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Phil and Lin Spiegelhalter

UK and Scandinavian Model Railways in
G, 00 and H0 Scales
Digitally Controlled by Roco Multimaus + Tablet with Z21 or Massoth Dimax and Navigator

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Solent G-Scale Group
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Fillin's Model Railways
Welcome to the New Year - which we hope will have good weather and opportunities to enjoy railways, model railways and model making.

This website is not a 'text book' instructing anyone how to make YOUR model railway:
Visiting Garden Railways and Model Railway Shows soon demonstrates that there are many ways of achieving whatever interests the builder.

So what follows are simply examples of what we chose, (and why) for our layouts, at the time.

Some ideas may work across all scales and gauges but others less so, or may appear to be of historic interest but hopefully stimulating new ideas.

Quick Links to Specific pages or to You Tube Videos - from a wide range in 2D and 3D - Search for 'Phil Spiegel (Fillin)'
Ilfracombe MRS 2022 Still Pictures
Scandinavian Still Pictures and  Calendar pictures from 2019
Hollycombe Model Weekend 2019

Somewhere in Scandinavia-Skandi2     Original Scandi Demo 1a/b
new Scene-break Ro-Ro Train Ferry under construction
A Bi-level Train Elevator - Similar to a Canal Lock
NEM pockets - updating my Model Rail Article written in March 2006 

Malmsbanan at Hollycombe for Christmas 2013
A Guide to Our G Scale Modular Layouts
Our G Scale Garden Railway + Guides
Isolation-Shift for Analogue CAB control layouts
Lynton & Barnstaple 'Atmosphere'
2D Thomas Watercress 27th August 2012
Ohsabanan Railway in Sweden 2014

2D Brosarp with Steam 6th Aug 2014
Steve's Hambleden Valley - Live Steam Slow running
Anten Grafnas Railway - Sweden 23rd July 2018
Solent G Scale - Wickham Show November 2022

Malmsbanan 4-door layout at Henfield 2013
Cathedral Mountain Railway
Ralph's own 'CMR' videos are available on YouTube
- search for 'Ralph Pitcher' or 'Cathedral Mountain Railway'

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A mix of 00 and H0 and a compact Uhlenbruk DCC controlled Relay. Small compact devices may make their use easier.

Our interests include travel by Ferry and Train to Scandinavia - and these therefore feature on our layouts - here as a scenic break to hidden storage
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The New Ferry
being test fitted in 'Fremington Quay' - a new link span needs to be built

Our 00 layout is centered around a  Beechingless Barnstaple - with the track based on its 'peak' and operable over a wide period of stock.
In reality, HSTs did reach beyond Barnstaple - if only for filming, and now a GWR Class 143 is 'operating' at Torrington

Or Click for:
G Scale Garden Layout
G Scale Portable Layouts (mostly seen at Hollycombe)
and a
Double-deck portable Scandinavian H0 Layout
ALL of the layouts share the use of DCC control via Roco Multimauses and now Z21 Central Units.


Beechingless was first started, in 1976, as an 'analogue' CAB Controlled layout using 'Isolation Shift' (see below)

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Digitol Gemini Mk4 Pulse Width Modulation Controller with Inertia and Brake Simulation (16Vac 50Hz based)

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Back in the mid-70's I designed a simple 'Isolation-Shift' CAB control system in which POWER was applied to the
'Token Block' Sections between stations using mechanically-interlocked 'RADIO BAND' switches for each section:
any of the controllers could control one or more sections:

Pressing the controller's button for a section gave it the Token (and power) and simultaneously released any other controller from that section.

[In 'those days' analogue radios had Band Select Switches for LW, MW, SW [ and then FM ]
The terminolgy is still used for Software Buttons with '1 of many' selection.

Click here for a fuller explanation with more drawings about 'Isolation-Shift'.

Then came ZERO-1
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Suddenly, as the 80's arrived, came a working digital solution from Hornby: Allowing 16 locos, and 99 Accessories
More on Zero-1 will be linked from here later  
Meanwhile, here is a Wiki Link to a US-based summary of zero-1 as a part of the History of Digital Command Control systems

The Simplicity of DCC Wiring a Layout - Total Control from anywhere around the layout without tripping over wires.

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A Selection of our Early DCC Controllers from...
LGB = cabled or 1-way wireless transmission. Locos and Accessories
Massoth Dimax Navigator handset = Cabled or 2-way wireless, with images of locos. Controls 2 locos and Accessories
ZTC 411 'Console' style Central Controller - Analogue, Zero-1 and NMRA DCC modes
ZTC handheld (cabled) controller - 2-digit display and 4 buttons restricting ease of use
Expressnet communications adapter ( Din, Mini-din and RG plags used by different manufacturers )
DECT Phone - used via a Lenz adapter provided an early wireless handset
Roco/Fleischmann/Z21 Multimaus - (Red or grey = cabled, blue = Zigbee and now Black Z21 wireless LAN) Loco, Accessories and Graphic displays
Now with Smartphones, Android and iOS tablets offering loco and accessory controls with illustrated displays

With wireless handsets we can operate our layouts when standing behind visitors watching the layout, and also encourage operation by them:
aided by the intuitive and easy to hold Multimaus, and a Joystick-controlled Crane for shunting and loading / unloading wagons.

Even if not using DCC for loco control: using the 2-wire bus for controlling all the accessories makes wiring much simpler
and especially makes any future changes easier to implement than 'traditional one-to-one wiring from a central control panel'.

With modular-layouts using the dcc bus for accessories greatly simplifies the inter-board wiring!
[ We use Track dcc, Accessory DCC, 12Vdc and historically 16Vac ]
Accessory decoders are available with outputs for 1,2,4,8 or 16 devices to help keep wiring simple and local;
and nowadays, many items like TrainTech Colour Light signals are fully DCC integrated ...

When combined with other developments for controllers to have a wireless remote throttle can offer much of the flexibility of going fully digital.
New options also include Hornby's 6000 and 7000 series with Bluetooth.

A Link to our Modular G Scale Layouts
- also check out the Solent G-Scale pages or via the G Scale Logo top right.

'Auto-Reversing' from the Helix on our Multi-level Skandi 2 layout: 'Somewhere in Scandinavia'
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Maximising Continuous Running of Multiple Trains
Five or more trains can be running continuously with others operated on a shuttle basis:
Upper, Middle and Lower level Standard Gauge loops shown, with Narrow gauge on the upper level and 2 trains in the 'sink hole' within the helix.
A 'Swiss Incursion' of H0m shuttles up to the 4th level, and H0f in the Quarry. [Until about 1973, half of Swedish railways were narrow gauge]

Each level is fed via a PSX intelligent circuit breaker - coping with start-up surges and attempting automatic resets every 2 seconds after a fault.
The 'Test'/Tourist loop in the 'Sink Hole - which can be driven by visitors - is normally operated from a separate DCC system;
allowing reprogramming or testing during a show without stopping the main DCC layout.

Clockwise or Anticlockwise Trains can change level without hindrance by using the helix, and then exit in either direction via the triangular junctions

The dcc phase ( called 'polarity' by some, as if it was dc! ) of the middle level and helix is 'fixed', but the phases of the Upper
and Lower levels depend on their 'exit' point settings ( 35a+c on the upper level and 29abc on the lower level )

With the points located on the Helix module, but the power distribution on a different board; a DCC-controlled relays provide the required route-based
phase switching; avoiding reliance on Auto-reversers and short-circuits triggers as well as offering 'unlimited' lengths of train.

[ 4 dcc busses are distributed to all modules: Upper, Lower, Middle-Helix and Accessory Bus with 12Vdc and [historically] 16Vac.

The longest operable train is a 3.5metre LKAB Iron Ore Train limited by the length of its hidden siding, and not the size of the helix.

Similarly, while the Test Loop is normally independently powered, the 'Test Loop Access Points' [30ab] have a relay 30c which swaps the source of power
to the loop - allowing trains to be driven on/off to the main layout.

Link to 'Skandi Demo' and Skandi2: Somewhere in Scandinavia'

Our 'G Scale Tompte Christmas card is now relegated to the bottom of this page
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Click on the Card above for Photos of Creating the Front Scene and more.....

Click here for readable/zoomable JPEGS of the Interior

Click here for some extra photos from 2023

Edited February 2024 (c) Phil/Lin Spiegelhalter 2017-24 .html
January-February 2024: Website being updated with a new structure - some links may change