2019_12_06 Is this the last point to be installed?

2019_12_06 As we near the end of track installation :)

Albury station and yard almost complete. and we start laying track around the helix.

Its as much as we could fit in. We might widen the board a small amount to accommodate scenery. However its disappointing the turn table cannot be fitted, at this stage.

 Its long enough to accommodate trains like the "Daylight" and "SOP" and "Aurora" as well as 700m freight trains as run in the 1970's.

 Got to fill in those missing sleepers!

 This is where the Estate store was situated. Might have to widen the board here to fit the Building as well as the flour mill?

 As the track starts to head out around the base of the helix to loop back into Albury.

The northern half....



2019_12_02 Messy Bugger and 40c

2019_12_02  I can't seem to work neatly!

As you know Al comes over Thursday to help out and do that nice track work. This means of course, that I need to stop what I am doing, push stuff aside and work with him on that project.

And its great to have company and push the empire to its conclusion Ha Ha

So my work table very quickly turns into this...

The locos and pass cars move aside for wiring and track chores.

Then Graeme and I have a session on fitting lights or valences (More to come soon as a new parcel has just arrived from China)

Ad I remember that "Nykanen" Station needs a siding to be added...

Which is nearly all wired up, with just the point motors to be activated.

But the mess underneath is accumulated by all this work. (the switches are in temporary mounts as the top layer of fascia needs to be applied, before installing the new round switch holders)

Why can't I work neatly like Al does?  ;)

Then my China order includes new servo motors which need to be assembled. And so I need a space to test them and attach the actuating wires and the bases.

I have assembled 20 point motors, and I need to do 20 more!
But I want to get back to my diesel repair, and carriage rebuilds :(

A one day hotty hits Yackandandah 
The 40C High temperature hit we had last week after we had a few nice days then whammy we got hit hard, and then it cooled down below 17C in a day.
I was not working in the shed, and the air conditioner was not on. I may have to turn it on during hot weather, even if not able to work in there?  Mind you this was all on sections of track sitting on caneite or otherwise not securely fixed.

 Bullarto yard

 Goods platform road

 Main line into Bullarto.

The trestle on branch was only pinned down. will need to glue it, but worried about making a mess of it.

Not sure why it did not settle back the next day when temp plummeted to 17C



2019_11_28 Albury all laid out...almost!

2019_11_28  Al and I continued on with Albury

Its taking time but we are almost there.

 Junee end comes together.

 The last set of points to be installed. The straight leg comes from the double track storage siding on the bottom level of the helix. Trains supposedly heading for Sydney can be hidden in here turned ready to make UP journeys at a later time.
The right hand side leads to a double track helix where trains can be stored or run out of sight back into other side of room where they become available for SG running. It really forms a continuous loop, if we a short staffed and want to see trains running.

 Al shows his stoic patience :)

 Here the 44" / 46" turnout leads from the loop road closest, or the main line, into the store roads or towards the helix.

 And the BG track arrives at Elders / Bunge closest to edge

 Guess who was working this bit? Certainly wasn't me ;)

 This if just the North end of the yard :(  The South end with Platforms is behind the camera.
The old trusty trolley can be seen under the helix. This old bloke would never last out the hours needed to wire up this "two wire" DCC system. :D

 I haven't started the scenery yet, but something is firmly rooting itself in ??

 The large hole is under the Indonesian double points and a servo point motor already mounted is in view.

Of course, red and black wires to the DCC bus and white wires to the live frog controller (frog juicer)
 The bundle of wire is to feed the helix Black to left. Blue feeds BG track and Green SG track (I think?)

And so? Jobs to do?  
Install the last set of points and then join up all these wires to the bus.
Install about 30 point motors and then decide how we are to control them all.



2019_11_19 Finishing off new loop track.

2019_11_19  Ok just to prove I can do it! Bung eye and all :D

And so (as explained last post) this (un-named station) needed something else to turn it from a "Stopping Point"  into a station fitting the buildings

 So we extended the base board and swapped out the LH point for a double slip, moving the point to No 2 road to create an extension for longer trains.

Pretty happy with the way it works. Only need a few wires to be joined into bus and four point motors.

 So here is the first cross 701 on loan from trough running pool, set back into siding as the local Pass arrives from Honeysuckle.

I like my little station now, and I was fortunate to get it in with the new fascias in place..
Just discovered I was running short of servo motors, and leads.  Australian price about 5 times the Chinese price and so order placed on China as well as another100 m of 5m led light tapes.


2019_11_17 Can I still lay track?

2019_11_17  Putting in the new siding.

 Left hand point out and double slip to go in. Now it is not correct to have a double slip on the main, and that would most probably put a speed restriction up. I don't think VR trusted the maintenance to reach a high enough standard to keep such a complicated piece of track safe for 70 MPH. But model railways are always going to be a compromise.

 The track work here, was always a bit crappy, and so I will replace the old stuff with new, only recycling the point to the siding.

 So here is the general layout.

The rail joint was a little bit too far back, but this will work, better than to have a short bit of rail before the point.
Ok so all wires soldered on, underlay prepped, and visitors are on their way. Hopefully get back to this tonight.


2019_11_15 Couple of good work days!

2019_11_14  Thursday14th was another Al-day working on Albury,

 I usually feel for Al when I get him to help, but track laying Albury is actually being kind? Well at least he is able to sit down on the job ;)

 Albury yard is nearing the Sydney end.

 Now Al is lining up the points at the other end, where all 6 SG tracks enter the double LH points that separate the main line climbing the helix from the double track storage loop that runs around the bottom of the helix.

Here he is setting up the hand made Indonesian double LH points, which match the helix radius (44 and 46 inch)

All this time I am doing my wiring trick,which I believe will guarantee continuity on my entire layout.
The red and black wires guarantee the connection to the point body, and the purple and green wires connect the blades into the same circuit. The live frog is switched by a Tortoise point motor, or a Tam Valley juicer via the white wire.
Very time consuming, however its nice to know that mechanical connections on Peco point motors are not relied on to stay working.

2019_11_15 Friday was a scenery day with Graeme!

 Before Graeme left today, I got him to help me set up the lights on the top level. Graeme wanted to see two strings of LED's. So the top level is two strings and the bottom level a single string. Camera lies and the extra light is noticeable.

 At night....

 OK the main job today was the top level facia. It has two layers and the first one is screwed into position and stand offs create a little more space for scenery.
The top face was then glued on top ready for painting.
The top was then contoured with a Stanley knife which was a bit frightening to watch. After breathing a sigh of relief when we finished doing that to wait for the glue to dry before finishing off next time I keep looking at that lovely little station sitting up there. I really like it, and I bought it on EBay years ago.

 But it was a bit of an orphan. Although it had a large grain silo behind it, main line trains needed to back into the grain terminal from the main line. It needed a siding, and now was the time to speak up.

 So now this little station has a No2 road to service its customers.

 Needs a pair of points here at this end. Runs down through a crossover and double slips to enter the main, or the silo area.  Nice, and I really like this change :)

 As well during the week, I almost finished re-wiring the old Helix. First thing I did was connect in two EB1 circuit breakers and supply power to three wires Pos bus for BG, Pos bus for SG and a black bus return. I am now in the process of hot gluing the wires out of the way, and reconnecting the track power wires to their correct sub bus lines.

Rod Young


2019_11_14 Something different Dimmable LED's

2019_11_14  I sorted  out a 3m section of LED strip and hooked it to a dimmer switch.

Unfortunately the camera compensated for brightness and pictures don't show the difference.
The brightest setting hurts your eyes and after 10 minutes the aluminium heat sink was very hot to touch. As I see it the LEd's are cold, however the surface mount resistors are many and cumulative heat is the result.
Also I have a 12v regulated switch mode power supply. I might have to check the output voltage on that too.
I think I prefer the sunny white strips I have been using. The white it pretty stark?

 This pic was without any dimmer, but camera refused to show it!

 This one was dimmed to 25% and camera again compensated. Might run a video and see if that works. However my wiring project continues and this section is dead at the moment. Got to have a train moving in a video ;)

Here is a comparison picture of the sunny whites at full voltage and the 6500 kelvin daylight whites at about 50%, which is about as bright as I can stand. Not bad for $17 au a 5 m legth and $22 au for a 30 amp dimmer. :D That's the dimmer resting on the hill.
Just checked for heat, and after 3 hours (at 50% dimmed) the strip is cool.

Tip of the day! 
When using these LED light strips with 3M adhesive backing strips, it is not simply a matter of wiping the surfaces and sticking them on.
You will notice most of mine are starting to release and hang.

Aluminium angle (etc) have a chemical release agent to help them in the extrusion process.
Plastic also needs a release agent to fall out of the mold.

It requires something like Isopropyl alcohol to clean them properly. and unless you paint the surface, don't even think they will stick to wood.