Layout for son and dad

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Well I have made more progress and stuff is on order. I laid some track in the reverse loop. My double slip switch is now laid. I had some issues at on end where the curvature of the flex track was not mating up with the adjacent rail because of the soft insulated rail joiner. I cut the out rail plate tabs on a tie and glued it in place to push the rail over a little. Have lots of foam pins to hold it in place while it dries. Hopefully that solves things as it was causing derailments. I will know tonight.

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Well I decided to go with DCC++ and bought a few Arduinos, voltage bucks to lower my laptop power supply voltages from 19.5 volts to 15 Vic, a motor shield for DCC++ and another different motor shield for a separate Arduino to power servos for turnouts, SG90 servos, etc. I got a starter kit as well. All in, the cost was about $280 Cdn with a lot of extra stuff. This would have been the cost of just a Zephyr. I still need to buy some push buttons for the turnouts.

I look at this as a learning exercise which will add to the enjoyment and some frustration.
 

migalyto

Active Member
At this point I’m using a powercab. My interest in Arduino is for grade crossings, building lighting, and animation. I don’t know, I’m going to see where it takes me. The possibilities are almost endless so we shall see.
 
At this point I’m using a powercab. My interest in Arduino is for grade crossings, building lighting, and animation. I don’t know, I’m going to see where it takes me. The possibilities are almost endless so we shall see.
From what I have read that should be pretty straightforward.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I had some issues at on end where the curvature of the flex track was not mating up with the adjacent rail because of the soft insulated rail joiner.
Another issue of loosing too many ties on flex track. This can often be fixed with a properly placed single nail that is long enough to get to the sub-roadbed. As red dot below. Unfortunately it might not work so well with a foam sub-roadbed - long way to the "bedrock". It can easily be disguised by painting it black and then the ballast will disguise the rest.
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Thanks for the tip. I was actually using finishing nails pushed in the foam instead of foam pins prior to gluing the track down when I wanted to check alignment. I don’t think they will reach the plywood beneath the foam. My repair is working, no derailments since. A strategically placed nail will add some permanence.
 
I have done a proof of concept driving servos with an Arduino and 16 Servo driver board.

I wrote the rough program to toggle the servos at the push of a button. Hooked up three servos of the 14 I will need for the layout.

Not pretty at the moment.

I need to revise the program some more and build the mounts for the servos. Still waiting on delivery of the servo RC wire extensions.
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So I installed my new AR1 last night for the reversing loop. It was working fine but I started having my DCC++ base station power shutting off.

I corrected that problem.

My shorter 4 axle Atlas C425 loco has no issues going through the reverse loop. My 6 axle EMD SD7 is having more issues. It derails going into the curved turnouts. It is also kicking off the base station power going through some other turnouts. I suspect their might be a back to back wheel gauge issue. I will have to check them. I bought it used at a train show in July. It was well behaved prior to the AR1. Can their be any correlation? Turnouts it is having power issues outside of the reverse loop weren’t there before.

I need to check the curve turnout for gauge problems. Not sure if it is a level issue.

I will take some photos later.
 
My 6 axle EMD SD7 is having more issues. It derails going into the curved turnouts. It is also kicking off the base station power going through some other turnouts. I suspect their might be a back to back wheel gauge issue. I will have to check them. I bought it used at a train show in July. It was well behaved prior to the AR1. Can their be any correlation? Turnouts it is having power issues outside of the reverse loop weren’t there before.
I would focus on one problem at a time. Think you are right about wheel gauge issued. Not only gauge but be certain the wheels and trucks are doing the suspension thing. Free to move a bit up and down as well as side-side.
Too wide a wheel gauge or too much side to side slop can trigger shorts, especially on Peco Insulfrogs. Too wide a gauge could also be causing the derailment problem.

Those two fixed then look at the power kicking out. The AR should be quicker than the base station power, so I'm inclined to say no, but I've heard of stranger things. Are you certain it is in the correct main line/reverse section orientation?
 
I would focus on one problem at a time. Think you are right about wheel gauge issued. Not only gauge but be certain the wheels and trucks are doing the suspension thing. Free to move a bit up and down as well as side-side.
Too wide a wheel gauge or too much side to side slop can trigger shorts, especially on Peco Insulfrogs. Too wide a gauge could also be causing the derailment problem.

Those two fixed then look at the power kicking out. The AR should be quicker than the base station power, so I'm inclined to say no, but I've heard of stranger things. Are you certain it is in the correct main line/reverse section orientation?
So the first challenge I am tackling is the derailment on the curved PECO turnout. As mentioned the 6 axle EMD SD7 is having issues derailing going into the curved turnout. It can trail through the switch properly.

It appears the point rail is tight gauge. I don't have a NMRA gauge but used calipers to make measurements. The measurements are taken where the inside measurement part of the caliper is pointing to. Not to say these are 100% perfect measurements. I took the measurements widening the caliper jaws until the point rail started to move.

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The tangent flex track is measuring at approximately 16.6 mm with these calipers as a comparison. The photos above show the gauge at various locations in the point rails. Do you think this is the cause of the lead wheel on the SD7 climbing where I am pointing with the red wire.

What are your thoughts? Is there a way to reprofile (curve) the point rail or adjust the pivot point of the point rail?
 
What are your thoughts? Is there a way to reprofile (curve) the point rail or adjust the pivot point of the point rail?
That is interesting and tight tight tight. HO scale track gage should be 16.5 mm, and usually relaxed just a bit on curves. I don't think it is possible to adjust the pivot at all. The point rail might be a little bendable to arc it more, but I would be very careful trying that lest it get a kink.

How are the wheels on the SD unit. Are they a tiny bit less than 16.5?

I'm trying to think of how it would be different with the wheels pushing the point rail when the loco is traveling the different directions. Is the loco climbing the outside rail?
 



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