jol Wilkinson wrote:Does this count?

Oops, I forgot to add the rest of the layout to this board.

Taken some time ago so London Road is a bit further on now.

Jol


No!! :D

Terry Bendall
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Terry Bendall » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:53 am

clecklewyke wrote:hidden trackwork running outside the shed in weatherproof boxes.


johnlewis wrote:You'd need a radio controlled breakdown crew to deal with any derailments


It would probably work. Boxes with easily removable covers would cope with the derailmant issues, if they happen, and allow for track cleaning. Why not build a box with some track inside and put it outside now and see what happens?

Terry Bendall

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Ian Everett
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Ian Everett » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:59 am

Terry Bendall wrote:
It would probably work. Boxes with easily removable covers would cope with the derailmant issues, if they happen, and allow for track cleaning. Why not build a box with some track inside and put it outside now and see what happens?

Terry Bendall


Well, it looks like I'll be tilling new ground but with encouragement from at least a couple of people with good experience - and no direct negatives.

I think I will do as you suggest, Terry. I need to prove the concept before splashing out hundreds of thousands on a house which precludes modelling in P4! I would try different track types and rail, on a fairly tight curve, so will need at least a couple of metres of test track.

I understand from people who have done this in other scales that one of the main issues is the liking of spiders for dry, warm spaces! Mice might might be another. Maybe I should build a sort of snow plough with built-in rail cleaners to clear any unwanted objects before every running session.

Tim, in what way is Exactoscale more stable? Thicker sleeper base?

Thanks for your help.

Ian

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grovenor-2685
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:15 am

Thicker sleeper base?
Yes, but more important for your purpose it comes in a gauge widened version for tight curves.
Keith

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Tim V
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Tim V » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:36 am

Suggest avoid sharp curves - puts track under tension to straighten out. Put track on floating base inside box. The Exatoscale track is thicker and therefore more stable. As the box has a removable lid, inspect it for spiders/mice before a session.
Tim V

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Ian Everett
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Ian Everett » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:02 am

Tim, Keith, thanks for your advice. I've just looked at the C&L web site. I had no idea that there were so many options now - it's a long time since I built any track other than PCB-based, which was hidden under "snow" on Royston Vasey and roadway on Humber Dock.

And the next question - what type of rail is least prone to oxidation? I have a vague memory that nickel silver develops a thin, very hard oxidised layer?

Ian

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Tim V
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Tim V » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:08 am

Because you can't see it, how about phosphor bronze?
Tim V

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grovenor-2685
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:10 am

Suggest avoid sharp curves -
I have sort of assumed the main idea is to have a semi-circle outside the shed so that half the shed is not wasted on getting round the end, and Ian himself mentioned the fairly tight curve. Pretty hard to avoid in these circumstances, depending on the width of the shed.
Keith

andrew jukes
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby andrew jukes » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:02 pm

Tim said -
Suggest avoid sharp curves - puts track under tension to straighten out. Put track on floating base inside box.

and I disagree on both points.

Obviously make curves as large radius as you can but track only wants to straighten out if the rail is not curved to the desired radius before assembling the track. It's one reason why pre-assembled flexible track is a bad idea - get the rail to the geometry you want, then assemble the track.

A floating base may help with noise, but that is hardly a major factor with an enclosed box outside the railway shed. More important in my view is to make the track as 'fit and forget' as possible and the key requirement for that is to make sure it is designed to accommodate temperature change. Avoid any soldered rivet fixings and allow the rail (just as with real traditional jointed track) enough end play so it can expand without buckling. Make sure the track feeds can move with the rail and adjust joint clearances to, say, 0.5mm (for panels up to, say, 0.25m) after laying each section of track.

In this application, I would glue the track directly on to the base of the box.

Regards

Andrew

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:14 pm

Rather than a box with a lid, how about a slightly raised timber track bed (a bit like the live steam boys do) with a box lid to fit onto it. That would make cleaning, etc. easier as the track isn't buried inside the box. Keeping the track off the floor should help minimise water/dampness problems.

Terry Bendall
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:16 am

Tim V wrote:inspect it for spiders/mice before a session.


I recall reading many years ago a decription of an O gauge garden railway where the owner's cat was fond of sleeping on a section of the track and had to be removed before a running session could take place.

Terry Bendall

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Tim V
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Tim V » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:59 am

Of course on board battery power would overcome the cleaning problem....
Tim V

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jayell
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby jayell » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:20 am

Tim V wrote:Of course on board battery power would overcome the cleaning problem....


:D

Malc in Brum
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Malc in Brum » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:13 pm

Tim V wrote:Of course on board battery power would overcome the cleaning problem....


Red Arrow wins again

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steamraiser
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby steamraiser » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:16 pm

Malc in Brum wrote:
Tim V wrote:Of course on board battery power would overcome the cleaning problem....


Red Arrow wins again


In the sunshine we are having?

I believe red Arrow is an infra-red system?

Gordon A
Bristol

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Paul Townsend
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:59 pm


In the sunshine we are having?


Solar charging too??

I believe red Arrow is an infra-red system?

Gordon A
Bristol


Yes but also available as rf version & then Tony Hagon's new system....

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jayell
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby jayell » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:16 pm

Yes but also available as rf version & then Tony Hagon's new system....


Don't forget the Deltang system

http://www.deltang.co.uk/

This is the system being used successfully in Australia by these people

http://themodelworksaustralia-com.webs. ... rc-control

and it is the system I want to use if it can be fitted into an P4 GWR 0-60PT.

John

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jon price
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby jon price » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:57 pm

"Don't forget the Deltang system"

This looks very interesting but as ever the big issue is batteries. Deltang don't appear to supply them.

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jayell
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby jayell » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:06 am

Deltang only design and create the R/C equipment and don't even sell the stuff direct. I have checked all the potential suppliers listed and the Australian link is the only one that makes 'sense'.

As for batteries there are plenty of people selling Li-Po batteries but picking out suitable ones for model railway power supply is another matter as there are so many different sizes and capacities.

I've had difficulty find the ideal 3 volt gear-motor as well, in particular I cannot find the 183-1 motor that the Oz company uses, I suspect it is a swiss made one so have written to them asking for details.

John

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steve howe
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby steve howe » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:46 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:
Tim V wrote:inspect it for spiders/mice before a session.


I recall reading many years ago a decription of an O gauge garden railway where the owner's cat was fond of sleeping on a section of the track and had to be removed before a running session could take place.

Terry Bendall


I recall that article too, but I also seem to remember the layout operated on 20v AC ...... Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeow!

Philip Hall
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Re: P4 in the garden - has it been done? Is it practical?

Postby Philip Hall » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:14 pm

A friend of mine once had a gauge 1 garden railway, assembled mostly from track, locos and rolling stock built by his father in law in Germany. It was quite crude, but well engineered, with massive motors and huge lumps of lead in the locos, which would quite happily drag the operator along the garden! I don't think he had problems with animals, although I think the dogs kept well clear as the voltage was about 50V AC! No trouble with voltage drop, nor with track cleaning as the volts seemed to force their way through the muck...

Philip


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