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Discussion Starter #1
This video shows a small test track, demonstrating how part of my next linear motor layout will operate. It will be of a UK prototype, a minor 1930s GWR station, modelled in 1:480 scale (about 7% smaller than normal T Gauge).

The is a simplified and scripted version of the planned operating pattern of part of this layout, with automated shunting of UK-style 4-wheel wagons (each 12mm long!). The trains are just rough test builds for the moment. The full layout will be around 6' in length instead of the test track's 2', so will be able to handle (and shunt) full-length 40- or 50-wagon trains.

 

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Man, I can already hear John about how tight that is to get his Super Chuffer installed!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
FWIW, 6' x 2' works out to be the equivalent of 33' x 11' in HO, or about half a mile, but even with a small country station I am still going to have to do some track rearrangement to fit it all in.

Also, sound is quite practical in this scale with a couple of speakers under the layout, since the controlling computer always knows exactly where each loco is and what it is doing. However, as an exhibition layout, it is probably best not to do that since it will either be inaudible over the crowd noise or so loud that the neighbours complain. The level/grade crossing on the previous layout has working bells, but during three days of exhibition running nobody noticed!
 

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Did you make the track or buy it, if so where?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Did you make the track or buy it, if so where?
All DIY. I design the circuit boards at home, each consisting of several pieces of track and joiners, then have them manufactured in small hobbyist-sized batches by a standard commercial PCB manufacturer. It works out to about US$10 per metre of track, a third of which is the shipping cost!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Can we see some closeups of how the track is constructed?

I hear you with shipping costs! I just bought 20 53mm x 77mm PCB blanks, the cost was $3.30, and shipping was $16.81 from China!
Oh yes, that postage hurts.

The glued-down track and paper surface conceals all the interesting details on the two completed layouts and the shunting test track, but here are a few pics from my early experiments through to a few weeks ago with both road and rail. You can see how they evolved over time, starting with one of IDL's small oval tracks in the first pic.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
And for what it is worth, the track and control boards for the new layout arrived this afternoon. Just over 24m of track (the new layout needs about 19-20m), and enough daisy-chained modular section/switching boards for the next 2-3 layouts.

From top left: point control, storage road control, 3 x stop section control, a mix of straights and curves, a different mix with more straights and joiners for the 6' long layout. And of course, my standard photo size yardstick.

Now I have to test them all. Sigh.
 

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