Still Inspired

G scale on 9mm track? Are you mad? If so, this is the forum for you.

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Still Inspired

Postby NarrowGauge » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:01 am

After thoroughly enjoying the building of Saxons Warehouse in the "Inspiring Stuff" thread I have longed to make another layout. Unfortunately returning to study and then new work commitments have prevented that. Until now.

I came across, by accident, a series of buildings on my way to work. Several days later I was able to return and take a few snap shots, although they are taken through a locked gate I was able to get enough photos to get the feel of the place. Here a just a couple.
Image
Image

I am planning to place a building like this/these on a small round layout. Using the Gnine loco and wagons that I had made earlier to carry goods (most likely fruit & veg) I will have the loco slip in and out of the shed and then round the outside of the factory.
My plan was to have the buildings constructed in a way as to prevent the viewer seeing all the layout at once. Thus hiding that fact the the layout is a continuous loop.

Image

Image

I was also thinking about making some sort of carousel the layout could sit on so when displaying the layout at a show it could be see from all sides / angles.

One problem I did think of though was being able to get the power to the layout. If I was only powering the track it would be simple to just a 6.5mm phono plug and socket in the dead center. However I wanted to be able to power on and off lighting and other mechanical accessories.

Dose anyone have any suggestions about getting power from the fixed base to a rotating layout?
Tess

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Postby chris stockdale » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:39 am

Tess,

That's such a good layout design! I don't know what we might call it (beyond pizza, pizza plus?) but I'm really looking forward to seeing this develop.

cheers

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Postby bluey1989 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:37 pm

May be a silly answer to the rotating layout and fixed base and not sure how good it would be but what about copper tape?

Could be run in a complete circle on the base and layout so when the layout is placed on the base it marries up with the correct connection and when it turns always in contact.

This would only be the feeds to the layout but if you had a number of tape circuits would be able to switch the functions on and off too.

Or run the lights and other items off a battery pack located on the layout...

Like I say, not sure if it would work and might be a daft suggestion.

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Postby John New » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:52 pm

Copper tape about 1" wide available in rolls from garden centres - sold as an organic slug repellent.
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Postby scott b » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:41 pm

That would be an extra large Pizza with all the trimmings.
Have you thought battery power, either straight battery or as we have seen on another post basic RC. just a thought.
Love those buildings, great find.
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Postby Simon Andrews » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:59 pm

A recenty issue of the 009 Society News featured a rotating layout using Scalextric slot car track for the base inorder to transfer power.

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Postby bilson17 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:24 pm

dolls house builders use self-adhesive copper tape to get their wiring about their buildings. i know hobbycraft sell it, guess other places do too

few years ago, put a roundy-roundy together on top of a motorised display base. fed the power from a transformer to the display base, then had wipers running from that to the copper tape

for what it was, it worked fine, but whether you could do it with anything more complicated?

hope this helps a bit

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Re: Still Inspired

Postby More_Cats_Than_Sense » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:39 pm

NarrowGauge wrote:
One problem I did think of though was being able to get the power to the layout. If I was only powering the track it would be simple to just a 6.5mm phono plug and socket in the dead center. However I wanted to be able to power on and off lighting and other mechanical accessories.

Dose anyone have any suggestions about getting power from the fixed base to a rotating layout?


One tried & tested way is a set of slip rings as can be seen in the picture below

Image

The board above has been reversed for cleaning (40-odd years worth of gunk, I had cleaned the inner ring just before I took the photo) and normally is positioned over the sprung contacts that can be seen just below it.

These are cast brass rings and contacts, but you can make similar out of copperclad board and simple sprung contacts but it shows the principle of the thing.
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Postby Adrian » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:54 am

G'day Tess

Having actually built a couple of layouts that go around and around I can confirm that the slip rings that Barry showed do work participially well.
The ones in his photo are a bit of an overkill for your application (and mine) but I have made a simpler/lighter version using a square or PCB board. ( http://www.jaycar.com.au/index.asp part number HP9510 300 mm square about $20 plus postage ).
After finding the centre of the PCB I scribed a series of circles using a pair of metal dividers going just deep enough to cut through the copper. A hole drilled through the board on each circle allowed a wire to be soldered.
I mounted the disc on my layout and a series of brass wipers on the legs/base unit. (This helps protect the wipers when transporting the layout to a show).
I would shy away from using the self adhesive copper tape for making the slip rings as I have used this stuff, with good results, for some wiring under layouts but found the adhesive was not the best and it tends to lift after a while. This would not be a good thing, especially during a show !

Another idea is to use the phono plug as you suggested and then control the whole layout using DCC. The accessories could either be controlled by stationary decoders or even loco decoders using the accessory lines.

Then of course it is possible to branch out and use radio control, infra red remote control or even (using a stereo Jack connector giving three wires between the base and the layout) use two micro controllers (one on the layout and one on the base) that 'speak' to each other via a single serial line. All of these options are possible but do need either money and/or a knowledge of electronics to implement.

Another fun option is after building the layout mount 3 wheels under it and motorize one of them and have the whole thing revolve under its own power ...... great fun !
Looking forward to seeing how you overcome the problems as they arise.
Adrian Hoad
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Postby NarrowGauge » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:34 pm

Thank you all for your suggestions.

Adrian wrote:Another idea is to use the phono plug as you suggested and then control the whole layout using DCC. The accessories could either be controlled by stationary decoders or even loco decoders using the accessory lines.


Yes I had thought of this option as well. The loco I've built has no room for a decoder even a z scale one but I could just use the Motor output from the decoder straight to the track as I'll only ever have the one loco on the layout (well at any one time anyway).

I do seem to be favoring this option as my wood working / engineering skills can be a little lacking at times and constantly having to push a stalled loco from a poor electrical connection is by far my least favorite pass time. I cringe at the thought of having to do this at show and most likely it will stall inside the buildings (most of you will know this also happens in tunnels or other wise inaccessible locations). Having a professionally engineered plug and socket looks like the right option for me.

And As I have these parts already it's more likely to get done.

The other option ...
Adrian wrote:Another fun option is after building the layout mount 3 wheels under it and motorize one of them and have the whole thing revolve under its own power ...... great fun !


This idea has intrigued me also but I don't want to become too bogged down with the mechanics of this just now as I think it could delay the real enjoyment (for me anyway) of building the layout. I will however try to design the board and base in such a way that it can be converted at some later stage without destroying the work that I would have already done.

Again thanks for all you input so far. I look forward to your comments and suggestions as this project continues.
Tess



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Postby csundstr » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:46 pm

You could also try a plastic-shell slip ring. Do a search on EBay for "slip ring" and you will find many pictures of these small plastic housed slip rings. I have used them for commercial products and they work well. The original manufacturer is a company called Hangzhou Prosper Electric Co. from China. The company I work for imports some of their very expensive models for industrial applications.

The small plastic versions should cost you less than $100.00 CDN (less than 60 pounds). They can be mounted through your base simply by drilling one clearance hole and some mounting holes and then wiring everything up.

Happy Modelling!

Chris

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Postby Adrian » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:25 am

G'day Tess

Yes I had thought of this option as well. The loco I've built has no room for a decoder even a z scale one but I could just use the Motor output from the decoder straight to the track as I'll only ever have the one loco on the layout (well at any one time anyway).
If you use a decoder with lots of functions you could use these to operate some of the 'accessories' that you want from the controller with just a simple button press without changing addresses.
Also remember that the functions on a decoder have limited output and so you might have to include some form of buffer .... either transistor or relays...... otherwise you could let out the magic smoke.

will however try to design the board and base in such a way that it can be converted at some later stage without destroying the work that I would have already done.
If you include three upside-down fixed castor type wheels ( from Bunnings or similar ) from the start it means that you can rotate the whole layout easily by hand both when building or displaying it. When or if you decide to motorize it it's only a simple (?) matter of motorizing one of the wheels ..... the rest of the system being already in place.

By the way if you do go down this road I would suggest rubber wheels ... not plastic...... Plastic slips .... don't ask me how I know :oops:
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Postby NarrowGauge » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:36 pm

So today I finish the track and soldered it together so I could complete a bit of a test run with the loco. After a bit of a fiddle on one of the joins it seems to be running fine.

Now I set to cutting the webbing between the sleepers as the track is Standard Gauge N-Scale to they are way too close together and I was planning on them being seen


Image
What a slow and pain staking process. Oh my arthritic hands :(
I took me several house because I had to stop often but I'm really happy with the results so far
Image
As you can see the inner circle has most of it's sleepers removed as this track will me set into concrete or pavers and will run through the inside of buildings so they won't be seen anyway. The outer circle runs around the back of the buildings any will be clearly seen as it is close to the edge of the layout.

Tomorrow I'll paint the track and sleepers using the 3 spray can method that I've used before.
Image

I haven't attached the track to the baseboard yet as I think I will make the circle just a little larger to allow a little more scenery between the track and the edge of the board. I'll also need to build my base and attach the phono plug / socket assemble sooner rather than later. Up-ending the layout to drill holes and run wires with fully constructed buildings on it, is never a good idea.
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Postby NarrowGauge » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:30 am

I extended the size of the board to allow for just a little bit more secenry on the outside of the track. Plus if the loco or wagons fall over there is something to land on rather than the floor.

Image
I also added the edge to the board and cut out the plywood board ready for the bridge (all be it a very low one).
Image

Plus to add some sort of balance I have placed the diamond crossing at 60 Degrees to the bridge and another 60 Degrees to a set of points (Fake) so there is a balance in the focal points around the layout.

Next I laid the track back on the board (just sitting there not attached yet) so I could have a test run to make sure every thing was working.

Image

NOTE: The video is a pit pixelated and looks very fast but the real thing works great.
Tess



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Postby demaine22 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:36 am

Really like where this is going!
Before watching the movie I difnt thin how long a run you would get! It's a great track plan and I have to say, I'm starting to like circular layouts!
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Postby Simon Andrews » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:45 am

Like the folded figure of eight track plan. A great way to increase the length of the running line .

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