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My second linear motor layout is now taking shape. This is another small Aussie layout, a 48" x 17" model in T scale (1:450) of a typical but fictitious location on the outer edge of the Melbourne electric suburban network. Quite a few lines around Melbourne drop down to single track for their last station or two before the terminus. The setting is the 1970s / early 1980s, and will feature a good mix of EMU stock from that period, all 3D printed.

The track plan is a simple stretched oval, which will mainly run as a point-to-point shuttle with the rear half of the oval concealed behind the backscene. Having a continuous run helps during testing, and will allow a great deal of operating flexibility. As usual, the layout will be fully automated, with up to 4 trains running in a semi-random sequence from either end of hidden track.

The layout also features a working two-lane road system and fully functional level crossing, with road traffic stopping and giving way to the trains.

As with Monbulk Creek, the linear motor system is my own re-implementation of an IDL Motors product. The main construction work is almost done, just needing a few magnetic sensors under the road portion before permanently fixing it in place. Basic testing of each track loop is complete, and the next couple of weeks will be devoted to the electronics and software needed for it to display its full bag of tricks.
 

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I've been making steady progress on the electronics, which is (are?) now finally complete. Built, tested, and installed. The support wiring (power supply, controls, etc) is also done. The next step is to upgrade the simple test software I have been using to something that can bring the layout to life. I'll see about making a short under-construction video when it gets to that stage.

I've also started designing one of the trains - "Tait" electric suburban stock from the 1920s that was still in service until the early 1980s.
 

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A working version of the software came together much faster than expected. This simple version only handles 1 train and 5 road vehicles in each direction (instead of the planned 4 and 10), but it proves that everything works as a complete system.

 

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Awesome! Are you able to control the speed of the train and cars, or is everything as we see it? That's cool how the cars stop when the train is crossing!
 

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Awesome! Are you able to control the speed of the train and cars, or is everything as we see it? That's cool how the cars stop when the train is crossing!
There is full control for the trains, and when complete this will include gradual station stops and starts for a sequence of up to 4 of them. For the cars, I can set a different fixed speed for each lane, but this has to be high enough to give cars enough time to clear the crossing section in the face of an approaching train. I will set a longer warning time for approaching trains though - the current 5 seconds is simply not enough. The cars start and stop by switching sections of track on and off, so this behaviour will always have to be abrupt.
 

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A basic set of three trains for this layout is now complete. They cover two of the main types of suburban stock in service in Melbourne around 1980. If there is time before its first exhibition in late August, I may see about building an example of the third type as well, the one that was starting to replace them. As usual, the models are 3D printed and hand painted, with decals for the gold lining and Eishindo pantographs. The video shows them running on Monbulk Creek for a bush setting, as there are still spots on the network that look much like that.

 

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This is fantastic. I posted a thread about this, with a link here, on the O-Gauge forum. I think this is one of the most interesting layouts I have seen in several years.

Really great!!!
 

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Thanks for your comments, folks. The layout has to be finished in 3 weeks for its exhibition debut, so I'll do a proper video then. I've spent the last couple of days working on the exhibition trappings for this one and its smaller partner. That aspect is nearly done, so it will be back to the scenery again...
 

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It is finished, and ready for its first show. Still some rough edges and known issues, which I will attend to before its next outing.

 

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Holy sh*t. That's insane. Martin, you are insane ... must be something in the air in the land Down Under.

But ...

That craftsmanship at such an incredibly tiny, tiny scale is amazing. And the moving cars! Who does that??!? You do, of course. I think it must be smoke and mirrors, but you've shown us under the hood a bit so we know that it's not. It's patience and skill. And you are loaded with those.

Thank you for sharing, again. Your work is superb!!!

TJ
 
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