2019_04_28 Tradesman bitch!! and more wiring

2019_04_28   So what does a tradesman make an hour and what do you get?

About a year ago, I invited this guy to install my $2000 (huge) Panasonic Air Conditioner (Thanks Good Guys for a "Friday" discount,on top of an already great price which was hundreds under Harvey "GST" Norman.

When its on the drain drips over the doorway, straight down the back of your neck. The fix was to wrap it with insulating tape which fell off two days later. I thought that was what blue glue was for?

I was quoted $850 install, because a gap had to be cut into roof above air conditioner to allow air to enter at top. I cut hole and they used it to install the unit over door.  When I asked them to box it in, they went away for more materials.  Never saw them back again, however the bill arrived and was upped to $1580 for the extra work involved. They never came back. I paid them cash for job (Yes big mistake) I hope they paid GST because I asked the taxman to check if they did. They worked 3 hours. Well one guy did. The electrician was there for only an hour. So 4 hours into $1600 is about $400 an hour and I had to get another Tradesman (actually a real tradesman ) to finish the job.

Cutting the hole out properly (I am not a tradesman :blush: ) After removing the roof iron and insulation.

Build a box and seal it into the ceiling. Paint and voila!

Now the ceiling cavity can get hot or cold, and the airconditioner can circulate the warmed / cooled air and operate more economically. Thanks to my son Dale Young... A real tradesman.
Now as long as the door is not opened or closed as the large door flap drops down when AC turned on and off. The rest of the time it sits neatly out of the way.

Back to the Model Railway  :D

More wiring, and yesterday and today, I have continued on with the project to get this job finished and trains running again. Al and I started this on Thursday, last. the wiring is slowly progressing, and of course it is even slower as a one man operation. 

The big news is that I how have all six districts connected into the system, and the short circuit appears to be fixed.  No breaker alarms at all for a week Ha Ha.

Have a sound  loco advancing down the SG track as each dropper is connected. Out of shot a GM does same thing on the BG...    This is exciting!!

Rod Young


2019_04_26 Please Help!

2019_04_26   Missing Tool (Thief?) Gremlin noticed to be in or about Yackandandah!

Note!!  This is not one of the two missing packets....  This one was pictured after a 40 km round trip to replace the missing items. Could everybody take a look outside and see if either the theft gremlin or the stolen items are close by?

They were last seen in a flimsy plastic bag after emptying all other items. When I went to put them away they had vanished from the face of this known universe.

Was it my imagination or not? Are they under the seat of the car?  Did I indeed buy them?  Perhaps the receipt was wrong and I never bought them at all?    Or that rascally gremlin indeed paid me a visit on Thursday? Maybe I am the victim of a eh?...  stick up?

Meantime as I was still rewiring the helix, visiting Tony McK. helped out by repairing several faulty points and adjusting point motors on the branch, and now trains can safely operate to the trestle bridge near Honeysuckle.

Thursday was AL-Day!!  Al's back after over 9 months of recuperation, and we eased into rewiring Wodonga yard. Very successful day and we found the cross feed that indeed caused my major short circuit. I was able to successfully connect up every territory  without hearing the circuit breaker trip every few seconds. Yeiii!!!!  for the first time in a long time, trains are running again.

So Al and I worked from High Street Wodonga  towards Uncle Bens, and fitted several points as we went. Removed all temporary wiring and installed permanent links. Half the job got finished, only interrupted by a section of track that was sitting high  above the sleepers and looking really bad. So we replaced that and moved on.

Had a great day and Al supplied the sausage rolls!!  Love those sausage rolls!!

Here is the obligatory picture trail for today.

Rewiring and testing started beyond drill and ended about...

 ...where the soldering iron sits. Point motors used were Tam Valley assembled servo type with a two way frog switch fitted.

 Bit of track right of pliers was lifted and replaced.

New wires hanging down and old wires being snipped off as we go. Gee its going to be nice to see that looking tidy after all this time.

About to finish up after Al left and noticed that the joiner had come away up here. Loaded it with liquid nails and try again :D



2019 A bit of this and a bit of that...

2019_04_23  Graeme visits and adds to the canopy

Bending masonite and gluing in place.

Running out of clamps.



Playing with Tony's Gantry. Can I afford one of these :(


Bowser Signal under construction.

Another patch up . Need to sand and paint to see how it goes.



2019_04_12 (Continues / addendum)

2019_04_12 The Canopy and liquid nails

One for Graeme. Sorry things got hectic today, and I missed our cup of java stirred with sweet conspiracy to end our day. Lucky we got a starter in 😋
We got lots done and I am as always thankful for all your advice and work. Thanks friend.

The glue is spectacular...

its never coming off Ha ha.  Might have to use the short piece on the right, as it ends on a joint. Cant glue it today, because it droops a bit and I cant straighten it with clamps, much less with glue spread on it.


2019_04_13 The Canopy Continues.

2019_04_13  The rewire continues and today we added to the canopy.

 The good news is that the PR4 arrived from the US today without GST, which was unexpected. Apparently the small business in the USA was not obliged to collect it.

Th onlybad news is pictured above. The lack of standards to operate engines DCC and DCC sound.
A standardised control sheet for Australian engines needs to happen. How do the MU this stuff?

The good news is that finally Decoder pro has worked three days in a row...  a modern record for me!

And the wiring project is ongoing.

You can see the blue and black wires running around inside of the helix, just glued down with hot glue. I have also run a green and black wire completely around. Next I need to add a brown and black wire. Each meter of the track then gets wired to the ring main cables.
Three tracks? So why not 4 wires with common return (black)  Well that was the short I am fixing.
One BG track with a passing loop at second level, will feed from an NCE 3 amp circuit breaker. The next two tracks are SG and will each have its own circuit breaker.
The circuit breakers need two wires in and two out. I had the black wire as a common. It appeared to work, however now it doesn't, Not sure why trains ran? Perhaps I never had two trains running on helix before?
THe Helix will in fact be a reversing loop. Not because it needs to be, however for reasons long since forgotten, the black return wire is always furthermost from the aisle (next to the wall) The helix reverses this and so I use reversers behind each NCE circuit breaker, requires 6 wires on the helix.
Droppers will link with solder each meter of track on this helix, mainly because I can do this standing up.

The canopy with Mr Schulz

Some Pics

 We decided to glue the end on first. Should go and take off the clamps to see if liquid nails will do the job.

stands 200mm of the corner and masonite is only a little stressed.

Whilst waiting this to dry we extended the canopy

 we extended the straight bit one bay each side, but ran out of a 4 way plastic joiner and could not finish. Graeme went on to building the curved portion at end of module. I was very busy most of time cutting and drilling as Graeme installed it all.

WE reinforced the join after gluing together two lengths of masonite, which will wrap around and be fixed to the droppers shown here (one of them, anyway)

We needed extra four way plug to finish


2019_04_09 (continued)

2019_04_09  Ok so whats happening at Hobsons Bay North?...

So as said, I am doing some work.

The frustrating shorts in the railway was so frustrating, I decided to leave them for later, months ago.
So I reloaded JMRI Decoder Pro and lined up all my unfinished decoder installs using WoW and  Tsunami chips and cluttered up the work bench and everything around it with necessary tools, speakers, glues scrap styrene for speaker boxes, led's wire and a soldering station.

Well that was a few months back. You see Decoder Pro will not run on my new Asus Windows 10 laptop, nor will it run on my old HP laptop, on which it ran perfectly up until Win 10 was installed a couple years back. Tried returning it to Win 7 however it suddenly upgrades to 10 when I am not looking. I guess I could do a complete hard drive clean, and load a fresh copy of 7, however asking it not to upgrade is cancelled out my next update which loads 10 back on again.

Plenty of friends are out there for me, alas still not a goer. I have sent back to Digitrax my PR3 and replacement PR4 asking them to advise me if they are testing ok.

Meantime, I have organised what I can, and moved on to ESU Loksound. Their programmer at least does work!

Here is my Y Class sound install. Not happy with sound though. I will build a styrene box and glue it to body of loco and see if that helps. (not sure wooden box gives better bass, but it does deaden sound a little.)

 Its an 8 pin plug. I will use a loksound mini V4.0 and load a Y Class sound on this.

Had to remove lighting board and weight to allow me to file down speaker housing to accept a quality phone speaker in a wooden baffle. Used pictures to remember where wires attached.

 Feed the wires back through chassis making sure red and black track pick ups go through holes provided (helps keep wires away from spinning tail shafts. Cut front headlight away from speaker box

 reattach headlight to chassis. Used spacers to allow for short thread after filing top away.

 Quick test using Loksound programmer. Sounds great with this speaker. Alas  too large for Y Class as body narrows near cab.

Using generic sounds from loksound. was ok. Need to make up new speaker box and fit this speaker in loco.

Taking a break from that, and returned to tracing shorts on track.

OK it appears my wiring problems are mainly to do with the Helix. Testing it by isolating DCC system, and applying 12v DC to track sections was interesting. I used a DC loco as a test. It went forwards very quickly and was controllable. However in reverse it back fed and several DCC locos in the Branch yard started up and I could hear normal sound. Could not control them, as AC overlaying voltage was missing?
Spent some time looking for the bad feed. Need to check if a missing insulated joiner.

As the helix was still only temporarily wired in, I decided to run three wire feeds from top to bottom beside the track, and disconnect temp droppers. I got the three feeds in place, fixing them with hot glue. Now its time to attach all feeders and test it again.

Ok about 7 hours work to get two feeds glued in. Another day to connect feeders.

In the meantime, I have a few trains running. Must be some dual gauge on the branch ??

Testing new purchases from ACT Exhibition a few weeks back.

 A couple of sound 442's arrived from Auscision. 

They were late because my card bounced 😒 ANZ Bank took over my Aussie Loan Visa card and stopped it, even though it had ample funds. Problem solved. Cancelled card and used another one. Now to get rid of the ANZ card.

 This little gopher had sound installed and runs nicely, look at the load following picture.

 R704 back from Mark, who weighted  for me. It now hauls prototypical loads.

Look at the difference in sizes :)

 The 30T just lifted all these up the grade. WoW...  not once did it slip.

All the NSW steamers hauled these up the hill.

A low frame 32 Class. I think it was discounted because of paint. Dirtied up a lot, and should look better

My last NSW engine. This should be enough to populate Albury. This 50 Class was on the special table at Canberra. It had a 'binding' mech. I got it rather cheaply.When I got it home and it failed to move, I pushed it back and forward and it took off, never to bind again.
The icing on the cake was sound was turned off. It works when I turn it on. I did not know it was a sound version. Double the fun, and rather cheap to boot!

 Thought it was an EH, but bought it anyway.