Hidden Fiddle Yard

I am currently planning a layout for my loft. The loft conversion has had to cease due to the heat. I am ultimately planning to add an elevated
terminus leaving unused space underneath. I was wondering how practical it would be to have storage sidings under the terminus. I visualise 3 problems. First is derailments on points. I can cover that with removable panels to get access. The next point is that having driven a train in, the engine would have to be uncoupled automatically. Presumably not a problem if an uncoupler is used. The final point covers collisions. I am thinking of using DCC and want to avoid driving a train into an occupied siding. So how best to determine whether a track already has a train on it. I could use a web cam but that seems over the top. Is there a simple detector I can use? Does anybody else with loft layouts use air conditioning for cooling in the hot weather. I still have to finish the insulation in mine but imagine that it will still be unbearable hot in similar weather to this summer. I was thinking of using a portable a/c but was wondering how effective they were. Anybody got one?
Kevin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 13 Aug 2003, Kevin Rayner wrote:

Don't use a web cam. That would tie up your PC.
It's a perfect application for the X cam that is advertised in those annoying pop ups that used to appear every time you used yahoo.
I don't know if they do a 625 line PAL version though. I live in the USA (since 1989) and bought one when they first came out, before they started to advertise on the internet. The introductory offer was something like 59 dollars plus another if you got the one with the battery pack, which I did to put get a driver's eye view from an O-gauge train. The result was surprisingly high quality.
All you need as well is an old TV.
A lot of modellers here do that - it is very cheap, less than the cost of a good ready-to-run engine from Bachmann. We've got two HO engines at the club (one steam and one diseasel) with the guts replaced by these. Of course they need to be pushed as part of a double header but US freight trains rarely have a single engine anyway. A GWR auto-trailer would be a perfect application.
As would your hidden fiddle yard. I assume you're using British OO-style tension lock couplers?
Have all the uncouplers in line at right angles to the track and paint a white line the thickness of the uncoupler ramp across the baseboard.
You could use Cyril Freezer's trick for the ends of the fiddle yards. There will need to be an isolating section to hold the incoming engine after it has uncoupled. If you use a push-button switch for this just drive the engine forward until it stops. When you want to drive it back out, push the button until it is clear of the isolating section.
Oh, you'd also need a light (flourescent bulb which doesn't generate so much heat?) in the fiddle yard which you would probably have anyway to see what you're doing when you re-rail.
Even if the British rules for radio transmission haven't been relaxed, there will probably be something similar with a wired connection at that isn't too expensive.
Consider the cost of IRdot or similar infra-red/optical devices to detect trains passing them, plus latching relays to remember occupancy, plus lights or LEDs on the control panel. I haven't done the sums but I doubt the final costs will be too different. A lot of large layouts do something like this because you can't see everything from the control panel. George Hinchcliff's famous Fort Faye layout was an example.

Can't help you there. I'm building a layout in the basement, which has a boiler for hot water and central heating. Also a de-humidifier (like a small air conditioner to condense out the humidity) and an electrostatic air purifier because basements get musty.

Good luck....Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Kevin,
Regarding webcam alternatives; It occurred to me that one of those little security cameras might fit the bill, they come in a variety of different types and prices.
Choice depends on cost, colour or monochrome, light sensitivity, built in IR LEDS, with or without lens, resolution (sharpness), some come wired to a monitor (e.g. door entry style), signal connections (video on phono plug, SCART, etc.) pick whatever suits your TV/monitor, etc.
Take a peek at, say www.maplin.co.uk, do a search on "CCTV camera", most are probably more than you'd want to spend, but some are below 40 GBP.
Regarding temperature, I cannot overstate the case for through draft ventilation (as suggested by Andrew Robson), we have two 3 foot square "Velux" windows opposite each other in our (loft) bedroom and even in the recent heatwave, there was a lovely draft through 90% of the time. If you have Velux windows, you'll need blinds to protect models from UV/sunshine.
Good luck with the layout, Dave Humphries (Armchair modeller (no room in the loft, see) and, until now a longstanding lurker here)

has
elevated
under
panels
engine
want
determine
that
in
imagine
I
they
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Lancaster wrote:

Sorry, I don't have a Peco catalogue. Here in New Zealand, we get British and US products about equally. The local model shops (500 km away) had these from Atlas and from Peco on their shelves. I bought the Atlas ones as they were about half the price of the Peco ones _here_. The Peco ones were on the shelf along with the Peco Set-track items so I assume they are in the Peco Set-track range. I have a feeling that they might be made for level crossings. There is a center flat section at rail top height with a "<===>" shape to drag the wheels onto the rails. At the sides the raised parts are angled to push the wheels back to the rails.
Well, they certainly have existed, so a Peco stockist should be able to supply or at least recognise what they are.
The Atlas curves are a different radius to the Peco ones. (presumably)
Regards, Greg.P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hornby do one as well. R620 Re-railer/uncoupler RRP 2.60.
--
Ian Birchenough

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Atlas are 15, 18 and 22 inches.
Hornby/Peco are 14 5/8, 17 1/4 and 19 7/8 inches.
--
Martin S.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Kevin
We run the layout in an old garage. This is in Australia so summer is a bit more heat inclined than the UK (current month excluded).
We started by lining the garage, including the roof leaving a space between the tiling and the new internal ceiling. In our case about 2 feet at the highest point. We were going to add insulation material but so far this has not been required.
Made sure we had an opening window - about 2 feet across - on the side where any prevailing breeze was going to come from plus a doorway at the other end.
When heat goes up we open window and open door and the steady breeze through makes life very comfortable.
Add a cool drink and comfy chair plus a couple of kids to do the train driving and life is good.
If you are in a loft you may consider floor lining as well to stop rising heat but this will depend on what the floor and existing house are made of.
Andrew

under
in
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Andrew Robson"

and one of those hats with corks around to keep the alligators off?
ken "sorry - just conjured up a wondeful image so different to our model shows where half the time the operators are too busy ensuring that nonprototypical operation reigns by being too busy to get the 11.47 from the shunting yard so as not to be late that you daren't ask if they mind doing that turntable bit again because my son liked it"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.