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