Monday, April 02, 2012

Some rambling thoughts on Micro Modules....

It all started out with a random email from the head druff which sparked a discussion between Am fet, Cabbage, and 0-4-4-0T at the Tuesday night special interest group in the Lower Hutt club rooms for the Hutt valley model railway club which got the creative juices bubbling away.

Cabbage woke with an epiphany at some ungodly hour, not wanting to incur the roth of the rest of the family on a Saturday morn, went straight to the computer to get the ideas into cyber space.
The first iteration went out some crazy time of the morn for comment, which started the furious discuss over the hours between second breakfast and elevenses.

Between Cabbage, Am fets, 0-4-4-0T and the head druff the ideas flew around.
We could all agree on a standard 300mm wide end board with a centrally located single track in free-mo style and no legs just setup on tables

By lunch a workable design was pretty much there and by second lunch Saturday Am fet wrote "Okay, enough pontificating….I say lets cut a couple and see what works and what doesn’t in real life."

Monday rolled around.... on the way home from work Cabbage stopped off at Bunnings got a 1200 square of 17mm ply to drop in to Orrsum Lasers services. A quick chat to Paul Orr who was happy to check over the drawing and chop up the sheet of ply during the week

By Friday Cabbage had a pile of cut end and a bag of ready made dowels to play with over the weekend
Amazing just how many bits came out of the sheet

Bash in the dowels to locate the keys.... idiot proof
Evan a one handed man could do it

The ends slot together with the keys
the bit missing here is the locking toggle
which turns about the hole in the centre of the key
locking the module ends together

Track locating slots to align things between modules

Add some blue foam and vela..... Micro Modules
Interestingly enough if we scale these up to 64th
they are the same size as one track minds

And by sheer fluke the cut out in the foot allows for easy stacking

The modules Cabbage knocked up over the weekend were 300x600mm but the idea is the length and shape is entirely up to the modeller, the laser cut ends are supplied and you go nuts in between.
The first track layout design out of Cabbage's head was Whareroa, again, made up of two sections and ending up as 4x1.


Anonymous said...

Looks good. Just one question on the electrical front. It seems to me that there is no cutout to allow easy electrical connections trough the the end boards. Is this intentional?


Motorised Dandruff said...

Thats what the little cutout on the bottom edge is for.

Anonymous said...

Impressive! Well thought out and executed.
Mark also demystified lathework to this neophyte a couple of weekends ago.


Cabbage said...

It seem everybody misses the obvious

There are 2 huge cutouts in the from of the keys
If if bring the electrical wires through 1 corner of 1 of the keys then it end up under the next module

Connection on the other hand is still being thought about
There was some discussion last night with Don Clement pawing over a Jayer catalogue to find the perfect plug and socket arrangement but this always costs so much more

I vote for the most basic a screw in strip block Keep it simple and for nz120 CHEAP!!

Anonymous said...

Very impressive - I love the alignment idea. Isn't 17mm ply throughout a tad overkill though - them's going to be heavy modules and don't need to be.


Amateur Fettler said...

Oddly enough, they arent heavy at all....mostly to do with the thin ply sides and the foam top. Even with my dud hand I can carry both modules without effort.

Anonymous said...

Ah - missed that the sides were something more sensible for the purpose (which was what I was going to suggest). A fine job all round!

Ben Sutton said...

Would it be possible to purchase these. I've got a hankering to work on some modules, but I've been struggling with deciding on the ends for them. This idea looks brilliant to me.

Amateur Fettler said...

Apparently Cabbage has a new batch that he is bringing to club night Tuesday. If he doesnt post here before that, I will sound him out. Drop us a line via the MD gmail account and we'll see what the go is.