Author Topic: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far  (Read 3438 times)

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rsn48

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Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« on: December 21, 2012, 12:51:53 PM »
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Some will read this and say - "what's a nolix" - and others will be familiar with the term.  A nolix is a modified helix which is dedicated to running as much visible mainline as possible.  So a nolix can take many shapes, for example a peninsula, some will call around the room inclines "Nolix's."

I had another space in a room that was designed to be a small bedroom, then was changed to a study, so the "closet" area was never completed to look like a closet.  Below is the room plan.  My nolix is close to what you see in the plan, but slightly altered to create more room inside for the comfort of service access.



And without realizing it, I created a problem for myself; I knew how to build two levels which I did, but I procrastinated on the nolix since I had no idea as to how I was going to construct it.  By completing the two levels first, I didn't realize I had a problem in computing the incline (grade) for the roadbed since in my nolix design,  all levels are offset, except for level one which is directly under level two.  So without anything up, how many feet did I have as a total run, to compute the grade I needed; the problem sounded easy to solve, it wasn't.

My two levels, the top one not attached but built and stored in the hall (much to the joy of my wife) while I complete the work on the first level in the area furthest away from the edge, before level two goes on, restricting my reach slightly.



My "bare" table work created from my nolix.  As you can see a lot of area inside the nolix for access and servicing of electrical, track and train.



And where I am at now, still in construction but getting near the end, more work than it looks I can guarantee you; more problem solving than anything else.  So again looking at the pic, the first level (bottom) won't be visible, number two and number three level will be visible with a canyon between them (Thompson River area in BC the inspiration for this scene).  The fourth level hasn't been started yet, nor the third finished yet; I'm trying to get it all done for my son who will be home on the 27th using his leave from the Canadian military.



Well my buddy, Graham Stokes is coming in half an hour to help me with the completion of this project.

Merry Christmas everyone.  Hope your layout projects go well for you.
Hind sight is always better than foresight, except for lost opportunity costs.

sirenwerks

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 03:49:40 PM »
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The greater viewable area is a nice change from the hidden belly-of-the-whale design, offering a lounge-area viewing scenario and the larger radii more of that unconfined look.  I'm curious to see how this will present after scenery is added. 
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

pnolan48

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 04:07:08 PM »
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Neat, Rick!

Did I inspire any of the plan? Thinking of your yard within the loop-around and my yard for the "plutonium research reactor."

rsn48

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 07:11:37 PM »
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Pete, we're getting older.  I'm not sure when I drew the benchwork plan for this layout, but it was sometimes ago, at least 2002 possibly a year earlier.  It is possible I took some inspiration from your layout, but we both know how long ago, those many years at Trainboard.  I'm embarrassed to say the nolix area was one of my projects for one of the layout parties I used to throw, but my hips deteriorated before I could go on and the nolix area sat undeveloped for too many years I don't want to admit.  Needless to say I didn't complete it for the layout party.
Hind sight is always better than foresight, except for lost opportunity costs.

BCR 570

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 11:43:03 PM »
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Rick:

Congratulations to you and Graham on the progress - well done.  As someone who has built a helix, I can say that the reward of seeing trains reach the upper deck will be well worth all the effort.  I look forward to seeing photographs of further progress.

Tim
T. Horton
North Vancouver, B.C.
BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
www.bcrdawsonsub.ca

rsn48

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2012, 01:09:44 PM »
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Thanks Tim, was over to see Doug Hick's layout again last night and his use of LED lighting, he's having problems with the lights reflecting off the track so you see these shiny spots, I guess he needs to put some type of light diffuser over his lighting to soften the lights.

Wonder what happened to my pics not showing since my photo album is still active on the web? Hmm, now the pictures are back, is there a forum Christmas Nome at work here in Railwire?

By the way, I did receive one question about the forth level; it will not be above the third level but recessed further in, behind the supporting beams for the mountains so it will definitely not be visible.

Yesterday completed the last of the third level; one last one to go, starting to get impatient to complete the structure and move on.  Fortunately I still have AMI left over from my initial purchases for the layout so track work will move very quickly once the road bed is in.

So I thought I'd edit a pic to show the slow progress we've made in one day, the third level was only installed in its first picture by clamps and by golly, so support beams were attached permanently, two more to come, and the third level and front and back permanently mounted.  And when the fourth level goes in, it will be behind the support beams on the inside:



« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 02:48:18 PM by rsn48 »
Hind sight is always better than foresight, except for lost opportunity costs.

Scottl

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 03:49:40 PM »
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I am fascinated by how you are doing this "nolix", it should be very interesting to see develop.  I think I can see how you might make the scenery work and it is a totally new concept for me. 

packers#1

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2012, 04:21:32 PM »
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Now THAT is how to change levels on a layout  :drool:
Sawyer Berry
Clemson University graduate, c/o 2018

rsn48

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2012, 10:50:54 PM »
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Scott,
The idea is to create a canyon between the second and third level, a relatively "deep" canyon, much as you will find along the Fraser and Thompson river canyon areas. However, I'm thinking of not naming it after either of those, was going to call it the Frazier Canyon but I've been thinking of naming it after an N scaler locally here who was going to be my ops partner in crime working this layout.  Unfortunately he suffered a stroke in his mid-50's and won't be running one of the largest Kato collections in North America on the layout; he didn't survive.

The purpose of the nolix is to move the trains outside of the slinky and to try and incorporate parts of the grades as part of the railway, not just a "blob" over there.

Another purpose is to provide viewing area so that the trains don't disappear for a longer period of time and you either grow impatient and look, or require some kind of detection system, whether mirror, spy hole, tv cameras, electronic detection, or a narrow window up the helix.  Instead you get to see the trains after the first loop hidden on the second level, then round again but not full loop as the consist is visible on the third level so again you enjoy the scenery and know where your train is.

I just finished measuring the fourth level for length, it's 19 feet so the trains won't be visible on the fourth level, but its a short run, then on to the top deck.

So the nolix allows grades to climb to the next level, my rise is 19 3/4 inches, the trains are visible and can be seen in a "believable" scenario of mountainous scenery and in my favourite location.

Here is one of my favourite videos of one of my favourite locations, that helped inspire my nolix - enjoy:

Hind sight is always better than foresight, except for lost opportunity costs.

rsn48

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 05:11:55 PM »
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It has been suggested I add any postings about my nolix progress to this thread.  I can't believe its been nearly a year, but after a very concentrated blast of work lasting to about the end of January, not much has been done to the nolix.  I have been at work on it recently but almost all track related so a before and after picture wouldn't reveal any changes.

I decided I would add this photo, its the most complete image I have of my almost completed - structurally but not sceniced - nolix.  I added more supports difficult to see in this pic, but more mountain ribs (those high rising wood supports in the front) and if you look closely at the far left you can see my fourth run has made it to the next level.  Also more support in the corners which combined with the extra ribs I add, created a stronger structure less subject to movement.

To complete the first level and nolix area, I am also in the process of adding a couple of tortoises and hare so that I will have an autoreversing and auto throw area into my large reversing loop.

I am using a somewhat wide angle lens so some distortion is present, for example the piece attaching to the second  level (fourth level in the nolix)  looks quite steep but it reality its almost flat, just an illusion created by the lens and where I am standing.  And again distance from one level to another is uniform though in the picture, particularly in the front, the illusion is off greater distance seperating the runs compared to the back runs.

Here is the pic with the most completed work so far, just taken today Nov 5, 2013:

« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 06:32:36 PM by rsn48 »
Hind sight is always better than foresight, except for lost opportunity costs.

txronharris

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2013, 05:46:06 PM »
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That's quite possibly the coolest helix/nolix/whatever its called I've seen. What a great way to incorporate it into the layout without hiding the trains. Good work!

u18b

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2013, 07:13:21 PM »
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Hmmmm.  I like it.

But I always thought of a no-lix as an attempt to raise elevation without a helix.

But a helix goes round and round--- which is what yours does.

But yours is definitely NOT traditional.

So why not invent a new term and call what you did an....

UN-lix

Ron Bearden
CSX N scale Archivist
http://u18b.com

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

rsn48

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2013, 07:16:39 PM »
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Or mine could be called a fourlix with 4 levels.  But it doesn't go round and round, it goes snakey run, corner, straight run, corner, straight run, corner, another corner into the next snakey run..... lol!   8)
Hind sight is always better than foresight, except for lost opportunity costs.

peteski

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2013, 07:28:09 PM »
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That's quite possibly the coolest helix/nolix/whatever its called I've seen. What a great way to incorporate it into the layout without hiding the trains. Good work!

While rsn48s nolix is a clever idea, there are other alternatives for unwinding a helix and to expose track connecting multiple levels of a layout.

One such idea was utilized by my friend on his layout.  Here is an excerpt from his blog:

The layout is a two deck design in a 15' by 30' room. It is laid out in an 'E' shape. Oneonta, Sidney , Bainbridge and Nineveh are on the lower deck with Binghamton, Cobleskill, Owego and the staging yard on the upper deck. The staging yard has three tracks leading into it so it represents Buffalo, Schenectady and Scranton.

The decks were originally to be connected by a three track helix. The tracks were Oneonta/Binghamton, Oneonta/Schenectady and Oneonta/Scranton. Of course Ernie Poole and Dan Boudreau hated it. The helix would hold the longest length of track and you could not see anything that happened in it. Dan had a couple of ideas for a "tipped" helix that would expose tracks here and there while Ernie just said to make a long run along the back of the layout. I was pushing back because I did not want to expose three tracks going to different places running parallel to each other. So after sufficient abuse I got the idea of just combining the three tracks into a two track main. The three tracks merge into the two track main at the bottom of the hill, and then three tracks diverge from the two track main at the top of the hill. So now the worst aspect of the railroad (the helix) has been transformed into one of its most interesting. A 2 scale mile long double track main with a 2% grade cut into the cliffs along the back of one of the walls of the railroad. It will have a lot of traffic because it represents three different hills; Belden Hill, Richmondville Hill, and Mt. Ararat. Almost every mainline train will have to go up and down this same section of track. However their schedules will list it by different names. It will just be up to the dispatcher to keep everything straight.


For more info, and the track plan, see the blog.

BTW, his layout is open for Tour de Chooch (see the sticky thread in this forum).
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BCR 570

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Re: Building Nolix (modified helix) - progress so far
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2013, 10:37:41 PM »
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Good work, Rick - keep it going!

Tim
T. Horton
North Vancouver, B.C.
BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
www.bcrdawsonsub.ca