Outdoor Running - N Scale

 
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

I have a one metre high retaining wall about thirty metres long on the Eastern side of my block and I plan to build my train shed at the end of the wall in the back corner (NE). My long term intent is to build a N Scale modified "Clinchfield" in the shed focusing on port operations similar to the Pilbara.

To emphasise the time to and from the mines, I am thinking of running a double track loop along the side fence for about twenty metres, each way, with two hidden tracks and two open, one empty track and one loaded track going into the loading tunnel. In that way the empty train that has travelled from the port can disappear into the load-out tunnel and return to port along the hidden track whilst the loaded train on the hidden track emerges from load-out and travels to the Port to be unloaded at the rotary dumper before returning to the load-out portal.

The outdoor track will be mounted on brackets on the side fence, above the garden bed, with two metre lengths of tinted UV covers hinged to flip down and cover the track when not in use and flip back and provide a backdrop when in use.

If all of the wiring is appropriately sealed, will it be safe for DCC? I would like to operate the whole system by PC, with mates using Roco or iphone controls.


I would appreciate any thoughts.


Cheers,
Hendo

Amended to include the scale in the text as I forgot to include it in the title and it won't let me modify that field

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  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
To me it sounds very doable and a interesting project.

Regards,
David Head
  art--vandalay Locomotive Fireman

I had an outdoor HO layout at one stage. It was great in that I could have large sweeping curves and long straight stretches.  Built a nice garden for it to run through.  But the downside was that I spent a large amount of time cleaning the rails.  That was just operating on DC, since DCC needs absolutely spotlessly clean rails you may well spend more time cleaning than actually running trains. I operate DCC in a relatively clean brick garage now and still seem to be forever cleaning rails.

Not trying to discourage you from building it, but there is a downside.
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
Good point there, especially with all sorts that could get onto the tracks. Might make things quite difficult in N Scale?

Maybe it'd be good to look into eliminating the power through the tracks and look into battery power with radio control? There's been articles in AMRM and Model Railroader showing ways to go about it. A LOT more work, but would cut down the time cleaning rails/removing debris from the track.

Either way you go, it'd be great to see photos! Very Happy

Wolfpac
  robertc Chief Train Controller

DCC outdoors is not an issue, dozens of examples been running for years.
What scale will determine what other consideration need to be addressed???

I  have run trains outdoors in HO, O and 1. It doesn't take much of a breeze to blow HO equipment off the track so I would recommend some form of fencing either side of the baseboard if you don't wish to replicate a Tay Bridge incident if that is the scale being used.

regards
Bob Comerford
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
DCC outdoors is not an issue, dozens of examples been running for years.
What scale will determine what other consideration need to be addressed???

I  have run trains outdoors in HO, O and 1. It doesn't take much of a breeze to blow HO equipment off the track so I would recommend some form of fencing either side of the baseboard if you don't wish to replicate a Tay Bridge incident if that is the scale being used.

regards
Bob Comerford
robertc
Crikey Bob, the Tay bridge came down, the train did not blow off it!

As Wolfpac says, battery power and radio control is a great way to avoid the dirty rails problem. You can buy all the bits you need from NWSL: http://www.nwsl.com/S-CAB_Radio_DCC_Control.html
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Crikey Bob, the Tay bridge came down, the train did not blow off it!
"TheBlacksmith"

Correct, and despite 'tha woond' my money is still on the swell bringing it down under the weight of the train.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Correct, and despite 'tha woond' my money is still on the swell bringing it down under the weight of the train.
Aaron
Yeah, and also crappy pommy early iron bridge making.
  Kevin Martin Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Yeah, and also crappy pommy early iron bridge making.
TheBlacksmith
The cast iron piers were of exceptionally poor quality, causing multiple piers to fracture.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Yeah, and also crappy pommy early iron bridge making.
"TheBlacksmith"

If Brunnel built it, it would still stand
  robertc Chief Train Controller


Laughing

Perhaps then a scale version of this is what happened to me more than once on calm summer days as thermals passed by.

http://video.au.msn.com/watch/video/9raw-tornado-winds-derail-train/xu49nd7

However don't be discouraged, trains outdoors are very satisfying, just need to take precautions. I found sound very effective outdoors and even smoke was OK.

Still need to know what scale is being used to offer any other advice.

regards
Bob Comerford
  Chipps Chief Train Controller

Location: NSW
Still need to know what scale is being used to offer any other advice.

regards
Bob Comerford
robertc
Hi Bob,


Pretty sure Hendo is using N - Scale.

His original post says it in the tiny text above.


Cheers
Cam
  robertc Chief Train Controller

Hi Bob,


Pretty sure Hendo is using N - Scale.

His original post says it in the tiny text above.


Cheers
Cam
Chipps
Thanks Cam, too small for me to read :>)

I have no experience in that small a scale outdoors. Best advice is to google up 'n scale outdoors' or similar. There have been British n gauge layouts outdoors shown in British magazines over the years, never seen anything from elsewhere. Trawl through the British modelling web sites might unearth someone who has actually done it and can offer advice.
Methinks a continuous wind shield would be needed around the track. If running multiple diesel consists then pickup should be no worse than one HO one; but that is just a guess on my part as I have never done it.
A portable vacuum clean and wipe over of the track before each running session.

good luck
regards
Bob Comerford
  Kevin Martin Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
If Brunnel built it, it would still stand
Aaron
Brunel's bridges/tunnels were excellent, as were his buildings. His track design was woeful and to a gauge that caused all manor of interchange problems, some of his ships & experiments (such as the Atmospheric Railway) cost him & various shareholders dearly. Things like the Atmospheric Railway, he really ought to have known better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isambard_Kingdom_Brunel

Less well known is his construction of the pre-fabricated hospital.

Kevin Martin
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

Laughing

Perhaps then a scale version of this is what happened to me more than once on calm summer days as thermals passed by.

http://video.au.msn.com/watch/video/9raw-tornado-winds-derail-train/xu49nd7

However don't be discouraged, trains outdoors are very satisfying, just need to take precautions. I found sound very effective outdoors and even smoke was OK.

Still need to know what scale is being used to offer any other advice.

regards
Bob Comerford
robertc
Bob,

My apologies I should have mentioned my intent is to build in N scale. I use the excuse it was late and I was tired when I put it in the tags and not the title. I have amended the title.

I appreciate everyone's suggestions. Though I think radio control may be a little difficult, but not impossible, certainly a battery powered cleaning "train" would make sense.


Cheers,
Hendo
  robertc Chief Train Controller

Bob,

My apologies I should have mentioned my intent is to build in N scale. I use the excuse it was late and I was tired when I put it in the tags and not the title. I have amended the title.

I appreciate everyone's suggestions. Though I think radio control may be a little difficult, but not impossible, certainly a battery powered cleaning "train" would make sense.


Cheers,
Hendo
Hendo
No worries, if I had cleaned my glasses I would have seen it.
The Freerails website has plenty of expertise posting there on battery radio control.
regards
Bob Comerford

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