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Rock Valley Garden Railway


Archie
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4 hours ago, Archie said:

right, I'll see about giving it a go. From my memory it stopped on a strait section, I took it apart and tried running it inside with the body off, and the decoder popped and started smoking, at least I think it came from the decoder, although it could have come from the PCB underneath...

I'm clueless when it comes to electronics but I would guess the decoder would fry before anything else.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am hoping to create a removable fiddle yard that attaches at the top loop of the railway to make it easier to run trains. It'll sit on the patio and attach to some tracks off the existing layout.

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I was wondering what would be the easiest way to line up the baseboard with the spurs off the track?

 

Edited by Archie
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I was thinking of a cassette but I dont think it would work too well, the trains have to get up and down the stairs and so a cassette would be unwieldy, and none of my trains are fixed rakes so It would get complicated. Ive made a rough plan to go on a 6x4ft baseboard, the idea is to make it easier to change trains whilst running, bringing the trains downstairs isn't too much of a problem.

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of course where theres gaps and where parts dont line up I would sue flexitrack.

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  • 4 months later...

 

Recently I have managed to get a Heljan hymek. Although it was sold as new I have a feeling that it has never been used as the headcodes had not been installed nor cut out and all the detailing and couplings were all in their packs so it seems like a good buy. As the weather has been good I have been able to get it running and I have made a short video.

 

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That's great Archie. It's not often we get the opportunity to run trains outdoors in February! Maybe that's what I should have done rather than spend my time trying to get the log carriers running outdoors.

Unfortunately the Hymek is a loco that I was never acquainted with and one I know very little about. It's also one that I don't have an example of in my collection. I'm not sure why that is because I do have a couple of Western's and only recently sold my sole Warship, both being loco's I am also unfamiliar with.

 

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Its nice and sunny today again so I may get trains running 2 days in a row, with that said the weights for my 3D printed wagons have arrived so it may be worth trying to finish some of them off.

To be fair the Hymek is a loco that I also dont know much about, I have only been looking for one as I think they look quite elegant, especially in green.

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  • 1 month later...

Whilst many have been enjoying running trains in the heat we have been getting, I have lifted the track at the top and started work on the extension to the other flowerbed.

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First, the track at the top was lifted and the old board cut in half...

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... Then the new board went in with a spur to go onto the new boards. The loop track is now second radius at this point and so probably not suitable for some stock but that should not be a problem as the main running lines will be third radius and above. Here you can also see the new point, which has been installed connecting what once was the siding and the loop line.

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The ply sections are to become a five lane storage yard with return loop for the other half of the railway. This means that both halves of the railway can run separately allowing two trains to run at once.

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over the last couple of days I have made even more progress on the railway:

I have felted the new board in the corner and relaid the return loop to allow trains to run again. Only after laying the track did I realise that I had bought an electrofrog point instead of an insulating point! It took me a while to figure out what was shorting the system, I will need to pull that out and replace it.

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after that I have started work on the storage yard boards. These will be removable with hinges with removable pins connecting the sections. I need to figure out a way to secure the tracks at the end of the baseboards at the joining sections, I have seen it done by soldering the track to pcb boards so I will give that a try.

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Nice progress Archie...and quite a bit of it!

The Electrofrog point needn't be a problem, you would just need insulating rail joiners on the two inner rails at the 'v' (frog) end. You'd just need to ensure that the track ahead of the isolated rails has it's own power feeds.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Since last posting I have made considerable progress and have fully completed the fiddle yard:

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Each road can hold a 5-6 coach long train and the return loop can hold a 12 coach train when not in use.

Each track can be isolated individually to allow 5 trains to be operational at any one time.849177806_IMG_16631.thumb.JPG.c9ef09a1df3c593d81f06c4889a55afb.JPG

Because each half is separated by a return loop two trains can run at once if I cut the line in half. This also means that I can run trains without having to clean the whole line if I dont want to use half.

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Something else that's new is the Hornby HM6000 controller. My old H&M controller has started to falter and so I thought Id try something a little different this time. A while ago I created a similar Bluetooth controller with an Arduino but It was quite clunky and so I reverted back to a regular controller. The benefit of the Bluetooth controller outside is that I can move around whilst still being in control and this Hornby one does a pretty good job at it. I can control the trains all the way from inside the house with the controller at the other end of the garden. The inertia control is also a very cool feature that is not gimmicky at all. The other features like the sound are not very good although the horn I find myself sometimes using. We will have to see how it holds up in the long term but from what I can see its rather good for the price (if you exclude the fact that you have to buy the power supply separately). Unfortunately, I feel like it is something we have come to expect with Hornby.

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Hi. Really like to know how you get on with your HM6000. I do love my H&M but would potentially love the ability of Bluetooth to let me go out and watch the trains running. Does it at least have a panic button should you be outside and there is a major derailment? What is the Bluetooth range like?

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There is a stop all button which cuts all power Immediately and allows you to change the controls and restart if there is a problem. The range is really good. I have managed to get about 10m away before it cut out. all it needs is (relative) line of sight (eg no walls, but plants it can deal with) and if it disconnects I'm pretty sure the train stops. One thing to take into account is that it uses pwm control of the trains instead of analogue control and so the trains have a slight hum when running at low speeds. Another thing to take into account is that it has very sensitive short circuit detection so it sometimes stops the whole system when traversing a point which can become rather frustrating although it can be fixed with some paint around the frog of the point. Other than that it is quite a good system for the low price (£25 on amazon + £15-25 for the transformer). I have managed to get a discontinued P9600 transformer that is cheaper and has a higher power output for £15 at the model shop. I think there is still a couple shops online that are selling them off as old stock so if you can find one, they are your best bet.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the info. I use PWM anyway so that is great for me, I didn't for a minute believe that Hornby would have that as a feature!. Thanks for taking the time to post all the info.

You mention that they are being sold off, I presume you mean the P9600 - just for my clarification. I take it HM6000 isn't discontinued already?

Edited by Loco Hauled
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The p9600 is discontinued. There is a power supply that is sold to be paired with the HM6000 but it is less powerful and costs more. With that said the HM6000 seems to already be on sale in some retailers so that cant be a good sign for its success. If you want to see the features I suggest you watch a video on it as it can probably explain all this in a lot more detail.

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