Building my own briefcase layout

zscaler Sep 1, 2017

  1. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    I had the layout upside down with the track on the edge of the "metal" briefcase and PFFFTTTTT! The Switch-Kat works fine and the wiring is well isolated.
     
  2. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Had to wait for parts. Red/green LED SMD and the replacement Rokuhan switch. Installed the NCE Switch-Kats underneath and wired up the LEDs. Red for thrown and green for main. Made the light covers out of some plastic black straws. Both Switch-Kats are set to the same accessory number right now, but could be renumbered. 1104171112.jpg 1109171328.jpg 1109171328a.jpg
     
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  3. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Been busy lately but still working on it. Added two sound decoders underneath and it syncs pretty well.
     
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  4. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ok, I'll play the little kid............"Can't it go faster?"
     
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  5. drken

    drken TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, that's great. I'm also looking to put signals on my layout and have found 0 available in Z, so I have to build my own. I assume that green/red led works by reversing polarity? I'd love to use some 2mm addressable RGB ones so I can have yellow signals too (and save space), perhaps by using an arduino to control them via a stationary decoder. Which sound decoders did you use? And if I may ask one final question, where did you get that ultra thin wire? It looks useful.

    Edited to add: Just so you know, I'm going to steal that black, plastic straw idea.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
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  6. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Switch-Kats have three outputs for lights. One is "common". I was using 2 color LEDs. But two separate LEDs would work. Switch-Kats are not set up for three lights, but then again, turnout indicators just need to be red or green. No warning needed.

    I used standard NCE sound decoders with 1 1/2" by 3/4" speakers (I had a bunch of them left over).

    The wire is called magnet wire. It is usually wrapped around as a coil on motors. It has a coat of colored varnish so they are insulated. I just scrape off the paint on the ends so I can solder them. I believe it is 38 gauge wire. I have noticed that the green wire is thinner than the red wire.

    The thin plastic straws could be picked up for free at some coffee shop that uses them as stirrers. I intended to try them out as a pipe load on a flat car.

    Just had a thought that you could recreate a scene of putting in a pipe line and have a string of the "pipes" laid out next to a trench. Hmm....
     
  7. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry, got distracted with other stuff. Anywhoo.... I figured out how to throw the switches with another hidden switch. Before you could manually throw the turnouts or use DCC.
    I came up with the idea of putting in a flagpole as the control. Got some brass tubing and brass rod. The rod fits inside the tubing. I first drilled a hole in the layout, but first made sure I had room underneath. I glued in the tube: 0129181246.jpg
     
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  8. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Put in the brass rod after gluing a small block of wood to the bottom. I experimented with the shape of the block:
    0129181310.jpg
     
  9. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Glued a larger block of wood underneath and put switches between the small block:
    0130181158.jpg
     
  10. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    When you pull up on the flagpole, the switch-kats will throw the turnouts one way. When you push down, they reverse. Picture of the finished flagpole:
    0130181158a.jpg
     
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  11. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    David,
    That's slicker than a greased doorknob. Very nice way to disguise your switch!
     
  12. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    For the Dwarf's, Showcase Miniatures makes *scale* Dwarfs under their Century Foundry series:
    https://www.showcaseminiatures.net/n_scale/n_scale_century_foundry_signals/

    The also sell Richmond Controls RGY pre-wired LED for it. While the LED can be kit-bashed into the back of the Dwarf, the light from the front view is difficult to see without filling the cavity with translucent material like white glue. I found it easier to use a 10 cent T3-size R/G LED under the layout, drilling a hole in the end and stuffing a fiber from it up and into the Dwarf.

    Warning: these Dwarfs are scale. You almost can use their HO version (I had them put coins on each product page, so one can see as they don't have dimension of the Dwarf).
     
  13. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    I will be at the Great Train Show in Costa Mesa, CA this weekend with the layout.
     
  14. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    That layout is totally fantastic! Are you gonna ballast the track or paint and blend?
     
  15. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    ballast will be added to blend the Rokuhan track.
     
  16. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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  17. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Not DCC yet but checking clearances between cars
     
  18. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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