2015_09_29 wiring :(

2015_09_29  Wiring continues...

All three point motors up and running South end of Wanganella.
One circyuit breaker supplies feeds to all of Wanganella, and proceeding with replacement of all droppers. About half way through but need to install 10 new point motors after track continuity tests ok.


Look at what Roger is doing :)

I fear my layout is not good enough for such a magnificent building!

Its a huge shed, but it has plenty of room opposite Wodonga platform  penciled in opposite 3 road.

                                                Blade detached from throw rod...

This morning I found a damaged curved point and had to fix it before getting on with todays work. It was an early point with pressed in tabs rather than twisted lugs, so I expect it will continue to give me grief, however I do not have a replacement point handy. I tried supa gluing it in place.although it did fit back in tightly. Think the Tortoise was putting too much pressure on it. I backed off the tension.

This code 100 insulfrog point has been modified with styrene shims glued to the base of the frog, and the insides of the guard rails ensuring scale wheels roll through freely and don't hit the pointed (plastic) nose of the frog, wearing it down. It also stops wheels dropping in to the frogs. Peco Code 100 is Universal and designed to allow older Hornby and Euro standard wheels to run through, and is not good enough to run code 88 through without these mods.

The other problem I have with points is that mechanical joins do not conduct power well over time. Our club layout with fully ballasted track, has started to fail just over a year after it was laid.   So I solder the blades to the next section of track leading to the frog. I then join the outside rails to that section of track with droppers direct to the DCC bus. This means that the mechanical linkages between point blades and outer rails is eliminated. The Universal frog is wired in, but if using an electrofrog, I add another dropper which goes to the point machine, or a juicer, whichever is fitted.

No failures when wired this way, and entirely necessary, if you do not have "Keep Alive" capacitors added to your decoder to prevent drop outs.

Don't use Peco Code 100, instead use Peco code 83 NMRA standards, or Peco code 75...Really!

Ok back to the floor under the layout, only 55 connections to make and prove.....


2015_09_24 Haunted by short cuts!

2015_09_24 Well it continues....

I repaired the Wanganella storage Loop and rewired it. Set up new circuit breakers and got it to run really well. Its also two long reversing loops, to enable me to approach from either end into separate roads (of course). Really happy with how neat it all turned out.

But when I tried to run through into Wanganella, found a huge power drop on entering the yard. Not sure what I had done to cause that, but either side of the station in new territories the power drop was not present.
So lets have a look and see what we can find...
On top I found one metal fish plate that just might have let power slip through and short, but could not figure out why the short was actually a brown out? Replacing it with an insulated joiner did not help, only isolating a piece of track, which had a dry solder joint feed. Easily fixed, but brownout still happening.
Time to go underneath.....  oh sheeet!!

 Well I did warn you all once before that I was just an old bloke having fun, and showing you all, no matter how many skills you migh have, or might not (my case of course) you can still build a model railway :D

Now Wanganella was the first bit of track I actually laid, way back in 2008 (?)  And I spent a lot of time getting the track right, but it took a lot of time to figure out how to wire it all up.  I used Peco code 75 electrofrog track and as previously shown, I connected the live frogs, blades and rails all up through slide switches, or hex juicers or point machines. With three double slips and a three way point, as well as several simple points, their was going to be a lot of wiring under here.

It took me a few weeks to figure it all out but with help from this site
Allan Gartners Wiring DCC

So what happened was I temporarily linked up all the wires and kept changing things until it all worked...  and then went away for 7 years and did other things.. and blow me down!!   It kept working!!  Go figure :)

So now its time to work out what this mess does and fix it with a permanent (neater) job
The photos were taken after I had already cut away half of the birds nest, so these are actually a sanitized view :(
So how many jobs have I got on at once? Dont ask, but I did get sound into a Trainorama 830 and an Auscision 421. I also started putting sound into an SCT G Class, as well.
Back into the shed, to take on my haunting punishment :(


2015_09_21 Keeping on?

2015_09_21   A little bit of painting, wiring and fixing a problem or two...

 The work bench used to sit against the wall, but after I moved it to the other side of the doorway, I created a problem. I usually store dangerous stuff on top, out of reach of the youngsters and in easy sight. Moving the bench here meant that if anything fell off the back it would land on the loop storage roads, and it did, stressing the track and causing it to be unusable.

So two fixes. First use some spare ply to build a back and side on the bench to prevent stuff falling off.
Then paint it to make it disappear (easy to see why Graeme paints the back drops ,eh? ;)

 With access created (the bench is on wheels) it was time to fix the track.

Rather than fix it, I decided to replace it. Actually now that I have located all my track tools, it might be a good time to continue laying the silo roads and fix a few other problems, that do cause derailments in a few places.

Putting wheels on the work bench was a great idea, particularly as it blocks access in its new home.

Well it was really only a few hours work, but it did keep the ball rolling, didn't it?

Rod Young


2015_09_19 Blue Skies!

2015_09_19  Blue Skies....... (suggested by Graeme)


Was a busy afternoon. I continued on with my wiring, and had a lot of luck. A short that I just couldn't find turned out to be an unplugged wire. When I had globes the short was definitely a short. These NCE circuit breakers just stop current flow. Thus my puzzlement. Re fitted the wire and after 4 hours everything was working just fine....
In the meantime friend Graeme  continued with his  back drop project. Thanks mate :D

Now did Willie tell you or not?


Well next Monday starts the doomsday week right off . So 5 to 7 days to go?
Thought I better say goodbye to you all, just in case :D

An asteroid? Or a financial meltdown? Everybody down in nutsville is getting really excited on YouTube this year ;)

In the meantime I am still working on the railway :)

Wouldn't it be lovely if i could stay on one project?  Well it keeps happening, and side tracks seem to swallow me up all the time :(

Working on a complete rewire of the storage roads under the helix. Its difficult to access and had to shift a lot of stuff, but found out why the helix was drooping in two spots. So no wiring got done but the dips have been straightened out. Using measured risers for each level, means thet every level sees the dip. Fix one riser and every level is fixed at one time. Put masonite strips under two legs, adjusted the height, and clamps and white glue fix the super elevation. Wonder if the picture will show it fixed?

So when I arrived this morning, track that has not seen a train for 5 years was accessed cleaned and every fish plate needed to be reset. Constant heat and Cold temperatures seem to work the plates along the rail, till they pop.
* Distraction No.1 clean track, fix joins and then solder one side (short side)

Leaning over the top of the Helix, I leaned on the top track and broke the glue bond, which took the hill out of the track at that spot. So I had to repair it anyway, so why not adjust the legs on the helix and fix the dip in the track, eh make that three dips in the track :(
* So that's distraction No.2

So jamming two pieces of masonite strip under neath the riser seems to work ok? Looks good.

yeah thats what I am saying!
Now Roger Lloyd and I built this helix about 7 or 8 years ago?   When we built it it was a perfect  grade, but it flexed too much between the double risers. The picture above shows the single risers I later added in to stop the flexing. It seems my calculations were out on two risers by two layers of masonite (He He)  and Roger had nothing to do with the problem. Ok it looks fixed, and I wonder if the Eureka R will get up it now?

The next riser was a lot simpler, and required only gluing one level back after lifting the track.

And so its a little after 1.00pm. Got time to go out and start the wiring (again)


2015_09_16 wiring again


Without a doubt wiring is going to make or break a model railway!
Bad wiring is going to break my railway, eventually. I had to do a complete rethink, about what wiring was required with a DCC layout. I made some good decisions, such as using a heavy ring main around the whole shed. But my lack of experience with DCC showed up many mistakes. The mistakes introduced me  to  temporary wiring. That is get it right then make it neat later when you know it works. Bad ... Bad idea.....   :(

So now even though I got it right, I am suffering with a rats nest of temporary wiring... So what to do?

The last week has found me back on the floor tracing out wiring and removing the mistakes and preparing to "neat it" all up.  Found a few improvements and still more mistakes. Actually this was a good week, but it could have been avoided if I made it all neat from the start.

 The Hex Frog Juicer here was screwed to the framework, but it was not working as it should.
The temporary wiring was all good, but finally I found a dry solder joint on a rail.  My soldering skills are not good, barely better than when I started here 7 years ago.
Temporary wiring 7 years on.. The solder joint let me down, however the rest of the wiring using automotive spline joints, and spades all crimped on, are just fine. Lots of folk told me the crimp joiners would fail. I don't think any have thus far. I only used them because at my age, I have no hope of soldering everything together on my back under the layout. I would say the crimped joiners are a success.
You can pair up two frog juicers or 4 of them for special duties. So this juicer manages frog polarity on two points, and as well it uses two pairs to operate track polarity on both ends of the reverse loop formed by the storage roads around the Helix and out of Wanganella.  I made some changes to the wiring here today, and improved operation a lot. With two reversing sections, I can now enter both ends of the dual track storage roads at the same time, when I tried this before, I would put a short on the other train.

So the red heavy cable is 45 amp copper, probably over engineered, but I got it on special at Jaycar, and it was the cheapest option.
I am phasing out the tail light short detectors, and replacing them with NCE circuit protectors.
Since I took the picture, I have removed four of the heavy cables, and then redirected all droppers  to the remaining pair. I have no idea, why I thought it was necessary to run the extra cables. System works fine without them.

Tomorrows job will be to tape up all the wires and secure them close underneath the frame. That should look better :D




2015_09_05  Ugh!! Clean up continues.

Graeme and I finished off the corner and have now cleared three bays allowing me to start construction of the new inner wall. The wall will serve two purposes. One overcome the problem of the pillars intruding into the back scenery, at the cost of losing space in between. But most importantly, taking out the heat during summer on that Western wall. Wish I had done this on the other side.

The last part of the old branch line layout was also recovered and removed. It had been occupied by rats recently and was a mess anyway. So to the tip with it. Rats have been defeated thus far by using two electronic devices. Within an hour of turning them on 6 months ago, I found two small ones running around in circles outside the building. These repellents really mess with their heads. Have not seen them in the building since, which is good news. Living in bush land settings does have its problems. Fortunately no actual damage to the railway or stored equipment has been noticed.

Need to sort through these two areas. The trestles are holding up loose screws and fixings as well as an old venetian blind, that I have removed slats from and been using as reflectors for the LED layout lighting. The second area, my military trunk from conscription days and sundry track items which all need a new storage home

Skips full :(

The last part of Bullarto to be broken up.

Now where is the Rhinosnort?
Rod Young