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O-Gauge Garden Layout
Construction of my O-Gauge Garden Railway
A pile of fresh cedar lumber waits to be cut, as construction of my deck benches and garden railway begins.  Here, I have my chop saw set up on my old deck.  The line will come out of the house, around the deck and into the raised garden.
The deck benches and planters are built and stained.  The cedar roadbed stands out, as it is yet to be stained.
Vincent Chan, Copyright 2009
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Coming off the deck, the roadbed makes an S-curve around the compost bin as it makes a 3% grade along the fence.  It requires almost the total 25ft length of the fence to make it down to the level of the garden bed.
The return loop by the garden shed.  The roadbed is stained before I screwed down the track.  Currently, I use Atlas-O track, which is supposed to be UV compatible.
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A small scratch built town sits in the back corner of the garden.  It is modelled after my local part of Toronto, Bloor West Village.  The solar powered lighthouse at the back of the picture is from the local garden centre. 
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The same town by night.  All the lighting is LED, with a PIC chip controlling the lighting sequence of each individual building.
A small scratch utility building - the power house.  The window in the gabel end is actuall for the photocell.  The building houses a set of rechargable batteries.  A 5W solar panel recharges the batteries during the day.  At night the batteries stored energy powers the town lights.
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The power house by night.  A white LED lights the entrance door.
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At the end close to the reversing loop, is a small waiting hut for train passengers.  The hut is modelled after the hut in Bracebridge, which is currently serviced by ONR's Northlander.
 
The rail in the foreground is used Gargraves that I picked up for cheap.  It lasted about 3 years before the basswood ties rotted. 
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A small door lets the train pass through to the inside.  As the train is R/C controlled, the threshold of the door is simply two slots in the wood for the train wheel flanges to fit into.  This allows the door to close reasonably tight for the winter weather.
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Going through the S-curve, chopped nose GP-9 ONR1604 is followed by a flatcar with the R/C receiver and electronic speed control (ESC), behind that is another flatcar carrying two 12V lead acid batteries wired in series.
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Pulling a load of freshly picked tomatos and strawberries, fresh from my garden below.  Leaving the right of the picture is the flatcar with the 12V batteries.
The fresh garden produce express passes behind the town after running around the loop.  A new spur line was added in front of the town during the summer of 2008.
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Plowing snow with two lead batteries used to weigh down the gondola.  This first version of ONR1604 has all the control system (a 433 MHz receiver module and LM18200 MOSFET motor driver) inside of the long hood.
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Testing on my deck, the train easily goes through 1 inch (4 scale feet) of snow.  I do need to back up the locomotive to get a good running start at the snow.
Going through some deeper snow in the garden.  The downhill grade helps in getting up a head of steam into the snow.
The plow is stopped, with the snow about as deep as the wedges itself.  At this point the snow is about 3 inches deep.  I think for next winter, I'll have to build a rotary plow!
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My latest interest, is live steam.  Here my Mamod 0-2-0 is kitted out with R/C (not the throttle linkage to the front), increase safety pressure valve and a Goodall valve for refilling.  Burning alcohol (meths), the control is not very fine.  I"ll need to rebuild the engine with a new throttle and steam valves.