This is n-gauge built on a hollow core door. It represents a part of Cleveland, Ohio, where the railroads cross the river. The river isn’t cut out yet. He writes:
Today was the day that a train ran on my new layout under computer control.
I have 14 servos controlling turnouts (I have 16 channels available and can inexpensively get even more expansion capability).
I have 4 separate DC motor controllers to operate up to 4 locomotives simultaneously.
The servos and motors/locos are controlled using pulse width modulation.
Servos can be turned to any of 4096 positions. They are limited to +-90 deg meaning that I have ~0.04 degree precision. My motor controllers feed up to 12v and 2 amps each with 255 speed settings in both forward and reverse. My test loco doesn’t start moving until about 25% power (pulse duty cycle) but has acceptable speed control with the remaining range.
It’s a golden time to be an electronics tinkerer. I built all this for under 200 dollars. I can even remotely log into the controller computer over wifi.
For comparison, a cheapish two channel Digital Command Control power system costs $200 or more and won’t even operate the turnouts. I have a better system, and I can leave programs running to provide hands off exhibition of complex operation on the layout.
It is cork roadbed. It’s glued and then sanded.
The bridges were fun to build. I still need to paint and weather them.
I don’t mind you passing on my message, but I can’t imagine who would be interested.
I’m in the process of arranging industrial buildings and multiple spurs to add visual interest and operational complexity. I am also planning road underpasses and overpasses as well as a kit-bashed factory building that spans over the main line as informal “scene edges”.
There is a river that runs across the layout and is not shown (was not cut yet) in the photographs.
Once again I see a train which appears to be a runaway, possibly without an engineer. If modellers had an easy way to determine a train’s speed, that might help. Well, here is a tip which should help.
I came upon this table a while back. To use it, you need to measure out three feet (or one meter) of track. You also need a timepiece with a second hand. If you run N scale, HO/OO scale or O scale, this table will work for you. Place a marker alongside your track, then a second marker three feet away. Run your train past the first marker and time how long it takes to reach the second marker. Use the table below to determine your train’s speed.
TIME TO TRAVEL 3 FEET AT SCALE SPEED
Prototype Speed N HO O
5 mph 65 sec 36 sec 19 sec
15 mph 22 sec 12 sec 6 1/2 sec
25 mph 13 sec 7 sec 3 1/2 sec
60 mph 5 1/2 sec 3 sec 1 1/2 sec
90 mph 3 1/2 sec 2 sec 1 sec
If you double the distance, then double the time. This will give you a more accurate speed. 1 1/2 seconds goes by pretty fast.
I hope this helps modellers to adjust their scale speeds.
Carl in Kansas”
And lastly Stephen has been in touch again (his last post is here). He’s finished!
Thanks to everyone for today’s post. It’s wonderful to see your layouts, warts and all, transform in to the finished article. And who cares how long it takes? Pottering on your layout is half the fun.
Please doo keep ’em coming.