2016_12_31 One last time!

2016_12_31   For the last time this year, another productive day!

Al returned for some more punishment, I am afraid :(
Hope you were relaxed and your back was better by the time you got to Corowa, mate.

Anyway whilst I kept the soldering iron hot and the solder runny, Al went back and finished Thursdays job.
Here is the fruit of his labors.

South end of Wodonga yard is freelanced and allows for a bit more storage in a narrow space.

Unfortunately the ladder was not going to work, so we left the double slip out, and removed the main line points leading to the ladder further South. It looks interesting and rolling stock tracks through just fine.

All track in place.

Please ignore the vehicles that obviously would never visit this siding account of gauge difficulties.

Thanks Al. I enjoyed your company as always, and appreciate your sore back , mate
Rod Young


2016_12_30 Another year almost under the belt, lets get a head start on the New Year!

2016_12_30  Hooray!! Quarry siding is working!! But where are the trains?

Ok Al wants to do more work tomorrow, and I promised to leave Wodonga for him. He is a glutton for punishment. But Thank you mate, we all know you are getting me moving again :D

So I am started at the quarry and moving towards the wheat siding near Helix. Tidying up the wires ensuring all are connected. Along the way I found 15m of straight track without droppers, so I am adding those and cleaning the underlay and base board as I go. As usual a 40 minute job turns into an all day sucker!

The BG closest to the pliers has not had droppers installed. So as I move towards the helix, I am adding droppers, connecting all wires where they should be (connected) and cleaning down the bench as I go.

I find it easier to add droppers to all track on the bench. Here I join the droppers underneath the fish plates. I solder the fish plate lightly to the rail as well. That gives a friction connection forward and a soldered connection behind. Every length of rail and every point is treated in this way.

push the rail into fish plates, gap it and tack sleepers temporarily to base board. Adjust if sleepers bend. Drill holes beside rail and push feeders through and connect them to the proper bus lines underneath.

adjust track to existing SG track with a track gauge and tack it down.

Black and red wires to DCC bus Link outside rails and also point blades. Made a mistake with this lot because the blade wires should be thinner. I run the risk of jamming the points, because the wire beds itself into the foam underlay. I might have time to modify these before Al comes tomorrow to install them.
  I guarantee electrical contact with any track that is to be ballasted and sealed into a fixed position.  This point is now fail proof, I hope ;)

And it does not look modified once the droppers are passed through the baseboard, and visible cables are blackened and ballast applied.



2016_12_29 ALDAY ;)

2016_12_29  Track laying , completing repairs and running a train about "Kilmore East" Quarry.

Well at least we laid a fair bit of track, however got no point motors affixed. I did have to rewire every point though, and remembered to remove the dc links as well.

Talking about DC links on electrofrog points? Guess what caused the short on the diamond crossing?
Took two weeks out of my work and cost me a lot of grief.

I thought I had just picked up a working junction and moved it 6 feet down the track.
Somehow I used a rail converter (75 to 100) that I had either insulated in the original install, or somehow replaced it with a new one and not remembered.
Because I found this after burning out my frog juicers this morning.

 And so here was the problem. I forgot they had bridges, and simply expected it to work here because it worked before.
Everything fine now. Cost ? One $70 juicer and a hell of a lot of frustrated time wasted  :(

All tracks powered and working ok.

 Whilst I sorted out the crossover. Al fixed the wheat silo siding.

Next job was to start work on the Wodonga Yard. Whilst Al started to lay track, I modified the 7 points and set up the new wiring.

A little bit harder on the lower level, my guess is that Maureen might need to massage my mates back a little when he reaches home . Thanks mate, you are the reason I keep this thing going I sometimes think :)

The two points to right are installed, and the one joining into existing main line points is also installed. All made more difficult by timber supports underneath. But Al got there. Only the double slip and two more points to go in before connecting in 4 store roads at this end.
Then on to the turntable side!


2016_12_28 Warm Weather but thats ok I got my wall :D

2016_12_28  Replaced the crossover, and fixed the problem.

Ok shopping day and domestic problems took me away for the day.

However with another ALDAY fast approaching, I thought I might stock up on some stores.
Bunnings cut up some sheets of background material for me, and more boxes for storage :D

These sheets are to be used to hide the right angled corners around the place!


2016_12_25 A Happy and Holy Christmas to all my friends

2016_12_25 Christmas day.

First a good Australian Company with Good Australian Values does it right despite the invasion of foreign ideas that devalue our Society. I looked through their inventory and ordered The Cement Works as a  way to support these fine people. Its not right for Wodonga, however that's where it will go.

We would like to take this opportunity to say to friends and customers, a big thank you for your support & business during 2016. We wish you and your families a most happy and enjoyable Christmas and wonderful peaceful New Year.


end quote"

The layout 
I am having a lot of trouble with the Apex points. I cannot get the diamond crossing to work electrically.
I have spent 4 days on it. Ripping it out 4 times!
The diamond crossing is a new code 75 electrofrog.  It has two wires from each end. One at each end, connects the DCC bus to power bus. The other connects to frog juicers to ensure the frogs match the polarity for the locomotive approaching. I could have used a double pole double throw switch for this, as per Peco's instructions. As point motors control both sides, I could have used the extra switch to do the job as well. As the frogs are on opposite sides of the rail, I used two mono juicers for the job.
I have tested the crossover on the bench. I know which wire does what.  I have noted the point is electrically working on the bench. No shorts.
However as soon as I reconnect it to the layout, the whole thing shorts out at one end. The insulators (on all four ends (8 of them) have been replaced just in case.
Even though I was very careful fitting it in place, I wonder if the bare wires Peco used could be the problem. I have looked all over, and cannot see a place where a short could be....

I am about stumped!!  Any ideas gratefully sought to this problem??


2016_12_23 Last work day before Christmas.

2016_12_23 Well Tony is on his way home.

I am about to head back out and finish off this section of wiring.

I guess all of you know what I did wrong 😟

Well at the risk of stating the obvious, eight years ago I started running trains using temporary wiring. And I just continued to recently. Although it still looks like spaghetti, it is now functional, and with track moved into proper position, I can tie it all up, out of sight as I go.

Temporary wiring is what you use on a Christmas train set on the carpet. Their is no place for it on a construction like this. The wiring in the new territories is permanent as is the track. Lesson learned? 🙈
Ok back into shed . Will finish this tonight.

2016_12_22 Al and his boys made a visit

2016_12_22 Returned home Sunday after leaving Tony at Bendigo. Went to Kilmore East then Narre Warren to visit Mum and Dad at my brothers home. Returned home Sunday night.

Very busy and tiring week. Tony decided to come over and install my signals. However we tripped over a few things and only mounted two signals failing to power them. To be continued.

In the meantime, Al wanted his interstate grand kids to visit the railway. Unfortunately nothing was running.
Whilst Tony built new signals, I tried to sort out the Quarry. The shorts were just not easy to find.
After three days of disconnecting power leads and reconnecting them, I isolated the problem to the three way point at the Junction.
At first I thought the problem was insulation joiners, and I pulled the point up and relaid it, and fixed the main short. Trains could finally run on a small section. However I needed to install another 30 droppers to expand out of that district to the next ones either side. Whilst running a train, I found the diamond crossover was working on the SG side, but not the BG side which became a full short when broad gauge locos entered that side.
The code 75 latest version diamond crossover has two wires fixed to each side. The outermost wires go to RED and Black bus lines. The inner wires (frog) go to the frog juicer to match correct polarity for all trains. Found I had mixed these up, and created the short.

Finally after AL took his kids home, I got trains running :(  You never win when you have to hurry, I guess.

Some pictures?

its spaghetti :(  I pulled it out and put it back so many times, I lost the neatness plot once again 😏
 All three motors had to be reinstalled, this time with the wires cut short, but I got it without swearing once (Shut up Tony 😬)
The tiny circuit boards hanging down to right of solder station are single frog juicers and here they are dead, shorted out..Why???

 This NCE circuit breaker was my test light. Light on, no short Light flashing dead short. It flashed for three days, Soon after I sorted the problem, it cleared No short here!! :D

Ok all wires reconnected and steady red light on the circuit breaker. I am about to wire tie all this back up under the boards out of sight.

Tony built at least 12 signals here over the few days. It has been a long time coming.He told me that this was the most  he had ever done in one sitting, not for a customer.  He has hardly built a signal until I prevailed on him to build my batch, and it seems he found the joy once more of creating such incredible stuff.  He needs to come more often, I guess  😁

The Lop bracket in place, however needs motors and wire in to finish. A great signal. Apparently this one was rejected by a customer. Strewth when I saw it, I bought it on the spot.

I prepared the distant, and it got installed, however needs power and point motor as well.

Removed this end of Honeysuckle hoping Tony would lay the points and fit the signal, however it never happened when Tony found his mojo and started mass production 😹 and I was too busy trying to get trains running for Al's visit with the kids.

We needed to put the Honeysuckle panel back in to lay some track and cut the signal into the base board. That never happened either.

Bit of a disappointment, I guess, after spending three days fault finding, however Tony will come back for a few days in January, with two bracket signals needed to finish off the station project.

Cheers and merry Christmas to all
Rod Young


2016_12_16 Special Signs for Drivers?

2016_12_16 Trip to Melbourne (via Bendigo) makes Rod a very poor boy!

Here AL, is our next project :D

Deluxe Versions hand made in just a few days. Well close to half a day each.

Some Pictures!

Al, The Lop bracket is for the junction into Honeysuckle.

Various other homes to get the branch signalling project going. These are all fitted with actuators and sunny white lights which of course give the oil lamp characteristic yellow glow.
Next problem comes when you mix a yellow colour with green??  you get a blue proceed light. Victorian Railways used the common railway fix, of using a blue glass to get a real green signal indication.  Tony has replicated this with his signals.

And here is the Master at work. He is just fitting a tiny sunny white LED behind the spectacle. As you can see he is working in mm's here. And this is the final signal of the order The Distant!


2016_12_13 Temp Control?

2016_12_13  Well it is hanging on 36C today!

The job is to install 5 point motors!
The outside temp was 32C at 2.00pm when we returned from shopping. That was 24.5C in house and 24C in the shed. Over the next 3 hours outside reached 36C and inside house 30.3C
But the shed remained at 24C Humidity (because of the swampy) about 43%

This is great news. The West wall was so hot on the outside, I could not leave my hand on it. This is what the inside of that brick wall was like last year and the swampy (Water cooled air conditioner) just could not hold the temperature down below 30C.
Its still early days. Trying to cool the building down after 20 days of near 40C might be out of the question.
But at least for now, I know the new internal wall appears to be insulating the West wall and hopefully keep my cool this summer.


2016_12_12 We moved Alday forward

2016_12_12  "Al-Day" moves to Monday this once only. Al arrived and we finished off Kilmore East and started to tidy up the Silos, amongst other things.

As I write this entry, just had a nice conversation with Peter Birthisel from Warrnambool (about)
Hope you do get to visit, you will be welcome.

Ok so what did we achieve today? Al manned the tack hammer and the Dremel, and fitted track into place.

My job was to keep ahead soldering droppers to points, and connecting up point motors and wiring them in.

We did a heap of work.  Al's track work is extremely good. I am thinking of hiring him out :)

Pictures will tell the story :D

Ok.  The track on the top left is the branch line exiting the three way point, which is going to represent my Bowser Station.
The next track to right is the Main North East BG.
The next is the Main North East S.G..line
The third leg of the three way wont take you to Bright, however it does lead to a 21 hopper Apex Quarry siding.

Showing short head shunt.

The long straight section top two tracks will locate the Loading shed.

Loco Run a Round fits X or S plus a T type loco. Normal power in my era.

What's next mate, says Al ;).   Well, as you asked, the grain silo area needs a rebuild?

So we used up the last couple of hours tacking down all the points, joining in the straights to connect it all up, and setting up for the point motors.

 The empty storage roads far end, need to be replaced now that the d'slip is mounted.
Then I need to fit 5 Tortoise machines and one DCC singlet. (servo motor)

Loaded storage roads are a bit short. Might have to extend the road another 600mm.

Al built this section. The SG crossover was in, but all the rest including the nice straight line through the yard is all Al's work. Excellent work!
That will do me for tonight.

2016_12_11 Custom Pointwork

2016_12_11 Custom points made in Madang Indonesia.

Thank you Evan ;)

Departing Coal Siding, Wodonga. The existing track was supposed to be a temporary one, going back towards Wanganella, allowing trains to circulate. Although it will be almost totally hidden, it is good track, and I decided to leave it in, if I could overcome this problem. I need to construct a special point.
In fact a huge special double  track Y junction, with 44 and 46 inch radius curves. I was stumped.

But along came Evan from Indonesia. Exactly one week on, we only have the problem of getting it through the post office :)

Design...one day!

Build and test?  two days.

Ready to mail in  a week.

Very fair price and problem solved!


2016_12_08 Its Al Day again!

2016_12_08 We want to finish alignment of track and make a start on Kilmore East.

Picture Story:

I was a bit slack with the camera, but here is the 4 pm shot of our work today. All droppers in, and ready for point motors

All we wanted to do was put the quarry siding in. But as we said before, we found we had to rebuild the whole junction to expand the quarry to allow for two engines and 19 hoppers. Even so I can fit only one van on (20veh) and my era is that a van sat on each end. The obvious solution is to leave one hopper off.
Very pleased with the work. I worked on one end and Al from the other and we met exactly at the correct position too.

At this stage I suggested Al might do a double shift, and we could get the siding in.......

Enough said 🙋

And so I continued on for a while whilst Al returned home to Corowa, and started here and fitted the loco run a round in.

And by about 9.30 I almost got part of the siding in. Just need the run a round points this end, and put the run a round itself in.

Ok crew change and ready to depart, the "block rock"