2010 April 26 Monday (Page 15 of 35)
Not a happy chappy
crook "as" for three days Maybe the flu but feeling better tonight, finally.
the Alarm and hit the Studio at 9.00 AM Friday, with a good breakfast
in me, and started to set up the Helix once again. Being on my own this
time, I rounded up all the tools, replaced broken drills, recharged the Dremel, ran cords for the soldering iron, found the glue pot, and
applicator, an climbed under the layout, and decided I needed something
to stand on. Back out into the room, find the steps, go to fold them up,
find the strap has come adrift, so go find the pop rivet gun, get the
pop rivet kit modify a washer so that it can be removed after I crimp
the parts back together, remove the washer, so that it works
mechanically, and climb back under the layout with the steps. select a
nice piece of used track, check that it is fit to be used, trim to suit,
fish plates on, curve exactly to 42 inches using the gauges, go to mark
where the glue must go..Pencil?? Back out from underneath, look for
pencil, back inside Mark the track, lift it..open the glue, but it is
20 minutes later I have applied the glue, drilled the holes into the ply, and picked up the hammer..nails?
this went on to 3 00 pm, when I finally gave up, after gluing one yard
of track in place, and setting up the other two tracks which parallel
it, but not yet glued down... I think I really do hate this part of
the job. Too sick to go back in, but will give it another go tomorrow.
2010 May 1 Saturday
Rewiring is taking its time Seems like redoing things is harder than doing them 'wrong' the first time
I have decided that one circuit protection device is not good enough.
But to place a 21 watt bulb (Protection Device) in each section has
required a fair amount of track being pulled up and re-laid. This was
because I needed to double insulate each section. Spent another few
hours in there again today.
The advantage of course, is that if I
derail or run a reversed point, the short lights up the local bulb
stopping that train, but everything else runs normally till the short is
removed and the local section again becomes available. Simple and it
(Edit March 2013 I am now upgrading the globes with a 5/21 watt tail-stop light plus a small solid state circuit breaker. This overcomes high amps under certain circumstances and also lights the 5 watt element as a fault finding aid whilst the breaker is open)
Found the little black clips at the Middys Data and electrical.
red is the main ring (+ve) Now I need to run a separate blue wire for
sections with multiple lengths of track (as I wire each length of rail
in, not relying on the fish plates for electrical continuity)
The Black (-ve) or return wire is not required to be separate.
Seems to work fine.
2010 May 1 Saturday still (but a sleep in between)
part now working under the yard which means I have not got a seat low
enough to sit under the L Girders and see what I am doing.
bi-focal's require the object I am looking at to be lower than my chin,
looking up under the layout, means I am blind
So the soldering iron may contact the bared wire or my thumb, its a real lottery
I actually ran 5 blue runs and connected them to globes, fixed them
under the layout. Disconnected the existing red droppers and reconnected
them to the blue runs.
For the main yard, I gathered the positive
red feeds from each point in the ladders and wired them to one globe
(rather than a separate globe per point) Did this on the other end of
the yard as well.
The short dead end, two at each end of the station were each given a globe and wired into the system.
The platform road, Through road and No 2 road blue feeds are fixed in and connected via globes.
that remains to do, now is connect the droppers to the blue wire. As
well connect a feed to the Goods Shed road (which somehow failed to get a
Hopefully then I can rewire the two store roads
around behind the helix, and that will be a large job, one globe for
each track, but none of the intermediate droppers have yet been
connected (so as the droppers are soldered to the rails, maybe that ,in
fact is an advantage?)
The next job will be to wire up the first 4
levels of the helix. That is connect the intermediate droppers (track
soldered already) and as the helix has three tracks, and insulated
joiners half way along, that will be 6 bulbs to feed in.
Looks like another week of wiring at least
2010 May 7 Friday 1155pm
I bought 4 boxes of globes!!
thats 48 in all
Have run out of globes...
So my little bit of railway has 48 sections so far
Who would have thought
But the rewire is finally over, now I can start to finish the helix...finally
Ha Ha But that was a lot of work crawling around on the floor for this old man .
However everything works really well. The single dual element globe that protected the system (105 watts in total)
has been removed and that was softly glowing all the time, with more than three engines on the track.
course that was reducing power to the track, now as each globe only
controls its own track section, I have let the whole 5 amps become
available for traction. A real nice pick up.
Ran around the layout
dropping a 20 c piece on each section, and the system works exactly as
designed. The section globe switches on, and all other sections are free
to operate trains. That is only the section shorted out with the 20c is
no longer available for operation.
Well worth the effort
2010 May 22 Saturday
Heaters are on and the house is warm..The bloody
train shed is freezing cold!! Makes me think of 4 months ago, when it
was 50 C and wishing it was again
So the Murray Railway Modellers Exhibition was another resounding success!!
Well done boys and girls. We were very busy both days and raised
another bucket full of cash for both Charities and our building fund.
the way, on Wednesday night they started to move out of the Wodonga
Station and into a nice comfortable shed in the Wodonga Show Grounds.
Depending on how well we get on with the Committee and Council, we
should be have a permanent home at last.
Wednesday was moving day. Not the club and not for me.
But my good friend Tony needed me and my horse float for a move from
Canberra to Bendigo. So I spent the rest of the week, travelling to
Canberra loading up, and dropping off in Bendigo. Got home this
afternoon, stuffed!! eh? well exhausted is the word I think
Anyway, looked in on the railway, its still there and the Helix lies unfinished. Maybe tomorrow....
2010 May 26 Wednesday
Still crawling around on the floor. Getting too old for this
have created some wiring problems in the reversing loop. As stated
earlier I have a Digitrax AR1 automatic reverser in place. What happens
is that as soon as the Loco wheels hit the insulated joint the reverser
looks to see if the rails are matching polarity. If they are not, an
immediate reversing of the circuit takes place. The train continues into
the section without even noticing the change. When it reaches the end
of the loop the detection repeats and the train continues on its way.
several days I have found myself with short circuits. Just sitting
down here at the desk, I have finally realised what I am doing wrong.
I have a passing siding in the reversing loop.
I first wired it in, I ran the outside rail to black and the inside
rails to red. To protect each section with a 21 watt globe, I have added
a brown wire and wired that to the outside track, leaving the inside
track connected to the red wire. I left the black connection as is to
the single black wire.
Switching on the DCC power supply, shows both
tracks have shorted out. I has just dawned on me that I still have
both tracks connected to a single black wire, thus when the reverser
changes polarity the black wires short one track to the other. I have to
add a fourth wire to handle the reversing tracks independently of each
other. Normally this is unnecessary, it is the reversing of the
polarity that creates the problem.
insulators marked || or |black|
brown|----------------------|black|++++++++++++++|| This loop
connects to other end via a right hand point
black+++++++++++++|outer black|+++++++++++++++++|red|-------------------- ||
Having the outer and inner blacks tied to one cable was the short when the middle section reversed.
red|+++++++++++++++++|black|+++++++++++++++|| this loop connects to
other end via a right hand point
Or was it? What worries me is that the main and the loop both reverse at same time (on same switch)
Anyway if the short is still there, the only loss is time, the extra wire can stay in, and I search elsewhere
2010 May 30 Sunday Early hours of ...
Trains are again running through the loops
It was one wire wrongly combined in a plug with others that caused all the problems.
removing every connector, the short was still there. And you know how
it goes... You start undoing the bundled wires and you start from one
end, pulling them out one at a time, test.. no change move to the next
Well, I got to the last connection pulled it apart and the short disappeared.
Spent more than a week, off and on trying to figure this one out. Just
shows you DCC is not a "plug two wires to the track" at all
the AR1 auto reverser is the problem. It is chattering and will not
reverse polarity when tripped. Hopefully this problem will be easier to
2010 May 31 Early Hours of Monday morning
hmm My departed Wife's 63rd Birthday! Sad and the pain of her departing never seems to get any less.
another big day scrambling around under the layout. I fiddled with the
reversing AR1 and changed a few wires from one side to another. Got
back under the layout (Oh my poor back) This time a rather remarkable
thing happened. I pulled every plug and turned on the power.
expected nothing worked in the loops. I then connected the red and black
ring main to the outer loop of track making certain that every wire
went to the correct rail. That is black main to outer rail and red main
to inner rail.
Switched on power and drove a light engine into the reversing section, and it worked!!
I looked at where the train was, and it was in the INNER loop, yes! the
one with all the power connectors removed. The engine was able to
traverse the whole section easily, and reverser fired and let it out on
the main. I then changed both points and the train went around the outer
loop again operating the reverser! I have checked each point and
each rail (4 on the loop side) is insulated with a Peco rail joiner.
every dropper from the inner loop is hanging lose. And to the best of
my ability, I cannot see how the power is feeding into the Inner loop.
Logic tells me one of the inner connectors is connected to the outer
loop, and of course this would be the problem from the start. But
climbing up and down many times over is starting to hurt this old body,
which does not seem to cope so well any more. Looks like I will be
working on it again tomorrow.
Of course in the meantime, trains are
running once again, and I spent several hours shunting trains in
Wangenalla (hmmm that at least sounds unique?) before sending them back
to the yards once more.
After a sleep Monday continues
Edit 1 Just played trains today. Did not have the heart to start anything else, and anyway wanted to have a relax.