Starting a new shelf layout in N Gage

Timlsalem Dec 5, 2018

  1. Timlsalem

    Timlsalem TrainBoard Member

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    I tore down my large 10' X 12' layout because I wanted the room back for my master bedroom and have decided on a new shelf railroad made for just switching operations on one wall. I've decided on the Badger, Blockade & Buffalo from the book, Nine N Scale Railroads, only with some modifications. I am using Atlas 55 code instead of the 80 code and am using all #7 switches. The shelf will be 16" wide and will have a hidden fiddle yard inside my walk in closet. Ya, I'm putting a hole through the wall to connect it to the shelf RR. Instead of operating it as a game I will operate it as an industrial area just outside a large city. I haven't decided on which one yet but all my DCC engines are D&RGRR. I've never used code 55 track before so it's going to be interesting figuring out how to connect the #7 all power frog switches up. I figured to use power frogs so my engines won't stall on the switches.
     
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  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It has been quite some years since I had my copy of that book. Cannot recall the track plan.
     
  3. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    The funny thing about powered frogs is that in most cases you do not need to power them.

    I had a layout with 23 switches on it. I was abel to run everything from Life Like Sw switchers to Kato e9's with no problems.

    It goes against common thinking to not power the frogs, but I had no issues with it, and it saved me a lot of headache and cost.

    Try connecting some track and then slowly run all your locos over it, you'll see what I mean. ;)

    I expect some responses to the effect of: BUT YOU CANT DO THAT WITH ATLAS C55 SWITCHES!

    hee hee hee yep, I did it.
     
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  4. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

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    Here is the N-scale Code 80 Badger, Blockade & Buffalo as shown on the Atlas web site. I'm sorry the resolution of the image is so poor, but that's how it appears on the Atlas site.

    - Jeff

    upload_2018-12-5_17-12-21.png
     
  5. Timlsalem

    Timlsalem TrainBoard Member

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    Ya, I checked it out and seen how blurry it is. it's hard to see that there is two raised section of track on pier sets. I don't plan on running power to the frogs. What I understand about them is they get the power from which ever way the points are. in other words if they are set for mainline that's where the power comes from and if they are set for the siding they power the siding. With DCC I don't need to put plastic joiners on the siding as long as the common is the same throughout. My large layout had Atlas code 80 and I had a couple engines that wasn't able to go over the switches without help from a large finger. I'm a little excited about the code 55. It looks a whole lot more realistic. I'll try to scan the track plan from the book tomorrow and post it so you have a clear image
     
  6. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

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    That is not the way Atlas N-scale Code 55 turnouts work. The frog is completely disconnected from the rest of the turnout. The point rails do NOT route power to the frog. The only way to get power to an Atlas Code 55 frog is to use the frog contact on the side of the turnout, circled in green below.

    [​IMG]

    You can get power to the frog by using the auxiliary contacts built into some switch machines, like Tortoises, or by using relays or microswitches.

    Also, the points do not route power to the main and diverging routes. In an Atlas Code 55 turnout, ALL parts of the turnout -- except the frog -- are powered at all times. This is done by means of means of small, factory-installed wire jumpers on the underside of the turnout.

    - Jeff
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 5:48 AM
  7. Timlsalem

    Timlsalem TrainBoard Member

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    Well, after reading many articles on the C55 wiring I realized I was completely wrong about my understanding of them. I can't remember where I read that wrong information but, apparently it was all bogus. The whole point in using C55 over C80 this time was because I think those big black switch machines on C 80 are ugly and feel there is no place for them on a model railroad plus the C55 looks a lot better. I am a hands on kind of guy so my last RR I used C 80 but had all manual switches with N-Scale .135'' Sprung Ground Throws. I enjoyed the opportunity of stopping a few seconds to allow for the conductor to throw the switch to the siding. It seems more realistic to me. So if I use C55 switches with manual ground throws and isolate the siding from the turnout would I just need a switch to allow the correct polarity to the siding so there is no short? I seen where Atlas says to use a snap-relay to power the frogs but that is another $17.00 on top of what the turnout costs. That seems pretty greedy to me and unacceptable.
     
  8. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

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    Why do you need to isolate the siding from the turnout? I use Atlas Code 55 turnouts throughout my N-scale layout, and there is no need to isolate any sidings or spurs.

    A ground throw with electrical contacts is a fine way to switch the polarity of the frog, but there is no need isolate sidings or spurs. I made my own ground throws out of small slide switches and used the contacts on the switches to change frog polarity.

    [​IMG]

    This worked fine. So would Caboose Industries #224S ground throws.

    - Jeff
     
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  9. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    The only shots I have of the old N scale layout.

    -Un powered c55 frogs

    -Simple earing backs and posts from the craft store as manual switch throws.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Easy and CHeap way to go. ;)
     
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  10. Timlsalem

    Timlsalem TrainBoard Member

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    I got my table up yesterday with little trouble. It is 42" high, 16" deep and 11' long with another 4' inside the closet as a fiddle yard. I found those shelf brackets at the depot. They work great for this setup. The close up of the wall is where I'm punching through the wall into the closet. I've changed my mind about building the BB&B. I will use it as inspiration but will be free lancing the whole build. Basically I will be making up trains on the fiddle yard from places unknown and they will be delivering supplies for my 12-14 industries in my industrial town Somewhere, USA and picking up loads to be delivered elsewhere. I will have two engines that will be working just the town which means I get to buy more locos for the trains delivering and picking up in my town from other destinations. Today's plan is to hook up a C55 switch with track and see if I route the power the right way through the frog. 11 foot by 16 inches table.JPG 16 inches wide.JPG through wall here.JPG
     
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  11. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    They should work fine. Apply power to one pair of rails, and it should feed to both divergent sections. Atlas C55 is very easy to use.
     
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  12. Timlsalem

    Timlsalem TrainBoard Member

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    I hooked up my track to DC today and ran all the engines, I own, very slowly through the switch with unpowered frog and they ran perfect with no hesitations or stalls. That's awesome. I took notice that there are no nail holes to secure the track, in any way, to the road bed. What do most do, glue? And what's up with those very badly made rail joiners? I have small holes punched into my thumbs from trying to get them onto the rails. I'm not very happy about having to use these on the entire layout. Kind of a plus for C80. They were easy to install. Anyone have any ideas of how to make this job a lot easier? I'm talking about the metal joiners you use to connect two tracks together.
     
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  13. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

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  14. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    i have used sevaral glues for N scale track. Elmers white glue is ok. Silicone caulk is best when used sparingly.

    Lay down the glue. -- do not glue the switches unless you have to and the only at the ends-- I use a wood shim as a disposable spatula. spread the glue out. Use plastic thumb tacs to hold the track down as it dries. That's it.

    Yeah, all rail joiners will join with your fingers and cause pain. I used needle nose pliers for attaching them. 5 bucks for a red plastic tool, when I can just use what you got, ya know?

    Good to hear about those switches and Lokis. ;)
     
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  15. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

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    For gluing down cork roadbed and track, I use the cheapest latex caulk available at Wal-Mart. I use push-pins to hold the roadbed and track in place while the glue dries.

    - Jeff

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Timlsalem

    Timlsalem TrainBoard Member

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  17. Timlsalem

    Timlsalem TrainBoard Member

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    I never had luck with needle noses. I tried a very small screw driver to open the ends a little and that works pretty good as long as you don't force it open. I've been using white, but prefer the yellow, wood glue for years on my layouts. The push pin idea from jdetray looks like the ticket for holding everything in place till the glue dries.
     
  18. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

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    For gluing track and roadbead Liquid Nails PL300 works MUCH better . I hardly had to use any pins to hold things in place , But it probably is pretty permanent ......Mike
     
  19. NScaleKen

    NScaleKen TrainBoard Member

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    I use liquid nails for the roadbed layers, and elmers 'glue all' for the track. Specifically the kind that dries clear. Elmers you can spray or use an eye dropper and soak the glue along the center of the ties and it will loosen up, if you ever want to reuse the track elsewhere. I have reused a few C80 Atlas sections after gluing with elmers to foam, stayed down nicely and when I need to move it the track came up with water without even tearing up the thin plaster over foam under and around it. Not my idea I think I got it here or on YouTube, it is verified to work. The glue is slightly water resistant in that it takes a little time to soak through the surface layer, once water does it loosens quickly. Enough time to wipe up a mess and not have things instantly come apart, but it will rehydrate. The sections I did took a minute or two of applying drops from an eyedropper along the center and then it got soft and lifted right up leaving the landscaping intact. I used Elmer's carpenter's glue on that track, it dries yellowish brown but is great for wood joints, I use the clear drying 'glue all' on the layout now.

    For the joiners, I bend the ends down after cutting them apart. I cut the strip of joiners midway between each to leave a bit of material, and quickly with the snipers I am using just closed but not cutting in I bend them just in front of where the rail goes in. It makes a flat surface hanging down that one can push on, still hurts sometimes but not likely to puncture the tip of one's finger.
     
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  20. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

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    I used Liquid Nails PL300 for many purposes on my layout: gluing foam to foam, foam to plywood, etc. For laying track, I wanted an adhesive that was a bit "less permanent," hence the latex caulk. I later had to replace a damaged turnout, and I was glad I had used the caulk.

    - Jeff
     

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