The NEW C&L Layout

in2tech Mar 22, 2021

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I really like seeing your main track swinging in behind the aircraft. A nice, seeping curve such as that gives an impression of some distance traveled. And avoid the monotony of tracks paralleling the table outline.
     
    Mark Ricci likes this.
  2. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Yep, good thing MK mentioned that I needed to add the Foam Board Fascia :) At first I wasn't happy with the rough cut, dull blade, but now I like it. Done some more mock-up too, picture coming. Of course I'll probably buy Black foam board in the final stages, ( if there are final stages ) so it won't stand out as much.
     
    MK likes this.
  3. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]
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    Some more mock-up’s.


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  4. Dave McDonald

    Dave McDonald TrainBoard Member

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    Have you considered using Kato Unitrack? It is more expensive than Atlas sectional track but the Kato track is just bulletproof. I have always used it because of how easy it goes together and more importantly, how well trains run on it. I know you have already invested in the Atlas track but it might be worth looking at.
     
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  5. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah I have so much Atlas track I don't think it will ever happen. But thanks for the suggestion!
     
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  6. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    image-2021-10-30-19:08:43-947.jpg
    Alright, so I am gonna cut these 1 x 2’s to be a little past my table and add two on the backside so when I bump the layout it will not actually fall OFF the adjustable table. Now it will knock som stuff over. But not slide off. The metal adjustable feet work great for leveling, but very slippery. What you think. When storing this base, I’ll simply loosen the screw, turn it 90 degrees, and tighten it again. Make sense?


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  7. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Well it's about time to TRY and actually see if I can lay the track down with roadbed I bought, and possibly some very, very, very, simple DCC wiring, possibly. I need to take pictures and upload them here incase I forget the actual tack plan that I like. It could change a bit, but it's pretty much the way I like it right now! I just need a reference when I start to take if off and then put it back properly like it is. I am gonna work on the 2' x 4' base that will be up permanently for the most part, first. I'll continue the scenery mock-up after I see if I can actually accomplish this. Here is hoping! I have NEVER tried to actually wire any of my temporary small layouts, add roadbed, scenery, or anything. So this could be really fun, or a disaster.

    We will see, won't we? The key once again is take my time, which I am not very good at. But I will try :) Kind of curious to see how this goes!
     
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  8. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Alright my very first electrical work for just one set of terminal joiners and it works on DC. Now I can add another directly across coming out of terminal block and it will work still, correct? Is that safe to do? Outside track negative and inside positive. And if works on DC will work on DCC?


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  9. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Sure wish the terminal joiner wires were Black and Red. But it is what it is. The terminal joiner wires are so long I can place terminal block in middle of base underneath when done, and connect to terminal block. SInce each of my bases are 2' x 4' wouldn't 2 feeders on the our=tside loop and 2 in the inside loop be fine? I have been running the entire layout with just one connection :) Even with both bases hooked up forming an L shape. And my main problem is when I have bad joiners between track pieces, that are not tight.


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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2021
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  10. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    That is a correct way to use those. I would suggest a dab of insulation on the exposed wires between the ties. Some black liquid electrical tape would do. For the size of your layout, one more set of feeders would be adequate, at the furthest spot away fro your current hookup.

    If you could put a meter on the track at the furthest spot today, and run trains, you would be able to see the voltage drop as you got further and further from the connection. Every rail joiner acts as a tiny bit of resistance, which drops the voltage. The train is still using the same wattage though, so the amps would go up to maintain speed. Amps are what cause heat, and damage. So, one more set of feeders would add a bit of reliability and security, knowing you won't be melting down any loco's.
     
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  11. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    So just two per 2’ x 4’ base not 4? What about the inner loop? So if DC works, which it does, I can hook up my DCC unit and test it? Any polarity on the DCC cause both of my wires are RED. Which I can also add Blue tape to one also to keep up with it. I hope? Still learning.


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  12. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    The more the merrier. :) I would suggest at least 4 and maybe even a few more. Eventually you will want to create tracks you can shut off to store loco, and then switches get added to turn those tracks off and on.
     
  13. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Really, so you want to insulate DCC tracks? I did not know that. So adding more won't hurt anything? Can you tell I have never wired for DCC before, or for that matter DC :) Just trying to be extra careful. First time I tried years ago, blew up a decoder. But to be honest I understand it a lot more then at that time. The terminal Block actually cleared up a lot for me. I get it now.
     
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  14. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Roadbed attempt, have shorter nails on other side. I think it’s gonna work. I did notice when I swapped the bases to work on this one it was really hard to lift by myself. So I am planning on making each 2’ x 2’ piece of foam removable to make it easier on me. Especially the L piece which will not be up all the time. So think of modules within a module so to speak. Roadbed working out better than I thought so far.


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    Last edited: Nov 3, 2021
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  15. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, those are pretty big nails! :eek: O-scale? :ROFLMAO::LOL::D

    You can use T-pins or just regular push pins at Staples next time to have less "damage" to the cork (smaller holes).
     
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  16. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah I have way smaller nails now. I don't clue stuff down so I can change it or take it down. Now that might change for some scenery stuff, but not track and roadbed though. I have the Atlas track nails somewhere around here? And I have two 2'x2' foot foam pieces on each 2' x 4 base. Gonna maje them removable to store or just move around the bases.
     
    Mark Ricci likes this.
  17. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Laying down roadbed. Have to find track nails. Not much glueing for me. Maybe lightly for some scenery?


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  18. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Have 11 feeds on my small double oval 2x4 layout. 7 on the ovals including legs of double crossover, a feed on main spur line and a feed near each end of the 3 spurs. One of the 3 spurs has insulated joiners that will ultimately get routed via a 4PDT center off toggle enabling between OPS and PROG.

    Another approach to evaluate potential power losses... Power loss in DC is something, while undesirable can be lived with to some degree but power loss under DCC is something to avoid as much as possible. Think rough general consensus is placing feeders every 24-36" of track depending on how many track segments are used in between. When installing extra feeders one day, went ahead and measured DC resistance of a 5" segment's outside rail of Kato track, and then an equal length of Kato 22g feeder. The DC resistance of the feeder measured higher than track segment. The same approach is used like with the voltmeter as you mentioned above but with track disconnected from base station.

    The feeder length to the track bus can significantly impact performance, depending on the feeder wire gauge and length. The addition of a 2nd power distribution hub on my layout enabled significant shortening of feeders that resulted in a material increase in performance especially in slow prototypical loco operations. The faster the loco runs, the more momentum mitigates the higher loss track areas (typically farthest from feeders or track ends not tightly held by joiners)on the track so I like to include a few slow speeds tests. Also observed... all locos ran faster, as expected, with the increase in feeders and the reduction of feeder lengths. So agree wholeheartedly, "the more the merrier"!! :)
     
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  19. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Can I get track nails at Lowe’s. The size I need. If not will order online. I know they are here somewhere They will show up after I order some new ones, for sure. I'm just gonna order the Atlas track nails, so I can lose them in the future, again :)


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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2021
  20. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    While I'm using Kato track, wanted at all costs not to glue anything down. Even looked at trying to find wood screws. Prior to adding foam layer, had just 1/4" cork and 1/4" plywood and Atlas HO track nails (from the 1980s layout) which firmly fastened the sample section of n scale kato track down. After removing the track and adding the 5/8 foam layer on top of the cork, the Atlas nails would obviously not hold in the foam and was unable to find longer nails at the diameter of the Kato made hole in the track tie. Anyway, the best compromise found was applying the DAP 40yr caulk at the ends of each track segment. Caulk at the ends is a little easier to deal, has some degree of flexibility (expansion compression) and in the end, once ballasting was done, the track is not going anywhere. Granted, the layout is not "ballasted" in the traditional sense being a winter scene and white Behr ceiling paint is used with Woodland Scenics snowflake on top. Ceiling paint has a little adhesive but not overbearing and holds the track a little as well as the flakes. I'd consider using a similar approach for an non winter layout with the exception of tinting the white ceiling paint to an earth tone and using regular ballast.

    Another approach to consider is using hot glue for tacking down track at track segment ends. A hot air hair dryer or similar should make the glue pliable enough to pull track up if needed relatively unharmed in the event track removal is necessary.

    In the process of troubleshooting loco issues, ended up having to remove some "ballasted" track. It was fairly easy, the track was not damaged in any way. Perhaps, the biggest problem are the imperfections on the foam board created when removing the track. I find foam easy to patch and sand. Replaced some rail joiners that appeared to open or loose but would do that regardless of how track is attached is the board.

    I'd always prefer a fastener (nail or screw) over glue, but I love using foam as top layer more. Just wanted to throw it out there...

    Lastly, I always like getting the rail ends at each track segment as "tight" as possible. Too large of a gap can create conduction issues even with soldering joiners and can slightly skew curves resulting in possible derailments.
     

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