2009 October 6

2009 October 6  Monday (page 9 of 35)

Damn Double Damn!! :cry:
Wasted most of today!
Still got shorts! Cannot sort it out, so started disconnecting tracks! Finally blew fuses on the transformer. Actually the lead from the transformer to the fuse holder cooked and disconnected. Not sure if it was a dry joint (Built this transformer 25 years ago) However I cleaned it up, replaced the fuse and tried to restart the DB150 but it failed. Seems as if I might have cooked it. Although I must admit it has worried me for some time. I did not like the way, it gave all indications that power was connected to track, however sometimes nothing moves. Shut down and reset usually fixed the problem. Maybe it was faulty? Anyway what do I do, now. Risk cooking another DB150? I am still trying to work out where the short is ?

2009 October 8th  Thursday

OK disconnected everything, received information back from Digitrax that the DB150 should be returned to them (cost $21.50 to USA and I guess about $31 US return plus repairs?) An expensive brain fade was soon discovered.

I started from the dead end. Connected the feeders and started up the spare DB150, and got one beep! Good news! The Y Class moved and worked properly. Added in the next and the next, finally arriving at the points that connect the reverse loop into the system.
We got a dead short! Could not work out why.... Took me three days and I was still none the wiser. Removed the Peco electro frogs, and connected spare lengths of track to it and the loco ran through both ways and was ok. Did this to all points, but still no fix was found.
Bypassed the faulty section and connected up the rest of the track sections. These were all fine (however they were in the insulated reverse loop behind the AR1 automatic reverser.

Now you got to remember I am a month away from 64 years old, and the hips and the eye sight are not as good as they used to be. It would seem I was unable to see some of the cable I was threading, and had threaded the ring main by feel, in at least one spot.
I found a mirror and did a visual inspection of all unsighted wiring... Bingo!!

What a pity I had not tried to connect that dropper!
Anyway everything is working fine now :lol:
Ok why is it working fine? I just looked at the picture again, like I said I am getting too old for this :(
But those twisted wires were going to the right places still !!
So why did the Y class move through this section into the reverse loop?
This could not be the problem? I have just cut the wires and rejoined them together as they were without the twist :shock:

2009 October 9    Friday night blues... Nah!!  .

Ok Trains are running again, at least on 99.9% of track laid. The AR1 is not reversing the power feeds to allow the train back out on the main. I will check the wiring to the AR1 tomorrow. I have a feeling I reversed the feeds to beat a short. Probably needs to be returned to where it was.
The last short was the shinohara point, which was fixed by replacing the circuit board throw bar with a plastic one. Although it was slotted, it still managed to short out when thrown to the outside track.
The next Peco point was a code 100 Universal (Old stock) The blades were not transferring power to the frog (And the insulators for the reversing section were at the frog end). So I modified it much the same way as an Electrofrog. Connected the two outer rails together and droppers to the bus line. the blades were connected to these droppers as well. The engine goes through both roads in both directions without any sign of a problem.
My biggest problem has been that often fixing a problem like the dead point blade, actually creates another problem (in the dead section which is now powered) This has been a big learning curve! And I would dearly love to meet with the idiot who advertised DCC.. you just connect 2 wires to the track!! Bull dust!! :x

Almost forgot...
2009 October 10  Saturday

Dead short crossing into Reversing loop was caused by the AR 1 . When I first set it up, it was chattering. Since sorting all the other shorts, and fixing them, I was 99.9% home free. This morning, I removed the A 1 wiring, Double checked it and re installed it. Got the short once more on first test. Adjusted the trim pot anti clockwise a "poofteenth" and the trains are running as they should!
Sent word down to Melbourne, that the line was ready for traffic, and so the official train is now scheduled for Monday at 1.00 pm, after a banquet to be held in the Old Southern Cross Hotel in Albury. As both local members of Parliament are Liberals, I sent them an invitation too, however I accidentally informed them that the ceremony will be held on Tuesday :lol: Who wants blasted politicians telling us how they would have done it anyway :roll:
Rod ( 10 minutes to go.. Better get the TV warmed up, the recorder on, and the beer fridge and porta potti all ready! I am now camped beside the big screen for the next two days....

2009 October 13  Monday

Got busy in the office today. The weather was so bad, that I never went down to the Station. However I was contacted when I never showed up at the Southern Cross. By this time the weather was filthy. Pouring rain and freeze the brass balls of the Red Brahman at the entrance to the City of Rockhampton! :lol:

Anyway I had left the keys in the ignition, and thankfully when I went to start the Rover, it had a flat battery, thankfully!

So I spent the day in the office. Worked on sound decoders. After 3 months of not getting sound to work properly, I finally downloaded and installed Decoder Pro, and took all day to discover two things....
1/ Its not as easy as they say
2/ The DH165 LO chip I had worked on was a dud, and that was the reason I could not get sound working at all. Not only that but I had plugged two bugs into it and burnt them out as well.. Dispatch them back to Digitrax next time I am in town, I guess.

Also I need an attitude change. All this time I thought I was just too dumb to work it all out. At somebodies suggestion I opened up a new decoder and Sound bug and connected it to DecoderPro. Frustratingly with the new sounds uploaded I got silence for my trouble! I asked the question on the Digitrax users group, and found a bug in the uploader was known to turn sound off, however adjusting CV158 to 0 and CV160 to 200. It worked and I got the project set up exactly as I had been trying all this time. And now I have 5 decoders all ready to install.
One into X43 One into X38 another two into S306 and S317. Might try the third in T385
Well back to the Office
Cheers All.... Rod

2009 October 19  Monday

Got up early this morning and went out into the shed. Imagine my surprise when I found all this... :shock:

The method of fixing the supporting frame.
The block holds the frame against the track base and is glued and screwed to the deck. Each slot spaces the track about 9.5 cm, easy enough to re-rail a vehicle. each support is cut 16mm longer to give slightly less than 1.5% gradient and the Helix is 1200mm radius (rough)

Marking out the diverge to cross the SG over the yard

Now fully awake I remembered that Roger Lloyd was up from Melbourne visiting.
Look at what we did! :lol:

2009 October 21 Wednesday

Gosh I got more aches and Pains than I got places to feel them :lol:
Roger and I had a bit of a play on the layout tonight, before he headed home to Melbourne.
All images are small and friendly, about 60k light.

Y131 with a short Suburban Goods waits a cross with ARHS memorial Goods hauled by AD6042

Track glued down with vinyl adhesive, neat.This was done to maximize clearance.We Waited an hour and it was already holding track in place. Bricks and clamps were used to keep track firmly against track bed. Easy application and track is held firmly in place, and no tacks required. We hope that this method will prevent track buckles in the warmer summer months.

Testing SG diverge on level one of Helix

Clamping point which returns BG track from base height to single line before SG arrives via junction to be laid in foreground
AS the track got above the baseboard, clamps were used to hold the track. As the roadbed gently rises (less than 1.5%) we can get the clamps underneath and it becomes much easier. Here the short BG loop ends to allow the double line SG roads to join in and the Helix will carry three tracks from here to the Top (climbs about 50cm in 5 spirals)

Quickly installed the second BG loop around the back before we got too high with the helix (almost an oops!)

Standing back first spiral is in and track is laid, clamped waiting 30 minutes for it to dry! Cuppa tea time..Yes?

Roger surveys the job. Wonder if he is sorry he came :)

Smile for the camera :) oh and pull that gut in, for goodness sake! :(

 Well just to show how much work we did, a longer shot

our two Garratts 6026 and 6042

Grandsons Casey (Jones) and (Puffing) Billy home from School to give their appraisal of the work done!
Casey has known about this railway since the day he could first talk. Probably wondering what all the fuss is about?
Here follows a pictorial record of the short play we managed to squeeze in after 3 days of solid work. Most will know that Roger models NSW, so in appreciation of this efforts and support we finished up running NSW stock :lol: 

(edit Feb 2013
We had a bit of a failure Turned out that these multi pin connectors got slightly out of phase. When we carefully reconnected them she went just fine)

This is Roger's AD6026 which has a couple of mods. Modification puts weight on the front engine improving traction (stops the irritating wheel slip too)

Providing more tractive effort. It might be necessary to weight the trailing bogie to keep it on track.
Hope you all enjoyed our efforts and that you all get to visit some day (open invitation!! :D )

2009 October 27  dark time :P

life gets in the way :(
Sister's Birthday, and parents are visiting from Gold Coast. Sister lives in Melbourne! Uncle dies so I stay down town an extra day. Back here Monday night.
Have not unlocked the train room yet, nor have I prepared my Wagga Show trains as I will be helping with Broadford at that Exhibition.
Have checked and tested 20 point motors to fit those tracks in place so I can power route the frogs. They are all manually operable, so I won't need to wire them up just yet. (apart from the switching of the live frogs)
Today was spent clearing cobwebs, washing outdoor furniture down, cleaning up the house etc, because Mum and Dad are coming up to stay Cup Weekend, which is nice. However you know what Mum's are like!! Better have everything in good order, or I will be listening to how well my other brother manages on his own, won't I ?
Rod :lol:

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