2017_05_30 Time Flies eh? flys

2017_05_30  Hard to believe its been two weeks since I was here :(

Ok have been sick, and was slow to climb out of it. Usually I take a while ,these days to get the spark firing properly.

The Club Exhibition a few weeks back filled in one weekend and a trip to Melbourne to see friends and family helped fill in the last one.

The few times I actually did get into the train room was filled with rewiring and checking out a few purchases from the Exhibition.

Their is a thread on RailPage about the biggest layouts in Australia. Although having the biggest is of no interest to me, but based on what others were writing I decided to roughly work out how much track I have laid, and how much more is to come.
For those who do not visit RailPage you might be interested in this

"Hobsons Bay North is an offshoot of my Club Layout that once was housed near the Docklands in Melbourne.Its  in a 15m x 8m specialty built room, runs around the walls on two levels and via a central island, also double stacked.
At present I have 400 meters of track with Albury yard and helix yet to lay.
I have a three track helix with outer radius of 1.17m and circumference of 7.35m and 5 tiers high to maintain a light grade. If my calculator is being operated correctly, that should have used 110.25 m of track?
The rest of the layout consists of SG track (simulated with code100) and BG track (simulated with code 75)
A second helix,, being only double track (SG) is being built now to access the Northern end of Albury and simulate trains to and from Junee. That will be near 60m long
The existing track, yards and branch line on both levels roughly calculates out at 300m.
Adding in the future Helix and Albury yard is frightening me, but calculated at albury being 600mm by 12m and main line and sidings roughly filling the board  8 tracks across? another 96m?
The helix 60m and the BG branch station on top 20m
I am going to have over 500m and possibly almost 600m of track Sad
My idea was to form a Club up here near Wodonga, but unfortunately I over estimated the numbers of people that might be interested, having very few show any interest despite advertising my intentions. My layout requires at least 4 to operate and could comfortably accommodate 20 people Aisles are huge and from my experiences with Hobsons Bay in Melbourne, I was able to learn from our mistakes down there, particularly the wide aisles
My long delayed layout is overwhelming me, and but for the help of good friends, it would be near hopeless. I guess


2017_05_15 Hobson's Bay North to Digitrax Command? Are you still there?

2017_05_15 Cant believe it, if I did not have sound fitted to my locos, it would be really quiet in here!

And so one more fault found and fixed at Bullarto, and trains are now running all the way to Trentham through there and to the silos via the junction at Bowser.

Still not really well, so spent the cooler parts of today rugged up inside.

Graeme did come over Saturday as did Al. So I should have added more pictures of the mountain. I will add them next time, I get out there.


2017_05_11 A good discovery?

2017_05_11   Working for loco maintenance and signals branch this Al's Day

I wrote an email to a mate and thought it was probably a good blog entry for today.
My friend Al and I worked the whole day on one DCC territory that had somehow developed a short.
We started by removing every dropper from the DCC bus and then connecting just one black return to bus and found any red wire added caused a short to return.
As every point was fitted droppers but wired with insulated  two middle rails (electro frogs live with own dropper via a juicer) I decided to insulate all four rails on the frog end? Of course a fools errand and as expected that did not work.
Al had me putting sound in his G Class, and he sat on a stool, with the short lighting up a car tail lamp, and started at the other end and reconnected every dropper for me. I told him that as the short persisted, with every thing disconnected, and no path was left for the rails to be the problem, to take particular notice of where the red and black wires were soldered. Perhaps I had bundled two incompatible reds together, or had a red dropper from a black rail?? I have done this before.
We worked from 10.00 am to 5.00pm and  Al called me over to show me one complicated section. The Apex Junction, which had given me so much grief a few months back. He went on and completed the rest of the wiring. I found about 5 bundles of red wires. two wire bundles soldered together were easily traced to the same rail or a pair of rails in the same section. No short possible.
But one bundle had 5 red wires. I cut the spade joiner off and re bundled them in pairs and connected them to the same rail district. Al tells me that the taillight had gone out and we had power back on the section all 13.7 volts of it!
I touched the final wire to the bus and indeed the short appeared.
So I traced it back and found it was actually a SG wire feed which should have been short free. However I had allowed the SG main line to come past the end of the district about 3 feet, and in fact I was crossing into the next district! Damn!! I moved the insulators in track ending that line at the edge of district and added the 3 feet back into the (shorting district) connected the wire and the short was indeed gone. Thank God I decided to use connectors to link wires to the bus. :D
I have 10 NCE circuit breakers on layout, creating districts. As well I have 4 Command stations (3 wired as slaves) giving me 14 districts.
This is the first time I have made this error though. The Digitrax stations are finally silent. I can turn them on and off without  hundreds of warning chimes and the tick tick tick sound has finally been put to silence (I knew this was a warning that two command stations were incorrectly wired together) So the wonderful sound of silence!



2017 _05_05 more on the mountain and wiring........

2017_05_05 Graeme sculpts his foam some more and I continue to search for the bad wiring 💣

The shape is glued in place
Now the rock molds need to be cut into walls.

I like the Woodland Scenics plaster side walls, together with the tunnel mouth and interior which are Graeme's own design and build.

Just need to cut away some foam to inset rock molds.

Paint the walls ?

rolled top coat over the undercoat and it blended in perfectly.

Painted same as other walls Looks pretty good to me.

Wiring is still giving me problems. The fault is obviously a bad connection and I spent a few hours going through the wiring under Kilmore East and along the wall to the silo siding.

Just before I gave up, I tested the wiring once more by plugging in a feed and got the short, however I noticed that the point motors could be heard for a second operating.
I then noticed when I started checking the point motor connections, I could stop the short by wriggling the wires. I cut the power feeds to the tortoise switch that feed the frog as the point operates, because the red and black wires were  transposed and because the wires were bundled together with like track feeds, I do believe it may be a simple wrong wire on the tortoise This was exasperated by the loose connection I found when I moved the wires with my hand in close proximity and caused the short to stop shorting and start up again. I will find out tomorrow if I am right. This point motor had no shrink tubing on the terminals, so I will go round the layout ensuring all terminals are so protected.. Fingers crossed? Hope this brings an end to this wiring fiasco :(