Posts in Category: Zity Edge RR

Skyline taking shape

The last days I have build many of the background skyline high-rise buildings using images of the fasades, photoshop to adjust the images, my laser printer, glue and foamboard. Added also some plaster rocks. Starting to looking better. In the back, you can see a model of the Metrolitan Tower in Chicago.

The skyline starting to grow. The high building in the back is the Metropolitan Tower in Chicago.
Overview of the testsetup for the East side of the city.

Streets and tunnelportals

There have been a lot of progress installing the different streetsurfaces and the tunnelportals for the road. I have also started to install the basement foram for the church and the back part of the layout. Still much to do, but I start to see the city.

The church will be on the hill, with the city below.
From the city low level and the track in the middle of the road.

LED-strip configuration

For the main lighting of the layout, I have installed a total of 5 LED-strips, 3 with Warm White LED's and 2 with adresseable RGB LED's. The extended number of white strips gives a bright light as possible.

All strips are controlled using an Arduino microcontroller, where the 3 Warm White strips are controlled with pulse width modulation(PWM) and a IRF540 MosFet driver card, and the 2 RGB strips are controlled with the FASTLED library available for the Arduino. The programming are not finished and need further development.

The goal is to create animations that can simulate day, sunrise/sunfall and night. And some lights effecs, like ligthing strokes with sound and other visual effects. All controlled by a fastclock and swithes connected to the Arduino. Since I plan to run JMRI on a RaspBerry Pi, I am thinking about to create the userinterface on the RaspBerry Pi, connected to the different Arduinos on the Layout. The Arduino is so cheap to buy, so it will be easier to use several Arduinos for different tasks.

The section drawing shows the different LED-strips for main lighting of the layout.


The different LED-stripes:(Table is under construction)

Strip # Type NumOfLeds
1 Warm White, 2 wires: 12 volt, wires: +/-  
2 Warm White, 2 wires: 12 volt, wires: +/-  
3 Warm White, 2 wires: 12 volt, wires: +/-  
4 RGB adresseable WS2812B, 5 volt, 144 Leds/meter, 3 wires: +/-/Data 235
5 RGB adresseable WS2812B, 5 volt, 144 Leds/meter, 3 wires: +/-/Data  


LED-strips for the layout installed

Some more progress on the building of the new layout. Skyboard and mountain backdrop are installed.

The lights for the layout room and backdrop, are done using several LED-strips. For the overall white daylight, I have used 3 Warm-White LED-strips, for the colored lights, I have installed 2 adressable RGB-strips, one for the overall light, and one behind the mountain backdrop.

The skyboard and mountain backdrop are installed.
The mainlights turned off showing the mountain backdrop LED-strip with some test colors.


A test with an animation of the LED-strips behind the mountain backdrop. The current colors in the video are just to test to see how it could be. All lights are run by an Arduino microcontroller. I guess I need to use some time to develop the programs for the Arduino. The LED-strip in the video is a 144 RGB leds/meter, adressable WS2812B strip, with a total of 235 LED's.

Naming the High Line Bridge

The High Line Bridge crosses three roads. Above the road, signs with Zity Edge is placed using Woodloand Scenics 5 mm dry transfer letters. After some weathering the white letters will blend better into the bridge beams.

Two of the road overpass labeled with Zity Edge
Woodland Scenics dry transfer letters

Will the city skyline give the feeling?

Will the city skyline give the great feeling of a North-American City? I hope so, finally. Time is come to setup some sketches and mookups of building that could create and be part of the city skyline.

The elevation between the floors are important, and it looks like a standard elevation in commercial building is 10 feet, about 3 meter. In Z-scale, 1:220, I think 15 mm elevation would be fine. Commercial kits looks like they are much bigger.

Some examples of buildingsketches in sligthly different scales.
The tall building at right has 15 mm elevation between floors. The copy at left, is a copy of a sheet from the new freight house from Z-track with about 20 mm elevation between floors. Looks like the building is a little oversized? The Kibri factory in the middle is also a little to big, I guess.

Backdrop installed using flooring

Backdrop behind the layout is installed. I want to have curved corners and I used some flooring and have the backside out and painted it. I think it look fine. First layer of paint is done.

The framework for the left part of the backdrop. Check the curved corners made with plywood.
The backdrop is installed and painted.
The door is open over the circuit breaker box.

Installing the High Line Bridge

Time has come to test the placement of the High Line Bridge. The first layer of paint and a testinstall of some track, to see how it will be when finished.

The front side of the High Line Bridge is Micro Engineering 80-171 N-scale plate girder elements. The base is kapafix 3 mm foam/paper board. The foundation/beams are 3d printed and the columns are Evergreen styren H-beams, 1.5x1.5 mm.

The High Line Bridge
Closeup of the High Line Bridge

All track and wiring installed on Low level

All tracks, turnouts, motors and electric wiring are installed and working on Low level. All decoders and turnout motors are installed on top of the plywood, because all equipment will be covered by the high level. Access to the equipment will be possible via removable panels.

All the tracks are working well, no derailment in the turnouts. Its time to continue with high level and the installment of turnoutmotors and wiring.

An overwiev of Low level, showing all tracks and turnout motors. Also the 4 turnout decoders DS52, and at the left back, the automatic reverseloop unit AR1 is installed.
From the right part of Low level, showing the 2 turnout decoders DS52 and the engine for the Atlas turnout.
From the left part of Low level, with the 2 turnout decoders DS52 and the automatic reverseloop unit AR1.
The Low level track plan with the turnout decoders and reverse loop AR1.

Final Trackplan and Power Distribution Drawings

On Zity Edge Layou, finally all the tracks are installed, except for a few feet of tracks on the elevated track, and the drawings are updated to asbuilt version.

The layout are also divided into Power Districts, so its possible to run both DCC and conventional DC on the layout at the same time, like DCC on High Level Outside and DC on High Level Inside and Low Level, if that is wanted.

The different systems are selected with switches on the Power Routing Panel. 

Check out the layout and the power districts on the final rev 5 asbuilt drawings.

Track laying in progress

Near all tracks are installed on the Zity Edge Layout.

No electrical connections have been done yet. On all hidden areas I have used Märklin turnouts with Märklin and Peco flextrack. On a few curves, I have used some Märklin sectional track. On all visible areas I have used Atlas turnouts and Atlas flextrack. I have not used any corkbase under the tracks on this layout, all tracks are glued to the base. A few tracks are attached using spikes.

The current work is to create the elevated doubletrack. The base is cut in 3 mm KapaFix, a paperbased board with 3 mm foam. The development of the columns and beams are in progress. 

Hopefully the images can show some of the progress.

Lower level of track is installed.
The left part of the layout with both levels. 2 turnout actuators are installed on lower level. The actuators are connected to the turnouts using pianowire in a tube. On top level all actuators are still missing.
The base for the elevated doubletrack is finished using a 3 mm KapaFix plate with the drawing of the track glued on. The creating of the columns and beams are in progress.
Both levels installed. Some tracks is still missing, but with some mookup paper buildings the scene is set. Will the city feeling be there finally?
The Low level track plan with the turnout decoders and reverse loop AR1.

Zity Edge Visible track

A lot of the track will be hidden behind and under high citybuildings. The image below shows all visible tracks, and the buildings are indicated with some pink rectangles. All this buildings will be high city buildings. On the front part, in front of the rised double track, all buildings will be low. The low track will mainly go in a road between buildings. All buildings are under development and will be changed.

All visible tracks. The high buildings are indicated With the pink rectangles.

Version 3 of Zity Edge trackplan

After some more tweeking with the tracks I have changed the return loops, so its much easier to set the different trains in correct direction and run up and down between the leves without interruption. The mainidea with the layout will still be to have 3 independent loops to run traffic on, but with the new reverse loops and the transition track between the levels, some more interesting traffic can be run. I can still use the same benchwork I just finished. And I can still continue to develop the layout.smiley

All levels visible
All tracks and both levels visible, including the transition track between the levels.


Lower level visible with the transition track. The return loop is now possible to use with the transition track to run trains between the levels.


The upper level with the return loop in correct position..