HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Model railroading in all scales and gauges. HO talk welcome :)
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Micah_D
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HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Unread post by Micah_D »

Hello all,
I thought I would take some time to hop on here and show some pictures of my model railroad. I am attempting to model Union Pacific but I mostly run whatever locomotives I own. The layout it 14 feet by 11 feet. There are two levels, the bottom level has two mainlines that run parallel all the way around. Each mainline is roughly 70 feet of track which allows for nice long trains. In the back of the layout is my switching yard. It is a smaller yard with 3 pull through sidings and 2 stub tracks leading into a locomotive shed. All the tack is Atlas code 100 that has been painted brown with my airbrush.

The second level of the layout is the same Atlas code 100 track soon to be painted with the airbrush. The upper level is all industrial with many sidings and passing tracks allowing for lots of switching operations. This level is still under construction. So far I only have track laid on half of it but so far I am liking how its turning out. There will only be one mainline that runs around the top. I plan to have a coal plant on the right side of the upper level which will have many siding for switching coal loads.

This HO scale layout is powered by my NCE SB5 booster. It provides 5 amps of power to the whole layout. I have also invested in many other features for the layout including the NCE EB1, Digitrax PR4, and the NCE USB interface. The NCE EB1 is a short circuit protection for the NCE system to protect the electronics of the DCC system if a short were to occur. The Digitrax PR4 allows me to connect my program track to my computer and do various programming to locomotives like changing CV values and programing in custom sounds to sound equipped locomotives. On my upper level I have a siding that is isolated and can be used as a normal siding or with the flick of a toggle switch on my control panel I can turn it in to a separate program track controlled through JMRI on my computer. The NCE USB interface allows me to connect the rest of the layout to the computer. By doing this I use JMRI to run my layout and WiThrottle to for my friends and I to wirelessly operate the Layout using our cell phones. Even with all of these advanced technology I have put into the layout I still have the option to plug in my NCE PowerCab and run DCC trains without the use of JMRI or WiThrottle.

Having the layout DCC is a great advantage but I do have some conventional DC locomotives that need a place to run. My bottom level I keep strictly DCC but I have mounted another toggle switch on my control panel which allows me to convert my upper level to DCC, DC or shut it off completely. I have installed DCC decoders in most of my DC locomotives but there are some that I don't use often or that don't run very well making them not worth putting decoders in.

I hope to share more about my layout in the feature and show many more photos of trains and locomotives. Down below I have attached some photos of the layout and a very rough drawn out track plan. I had originally planned the layout in AnyRail 6 but in multiple sections as I didn't want to pay for the full version. Around 2 months of planning went into the layout before construction began. The layout is also modular and can come apart in 6 sections held together with bolts and having with track joins at each module allowing for easy disassembly. The wiring is a done with male and female wire connecters so it can all be easily undone as well. At the moment the layout is pretty messy and needs a good cleaning but bare with me for now. I hope you all enjoy these pictures and any questions feel free to ask!

- Micah_D
Attachments
PXL_20220117_193439479.jpg
PXL_20220114_173845132.jpg
PXL_20220114_173602584.jpg

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Micah_D
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Re: HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Unread post by Micah_D »

Micah_D wrote:
Wed Jan 19, 2022 11:11 am
Hello all,
I thought I would take some time to hop on here and show some pictures of my model railroad. I am attempting to model Union Pacific but I mostly run whatever locomotives I own. The layout it 14 feet by 11 feet. There are two levels, the bottom level has two mainlines that run parallel all the way around. Each mainline is roughly 70 feet of track which allows for nice long trains. In the back of the layout is my switching yard. It is a smaller yard with 3 pull through sidings and 2 stub tracks leading into a locomotive shed. All the tack is Atlas code 100 that has been painted brown with my airbrush.

The second level of the layout is the same Atlas code 100 track soon to be painted with the airbrush. The upper level is all industrial with many sidings and passing tracks allowing for lots of switching operations. This level is still under construction. So far I only have track laid on half of it but so far I am liking how its turning out. There will only be one mainline that runs around the top. I plan to have a coal plant on the right side of the upper level which will have many siding for switching coal loads.

This HO scale layout is powered by my NCE SB5 booster. It provides 5 amps of power to the whole layout. I have also invested in many other features for the layout including the NCE EB1, Digitrax PR4, and the NCE USB interface. The NCE EB1 is a short circuit protection for the NCE system to protect the electronics of the DCC system if a short were to occur. The Digitrax PR4 allows me to connect my program track to my computer and do various programming to locomotives like changing CV values and programing in custom sounds to sound equipped locomotives. On my upper level I have a siding that is isolated and can be used as a normal siding or with the flick of a toggle switch on my control panel I can turn it in to a separate program track controlled through JMRI on my computer. The NCE USB interface allows me to connect the rest of the layout to the computer. By doing this I use JMRI to run my layout and WiThrottle to for my friends and I to wirelessly operate the Layout using our cell phones. Even with all of these advanced technology I have put into the layout I still have the option to plug in my NCE PowerCab and run DCC trains without the use of JMRI or WiThrottle.

Having the layout DCC is a great advantage but I do have some conventional DC locomotives that need a place to run. My bottom level I keep strictly DCC but I have mounted another toggle switch on my control panel which allows me to convert my upper level to DCC, DC or shut it off completely. I have installed DCC decoders in most of my DC locomotives but there are some that I don't use often or that don't run very well making them not worth putting decoders in.

I hope to share more about my layout in the feature and show many more photos of trains and locomotives. Down below I have attached some photos of the layout and a very rough drawn out track plan. I had originally planned the layout in AnyRail 6 but in multiple sections as I didn't want to pay for the full version. Around 2 months of planning went into the layout before construction began. The layout is also modular and can come apart in 6 sections held together with bolts and having with track joins at each module allowing for easy disassembly. The wiring is a done with male and female wire connecters so it can all be easily undone as well. At the moment the layout is pretty messy and needs a good cleaning but bare with me for now. I hope you all enjoy these pictures and any questions feel free to ask!

- Micah_D
Here are the rest of the photos.
Attachments
PXL_20220117_021650952.jpg
PXL_20220117_013929819.jpg
PXL_20220117_193423146.jpg

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David Collins
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Re: HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Unread post by David Collins »

I still need to get over there and have an ops session
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AARR
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Re: HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Unread post by AARR »

Very nice! Keep us updated.
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KVERBERK
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Re: HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Unread post by KVERBERK »

Looks good! Thanks for sharing.
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Chip
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Re: HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Unread post by Chip »

How do you keep those auto racks from derailing when negotiating those tight radii?

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Micah_D
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Re: HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Unread post by Micah_D »

Chip wrote:
Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:14 pm
How do you keep those auto racks from derailing when negotiating those tight radii?
I've never had an issue with it. My bottom 2 loops are 30 and 28 inch radius and for the upper level they seem to do fine.

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DriverJon
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Re: HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Unread post by DriverJon »

Chip wrote:
Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:14 pm
How do you keep those auto racks from derailing when negotiating those tight radii?
As the owner of the Southern Pacific and CP Rail autoracks shown in the picture, allow me to explain. I had Micah modify the couplers so that they could move back and forth more. This allows them to stay coupled to the other train cars. As for the wheels, the frame of the car is only a thin beam down the middle, allowing for the wheels to move freely, almost to the point of being on a 45 degree angle. Also, he did mention the bottom radii being 30 and 28 in, however the top loops that are pictured are 21.5 and 17.5 in radius.

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AARR
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Re: HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Unread post by AARR »

The coupler modification is a good idea.

I thought the top loops looked tight. I believe you that the auto racks are negotiating the top loop turns with no problem but I agree with Chip that it looks tight.
DriverJon wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:48 am
Chip wrote:
Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:14 pm
How do you keep those auto racks from derailing when negotiating those tight radii?
I had Micah modify the couplers so that they could move back and forth more. .....however the top loops that are pictured are 21.5 and 17.5 in radius.
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...

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Micah_D
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Re: HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Unread post by Micah_D »

AARR wrote:
Fri Jan 21, 2022 6:53 am
The coupler modification is a good idea.

I thought the top loops looked tight. I believe you that the auto racks are negotiating the top loop turns with no problem but I agree with Chip that it looks tight.
DriverJon wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:48 am
Chip wrote:
Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:14 pm
How do you keep those auto racks from derailing when negotiating those tight radii?
I had Micah modify the couplers so that they could move back and forth more. .....however the top loops that are pictured are 21.5 and 17.5 in radius.
Yes they are pretty tight although most autoracks I find can do a basic 18 inch radius curve which is what that is. We don't actually run autoracks on the top level due to how silly they look around the right curves. I keep them on the bottom level. They are in the top in the picture because we were testing If they would even be able to go around the right curves.

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DriverJon
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Re: HO Scale DCC Model Railroad

Unread post by DriverJon »

Micah_D wrote:
Fri Jan 21, 2022 7:30 am
AARR wrote:
Fri Jan 21, 2022 6:53 am
The coupler modification is a good idea.

I thought the top loops looked tight. I believe you that the auto racks are negotiating the top loop turns with no problem but I agree with Chip that it looks tight.
DriverJon wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:48 am


I had Micah modify the couplers so that they could move back and forth more. .....however the top loops that are pictured are 21.5 and 17.5 in radius.
Yes they are pretty tight although most autoracks I find can do a ... around the right curves.
Do they work around that 17.5 in radius curve? i wasnt there during testing

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