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Hey everyone !!! This is my first post on any model train forum ever ! Pretty interesting as I've been on many forums from aquariums to many different types of cars and for fun some hacking forums lol.

Anyways I've always loved trains since my grandfather growing up had his own room with them. I even inherited a few items that i still have with me to this day. Life of course got a hold of me and I had to sweep it under the rug even though I didnt attempt this. but it happens sadly. Whenever I see trains it reminds me though.

I'm getting to the point. promise. :laugh:

After a lot of life changing events I was able to empty my storage unit and ran across some HO scale and N scale items from 20 yrs ago. !! WTF !!! haha

I then realized that modeling was a lot more affordable today then when I was 10 lol.

I have boughten a lot of things. Back then I didnt have youtube or ebay or amazon either so this changed the game for me!

So as you can probably guess Im starting from scratch. I have a whole new set of ideas, tools, planning, and logic to put this together so I wanted to find somewhere I could share the journey.

Check it out. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
























The benchwork is actually not on the floor it is hanging from storage rafters that are in the garage. I have to do this because Im renting the house I live in and If i have to move well then I need a portable set up. hence N scale and Hence a hanging shelf !

I hope yall dig it Happy Friday !
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Welcome to the site.

I see your planning a tunnel? Or a mountain?
Plan on some kind of access to get inside it, in case of a derailment.

Watch down by the bottom of the portal too where the curve is.
Leave enough room for the train, looks kind of close right now.


By all means get some more power strips too. :p

Watch that you don't overload them.:smokin:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the site.

I see your planning a tunnel? Or a mountain?
Plan on some kind of access to get inside it, in case of a derailment.

Watch down by the bottom of the portal too where the curve is.
Leave enough room for the train, looks kind of close right now.


By all means get some more power strips too. :p

Watch that you don't overload them.:smokin:


Thanks! Ya I do plan on building two tunnels/mountains. One per side of the board.

I have thought about that ! So My idea was to build up half of the mountain and then have it split somewhere in the middle where I can sort of sling a "dress" over it for scenery but also be able to lift up and take it off to get to any derailed trains.

You are right it is very tight. but actually not to tight I've pined down some track as an example and ran a few trains by. The real test will be when I actually glue the track down lol . so I hope my planning is a success.

As far as power strips, Im not to worried about that. Im actually going to be running a DCC setup. It will be my first time ever installing one so Im bound to run into a few things. I have been doing a lot of research and reading though. I for sure will report here when I come up with some issues.

Like I said Im bound to run into them haha

Thanks for the response man ! And no smokin haha like I said Im renting this place lol
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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What are the red things in the scenery picture?
It sort of looks like you just tossed all the stuff on it in 3 seconds.


I like the trees, but the tobacco looking stuff needs some work?
Or is that wackie to-bacc-ieee?:p
Clean it off the tracks too. ;)

Did you paint the bottom?
To me it is kind of dark, but that would be up to you.

For the mountain I would try to figure out a way to just lift the whole thing out. It looks like it is backed up to the wall in a spot where you can't see the back?

I made this for a corner, I can pick the whole thing up.
I started with scrap packing materials. Then stuffed it with balled up newspaper on the inside while I plaster clothed the out side. After it hardened I removed the newspaper.

Started like this, (THE ROCK)
My Rock thread,
https://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=5314
Take a look if you want, maybe you can pick up a few ideals.

PB250033.jpg
PB260039.jpg

This is not the finished product, matter of fact it still is not finished as that gas meter was relocated outside now and the whole corner is torn down now, waiting for me to rebuild it.
The tunnel is not for the trains but for vehicles. The road goes nowhere.:)

PC180008 (1).jpg

This is an O scale table so my rock is fairly big, but I can pick it up to move it around. Your N scale mountain will be smaller.
I would try to find a way to make it portable back in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What are the red things in the scenery picture?
It sort of looks like you just tossed all the stuff on it in 3 seconds.


I like the trees, but the tobacco looking stuff needs some work?
Or is that wackie to-bacc-ieee?:p
Clean it off the tracks too. ;)

Did you paint the bottom?
To me it is kind of dark, but that would be up to you.

For the mountain I would try to figure out a way to just lift the whole thing out. It looks like it is backed up to the wall in a spot where you can't see the back?

I made this for a corner, I can pick the whole thing up.
I started with scrap packing materials. Then stuffed it with balled up newspaper on the inside while I plaster clothed the out side. After it hardened I removed the newspaper.

Started like this, (THE ROCK)
My Rock thread,
https://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=5314
Take a look if you want, maybe you can pick up a few ideals.

View attachment 510064
View attachment 510060

This is not the finished product, matter of fact it still is not finished as that gas meter was relocated outside now and the whole corner is torn down now, waiting for me to rebuild it.
The tunnel is not for the trains but for vehicles. The road goes nowhere.:)

View attachment 510062

This is an O scale table so my rock is fairly big, but I can pick it up to move it around. Your N scale mountain will be smaller.
I would try to find a way to make it portable back in there.


The red things Im not to sure of what they are but I like the way they look so said hey throw a few of those in there ! Yes it is very Random. Thats what we are going for. We are doing a little bit of a fictional build aimed toward cal pines. The tabacky worked well for all the mulch that is up there. WE may. I just wanted to do this piece for a sample. I actually am going to mimic all the burnt trees up in northern cali too as it has a "wasteland" effect. so the ground is going to be dark.

Thats really neat how your project turned out! I bet it took some patience. Good coloring too
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes ! I know the berries are way to big. If I was thinking the same thing about the funny looking grass. I just have to have some self control and not smoke it after I grind it up. haha .

Ive been working on it and plan on posting some updates tonight. I got started soldering some of the track together and most of the road bed has been put down. I do however look at a few of the switch track areas I've created and wonder how the wiring would be. I know I'm going to be running bus wires for DCC. I'll have to post pics on this but my layout is basically a few loops. I don't "believe" I have any reversing track but I could be wrong. Anywho maybe ill map out a drawing and share it.

See yall later !
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here is an update. Im just putting some pieces together and re gaining my soldering skills. I was looking at the tracks earlier and was curious if I would run into a problem with the way i have the switches laid out. I am running DCC and dont want to run into any issues.

I attached my track plan ... hahah . :smilie_daumenneg::smilie_daumenneg: I sort of came up with this track plan as i go. I know people will stink me out about it but its okay I just do things differently and this works for me.

The track plan though has black sharpie for lower level and blue for higher level. If you look at the one part of the track that goes off the benchwork ... dont worry. Im in the process of building a giant truss bridge that is going to fill the gap there.




here are the switch areas Im concerned with. This is the west (left on the trackplan) switch area







This is the East (right of track plan) switch area





and fun pictures lol


















Yes I know the truck is a little big !! hahaha

Enjoy ! :smilie_daumenpos::smilie_daumenpos::smilie_daumenpos::smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Well, I definitely see track joints that aren't well aligned, several kinks, and at least two S curves that may cause trouble. If you don't want any issues, smooth out the S curves and make sure your joints are solid and kink free. You're asking for trouble if you leave it the way it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I definitely see track joints that aren't well aligned, several kinks, and at least two S curves that may cause trouble. If you don't want any issues, smooth out the S curves and make sure your joints are solid and kink free. You're asking for trouble if you leave it the way it is.

Ya they are there. Like I mentioned Im not planning track the traditional way. These tracks will be all smooth and soldered when I actually start laying the track. The few pieces i have put together have already had test runs and do phenomenal :thumbsup::thumbsup:

As for my question with the wiring. Im still hesitant on that but it looks like I should be ok.

Anyone know where to get DCC cabooses for N scale ? :confused::confused:
 

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Hey Forum. I have been scoping things out for my layout. This includes rebuilding part of it as well. I had to remove it for an inspection by the rental company and well. It fell apart in my hands :smilie_daumenneg: :smilie_daumenneg:

It is ok I had to do a little bit of surgery but got it back up and stable. Im glad it happened because honestly if I would have put all the track and scenery and then removed it I would have been sooooo pissed. Bench work is VERY important. and I thought I had it down. lol Thankfully much avoided.

So today I want to ask about a few things. I got that DCC wiring book and have been reading it. It is very handy and has a lot of knowledge you should know about basic DCC operation.

The question I ran across myself was mentioned in the book but I need and want a few other opinions before I do all the math and put it together.

I have a Digitrax Zephyr command station. That is all I have I dont have any boosters or anything else. Im going to need to run 1 AR-1 reverser. On top of that I have automated remote atlas switches which I plan on grabbing power from another source.

I also plan on having 4 bumper stops with the red LED lights connected to the rails.

^^^^^^^^^^^ How do I find out the math I need to do to calculate how much power I will have left over to run trains ?


This is the LED I want to use


https://www.amazon.com/100pcs-Ultra-Bright-Emitting-Diffused/dp/B01GE4WHK6/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=led+red&link_code=qs&qid=1572994350&sourceid=Mozilla-search&sr=8-6


I need to know also what type of resistor and or diode to save the led from the reversing circuit (so ive been told)


If anyone could take a look at this and give me there thoughts that would be fabulous. lol

Thanks guys ! :D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here are some great pictures !!! Muahahaha




Have you guys ever used tape like this to bank turns ? Ive heard it works well !



This is where it broke in half !!!


:laugh: :laugh:










All in all it is 12' Long !! Pretty sturdy now ahaha


lets get back to my electrical question shall we !! :appl: :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh my has it been a long time !! I got very distracted with building check it out !











I was also looking into one of these !!

They are very nice !

https://www.ebay.com/itm/223857204753

Anyways hope all is well !! I'm finishing up all the wiring underneath the layout at the moment. I had no idea it would take so long! I've been at it for about a week and a half now. lol Few hours here and there of course after work.

Cheers !
 

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Looking good

I hope you didn't let one of those 'how to wire' books
cause you to do a lot of things that are really not
necessary. Many are written with large layouts in
mind and may be way more than any typical home
layout would need. All you really need are track
drops every 6 feet or so, plus the AR1 for your
reverse loop. It's output feeds the isolated section
and it is fed by your main track bus.

Your 2.5 amp Digitrax Zepher will have all the track power you
need to run 4,5 or even more trains at the same time.
N locos running at realistic speeds draw only .2 or .3
amps each. Those
bumper LEDs will be no load to be concerned about.
Unless you plan to run a big bunch of SOUND locos
there's no need to even think about a booster.

Don
 

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Hey Don ! Thanks for the encouragement.

I did !! I realized after testing a loco with the track that I wouldnt need as much wiring as every 3 ft. I noticed no voltage drop anywhere around the track when only one lead was connected haha.

I still did a bit extra though just to ensure everything is solid. There were a few places with the atlas turnouts that I had to put feeders on both sides of the switch. When a loco ran over them it would somehow lose connection. Feeders on both solved this. No need for me to put them on the points either. This was tested and is now solid.

The zephyr has a lot more power than I was expecting and after I did the math on the amperage of the lights and/or Locos I was pretty happy with the results. I will only be able to run so many trains on this layout anyways haha

I was thinking about having more lighting in the scenery. Possibly even hooking up some cabooses with lights as well which is something Ive always wanted to do !

Ill go ahead and post some more photos later this evening. Im looking forward to finally getting the wiring done. Cheers

Hope yall are enjyoing your Friday !!
 

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Track feeders every 3 feet is way overkill, no matter how big your layout. My son runs an entire 8x8 layout on a single pair of feeders. The right answer is somewhere in the middle. I have had great success with one pair every 8-10 feet.

Lighting isn't going to affect DCC. You can't run ordinary lighting from the DCC bus anyway. Get a separate power supply and wire them separately.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Track feeders every 3 feet is way overkill, no matter how big your layout. My son runs an entire 8x8 layout on a single pair of feeders. The right answer is somewhere in the middle. I have had great success with one pair every 8-10 feet.

Lighting isn't going to affect DCC. You can't run ordinary lighting from the DCC bus anyway. Get a separate power supply and wire them separately.

I was finding that out while testing. It seems N scale especially with a smaller layout doesnt need to much. I went ahead and put feeders for most long pieces of track. I feel that will be enough.

Ill look into that idea !! Here is another update



2 weeks of wiring completed.... 80% actually haha



solder is the best weapon anyone could use putting a layout together !









These atlas remote switches require some wire if you want them all at your command center !




Like My hair hahaha !!!


Ar-1





It only clicks once which is what ive read is ok but the click is really loud ? Any other tips on adjusting this bad boy ?
 

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New look at an almost full functioning layout ! I may need some more pulling power !!

Anyone know how to get to the other function pages with a Digitrax zephyr dcs50 ??

I think I've asked this before and someone said I needed either a booster or another DCC system. Which, as I'm Learning, seems to be a decent option.


 

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I seriously doubt you need a booster or new system.
With just one engine running the DCS50 has more than enough power.
More feeders for sure, put some in places where the train slows.
Make sure you are using heavy enough wire for the bus and feeders.
Make sure your track and wheels are clean, doing track work etc. gets even new track dirty.

I ran 6 HO sound locos on my DCS51 with no problems, the 50 should run one N.
I put feeders every 6 feet or so and one between each pair of turnouts.
Worked good for me.

Magic
 
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