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Discussion Starter #1
If I model a mountain using metal window screen will the metal in the screen interfere with the DCC signal if I tunnel through the mountain?

Ronham
 

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The DCC signal is sent through the tracks, it's not wireless. So no, the window screen will not interfere. The only thing that will block the DCC signal is if you drop a screwdriver across the tracks.
 

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All my scenery is fashioned out of metal window screen covered with ground goop. This is layout #3 done that way, with no problems. About the only thing that it could interfere with is radio signals, but that still doesn't preclude the decoder from reading directly off the rails.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I should have realized that. The signal is transmitted through the track, not wireless. I’m switching from 3 rail MTH DCS to HO DCC. Both use AC in the rails to send the signal so the signal is probably basically the same using DCS or DCC. My MTH mountains were made of chicken wire and hydro cal. I had no signal problems. I should have thought before asking.

Thanks,
Ronham
 

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Ronham, may I suggest using fiberglass window screen? Much easier to work with and doesn't leave your fingers and hands looking like you've been scratched by a cat.

Kenny
 

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Ronham, may I suggest using fiberglass window screen? Much easier to work with and doesn't leave your fingers and hands looking like you've been scratched by a cat.

Kenny
But does it hold it's shape like wire?
 

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I guess the metal wire being referred to is the large hole chicken wire, only..Because old metal window screen is very dif to find..It's all nylon now which of course does not hold its shape when bent...
 

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Unless you will be using forms every 6 inches or so under the screen, fibreglass is not the best choice.
 

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But does it hold it's shape like wire?
Just like metal screen wire, you will have to put some kind of support under the fiberglass screen. You can't slap plaster or drywall joint compound on unsupported metal screen wire and you can't do it with fiberglass screen either. In other words both need underneath support of some kind. I found that the fiberglass screen is easier to shape. I used 1 x 3's fasten to 1 x 2 cleats that were screwed to the base plywood cut to different lengths then stapled the screen to them and covered it all with dry wall joint compound. That was 4 layouts ago. When that drywall seam sealer dries, it's hard like plaster. The only draw back I found was, since drywall seam sealer isn't meant to be used as a heavy coat like plaster, it should be applied in thinner coats. To add another layer, the first doesn't have to be completely dry, plus since it doesn't dry as fast as plaster you can shape it around on the fiberglass screen to make different shapes.
Bottom line, the fiberglass screen holds up just fine. My first layout was 40 years ago and it was metal screen wire. Then forward a few years and my next layout was fiberglass when it came out. My latest American Flyer layout is blue or pink foam still using the joint compound. Even used some broken ceiling tile to form stratus rock formations mixed in with the foam. This time I used very little of the screen. Where I did, it was integrated with the foam and broken ceiling tile. Looks just fine to me. Notice the the wall to the right. That is fiberglass screen covered with the drywall compound. The area in the center of the picture showing the foam board has since been taken out and redone so as not to be so even as shown using the fiber glass screen to make better shapes. Metal or fiberglass is your choice. Speaking from many years of experience, they both work when done properly.

Kenny
AF pics for Forum 113.jpg
 

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I guess the metal wire being referred to is the large hole chicken wire, only..Because old metal window screen is very dif to find..It's all nylon now which of course does not hold its shape when bent...
Check with most any hardware store or lumber yard, ask for "hardware cloth". You can find it in sizes up to 1" squares however the 1/4" is probably the easiest to work with and still be strong enough to hold its shape well. You CAN still occasionally find the metal window screen (believe it or not, the last place I saw it was at walmart!) but that won't be as strong as the larger stuff.
 

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I bought 1/2" hardware cloth for the mountain on the south side of the layout. Big mistake. This stuff is difficult to impossible to work with in small areas. It does maintain its shape very well. The problem is getting it in shape.

Far large areas though, like rolling plains or fields it would be fine.

The 1/4" might be more manageable like Shdwdrgn wrote.
 

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I guess the metal wire being referred to is the large hole chicken wire, only..Because old metal window screen is very dif to find..It's all nylon now which of course does not hold its shape when bent...
I could go to Lowes, home Depot, or my local lumberyard right now and buy it off the shelf. They also have nylon.
 
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