Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
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Martin Wynne
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Martin Wynne » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:38 pm

JFS wrote:
davebradwell wrote:Can I point out that your blades are still not opening far enough - only about 1mm. The prototype opening was 4 1/4" or thereabouts so you need almost half as much again for safety.DaveB

... but any more Dave, and he will have a short on the opposing slide chairs. Anyone who says double slips are easy is being economical with the truth!
Edit:- just to mention that Tony is S4 not P4 so he has that on his side
Excellent thread!

The prototype allows 3" (1mm) minimum opening where conditions make it necessary (in level crossings, for example).

Martin.
40+ years developing Templot. And counting ...

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:12 pm

Martin Wynne wrote:
JFS wrote:
davebradwell wrote:Can I point out that your blades are still not opening far enough - only about 1mm. The prototype opening was 4 1/4" or thereabouts so you need almost half as much again for safety.DaveB

... but any more Dave, and he will have a short on the opposing slide chairs. Anyone who says double slips are easy is being economical with the truth!
Edit:- just to mention that Tony is S4 not P4 so he has that on his side
Excellent thread!

The prototype allows 3" (1mm) minimum opening where conditions make it necessary (in level crossings, for example).

Martin.


Thanks for the comments.
I agree that the lower blade in the middle picture is not open enough even for my liking and I will take another look at it. Funny how things show up in photos so much more clearly.
I have also spotted some excess solder that may need to be dealt with.
The biggest problem is getting both pairs of blades to close concurrently and adjusting one side throws the other out. I quite deliberately began fitting this design to these double slips because I knew they would be the greatest challenge. If I could get these to work consistently then standard turnouts would be relatively easy. I was always aware that I was unlikely to be able to get the full standard width opening with the center blades, but reckoned that anything plus 1mm would be sufficient. This in turn limits the opening throw of its partner the other way. As it is I have tapered the very end of rail foot of the center blades to reduce as much as possible the chances of touching the opposite slide chair. The gap between the first two slide chair halves is a fag paper job as it is. The real thing was one continuous casting of course. A non-conducting slide area may be a better option if you don't want to live dangerously or alternatively, make the isolating breaks next to the obtuse crossing units.

The standard opening of 4 1/4" is particularly important on the prototype with sprung switch blades in order to maintain sufficient clearance at the narrowest point between the stock rail and the back of the switch blade. If the back of the flange contacts the switch blade, this will produce wear and can damage the switch blade. In model terms, this is not really a factor, but one still needs at least the minimum flangeway spacing.
I was aware that a reduced opening width was permissible with turnouts in check or guard railed track, but these generally employ loose heeled switches.
It is a case of hopefully knowing how much one can bend the rules without incurring problems.
Regards
Tony.

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Martin Wynne » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:01 pm

Hi Tony,

I hesitate to mention it for S4, but a trick I've seen done for the switch tips in a double slip is to cut away the rail foot above the slide chair:

slip_switch_tip_kludge.png
slip_switch_tip_kludge.png (2.72 KiB) Viewed 2859 times

The drawing looks horrible, but in practice it hardly notices, being hidden between the stock rails. It means you need only ensure the tips don't touch, and not be concerned with the slide chair.

Maybe the cut away needs to be only a few thou, with a bit of black insulating tape or similar on the slide chair.

cheers,

Martin.
40+ years developing Templot. And counting ...

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:51 pm

It also has to be considered that these slips are in the nominally hidden sidings, so prototype accuracy is less of a consideration than functionality. There is a double slip on the scenic part of the layout, in the goods yard, also bullhead rail fortunately, but this is a bit of a special case and I shall come to it in due course. There are also two single slips, one bull head (made) and one flat bottom (not made). This brings me back to the comment I made earlier about things becoming more difficult from here on in. I am rapidly running out of baseboards where the track has already been laid.
DSCF1040.jpg

Several bare baseboards require cork underlay to be cut and glued. It will no longer be a case of just covering everything with cork either as track bed edges (now included in Templot) and varying depths of track need to be catered for. Then there is ballasting to consider.
I am also rediscovering humps and hollows that I postponed dealing with previously. Some I have dealt with by gluing an extra layer of 1.5mm cork over the hollow and when the glue has thoroughly dried (48 hours at least) sanding down to achieve a flat surface. The high spots are just sanded out. I much prefer to sand cork to Sundeala. The cork dust stays put, whereas the Sundeala does not sand very well. I still had to deal with one sag with additional bracing.
DSCF1031.jpg

Yes, it's on a lifting section. It took me a while to suss out what was going on as one diagonal was flat, but the other had a noticeable dip. There is an additional strengthener going from where the clamps are to the block on the middle strut.
This area was a cause for concern as there was some variation between the Templot plan and the resulting baseboards, due to a dimensional error on my part. Those of you who have followed this thread may well remember.
I was reasonably confident that the track as designed and mostly built, would sort of fit, but there was only one way to find out for certain and that was to lay it out on the baseboards.
DSCF1041.jpg

The track sections to the right foreground are the last glued down bits.
The errors resulted in some sections of track being too short and replacement pieces being needed.
There was an additional change I reluctantly had to make.
When studying the signal box diagram, the realisation dawned that where I had shifted the goods yard entry crossover to (when foreshortening that end) would not match the signalling as it was. Time for a rethink. The Templot file was suitably altered, but this meant building a new crossover, which should be visible, just where the layout goes off scene. It also meant shifting some of the other goods yard trackwork with accompanying realignments, whilst trying to avoid baseboard joins, of which are a fair few in this area. The new crossover can be seen between the two farest tracks.
It also meant replacing an E-16 crossover with plain track, quite a lot of plain track actually.
This exercise did at least confirm that the track alignment was within acceptable limits, so breath a sigh of relief.
One piece of track I needed to make was very short, 5 sleepers long and reminded of days long past rummaging around in the OO track box looking for the right piece of track to fill that awkward gap in the latest layout.
DSCF1039.jpg

The near baseboard was then moved to connect up to the one the other end on my work desk.
DSCF1042.jpg

New crossover to the left and the boundary between the scenic and off scene area shown by the stained timbering.
It was then a case of trimming the various lengths of track to fit precisely and then pinning in place before gluing successive lengths in place and waiting for the glue to set before moving on.
DSCF1043.jpg

DSCF1044.jpg

DSCF1045.jpg

Tony.

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johndarch
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby johndarch » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:48 am

I like the lead weights, presumably home made.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:28 pm

Hi John.
Yes, home made.
I covered the origin of these on page 10, fourth entry.
Regards
Tony.
Last edited by Tony Wilkins on Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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johndarch
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby johndarch » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:13 am

Thanks.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:24 pm

Once the glue had dried board M could be detached and prepared for wiring.
DSCF1046.jpg

Rather than drill yet more fixing holes in the two end pieces I used previously, I used the leg supports turned upside down. I would like to be able to claim that this was a design feature, but the reality is that it was just a fortuitous realisation with the added bonus that it can be turned upside down to work on.
DSCF1047.jpg

One of the most useful attachments I have found for getting into tight spaces under a baseboard is a right angle drive.
DSCF1048.jpg

This in combination with a set of jobber drills allows one to drill holes in places other drills just cannot reach. This is what I referred to earlier as my trained Rat.

This one is now done. A lot of wiring for a small board and cramped in places.
DSCF1049.jpg

DSCF1050.jpg

DSCF1051.jpg


I then spent several days tackling the next two baseboards, carefully cutting and trimming track sections to length as there are numerous baseboard joints to match things to. I then pinned as much of it as I could before taking the plunge and removed the backing paper piece by piece.
The area still on paper will have to wait as I have run out of pins.
DSCF1054.jpg

There are still decisions to make in certain regards. The track in the left foreground above goes into a goods yard. I am still debating whether this should drop down relative to the running lines or not. Photos I have are inconclusive. It probably should, but I have already taken several liberties with the trackwork this end, so one more won't make much difference.
Below viewed from the other end.
DSCF1055.jpg

Now which area to glue next?

Tony.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:16 pm

Decision taken.
DSCF1063.jpg

I began from the lifting flap end as I considered the two joints in close proximity to be the most critical area to get right.
DSCF1064.jpg

The excess ballast was then recovered with a dustpan and brush and the remainder of the track pinned down with pins released from the glued track.
With the joint where the hinges are, the ballast and glue layer was carefully cut through with a scalpel and the next section tackled
DSCF1065.jpg

and the last for the moment.
DSCF1066.jpg

As the ballasting crosses onto the far baseboard 'N', this joint was carefully cut with the scalpel to release cleanly.

N baseboard is the last of the storage yard boards to be dealt with. It contains part of scenic crossover 17, half ballasted and half not, that I moved due to signalling conflicts.
17a with another experimental tie bar design.
DSCF1067.jpg

There was though a penalty for changing ones mind.
DSCF1069.jpg

The hole on the underside was right in the middle of corner block and so this had to be partially removed.
The following pictures show what I did to get it to function and yes it is a rather cramped area.
DSCF1073.jpg

DSCF1074.jpg

DSCF1075.jpg

So baseboard N has now been wired.
DSCF1070.jpg

DSCF1071.jpg

The next job was to connect it to baseboard M, which houses the Relay control board for both and test them as a pair.
DSCF1072.jpg

I am happy to report that everything worked as intended.
I now have to retrace my steps with some of the previous baseboards as I have added extra functions to some of the more recent baseboards and these need to have their cables run back to the control panel.
Tony.

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Serjt-Dave » Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:07 pm

Excellent work there Tony. Well Done.

Dave

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:51 pm

Well this is the latest "toy".
DSCF1082.jpg

Any guesses what this is intended for?
Tony.

bevis
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby bevis » Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:30 pm

accurately cutting your sandwiches for your pack-up when finally watching the trains go by?
Or cutting straight bits of underlay?

Terry Bendall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:11 pm

Tony Wilkins wrote:Any guesses what this is intended for?


Cutting sheet material of some sort. Card, thin ply, PCB material, thin sheet metal.

Terry Bendall

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:25 pm

Terry is closest. It's a PCB shear and will cut Fiber glass PCB sheet up to 1.6mm thick.
I have a particular problem to solve. All my Bullhead track is assembled on 0.8mm ply sleepers and all my track thus far is Bullhead.
Much of the scenic track has Flat bottom rail and mainly with the elastic spike track fixings. I have a quantity of Colin Craig's etches for this type of track, which are intended for use with PCB sleepers. PCB sleeper strip is or was available in 1.6 and 1.06mm thicknesses, but the 1.06mm strip has not been around recently or at least, I have not found any. However both these are too thick for what I need. The 1.6mm strip is meant to match the height of full thickness timbered track and the 1.06 the thin timbered track. This though overlooks the thickness of the chairs / baseplates. OK if you don't intend to use them with the PCB track, but not if you are.
For a long time I had hoped to find a way to use Colin's etches with ply sleepers, but have now given up on that idea as they are basically incompatible.
I therefore decided that I would have to use PCB for the sleepers and that meant obtaining some the correct thickness, 0.8mm.
Whilst looking for some strip board on the RS website, I idly searched for plain PCB and a variety of thickness were available including 0.8mm single and double sided. This I thought could be a solution, but how to cut it. Previously I have sawn PCB sheets into strips, but the results were not very consistent. So for a while the idea lay dormant.
It was one of those light bulb moments when thinking about an entirely different topic, cutting plastic sheet, that I remembered John Hayes used a large guillotine to cut his for the NLG buildings and I wondered whether similar smaller devices were made for cutting thin PCB sheet.
As I will have a large number of PCB sleepers to cut, this device should save a lot of time.
Regards
Tony.

Philip Hall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:07 pm

I've got a lot of PCB to cut too but have a small table saw with a special blade. I will have to be careful with the dust so I guess it's outside with a mask on and the vacuum cleaner hooked up to the back of the machine. This shear looks very good but I got frightened by the cost of it!

Philip

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:51 pm

Meanwhile, back on the layout front. Having installed the additional wires to the storage yard baseboards, most were connected together and limited testing performed. I was able to run a loco down a couple of the long roads successfully. The limiting factor being the lack of a control panel.
Decisions needed to be made. The simplest way to control the point motors would be with individual toggle switches and LED indicators on each road of a diagram. This is in general how Green Street was controlled. This system I knew would be wide open to operator error and thus highly undesirable.
I wanted a system that was easy to both use and understand from an operators viewpoint. I therefore decided to go for an Entry Exit push button system with numerical displays of the selected road, but I wanted a relatively simple system (some may think otherwise) using relays with limited electronics.

The first job was to generate a specification and logic charts for each road of the four turnout ladders.
Down in, Down out, Up in & Up out. There are extra roads that will need to be catered later.
Various circuits were then designed and tried on Breadboard.
DSCF1083.jpg

Having proved the individual modules, they were then build up on strip board also known as Veroboard.
I also wanted rather larger 7 segment LED modules than shown above, but as these were to hand in my spares box I used them for testing purposes. I also discovered why it was in my spares box. Some of the segments were duff.

Down in (Din) was tackled first as this was the most straight forward.
The first display board with driver circuits was then powered up and tested.
DSCF2307.jpg

The high brightness LEDs have rather overwhelmed the camera.

The storage yard boards are 12 tracks wide, but there are only 9 Up roads (numbered 1 to 9) and 11 Down roads (numbered 0 to 10) 0 is the Down through road as it is too short to store anything in, so 10 is the highest number to be displayed. The first digit only displays 1. Once upon a time you could get logic ICs to do the decoding and driving for you, but they don't seem to be available any more. Those that are available are designed for interfacing with micro processors and I am not going down that road. I have had to use a Diode matrix to select the LED segments, which has been quite entertaining to design and build. There are 3 more to build, all subtly different. Then there are the 4 relay cards. One pair of each for each turnout ladder.
Tony.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:00 pm

Philip Hall wrote:I've got a lot of PCB to cut too but have a small table saw with a special blade. I will have to be careful with the dust so I guess it's outside with a mask on and the vacuum cleaner hooked up to the back of the machine. This shear looks very good but I got frightened by the cost of it!

Philip

Hi Philip.
I thought about it for some time myself. But good tools are worth the cost if they are going to be used a lot and ultimately save time. I am expecting a much cleaner cut than I could obtain with any saw I have.
I will be using it quite a lot for plasticard sheet when I come to doing some of the buildings later, so I regard it as a worthwhile investment.
Regards
Tony.

Philip Hall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:07 pm

Tony,

I am getting tempted, simply for the time it will save. I have looked at the MicroMark bench shear and press, but your one looks to be able to cut longer strips. Presumably the strips cut will be flat, as with a decent guillotine? My PCB is in approx 6” squares about 1mm thick.

Would you mind sharing the model please and where you bought it? Thanks!

Philip

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:55 pm

Hi Philip.
Try this link.
https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/pcb-shears/4727103/
Regards
Tony.

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Martin Wynne » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:15 pm

Philip Hall wrote:This shear looks very good but I got frightened by the cost of it!

Hi Philip,

If you can improvise you own table and guides, these are less expensive:

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/power-to ... illotines/

Martin.
40+ years developing Templot. And counting ...

Philip Hall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:21 pm

Thanks for the links, chaps. I did see some cheaper shears (but cheaper still and looked a bit more agricultural!) similar to the ones In your link, Martin, from ARC Euro, but when I enquired of the supplier they said they didn’t think they would cut properly and would tear the PCB. I was concerned with a shear like these that they would curl the sleeper strip that’s been cut up rather than leave it flat, as my PCB is quite thin like Tony’s. Some of these shears seem to be intended to cut up small panels rather that strips. I can make up a base and guide. What do you think?

I have looked at Micro mark and Profiform which look very good but for those tools also act as a bending brake which I don’t really need and thus the additional expense is not justified.

As a fall back I have the table saw with a special blade and dust extraction. I’ll have a bit of an experiment outside when it’s a bit drier.

Philip

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:25 pm

Hi Philip.
I haven't tried mine as yet and like you expect some curl to result from trying to cut the sleeper width. I suppose I need to experiment and report back.

I think I will need to improvise a sleeper width depth stop to get consistent results.
However the plan was to cut sleeper lengths strips first then create an insulation gap down the center before cutting the strips into individual sleepers.
The sheets I have are 300mm x 200mm and I need to work out the most economical way to cut them. I worked it out once, but didn't make a note of the answer.
Tony.

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Martin Wynne » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:57 pm

Philip Hall wrote:I was concerned with a shear like these that they would curl the sleeper strip that’s been cut up rather than leave it flat, as my PCB is quite thin like Tony’s. Some of these shears seem to be intended to cut up small panels rather that strips. I can make up a base and guide. What do you think?

Hi Philip,

I suspect it will curl a bit, but not as much as metal strips, and could be flattened by dragging across the corner of a block of hardwood.

To minimise curling, it needs the sheet clamped down solid while cutting, and a low angle on the blade (which means it requires more force than a lever guillotine). If I was looking, I think I would go for something likes this, which has lots of other uses in the workshop (there is a video on the page):

https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke- ... -sheet-me/

You could use the rollers to flatten any strips which did curl. The user manual can be downloaded on the page.

cheers,

Martin.
40+ years developing Templot. And counting ...

Philip Hall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:24 pm

Tony, my sheets are a lot smaller, less than 150 mm square and holding them for sawing or whatever is going to be interesting. I too have thought of cutting into sleeper lengths first and then chopping off individual sleepers. On a shear that might prevent curl too.

Martin, that looks a very good machine but does more than I will need, plus I have some of the functions in other machines already. I did consider something like this, from MicroMark in the USA and from ProfiForm. The price of the latter really did frighten me - Barry Norman has one and it was pricey when he bought it many years ago!

I thin initially I am going to wait for a dry day and try the table saw outside to start with. The blade I have is specifically for this sort of thing and as the track is all going to be hidden I shan't need half as many sleepers as I would for visible track.

Thanks to you both for your advice, much appreciated.

Philip

Terry Bendall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:42 pm

Printed circuit board has a core made of a glass fibre/plastic resin composite so when it is being cut you are basically cutting glass which will blunt saws very successfully. I don't do a lot of cutting of this material and normally use a standard hacksaw with the board clamped to a bench top. Use the hack saw at a shallow angle. Smoothing the cut edge will blunt a file so don't use your best ones.

A high speed steel or tungsten tipped blade is best on a power saw with fine teeth and as Philip says do something about the dust if you are sawing a lot on a machine.

Terry Bendall


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