2020/01/17

2020_01_17 Its hot its smokey as Australia burns again.

2020_01_17 Catching up

Well things have slowed a little but here is a photo gallery of how we managed the first month of 2020



So we found an asymmetric 3 way point and as this gave a bigger radius entrance to platform, we tried it out and it did stop carriages derailing.

All the time I was trying to solve my two big problems!
The first being why my dual juicer reverser was not working. Here it is drawn out. Anybody got an idea?


I suspect it all comes back to my use of a common negative bus line SG and BG tracks sharing the common black feed. I have removed this by running separate negative feeds on both reverse loops. It however did not fix problem.
I also removed the circuit breaker feeding both reverse loops, and instead fed the power to the dual juicer from one adjoining section. Still this did not work.

I am presently installing separate -ve (black) feeds to the BG and SG of the adjoining track section. Not finished yet.

So Thursday was "Al" Day and together we decided to sort out Bullarto. The point motors had either not been wired in, or even in 3 cases installed.

Even though we never had track or derailment problems here, it was always messy, and point motors were difficult to install.

So we ripped it all out and started again!







 After removing the track, we sanded it back and filled the holes (nearly all of them...


 The biggest problem was of course the caneite board used to build the track bed so many years ago. To get the track to stick to it, Al came up with the idea of sealing it with gap filla.


When it dried (48 hours) I sanded it smooth and Al laid the track back on. Actually we threw out the code 70 and used Peco code 75. Much to Al's relief :)






 Need to widen road bed a little to maintain minimum 36" radius.








ok so it looks like it might go back together really well.










 So the road bed is now a little wider.


I had to fill a hole which was associated with the old portable boards no longer required. Its at the end of the dock under that short curve. I repaired it after this picture was taken.











The 36" curve is looking nicer now, and I built up extra road bed to allow the second road a little more room.



 We reinstalled the shed road and extended it to fit a stock race.



So this will keep us occupied for at least another week.
Cheers
Rod

2019/12/28

2019_12_28 Still chasing wires and setting up circuit breakers.

2019_12_28  Hoped to be testing trains by now. Al came again last Thursday and we sorted out some point motors and some track problems.

Decided to use a pair of Tortoise Motors under the layout in a place difficult to get to, and one went in just fine, however the second one would not run in one direction. That is the motor rotated, but the pin was not able to push the point over. It was a little stiff, but not enough to stop the movement. I walked away, hoping to find a solution another time :(

Lets use a picture story as usual.



 Here is the throat of the SG entering Albury. I used a three way point (against all advice) because I had a space problem. How could Peco make a dud product, and over many years, not fix it ??

Anyway the radius is a bit too tight and Pass cars will not run into the left or right side. Freight and Locomotives seem to be ok. The pass cars will not pass through in either direction. I think I will have to introduce two points here, and I might just have enough room if I use a medium to the right and a large left into the platform. I am about out of points, so I will have to do a search, before making my decision.



 Under here I am supposed to be able to access the hidden areas screened off or in tunnels. The trolley makes it easier, just.


 The problem is that trains stop half way through the tunnel, and the cause was most of the droppers were not connected. And so I connected them and immediately caused a short. and I supposed the short was caused by some droppers being on the wrong bus, however I got rid of that short, and created another when train came out of tunnel and entered the Indonesian point.  If it smells like a reverse loop (Al was right)  and flat on your back on a trolley, puffing and panting, it may NOT look like one....  but it was!



 So moving wires around to create a long reversing section, I pulled with the plies to un clip a dropper and pulled this dropper off the rail... oh no flip flip flip!!



This photo was supposed to show the area that was available for me to get up inside and re solder the dropper.



the space between the supports was enough, however the heavy bus wires restricted me somewhat. I am on my own today, do not have my phone within reach and only have one hand free. which is holding the camera! oops it clicked and no time to pose Ha Ha.  However neither picture shows the predicament I found myself in.

 Now the soldering iron was sitting on a box behind me, and I had the solder in my pocket. As I reached around behind me, I could feel the trolley starting to move. Finished up getting the iron, without burning my hand and somehow threaded my trapped arm in close enough to hold the wire to the rail. It was tinned and stuck firmly with first touch. I gave it a heavy tug, just to make sure.






 So now I need another circuit breaker, and here is my very last NCE EB1 added to the board top left.



blurred bugger!   Too hot to go again to get another But I moved the Albury BG and SG c/b's up and added a third for the reversing loop.
Also moved all three EB1's t right to allow room for two dual Juicers converted to reverse loop controllers. They are shown on left.
I used two here because one did not work completely under the helix at Albury. If you enter from two directions it shorts out. The two tracks between coal siding and Albury will need to be fully independent.

Ok all I need to do now is run two new bus lines with independent black returns (that is 4 wires)  the length of the reversing loops and move droppers from main bus to new bus and the short will magically diiapear

The Digitrax system is extremely quiet no warning unless it purges an address.. 3 beeps.Cheers
Rod Young

2019/12/23

Laying track a much better way!


Those who have long put up with my blog, will know that I almost had this down.
But this video shows you how to do it properly.

I would only add that I still do not trust the mechanical electrical connection between the loose connected point blades and the DCC bus, and highly recommend adding those two connections.

Cheers
Rod Young

2019_12_23 Always a somber day here. In 2004 I held my departed wifes hand for the last time

2019_12_23 Somber (sombre) feelings none the less...more wiring!!

Last week Al finished the second reverse loop, and also went around the layout checking for heat damage. More buckles this year than before!

Today's job is to wire in these two roads and install two dual juicers to power the reversing loops.

And after you see the pictures you will know what my next job is to do :D Ha Ha

Another clean up, and buy some more storage boxes as well.



 So the Sydney cheat reversing loops are in place, just need to connect 20 droppers to the bus via the dual juicers rewired to operate as loop reversers.


 The bus on the floor is todays job. Connect it to the underside and add the droppers


 The 442 finds the end of the working bus.


 I need to finish the wiring now, but look at the mess the last month of hard work has produced. And of course those that follow this, know I used untracked benches as storage, however I have run out of such places!


Remember the pictures posted within the month?  How is it that I am so messy?


 This one only needs two point motors and it is finished track wise, at least.


 Fall out from work above?


 Point motor construction and searches for components spread over Coal Siding, about 12m of it :(


 Chasing the shorts has continued at this end.

I think both of the DB150 command stations are damaged The DCS200 looked to be as well. Obviously the wiring issue was stretching these components to their limits. However the good news is that after dividing all the bus lines into isolated sections, correcting all the mistakes made insulating points and sections, I reset the system and it appears the shorts have been eradicated.. At least I hope so.  I now have three command stations. The DCS 200 had the wrong power connection fitted with a booster jumper. It now works fine.

My Power supply is a Digitrax PS2012 which can deliver 25 amps when set to 220v (safe for 250v)
It can be set fo G scale, HO scale and N Scale.
Switched to HO it delivers 13.7 v  and with several locomotives on track is reading 2,20 amps. This according to my DCC ramp-meter. Hope that's normal?

The DCS 200 delivers 13.4 volts at up to 8 amps to a 8 pin heavy connector. This feeds 4 protected bus lines . Protection is NCE EB1 circuit breakers. These trip out and protect any locomotives from damage, however they are slow enough to let the DCS200 trip first. This is not what I want. I need to find out how to trip the EB1 first allowing the DCS200 to keep powering the other circuits ????

The second command staion is a DCS100 which supplies 5 amps at 13.7 v to one section only, also protected by two EB1 c/b's one for BG another for SG.

The third DB200 supplies 8 amps at 13.47 v to another 6 protected circuits (EB 1's)

I would like to have used the two DB150 at 5 amp each, but will have to wait to see if they need returning to Digitrax.


 Lot of work here and at least the track is finished. After cleaning this up, we can start laying the helix.


 Not long before I can populate this yard, and I guess 2020 will be fixing errors and laying scenery?


Oh God please help me. Their is no hope for me. Look at that mess!


Ok wiring the loops first, and then start cleaning it all up. Al is coming Thursday, so I have a couple days left... hold on its Christmas......


Cheers
Rod Young

2019/12/15

2019_12_15 Lots of wiring :(

2019_12_15 I thought I was done!!

Ha Ha I cheated and was loose with the truth a little. :D

After spending the afternoon recently under Albury, wiring, I thought I was done. Thinking all I had to do was wire in the helix reverse loops.
I was amazed when I climbed back under to see I had indeed finished the South Yard but still had the whole North yard to do.  Well I am  not seeing as well as I once did. However this is ridiculous.

Never the less, I was back down on the floor wiring all afternoon, fixing in another 31 pairs of wires and 3 frog juicers, and I probably have as much to do again to finish.
Thank God all the point motors are actually in!!



 I have two trolleys I can use to manage working under the layout, and at my age, they are really necessary. The bed is lifted up on the floor version to get my hands and arms close enough to the work. Even so I need to rest my arms to stop the pain, regularly. The second one is an adjustable, high level version that helps with wiring the upper level. I guess you will see this one back in use as I finish rewiring the upper level in the new year.


 So its not so bad and I have my tools set out on top of a  small Aldi trolley which makes them easy to drag along and saves feeling about on the floor for tools I cannot see from my position on the trolley.



Still two panels to do, and most of the points are on the last panel.
Not many cross braces here, but remember that is 16mm 5 ply on top.

And I just realized from down here the ply has only been tied down with a few screws :(
Fortunately it will not be a huge job to screw it down properly.
The hanging connectors are from the servo motors and are extended to the control panel, when I work out how I am going to do this.


Last job will be  tie up the loose wires when I am satisfied the wires are correctly hooked up.
Whats that red wire hanging there?  Camera shows all the errors, doesn't it?
So have had my coffee and time to see if I can get the last two bays finished.
Cheers
Rod

2019/12/12

2019_12_12 Albury gets a reversing loop!

2019_12_12 "Al Day" and we decided to start the reversing loop.

Whilst Al was doing that, I acted as gopher to save him climbing out from underneath. At the same time I spent time fixing point motor singlets (control switches)
That is after searching for the 6 missing ED1 circuit breakers. Damned if I can find them, after searching through every storage box in the studio. They are very happily secured away.
And so I ordered another 10 from USA. This will definitely cause the others to suddenly appear. Damn Gremlins.

Anyway The first renewed power section is about finished. I only need the missing circuit breakers to connect up and test.. I named this one section 3 (or Bus 3) And it has 4 protected sections feeding the branch line from Allanvale to (Helix) Station, all BG. (broad gauge)

As well I made 92 connections and one live frog switch, which was a record considering the morning was so unproductive for me.

I forgot to mention that last week we actually broke all records fitting point motors. Whilst Al completed the Albury track, I built up 20 servo motor point machines, and when he finished his work, I got down under the layout and with Al spotting from above, we managed to fit 19 motors in about 2 and half hours.  That was amazing. And they all work properly.

So at the end of today, Al managed to get the first road of the reversing loop installed, with only the second road left to finish the loop. Actually very productive.

Going to take a break from the layout for a few days, hoping the ED1 circuit breakers will quickly arrive.
In the meantime I purchased a new computer to see if I can get Decoder pro and my sound installations back and working again. I am thinking the little Acer might be the problem.

So lets add some pictures!




 We decided that 36 inch and 34 inch was  the reasonable option. But would The Auscision Daylight and Aurora negotiate it?


 Really nice track work Al.


 He set his office up with all he needed and  cut track, soldered on droppers and laid it down on cork. It was not easy working in there, and the job was tedious, but the results are impressive.


 I cant help myself :(   The Daylight needs good curves  and still can be temperamental.


 So lets depart Albury and see how it goes on the one loop track finished today.


 Because the second loop was not finished, we used the loop track to access the reversing loop.


 The Indonesian points are fantastic.


Te Daylight negotiates the reverse curves with the help of a short piece of straight before it changes direction.






The carriages easily negotiate the curves.


 Close coupled but even so, plenty of clearance here.





 Safely turned around and facing Wodonga. This simulates the missing track to Sydney. Plenty of room in the reversing loop to store The Aurora and Spirit of Progress as well as the Daylight.


Enters main line and proceeds to Albury platform via the crossover.





 I put large radius points here to make sure the cars would be ok.






Now waiting the  Dynon crew ex rest before running down the sg towards Wanganella, its first stop.

Thanks for watching, and comments always welcome, here or on my email address provided on right hand side.
Cheers
Rod Young