2013 June 24

2013 June 24  Monday a cold one

Well what a rotten few weeks I have had :( Added to the last month or more it has been just one disaster after another. Starting with my lovely Rover. I had to ride through flood water heading for Esperence in December 2011.  The air bag suspension started to fail because the pump was unable to keep the supply up.  RACV or equivalent in WA got me going and told me to buy a new compressor. This one was water damaged. It seems that local Ford Dealer is also the Land Rover dealer and when it was recalled several years earlier they had replaced the compressor with another Ford built one which very quickly failed and was replaced again. I wish they had left the genuine Land Rover in place. The compressor would have still be sealed and I guarantee it woud be still working. So I ordered a new pump, from Kiama 4x4 and when I arrived in Adelaide took car in to have pump replaced. According to dealer their was nothing wrong with it and he merely sealed up the compressor and it ran ok till last week when it failed on the way to Bendigo. Add that to the contaminated fuel in the last 12 months and I have been experiencing a disaster.
My poor old car is now fixed.  The Rover failed because of rotten service and because a gutless United Fuel Manager sold bio diesel and I have been told my mix was 50% or more. Considering the tank had 30 litres in it when I refilled that equates to pure bio diesel.   Nothing wrong with the vehicle, its just the lousy morals of the people you have to deal with today  :(
Ok in a few hours I am starting my trip to the Gold Coast to see my Mum and Dad on their 90th Bday (Celebrating both on Friday)

Just an update!

The new base is now finished linking the helix with the temporary track to the Coal Siding.
The permanent connection to Wodonga will be constructed after the temporary track is laid and tested ok.
 Now I can make it  ready for track. First the SG crosses the Wanganella station yards and heads North, slowly dropping 8cm to the BG level which rises 4cm to reduce the grade.

The BG track and the SG track arrive at the same level and proceed around to Wodonga Station. Here I am laying out the temporary diverge just prior to the new SG loop A BG and SG track will continue to lower until it can pass under the Wanganella to Wodonga track and enter the Coal siding thus creating a return loop (temporary)

typically I found that I had not allowed sufficient room for the SG loop. I need to provide more roadbed in order to lay the loop. The BG closest to the front edge needs to move over 2 inches to create room for a third track (bugger)
Here the temporary bg track crosses over the SG before the loop points
And the SG will get a temporary point on the lower edge of this picture branching to the right and heading towards the lower level and the coal siding.
And so now, its all waiting for my return :)

New Additions

New shed waiting for weathering. Was going to leave that name but it will become Wodonga Motor recyclers.

Start of Wanganella Shopping Centre.

Another shed

I also picked up a nice ZP and TP but I blurred the picture



2013 June 16

2013 June 16 sunny Sunday

Opened the door and walked to this wall. On Friday and Saturday I sorted out where the track was going, trimmed the ply and cut the supports. Not only did I have to keep the boards close to the string line, I needed to use the small level to maintain side to side level, and I could have put some camber on the curves, however I decided not to. And then today I was able to tie it all down. Let the pictures tell the story!

Actually the pictures is telling lies :)  As the back track drops at 1.5% the near track is rising at 1.5%  The 3% difference is what the picture shows ;)

At this end I finished up removing all existing track and ply base. I also decided to remove all the risers which were only nailed in position. I had put a temporary yard in, to hold trains in the  early days. I did not remember iot was not screwed and glued.  All good now!

Adjusting the risers and correcting the line.

All fixed and in great condition. I actually allowed the track to move into the space between the pillars. Wou;d have liked to have taken it in further, however my minimum 36" curves would not allow it, and still leave enough room for the Wangaratta platform.

Same place just adjusted the view

Ok here the SG arrives at the same level as the BG (See the gradient looks a lot better in this shot)
The wider baseboard is needed because the SG Loop starts here and as well the temporary escape will start to drop towards the back and the loop will maintain this height and run down the front of the board before crossing over the temp escape and entering Wodonga Station

The escape fixed into position.

Well at this stage I ran out of steam. I can lay track down here when I return from my trip to Queensland.  Not sure how long I am going for at this stage. Depends on how well my repaired Rover runs, how much fuel I need and the weather, I guess. Would like to get to Townsville, but that is going to be expensive and I have Austrains G Class, Auscisions Walkers and the GM's to pay for as well as the Caulfield Exhibition :)

Anyway might get a few more days in, after returning from Bendigo on Wednesday.


2013 June 10

 2013 June 10  Monday

Designing how to get the SG out of the Helix and behind Wanganella.  Hours of measuring and re measuring but finally got it sorted.  Installed a temporary bridge. If I use this bridge it will require modifying. I will have to stagger the sides to cross the lower track at an angle. Should not be too hard a job. But put it in to allow a test train when I get the loop connected in.

So far so good. A string line shows that the 20 cm drop required is not going to be a huge gradient, maybe 2% ?

Its unfortunate that the SG is high above Wanganella, when I intended it to be in a cutting like Wangaratta, but it cant be helped now. Whilst pondering a fix, I thought I should have allowed the SG to exit the bottom of the helix with the BG exiting at the present SG height. However to do that now would be a disaster waiting to happen, so I will just live with it.

Just gently curving it in behind the station whilst lowering it back down to the BG level. See string line!

Raising the BG a few cm out of Wanganella, allows the SG to level with it near the start of the SG loop, points in position.

The board that carries the diverge is roughly in position. (The temporary feed into Coal Siding Northern end.
The Sg Loop will be built in front of the diverge and proceed around with a very gentle climb, to enter Wodonga Station from the South.

Checking the levels with a cheap laser level (the laser light is the top line, the lower being the string line.

Well I guess a little work got done. Most of the cutting out is finished too, ready for installation tomorrow ?


2013 June 8

2013 June 8  Saturday Cold!!

Well tradition has it that something installed must be replaced whenever possible. I must be a visual person :( Requiring an eyefull before I can see it won't work ;)
So I modified the Albury end of the Coal Siding taking into consideration the permanent track bed which I will need in the future. Then reattached the diversion and test fitted track to see how it looks/ Pleased with this (Click on picture for larger view) I also adjusted the other track base leading in from the Wodonga Station.  Final positions all marked. Now to place in position all the cross pieces and support everything, before fixing track in position.
It has been decided to insulate the two temporary tracks at the closest gauge block and create two reversing tracks about 7 m long to fix the reversing loop problem created by this diversion. I will use one of the Hex juicers here. Part 1 and 2 for the BG  AR   Part 3 and 4 for the SG   AR, and 5 and 6 can change polarity for the points at the throat of the reverse loop (one SG and one BG point)


2013 June 7

2013 June 7 Friday

This picture shows the extension and the joining into the temporary loop back into the system

This picture shows the permanent connection towards Albury

Here we can see the temporary section passing under the Wangaratta to Wodonga main line. Scenery will hide the temporary diversion and you will only see the Wodonga main line on top.

I split the large curves in half to allow for both ends of the curve. Unfortunately the saw cut reduced an already tight track bed and I will have to let the foam underlay hang over the side. My best option is to use scrap thin ply to run along the edge to support the scenery. Not so bad.

Shows the diversion track on the bag wall towards Wanganella in position but as yet not set to the correct gradient.

About where the glue bottle is, will be the top of the small hill out of Wang. This hill was placed to pick up the SG which runs behind Wang 10.5 cm higher than the BG (as different to reality where the SG runs in a cutting. This again was another compromise and was used to position the SG after a reverse loop.

The permanent tracks will run in front, after I align the temporary ones into correct location. I will just create a box with cross pieces to enable the trackbed to be supported. This will hide the diverted track which will be hidden by a cutting and hill.

Just placing the Albury curve into position to work out where the backboard will extend to.  In fact I will install this now and it will allow me to create scenery in the future that will not have to be removed for the extension.

Side shot showing 10 and 10.5 cm clearances...   All good

Now all I need do is cut and install the cross pieces then carefully using a string line and a gradient level, fix the track into its final position. Apply strengthening, then lay the track :)



2013 June 5

2013 June 5
Cold!! 4 C to 14C and a South wind off the snowfields it would seem

Not a lot happened. Got to cut out the curves and glue boards together and set up the Curves at the end of the room connecting the coal sidings into the main layout along the long wall. This is a temporary connection to Wanganella, which will eventually be removed when the layout along the west wall of the studio is completed in the future. Next job here will be to set the steady 1% gradient in place then strengthen the curved ply much the same as I did on the 270 deg. Curve between Coal "hole" and Wodonga.  Just noticed that separation between the temporary track and the permanent connection into Wodonga (uncle Bens end) may be under 10.5cm the minimum set for double stack (should anybody visit with a set)
The curves are 42'' and look nice!


2013 June 4

2013 June 4

Distracted again today :(
Went to Yackandandah Engineering to buy some angle iron, but as usual no one was there to serve me. Ended up going into Wodonga where I got exactly what I wanted, cut to size as well.
Friend Jim offered to bring his welder and fix up the angle bracket supports which I used to stabilise the top level in the middle of room.  I have decided I cannot live with the angled supports to these brackets that are in full view. As the whole branch line is well supported by the shelving central posts, these angle brackets only stabilise, and I decided that if I reinforce the top plate with 40 x 40 mm angle iron it will be able to do this without the angle bracket support. Jim came over and took half the brackets home to weld them up for me. When they come back we will install them and then do the other side. Anyway today was otherwise not very productive as was this evening sleeping in front of the tv. :D
Tuesday is often shopping day, so maybe so will tomorrow.


2013_June 1

2013_June 1 
After 3 days of rain, the ground is soggy, but the studio is always dry and finally warm enough to work in :D

Ok I will mark this as a record of the last few days.
First thing was I got instructions from Mike Walter on how to install the DCC sound chip in my new DRC.  I am procrastinating on this, but should finish it soon, as the chip arrived Friday. All I have done thus far is strip out all the electronics and mark the anodes with white paint on all the black wires to help with identification. The chip has been mounted on the roof beside the light board and the speaker has been sealed and glued to the roof over the power bogie. The weight will be discarded..

I started wiring up all the new track (Coal Siding) but discovered I had put the red wire on the wrong rail. To save problems in the future I decided to reverse about 18 connections.
Whilst doing this I was connecting the wires into the DCC bus as I went. Decided to turn the power on and found I had a permanent short. After wasting the best part of a day following all circuits I found that I had installed the live frog points but forgotten to remove the links, and so each point was now a full short.

So I had to pull out every point and remove the links and reinstall.  Long tedious job, but fortunately it was easy to put everything back as I found it, and the track has kept its good looking straight tracks etc. Still looks as good as when Graeme left it, which was as I hoped. I also found two points had not had the holes placed to operate the point motor, so it was just as well I could fix that too.

The shorts early on reminded me that I had a new circuit breaker addition to the track sections that needed adding.

So I spent several hours wiring up dual element stop and tail lamps with a solid state circuit breaker, to lower the risk of damaging locomotives or rolling stock accidentally left on a short for a long time.

Talking about tail light or 1156 automotive bulbs

 Allan Gartner's Wiring for DCC

 Shorts, Power Districts, and the 1156 - Characteristics and Tests

And here is the new modified circuit I am using now

  Dick Bronson's DCC Short Circuit Lamps

Now I have sufficient globes wired up ready to mount. Next thing I will need to do is finish off the point motors.

Tony K found that he did not want to use his hex juicers or the single ones he had purchased. So I bought them off him, and will use them to protect the point frogs in the coal siding.  It will save me buying the Tan Valley relay units I was going to use.

Continues  2013 June 2  Sunday

Sunday 2013-June 2    Sun was out today, and what a change from the dreary wet weather of the last week.

Here is but a précis of the last 5 days work on the railway :)

Converting DRC to DCC Sound Part 1

 I am  unhappy about this conversion
However I have come up with the following conclusion.
I could have a DRC built in Korea by Ajin but expect to pay  more perhaps? Although the precision Walkers are announced and are priced less than $1100.

after removing 6 tiny screws 2 in middle an another 2 at each end (leaving couplers in place)
2 large screws allow lead weight to come away, and I will discard that, because the speaker will be placed in that space

This image shows the LED's and fibre optic  light tubes covered in shrink tube loosely.

This electronic bundle will need to be opened up so that all the black wires can be cut off as long as possible.

Here is the transistor array before cutting away the spaghetti wiring. Only useful for DC Control.

Another view.  I am sure some will know what this is all about, I certainly have no idea what this does :)

I used a Jaycar transistor tester to find the anode and painted each one white
I also marked the LED white or red, but unfortunately I decided to remove the fibre optic leads from the light boxes. They are very difficult to return to their places

The light switch is not required so I cut away the wiring.

The twin cables running along the floor also black, are the power leads from the un-powered bogie. Now surely they could have placed a red wire on one side to match the red wire on the power bogie?

Part 2

Ok needed a break from the DRC so went back to work on the layout

This is a Peco Electro Frog (updated version) showing the newly introduced insulated frog.

The improved electro frog has a wire attached to the links of the frog to allow power to be switched to frog to match whichever  way the track is set (The frog changes polarity when points are changed. This can be done manually by installing a double pole switch, or using the switching built into most modern switch motors, or automatically using a frog juicer.

This older electrofrog has had both rails cut in order to update the point.

On the underside, I teased out one of the wires and attached a long lead to act as a feed for frog power.

Now I can solder wires to the point blades and link the outer rails on both sides as well as the frog to the juicer, and then feed these to the DCC Bus

Here are the wires hanging underneath ready for connection.
Note also that one point motor is sitting over a 70x19 cross piece. Fortunately the road base was raised and I left the old pieces in place allowing this to be cut away as pictured.

Using a small spade drill to open up a hole under the point throw bar. First I centred the blades and drilled a small hole through the throw bar marking the hole. Then using the hole as a marker, I drilled out a small hole and then fitted the point back on top.

Part 3

Well after soldering on another 35 pairs of droppers, I was getting bored, and anyway I was doing a lousy job. I just could not get the temp right and was melting sleepers when I tried to fix the dropper. So I moved on ;)

This picture shows me tearing out the old temporary store roads on the bottom level, and preparing to set up the track bed for the connection between Wanganella and Coal siding (This is a temporary connection which will allow trains to circulate until I finally get the section on the other side under way. This way I can do some scenery and finish off the layout as set up now, before expanding into the Grafton area.

I saved all the old wood and screws ;)  As the timber was sitting on top, it was 38 mm too long to allow me to sit it in between the side rails.  So I cut up all the pieces and put them back this way. This effectively lowers the baseboard 70mm and now I can climb the new trackbed out of Coal siding and up a 1% grade to the modified deck. From there it needs to climb another 40 mm to meet up with the main line out of Wanganella on the hill. Slightly more than 1.5%.

And that's about as far as I got today.  Lots of progress even if I had to redesign 20 feet of baseboard. Even so I am pleased as it was real progress over three days