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Kyuhae's desktop layout

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In this thread i'll be posting about progress on my layout. Feel free to comment, ask questions, suggest things...


A few words about what I aim to achieve:

  • Modular design:

My available space is on my desk, about 60x180cm. Occasionally, I may also have a larger space (on the double bed!🤣).

I have decided to use modules, somewhat similar to the T-Track standards. Some modules will be exactly to T-track spec, just in case I ever meet anyone near me who also does T-Track. Others will be custom sizes to accommodate different track configurations, or to fit into the available space.


  • Setting / Era

I will be mostly modelling steam-period Japan, as well as the UK, Germany, and basically any other locations that I think would be nice (I am not excluding the possibility of doing scenery based on fantasy novels, games, books, or artistic / abstract scenery made from origami paper for example).

A given module would be set in a given period/country, but I will be connecting modules representing different periods/countries to form a full circuit. (if I had the space, time and money for a full fleet and layout for each era and country, that's what i would do! But for now we'll have to imagine that the layout depicts some kind of crazy worldwide railway, architecture and landscape museum with full-sized models 😁. Either that, or some mad scientist installed teleporting gateways on railways across the world...)


  • Computer-assisted or Computer-automated control

I have an Arduino Uno, which uses the arduino motor shield to power the track. This allows me to write a program to control the power supply to the tracks.

By computer-assisted, I mean that I will develop a program on the pc (and hopefully for smartphones at a later date) to be able to perform actions such as a progressive start from a standstill, or a progressive halt, simply by pressing a button or key.

By computer-automated I mean an alternate mode, where operation is fully automated, no intervention needed. This might be done at a later date once I decide how to go about building my own point motors and controlling them via the arduino. (as well as acquiring other sensors, either hall effect, ultrasound, or a camera.


  • Sound (from external loud speakers)

I'd love to have some sounds to help bring the trains and scenes to life. I plan on achieving this by playing sound files from a laptop which will communicate with the arduino. Whistles could be controlled similarly to the computer-assisted control mentioned above, and exhaust beat / coasting / brake squeels could be played automatically depending on the power supplied to the track by the arduino.

It would also be nice to have some ambient sounds, such as wildlife, station announcements, and so on, either automated and random, or manually played.



Progress so far:

First image shows the join between the peco code 55 flex track, with woodland scenics foam underlay, to kato unitrack. There is a slight difference in height, both due to the underlay, and at the actual rail join, but it does not seem to be big enough to have a huge impact on running.

Second image shows the module construction. Minimal tools required: base is a sheet of extruded polystyrene cut with a bread knife, onto which the track is glued with PVA / Wood glue. R249 curves on these two 180° end modules.







Edited by Kyuhae
adding image captions
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Progress report n°1

Two straight modules (100x25cm) were built. One module will become a station, and has a passing loop. The other will act as a hidden siding, which will look like a junction (hidden siding will go into a tunnel portal). The modules are resting on two U-shaped support pieces on the desk, allowing the layout to high enough that I can still use my laptop, especially if the outermost straight module is removed.




I've also started playing around with editing some audio files pulled from youtube videos of various locos. Here is an example:





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