2010 March 15

2010 March 15   Monday  (page14 of 35)

Not much on today;) 
Well it was a great weekend. I set up a TV in the train room, and watched Adelaide V/8 Super Cars. Nice to see the officials have dumped young Jamie as well as his streak of good luck :)
Yes Garth Tander had the slower car ,again, but his fuel lasted longer, allowing him to race to the very end.
Jamie is a magnificent driver. Calm and relaxed, but you get horribly bored when one driver wins everything ,meeting after meeting. I can think of one worse sport... Oval stock Car racing in the US. Trust the people who invented base ball and gridiron to come up with a banked mile long track, where cars go around... and around..go around... and around..go around... and around..go around... and around..go around... and around..go around... and around.. Are you dizzy yet? Well how come they all pit at the same time and still stay at the front.
Anyway model trains is the reason to be here.

 Over the weekend I installed a long yard at the bottom of the long wall. This yard should be moved to the other side of the aisle, once I start installing the coal siding, which will be the main yard on my model railway. It is loosely fixed and when it comes time to move, cross bearers will be laid taking into consideration where the point machines and wiring are situated, and it should be an easy relocation.
Trains arrive into two roads closest the wall. Engine runs around and it can move out on to main line and depart or set back into the third dead end storage road.

 Roads fit about 16 hoppers in the run a round roads, about 18 in the store road.

 A pair of interstate visitors sit on the engine road at Wangabanga (??) waiting return to Dynon. Victoria sometimes uses engines off the Jets to run trains between jobs between Melbourne and Adelaide. Not unusual to see 930's in Wang on a weekend during the wheat season.

 hmm I need to think about this one.. These SG Aurora cars are sitting in Wang Platform, obviously on the BG, in the 70's 80's time frame being modelled here.. hmm, I need to think on that, apart from not yet unpacking any coaches that might run on the BG...

 Nice group sitting in the late afternoon sun!
Looks like a new track panel is still to be fitted behind these engines!

 Just one more. The S and the 930 will run the Passenger train back on the Up, with a spare CW going on the front. S304 failed at Wodonga, and the pass is being hauled in behind T368 and Y129, which will come off and return to Wodonga, on the Down Goods.

Does not look like a lot of work, but every section of track has been soldered. Every point is DCC ready with a live frog, which needs to be operated via a Juicer, or a slide switch, to change the frog polarities.

Trying to straighten the track, evenly space it, drill out the wiring link holes, point machine operation hole etc etc, takes a hell of a lot of time. I am not a great solder person, but 160 joints, and trimming 150 wires to attach to, certainly becomes a little boring. :)

Anyway two small sections of track still to finish in the yards. After three days of long hours I claim to have made only one mistake in the wiring. That is one metal rail joiner was incorrectly placed on a frog rail, causing a short, which was quickly found.
Till next time?

Rod Young

 2010 March 20 Saturday     Yackandandah is Hot!  Is Magnificent place to live :D

Trying to use the Black and Decker drill stand as a milling machine. Ok for polishing, but useless as a cutter. The cutter distorted, and the so did the drill stand.

 Not a bad tool, lots of torque, and I use a transistor controller to drive it slowly.

 This is a C Class undressed! As you can see it is DC only, no colour coded wiring, 8 pin plug and it has no space for a lighting board or a speaker.

 See the small edges that match the posts on the untouched weight. They are fragile and broke off. I am hoping that I might be able to rejoin the nose weight to the body weight, but it appears to be stable as is, anyway.

After the nose weight fractured, I took more off to clear the speaker, which now sits clear of the gearbox and the sound should pass down over top of the front bogie.

 The inside roof edge was filed back a little and the side connection between cab and long hood was reduced by half. (see VR body to see what was removed.)

 Test fitting the speaker (surround or baffle) Note the speaker now sits higher and clears the cut away edges between cab and long hood.

 Compare this unmodified body with the V/Line set up to take a Loksound speaker.

 Here is the nose drilled out to take the tiny 1.8 mm sunny white LEDs I will file off the tip, and glue it to the body inside and use a short fibre optic lens to carry the light.
Just noticed how awful those whistles look. Have to replace them, for sure!

 Sunny white 3mm diode for headlight, again using a larger diameter fibre optic light tube.

 One of the few things I actually bought at Sandown Exhibition. This is an ATLAS track cleaning car. It has a working vacuum cleaner inside, with trash sucked into the screened middle compartment. The end compartment contains a can motor that drives the cleaning disks, and grinding wheels. The other end has a fluid tank and wets the crud before the cleaning wheels grind it off the rail head. The motor is controlled by a DCC chip, and it needs to be hauled by another engine. $165 which is a bit tough, however I am really happy with its operations. Three trips around the loop and already the vacuum had started to fill the hopper.
Its tomorrow..already???
OK to bed and maybe I can get C510 running when I get up..

 2010 March 29  Monday

Hi All
Last weekend the Murray Railway group hired a mini bus and went to Canberra for the Exhibition.
First time I have been, but it is one of the best Exhibitions I have ever been to.
Much better than Sandown, and Caulfield, and equal to Liverpool as far as this Victorian is concerned.
The club is obviously loaded with happy, interested members, who made everybody welcome, although the different rooms were a bit difficult to find, I thorougfly enjoyed the company and the Exhibition. Thank you our Canberra mates, well done 5 stars!!!


Addendum/edit/post script :(
Oh and a little bit to add to the C Class sound project. It has been a bit of a failure thus far. The Locomotive moves a few inches ,sound shuts down, restarts, moves etc etc etc.......
With a lot of help from the Loksound forums, we have found that the wiring is the main cause. Although open circuits are brought out by the chemical blackening of the frames and the wheels themselves.
It would seem that those plastic "push on" clips are also used on the bogies, and sub standard wiring does not help.
I have replaced all the plastic "push ons" with solder. Removed the factory single strand wires and replaced them with 32 strand wire, and burnished the wheels clean with a wire wheel on a Dremel.
I have noticed that the bronze wheels get dirty even though the new track appears very clean. I am told that this is caused by oxidisation and I will need to replace the old wheels with the newer silver sets.. chrome? or stainless steel??

2010 April 4 Oh Dear!   Sunday

Here is one I have not noticed or heard of before....

I spent some time today speed matching my fleet of A,B and S Class engines.
Whilst I was doing it I tried to work out a clicking noise that had developed in two A Class and one S Class.
Sounded like wheel flats and I checked the wheels and to the naked eye they looked all right. So I checked the gears and found the bogies were all pretty dry. I used teflon grease to lube each locomotive as I got to it, but the noise in the affected engines would not go away.
I decided to write a message here and see if anybody else had seen this annoying problem, and if you knew what it was.However....

I continued on and speed matched all 20 locomotives that I have on the layout. Later on as I was demonstrating things to my son and grandson, an engine that was not affected stalled in a difficult place, and as it was a long train, I grabbed the rear vehicle and gently pulled the stalled locomotive back out and found it was now able to run. I started to drive forward again to see if I could find the dead section, this time the train continued through the section, however the dreaded wheel flat sound was now coming from this locomotive. I removed the wheel sets and this is what I found....

 All 12 wheels were marked the same and it was obviously caused by dragging the engine backwards out of the section. Prototypically correct or not, this is not the greatest discovery I have made with these engines.
I now have checked the Trainorama S Class and the wheels a similarly marked. (Interesting as they come from a different factory)

None of my Austrains wheels have been damaged, although the early 80 Class and C Class wheels are very poor quality, and need constant cleaning. They oxidise easily and heavy cleaning of the blackened wheels seems to make things worse after oxidisation appears over night.

For those of you who double head these locomotives, make sure they are speed matched, I am pretty certain mixing B class and S Class seems to have caused one to drag the other in places and might be a reason for the flats? Definitely do not pull the stalled trains any distance B67 was damaged in only a little more than 4 meters.


 2010 AprilTuesday

Just so ToR don't feel like they are missing out :)
Here are a couple of pictures that suggests that perhaps the factories are not quite so separate as they claim.
I find little difference between the wheels on both S and B Class bogies, apart from the obvious gearing.

 These wheels are straight out of the engine, un cleaned. The previous pics of the Auscision B had been heavily cleaned with a dremmel and wire brush, before I saw the flats in the tread surface

You can see the definite flat line on the edge of the flat.
To the best of my knowledge this Loco has never been dragged, unless it happened when double heading.
I do tend to double head a lot.
I have only been running trains for a few weeks. Not exactly true...
I ran two Y Class, the Garratt and a 35 class as well as a T Class and an X Class for a few months.
This is not round and round in a circle. It is a short run about 7m long around a loop back into the station, and a 10m run into a dead end yard. The engines are run around here, and a Y Class usually remakes up the train. The S Class gets a B Class on front and next run it will end up as a Double header to make things more interesting.

Now what causes the flats? This engine has lived on my work bench for a month or two. It has had limited running as I tried to fit a Loksound decoder to it. The flats were heard about two days after the engine was put into service, with no more than 3 hours actual running (more likely about 30 minutes as it takes only 4 minutes to do the circuit)
I believe the material used in the wheels is very soft. I would think that stainless steel is a much better medium than blackened brass, or nickel silver, or whatever is being used here.

Thanks Bob (B.B.B) for checking this out for us, as I think it might haunt us in the future as engines start getting a run.
Still nobody else reporting these problems?
I wonder if most of the people here are collectors rather than operators too?? I guess I cannot believe I am doing anything much different than others here. At Collingwood I watched people dragging engines backwards and forwards making sure they were on the rails, which is not much different to what I am doing, apart from one case where I pulled a train out backwards, after a stall. Another thing I see done on the club layout many times.


 2010 April  16 another Friday ;)
 Seems like things are standing still. And I am running trains too much. Should be getting on with it ;) 
Completed the track work in the yard and stated wiring it up. One thing about running trains, is that you can discover new problems, before it gets too difficult to fix things up, I guess.
Have had derailments causing a short... everything stops!
So I looked at what I had done, and discovered that each individual track section was not completely isolated.
To do this properly I have to run an extra wire for each track in a yard, and along each single line section that taps into the feed wire, once via a 21 watt 12 volt automotive globe. First I must lift up the track at the points and ensure every yard track and every single line is fully insulated from the tracks either side.

 Now join all the droppers for each individual section to the new third wire appropriate for that section.
Now I am no electrician, but it seems that when a short happens on a section protected by a bulb, the bulb lights up brightly, but every other train on the rest of the track keeps running... Nice one!!
The droppers and the extra lines are in place,the insulators installed and now its only a matter of connecting them all up.
The other work has been inside on the work bench, where I am getting some extra T and X Class converted to DCC and working out my next sound installations.
Maybe more to show next week


 2010 April 18  Sunday

Nice little program:D  

Keep track of your trains

Might have to buy it so I can answer David's question... What have you got? :lol:  oh wait a minute.... ;)


2010 February 24

2010 February 24   Wednesday  (Page 13 of 35)

A nice blue sky day probably about 28C.
Very little happens
Re-laid some track on the long bottom level, opened up the 42 inch curve ex the station to 60 inch! That looks better!

Cannot figure out what I have done wrong with the Shinohara curved point.
Does anybody sell code 100 Shinohara points these days?

The moving point blades are live. But the frog is completely isolated
When running the smaller curve everything is fine, but throw the blades to the bigger outside curve and every rail is shorted.
 Spent several hours trying to nut that one out.

Gave up, and repositioned the second half of Trentham at the correct level, adjusted the levels and bolted everything up tight. Looks fine!

Gee I was busy for at least 3 hours, and yet not much was done!
Tomorrow comes and we will see ;)

2010 February 27     Saturday

I just left the Train room!
What a shambles. But...
I fixed the shinohara curved point. Wired it in and got a "live frog" change over switch fitted in. I have heard horror stories about trains entering the back of the point when set against them. As soon as the wheels bridge the gap to the frog, a short circuit shuts down the DCC and possibly fries the decoder. So I added an 18 watt tail light globe to the wire that connects to the frog. Hopefully that will solve that problem. Trains are now running happily through both legs of the point, and no hesitations at all. God that took some doing. And the problem? the throw bar was shorting out on the sleeper next door. I had to strip all the copper off the back, and previously I had two cuts per sleeper each just inside the solder joint with the moving blades. Removing the copper between the blades and completely from the bottom, fixed the problem. Next time I will use wooden sleepers either side of the throw bar :(

The next project for the day was to install the "juicers" on the points in the main station. When I looked at it, I decided to install the rest of the points. That is two double slips and at least 9 other points. Should make it all a little more interesting too. In the end, I have pulled out almost all the points and spaced them out a little bit differently in the hope of making the yard tracks a little longer, and more usable.
I mentioned the hex juicer. This amazing little board is designed to make the "live frog" wiring a lot easier. First you find a safe place to install it, usually on a safe surface like timber. You then join your positive and negative track feeds to the taps on one side, tighten them up. You then join wires from the 6 frog taps, all screw tightened, to the six point frogs of your choice.
when a train wheel bridges the frog gap, the juicer instantly feels the short and matches the polarity. The short is fixed so quickly, you will never see a globe glow, or any hesitation from the engine. Nice friendly product for a yard, and lightweight short engines like a Fordson tractor, or even a Y class now move around freely without a hesitation anywhere.
I suspect also, that breaking the points is now short protected automatically.
If you came for a visit today, you would wonder what I have been doing. In actuality, I got heaps done :lol:
Cheers till we meet again...

Rod Y

 2010 March 5 AD a Friday
The ides of March are almost upon us! What say you Ceasar? :mrgreen:   

 Bloody Hell!
Its wet, rained all day!! But its like the rain in Nth Queensland.. hot and humid :o

Ok just looked into the train room... Don't need take a picture, just look at any recent picture and delete track :roll:

Well I sat in the Office most of the day and wired up points. That is one three way electro frog, attach 7 wires.
one to each point blade, one to each frog, (3) and both outside rails and the two nearest them were bridged as well.

One Double Slip and one Single slip. About 10 wires to the Double and 6 to the single.
And 7 pairs of points 5 wires each. One to each blade, another to the frog and 2 more for outer track feeds bridged to next closest rail also.
With telephones and other jobs needed to be done, that filled my day.
I did get to install the three way point in place of a large radius point, and two points installed.

The reason I solder wire to the blades is to prevent the corrosion which eventually will insulate the blades from the system. It always annoyed me in the past and hopefully I am eliminating that problem for ever.

Tomorrow is our trip down to Sandown. We hired a bus, and Murray Railway Modellers will be there again :lol:
So its bed time!


2010 March 7  Sunday   Our Tess had her First Birthday today! :D

What a day!
Is the drought broken yet? Well Is It? the drought ?? Is it broken yet??

Rain never stopped, but everything safe here in beautiful Yackandandah :D

However Melbourne has copped the worst storm in 40 years. Parts of it got washed away, I think
After our visit to Healesville and Sandown, we were amazed at the ferocity of the storm, we could see flooded gullies and lots of water in lower areas, as we headed towards the Hume Highway about 4.30 pm.
We decided to head across to Greensborough, and on to the ring road and Craigeburn, rather than via the City.
We were so fortunate, and apart from a couple of scary moments when the bus rear wheels broke away, we missed the worst of the storm.
Unfortunately Hobson's Bay Model Railway was not so lucky. The Docklands area received a lot of hail stones and severe flooding.
edited split to Hobson's Bay Thread
Rod (no cheers today:(

2010 March 12  Friday

An old version code 100 Shinohara Point. Because it was a large curved point and fitted the spot fairly well, I decided to modify it. First I had to isolate the frog. You can see the cuts both sides. Then solder a wire to the bottom and use the "Juicer" to supply power to the frog, or in this case a simple slide switch.
The only problem I had was using the circuit board material to replace the ties / sleepers I used two either side of the throw bar (to help locate it) This caused short problems. I also had to replace the solid joiner at the frog end of the blades. I simply used fish plates to locate the rails correctly and linked the blades by soldering with fine multi strand wire.
Works very well.

From normal height it does not look so bad, however I will have to adjust the kinks the picture clearly shows in the connected tracks\:(  

Sorry about the blurry picture. However you can see that the point blades of a Peco Electrofrog (and Insulfrog) are actually easily removable.
The tabs on the blade a simply twisted in the throw bar, and near the frog. A jewellers screw driver easily flips them up, and when you pop them out, you can ease the blade around to release the throw bar. Do one at a time and make sure the little spring is not dislocated on the throwbar, should you need to keep the centring device working.

 After removing the blade, I tin it and solder a fine multi strand wire to it, to guarantee the blade is always live. Simply feed the clip back into the throw bar and fit the other end in to the frog. Using the screw driver spread the tabs and push them down flat to secure the blades. Easier than melting sleepers and trying to solder in impossible places :) 

 Tonight I just had to connect all the live frogs to the "juicers" and finish installing the track between the points. Did not quite finish the track, however all the points are now wired, and all the locomotives glide through the points very nicely indeed.

 Three roads completed just a little more to go here before returning to the Helix.
Had four trains running around and although I had a few funny bits of track I need to work on, suffered no derailments, even pushing 30 cars around the reversing loop.

Well its 0200 and I am late for bed Adios!