And awayyyyyyyy we go!

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Mrs.Mac, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Mrs. Mac, I see in your above post that you are using DCC and also mention not being able to wire your reverse blocks till your control panel is done. Just wanted to mention a few things in the event you aren't aware of them, if you are but want to pursue a control panel, please just ignore my comments. With DCC you can purchase reverse block modules which will automaticly reverse polarity in the rails when a train crosses the gaps between blocks. If you use these, you will not have to flip toggle switches, which means of course you don't need a control panel for the reverse blocks. Now, you also don't need to seperate your layout into individual blocks like you do with DC, so you can also eliminate all toggles or rotary switches used to select throttles. You can do so of course if you want to be able to shut power down to certain blocks. So the only item left to control are turnouts. While you can do that with your DCC throtle as well, I don't due to a couple factors, cost being one, and having to select a stationary decoders address while running being another. Also, real life engineers couldn't throw turnouts from their cabs. But toggles can be installed at layout edge to control turnouts, or you can use ground throws, and this eliminates the control panel completely.

    Just a few thoughts for you to consider, don't mean to throw a monkey wrench in your plans!

  2. pomperaugrr

    pomperaugrr Member

    Mrs. Mac:
    I'm impressed with the progress that you are making. I won't be able to begin construction on my layout, until after the holidays. I can't wait to see progress photos of the layout. We do like those here. Thanks for the update.

  3. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Thanks for the info, but I'm going to be running both DC and DCC engines on my layout, so I'm wiring for both regular DC and DCC operation. I enjoy making things more difficult. Plus, by wiring it up for DC operation first, I can operate the reversing loops with toggle switches until I get the reversing modules.

    Same with the turnouts. I plan to hook them up to DCC, but until then I need to wire them to momentary switches. Plus, I will them have 3 ways to control them. DCC, toggle switch, and manually at the switch.

    Plus, I have 3 seperate "loops" on my layout; lower, main, upper trolley point-to-point. I want the ability to control each of those "loops" with any of my 3 CABs; DCC, CommandMaster 20, or an old Lionel transformer for old-times sake (which happens to be powering my DCC at the moment). Not to mention the turntable and roundhouse that need to be controlled.

    So, while I can control everything on my layout with DCC, I don't have to.

    Plus, having a control panel with "old-fashioned" toggle switches makes it alot easier for visitors to control the layout. They can control the trains without learning how my DCC system works and which engines it works with. See, I don't plan on upgrading all my engines to DCC (ex: old Lionel locos from the 60's). And I don't like the idea of running non-DCC engines with DCC because of the whole zero-stretching thing and iron-core motors.

    Someday I plan on hooking everything up to a laptop. And controlling things through a software interface.

    But until those days come I'M GONNA PLAY WITH MY TRAINS!!!!:D After all, isn't that what this is all about.
  4. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Wow Mrs Mac that's some great progress!!! Looking forward to seeing those photos - remember, it's not nice to keep everyone in suspense too long - LOL!

    :thumb: Val
  5. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    LIke Val said. It is not nice to keep us waiting to long. We could have a nervous break down waiting.
  6. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Hey Mrs. Mac.
    Getting the Picture dddddddtttttssss here..............
    Thats ok....I can wait.
  7. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    I'm back!!!!

    Well, the holidays are over. Whew!!!! My in-laws are safe and sound back in FL and I'm not in jail, so I'd say it was a success!!!

    Santa was very good to me this year. I even received the BLI engine I have been eyeing for quite some time. And if I'm really good (and BLI ships on schedule) I'll get the M1A for my birthday later this month. Yeah!!!!

    So, Uncle Henry gave us time off for Christmas (Thanks UAW!!) so I had lots of time to work on the layout after the in-laws went home.

    Lets see........

    I now know what 8 cans of Great Stuff! foam can do for a mountain.

    My control panels are complete (with the exception of 3 switches from internettrains I'm waiting for, but the wiring is done) and installed.

    The turntable is installed and wired and operational, except I don't like it. It's the Atlas 9" and it looks small on the layout. I'm thinking of upgrading to the Walthers one when it releases.

    I extended the trolley level into the mountain. Amazing what a hole saw does to foam. And what a mess to clean up. Thankfully it's all contained in the living room. :D

    I installed "tube" lights under the layout so I could have some good lighting while I'm working under there and will provide some nice lighting for the display shelves some day when I get to that point, which I hope is soon. Too much of my stable is still in boxes.

    What else............

    I'm waiting for my camera to finish downloading all the pics I took along the way so I can post them. I have come a long way, but I'm way far from being anywhere near done.

    We're having some friends over on Sunday for a Train Day for the kids. We had a Christmas Open House for a bunch of our friends and some of the kids went home hooked on trains and haven't stopped talking about Mr. and Mrs. Mac's trains. So, now that my husband's X-mas layout under the tree is complete and my layout is looking better and better, we're having them back over for an afternoon operating session.

    Well, enough gab. Here are some updates via picture. Since my camera has managed to get some downloaded so far.

    Mrs. Mac
  8. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Or maybe not. My computer at home is not liking me right now.

    I'll try sending them to Photoworks and see if I can get them to work better in the morning from work.

    Shhhhhh... don't tell anyone.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you want to use the Atlas turntable, but make it bigger, You could make the Atlas table the bottom of the pit. Make the pit big enough to handle as big a table as you want, and then fabricate a bigger bridge that would sit on the Atlas table. You could even run a rail around the outside circumference of the pit with a wheel at each end supporting the bridge. Glue a bunch of dirt on top of the Atlas table, next to the bridge, and it will disguise the origins of your turntable nicely. By the way, back when I was going to do that with an Atlas table before I decided to model a modern diesel shortline, I was going to use a large embroidery hoop for the sides of my pit. Just paint it concrete grey.
  10. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    OK, here are some pics. At least some of the ones that downloaded from the camera before the computer lost its mind.

    The first one is a shot of one of my helpers. Not all that helpful though and her fur likes to get in the wheels of engines going by on the tracks when she doesn't move her tail quick enough. Needless to say, she not allowed on the layout anymore.

    Attached Files:

  11. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Adding more layers of foam. Overall the main layer is elevated by 3 layers of foam. 2 2" thick layers and 1 1/2" thick layer.

    Attached Files:

  12. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Here is the lake full painted. I'm holding off on adding "water" so I can integrate a lighthouse to the lake in the far back corner.

    Attached Files:

  13. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Here is the beginning of the waterfall.

    Attached Files:

  14. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Here is a shot of the front side of the platform.

    Attached Files:

  15. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Here is the beginnings of the main level of track.

    Attached Files:

  16. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Beginnings of the mountain. I used layers of the pink foam as a base for the final shaping agent. :D

    Attached Files:

  17. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Creating the mountain.

    Attached Files:

  18. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Here are my three helpers.

    The Main Coon cat on the left is Dewey. The mini lop bunny is Thumper. And the Blue Russian cat blending in in the shadows is Zoie.

    Attached Files:

  19. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Here I am hard at work on the control panel wiring. Even Mr. Mac was impressed I could do all the wiring without his help.

    Attached Files:

  20. Mrs.Mac

    Mrs.Mac Member

    Here is the front side of the control panel.

    Attached Files:

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