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Rick Dow
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On the one hand, the simplified benchwork of "almost" wireless model railroading not only saves time in construction,
it also saves us the headaches involved in the installation of wiring and all it entails.
Great slow speed operation, no more dead shorts and no more stalling on switches.  

But just having spent the week-end fine tuning the finale of this current layout's benchwork,
I have to say that I wasn't totally prepared for how it had shrunk the layout room.
Even after looking at those same dimensions on paper, it still shocked me in real life.

Lets face it, there's only so much we can do in a 15 foot by 18 foot layout room.
There's also an additional four foot by eight foot extension.
But boy oh boy, I'm feeling cramped.
I do have three feet everywhere except at one short turn where space is drops down to 26 inches. 
But the look is so different to what I've been seeing for over a year.

What do we all say?

If I had it to do over again, I'd make wider aisles.   :)


Rick


W C Greene
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Howdy Rick, instead of "almost wireless" how about no wires whatsoever!
A 15 by 18 foot room is something that most model railroaders would envy.
My layout is probably that size, built in a 2 car garage.
Remember the old saying..."less is more"...

Woodie


davecttr
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I wish I had another 3 feet of length,
and only being able to reach 3 feet means I can't make the main board wide enough for the extra couple of tracks I want.
There is no way I can make the layout room bigger than 16 feet by 7 foot 8 inches.
After 4 years building I have finally finished track laying but there is still years of scenery work to do.
The layout will never be finished.
My current issue is humidity, despite being insulated with moisture membranes etc I am seeing 85/%,
and a new platform canopy I constructed out of card has warped.
I bought a desiccating dehumidifier last week and it got the humidity down to 50% in a couple of hours.
I still need to work out the running costs.
If I started again I would have wires, to control the turnout motors simple Peco ones,
at least for the turnouts that are uncomfortable to reach.


Nice Guy Eddie
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I am guessing the access must be so restricted its impossible to get in there with a camera

Maybe you could get some shots through the doorway with a telephoto lens

Or taken from outside even through an open window

It worked for my ex wifes private detective


:f:


Eddie


jtrain
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I've been reading up, experimenting, and experiencing different layouts now for several years,
and it seems to be that bench work really shouldn't be more than 2 feet deep unless you have a curve which requires more space. 
Peninsula's shouldn't be more than 4 feet deep (2 feet for each side). 
With 2 foot deep bench work, your operating pit would be 11x14 feet, that's 60% more standing room.

I'm not going to tell you how to build your railroad Rick,
but it seems to me that if the bench work is making you feel claustrophobic,
it might be worth it to think of some areas where you can cut out more standing room. 

At least that's what I would do, even if it meant removing some scenery or simplifying the track plan.

Just do whatever you're most comfortable with, good luck with the project.

--James


Rick Dow
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I am guessing the access must be so restricted its impossible to get in there with a camera

Eddie, you are a pretty funny guy. Probably all guys from Long Beach are.  :)  :)


Recently you guys gave me the required directions for uploading photos to this site,
and they seemed to me to be just slightly less complicated than landing a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier on a windy day in the rain. 
But now after having whined a little, I am going to make a concerted effort to JUST DO IT. 
Wish me luck.


I've been reading up, experimenting, and experiencing different layouts now for several years........

JTrain - I totally agree with you.
But I'm such a greedy and spoiled thing that I simply want as much of everything as I can get.
That means enough yard trackage that more or less doesn't make a mockery of the railroad I'm attempting to model.  :)  


Actually, I was more or less exaggerating the problem,
just to make a point of how real life often seems to look different than what we initially saw on paper. 

I suppose if two-dimensional visuals were as accurate as we hoped,
I would have looked really good in that leisure suit I bought ......... back in the day.


Regarding wires:  
I have run power to one turntable and have two more coming.
To this point I don't have any powered turnouts,
but if I end up with a couple of hard to reach locations, I won't hesitate to install them.
There are signals that interest me (from Britain) that down the road, I may purchase.
They'll also need to be wired.

That's it - That's all.   :)


Cheers,  Rick

davecttr
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No more than 2 feet wide?.
This board is 3 feet wide and I would like another couple of sidings in the freight yard.

The turnouts behind the signal box in the 1st photo are the candidates for point motors.
An interesting installation problem as the board is 6 inch thick blue foam.
 
These were taken last week after 4 years of construction.
The platform canopy below the water tower in the last image has warped.
 



















Rick Dow
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Dave,

Thanks for the photos. 
Is that turntable powered?

Rick


davecttr
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Yes, it is digital analog, otherwise known as a finger.
I would like a powered turntable but the ones available are all too big with 70 foot decks and mine is a 60 foot deck.
All I would need is a simple 180 degree turn.
It uses a CD with CD case as the bearing, very smooth but not suitable for motorisation.


Si.
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Hi Dave  :wave:



HOLY COW !



Photo Posting !  :shocked:



I always knew you had a few tricks up your sleeve !  ;)



more ... More ... MORE ... MORE ! ... MORE !!



Please FLOOD us with pix. ...

... unless anyone objects ?  ???



Brits. do R.C. ... & all sorts of other  C :cool: :cool: L  $4!7

Luv it .  .   .



:moose:



Si.


davecttr
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Thanks for the complement.
I will have to learn how to make videos of BPRC trains actually running.

One project I would like to try would be a BPRC coupling that would work (almost) anywhere on the layout including DC and DCC layouts.
 
AS my layout is UK based it would be based on the much maligned tension lock.
The idea being to use a servo to raise the coupling hook.

A scratch build would be needed.
I am thinking brass tube for the pivot and brass rod for the hook.

Initial problems are I know nothing about soldering brass and need a really fine saw.
I saw a jewellers one on TV that looked just like a wire.
It probably costs a fortune.

Perhaps the initial prototype should be at a larger scale.


Rod Hutchinson
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Here is my remote coupling using Deltang BPRC


https://youtu.be/ZDWcx4PuuB4



W C Greene
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All you need to know about making a video of your BPRC layout is to have a buddy do the video and you run the train.
Much easier that way.

Woodie


Bob D
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Dave, that should be...digit-all!!!

I model O-scale. 
My old layout was in half my upstairs space, approximately 13x12. 
In January of this year I tore it all down and rebuilt using the entire upstairs space 13x30. 
All 18 of my engines are BPRC and all my equipment still uses 3 rail, Hi-Rail wheels, only the middle rollers are gone.

I have zero wiring on the layout, but I may eventually wire the turntable. 
All turnouts are hand thrown. 
I rebuilt using Mianne bench work, expensive but precise and quick to put together. 
I used Atlas, Micro-Engineering, and Signature Switch track components, plus built 7 turnouts of my own (what a nightmare). 
They work, but I can certainly tell the difference between them and the Signature Switch turnouts and plan on replacing a couple next year.

The track is all in place and I'm running trains to see how the plan is working before I put down any scenery. 
The main loop is smooth as silk.
I have to watch when I go across a couple of my handmade turnouts on the sidings, need to go slow.

I have one area where the aisle width is only 24", but otherwise it's wide open in the center of the room(s).
Here's kinda what it looks like:





The longest siding in the yard can hold 14 boxcars, that's approximately 14 feet.
The curves are 49.5 and 40.5 radius and #6 turnouts, all code 148 rail. 
The Hi-rail wheels have no problem except on my hand built turnouts where some of the spike heads come in contact with the wheels.
That's why I have to go slow in the sidings. 
I'm slowing identifying the culprits and removing or relocating them.

The main loop is .7 scale miles long.

The stairs are in the middle, left side of the diagram. 
The 2 black stripes are walls that I needed to show so the Mianne benchwork would be designed correctly. 
At the head of the stairway is an 8' long shelf, there wasn't enough room to use any benchwork there,
but the shelf is supported at each end, one end attached to the wall and the other attached to the Mianne benchwork. 
The stairs make a right turn at the shelf.


Rick Dow
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Thanks Bob,

That's the first time I've heard of Mianne benchwork (I don't get out much) :)

No wiring, don't we all just love that little factor. 

You have a nice long run there to be able to sit back and watch those eighteen big O scale locos rumble past. 

Tell us about your favourite battery arrangements used to run those big fellas.

Cheers

Rick

Bob D
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Rick,

I use Rx65b receivers and various transmitters from RCS Australia. 

Most of my engines have 9.6v, 2000mAh NiMh battery packs, some use 11.1v 2200mAh LiPo packs.

I get 2.5 hours run time.





slateworks
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Very sturdy, neat and flexible looking benchwork Bob.

Out of curiosity I visited their site, watched the video and looked at the kits, but as you say, it certainly ain't cheap!

I guess though as a long term structure it could justify the investment.



Bob D
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Doug,
It was a bit "pricey", but if you saw my old bench work you would understand :doh:
Plus, I'm having a lot of pain in my hands, doc says it's arthritis but I think there's more to it than that (probably too much time on the internet). 
Anyway, I've gotten to the point that it's painful to swing a hammer or put in a screw. 

With this system you simply twist the twist-lock fasteners once everything is in and lined up and you're done. 
Not only that, it looks like a piece of furniture. 
Some guys have stained or painted theirs and it looked great in the photos. 
Mianne makes the pieces in 6 inch increments I believe. 
The frame is light weight but sturdy and each leg has an adjustable foot, the plywood top turns it into a solid unit. 
The entire bench work can be taken down, once whatever is on top is taken off. 
If I ever get tired of trains I can always use it for something else!!!

I got all mine at once, but you can order any amount you want and build it in stages. 
He seems pretty busy so if anyone wants to go this route it takes a couple of months.
You can send him a plan of your layout and he'll determine the pieces that you need.
Height is variable too.  Standard legs are 48", I had mine cut down to 35" because of the knee walls upstairs.

Again, it is pricey. 
I just happened to be in a good position at the moment to afford it (I was also having my small kitchen remodeled). 
I looked at it this way...don't buy any O scale engines or rolling stock for a year and put that $$$ towards the Mianne bench work.

Rick mentioned making a video.
Here's one I did of my MTH RailKing Imperial USRA 0-6-0 back in 2015 on Youtube:

BPRC O-SCALE 0-6-0


slateworks
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Bob - Those MTH locos and stock are impressive and the "clackety-clack" over the rail joints is very emotive.

I studied pictures of their Goose when I was contemplating converting my Precision Craft model to the older Pierce Arrow based version,
and was surprised at how much larger the MTH model was compared to the Precision Craft one.

I had thought they were both O scale.





It was a very useful guide though to enable me to convert this





Into this





Bob D
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Great looking models Doug!

That video was of my old 3-rail layout before I removed the center rail, then tore the whole thing down.

I have 2 engines with BlueRail Bluehorse board installed, a Weaver RS3 and a Bachmann E7.
The E7 even has a bluetooth speaker inside so the sound comes out of the engine and not my Ipad.
The BlueRail board barely has enough amperage.
The E7 doesn't brown out once in a while after startup when trying to move, but most of the time it works fine.
I may convert them to the DelTang boards as it doesn't appear BlueRail is doing anything at the moment.
I don't like having different systems when I don't have to.
Maybe next year I'll make the change.


slateworks
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I'm afraid I'm still using good old fashioned DCC Bob
and whilst I've been following the development of RC/dead rail,
it's all a bit of a magical mystery tour to me just now.

Maybe next year I'll dig deeper into it as an alternative
and Deltang does seem to be the way to go at the moment.



Rick Dow
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Hi Doug,

All of you are all such fine modellers.

I see you're London area based.

As you know, one great thing about BPRC is that you can run it seamlessly alongside your DCC equipment. 

I took two locomotives down to my local hobby store two weeks ago and ran them around the store's layout.
Despite the fact that they ran flawlessly (whew), reactions were mixed amongst the model railroad shoppers
(BPRC always seems to elicit reactions ranging from praise to disapproval).

Fortunately, converting a locomotive is pretty easy stuff. 
(spoken by the person who's most positive experience with a soldering iron was burning himself)

Very nice video, btw.

Cheers

Rick


W C Greene
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Howdy Rick, I have written about this before but will spiel a bit again...
almost 20 years ago, my late buddy and I took our r/c On30 lokies for a "tour"of the local hobby shops.
At one, we ran the locos across the glass on top of a display case, the manager remarked-"that's unnatural",
at another we did the same thing and got torches & pitchforks for such "devil-ry",
and at a local HO "club", they didn't want us to run on their layout because
(1) the locos weren't HO but On30..and
(2) our r/c stuff might goof up their DCC stuff and they forbade us from operating the locos.

Lots have changed now, opinions are still pretty negative, but these days the torches have been replaced with tar & feathers!

As Marie Antionette remarked-"Let them clean track!"
Woodie


Rick Dow
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Hi Woodie,

Hah Ha,  Adventures of a BPRC pioneer

Woodie, ..... With the way things are going in France at the moment, we have to be careful about those Marie Antoinette jokes.  :)   :)

Back to laying track.

Rick



Nice Guy Eddie
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" With the way things are going in France at the moment, we have to be careful about those Marie Antoinette jokes "


You think he might be heading for the salami cutter like back in the old days ?

I guess you cant get the cops to baton charge a whole country

Folk get what they deserve as they say in Long Beach

Or not


:f:


Eddie

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@ Bob D,

I have added these to some Deltang receivers to boost the current output:

https://www.pololu.com/product/2135.

By wiring the 2 channels in parallel the current is doubled, to about 2.4 A continuous.

I think Deltang's "ADD2" is similar.



Rod Hutchinson
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I'll have to look into those.

W C Greene
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Wooooo...sorry for the words...how about this-"feed em' fish!"

WCG (in witness pro tection)

Rick Dow
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Happy new Year tomorrow to all.

Spent time this weekend trying to lay track but struggling with the curved approach to a small bridge 

Then I ran into a lot of problems installing those self-stick shingles,
on the roof of a structure I've been poking away on when I get the time to work at it.  
I had purchased several packages of those shingles from an estate sale,
and I think they're probably so old they won't stick on their own anymore when moistened.
Oh well, time for plan B.

Then I worked on finishing a curved, wooden girder structure to support track, for the same bridge mentioned above.
I don't have room to cross the bridge on straight track. Track must be remain curved.
Bridge is stone made from styrofoam and it's all coming along slowly.... but ok. 
I am waiting for that elusive week-end that finally comes along when I can say that I actually finished something.

All to say though that I'm glad there is no wiring  :)  to do.



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