My Layout - Brynderwyn part 1

Chris Hall Feb 13, 2021

  1. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Yes they are. When we wear them out, and we do sometimes after two flying seasons, we just throw them away.

    The potentiometer gets worn out and they chatter in the center because they are hunting for neutral.
     
  2. Chris Hall

    Chris Hall TrainBoard Member

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    Had a bit of progress over the weekend (when not flying down hills on my bike) and managed to get all but 1 of the servo motors installed - turns out there is a pesky piece of wood in the way of that one. Got a bit of a grumble from the wife, apparently I'm either out riding my bike, walking the dogs or hiding in the basement doing "train sh@t" and never with her -- which was an odd grumble considering if I am upstairs she is normally just crocheting away on the sofa watching some random TV program (never quite understood how they made 16 seasons of Ancient Aliens - but they have!)

    So to please the Wife I needed to find a new project that I am able to do upstairs on my desk and after a bit of thought I found this model sitting up on my shelf. When I was a kid my dad built a small N scale layout and I remember this castle was the centre piece of the mountain area, was even going to have a cog railway to reach it. Well, I saw the kit for sale on the Swiss ebay for a good price and brought it (even before I had the layout) but it just sat on the shelf as I didn't know where it would fit.

    Had a bit of a brain wave and realised I can make the damn thing fit wherever I want it to, I'm building a model railway! So I found a suitable spot on the layout, did some measurements and it will fit - with a lot of modification to the existing hillside - but that is future Chris's problem.

    So wife is happy - I'm upstairs again sitting in the same room as her, busily building my castle and I've come to the conclusion we are all the descendants of an ancient alien who took over the world many moons ago.....

    IMG_4558.jpg IMG_4560.jpg

    This is based on a real castle located (not far from us - in the grand scheme of things!) in Northern Italy. Might have to go visit it for some research!
     
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  3. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Chris this is hilarious!
     
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  4. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    The castle is very cool!
     
  5. Chris Hall

    Chris Hall TrainBoard Member

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    Not much progress happening on the Castle today, one of my dogs needed his bi-weekly injection for Lyme disease and as a result he gets quite tired and very demanding. I did manage to run the soldering iron along all the edges to smooth them over before my lap was commandeered. Guess I will be just sitting here looking at it whilst he supervises..... IMG_4563.jpg IMG_4565.jpg
     
  6. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    It appears he at least approves of your castle!
     
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  7. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Nice layout and structure models, and beautiful lighting!

    What is the maximum grade, and minimum curve radius on the layout?

    I use a Raspberry Pi 4b with a Pi SPROG 3 pi-hat to run program locomotives and run trains using JMRI. Works like a champ. When programming, I VNC into the Pi from my laptop to access the Decoder Pro GUI. The Raspberry Pi is on my household WiFi network, so engine-driver (Android throttle app) and VNC work without changing WiFi networks. JMRI Panel Pro and Wi-Throttle server auto-start on power-up, so I don't need my laptop to just run the trains.
     
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  8. Chris Hall

    Chris Hall TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks!

    I don't quite know the minimum radius - but it is all Fleishmann Piccolo track. The inside curves are 9120 pieces which according to the website is 192mm curve. I do know they are quite tight and the longer passenger cars can struggle a little to get around. the gradient at the back I know is definitely steep and anything without traction tires will just spin the wheels, but I don't think it will be too much of a problem as its too small to run huge trains on.

    My Pi is running Steve Todds image on it, so boots up with its own wifi network. I can't access the house wifi anyway from down in the dungeon, which is the nuclear bomb shelter for the house. Great little set up with a pretty hefty door, humidity and temperature is never an issue as its always a nice 18c at around 40%.

    I plan to have the layout fully automated and just VNC in to run the odd train at the same time.
     
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  9. Chris Hall

    Chris Hall TrainBoard Member

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    It was such a beautiful day today I really didn't want to spend it down in the dungeon. After taking the dogs for a ride/walk in the bike trailer I decided to drag the layout up into the fresh air to do some work - I know it probably wasn't good for the track but it was good for me. Thankfully the board is very light and easy to move around so it was quite easy to drag it up the three flights of stairs. I managed to get all the servo's fitted to the turnouts and wired to the PCA6985 boards. Plugged everything in and flashed up JMRI. Unfortunately none of the servo's moved so not sure what I have done there. Will have to go back into the code and make sure everything is as it should be.

    Best part was got to drive some trains around - even fired up the new ICE unit I got for a bargain. The programming track on the small panel worked its magic and I was able to read both the decoders in the front and rear units and then assign them together so the lights will work properly. Fitted a replacement keypad as I found the blue colour didn't fit with all the other items, added some numbers to it as well to make it easier to identify each turnout. Just need to go around and trim the piano wire down (once I get the turnouts actually working) plus give the track a real good clean.

    The castle is progressing nicely - will update that later now that the sun is going down and the wife has woken up from her post bike ride afternoon nap.

     
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  10. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Man, what a nice layout, great work. Your panel also looks amazing. Is that the JMRI stuff? What size is the layout? And it is all preformed plastic, making it lite?
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
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  11. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Beautiful!!!! Who says you can't do outdoor railroading with N-Scale???? :D:p:ROFLMAO::LOL:

    The natural sunlight really made the colors pop! Better than typical "dungeon" pictures. (y)
     
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  12. Chris Hall

    Chris Hall TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks! its getting there. I cant recall the exact size but its somewhere around 100x180cm (40x70 inches for you Americans) Its a vacuum formed plastic board with wood supports, although it is quite lightweight wood and I've noticed a definite sag in the middle now, so I'm contemplating whether to make an aluminium table to hold it or add some wood around the edge to give it some extra support. Will probably go with aluminium as that will keep things light - I like being able to pick it up with one arm and carry it around.

    It's quite a big thing over here in Switzerland for this style of layout and I can understand why - easy to move, light and modular too - just not cheap! but the downside is everything is fitted when you get it, so laying the track in the tunnels is a real woo woo woo and as its designed for several different types of track, Fleishmann, Minitrix, Arnold. The track plan doesn't quite fit the board, so I had to get a little fancy and modify a few parts to get it to fit. I even used a computer program to check the layout plan and it didn't connect together properly on that either, so I'm guessing that Minitrix is the preferred track material and the others you just have to deal with it.

    I added in a couple of turnouts in the rear tunnel section that will allow for future expansion of the track to modules I can add either side. Even thought about adding a switching area under the layout to hold trains when not in use but again - thats future Chris's problem, once I have this all working correctly!
     
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  13. Chris Hall

    Chris Hall TrainBoard Member

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    The castle has been progressing slowly. Have finished the buildings and attaching all the wall parts. Not the best quality kit in the world, as I had to make quite a few pieces fit together more snuggly than they came, plus a lot of ironing to smooth out the joints. I decided quite late in the build to illuminate the building (everything else is!) and this proved to be a bit of an error. The LED's work great, but the light leakage through the walls was terrible, so it was retro painting the interiors black, which wasn't easy.

    IMG_4575.jpg

    As with all my project things change as the build progresses and I decided that some exterior illumination was required. Started with some older looking street lights I had, but they were just way out of scale so ended up using some smaller ones I found from China, can't quite remember the scale but I think it was 1/300 or something silly like that. Either way these looked much better and light the path really well.

    IMG_4574.jpg

    Things took a turn for the worse when I did some googling to find accurate pictures of the castle for weathering and scenery. Damn thing has floodlights at night. So it was time to make some nice little floodlights to highlight a couple of the walls. Did some research and then designed and printed some scale lamps that will have micro leds fitted.
    chrome_OjtJv2aLkN.png

    Turns out that scale floodlamp are tiny! I mean 1.5mm x 2mm tiny! The 3d printer somehow printed these little critters - complete with cooling fins - now I just need to get my 8x goggles out to fit the LED's and give myself a headache.

    IMG_4576.jpg
     
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  14. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    Looks like you found the rabbit hole!! Details, details, details!!
     
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  15. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Why light the interior? Aren't castles abandoned and haunted relics? ;)
     
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  16. Chris Hall

    Chris Hall TrainBoard Member

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    thats a fair point.... hmmmm.... maybe I should add some flashing effects and plop the mystery van down the bottom, then Scooby doo and gang can run around the castle looking for g-g-g-g-g-ghosts! :D
     
  17. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    I like the little 3D printed Grogu!
     
  18. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    He is cute. :LOL:
     
  19. Chris Hall

    Chris Hall TrainBoard Member

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    Ah! you spotted him! he is my "helping hand" when testing LED's. The first one cracked when I put him in the oven to bake some clay I had used to fill in some gaps. Printed out a second and its currently in the paint shop - although I am really struggling to get the green colours right.

    IMG_4598.jpg
     
  20. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    I want one!
     
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