The D&H - Rocky Mountain Empire (Plan#2)

Stourbridge Lion Jun 28, 2010

  1. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Overview

    [​IMG]


    To give a 3D view perspective of Level#4 with the lower levels, you can see how much lower the other levels are from Level#4. There will be about a 4" baseboard around Level #4 to give visual seperation from Level #3.

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    The above image shows all four levels trackage stacked on each other without the topography to truly exspose the complexity as well as why there is only space for the three interier access holes; making the NE corner hard to reach from any angle.


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    This last image is to help visualize the trackage from all four levels from a 3D perspective...​

    Comments??????? :tb-confused:​
     
  2. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wiring

    OK, looking for some Wiring advise...
    1. There are basically several reverse loops in this design (1 @ Level#1, 0 @ Level#2, 2 @ Level#3, and 1 @ Level#4)
    2. My desire is to let this run unattended and I'm looking at DC operations; at least currently. Basically let one train loop around the entire 3 or 4 levels without an operator at any controls.
    3. What do I need to think about if I want to move from DC to DCC with such a design down the road?
    :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd:​
     
  3. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Topic Moved from Layout Design to DCC & Electronics

    See questions above...

    :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd:
     
  4. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I can help you on the DC vs DCC thing. The BIGGEST single issue we've had on converting our club's layout from DC to DCC is that the wiring we had before wasn't adequate for the DCC signal. I would recommend something like 12 AWG wire for your bus lines and drops (we use 18 AWG, I think, thought it might be 20 AWG) every three feet or so.

    You're also going to want to think about your turnouts in relation to how they handle power. I don't know HO turnouts well, so you may take your favorite kind of turnout and visit Allan Gartner's Wiring for DCC page, keeping in mind that sometimes he gets a little needlessly complicated.
     
  5. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Great Tip!

    My gut tells me I will likely start running as DC but if I later want to go DCC I want to make sure the conversion does not require me tearing the whole thing down just to rewire a section of track in the dark NE corner. So, knowing things like Wire Gauge is a good thing.

    Any others that might have a few Tips / Pit Falls related to WIRING that I need to consider?

    :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:​
     
  6. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's not so much the wire but all your labor putting it in that is the real expense.

    I would check with some of the HO guys who run DCC and see what they use. My experience with DCC is all N scale.
     
  7. Geep_fan

    Geep_fan TrainBoard Member

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    my hint would be when you get the track all laid and the wiring done, run it without any scenery for about 2 or 3 months, just so you can see if it all works.

    I know you are trying to run articulated steam, just as a forewarning here, we had a guy at my old club who bought in his articulated steam, and although we had a 30" minimum radius, that thing would still pluck at tunnel portals (i think it made its own extension in one of the tunnel portals instead of getting stuck :tb-err: large die-cast, brass engine vs plaster, plaster lost). while the articulateds probably will handle 22", your going to need some wide tunnel portals and a bit of space for trackside clearance for these engines.

    other than that I see no problems.

    I love your plan so far, plenty of mainline running and switching in a complex space :thumbs_up:
     
  8. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Given how slow things move in my family it will takes months to get from track to scenery, so I know I will definitely have trains running on the skeleton.

    Yes, with the 22" curves, clearance is definitely a major concern so your hit about the tunnel portals is a great one too. I plan to angle/set them based on that clearance issue so that the longest of cars don't scrape as the pass through. I'm also concerned about clearance between tracks vertically too. I went tight there too to keep the grades as low as possible.

    Once I get a better feel from input from members here, I am thinking of doing the drawing again with a better drawing tool to see if anything else jumps out that I might not have thought about.

    Great Hints so far, keep them coming!

    :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
     
  9. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Man on man this is one complex design. But the visualizations prove that it will be one great looking layout when its complete! Pre-viz is a great tool! :D

    I cant be of much help in the wiring department. The only thing that stuck out to me is you said you'd like to have non-stop running on DC through the reverse sections. Is that possible? I always thought you had to stop, flip the DPDT then continue. :/

    I cant wait to see you begin construction on this! It's going to be one amazing layout! :)
     
  10. mikelhh

    mikelhh TrainBoard Member

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    The complexity of this layout is way beyond my comprehension! Very keen to see construction under way.
    I run DC or DCC on mine - depending on which locos I wish to run. I have droppers for every piece of track, which is something I didn't have on the old DC layouts. Doing all that soldering is, for me, laborious, but my DC locos think it's Christmas! and those on DCC are silky smooth and reliable.
    One short section [my rickety old bakery line] has all the lengths of track soldered together, so no droppers on there.
    Believe me though - you really don't want wiring advice from me :mnerd:

    Mike
     
  11. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm wondering if there might be a "trick" / "gimmick" that might detect the train passing and do that for me or a DCC/DC mixture that might work. I'm no Electrician in fact I'm one that has electrocuted himself by not knowing what he's doing. I'm not taking about a slight shock, I'm talking about being glad the circuit-breaker flipped to release me from the current. My hand/arm shook for days afterwords and I dread doing electrical work ever since.

    :tb-confused: :tb-confused: :tb-confused: :tb-confused:
     
  12. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Topic Moved from DCC & Electronics to HO Scale

    Now that my question are going to be more HO Scale related, I'm bring this topic around to the HO Scale.

    The design places a great deal of vertically crossing tracks and in the interest of grade, many cross with just a 4" clearance; including within both helix's. Is this going to be enough since that would put the maximum grade at ~3.5% within the helix's and around 2.0% everywhere else...

    :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd:​
     
  13. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Alternatives

    Working alternative designs for Level#1 and Level#3 to eliminate the required Reverse Loops for continual operation while still having the option to alter directons in both levels...

    :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd:​
     
  14. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Level #1 (Alternative)

    OK, I have reworked Level#1 to remove the required Reverse Loop for continual operation. Our "train" will still leave the Hidden Staging Yard as before (Clockwise) and join onto the Main Line and then make the big turn back towards the grade to head towards the Tunnel District on Level #2. The difference is the Main Line is no long a Reverse Loop and thus any train the enters into Level#1 from the Helix from Level#3 will can continure it's journey through Level#1 on just the Main Line without the need for a reverse loop. The Hidden Staging Yard has also changed, thier is now a Wye in the SW corner as well as a optional Reverse Loop. Through both of these Stage Yard options, I can turn around a train to go either direction on the Main Line; but, the Wye might have a tighter radii on the northerly path then 22" so I might have a restriction on what Engines/Cars can take that route. If I can adjust that curve to be ~22" radii, then I believe my entire roster can use the WYE.

    Level#2 does not require changes based on Level#1 as the apporach to Level#2 via the grade on the North side has gone unchanged in location or grade. So, onto Level#3 for it's alternative design to remove it's Reverse Loop requirements.

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  15. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Level #1 (Alternative)

    Also, you can see that the layout has not changed much from the visitors view with the Level#1 Alternative alterations. Might have to rethink how I might use the WEST side shelf area now that trains will little use it; but, can still be a nice Era diorama that I can choose to pull trains through while staging operations are in effect. Maybe a modern Station design such as Denver Union Station that I can add a siding track into where passenger cars can sit without being in the way for switch/staging operations. Hmm, not a bad idea that just hit me for that spot! :D :D

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  16. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Level #3 (Alternative)

    I have completed alterations on Level#3 to remove the Reverse Loops to allow a train to operate throughout the layout without the need for an operator. At this level I have setup removed the two facing Reverse Loops are replaced it with a loop that has a Double Cross-Over to allow change of direction when desired. I have also changed the Right/East Helix into a Double Helix for alterations to Level #4 that will also be needed. Overall, Level#3 has not realy change visually from the old design.

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  17. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Level #3 (Alternative)

    Do to the alterations of Level#3 though, the landscape did have to change some on both Level#3 as well as on Level#2. Mainly because of the creation of the Double Helix on the East/Right side where only a single Helix once was. The new design has the Outer Helix apprached from over the River/Waterfall so I have extended the mountain outward there which slightly alter the location of the Level #2 tunnel below it. Also the High Bridge on Level#2 was shorten given the Double Helix slope so the train will enter the tunnel there much sooner then before. The River/Waterfall has also move North/Up a few inches again do to the Double Helix.

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  18. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Level #4 (Alternative)

    With the exspansion (Single to Double) of the Helix from Level#3 to Level#4 I found I needed to basically rebuild Level#4 from scratch while still trying to maintain this level as a Mining District. Now, any train can enter/ext Level#4 as part of the overall Main Line in an operatorless mode. I kept the one siding in place to leave Ore Cars at. The Inner Helix is at the 22" Radii to keep that as the mimimum radii throughout the layout.

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  19. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Level #4 (Alternative)

    With the redesign of Level #4 based on a Double Helix hiding under the mountain now, also came the redo of the topography and where the tunels will likely get placed. I also placed three (3) colored boxes as potential place holders for major Minging Operation structures. The tightness of space will likely mean the upper tracks will be supported by vertical retaining walls rahter the slopes. The Inner Helix climbs higher then the Outer Helix such the Inner can cross over the Outer and exits onto the Layout west bound out of the mountain at the high point. The Outer first enters onto the layout heading north within the mintain and then exits onto the Layout west bound out of the mountain at the low point. So, we still have the "S" curve in place with a straight section in the middle the is inside the mountain. So, no matter what direction of travel, when the train it reaches Level#4 it will exit the mountain in a western direction, turn south then east, and then turn north back into the mountain before it hits the "S" curve. From there the train will pop out of the mauntain two more times before exiting Level#4 down the other part of the Helix and return to Level#3.

    So, I can now place a train onto the mainline in DC operation mode and let it run the full loop over all four levels without the need for an operator to throw switches at various points for reverse loop operations as there are no more reverse loops in the design required mainline travel.

    So, what do you think now???????

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  20. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Comments

    So, is this doable or is there something else I need to consider for continuios operation?

    :tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin:​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2010

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