2016 part 4 – Building New Layout – The Base Board

See also the pages about the plans for the new layout:

Landscape and buildings (including semaphore signal)
Wood work, wiring, extended feedback etc.

November 25

I have printed phase 1 – i.e. the lower 1½ level in 1:1 using SCARM. That gives a bit of impression regarding how difficult or easy it is going to be to reach the lower level track from beneath. And soon I will use the printout as template when I cut plywood for the track.

In addition, I have been to Silvan to buy a bit of wood and some threaded rod (M4).

img_0128I bought a tiny piece of MDF instead of plywood. They also had a similar small piece of plywood, but it was skew. In addition the MDF actually feels sturdier and stronger that plywood.

It has to be tested first. Maybe MDF is too stiff and hard? Or maybe there are other problems? That is why I have only bought small samples of the material to be used.

December 2

I have now bought enough wood for the base frame. Silvan had a big pile and I bought all those that I deemed of good enough quality. And that is just enough for my design:

imageThe strange spot where three boards meet is an enforcement that serves two purposes: It shall make the entire construction sturdy and it is where the legs are to be attached. Even though there is only one such indication on the drawing, there shall of course be 4 legs on the layout. These are by the way re-use from the prototype layout. They are height-adjustable round steel legs from IKEA.

Besides, I have bought some fittings. Among them some meant for making a drawer for a keyboard. They are now meant for the ECOS.

As anybody can see, all this is so far only in planning mode. Nothing real is happening. I am to busy with work and much else.

December 18

Finally a day with a bit of railroading time.I have cleaned up on the prototype layout and made a film where the trains are running purely computer controlled, i.e. JMRI / Warrants combined with a simple Jython script.

Besides, I have been using the cross-cut saw to cut the boards into length. Now I just need to put some screws in and my work with the new layout is ongoing:imageHere the boards are shown on the high edge approximately as the finished base frame will look like:

imageTo screw it all together, I have been measuring, then drilled 2 holes of 3 mm in the longer boards for each joint. Then I put the joint together using clamps:imageAfter which I drill as far as possible into the end of the short board with a 2 mm drill and attach with 4×50 mm screws:imageI found that it is best to start in the middle and work my way out toward the sides and finish with the ends of the base frame.

Today I didn’t manage to put the last 4 of the shortest pieces on, and thereby not the ends either. Hopefully, I will get time for this during Christmas.

December 28

I managed to finalize the frame today. Now it only need legs, before I can get on with building the new layout. For that I need to break down the old layout so that I can re-use the legs, the track, the electronics and not least the space.imageOne last view of the prototype layout before it is broken down:imageBesides, I have been at Lokdoc in Brøndby to buy the additional track needed for phase 1.

December 29

All electronics and all track is uninstalled:imageNow I need to put in all in boxes so that I can remove the old baseboard and install the new base frame.

Ready for carrying out:imageAnd install. The legs have been transferred to the new base frame using small pieces of the old base board:imageNow I only lack……. everything. I need to make a board for the electronics. The board must be attached to the wall behind the layout. Or maybe at the back of the frame? And it must be designed so that electronics and wiring becomes manageable. I have to build more decoders and S88 modules. Wiring must be done. Plywood for the track. Servos must be built into new turnouts. Track must be laid. The new layout must be defined in JMRI. Etc. etc. But now the process is ongoing.

I need to build the following electronics:

  • 3 decoders for turnouts
  • A distribution frame so that I can connect each individual decoder or the programming track to the programming output on ECOS. My idea is to use these RCA sockets and corresponding plugs.
  • The rest of the current sensors that can be accommodated on the board that I already have.
  • Maybe another S88 module including current sensors. My first division into blocks tells me that it is not necessary for phase 1. But I am going to need it for phase 2.
  • Servos in 12 new turnouts out of which one is a 3-way turnout needing 2 servos.
  • I need to find some kind of connectors for detachable modules.

December 30 and 31

I found a small piece of plywood in Silvan. I thought it was 6,5 mm, but it turned out to be 9 mm. I have cut a 22 cm strip to be used for the rear shadow station. It is somewhat stiff, so I will use 6 mm for the rest of the layout.