2010 April 26

2010 April 26  Monday    (Page 15 of 35)

Not a happy chappy :mrgreen:
crook "as" for three days Maybe the flu but feeling better tonight, finally.

Set 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 glued tight!
20 minutes later I have applied the glue, drilled the holes into the ply, and picked up the hammer..nails?
Well 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.
Cheers All

2010 May 1  Saturday

Very early :roll:
Rewiring is taking its time ;) Seems like redoing things is harder than doing them 'wrong' the first time :o
However 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 works.

(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.
The 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)
More wiring!
Hardest 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.
Anyway my 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 :cry:
So the soldering iron may contact the bared wire or my thumb, its a real lottery :roll:

So 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.
All 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 connection before)
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... :idea:
So my little bit of railway has 48 sections so far :roll:
Who would have thought :o

But the rewire is finally over, now I can start to finish the helix...finally :shock:

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.
Of 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 :lol:

So the Murray Railway Modellers Exhibition was another resounding success!! :D 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.
By 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. :roll: 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 :(
I 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.

After 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.
When 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|

red------------------|outer 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------------------|inner red|+++++++++++++++++|black|+++++++++++++++|| this loop connects to other end via a right hand point
black+++++++++++++|inner black|---------------------|red|--------------------||

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 :shock:
It was one wire wrongly combined in a plug with others that caused all the problems.
After 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 etc
Well, I got to the last connection pulled it apart and the short disappeared. :roll: 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 :lol:
Now the AR1 auto reverser is the problem. It is chattering and will not reverse polarity when tripped. Hopefully this problem will be easier to fix :)

Cheers Rod

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.

Anyway 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.
As 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!!
Then 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.
Underneath 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. :o Did not have the heart to start anything else, and anyway wanted to have a relax.

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