The layout is now ready for its first exhibition, and is basically complete. There are a few rough edges, and the cars queuing at the crossing aren't quite working right yet, but it is good enough for now.
That nerve-racking moment when the layout gets turned upside down to shake off the excess scatter has come and gone, and it all looks very much like what was planned. (sigh of relief)
Getting the roads working is one thing. Getting decent-looking road markings is something else entirely, especially when they need to line up with the underlying linear motor track.
I ended up defining a small computer language to describe the roads, then writing a small Windows program to read this and generate the graphics. These were then printed with an inkjet onto self-adhesive label paper, sprayed with a couple of coats of matte acrylic, cut out and stuck to the track or cardboard foundation, then sprayed with more matte acrylic.
The minimum set of trains for the layout is now basically complete, with 7-car Tait and Harris sets, and a parcel coach. If I have time before its exhibition debut in August, I may see about building a Hitachi set as well.
This is still early test software that can only handle light traffic, running whatever trains and road vehicles I had ready to hand.
My second linear motor layout is now taking shape. This is another small Aussie layout, a 48" x 17" model in T scale (1:450) of a typical but fictitious location on the outer edge of the Melbourne suburban network. Quite a few lines around Melbourne drop down to single track for their last station or two before the terminus. The setting is the 1970s / early 1980s, and will feature electric multiple unit stock from that period, all 3D printed.
Here is a simple animation of how these linear motor tracks work. The track consists of three interleaved strings of coils acting as electromagnets. At any time, one string is generating North poles, another string South poles, and the last string is turned off. Any models with suitably-spaced magnets get dragged along.
The coils are on 2mm centers, so the vehicles naturally move in 1mm steps. There are some additional tricks to reduce this step size to 0.25mm for slow running, but they are not shown here. The vehicle magnets must be alternating poles on on 3mm centers, most easily achieved by using 3mm disc magnets.
British and Australian model railway layouts in OO, N, T and others.
- My Layouts
- Other Layouts
- T Gauge
- Working Roads
- Hybrid DC - DCC Controller
- Using LEDs
- Controlling the Fleischmann Turntable
- Constant Brightness Tail Lamps (OO scale)
- Point Motors and Relays
- Point Motors and Toggle Switches
- Dapol Signals
- Colour Light Signals and Automation
- Synchronized Fast Clocks
- Wire Sizes and Voltage Drop
- DC Controllers
- Controller Types
- Feedback Controllers
- Working Level Crossing
- General Tips
- 3D Printing