7mm Birmingham Moor Street

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Focalplane, 9 April 2019.

  1. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    The rails are going back onto the T3 traverser deck:


    The running line is glued down and the feed wires attached. Now the two offset lines (unpowered) are to be fixed in place. Plenty of CA glue and the Tufnol surface has been sanded to provide better adhesion than before. As mentioned earlier, some weights will be bolted on the underside of the deck to give greater stability.

    Today I obtained some thin aluminium sheeting to see if it will look OK and can take punched rivets. This probably means no chequered pattern after all, those sheets are too expensive!
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  2. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    More work continues on the turntable area but the better progress has been fitting the rails to the T3 traverser. The next concern is how to fit the micro switches that control the end movements of the traverser. Logically, I think, it would be better to fit them in some way to be acted upon by the linear motor directly rather than the traverser deck. But the switches I bought don't have a "direct" switch, it all seems rather haphazard. A couple of photos to explain will follow this post once I can download them.

    On a positive front, the upper Goods Station siding mentioned a few posts ago will go ahead. I have the track I don't have the fishplates! This job will have a wait a while. I may need to go back to the Castle project. But the long goods shed has been planned. It will be a meter long and 16cm wide with one siding, a loading platform and a small office, à la prototype but much smaller. Again the ambience is what I am looking for, not precision.

    Geoff Gill of Haywood Railway has been in touch, he has been poorly but is now putting together two kits for me to make the suburban coach sets right for the period - a Dapol B Set plus Haywood non-corridor third. I will then have two three coach sets as were typical of the immediate pre-DMU era.
    Last edited: 31 October 2019
  3. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Yes, I do agree. If you are using typical microswitches, try to mount them on the slotted extrusion of the leadscrew assy. Hopefully that will provide enough accuracy of adjustment. Alternatively (or, indeed, as well) make a bracket on the carriage, that has a couple of threaded holes, fit a long screw through the threaded hole (with a lock nut) andhave the head of the screw bear on the button of the microswitch, giving the capability for very precise adjustment.

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  4. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Here is the mico switch more or less in place though it would be better situated under the plywood and on the metal carriage. I like Simon’s suggestion of a screw adjustment and will see what can be done with materials to hand.


    Meantime, the T3 deck is wired up but hand driven:

    Last edited: 31 October 2019
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  5. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    mmm, Paul, I don't like the roller switches for this;

    They are designed to work perpendicular to the axis of travel, actuated by a cam or ramp which provides a sufficient dead-band for them to remain in the switched condition - using them like this, I'd definitely take the roller off, so it isn't a line-on-line contact - better if it's line on surface.

    I think you want to have a very defined switch point, and as I said last night, adjustable. I tried to find some photos of my laser, which I modified somewhat, and there are some in this post

    CO2 laser - the learning curve

    Unfortunately, no pix of the switches themselves, but the adjuster screw heads bear on the microswitch arm (could be the roller on your switches) so that the axis of switch operation is parallel to the axis of travel - but hopefully the way I made the adjusters is clear. The switches are screwed to the carriage of the laser, but could easily be fixed to a bracket and that fixed to the T-slots in your leadscrew assembly.

    I'd suggest that you probably want to get the switches and stepper and Arduino running on the bench as a separate unit, before installing it under the boards. Set the travel to be less than the traverser needs, and then when you install it, you can just ease the microswitches back bit-by-bit and finally adjust to get the exact travel you need. The Arduino sketch "relearns" the full travel between switches when it initialises every time you turn it on, (which means that you should not turn it on with something like a coach half on the traverser!) so each adjustment you make, you need to restart it. Once you have it adjusted, it should reset every time you turn the layout on, and then await your command.

    I am looking forward to seeing this work!
  6. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Thanks Simon

    I don’t like the roller switches because I doubt if they are accurately repeatable. But if Arduino resets each time does that matter?

    Currently looking at your link. Paul
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  7. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    While worrying about the end-of-travel switches I have been working on the first of the plates that will be added to the tops of the traverser decks. It looks as though my choice of material - aluminium sheet - should work. I have cut one long piece to go between the tracks (not the rails of one track), then scribed it into 9 separate sub-plates and started to add rivets. Before riveting I sanded the smooth aluminium with 45º strokes to simulate the fine diamond tread plate of the prototype. Here is a progress photo:


    By the time I have added paint, weathering, including oil, ash, cinders and lumps of coal, the "diamond" treads will probably be non-existent! But I sure hope the rivets will be, or this is a labour of love!
    Last edited: 31 October 2019
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  8. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer


    What if I remove the roller?

    I too want to see this work, but there have been so many dead ends along the way I think I need to get it right mentally before actually building the end stops, etc. Riveting is an almost mindless occupation until you get a Halloween caller and come back to rivet from the wrong side of the sheet. It just happened!

    Mentioning Halloween, this is what our local supermarket manager looked like this morning!


    I should get him to weather my locos!
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  9. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    it won’t confuse the arduino, but equally it won’t stop in the same place either!

    the switches are the “stop now” point for the arduino program, which uses “last time” to work out when to slow down “this time”. If you move the switch, the traverser will also change it’s stopping point.

    the program/sketch can be altered so it only sets itself the first time, and then repeats, but you’d have to reset manually if it ever lost its position. I figured a regular reset would be less hassle

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  10. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    What's he going to look like in a Halloween mask, then?? :confused: :D :p
  11. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    LarryG is building a TOAD brake van, here’s mine, as yet waiting on transfers, etc.


    It’s a Connoisseur brass kit.
  12. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    At least Conoisseur have scaled up the handrail wire. I'll put a few coats of cellulose on mine to thicken them up!

    I see you have painted your brake van in dark grey GWR-style. It is prototypical and will make a neat change from BR grey.
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  13. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    We have family visiting this weekend so not much being done in the Railway Room. Baby Owen (4 months) is dominating the household but he really is a good baby! However I have been able to do some more work on the plates for the traversers. I thought riveting the turntable was time consuming, but these plates require a lot more and they are freehand as well. I have worked out a system which makes things a bit easier. Cutting the aluminium sheeting, however, is a bit of a pain and I will need more sheeting than I expected due to wastage. Another visit to the bricolage required.


    The two spacers have been punched and primed, the centre road plate is now in the “spray shop”.
  14. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    For treadplate you could always use this from Archer Decals. Resin printed on decal film.

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  15. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer


    I would need around 6 sheets! The cost makes doing them by hand a bit easier to handle! I bought some rivet transfers in HO scale years ago and recently read the instructions. There was something there that put me off even trying though I can’t remember what it was, perhaps some additional item not easily found here.

    But thanks for the idea and the link!

  16. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Lots of bits done today including another point motor now working. The plates for T3 traverser are almost complete and primed but won’t be glued down just yet. Some Skaters Plastikard has been added to Platforms 2/3. Now back from a Mexican dinner (!) in the village and ready to tackle another point motor. No, I wired two more!

    The Jubilee has been taken off pulling the brass coach set and substituted with the Ivatt 2MT. Not up to the task, though, so we need a Castle to come to the rescue. But so far only a tender is available. Eventually there will be two Castles and a Hall.
    Last edited: 5 November 2019
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  17. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    The more points I wire up the better the future operations appear to be. This remains a priority. Two more done today.
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  18. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    As you may have guessed I have no access to the railway room for a week or two. But supplies are being sourced and deliveries are being made. What surprises me is that all the new RTR products that have been promised for November 2019 don't seem to be materializing. But even two coach kits I ordered have fallen through the cracks in the floor boards. This is not a problem as I will be back for Christmas but I would love to see and run a Dapol Mark I coach before then.
  19. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    With some of my most useful tools back in England (left behind by mistake) I am somewhat limited. But I did remember the scenic glue, so this afternoon I completed the ground cover around the turntable.


    The effect needs toning down with an overall misting of “Brum 1950s Dirt” but otherwise I am well pleased.

    This area is not on the Bordesley Viaduct so has some hint of vegetation not seen in period photos around Moor Street. The next phase has to be the main line behind the wall.

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  20. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Following on, the main line has received some scenery and life is getting busy:


    I am working from prototype photos, having the Down line recently re-ballasted with buff coloured stone while the Up line has older and dirtier brown coloured stone. More Brum 1950s Dirt will be added later.

    Also, the Viaduct wall at the back of the layout now has a quickly positioned chimney to give an idea of what will eventually be a representation of Digbeth roof tops and skyline. Lots of roofs to come!