2020_09_17 part 2

 2020_09_17 (still)  Played with some lighting today as well.

Now some of you might rightly say that SAR ran large reflectors on their vans. However regulations in Victoria insisted that oil lamps or electric red lights be placed on the rear vehicle of all trains running in Victoria.

The easiest way of doing this,because SAR vans had electric generators fitted, was to replace the reflectors with electric lights and reflectors built into the red shades.

I guess these 8300 Class vans are among the earliest plastic models I purchased of Australian prototype.
Probably the best of the old Aussie Lima from the 70's.

Unfortunately the plug in bogies are unique to the 8300 and I will modify them if necessary. At the moment i will just see how they go.

These did a lot of miles at the Hobsons Bay club at Docklands Melbourne.

So I needed pickups. And I had some nice ones from Blacksmith, but could not find them. So I cut up some circuit board sleepers the width of the bogie frame. 

I was, however, prepared for the job, having bought some phosphor bronze wire for another project.

I tinned them.

measured out the length of the wipers.

connected wires.

superglue' the wipers to the bogies and let them dry. Before this I painted the interior of the vans with matt black, I hoped this would stop the light bleeding through.

Unfortunately the black paint was not good enough for the job on the yellow vans.

I found these globes to be too bright. Hopefully I can turn them down and the bleed will be taken care of.

I have two old red vans and these have been turned back to 2.3 volts, and look much better.




 2020_09_17 Tail lights and other things!

This new line was purchased to help me place DCC sound boards in older locomotives.

It certainly looks as if it can help things along.

Fitting the 21 pin decoder

Jurgen Engel normally paints these figures on O gauge. I asked him to paint the new HO versions. He was a little reluctant, however decided to give them a try.  Super stoked with the results. 

We altered the colors to suit Victorian engine men.

And so here we have part of the Hansons Quarry. The main building will sit up slightly behind the hill, and will feed graded crushed rock down a conveyor to track for loading. Not sure I can work with the loading bins provided. We will see.

This building will be built up double size and the windows and doors modified to represent the Pivot Fertiliser shed at the coal sidings.

PikeStuff kits are highly custom able, and I believe the windows etc are marked on the inside and can be cut out to suit your building.

I think, painted white and with a corrugated iron rail, unloading bay on one side, should look the part. 

TrainBuilder E Car side lights and tiny Chinese leds.

Small and a pity it did not have the handle on top. But very nice and am sure people can add it.

Putting these on my ZLP from Trainorama The provided lamps shown as comparison.

This tiny red LED was so tiny, I can hardly see it until I used macro here.

Tried to pullit through the lamp this way, it was slightly too large. I will probably open out the hole just a little.

Just to show how tiny the lamp is.

And so I drilled out the bottom and fitted the LED in and got this result. I will blank out the front of lamp with a solid lens and  fit white lights to the markers on the front of the van. Not a real problem as I intended using the 5 finger big hook to reverse the vans at terminal stations.

I really like these.


2020_09_07 Continued

 2020_09-07  Movies continued




2020_09_07 Good to be able to run a train!

 2020_09_07 First videos.

Grain train off Branch waiting a clear road to Wanganella.

Showing off the new track wiring, which corrected the faults and allows trains to circulate all the way round. (well almost, still some dead spots to fix)

(And could not fit both videos here, so uploading second video in a few minutes.)




2020_09_01 (Part 2) Electricals

 2020_09_01 (continues) with exciting electrical wins.

Pretty happy with the wiring effort over last couple days.

Managed to sort out some problems with the connection between Wodonga Coal Siding and Albury, still not working, but promising. And anyway I have the new BXPA1 to try if this does not work out.

I also removed the UR92 Duplex radio receiver and placed it closer to the Command Station. It set up really easily, and the new throttle DT602D  connected to it without doing anything, apart from fitting 3 AA batteries.

Talking about the throttle, I fiddled with it for most of the afternoon, and I can say it is a real improvement, however it will be quite a learning curve, even though it does duplicate most of the actions of the DT400 type throttles, it does it in a different way.  Wont take long to sort it all out :)

So with the link to Albury not yet working, back to the wiring Ha Ha



2020_09_01 Long awaited order from Tony's

2020_09_01  Unboxing and testing of newly released Digitrax product.

Well its the first of the month, and hopefully a better month for all of us :D

Well at least mine has started well, at least.  Long waited for parcel has arrived from USA.

Usually these days, I like to buy locally, but could not establish a time line for receiving these new Digitrax lines, so visited my favourite  USA business.

Packaging survived trip ok.

Thanks to Ed Furrer for assisting in this sale

I had 4 orders with Tony's, and this was the one I was hanging out for. These are all new Digitrax product,

This repeater module appears simple to use and should help me out a lot.  My loconet is so long that I suspect some of my control problems might be fixed, or at least I hope so.

Isolates segments of your Loconet layout
Protects segments of your loconet layout.
Extends large Loconet installations of more than 20 devices.
Acts as diagnostic tool if loconet problems occur.

A new way to operate a reversing loop.
Those of you who have followed me, know I have not managed to get my Albury to Wodonga section to work. This consists of two independent loops (BG and SG tracks)

  • Automatic reversing for one reversing section or sub-district.
  • DCC Occupancy Detection for 1 Auto-Reversing Section letting you know when equipped rolling stock is in a detection section on your layout.
  • Integrated Transponding Zone lets you know the location of transponder-equipped locos or rolling stock.
  • Intelligent Automatic short-circuit and over-current  power management, improves reliability by avoiding most booster shutdowns.
  • Connects to LocoNet to transmit Detection Section occupancy, Transponding and track power information.
  • Detects most powered locomotives in a Detection Section.
  • Detects rolling stock equipped with resistor wheel sets.
  • Identify where specific rolling stock is on your layout with Digitrax transponder-equipped locos and rolling stock.
  • Plug and Play with Digitrax DCC systems.
  • LED indication of Detection Section occupancy, Transponding, power status, and reversing section status. 
  • Additional connections for opto-isolated occupancy detector output, manual power control, and remote status indicator.
  • Easy-connect pluggable track wire terminal blocks can plug-in straight or at right angles.
  • Operations Mode Read Back allows you to read CV values of decoders equipped with transponders when on track.
  • Firmware update capability via IPL over LocoNet.

And leaving the best for last!

I have hated the Digitrax DT400 type controller for some time. If I had not already invested heavilly in Digitrax, I would have bailed out long ago.
Now to find out if the long wait for an upgrade has been worth while!

DT602D Advanced Duplex Super Throttle

The DT602D is our top-of-the-line, Duplex Radio Super Throttle. The DT602D Advanced Super Throttle gives you direct control of two locos at a time with all the powerful features and flexibility serious model railroaders demand. The DT602D is designed to handle nearly every aspect of layout control. With the DT602 you can run trains, create consists, set up routes, control up to 29 functions including sounds and so much more. With the soft On/Off switch and advanced power saving modes you can now operate longer than ever. The DT602D gives you full Duplex or two-way radio communication to and from your LocoNet systems, select, dispatch and run locos without ever having to plug in! DT602Ds are equipped with Duplex Radio, using existing UR92’s for operation.

And so Back to the shed and see what this stuff is like :D




2020_08_31 End of month update!

 2020_08_31 Still struggling along :D

While faulty wiring is still my nemesis :(

I have spent most of the month replacing wiring and simplifying, as I go. However I still have not found the electrical gremlins that have been confounding me most of this year.

As an example, yesterday I connected in all the top level sections and managed to run trains around for an hour or two. Wow!!  I thought, I am getting somewhere. But alas a brass engine derailed and a short occurred. Removed the engine from track and the short just started pulsing.

Damn! the only way to locate the short is to check to see that nothing is bridging insulators (perhaps a loco crept forward?), then disconnect each section till the short is removed. Only thing, is that after a while the short goes away and returns later to haunt me.

I think today, was actually a bit of a turning point. Thanks to some help from some great people on FaceBook group DCC Down under, I started following up a few clues.  And I seem to be getting somewhere.

Now here is something else I have found to be a massive mistake I made. Lin Westcott would be very annoyed with me.  I always built base boards with L girders

In this picture the L Girder is along the wall. If I had used a smaller front piece of frame and glued it up as another L girder, servicing the wiring underneath would have been even easier. But this system gives easy access to wiring and can be simply finished off with something live this.

So to make it pretty just add a valence when the wiring is proven ok. Even better Velcro or screw it on to make it removable.

For some reason, lost in time, I made box sections and now I pay the piper. Modifying and upgrading wiring is a real pain in the a... neck..

And so those of you who are watching my blog, and about to start building, open frame is your best option,

If you are building a portable layout, then of course the box section deck is the way to go. Because you can simply turn parts of the layout on its side and work easily and neatly on your wiring.

So back to my short shorts!