you have been busy !  so the new tmcc base antenna was that a part of the engine testing or done after that? I assume the flooring no longer creaks with the new plywood. 

a surprise next month oh did you adopt matts dog just kidding. always a treat to read of your monthly progress.

oh i seen a lot of rain near union depot yesterday you know we desert rats would like to see some too can you share!!

StPaul

Elliot,

As always, you, Matt and others have accomplished a tremendous amount of excellent work.  I must have overlooked mention of the old floor.  The new one looks great, and a great way for that fellow to pay you back.  I can think of a few reasons to add the plywood floor over the cement floor.  Please expound on your reasons for putting it in at all.  My new layout room has a concrete slab and can be cold in the winter, and I have been thinking of how to treat that as I have been planning my 12 x 12 layout.  Thank you for sharing with us all you have been doing!

Your layout is as mind-boggling as ever. The quality of work is truly exceptional and so far over my head as to be in another world. I can't even imagine a year's worth of effort, much less 4, with so much more still to be done. It's very inspirational following your progress. One day I hope to be able to arrange a visit during a trip back to Wisconsin. I have relatives in East Bethel whom we visit during some of those trips.

You know Elliot, with a layout that size you would think your going to need an Army to run it. Great work buy all. I look forward to each months update and cant wait for the end of year update.

Mike

USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Thank you again, Elliot, for taking the time to share your adventures with us.

Your posts always are not only very informative regarding your progress, but also educational - how to do intricate and challenging tasks on a large scale; meaning magnitude .

You may have answered this before, but I cannot remember: I suspect that you do plan to ballast the visible track - At what phase of the construction do you plan to do so? I waited to ballast mine (about 3/4 of my 900+ feet of track is ballasted) until I had most of the scenery, buildings, etc., in place, and wished I had started sooner. 

Alex

Happy O-Gauge Railroading!

  Alexander Müller

See My Mostly Completed Layout Here

YouTube: 03Patines

Latest Video: Passenger Trains

OGR Articles: Runs 256, 263, 267, 292

OGR  forum member since 26 January 2008

WOW as usual!  

JMRI that's interesting on an O gauge layout.

Is JMRI difficult to set up? I have a local guy here in NH that has JMRI and a 3 level layout but its N scale. Your wiring looks like something from the Space Shuttle Program!   

Is the goal to get the layout finished by a certain date? I understand layouts are never done..

George

One word - AMAZING

 

TCA, METCA, LCCA, LRRC, MTHRRC, Atlas Golden Spike Club Charter Member, Bergen County Model RRC and NJ HiRailers Member.

 

If you haven't checked out the new NJ HiRailers website please do. Go to the "Photos" page to see galleries of our events and check the "What's New" page periodically to see what we've added.

 

 

 

Missed the answer - what was the chicken wire for?

 

TCA, METCA, LCCA, LRRC, MTHRRC, Atlas Golden Spike Club Charter Member, Bergen County Model RRC and NJ HiRailers Member.

 

If you haven't checked out the new NJ HiRailers website please do. Go to the "Photos" page to see galleries of our events and check the "What's New" page periodically to see what we've added.

 

 

 

Hi George, 

Well, I took all the feed back and am going to redesign a good potion of it. Folks suggested some modifications that are easy to do just time consuming + I had strike duty until mid June.

First, I am in the process of moving a wall and inserting a column. The is the key to get some added space to access the outside door.

Second, trying to take over one of the closets - clothes out - trains in - negotiations with my wife continue. 

Third, removed all the carpet and tiled the entire basement floor.

Fourth - added hot water base board heat to the room.

Fifth - Starting the re design - using a 34 inch TT now rather than the 28inch - this allows me to utilize the TT for my larger engines  - have a new Millhouse River TT on order. Also, the grade exchange was too steep so I need to figure out the best way to utilize the space to so what I want. With that said, I might create a 2 level rail with yards on each level to handle the interchange - Need to figure that out. What I did do / want to do is utilize some of the feedback from both you and Double Daz. 

Overall - had to re create / modify the space where possible, the base L is still the space I have.

Thanks for asking.

 

 

 

TCA, METCA, LCCA, LRRC, MTHRRC, Atlas Golden Spike Club Charter Member, Bergen County Model RRC and NJ HiRailers Member.

 

If you haven't checked out the new NJ HiRailers website please do. Go to the "Photos" page to see galleries of our events and check the "What's New" page periodically to see what we've added.

 

 

 

ROFL, I just caught the full scope of the "Punked" bit. It didn't come across as well in my email. Pure gold.

....Elliots computer has got the "like" though.

Just go look Matt

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Well, all I can say it this is going to be one hell of an impressive layout when it's finished!   Gosh, It's already incredibly impressive and it's still not complete!

Geez, you will finish this gargantuan layout in like no time, and I can't even get my basement finished to start a layout (only been about 20 years...) *lol*.  I am amazed at the craftmanship I see, the wiring and woodwork is first rate, to say the least...

 

Out of curiousity, how did you make out with the issues with the TMCC signal strength, was it a ground plane issue?

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Well, all I can say it this is going to be one hell of an impressive layout when it's finished!   Gosh, It's already incredibly impressive and it's still not complete!

I get tired looking at the video!!!  Lots of work!!!  Hope to see this in person or professionally videoed one day.

Another very impressive update. I am still amazed at the planning, layout design and everything else that you must have put into all of this to get this far. Good luck as the progress continues.

Thank you all so much, you guys are the greatest!!! So many wonderful responses.

Redball342 & Pat - I really appreciate your loyalty to this project. You guys are here almost every month.

Ray - Unfortunately, the antenna extension project came along after the last round of testing. Of course there will be no further engine testing until the antenna is completed. I'll try and get that done this week.

Mark - The raised floor is mainly a function of the height of the layout. I have 3 levels, one at 24" above the concrete, one at 42" and one at 72". I'm 6'-1", but 72" puts that top level almost even with the top of my head. By raising the floor 12", most adults can see the upper deck. I will also have single step stools for the operators who will be working up there. There is another advantage to the raised floor, and that is the ability to run things under it. I have air lines, high voltage electric and low voltage layout and security camera wiring. When I built enterTRAINment, I also used the raised floor. A driving factor in that was preserving good head space so it was easy to work under the layout. Same goes here on this layout.

Corey - In the near future, I'll be building another relay panel. That telephone cable will control relays when I get the dispatching area set up. The relays will turn the power on and off in the hidden yard. This allows me to use low current to control higher current track power without dragging large gauge wire over the doorway. I get to use those small wires in that clean compact cable. Also it eliminates the voltage drop of substantially longer wires.

Dave - We have been talking about you visiting for a couple years now. The invite is always open to you and everyone else here. I thought you would have been here by now. On the other hand, the longer you wait, the better the layout gets.

Mike - I am going to need an army to run this thing. I have 9 Cab-1's, plus 3 LC+ engines. There will also be 2 dispatching positions, and some of the switching jobs may use a 2 man crew. So that is 10 to 15 right out of the gate. It should be some serious fun.

Alex - Ballasting will start in 2017. Some sections are just about ready now, but the rail needs to be painted first. There a few sections where ballast and backdrop is all the scenery. BTW, I have 17, 50 lb bags of roofing granules in my garage just waiting. I did do a small test section last year, and it looks really nice. Keep in mind, foam and plaster will be used sparingly in a few sections. that will have to be done before ballast. Much of the scenery will consist of backdrops or flats, there will be very few 3D structures. 3D is mainly reserved for industries served by rail.

George - JMRI and CMRI are going to be a learning experience for me. I understand the concepts very well, but I have never set up either system. As far as I know, I need to use JMRI panel pro to draw my control panel / layout schematic. Once that is done, it is a simple matter of assigning the CMRI hardware inputs and outputs to the devices on the JMRI panel. I hope to have this going by the end of next year. The CMRI hardware is mostly in place, it needs a little wiring so it can be tested. Then I'll be off to the races.

PSU1980 - The chicken wire was intended as a TMCC ground plane for the upper deck. It was easy to install during construction, and has proven to be very effective. The TMCC signal on the upper deck is some of the strongest and most consistent on the layout.

Adriatic - I have to admit, that was pretty funny.

John - Some of the best is yet to come, the technical electronic and computer stuff that I mentioned above. I'm glad to have you in my corner when I have questions.

Bigkid - I am working on something of a schedule with a specific date in mind. That would be the National Narrow Gauge Convention which will be in the Twin Cities, Labor Day weekend 2018. TMCC signal is still a work in progress. The situation has greatly improved with the help of Dale Manquen. He's my hero because his efforts have made this crazy project work.

John C - Well the feeling is mutual, as I would love to visit your layout. My wife and I are in talks on a trip out your direction this coming May. It would be great to see an operating session and get a feel for how things should go. It has been a long time since I have done actual operations. More than 30 years since the bug first bit me.

RTR12 - This layout was in the planning stages long before I built my current house. It's really just an over grown version of the layout I had started to build at my previous house. The smaller version of the big hidden yard was done before the move, and just required a little re-work. If you take into account the time spent at the previous house, this layout represents 20 years, with a 6 year time out for cancer. Looking back, I wish I had used those 6 years better. Oh well.

Phew, I think that's everyone! Thanks again to all.

G3750 posted:

That is one sick layout!  Well done.

My mind is boggled just reading this thread.

George

Thanks George, I get through the massiveness of the layout these days by staying organized. I use my computer a lot for construction projects, plus I have special notebooks for keeping track of maintenance issues. Right now the notebooks cover locomotives and the layout, broken down by section. There will be rolling book in the near future.

As far as this topic goes, when you break it down, there are only 6 pages per year, or half a page per month.

The reading can be a bit daunting, especially if you are trying to play catch up.

I know the feeling Dave. I'm here when you get into the neighborhood. May might be a little tricky because we could be on the road for a week. Just let me know when you figure it out.

Big_Boy_4005 posted:

I know the feeling Dave. I'm here when you get into the neighborhood. May might be a little tricky because we could be on the road for a week. Just let me know when you figure it out.

I absolutely will, but it won't be until June next year or a similar time in 2018 when we go to WI to join a tour taking a cruise to Alaska.

Thanks Ray, long time no see.

I think the backdrops are going to be a combo of flats and photos. I'm not sure if I'm up for hand painting. Maybe in a few spots, if I can't get into the right position for a picture. I might also shop the commercially available for generic stuff.

bigtruckpete posted:

Always great to see and read the updates!!! So impressive and a lot of great tips too!!

Thanks Pete. I don't do things quite like everyone else. I'm glad you find some of my content interesting and/or useful.

Big_Boy_4005 posted:
G3750 posted:

That is one sick layout!  Well done.

My mind is boggled just reading this thread.

George

Thanks George, I get through the massiveness of the layout these days by staying organized. I use my computer a lot for construction projects, plus I have special notebooks for keeping track of maintenance issues. Right now the notebooks cover locomotives and the layout, broken down by section. There will be rolling book in the near future.

As far as this topic goes, when you break it down, there are only 6 pages per year, or half a page per month.

The reading can be a bit daunting, especially if you are trying to play catch up.

Well, you obviously are well organized.  It would take that to pull off a project of this size and complexity. 

I, too, am making use of the computer to keep my build organized.   I use Microsoft Visio (a drawing package) to make wiring diagrams for situations that are repeated all over the layout.  BTW, a free package call Dia is the equivalent.  A wiring plan (Excel spreadsheet) indicates where those "standard" wiring diagrams apply.  Below is an example of a wiring diagram for a typical switch with an associated signal.

003 DZ-2500a Switch With DZ-1060 Signal v003

Keep up the good work.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Big_Boy_4005 posted:

Mark - The raised floor is mainly a function of the height of the layout. I have 3 levels, one at 24" above the concrete, one at 42" and one at 72". I'm 6'-1", but 72" puts that top level almost even with the top of my head. By raising the floor 12", most adults can see the upper deck. I will also have single step stools for the operators who will be working up there. There is another advantage to the raised floor, and that is the ability to run things under it. I have air lines, high voltage electric and low voltage layout and security camera wiring. When I built enterTRAINment, I also used the raised floor. A driving factor in that was preserving good head space so it was easy to work under the layout. Same goes here on this layout.

Phew, I think that's everyone! Thanks again to all.

Elliot,

Those were two reasons I had in mind.  The third, that I mentioned isn't an issue for you as you must have a controlled climate already.

Yes. I have seen other layouts where the floor rises so you can view the upper level at a reasonable height.  I was also thinking of utilities under a raised floor as I have been exposed to data center raised floors since the mid '80s.

 Thank you for your faithfulness in answering questions.  I know you would say that is part of why you post in the first place!

George, those are some really nice drawings. I might have to look into that software.

Mark, you're welcome and correct. Yes, because the layout is in my basement, and the train room stays pretty close to a constant 66 degrees. When I have to go under the layout to work I have carpet scraps to sit on most places. There are a few spots with bare concrete. Boy, does my butt get cold.

Carpet helps a lot, really takes the edge off and also helps with sound deadening. Eventually, I will have the raised aisles finished with new carpet, but not until I mostly done making messes (paint and scenery). That will free up the junk carpet that is currently in the aisles to cover the bare spots on the concrete.

Big_Boy_4005 posted:

RTR12 - This layout was in the planning stages long before I built my current house. It's really just an over grown version of the layout I had started to build at my previous house. The smaller version of the big hidden yard was done before the move, and just required a little re-work. If you take into account the time spent at the previous house, this layout represents 20 years, with a 6 year time out for cancer. Looking back, I wish I had used those 6 years better. Oh well.

Well I think it's still really good planning for only taking 20 years and you seem to have it all memorized as well. I would definitely like to visit one of these days (or years) too. However, once I get there you may have to throw me out. I'm sure I will want to stay, examine every major and minor detail, pester you with massive amounts of questions and anything else I might think of while visiting. 

Elliot you are completing major milestones each month. Your chart must be filling in nicely. Thanks for continuing to share this with all of us.

Was out of town and one of the first things to do when got back was to check your progress. I like your adopted dog.

Bill Webb

 

Old Hokie 70

Actually, you'd be surprised how many decisions are spontaneous. Things just come up during construction. A lot of times, I'll take a break from that project, mull it over for a couple days and work on other things til I figure it out.

The lower deck had a very firm plan, which I had drawn out and followed very closely. The upper deck had a vague partial plan on paper, but as the benchwork got built, the details started falling into place. I'm quite pleased with the way it has all turned out. I have no plans to add, subtract or realign any tracks. I might fix some elevation issues, by lowering some risers, but that's pretty minor stuff. Still thinking about that one. See how it works?

Now the small hidden yard was totally seat of the pants, and was maybe the best idea I've had from a track planning perspective. It adds so many operational possibilities.

As far as memorizing everything, it really helps that I have chosen to model the real world, then I "cheat" on top of that by having it all be local, within a 40 mile radius. Google Earth brings much of the information right to my computer, and takes me places I can't get access to. There are also a lot of things that if I need photos for specific structures or anything else, I can just hop in the car with my camera and go get them.

BTW, asking a zillion questions would not be pestering me, it's really what I live for. We do have a guest room, but there are also plenty of hotels in a 10 mile radius.

That is true Bill, and I have some great goals for December to wrap up even more items on my list. I've started moving the completed items on my list to the bottom of the screen.

I still think you have a pretty good overall master plan and that has to help. I start out at one end of the layout with a wire and forget where it was going by the time I get to the other end, and mine is only 6x16. 

I do appreciate your offer of hospitality, but I was just kidding about having to be thrown out. Maybe not on the questions though, but if you like them that would be good. OTOH, I might be speechless and unable to ask any. Your layout is very impressive from the pictures here, but I am sure it's much more impressive in person, it really is an amazing project.

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