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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I have finally taken a deep breath and started on my second layout. Like many other users, I scrapped my first layout after it became too unmanageable and after the cat poked countless holes in the scenery, as she climbed into the middle of it (it was a kind of Godzilla effect). I've also switched from HO to N scale, which works better for our apartment.

I'm working off two 1" foam boards. I have a 1/2" plywood base that I may use. I'm determined to make this easy to put away under the spare bed. It's 2' by 4', so pretty small. I'm trying some rather tight inner curves (9" radius). I'm going to see how this flies, once I get some test runs going. I'm using just two short inclines/declines. They are 4% grades, but I'm only using them for a 1" climb. I want some incline/decline but don't want the roller coaster effect of long sharp drops. This is also my first use of flex track. I picked up a ton of it at a train show super cheap.

I'm trying to do this one at a good pace, having learned many lessons (the hard way) from my last attempt.

The scenery will be a little unorthodox but more on that later.
 

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Your off to a great start, I like the under bed storage idea, sadly all that space is used up in my household. The 9" should work pretty good, I had no issues with mine but long passenger cars just look funny on it. Looking eager to see your progress :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Your off to a great start, I like the under bed storage idea, sadly all that space is used up in my household. The 9" should work pretty good, I had no issues with mine but long passenger cars just look funny on it. Looking eager to see your progress :thumbsup:
Thanks! We'll see how the boxcars look on the tight curves. Just bought a rail cutter online today. I'm hoping that will make working with flex track a lot easier. Also, just had my first attempt at weathering some rolling stock. ...I'm happy with the results.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wiring help

Hey guys, things are going well with the layout, ...mostly. Laying flex track seriously tested my patience but track issues have been resolved and things were running great.

A new problem has arisen. Last night I worked on a rail yard. I plopped a loco down to run around the track, it did a few laps and then [brrrrrrrrrrrrrr] - current is still running through the train, the light is on and I can here the motor making a brrrrrrrr noise, but the engine will not move. I've tried two locos - same result. I tried disconnecting the rail yard, no change. I had two feeder points, so I unhooked one of them. Still no change.

Thoughts? I wonder if it is an insulation thing? I have insulated rail joiners after each turn out (see pic attached), but I don't have insulators isolating the inner loop. Could that be the problem? I've been tinkering but putting in rail joiners on the inner loop will result in more fighting with flex track, so was hoping you guys might have some insight before I have to rip anything up (again). [deep breaths].

One additional question - my Atlas wiring book shows insulators on the inner rail and I've put mine on the outer rail (Murphy's law). Is this a big deal?

Also, ...how do I insert a pic into the message instead of just attaching? when I click insert image it brings up a url box (huh?)

Thanks for all your help - past, present and future!
 

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One additional question - my Atlas wiring book shows insulators on the inner rail and I've put mine on the outer rail (Murphy's law). Is this a big deal?
Yes they need to be on the inside most of the time. Insulators are needed where Positive rail comes in contact with the negative rail. Just follow your wire diagram, you'll see them, you did great drawing it up :thumbsup:

Also, ...how do I insert a pic into the message instead of just attaching? when I click insert image it brings up a url box (huh?)
After you upload your pictures close the attachment box. Then re-hit the paperclip and your attachments will show in bold, just click the ones you want to attach, click preview to make sure it worked. Just so you don't get yelled at :rolleyes: When you attach them, they form a string, you need to break them apart one picture per line.
see top for answers since I got message to short error :laugh:
 

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Great start on the layout. Glad to hear about the flex track. It seems that flex track gives one the opportunity to be a little more creative. Nothing like soldering track together or ballasting the track. For ballast, I have had great success with Arizona Rock & Mineral ballast.....does not float like the Woodland Scenic material does.

Best of luck on your project.
 

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I say scrap the under the bed thing, and build a custom coffee table for the layout so you can use it all the time. 2x4 is the size that I am building my n scale layout also.
 

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It should be looking like this. Blue are the insulators, you should only need 3. The 15* crossing should be dead in the center, so no insulators are needed for that. The top right has the two feeders, your one pic shows one on the turnout in the middle. If this does not work we'll get Anton or Sean to look at it. Unless someone sees something I missing :eek:
Layoutwiring1.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It should be looking like this. Blue are the insulators, you should only need 3. The 15* crossing should be dead in the center, so no insulators are needed for that. The top right has the two feeders, your one pic shows one on the turnout in the middle. If this does not work we'll get Anton or Sean to look at it. Unless someone sees something I missing :eek:
View attachment 15873
Thanks. I think we are on the same page.

After a day of returning to layout to stare, check connections etc., a light bulb came on tonight - I opened up the brrrrrrring loco and sure enough, there was a tiny piece of cotton ball (I had used to clean the rails) jamming the thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
nice, a little switching and some railfanning :thumbsup: what's the plan for catzilla defences?
Hmmm, not sure about catzilla strategy. I think I'll put the layout up high, or figure out how to build it into a coffee table and cover it with glass. Or perhaps I could build a model of Tokyo and make a feature out of her :)
 

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Thanks. I think we are on the same page.

After a day of returning to layout to stare, check connections etc., a light bulb came on tonight - I opened up the brrrrrrring loco and sure enough, there was a tiny piece of cotton ball (I had used to clean the rails) jamming the thing.
I suggest a "bright boy" type track eraser for cleaning the track. Another good option when tunnels are involved is a track cleaning car .:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I suggest a "bright boy" type track eraser for cleaning the track. Another good option when tunnels are involved is a track cleaning car .:thumbsup:
I have a bright boy and use it often. It's great! I've looked at track cleaning cars, but they seem so expensive. Any ideas?

Also, and this is just a general question - for someone toying with the idea of going to DCC...how much can I expect to shell out? Any suggestions on good DCC equipment?
 

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I have an N Scale Roco track cleaning car. Have had it for years and never replaced the pad.
The best thing to do is keep the locos clean. I use a Minitrix Wheel cleaner for them.

I dont have dcc so cant be any help there .
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I say scrap the under the bed thing, and build a custom coffee table for the layout so you can use it all the time. 2x4 is the size that I am building my n scale layout also.
Your coffee table suggestion is taking root. ...I'm constantly found staring at the layout construction imagining ...wait, that sounds childish ...how about conceptualizing to my hearts content. Anyone ever tried a removable tunnel? ...and I'm not talking about those things that gather dust at hobby shops.
 

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Your coffee table suggestion is taking root. ...I'm constantly found staring at the layout construction imagining ...wait, that sounds childish ...how about conceptualizing to my hearts content. Anyone ever tried a removable tunnel? ...and I'm not talking about those things that gather dust at hobby shops.
When I go to build the table for my coffee table layout, I plan to make one side fold down for access to under the tunnel. I left the tunnel open along the side for just that reason.
 
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