gormo

Cassette Fiddle Yard Method

15 posts in this topic

G`day Folks,

I am responding to a request from Matt re more detail on the building of fiddle yard cassettes. The method I use is not of my own invention, rather it has been developed from ideas and methods that others have used before me... in other words I nicked their ideas...lol. This is not the be all and end all of removable cassettes and if you`re looking for alternative ideas just Google " Fiddleyard Cassettes" and a wealth of information and alternative solutions will come up.

OK... the system consists of a base of 18mm ply ( Marine in my case because I already had it ) upon which is placed two lengths of 30mmx30mmx1.5mm Aluminium Angle. The angle is screwed to the ply. The angle is separated by 16.5mm which means the angle acts as the rails. The ends of the angle also connect into Aluminium prongs at the end of the baseboard. The prongs are wired to the approach track, therefore the prongs are the electrical connection. The cassette has handles fitted to the sides for ease of transportation. The handles are made from 10mmx3mm Aluminium Flat Bar and a piece of dowel for the hand piece. The end stops are made from plastic angle which has been fitted to a metal shelf support. A hole is drilled at each end of the cassette and the end stops simply push into the holes.

This is my first and only cassette at this stage. I will be building more in varying lengths to suit various train lengths.

1224_221106_400000000.thumb.jpg.dff0706c

1224_221106_400000001.thumb.jpg.f0ceb901

The method I used was as follows.

The ply was cut as close as possible to 76.5mm wide ( length is optional )...... 76.5mm minus 60mm ( 30mm x 2) equals 16.5mm for the track gauge. I have cut a supply of ply that will cover all my cassette needs in the future. It was all cut in the same session to make sure all the bases were the same width. Accuracy is critical with this build. I always aim for perfect but in reality I know 99% is good... a little tolerance can be dealt with.

I have countersunk the screws into the Aluminium, however it`s not necessary if the screw heads you are using don`t foul any low hanging parts on your rolling stock.

The main thing when fitting the Aluminium angle is accuracy. Once the locating holes have been drilled in the angle, I fit it to the side of the ply and clamp it in place with at least two clamps........the more the better depending on length of the cassette. Check the fit is flush with the side and check it again. Adjust if necessary but get it right. While the angle is clamped securely to the ply, drill through the locating holes in the angle into the ply and fit the screws as you go. Try and fit as many screw as possible before removing the clamps. Using the clamps means that the work will not move at all while you are doing the work.

You need a track gauge or jig before you fit the opposite angle. I made my own from a length of ply. Clamp the angle as before and check the gauge at both ends and along the length. Check everything and then check it again and then drill your holes and fit the screws as before.............That`s the hard part done. Connect up a temporary power feed to the Aluminium angles and test a loco. This is just to confirm all is OK with the track gauge.

1224_221106_410000004.thumb.jpg.e43eef0b

Fit your handles to the cassette... the design is not critical for the handles... just do what you like or whatever is convenient. Some people don`t use the handles at all... it`s up to you.

1224_221106_410000002.thumb.jpg.65794157

Also end stop design is not critical but end stops should be in place at either end of the cassettes before you start picking them up and moving trains about.

1224_221106_410000003.thumb.jpg.87ffe839

Now...... the approach track base that meets the cassette base..... is made from the same 18mm ply. The theory being that if you butt the two together on a flat surface, they will be the same height. How you approach that is up to you, but obviously the height of the approach track has to match the height of the cassette track or vice versa. No big deal sorting that out, but it should be part of your planning when using this system.

The method I nicked for power connection consists of two prongs. I cut two short lengths of the Aluminium angle to act as stands for the connectors and they are placed either side of the approach track. They have slots cut into them rather than just a hole, so that when fitting to the baseboard, their position can be adjusted if required. The prongs are made from lengths of 10mm x 3mm Aluminium flat bar. They have two holes each to secure them with nuts and bolts to the angle, and the ends are bevelled to allow easy fitting of the male part ( the angle ends of the cassettes ). I have used a brass washer with wire soldered to it to feed power to each prong.

When you are ready to do the final alignment ......loosen the screws at the base of the prongs. Slide a cassette into place and into the prongs. Check the rail alignment. When all is good re -tighten the screws in the base of the prongs. Because the prongs sandwich the angle on the stands... the fit to the cassette can be quite snug. Slight opening out of the prongs using a screw driver will sort any issues, however you do need a secure connection. Obviously the prongs are also dealing with rail alignment and locking that in place, so careful setting up of the electrical and rail alignment in this first stage is important. 

1224_020929_430000000.thumb.jpg.63db2960

Sorry my pics don`t show the approach track in place but you`ll get the idea!!

1224_020938_500000000.thumb.jpg.9eb9300c

1224_020944_210000000.thumb.jpg.fe7da944

OK Matt... I think that sort of covers it.

Any questions........please fire away... I`ve probably missed something fundamental.

There are two older videos below showing the cassette in operation.One video also shows a release system I devised, but this is not necessary for basic operation. Other systems I`ve seen don`t use this release method and they seem to work fine.

 

 

 

 

:cheers:  Gormo

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by gormo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

G`day PIermaster,

That sure is simple..!!......Can you connect them end to end and make them long enough to carry a train??????

:cheers:  Gormo

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brian, 

As the sides are aluminium extrusions, yes it can be done but the lift weakens under weight. It has been done elsewhere, but I don't know elsewhere!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks mate , just what I needed. Hi Peimaster I do like those Peco lifts, but I also like that Gormo's can be made any length and as the  longest I,m looking to run is 2or three carriages + loco I might be able to make a cassette the right length and most of the materials apart from the angle can be had from re cycled stuff :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No worries Matt,

Two or three carriages plus a loco is a nice length of train for these cassettes. It`s reasonably easy to handle and transport safely.

There must be a way to do it Piermaster but I would imagine the loco lifts would have to sit on a base to work without bending.????

Ron....... the Peco loco lifts are ideal for loco only... I suppose it`s not  worth the trouble to build your own if they work so well.??

:cheers:  Gormo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose if there is a way of joining 2 Peco lifts together it would be handy for DMU's?:thumbsup:

 

Cheers

Ron

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does that not start getting a bit expensive though Ron. How much are Peco lifts ? Not just that but if you make your own, you don't have to compromise in size. They can be exact or modular. Just an opinion though. Depends on your circumstances I suppose.

cheers

toto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes Tom, £12-13 each, it was only an observation, my DMU is stored in a bay platform! :) (:

 

Cheers

Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ron,

if you only need 1 cassette to transfer stock on and off, it may be fine. The home made ones you could use for storing whole trains on if you have the requirement and the store age space of course.

cheers

toto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I chose the Peco Loco Lifts for two reasons:

1. I'm a lazy modeller!

2. Essellty was a competition entry in this forum in 2012 and time was running out. It came second and is the only competition entry still around having done 25 shows!!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there piermaster, no criticism meant of the loco lifts. They are great products. It just depends on your needs. The R & GLR has a traverser which is used for the loading and unloading of trains ( or will be ) the trains are generally longer but restricted to 1200mm in length. The idea of the cassettes was that when a train was finished with for a session, they could be run back onto their cassettes and removed and stored on racks. 

As well as 1200mm long versions, I will be making shorter versions purely for the removal and storage of loco's. The Peco lifts would be ideal for that but it's easier for me to stick with the home made efforts there as well as it's part of a system really. 

Its whatever works for you. Well done on the competition so well. A very respectable result.:thumbsup:

cheers

toto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom you should pop a photo of one of your cassettes as a comparison :thumbsup:

Cheers

   Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Matt,

I've not kept any. I'd need to take some more. I'll maybe do that at the weekend.

cheers

toto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now