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JR-Chiisai: Storage yard modules


Martijn Meerts

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Ah, right. It seems all modeltrain shops are going to visit Nürnburg. I still like seeing some of the newly announced Dutch trains on the internet, even though I don't buy them myself.

Also, those Flirt EMU's from eurobahn from Venlo go through Viersen too right?

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Martijn Meerts

Well, the module boxes are all done, managed to sand down the cork a bit as well to flatten it out. Next step is to draw a general outline of where the track will be, and paint the cork black in those areas.

 

Might take a while though, looks like there's some long days at work this week, need to get some project finished soon :)

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Martijn Meerts

Some quick pictures showing the 4 module boxes back to back. This is also approximately the position they'll be in in the actual layout.

 

The modules from left to right are 125x70, 160x70, 125x70 and 40x70. The little dark dot/line in the center is an EF58 :)

jrc-sy01_020-module_boxes_01.jpg

jrc-sy01_021-module_boxes_02.jpg

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Martijn Meerts

I was determined to be able to have full length shinkansen in the yard :)

 

It's really a LOT more difficult designing for long trains than it is for shorter trains though. There are a ton of things to consider, especially since I'm also going to full computer control. I'm fairly certain that my shinkansen and express models won't be visible much on the layout, really only when they pull into or out of the station. I'm fine with that though, since that way they'll run at low speeds so you can actually enjoy them rather than have them shoot by at top speed ;)

 

Luckily I still have a lot of time to work on a track plan, because it'll be a while before the yard is done. I'm not looking forward to wiring the whole thing actually =)

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Indeed, a 4-car shinkansen at full speed is almost invisible, especially the tomix ones I've seen on youtube. :grin

I like express trains to go a little faster than commuter trains since I like going past a commuter train while riding an intercity. :cool: (in other words, it's more prototypically)

What kind of digital and computer system are you planning on using?

 

Luckily I still have a lot of time to work on a track plan, because it'll be a while before the yard is done. I'm not looking forward to wiring the whole thing actually =)
Then you shouldn't make such complicated layouts, though they have a charm and when you build one you should do it right.
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Martijn Meerts

Probably going to use the ECoS, although I'm not sure yet. I also have a Lenz system I could use, or maybe something new/more interesting will pop up :)

 

Software wise, I may start with Rocrail, but I've been slowly working a little on ideas and designs for my own, native Mac OS X application for a while now. Something that's easy to use for everyone and doesn't use weird programmer's lingo like Rocrail (and many others) likes to do ;)

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Martijn Meerts

PICTURES! =)

 

Image 022:

The first of the turnouts is wired. I've added blue and red wire to both outer tracks and the tracks leading to the frog. The frog will be isolated and polarity will be switched automatically by the servo decoder (the green wire connects to the frog). Another blue and red wire are soldered to the switch rails (the moving part). It's not necessary to solder this many wires to the turnouts, but I want them to be as reliable as possible for as long as possible :)

 

 

Image 023:

Very crude drill template to make it easier to drill the holes for all the wires, as well as cut out the hole for the steel wire from servo to the turnout.

 

 

Image 024:

First 2 turnouts in place, with a little spacer in between. Even without ballasting, the wires are almost invisible already.

 

 

Image 025:

The first 5 tracks are in place, which makes the whole thing take shape. So far, all the tracks have a stop section installed for the block system I'll be using. Stop sections are 25cm long, but I might shorten it for the rest of the tracks because I want to subdivide them into multiple blocks. That way I can park several shorter trains on 1 track rather than use up 2.5 meter worth of track for a single-car Kiha40 or something :)

jrc-sy01_022-the_first_of_many.jpg

jrc-sy01_023-drill_template.jpg

jrc-sy01_024-first_turnouts.jpg

jrc-sy01_025-starting_to_look_like_something.jpg

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Whoa, that's really gonna be huge if you consider that that's just a fragment of the amount of tracks.

You were using Peco code 55 right? That's one hell of a job to cut all that track.

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Martijn Meerts

It's all Peco code 55 yes. A good rail cutter or 2 really helps. I have one for rough cutting (the one with the orange handles on on the left in the bottom picture) and another one for more precise cuts (the one in the center hidden beneath the lens cap)

 

The only problem is that I used the more precise one to try and cut some other wires, and it got a bunch of notches in it :)

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It still doesn't appeal to me, to me it feels as if I would just destroy all track.

 

That DB and Japanese car look very weird together by the way.

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Martijn Meerts

It's definitely easier to use something like Tomix or Kato, or even Fleischmann or Minitrix track for that matter, but you're a lot less flexible. I used to hate flex track as well, and I still think it's a lot of work getting it right. But seeing sweeping curves like http://www.ta-kky.com/lrm/landscape/jam-3.html, or a train station in a slight curve like http://www.ta-kky.com/lrm/minakamistation/8.html (bottom picture) makes it worth it for me.

 

It definitely took a while before I figured out a good way of doing things, and investing in the track cutters was well worth it.

 

 

As for the yard, I've added all the sleepers missing in the pictures above, and added stop sections. Before I continue laying track though, I'm going to cut the frogs of the turnouts to isolate them from the powered tracks (the frog needs the polarity changed, so it needs to be isolated completely).

 

After that I'll hook up some servo's (just ordered an ESU servo because it has a nice mounting cage included, as well as an easy way to mount the wire that controls the turnout), and power the track, and see if everything works out. Next step will then be to add an occupancy detector and test all that stuff with the ECoS.

 

Still lots of work ahead :)

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Yeah, I have to agree on that, curves like that are lots better and prototypical.

I have that website before, but now that I see it again it's actually a really great idea; using flextrack with kato/tomix switches. Then you don't have to bother about the switches, but only on the flextrack. The only downside is that it's more difficult to make kato or tomix switches DDC, so I've read.

 

I hope that everything will go well.

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Martijn Meerts

It's not more difficult to make Kato/Tomix switches DCC, you just need the correct decoders. Most decoders expect turnout motors with 3 wires, whereas Kato/Tomix turnout motors only have 2. There are several brands that make turnout decoders specifically for Kato turnouts, and those work with Tomix as well. Also, decoders for LGB should work as well.

 

Another option is a custom board with 2 resistors, 2 diodes and 2 transistors to go from 3 outputs to 2 output, so you can hook up Kato/Tomix turnouts to regular turnout decoders.

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Martijn Meerts

The first locomotive ran on the yard yesterday! :)

 

Installed, connected and setup 2 servo's as well as wired up 2 turnouts and 2 blocks. I figured I'd need to test things before laying the rest of the track.

 

Initially the occupancy detectors wouldn't give any feedback, and it took a long time of googling and testing things before discovering the S88 cable form detector to ECoS was faulty...... And it was a cable I bought pre-assembled even.. Anyway, fixed the cable and now the emperor is all happy again, because the EF58-61 ran like a dream on the code 55 track and turnouts. Even at speed step 1 it'll go through the turnouts without stalling.

 

Now I just need to do the rest of the tracks ... And then the other 3 sections... :)

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The first locomotive ran on the yard yesterday! :)

 

Installed, connected and setup 2 servo's as well as wired up 2 turnouts and 2 blocks. I figured I'd need to test things before laying the rest of the track.

 

Initially the occupancy detectors wouldn't give any feedback, and it took a long time of googling and testing things before discovering the S88 cable form detector to ECoS was faulty...... And it was a cable I bought pre-assembled even.. Anyway, fixed the cable and now the emperor is all happy again, because the EF58-61 ran like a dream on the code 55 track and turnouts. Even at speed step 1 it'll go through the turnouts without stalling.

 

Now I just need to do the rest of the tracks ... And then the other 3 sections... :)

 

 

could we have some pics of the servos please?

 

i'm really interested in this as i have a dislike for tomix track offering and am thinking of using the same. curious as to how the install was done and what tools you used etc.

 

Thanks in Advance really liking this thread as i can use the info from here for my own layout.

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Martijn Meerts

I'll see if I can grab some closeups of the servos and how I installed them. I'm using Peco track though, which makes it easier to install the servos, but it would work much the same for any other track.

 

I'm really liking the Peco code 55 actually. The way it's manufactured makes it extremely sturdy, yet still looking very prototypical. Even the rail joiners are nearly invisible, and probably will be completely invisible after 'rusting' and ballasting the track. It takes a lot longer to lay the track, especially the curved sections, but to me it's worth it considering the end result.

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Martijn Meerts

Keitaro, here's a couple of images of the turnout adjustments I make (visual ones, a picture of the way I wire them is already posted in the thread), and how I install the servos

 

 

Image 026:

Left is an unaltered turnout, right is one I adjusted. I cut off the plastic where you usually mount the Peco turnout motor. Since I don't use them, I don't need the additional (and non-prototypical :)) plastic. I also remove a metal plate from the bottom as well as a little spring that normally holds the point blades in place.

 

 

Image 027:

Closeup of the altered area. On the left you can see the little spring (the blue arrow points to it), on the right the spring is removed, which leaves a little hole. I use a 0.25mm drill to make the hole slightly bigger, so that the steel wire from the servo fits in there.

 

 

Image 028:

Here the blue arrows are pointing to the steel wires coming from the servos. These are cut off fairly roughly , still need to adjust them a little, so they're a little more flush to the top of the turnout. Eventually, when they're painted you really won't see them at all anymore :)

 

 

Image 029:

Servo mounted underneath the turnout. I used a bit of felt to dampen the sound a little, because the servos are somewhat noisy. You won't notice the noise with trains running, but it's no problem adding the felt.

 

 

Image 030:

Closeup of the steel wire that actually throws the switch. You can actually see it's slightly bent, which isn't a problem, and makes sure the point blades are snug against the main rails. The hole the wire goes through is 3.2mm wide and about 1cm long. I used a 3.2mm drill for the initial hole, and a Dremel router add-on to make it 1cm long. It's quite possible to just drill a 1cm hole really, but I had the router add-on anyway, so I figured what the heck ;)  Oh, and this one doesn't have the felt added, which is how I found out the servos are a bit noisy  :grin

 

 

 

If you need any more pictures, let me know :)

jrc-sy01_026-turnout_adjustments.jpg

jrc-sy01_027-turnout_adjustments_closeup.jpg

jrc-sy01_028-turnout_wire.jpg

jrc-sy01_029-servo.jpg

jrc-sy01_030-servo_closeup.jpg

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Thanks for the pics Marti!

 

I was thinking of using peco like your self for the storage yard too. Btw how do these go with tomix/kato track?

 

I would imagine you would need to put something beneath to level it out and the track might have height differences?

 

I want to use tomix above ground don't suppose that would be an easy job to use servo's on.

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Martijn Meerts

They can be made to work with Tomix track, but I'm not sure how easy that'd be. It'd be easier if you used Peco code 80 track, since that's about the same profile as the Tomix track. I'm not sure what's available in code 80 with regards to turnouts though.

 

Tomix turnouts can be controller by servos as well, the main issue being connecting the steel wire that throws the switch. I guess if you carefully drill a hole, either with a hand drill or very carefully with a drill press it should work without damaging anything. You might also need to add some feeder wires and possibly look at switching frog polarity.

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Darklighter

It'd be easier if you used Peco code 80 track, since that's about the same profile as the Tomix track.

Peco Code 55 is actually Code 80 with the rails embedded into the ties.

You can easily join Peco Code 55 to Unitrack using the Peco rail joiners and an approx. 3.5 mm high roadbed for the Peco track. I guess this will work with Tomix track, too (using a higher roadbed).

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Martijn Meerts

Darklighter, wasn't sure the Peco rail joiners would fit on the Tomix track, or the Tomix joiners on the Peco track. I haven't really tried, and well, I don't really need to :) I do love the Tomix track, but I'm planning on going all out on the detailing of the layout, which means ballasting as well. Of course, it'd be even better to build the track from scratch, but in N-scale you don't notice it :)

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Martijn Meerts

Did some re-cataloging of my models the past day, and measured the lengths of pretty much all of them. I needed the lengths to determine the blocks for the yard. Ended up with:

 

- 11 terminal tracks of 1 block each for 16 car trains

- 5 through tracks of 1 block each for up to 16 car trains

- 3 through tracks with 2 blocks each for up to 8 car trains

- 1 through track with 3 blocks for up to 5 car trains

- 1 through track with 4 blocks for up to 4 car trains

- 1 through track with 5 blocks for up to 3 car trains

- 1 through track with 8 blocks for up to 2 car trains

 

That means the yard can hold a total of 42 trains of varying sizes :)

 

 

 

While cataloging I noticed I have just over 32 meters worth of shinkansen .....

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