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Thread: Monopoly and Octopus RR Layout

  1. #21
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    Hi Bill,

    Oh yeah, I got the latest edition, it is residing in the "Reading Room" along with the Atlas Wiring book, the Kalmbach Electrics book, and the Atlas Introduction to N Scale Modeling book. The first of many RR Modeling titles that I will be adding as time goes on.

    I am leaning more towards the Atlas Wiring Book at the moment even though the Kalmbach book did guide me to working out how my "Experimental" layout was supposed to work. I figure it would be better to stick to one and since I am going with Atlas Code 80 track and their switches and equipment to complete the M&O RR, I chose it to concentrate on for the moment. No need in confusing me any further than I already am.......
    Jay
    treadhead1952
    Las Vegas, NV

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    Wiring

    Good deal. Well, I've waffled consistently over the years as to what I want to do, and it really boils down to wanting a "starter" setup that I can just enjoy running (or self-running), which is why I want to skip all the heavy-duty wiring on analog systems and finally just go right into a digital setup. My first train was an American Flyer in 1956, and then got a small Fleischman HO setup going around 1959 or so. Then nothing for a l-o-n-g time except to think "I really should DO something". So I racked up a few cheap Bachmann HO pieces to no avail (gave most of them away) and then started into N-scale at least 10-15 years ago. A divorce caused me to put them all away and now I'm FINALLY going to do something, one way or another. And that's why I thought I'd resurrect the M&O as a DCC setup. After I have some fun with it, THEN I can decide if I want to go farther with the hobby or just leave it at the basic fun stage !
    I have the wiring book, too, but it's so dated that I actually remember the photo/writing style (I'm 59)!

    Bill

  3. #23
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    Hi Bill,

    I have considered DCC, but for me at the moment, it s a choice between DCC or being able to get the required stuff together to actually complete the M&O RR plus my first experimental layout that I am cobbling together with EZ Track. Both of these first ones will just be DC. If I decide that I like what I have done and want to go further into it, I can always convert them or one to DCC after getting the basics down.

    I do look forward to watching you work your layout back into reality so please post a thread and include lots of photos. I think we all live for photos here.
    Jay
    treadhead1952
    Las Vegas, NV

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    Jay and Bill,
    Looks like that track plan would be pretty easy to wire for DCC. As Mike said, the reverse loops are the only thing that would require anything additional. Good luck to both of you with the layouts.
    Jim


    “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” — Thomas Henry Huxley


    My Flickr photo stream ...https://www.flickr.com/photos/142423340@N03/

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    Lightbulb Monopoly and Octopus RR

    I am waiting to be accepted to Nscale.net. A little about myself, am in my 60's and have for a long time wanted to build a model railroad. Looking at several layouts my wife and I have decided to go with the M&O from the ground up or table top it will be a DCC layout using the Tortoise Switch Machine. This will be built in the city of Springfield, MO USA. I have built a HO layout for a friend that work. Living in an apartment and limited to space. This layout seemed like a good starter. See what happens and will let you all know how it is going. Have a good day.

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  7. #26
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    Welcome to the site @BradNosw. Looking forward to your progress.
    Grant.

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    I built my last layout using this plan; I loved it! Instead of using pier units though, I cut the plywood and raised it to support the upper track. The lower 'S' ended up running through a cut, with a mountain and tunnels on the NW corner. I cut my plywood a touch bigger (4'x4.5'), and put the layout against a wall. I had no issues reaching the center.
    I'll have to dig through my pre-digital photos and see if I have any of this layout. Sadly, it didn't make the move with me when I moved from Nevada to Oregon

    Curtis

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    Couldn't find the photos - probably in a shoebox somewhere.....
    However, I did do this quick mockup in Blender; hopefully it gives some idea?
    I extended the outer loop ~6" or so to the west to get the two elevations of track a little farther apart.

    Curtis
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  11. #29
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    Default M&O

    I built my M&O in 1987 when I lived in California. I think the "Nine" book had just been published. I expanded the layout to the northeast, with a diagonal at the southeast. I took the northeast two spurs and connected them to the south main line. I built a two or three deep yard on the diagonal southeast. I added a wye at the northeast corner. The obvious place for the mountain is the northwest corner, where mine is. I "found" the place to add two spurs with switches just under the overpass into the southern "O".

    I have since moved a couple of times, and just recently had my set moved here to Canada from storage in California.

    This is the most fun I have ever had in actually running a model rr. It is a superb layout for that.

    I know this is an old thread, but I found it by stumbling across this site & forum by Googleing M&O!!!

    I am currently dealing with cleaning up all the old dirty track, and have been helped by using this forum and finding many helpful hints.
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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  13. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu View Post
    I have since moved a couple of times, and just recently had my set moved here to Canada from storage in California.
    .....
    I am currently dealing with cleaning up all the old dirty track, and have been helped by using this forum and finding many helpful hints.
    Welcome to the forums!
    Looking forward to hearing about your progress as you revive this very interesting layout.

    Feel free to ask questions around here, lots of helpful advice to go around!

    And, in a few posts, you'll be able to post pictures.
    ....so, if you want to avoid a @Moose2013 Moose stampede, posting lots of pics is good!

    Everyone else also love pics too!
    ************************************
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    ​DG&H MRRinN

    P.S. Check out my current build thread: DG&H RR is being Incorporated


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  15. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DG&H MRRinN View Post
    Welcome to the forums!
    Looking forward to hearing about your progress as you revive this very interesting layout.

    Feel free to ask questions around here, lots of helpful advice to go around!

    And, in a few posts, you'll be able to post pictures.
    ....so, if you want to avoid a @Moose2013 Moose stampede, posting lots of pics is good!

    Everyone else also love pics too!
    Thanks for the welcome. I've been involved in many boating forums, so I understand the rules and how to get enough posts to be able to post pictures. One of the first is to scan my modified and extended M&O layout track plan, so you can see the concepts I included.

    I've also stumbled across Sam Hill Junction and his excellent photos.

    Back to track cleaning. It ain't gonna get done by itself ... darn...
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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  17. #32
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    Boating? What kind of boating? Anything wind-powered?

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  19. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    Boating? What kind of boating? Anything wind-powered?

    Yes, a sailboat. When we moved from SF to BC I went back and sailed the boat up here in 2016 - all motoring, though. Didn't get "authorization" from the missus to move my trains from storage in California until this winter. Now I know why there's winter: for trains!!!
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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  21. #34
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    Here's the layout with blocks in color. DC with controllers and selectors. Three reversing loops: the 2 up & overs and the wye. I made a few changes to this, only minor, as I was building it, like in the yard. The spurs inside the lower reversing loop and the sw corner are done with connectors. I used a BIG xerox machine, pre-internet days, working from the Nine book. The lower se corner of the tabletop is actually cut off on that angle.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Stu; 17th Feb 2021 at 04:23 PM.
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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  23. #35
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    In '96 & '97 we lived on a Columbia 31 from the Chesapeake Bay to the Bahamas. After 6 months in the islands and a year living aboard, we came ashore in Florida and eventually ran hard aground here in Colorado.

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  25. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    we came ashore in Florida and eventually ran hard aground here in Colorado.
    Must have been quite an interesting furrow through Texas.

    I'm the Secretary of the Catalina 34 International Association since 1999, and have been sailing all my life. Grew up "back east" in NY, MA and PA, relatives in FL. Have done the I-95 down & back, never as far east as the Bahamas though. Sounds like a fun cruise. Have bareboated in the VIs & Abacos. Skied in Vail, liked Aspen more, designed the HVAC for Beaver Creek Village Hall.
    Last edited by Stu; 19th Feb 2021 at 10:21 PM.
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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  27. #37
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    This week's update (20 Feb. 2021)

    1. I cleaned the innermost loop of track by the Gleaming method, tracks beginning to look really good. I only waxed one block (#6). I "lost" one of the frogs on the northern turnout to the flat reversing loop (#R1) so I'll have to replace that turnout. The point was NOT because of the cleaning - somewhere it seemed to have picked up moisture and it looks like it just rusted at the point where the inner end of the point connects to the body of the switch. Gee, what could 30 years of storage possibly have done?!?

    2. Steve was kind enough to loan me his tub of NoOx 1A Special. See Reply #373 here: https://www.nscale.net/forums/showth...633#post605633 Thanks again, Steve.

    3. I have three controllers for my layout (the 2 RLs and the wye). After cleaning some of the track where a loco would move last week, there was no movement yesterday. I checked the loco movement on a separate piece of new flex track I bought for just this kind of test with temporary power from one of the packs. The left-most controller got damaged by my son moving something over the control panel, so I bought three new ones at Scott's Hobby Shop in Duncan. I will replace all three, but only one at a time. A friend of mine (in our boating community) always advised: Only fix one thing at a time, so you will know what the real culprit actually was! EDITED: I was wrong that the newer controllers have their output wiring a bit closer to the body of the black box than the older ones, so I didn't have to make sure I have enough slack in the wiring under the control panel to get them to reach. Those little screws are a bear without a magnetized screwdriver.
    Last edited by Stu; 18th Mar 2021 at 01:45 PM.
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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  29. #38
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    I replaced the broken controller. Still having power-to-track issues. Today I will embark on a detailed voltage tracing exercise from power pack(s) to controllers to selectors to rails.
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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  31. #39
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    A little progress today. I have 3 controllers, replaced the left one as noted. The new one was still hooked up to the older remaining two. I disconnected the C wire from the right-most old controller. I jumpered from the C output screw of the new controller to the C wire to the tracks. The locomotive ran on two block sections!!! Direction controlled by the left new controller, since that's where the C now came from.

    I used contact cleaner on the connections between the controllers after loosening the screws between them. I reconnected the two old controllers and replaced the C wire on the right-most controller, nothing worked.

    I tried the jumper trick again and duplicated its success (with the controllers all connected).

    My DVM died before I even started today, so its off for new batteries tomorrow. Heck, success without the meter...

    One step at a time. I'll replace the other two controllers and see what happens. I have them anyway. Even found a magnetic screwdriver - what a time-saver.
    Last edited by Stu; 28th Feb 2021 at 12:02 PM.
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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  33. #40
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    It's always pleasant to report some SUCCESS!!!

    I bought a new voltmeter. The old one I'd bought for my boat, maybe 30 years ago. Think it was time? After new batteries on the old one didn't fix it, I figured it was the switch, so it's toast. This new one even has a display I can read without a magnifying glass.

    I determined that the wire on the C post of the right-most controller was on backwards, so I reversed it so the screw would tighten it properly. The three blocks of track that the engine ran on the other day with the jumper now worked via the controllers. It looks like I don't have to replace the two right controllers after all. Still have to decide if I want to keep them or return them. Of course, if I return them, I'll need them...

    Then I used the new voltmeter to check power to the selectors. The track sections that weren't working were the ones to the right of the first 1-2-3-4 selector box. So I loosened and re tightened the spade connectors between them.

    BINGO!

    I now have a complete working loop with one passing track: 1,2,3,4,6,& 7. The lower reversing loop track also works up to the overpass. These were the tracks I gleamed last week. Switch R1 at the NW end that goes to the lower reversing loop is the one with the dead point, so only goes straight. Switch 4 (south end middle) has become disconnected from Switch 3, and the few straight section to the west of Switch 4 had disappeared. So I have some track work to do.

    So very nice to have made some progress!

    When I told my wife about the price of "just the tracks" (on the Atlas website) for this little "rebuilding" enterprise of mine, it seems the beginning of "acceptance" of my new winter endeavors!
    Last edited by Stu; 18th Mar 2021 at 01:47 PM. Reason: corrected frog to point
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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