2016_11_02 Then there is the old fix up previous mistakes days!
Its been a long time since the track was fixed to the island benches, and I have just discovered that the cause of my shorts has been here all the time.
I have a heavy duty (45amp) ring main bus line that runs all around the layout. At an earlier time, I introduced power sections by introducing modified DB150 Command stations, and divided the ring main into 5 sections, each fed by a command station.
Recently I divided these sections up further by using NCE circuit breakers. At about this time, I discovered many problems, loss of power and random shorts, which I have been trying to fix.
As the middle island also turns into a reverse loop, I used reversing switches to allow trains to seamlessly complete the very long loops.
When one continuous ring main power bus was in use, it is certainly the reversing sections that saved the day. It seems the reversing sections ( the whole power districts) fixed the polarity problem that I found over the weekend.
The changes stopped the interesting, unexpected, fix and created a short which I could not locate till today.
The easy fix is to just reverse the wiring for all track sections in the island modules. Every where else the black rail is the outer or wall side of the layout, and of course the red rail is the inner.
For some unknown reason, I wired the module starting at Wodonga, which put the black wire on the aisle side, but when I worked on coal siding I continued the black wire to wards the wall and the red wire towards the aisle, creating the conflict.
I have now cut the bus short between Wodonga and the main layout and am presently swapping the red and black wires on each yard length of track, to keep the same standards used everywhere else.
Its going to take some time!
Using plug clips make things easier. I could have just swapped them all over. Decided that in the future it was going to be simpler to keep the common code, so I took the harder option, or changing every wire over, all approx. 130 pairs :(
Repeat after me... Red to aisle, black to wall...
repeat after me.... Sg is connected to blue wire, Bg is to the brown wire.... Black to black, bus DCC!!