The future Iantha Branch

Discussion in 'General' started by Iantha_Branch, Jun 29, 2022.

  1. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    The circle does not work as well as I had thought it would; the script was not designed specifically match locomotives to run together based on a specific maximum scale speed. It does not work well if one of the locomotives can't make that maximum scale speed. I haven't been able to change the script to do what I want.
  2. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Oh, I appreciate the heads up on that.

    I'll keep thinking of ideas. I'm not sold on putting it in layout room. I can hide the tower under the bench work, but I don't have a good spot to put the monitor where it would be usable, but also out of sight of the layout.
  3. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    The building is basically done. There's a defective faucet to replace in the bathroom and some left over supplies to haul off. I still have one major project in the main house (a custom 125 gallon aquarium stand) to do before I can start working on the layout. While I've still got a week or two before construction starts, I've been working gathering up everything I'll need.

    I've spent the past 18 months acquiring flex track and turnouts. I think it was discussed in a different thread, but I decided to go with prebuilt Atlas turnouts for this layout. If I had to take the time to hand build 200 turnouts, the layout would probably never get built. I've got enough track and turnouts on hand to build the first level of the layout. I need to decide what roadbed I'm using and get it ordered.

    As discussed in another thread right now, I'm getting lumber sorted out. I'll work on getting plywood on hand this coming week. I also see about getting a couple cases of DAP 230 as well.

    I got a box from Amazon yesterday that should have a new Hakko Soldering Iron in it with related supplies.

    Next item I need to get ordered this weekend is wire. I sat down tonight and figured up how many different colors I'm going to need, and by my math I need 7. The DCC bus and track feeders will be Red/Black. In addition to that, I'll need to run a separate 12v DC power bus for the switch machines. I'm thinking White/Green for that bus. Beyond that is the two positional circuits for the switch machines, I'm thinking yellow and gray. Finally, there's feeder wires to the turnout frogs, I'm thinking purple for that. I tried to make my color choices as far apart as possible to help avoid mistakes (ie: the brown and blue are too close to black, and orange was too close to red).
    I plan on using 12 gauge stranded for bus wires, and 20 gauge solid for feeders and switch motor hookups.

    I need to get a 12v DC power Supply ordered for the accessory circuit.

    That's everything I can think of. What did I miss on my shopping list? What changes do I need to make?
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  4. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    An item I did miss earlier, sweep sticks. I placed an order with fast tracks this week for a variety of sizes of sweep sticks to get me started.
  5. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    The Blue and Orange stand out against Black and Red; using the four of them would not be a problem.

    For bus wires, 14 gauge will be heavy enough since I assume you will be breaking the layout into Power Districts and Sub-Districts using at least 4 boosters and Power Shields.

    I would recommend 22 gauge stranded wire for feeders, etc. It is more flexible, and you will get more length for your money than 20 gauge with no appreciable difference in current carrying ability.

    For the accessory power supply, you will get more bang for you buck with a computer power supply (and built-in short protection) with 12vdc and 5vdc. This one will provide 12v 42A and 5v 17A;,aps,236&sr=8-3&th=1
    Thermaltake PS-SPD-0600NPCWUS-W.JPG
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  6. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I could have used orange and blue if I needed more colors, but I was happy with the options I had picked out.

    I've intended to discuss power districts but haven't gotten to it yet. Even with districts, I'm thinking I'll have some long ish runs of bus wire. The price of 14 vs 12 gauge isn't huge, so I played it safe with 12.

    As for feeders, I was using a spool of 20 gauge solid door bell wire on the previous layout and really liked it. I think in the past I tried some 20 or 22 stranded and didn't like it as much. I decided to stick with what I'm familiar with.

    I'll get one of those power supplies ordered.

    Again, I can't thank you enough for your continued input.
  7. mark

    mark Staff Member Staff Member


    Feeder wire should be stranded, especially on a large layout.

    Solid small feeder wires are prone to breakage within the insulation. Finding a break, or worse intermediate contact, is next to impossible. Proper tinning, use of flux and the right soldering iron make adding drops easy.

    Hope this helps.


  8. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Well, I better go order some stranded and try it out again before I start the actual building process.
  9. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Things are really getting close to beginning construction. I've got a few more small tasks around the house that require my attention this weekend. I'm hoping by the end of next week I can get started on the first step.

    I'm thinking my first step will be to build and set the partial stud walls I need for the peninsulas. 2 reasons to start with that: 1. I don't want to set a stack of plywood in the path of a wall. 2. If I build these first, I don't have to stop and build them later after benchwork starts.

    Once I have those partial walls framed up, I can bring in plywood and start the ripping process. If all goes well, I might be ready to put together the first piece of benchwork by the end of the month. We'll see how things go. Once we hit Thanksgiving, my schedule gets pretty full until the first of the year. I don't expect to really hit my stride with construction until January.

    I'm hoping to write up something for feedback on power blocks this weekend. Other than that, this thread should wind down here soon. I'll start a new thread for the actual build when it gets started.
  10. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I spent a little bit of time moving a few things out to the building today. Mostly tools, chairs and the two work benches I saved. As I was working I heard a train coming through, so I stopped to take a picture. This is the view I have from my new workbench location. The rebuilt GP30 was a nice surprise.

  11. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    It took a little while, but I made a first draft for power districts. I went ahead and figured the whole layout as drawn, if I cut back the second level I'll make adjustments to the power district plan.

    I'll go ahead and drop in the layout plans again I don't think they've changed since I last posted them. I did add labels for some of the junctions and yards that are referenced in the district plan.

    Something I do need to clarify is how I'm dividing up the trackage between Springfield/Ft. Scott and up to Tulsa. The first land mark is a turnout that's not visible on the plan as printed. It's above and behind Kansas Ave Yard at Springfield, I did add a written marker for this turnout. This turnout will be known as Afton Jct. The trackage from Ft. Scott to Afton Jct will naturally be the Afton Sub. The other will be a little different from prototype to make things simpler. Springfield to Afton Jct will be the Springfield Sub, and Afton Jct up to Tulsa is where the Cherokee Sub name finally picks up.

    Also worth noting, the Springfield sub will be wired as a reversing loop.

    Looking at the Digitrax website, they have a product called the PM74 that should allow me to create 4 sub districts off of each booster district. Looks like it will also handle the auto reverse function I need for the Springfield Sub.

    It'll cost a little extra, but I plan to invest in a few PS2012E's so that each booster can run 8 amps of power, I think 5 will be a little light in most spots.

    Attached Files:

  12. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    The time has come to close out this thread.

    Last weekend, I spent most of my time finishing up work on the building and getting things ready for construction. I had left over building materials to get out and store elsewhere, a tv to hang up, a defective faucet to replace, and blinds to hang up. I also spent most of Friday afternoon in Lowe's gathering some supplies and sorting through their "premium" 2x4's to come up with some good lumber for the stud walls.

    Today, construction on the layout officially started. I've got 2x4's glued down for the partial walls on 2 of the 3 runs, I plan to get the 3rd tomorrow. I also got lumber cut and ready to go to set the first of the stud walls tomorrow.

    So this is it for this thread. I want to again thank everyone that has voiced their opinion throughout this process. This layout wouldn't reach it's full potential without yall's help.

    Link to the new thread here:
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2023
    Ozarktraveler and gjslsffan like this.
  13. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    How cool to be able to watch trains go by from your hobby workbench!

    Ozarktraveler and Iantha_Branch like this.

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