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Old 01-06-2010, 08:06 PM   #1
rob_campbell@comcast
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Shelf train build log

Hey guys,
I am going to start a thread here to post progress and pictures and such on this project and hopefully get some good feedback along the way.
The goal is this:

- Shelf layout across the top of the windows and doors.
- Go through the walls to span across 3 bedrooms and through the closets.
- Turnouts set up so the train can be routed through just son's room, son's and sister's room, or all three rooms including mine.
- Parallel siding section for switching between 2 trains.
- Hopefully automate the train switch every loop using some relays and reed switches. (My other thread on auto-train switching)
- House all the controls in a nice in-wall mounted box.

Thus far, I have collected all the track, both trains, and am currently staining shelves and should start installation very soon. I am using MTH Realtrax track and turnouts.

I am pretty much a total newbie to O scale (and model trains in general). So I am learning a lot as I go. Feel free to point out obvious things that may not be so obvious to me.

Thanks.
Rob
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:10 PM   #2
rob_campbell@comcast
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OK, so here is the starting point. This is the layout I have generated using the MTH track layout software I got with my set.

The truss bridge shown is right next to my son's pillow as he is up on a bunk bed. This should keep him from accidentally knocking the train off track when he's up there.



Let me know what you think. Do you think I need to have a straight section between the two turnouts butting each other at the siding entrance, or do these do a good enough job of keeping the train on track?
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:05 AM   #3
T-Man
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You have me thinking about block control and running two trains.
You have plenty to do now but you could run them both without DCC.
With magnets and reed switches Each train would be a left magnet or a right. You can control the switches with two reeds. One train could circle the bedroom and the other, the outer loop of the two other rooms.The outer loop only enters at two switches so a block delay would be needed there to stop the inner train. Just a thought. I am still trying to make a circle collision proof.

Not to mess with your plans but do you have room to make two separate loops? Only two walls and a corner would have to be expanded. One wall already has two tracks for a crossover if wanted.
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Last edited by T-Man; 01-07-2010 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:34 AM   #4
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Excellent idea. Postings like yours are a great deal of help to anyone starting off. If I can make a request, include discussion of any mistakes you make. For the person coming behind you, it could spare him/her doing the same if you explain what you did wrong and why it was wrong.
Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:39 AM   #5
rob_campbell@comcast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Man View Post
You have me thinking about block control and running two trains.
You have plenty to do now but you could run them both without DCC.
With magnets and reed switches Each train would be a left magnet or a right. You can control the switches with two reeds. One train could circle the bedroom and the other, the outer loop of the two other rooms.The outer loop only enters at two switches so a block delay would be needed there to stop the inner train. Just a thought. I am still trying to make a circle collision proof.

Not to mess with your plans but do you have room to make two separate loops? Only two walls and a corner would have to be expanded. One wall already has two tracks for a crossover if wanted.
Not sure I can see what you are thinking...do you mean adding an extra section of track on the 4th wall of the lower bedroom in the pic? If you could mark up the picture to indicate what you mean that would be great. I am still open to any ideas. Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:43 AM   #6
rob_campbell@comcast
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Originally Posted by Reckers View Post
Excellent idea. Postings like yours are a great deal of help to anyone starting off. If I can make a request, include discussion of any mistakes you make. For the person coming behind you, it could spare him/her doing the same if you explain what you did wrong and why it was wrong.
Thanks!
I'd like to post my mistakes for others, but since I have everything thought out in advance, everything will go exactly as planned. Yah, sure, that's the way it will go.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:13 AM   #7
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Tman brings very interesting idea. from what you wrote it seems like you will be pre selecting a "current route" for a train and then running it.

suggested is automated route control. assuming clockwise running, train A leaves the station and continues straight into right top room, completes the circle and stops in his siding. train B leaves the station and taking a diverging route and instead going through the bottom room.

As Tman suggests train detection for route control can be accomplished with pair of reed switches (for every turnout, facing AND trailing) positioned on sides of track and each train having the magnet mounted on different side tripping corresponding switch.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:03 AM   #8
rob_campbell@comcast
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Tman brings very interesting idea. from what you wrote it seems like you will be pre selecting a "current route" for a train and then running it.

suggested is automated route control. assuming clockwise running, train A leaves the station and continues straight into right top room, completes the circle and stops in his siding. train B leaves the station and taking a diverging route and instead going through the bottom room.

As Tman suggests train detection for route control can be accomplished with pair of reed switches (for every turnout, facing AND trailing) positioned on sides of track and each train having the magnet mounted on different side tripping corresponding switch.

These are some interesting ideas. I will have to do some more thinking on this. I am still trying to understand how this block control / train detection works that you are talking about. Are you envisioning using this to have both trains out on the track at one time ever?

As far as my current plan, yes I was planning on setting a static "current" route, mainly to be able to bypass the little one's room for nap times, etc, and still allow the boy to run the train through his room. (Son's room is the middle one, daughter's is the one on the right, ours is the bottom). For the siding section, I want to use the reed switches to simply alternate 2 trains running this static route. One pulls in, trips the switch, cuts power, and the other pulls out and runs. I could then also have one of them run clockwise and one CCW for a little variety. Also I want to have an override for this to keep the auto-switch from happening. Then I will be able to run a longer train than the siding can handle at times.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:16 AM   #9
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one train at a time (to make sure the faster one doesn't rear end the slower one)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob_campbell@comcast View Post
I am still trying to understand how this block control / train detection works that you are talking about.
when train A passes by ie the left reed is tripped. train B trips the right reed. based on this input systems determines how to position the turnout.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:22 PM   #10
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I am glad you like the idea. I don't have time to digest what you replied.
But my last idea solves the the block problem, by creating two loops.

You eliminate the black switches. Add the rest. Keep the blue.



Two more things. This will take a large transformer, three rooms is a lot of track.
With a reed switch they are not momentary so two magnets will be needed. One to activate the switch and the second to reset the reed.
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