2020_02_13 Working hard still ...

2020_02_13 Working but not a lot to show.

Since my last post, Graeme and Grant from Murray Modellers visited and we installed another long length of lighting. I have to upgrade the power feed though, and need to upgrade the wire size to cope with the amps being drawn.

Al has returned each Thursday and we are working through a long list of faults.
As an example two weeks ago we tore out the four crossovers at the north end of Albury  and replaced them with new ones as the old recovered ones from my 1982 layout in Melbourne, were electrically and mechanically playing up.

As well we noticed that 4 wheel vehicles were not running into Bullarto from either end. They were tracking straight at both ends refusing to take the diverge when it was set.

We removed track from the troubled areas and checked the convergence of the tracks and in one case, levelled the track. Both problems fixed.

At the same time I noticed the last point motor fitted at Bullarto to the race was firing, and the blades were not moving.
I removed the motor and reset it, only to find we had broken the plastic tie bar and now the point was useless. Fortunately I had another point in stock, which needed repairs. The curved rail had parted the sleepers at the end. Easy fix was to super glue the rail back on, then paint the super glue to seal the bond and install the track. Works just fine.

During the week on my own, I decided to have a bit of break. In between the mundane things like shopping etc, I started installing sound into some locomotives.
 I found a C Class, G Class and an 81 which had been started, and never finished, for one reason or another.  I had all the components and so I put them together with mixed results.
The G Class runs well with sound off, but jerks and crackles with sound on. Unlike my other ESU products this Select was very quiet on full volume. I will reload the 645 Turbo today and see if that fixes the problem.
The 81 Class also seems to have a connectivity problem. I will do a video after and see if you can see what is wrong with this older Tsunami AT1000

THe C Class is work in progress and just for a change has an older WoW diesrl chip in it. Looking for a speaker that fits in the cab at the moment. So back to it ....


2020_02_05 Still pro...............

2020_02_05 Trying to tidy up one more time

 Nearly there!    Nice to see you again Wodonga :D

And so two things were needed. More space so lets get rid of the computer?
But where to?
The tray under the desk top was taken out to make room for the armrests on chair. The tray hung too low.
So I cut the sides of the slide down and lifted the tray about 2 inches. This left just enough room for the lap top, and more room for my knees underneath, whilst sitting at the correct height. Good job done here.

Ok that works for me. See the handy storage box lower right?  $13.98 at Bunnings!

Took a little more than  an hour to build and install and like I thought at Bunnings, it was exactly the right size for this space.
In addition it stored most of my unfinished projects.



2020_02_02 Procrastination!!

2020_02_02 I need to wire the old helix :(

Instead I find lots  to do, but the layout is finally back together and working better than it ever has, except for the helix which was stripped and never rewired.

In the last week....

Al finished the track work at old Bullarto

And I rewired it and fitted the point motors.


OOPS!!  I had not noticed that the backdrop had fallen in. Better fix that today :(

Al refurbished his namesake station that was suffering. He did such a good job, I think I might have to move the track and turn the building to face the aisle :)


I guess I cleared the table. Its a big table and it accumulates a lot of stuff. It gets in the way and has never worked out for me.

But what am I going to do with all those unfinished jobs sitting on the layout?

 They certainly will not fit here, which was found under years of collected rubbish which was sorted and mostly thrown out.

So this is my work station.  To use it, I am just going to haveto learn to store stuff between jobs.
I think I will move the storage boxes on the left and build some shelves to hold all the unfinished stuff to keep it off this very small work place, to enable me to get some projects finished.



Fixed video link


Repaired video link

2020_01_29 Finally!! Albury works, and this ends a major frustration.

2020_01_29 Wiring problem fixed.

And so after a frustrating few months, we have trains running between Wodonga Coal Sidings and Albury. I will write up a story about how this all happened in the near future.
My "DCC University" inspired wiring design is the main cause. I either misinterpreted what was said, or it was just not the correct way to wire such a complex layout as this one developed into in.

I applied at least 6 fixes trying to get this bit of track working. Somehow among  the constant wiring changes, I created extra faults and this just complicated the whole job.

In one day, I disconnected the wires connecting Wodonga Coal Sidings and Albury and then revised the runs and then connected it all up again. I found that the dual juicer (Tam Valley) were cross wired and that a negative feed was missing (BG track was sharing the SG feed!)

Video here 

Rod Young


2020_01_17 Its hot its smokey as Australia burns again.

2020_01_17 Catching up

Well things have slowed a little but here is a photo gallery of how we managed the first month of 2020

So we found an asymmetric 3 way point and as this gave a bigger radius entrance to platform, we tried it out and it did stop carriages derailing.

All the time I was trying to solve my two big problems!
The first being why my dual juicer reverser was not working. Here it is drawn out. Anybody got an idea?

I suspect it all comes back to my use of a common negative bus line SG and BG tracks sharing the common black feed. I have removed this by running separate negative feeds on both reverse loops. It however did not fix problem.
I also removed the circuit breaker feeding both reverse loops, and instead fed the power to the dual juicer from one adjoining section. Still this did not work.

I am presently installing separate -ve (black) feeds to the BG and SG of the adjoining track section. Not finished yet.

So Thursday was "Al" Day and together we decided to sort out Bullarto. The point motors had either not been wired in, or even in 3 cases installed.

Even though we never had track or derailment problems here, it was always messy, and point motors were difficult to install.

So we ripped it all out and started again!

 After removing the track, we sanded it back and filled the holes (nearly all of them...

 The biggest problem was of course the caneite board used to build the track bed so many years ago. To get the track to stick to it, Al came up with the idea of sealing it with gap filla.

When it dried (48 hours) I sanded it smooth and Al laid the track back on. Actually we threw out the code 70 and used Peco code 75. Much to Al's relief :)

 Need to widen road bed a little to maintain minimum 36" radius.

ok so it looks like it might go back together really well.

 So the road bed is now a little wider.

I had to fill a hole which was associated with the old portable boards no longer required. Its at the end of the dock under that short curve. I repaired it after this picture was taken.

The 36" curve is looking nicer now, and I built up extra road bed to allow the second road a little more room.

 We reinstalled the shed road and extended it to fit a stock race.

So this will keep us occupied for at least another week.


2019_12_28 Still chasing wires and setting up circuit breakers.

2019_12_28  Hoped to be testing trains by now. Al came again last Thursday and we sorted out some point motors and some track problems.

Decided to use a pair of Tortoise Motors under the layout in a place difficult to get to, and one went in just fine, however the second one would not run in one direction. That is the motor rotated, but the pin was not able to push the point over. It was a little stiff, but not enough to stop the movement. I walked away, hoping to find a solution another time :(

Lets use a picture story as usual.

 Here is the throat of the SG entering Albury. I used a three way point (against all advice) because I had a space problem. How could Peco make a dud product, and over many years, not fix it ??

Anyway the radius is a bit too tight and Pass cars will not run into the left or right side. Freight and Locomotives seem to be ok. The pass cars will not pass through in either direction. I think I will have to introduce two points here, and I might just have enough room if I use a medium to the right and a large left into the platform. I am about out of points, so I will have to do a search, before making my decision.

 Under here I am supposed to be able to access the hidden areas screened off or in tunnels. The trolley makes it easier, just.

 The problem is that trains stop half way through the tunnel, and the cause was most of the droppers were not connected. And so I connected them and immediately caused a short. and I supposed the short was caused by some droppers being on the wrong bus, however I got rid of that short, and created another when train came out of tunnel and entered the Indonesian point.  If it smells like a reverse loop (Al was right)  and flat on your back on a trolley, puffing and panting, it may NOT look like one....  but it was!

 So moving wires around to create a long reversing section, I pulled with the plies to un clip a dropper and pulled this dropper off the rail... oh no flip flip flip!!

This photo was supposed to show the area that was available for me to get up inside and re solder the dropper.

the space between the supports was enough, however the heavy bus wires restricted me somewhat. I am on my own today, do not have my phone within reach and only have one hand free. which is holding the camera! oops it clicked and no time to pose Ha Ha.  However neither picture shows the predicament I found myself in.

 Now the soldering iron was sitting on a box behind me, and I had the solder in my pocket. As I reached around behind me, I could feel the trolley starting to move. Finished up getting the iron, without burning my hand and somehow threaded my trapped arm in close enough to hold the wire to the rail. It was tinned and stuck firmly with first touch. I gave it a heavy tug, just to make sure.

 So now I need another circuit breaker, and here is my very last NCE EB1 added to the board top left.

blurred bugger!   Too hot to go again to get another But I moved the Albury BG and SG c/b's up and added a third for the reversing loop.
Also moved all three EB1's t right to allow room for two dual Juicers converted to reverse loop controllers. They are shown on left.
I used two here because one did not work completely under the helix at Albury. If you enter from two directions it shorts out. The two tracks between coal siding and Albury will need to be fully independent.

Ok all I need to do now is run two new bus lines with independent black returns (that is 4 wires)  the length of the reversing loops and move droppers from main bus to new bus and the short will magically diiapear

The Digitrax system is extremely quiet no warning unless it purges an address.. 3 beeps.Cheers
Rod Young