Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Laying The First Layout Track

I have been preparing points in the last week and now its time to lay some track on the layout, the main line will be Peco code 80 with cement sleepers and the yard will be atlas code 55.
The pain in the ass bit is the fact that there are no Atlas code 55 points available on the planet at the time of construction so I have to mate the atlas track to peco code 55 points.
As you can see in the photo below the Peco track has a different rail profile to the Atlas track, after a bit of fiddling I worked out that if you put Atlas code 55 track connectors on the Peco points then rest the Atlas track on top of them then the rail heights will match, then you just need to solder them.

I am using Trackrite foam underlay to give the track and ballast a good profile, it fits snugly and helps hold the joints especially the insulation gaps in gauge. You can get a variety of profiles as you can see on the package below and is the same thickness as most of the cork roadbed avaliable. Which is good as I have chosen to use it to support the points with cork.
Here it is the first section of track on the layout woo hoo.
Just a shot to show the difference in size of the track.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Making Peco Points DCC Happy

Thanks to the internet I have been researching how to make Peco code 55 N scale points DCC friendly, there are plenty of wiring diagrams but not many photos so I have put some together to show how dummies like me have done it.
The photo above shows where I have cut the rails to isolate the frog from the switch rails you need to do this because the switch rails pass power to the frog depending on which way the rails are set.

To make the cut as small as possible I made it with a fine saw.

To make sure electrical contact to the switch rails is not reliant on them touching the outside main rails I cut some of the plastic away from the bottom and soldered some jumper wires between the two.

The jumpers are in place and I have soldered a green wire to the frog so the polarity to it can be changed.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Track Plan Top Deck V1.0

I have gone a different route with the track plan for the top level to make it easier to plan for operations and traffic flow. I decided to measure the available space and draw a line diagram first, it helps me with the placement of turnouts and length of yard tracks and position of buildings. I will then place some track on the layout to make sure that it fits and most importantly the points are clear of the supports under the deck, I found a image posted on a forum that has all the peco points on it so all you have to do is print it an hey presto you have all the points you need for track planning. I had a look on the peco website and it also has printable diagrams for all its track pieces.
Below V1 is V2 the modified plan after doing a test run with some flex track and peco points and the main difference is the main line and shunt line have been swapped around to ease the curve of the mainline at the west end of the yard and the reduction of the number of through tracks in the engine terminal.