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Modelling Prussian railways in H0
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allegheny1600



Joined: 19 Jun 2010
Posts: 108
Location: Warrington, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carrying on with my wiring work, I took advantage of the nice weather and worked outside, under the gazebo as it was simply too hot in direct sunlight!



Here is the turntable board, again with a simple C shaped bus as that is sufficient for all the track feeds on this section. Almost out of shot is the first (Conrad) point motor that I installed.



Now fitting the point motors on the ‘busiest’ board. I think you can just see my pencil marks where I plotted the alignment of the point above then it was a simple case of lining the motor along these lines and getting the actuation lever in the right position and voila! Screw the motor into position and set the actuation wire, I always use the thicker wire supplied.



I knew that my micro switches would need elevating from the baseboard surface so I found a piece of strip wood that would just slip under the motor actuating lever and got them prepared.



Fitting the micro switches into position, all that was required was to ensure the point motor actuation lever was able to operate the micro switch arm. Curiously, I had some smaller switches in stock but these larger switches seemed to work better.



Having now done most of the physical work under the boards, it was now time to fit a full wiring bus. As this final board is quite busy, I made full loops all the way around the perimeter of the board. Here we have most of the track feeds in position, later I realised that I had missed a couple of track feeds when doing the droppers, despite drilling holes for them.



Just a close up of the above, you can actually see one of the holes where a track feed should go!



Looking a bit more complex now.
Most importantly, the Lenz LS150 accessory decoder is now fitted along with connections to all the points, including the point on an adjacent board and the micro switches are all fed from the bus and to the point crossing vee. My good friend Les, gave me some assistance with making the micro switch connections as all I could reliably do was the ‘common’ feed to the vee. Without Les’ help with identifying which of the red/black wires goes where on the micro switch, using an electrical tester, I would have spent ages trying first one way, then the other - I really am that electrically incompetent so “Thanks” to Les!
Also, the bus feed and inter-board connections are also fitted. I probably over engineered these as they are sections of heavy duty HiFi speaker cable soldered to both outputs of HiFi/video Phono plugs and sockets, red and black to correspond with the bus colours.



Nearly done now, thankfully.
I had no idea this job would take quite so long! Principally because I have never gone so far with a project such as this - all my previous layouts have either been simple power routing though the point or ready built.
If I had tried to wire a layout like this using traditional analogue methods, I would have been stumped as it would have been too much for me. Using a bus to provide two wires to each piece of track - that I can deal with!
I would say that I worked for an average of over six hours a day for ten days, doing this - I am sure that others, more experienced and who know what they are doing, would be much faster. But, I am satisfied with this and bar one minor adjustment to one point, everything worked first time.
Must be beginners luck!
Cheers,
John.
_________________
TTFN,
John E.

My club's 2018 exhibition:
http://forum.mtimag.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=2150
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allegheny1600



Joined: 19 Jun 2010
Posts: 108
Location: Warrington, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having apparently completed all my wiring work, my attention now turned to ensuring that my current smallest loco will work on the layout. The whole point of a small layout being the use of small locos, surely?
The machine I am speaking of is a Trix T3 0-6-0 tank engine and ‘cute’ is a fair description of this one as it is only 98mm (4”) long. I had read on German forums of a trick to alter the rigid suspension and as, on it’s previous test it had not performed sufficiently well for me anyway so I resolved to do some work on it.


Here is the chassis stripped right down to its bare bones. Please ignore the metal rod poking out of the top - it’s just a sharpened sewing machine needle that I use as a fine scribe but here, it is balancing the chassis on its side for the picture.


The loco is powered via its rear axle so that must be left alone but I made marks on the chassis approx 1mm above the bearing area.


Then I carefully filed away material of the chassis (bearings), to the depth of my marks. Note that the centre axle has a recess for a spring. Yes, the Trix T3 does have a sprung centre axle! (I had read that it doesn’t). You can now see why the chassis has to be stripped right down as you really don’t want metal filings getting into the motor or the gears.


Simply checking that the filing work is done.


Testing the rolling chassis. A point to note here is that clipping the plastic keeper plate on now is a bad idea as the gears still need to be added and one of their securing pins is not accessible with the wheels secured by the keeper plate. Fortunately, finding this out the hard way didn’t cost too much time but it did result in more handling of the delicate valve gear - which caused stress!


Rebuilding the motor/gears and circuitry. I had noticed the original pick-up wires were slightly too thick and had become trapped by the body so I replaced them.

Now I was ready for an electrical then driving test - not so much a disaster, just a damp squib!
Reading the decoder/loco on my programming track - nothing was working at all, it was completely dead. Was it the decoder or what? No, the decoder was fine.
Changing the decoder for a blanking plug and testing on my analogue track showed there was a very intermittent electrical contact - somewhere.
I used a ‘buzzer’ to check all the pick-ups and slowly narrowed the problem down to the 21 pin decoder socket. It seemed that some or all of these very fine pins were loose, something that I don’t recall previously finding. I decided that tinning all these pins with solder might do the trick and it did.


The offending 21 pin connector with solder tinning.

Having re-fitted the decoder and testing on the programming track, everything appeared fine electrically. At last, I could test run the little T3 on my layout and I’m very pleased to report that she performed very well indeed - as a chassis. Confirming that all appeared well, I now had to add thread lock to the tiny nuts that held the valve gear in place, secure the wiring and put the body back on. This more than doubles the weight of the loco to 125 grams, so better testing can be carried out.


Here she is crawling over a point without hesitation at speed step 1.


It’s difficult to tell and there is really not that much movement but here she is riding over a shallow obstacle, a scalpel blade.
I think she’s ready for service.
Cheers,
John.
_________________
TTFN,
John E.

My club's 2018 exhibition:
http://forum.mtimag.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=2150
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Broadoak



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 981
Location: Northamptonshire

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She really is a most attractive locomotive, got bags of character.

Regards Peter M
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allegheny1600



Joined: 19 Jun 2010
Posts: 108
Location: Warrington, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks Peter!
Glad you like her.

Oh dear! Another long time between updates.
My excuse is that I have simply been too busy to write anything! Now that I am taking a short break, I can do a catch up although I’m sure I missed taking some pictures that may have helped explain things.
Firstly, I built a small triangular ‘filler’ board for the corner where the layout turns through 90 degrees - this provides a base for some scenery beyond the railway itself, supports part of the backscene and hopefully, provides a way of getting rolling stock onto the traverser (more on this later).




Now the weather had turned threatening so I re-assembled the whole layout in my box-room and gave my Prussian motive power a running test, this was very therapeutic and enjoyable. It also served to show that certain of my locos are unsuitable for use on the layout, sadly the lovely Weinert T13 0-8-0T is of too rigid a wheelbase to handle one short but tight curve and my Roco T14 2-8-2T is just too poor a runner - no real surprise there. Also, few of my tender locos will be suitable as they are too long for my little turntable.
My scenic expert, Doug had lent me some plaster cast samples of various items, including some lovely “old fashioned” platform sections. These showed that I needed to raise the area around where such items will be installed so I built up the area using strips of Woodland Scenics roadbed. Once this was done, the platforms looked much better.

Now, I had to tackle the job that so many folk hate - the ballasting. By now, time was running short and I had to get the layout to a certain state before I could take it to my very good friend, Doug’s house so that he can work his magic on the scenery.
So, I had to get a move on! I decided the least tearful way of doing the ballasting was to simply mask everything off where I didn’t want any ballast to appear.




Once the masking tape was in place, it was a simple matter to use a small spoon and apply the ballast. Now, I have had some dreadful experiences with ’real’ stone chippings in the past so this time, I am using C&L lightweight ballast, which I believe is made from crushed Apricot stones - it is supposed to be quieter than regular stone and was quite easy to apply. It seems much less abrasive of the finger ends as you work it into position.
Once in place, I lightly moistened the area by gently spraying with ‘wet’ water, then applied diluted scenic glue from Woodland Scenics that does not set hard.
The trick now is once the glue has seeped into position - get the masking tape off quickly as it is a nightmare once everything has dried in place. By rinsing each piece of tape in a tub of water as it came off the board, I was able to recover quite a lot of ballast too. No sense being wasteful, I always say.



Amazingly, each baseboard must have taken at least 8-10 hours to ballast but that includes all the cleaning up of all the rails after each session.
Before I painted the sides of each rail with rusty coloured paint, I spent some time cleaning off the little pieces of grit that had glued themselves to the rail, this was another rather tedious job but worth it, I feel.
The beauty of working on a portable layout is that it is so easy to separate the boards and turn them around to gain easy access to each side, saves a lot of backache.
In anticipation of this job, I had invested in a “Rusty Rails Painter”, a miniature paint roller with a drip feed type applicator. This made painting the rail sides go very much faster than when I’ve used a brush previously. However, I still used a brush to do the finishing touches on the points.




With a spell of clear weather on the horizon, it was back outside with the layout so I could now get the whole track-bed weathered. It had been a long while since I last used my airbrush so that got a thorough clean first, then a few practice blasts before I hit the track. After a couple of deep breaths, I did it, from both sides of the layout, first with grey then with track colour, cleaning the railheads both times. Remarkably, this job took only a couple of hours of quick work.




I had also started on my back-scene boards which for now, are simple strips of thin plywood, some recovered from other projects and are to be painted a neutral pale to mid grey.





When coming to shield my traverser from public gaze, here is where I came across a hitherto unforeseen problem. The backscene has to shield the traverser including when at it’s fully extended position, otherwise the traverser is useless. When set up in my box room, the wall prevents the traverser from fully extending but in the open, it reaches beyond the width of the baseboard.
This would mean that the backscene has to be supported in fresh air!
My only visible solution was to build a baseboard extension for the traverser board and having done that, I thought that I might as well add a matching scenic extension board too.



The layout has now grown by three new baseboards however, only one of which is for home use and this was always planned anyway.
I was now in a position to finalise the backscene boards which then let me make a start on building the scenery ‘proper’. At this point, I was committed to adding “hills” directly to the main baseboards when Doug informed me that he had never worked on sectional layout scenery before and he wondered how we would avoid the very obvious joins between the baseboards.
This was now panic time for me as I have never gotten beyond this point before and was in brand new territory. Somehow, a flash of inspiration came to me - something to do with the new extensions for the traverser.
I reasoned that I needed one scenic section for home use (slim) and one separate section for exhibition use (broader). This gave me the idea of individual lift out sections that would have no joins in them as the sections can now span across two or more baseboard joins. I felt this was the kind of thinking that Iain Rice (a railway modelling and writing hero) might approve of, hopefully!



I gathered up all my remaining pieces of plywood but still had to form the larger section from two pieces and when it came to gluing the pink foam* boards onto the sub-board, I weighed everything down with all the heavy objects I could easily lay my hands on. 24 hours under approximately 150Kg worked quite well.



Now it was time to start carving the hills themselves - the smaller section I had attacked with an old bread knife but I found that quite hard going so with the larger section, I thought of using my hand saw. This worked well enough for the major profiles then I switched to my surform and was able to finish my landform quite easily.






With some logistical changes occurring at Doug’s house with regard to space issues, we agreed to work on my scenery together at my house so I cleared an area in my big shed and set Leberecht up there, ready for a site inspection by Doug.
I’ve now ended up with Doug’s impressive collection of scenery building supplies at my house and additional jobs! I had built the faces of my cutting too close to the track, leaving no room for actual scenic treatment so we agreed that I will cut that area back somewhat. This will allow us to add some treatments that should completely disguise where the terrain joins are.
Having worked almost full-time on the layout for the past few weeks, I am taking a couple of days break - mainly for family matters so that’s all for now, Folks,
John.

*Why are these so hard to obtain in the UK?
_________________
TTFN,
John E.

My club's 2018 exhibition:
http://forum.mtimag.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=2150
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