The Bridge

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Thought I'd show some photos of some of the changes I'm making for the automation.....

Firstly I needed to get separate power connections to one rail of each track at each end of the bridge....in fact to this point...and the same at the other end:
Img_2836A_red.jpg
Img_2836A_red.jpg (122.12 KiB) Viewed 11802 times
The double track from this point to where it disappears off the layout is in fact on a lift out strip of plywood, so I cut a groove out of the underside of the strip and laid cables in the groove:
IMG_3027_red.JPG
IMG_3027_red.JPG (70.53 KiB) Viewed 11802 times
...and then ran the wires round the end to brass track connector pieces from track connectors. Here's the top view:
IMG_3026_red.JPG
IMG_3026_red.JPG (62.57 KiB) Viewed 11802 times
The sensors for detecting train movements are located underneath the track. Here's a shot of where a sensor will fit...from below:
IMG_3028_red.JPG
IMG_3028_red.JPG (51.58 KiB) Viewed 11802 times
...and above. Note they'll be almost impossible to see!:
IMG_3029_red.JPG
IMG_3029_red.JPG (60.44 KiB) Viewed 11802 times
And finally for this post, I've made a start on creating the signals. Here's the first signal...one of the two wrong line working signals that will be constant red that are at the platform ends. It has no base yet, but will be planted trackside at the end of the platform. Sorry it's a bit fuzzy:
IMG_3031_red.JPG
IMG_3031_red.JPG (51.89 KiB) Viewed 11802 times
And here it is lit:
IMG_3043_red.JPG
IMG_3043_red.JPG (62.46 KiB) Viewed 11802 times
The signal post is brass microbore tubing which can take three wires down the bore! :shock: :shock: :shock:
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I'm still pushing on with tasks I can do while I patiently wait for a delivery from Australia....which is not due for a week or so!

I've finished designing the wiring schemes for connecting the control system sensors and signals. I will have two eight core data cables connecting (via 8 pin DIN sockets) the two layout sections at each end of the line of sections...that's two at each end! I've made up the cables that daisy chain the sensor and signal bus's separately across the back of the board.

I've drilled holes for four of the eight DIN sockets for the above cables. I've also finished the rewiring of the power distribution circuit. There are now four separately powered track sections. I just need to fit the wires to the control board.

I've finished (to a point ready to install) the eight signals; three red/green for the platform ends (NB the fourth, if made & fitted wouldn't be seen as its behind the scenes), three amber/green for platform approaches (fourth off-layout as above) and two wrong line operation junction signals that will show permanently red. I still have to finalise how they will be mounted, though.

On the subject of mounting....I've had to order an extra long 5mm dia drill bit so I can drill down from the rail bed height down to the underside of the layout to facilitate the connecting wires for the sensor and signals. Unfortunately, I don't have the same technology that Eurotunnel had....and daren't drill from both ends with a normal length bit and hope the holes meet half way! :shock: :? :shock: And, as there will be voids, I need to line the bored holes....so I have some 5mm plastic drinking straws also on order to act as liners!

Finally....having to have three running trains, I'm part way through producing a two-car class 158....which will also be in Scotrail's saltire livery to go with the class 170 I have already. If I get chance, I'll also knock up a class 68 loco and six Mk 2 coaches to complement the DMUs.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I've moved on a little with the signals...

The long 5mm drill arrived okay, but the straws I ordered turned out to be useless. They were sold as 5mm diam......but were 6.5mm OD and 4.5mm bore!!...and useless!

So, in desperation, I tried 3D printing a tube 5mm diam x 100mm long using a mode in the slicer software called "vase mode", which essentially extrudes a single filament thickness around the perimeter in a continuous spiral. And it worked! I also designed and printed some small half adaptors to fit inside the end of the tube that hold the smaller diameter assembled signal. Here's a couple of shots to illustrate this:
Signal with heat shrink tube to support the brass tube, a set of inserts and a small piece of veroboard to which the fine wires are soldered
Signal with heat shrink tube to support the brass tube, a set of inserts and a small piece of veroboard to which the fine wires are soldered
IMG_3058_red.JPG (99.14 KiB) Viewed 11734 times
Signal assembled in the printed tube. This is a two aspect red & green..see the colour-coding on the veroboard!
Signal assembled in the printed tube. This is a two aspect red & green..see the colour-coding on the veroboard!
IMG_3049_red.JPG (56.66 KiB) Viewed 11734 times
I drilled holes down through the layout and pressed in the tubes:
IMG_3053_red.JPG
IMG_3053_red.JPG (122.21 KiB) Viewed 11734 times
The signal is pushed up from the bottom....and the two-part insert superglued into the tube...and the heat shrink superglued in so it is flush:
IMG_3065_red.JPG
IMG_3065_red.JPG (111.54 KiB) Viewed 11734 times
The brass tube is a tight fit inside the heat shrink tube, so I was able to adjust the height of the signal...and ensure it pointed the right way. Some grey paint on the signal post and ground colour....and the signal is ready to be wired up:
P1010812_red.JPG
P1010812_red.JPG (123.56 KiB) Viewed 11734 times
The one on the left is a wrong line running signal....which will be permanently red, and the signal on the right is a two aspect red/green to control traffic leaving the station.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

More installation progress....

Wiring (fairly) neatly installed underneath layout board one, the one that hosts the controller board:
IMG_3069_red.JPG
IMG_3069_red.JPG (81.53 KiB) Viewed 11722 times
Detail of the connections to the signals. Note how fine the wires to the signal are when compared to the connecting cables:
IMG_3070_red.JPG
IMG_3070_red.JPG (127.68 KiB) Viewed 11722 times
I'll be protecting them with silicone rubber once I have everything working....

Here's the 9 pin DIN sockets for connecting the three other boards to. The hardest thing on assembly will be to ensure I plug all the red marked plugs into the red marked sockets!:
IMG_3072_red.JPG
IMG_3072_red.JPG (92.25 KiB) Viewed 11722 times
And I now have layout board one ready for the control board, panel and sensors.....which are in transit from Australia as I type :) :
IMG_3067_red.JPG
IMG_3067_red.JPG (136.96 KiB) Viewed 11722 times
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

As far as the installation of the automation is concerned.....I've now done as much as can do without having the controller board!! 8-) 8-)

All eight of the signals have now been installed; all the wiring looms...for power, sensors and signals......have been assembled, and the connecting leads made up. I've tested the operation of all of the signal aspects..and they all light up when they should when power is applied to the wires that will clip into the connecting blocks on the controller board!

I can now relax a little.....and wait for the Australian and British postal services (and whoever they subcontract to for the bit in between Australia and Britain) to do their job.

I can now start taking a more leisurely look at whatever remains to be done in preparation for the layout's first outing of the season.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

It's like Christmas day here!!! :D :D Discarded boxes and wrapping paper all over the floor. The automation control board and panel have safely arrived.

Down to work installing it all.......
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

commerlad
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Re: The Bridge

Post by commerlad »

Do you have a list of this years events yet, I still want to see this in the plastic so to speak.

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Since my last progress post, I've made good progress.....

I got the board and panel fitted by the end of Wednesday with very few problems. I then spent the best part of Thursday setting up a shortened layout...in my lounge!!, cos its the only room long enough....and cleaning track, etc, essentially setting up for testing, which I started Friday morning.

The system didn't complain when powered up...and initial tests showed up a few funnies. Firstly, with power connected to just section one, a train ran round the complete loop!! Connect power to section 2 & three, and the train runs on all sections except section 4, and with power on section 4, just that section! I checked all the power wiring & the only thing I found was I had forgotten to connect one power connection...which made no difference when correctly plugged in!! I eventually traced the issue to products of track cleaning shorting all three of the cuts I had made to create the sections. I removed the crap with a piece of paper & things worked a bit better. I need to permanently resolve this one.

The second issue was that some of the sensors were not always being triggered by all of the trains I had running. I also found and cured a wiring issue with the signals on one of the board sections.

The final issue I found was that I'd placed three of the four stop sensors too close to the ends of the rail sections...a boo boo on my part, I'd cut the rails at the wrong marks in error and didn't notice until I'd located the sensors. Trains were over-running the end of the section....and powering on ahead of where they should be. This resulted in all three trains either ending up stopped at stations permanently, or one train catching up with the train in front!!

I had a day off on Saturday, but today I corrected the sensor positioning errors.....and ta-dah! I had three trains running round the layout, pausing and/or stopping at stations to wait for the train ahead to clear the next track section. Brilliant!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I sat watching poetry in motion for the best part of an hour to prove things worked okay.

The next step is to tidy up the installation....I have wires underneath the layout sections to fix into their final position and protect from damage. I also need to insulate the sawn gaps in the track to prevent any possibility of shorts developing when I clean the track. And I can then carry on with getting the layout sorted for its first show...which is just under three weeks away!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

With just a week to go before the first show of the season, I'm getting very close to the end of the list of jobs I'm wanting to get done.

I've now completely finished the installation of the T-Control system designed by Martin. I did the last job this morning....filling the rail gaps! :) :) :)

I have five mark 2E coaches in ScotRail livery....and I'm working on the livery for the class 68 loco shell I finished a day or so ago.

Once I get the class 68 finished and the couple of final jobs sorted, I can start looking at getting things ready for the 11th......probably start prepping after the weekend.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

martink
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Re: The Bridge

Post by martink »

I am eagerly awaiting the show report for this one - and of course a new video! Needless to say, I hope it all goes well.

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Don't worry, Martin. There will be a video.....but it may not be from Newbury. It'll probably be Glasgow....with it being a three day show, I'll have more time.

And as I woke up far too early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, I got up and made some progress on the paper mock-up of the decal for the class 68.

Its coming along nicely:
P1010836_red.JPG
P1010836_red.JPG (39.2 KiB) Viewed 11437 times
This is the most complex one so far.....there's four separate pieces! And I'll need to paint the central roof section black before applying them!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

mattd10
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Re: The Bridge

Post by mattd10 »

Doug, I'm loving all of the rolling stock you're churning out for the bridge! Some seriously inspirational stuff! Can't wait to see them in the T gauge shop!

NeilM
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Re: The Bridge

Post by NeilM »

Congratulations Doug, you have made in into the pages of Railway Modeller.... The current issue (hits the shelves on Thursday this week) has a full page advert for the Nottingham exhibition, and the photo on that page is one of the bridge.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Yay!

Thanks for the info, Neil. I'll have to get a copy.....
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I've finally got the three trains finished read for the auto-running of the layout.

A three-car class 170 DMU:
P1010837_red.JPG
P1010837_red.JPG (68.85 KiB) Viewed 11363 times
A two-car class 158 DMU:
P1010839_red.JPG
P1010839_red.JPG (70.65 KiB) Viewed 11363 times
a class 68 loco with Mark 2E carriages:
P1010842_red.JPG
P1010842_red.JPG (74.85 KiB) Viewed 11363 times
All three are in current service over the bridge.....they should look good! :D

The shells are 3D printed and are finished off in a combination of inkjet decals of my own design and enamel paint. The shells will probably appear in the Talking T Gauge shop over the next few weeks....and will include downloadable generic livery files for modding into real liveries for printing, etc.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

The layout survived its outing to Newbury.....but did suffer a few mendable bits of damage.

Its possible that struggling with getting the track sections aligned with the sensor LDRs, I accidentally knocked a head off one of the signals....they're very delicate things. The other possibility is that I thought that this was the one signal that didn't need a travel protector making and screwing onto the board for transit!! Either way, one signal was "headless". :( I need to make a new signal now!

There was also some section edge damage to scenery...a severed tree, a couple of buildings dislodged, etc. This was possibly due either to the carrying distance between van and stand location or simply accidental knocks or poking fingers. Either way, such damage is inevitable...and can be remedied quite easily. You have to be immune to finding damage to your precious layout. ;)

The most serious issue I have to resolve is why one of my DMUs suddenly decided to stop running correctly. Its probably caused by dirt....but I need to resolve in the next week!

Some of the flexitrack has also suffered some more sleeper loss during the insertion process down the 17ft long slot in the bridge sections. This is something the track is not designed for...and is something I need to try and reduce for the next show. The job should really be a two-man job; one pushing and one coaxing the leading edge through misaligned joins in the bridge structure. So far I've had to do it on my own, and I can't see what the leading edge is doing...and if it snags, I don't know if its just binding....or the leading edge has hit an obstacle!!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I'm making progress in preparations for the show in Glasgow.

I've sorted out loose scenery, etc and I'm part way through replacing the broken signal.....and I'm on track to get things ready for the trip north.

I'm going to be joined in Glasgow by fellow forum member Jim ( Ruskyviewer), who has volunteered his help throughout the show. Which is going to be most welcome.....as news I have had this morning is that the layout is going to be filmed as part of a publicity feature on Scottish TV. I've been asked to get the layout assembled in place in the SEC hall early so that filming can take place on Thursday afternoon.

So.....exciting times ahead over the next week!!!! 8-) 8-) 8-)
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

All issue on the layout identified at Newbury have now been addressed.

Loose and compacted dirt removed from around the wheelsets on the class 170 DMU power units, broken signal replaced, loose & damaged scenery items sorted, transport boxes repacked, track cleaned, rolling stock wheels cleaned & checked.

I think I'm now ready for the trip to Glasgow! :) :)
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

And the story of Glasgow can be read here...... http://www.talkingtgauge.net/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=402 .....and what a story!

Since the show, I've received three invitations to others shows, two of which I've accepted & I'm still thinking about the third. The two new shows are at Worthing in September and Bristol in April....which gives me two shows in two weekends. I should survive....provided nothing breaks at the first show!

I've finished damage assessment after Glasgow. A couple of the layout assembly captive nuts seized & had to be replaced and all threads have now been lubricated to prevent a repeat. And I've spotted another broken signal! :x :x :x I think I knocked a signal head over when we were packing away. They're very delicate things & seem to attract large objects to them!!!!

Very little other damage....a couple of paint touch-ups on the edges of layout sections done. And I intend doing a deep clean of the power car axles, etc...but there's plenty of time before the next show. Let's see.....11 days time! :shock:
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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