New layout...

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Iron Goat, May 8, 2007.

  1. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    I am in the process of building a new layout (this time, it will be an "around-the-room" layout). After tearing out my old benchwork, I decided to address all the things about the room that I didn't like the first time around... so I put in new lights, a larger "panoramic" background, etc.

    The benchwork is now up, except for the area in front of the train room doorway (it has a "pocket door" (sliding door - that stores inside the wall when opened). The main reason I had to give up on my old layout, was the pop-up in the center of the table was causing me to have constant back problems... so I do not want to have a "duck-under" at the doorway.

    I need some advice on building a lift-out section... after a lot of thought, I have ruled out a gate section (as my aisleway in the center of my layout is only 22" wide, and that would just compound that shortcoming. A swing-up section is also a poor choice due to space & clearance.

    Any suggestions will be welcome.... Bob :confused:

    Attached Files:

  2. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    This "You Tube" video shows a lift out, and this is what I would like to build...
    can anyone explain how such a fast removal/replacement of the lift out is possible, and still maintain the electrical connections ???


    YouTube - Model Train Room December 20, 2006
  3. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    looking good bob. That lift out looks like it works great
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Bob, I have a lift-out at the doorway to my layout room, although, because the track across it is part of a curve, it's simply a wide, unsceniced piece of 3/4" plywood. To power the liftout section, I used a 5 conductor plug from Radio Shack, similar to what I had used on a previous layout. The reasons for 5 conductors are twofold, although I didn't bother with the second feature on this layout. By the way, I also ran a heavy power feed from the track, over the doorway (I ran it up behind the backdrop, over the doorway above the drop ceiling, then back down behind the backdrop) to reconnect with the track on the opposite side of the door.
    First, the male connector, which is on a wire that is soldered to the lift-out section, can only be plugged in one way, so you can't accidently plug it in with the track polarity reversed. The second reason is a safety feature. First, cut a gap in both rails, at least a couple of loco lengths back from the doorway, and on both sides of the doorway. (These sections can be as long as you wish.) Mount the female part of the plug on the layout facia near the doorway, preferably on the side of the opening closest to your power source. Now, drop two wires from the rails on the "live" side of those gaps that you cut in the approach rails, and solder them to a pair of terminals on the female connector. I used the bottom pair for this, and did not use the centre connector at all. Next, solder another pair of wires to the other pair of terminals on the female connector, then solder the other end of these wires to the adjacent section of track on the same side of the doorway. (The "gapped" section) Drop another pair of wires from this same section of track, then run them over the doorway and back down to below the layout on the opposite side of the doorway, then connect the ends to the other "gapped" section of track. Be sure to keep the polarity correct.
    Now, working on the lift-out section (I used a four conductor wire for this step, but single wires will also work), solder a pair of wires to the bottom pair of terminals on the male plug (watch your polarity), then solder the opposite ends to the rails on the liftout. Repeat this step, using the top pair of terminals and the other pair of wires, again, minding the polarity.
    What you should have now is a lift-out which is only powered when the plug is engaged. Inserting the plug powers the lift-out, and the second set of wires from the lift-out provide power to the gapped sections on either side of the doorway. When the liftout is removed and unplugged, the gapped sections on either side of the doorway will be "dead". (If you do a lot of back-up moves near the doorway, you might want to make these "gapped" sections appropriately longer, as the train will keep moving until the loco reaches the "dead" section.)

  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    In the video it would appear that the builder has installed some sort of contact points or strips at each end of the lift out bridge and corresponding contacts at each end of the permanent benchwork. I would hesitate to use a system like that because I'm not sure how well it would maintain contact over time and removal and replacement of the lift out section multiple times. I like "pigtails with plug in connections" for reliability.

    Here is a thread of a lift out bridge built by Gary S. that I think is great with a lot of good ideas for powering the section and the approach tracks to cut power when the lift out is removed.
  6. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Great start. No better teacher than trial and err and expierence..

    I wish I had that space here.

  7. Why me

    Why me Member

    Hi try my website look in gallery and see how my all around room bench work looks with lift outs look here New Page 1
  8. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    Thanks, everyone. I enjoyed the "tour" of your website, Al... and thanks for sharing that information on your lift-out, Wayne. I'll study it a bit more, and start on that right after I do the cutting on the background panels with my RotoZip.


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