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Old 18-04-2017, 09:33 AM   #41
Bulleidboy
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Peco points already have the holes, but you have to look at the back of the point to see where they are. I used a pin-drill to make the holes in my flexitrack - it took seconds and as WTD did, I just used a pair of pointed nosed pliers and pushed the pins into the ply. Once ballasted, I took the track pins out.
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Old 18-04-2017, 11:40 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTed View Post
I guess the setbacks had to come!

First attempts at laying flexi track today. Had real trouble with it to start with. Just couldn't get the screws into the ply with the screwdriver supplied. As soon as the screw started to stiffen in the ply, the screwdriver just killed the thread on the screw. Ended up with a few screws only half in and could only get them out by prising them with a chisel.

Had a rethink and used a battery powered drill with a half flat battery (to keep it a bit more tepid) to just drill a little path for the screws. Worked a lot better and now have a fair bit of the track for the station laid.

I laid the Hornby curved points on the left hand side of the layout (as you look at the plan) and after a lot of cleaning (they were second hand) they started functioning pretty well.

Only issue - and it's a big one - is that the Class 142 pacer railbus thing, which I quite like, won't even consider travelling over them. The rear wheels just get thrown up into the air.

As it happens I don't have any right curve points for the other end so I'm going to order some Peco ones and see if it negotiates them better.

Had trouble with a couple of Class 43 DCC conversions, suspect it's a dodgy batch of harnesses, will try wiring one direct just to rule it out.

The big scary job on the horizon now is to solder on droppers on the flexi track in situ. I've had real trouble soldering droppers to track so suspect this will be messy and expensive.
Class 142 and Hornby curved points. The points have a large insulated area where the frog of the point is due to the nature of curved points having longer frogs. The 142 only has 4 wheels per coach so current collection has its limits. Earlier Hornby 142's had one motor end and one dummy end. Due to the issue of stalling later Hornby 142's had a motor in each coach so the stalled one would be pushed by the other. Not ideal. The best solution is to run them as a coupled unit with wires joining all wheels for power collection. DCC needs further thought if it is a two motor type, and can either have a single decoder or two set at the same address. Nothing is impossible without some thought, but make sure is two motors go to one decoder tissueshe decoder can handle it.
DCC stay alive is ideal to solve the issue of current collection.
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Old 18-04-2017, 02:12 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Goat View Post
Class 142 and Hornby curved points. The points have a large insulated area where the frog of the point is due to the nature of curved points having longer frogs. The 142 only has 4 wheels per coach so current collection has its limits. Earlier Hornby 142's had one motor end and one dummy end. Due to the issue of stalling later Hornby 142's had a motor in each coach so the stalled one would be pushed by the other. Not ideal. The best solution is to run them as a coupled unit with wires joining all wheels for power collection. DCC needs further thought if it is a two motor type, and can either have a single decoder or two set at the same address. Nothing is impossible without some thought, but make sure is two motors go to one decoder tissueshe decoder can handle it.
DCC stay alive is ideal to solve the issue of current collection.
Thanks for the help!

The issue I have is not actually pickup related. The 142 I have seems to only have one motor, but has pickups in both cars, with a green cable carrying accross the coupler and a couple of contacts to make the connection. Of all the DCC conversions I've done, this one is by far the most comfortable on the layout, never stalling.

The issue is that it derails on the curved points. The front weels seem to get pushed upwards as it hits the frog, and the come down outside of the rails.

I've ordered the Peco points today, will be interesting to see if it can negotiate those better!
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Old 18-04-2017, 03:19 PM   #44
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Used to have similar issues with Peco and Hornby set track curved points. I banned the use of them on my layout I used to have. The issue I had was I used locos and stock both with shallow and deep flanged wheels so it was a compromise of both. A very large radius streamline electrofrog point converted to a form of insulfrog worked well.
Generally it is the length and width of the gap in the frog that causes the wheels to bounce. While some recommend shallowing the frogs so that the wheel flanges didn't bounce, if running Triang, Lima and modern stock together, the compromise was to stick to what I know works, and set track curved points didn't! (I used a mix of streamline and set track to get the track to fit the space I had).
My current layout I've made my own points so if they don't work I can't blame anyone else! It is time consuming and fiddly but is not too difficult. Actually simpler then I expected. Electrically there is thought needed (Not quite started wiring up yet...Almost there!), but it is nothing too complex if one thinks logically. I have isolated the frog and wing rails ready for live frog use.
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Old 18-04-2017, 03:33 PM   #45
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Try as a test, adding a sliver (Shim) of thin card to the inside faces of the check rails adjacent to the frog. This often pushes the wheel flange over towards the outer stock rail more resulting in the inner wheel not riding up on the frog. If it works then permanently add plastic card of the correct thickness to the insides of the check rails.
Equally, ensure the point is laid dead flat both along its length and across the rails too. Check with the aid of a steel rule held on edge along the rails and then get your eye to as low position on the baseboard as possible to look for any gaps between rail top and rule edge. Use shims of card to lift and pack points as necessary, re checking after each adjustment. Use a small spirit level across the rails too.
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Old 18-04-2017, 03:51 PM   #46
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A good idea there Flashbang. Think I will try that with the old points when I resurrect my 00 gauge. Can't try yet as is all stored ready for future relocation.
I hope your info helps Big Ted.
When building my points for 0-16.5 I needed to do a lot of gap adjustments with the frog and checkrails etc. I have got wagons and coaches working through them. When I get the wiring done I can check the locos running through them. I hope they work as I've almost fried the copper off the sleepers with previous adjustments! May need to make new sleepers or even new points if they don't work. At least I've gained experience ready for when I need to use it.
It was new experiences like this that can help in solving issues, though I didn't think of the Peco and Hornby frogs could need similar adjustments.
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Old 23-04-2017, 09:10 AM   #47
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Quick update here, as we're going away for a week so everything will be standing still shortly!

First of all thanks to the so many people here who are so willing to offer seasoned and informed advice. I've made mistakes, but doubtless a fraction of the amount I'd have made had I not been reading and asking questions on this forum.

I created another thread about flexi track - I'm having my first experience with it, using it for the station lines, effectively connecting a turnout at one end of the layout to a turnout at the other.

I'm pleased with the result, but had many frustrations in laying it. First of all I couldn't get the screws through the sleepers. I was using the ones with the slightly better screwdriver from Alan Robinson. I found the holes in the sleepers weren't quite wide enough and the screwdriver was destroting the screw heads trying to get them through.

I've been using a drill with an almost completely depleted battery to slightly widen the sleeper holes and it's working quite well - gentle enough but still firm enough.

Then there were those wandering rails. Just total naivety on my part - assuming that, because I'd screwed down the sleepers, nothing would move. Lots of good advice though which I'll put into practice with the next 3 station lanes.

And yes I've taken the advice offered at the start of the thread, none of the lines will terminate in the station, they'll all run through. I'll probably but a sneaky couple of sets of points in connecting the middle 2 lines as that'll offer another chance to change from down to upline and mean smaller trains can avoid each other and transfer to another platform.

Thanks for the help with the class 142. I hadn't actually screwed down the points at that stage and once they got screwed down the little twin pacer negotiates them OK. I've got the Peco curved points in at the other end and it does seem a little more comfortable on those, but anyway problem solved.

Also I'm thinking on Tinker's advice to simply not overuse flexi track. The top deck of the layout will pretty much be a double oval with r3 and r4 curves so for absolute ease I think I might just buy the specific track for it. Flexi track is useful for the station lines because the curves into the station are so .... bespoke.

Also the idea of using set track on the foam incline seems to make sense, not sure how easy it would be to fix flexi track down on foam. Can't use screws there!

Soldiering on with soldering - the penny's dropped a bit this week. I'm getting droppers soldered on pretty much instantly now so am more confident and happier with the thought of ripping out all the poorly done stuff and re-doing it in situ.

Hopefully I'll get an hour or two enjoying the result of my endeavours today before we head off, but on my return it's the last 3 lines of the station, the line up to where the inclue will start then scenics and furniture for what's there.
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Old 23-04-2017, 09:28 AM   #48
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Sounds like you are doing well - keep it up.
Persevere with the flexitrack, it will get easier, and with longer lengths you'll need fewer droppers, and will look better in the long run particularly where you install them as transition curves (the radius gradually decreases like the real world). Nothing wrong with preformed sections - however they can in my opinion, make a layout look like a train-set rather than a model railway - some only use them in non-scenic or in hidden areas.
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Old 23-04-2017, 10:34 PM   #49
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Thank you! Yes - if all goes to plan there'll be plenty of higher level stuff that'll hide the R2 curves!

Here's a quick video of progress. That length of track down for the first station line is far from straight at the far end! I'll have to take a look but seen as the platform will likely be straight (looking at MDF so probably won't be straight for long) it might need tinkering with.

When I'm not hitting my head on the joists I'm scratching it wondering how I'm going to lay track around it. Just squeezed by on the far side entrance to the station, there's some footage of trains skimming by. I've run Mk4 coaches (which are long and cut the corner quite deeply) and APT coaches (which lean) and they get by OK.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfLe73cPK1g
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Old 21-05-2017, 10:31 PM   #50
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I'm continuing to plug away at this. Some days I'm motivated and potter around getting stuff done, other days I just stand in the middle, entranced by trains running around me.

Top priority is points. There's no way those insulated points are going to do the job for my 40 year old trains. If I don't clean the track for a couple of days, they all start stalling. Some (Limas) worse than others.

So rip out all the insulated frog points this coming weekend and put electrofrogs in. Also I got some cheap PL-10 point motors so have a go at wiring those in too, especially in the hard to access areas.

Hopefully I'll still have chance this weekend to then stand in the middle, entranced, again, but this time without continually having to push stalled trains.
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