Sunday, January 18, 2009

Test Track II (N scale)

Before starting a project as big like the coffee table model railroad, I want to make sure certain things will work. Therefore I am now making a little test lay-out that allows me to test all the things that could potentially block creating the coffee table track.

It's also my introduction to digital railroading so it is also good to try it out like this first in that respect.

Before anything can be tested, three phases have to be completed:
  1. Construction of the lay-out
  2. Wiring the lay-out
  3. Writing software to operate the lay-out

This blog post describes phase one: Constructing the lay-out.

First the plans. It will be a two level lay-out. This is the bottom part:

A simple reverse loop which is entered after driving down the spiral through the inside track.

This is the top part:

When arriving at the top level the train can run through the loop and go down again or it can enter the station where the loco can be driven to the front of the train again if necessary.

I used the spiral parts that I created before. For tips on how to create one, look at this blog post.

NOTE: The reverse loops must be isolated from the rest of the track otherwise you will get an electric short cut!

I got a 100 x 54 cm piece of wood. Well, MDF. Mark the holes for the threaded rods for the spiral.

After the holes are drilled we can start.

Laying out track is not very hard. Here I'm up to the first level in the spiral. I put a little piece of double sided tape underneath the track in some places so the track lies nice and sturdy.

Here the spiral is finished.

I cut another piece of MDF. This one had a size of 54 x 50 cm. I attached it with threaded rods as well.

Then bridge the gap between the spiral and the top level and lay out the rest of the track.

Spiral view.

Top view. Ready for wiring.