Thursday, September 23, 2010

Upper Level - First Test Run

Since the last update I have spent may hours wiring up the Upper Control Panel and Power District D. BJ has been doing more scenery work around Jimtown and there will be changes from the original plan! More about that later... Chris has been away on holiday in Canberra and the Monday night crew has met at Barry's but will be back here next week. School holidays are upon us as well which will curtail BJ's Tuesday's activities.

Upper Level Control Panel

Finalising the connections within the panel has taken many hours - especially when I missed some components in the design..... Luckily I picked it up fairly early on so only had to undo six hours worth of work before a fix could be applied.

Power District D

8 PSX's and 18 Block Watchers have been wired

First Test Run

Well after all the wiring stuff the tracks needed cleaning before the big test. The first test was to run over the Power District boundary between District "C" and "D" from Jimtown heading for Stanvac Junction and you guessed it "A Short" - Obviously the "A" and "B" rails were reversed again!

Once the "A" and "B" wires were changed the loco moved over the boundary seamlessly then traversed the boundary between District "D" and "B" - Yes a full loop as "B" and "C" had been previously sorted!

I attached a small string of cars and set them off slowly to traverse the inner loop of the Upper Level and in the first tunnel "S..t" happened the first half the train comes out of the first tunnel with the last bogie of the last truck off the rails with some cars laying on their side in the tunnel!

Further investigation finds a piece of scrunched up newspaper in the middle of tunnel! Obviously the loco was heavy enough to "push it aside" but the cars were not!

On the next test run things were somewhat different.

Watch below as the train comes out of the cutting.

and coming across the bridge on the approach to Jimtown.

Scenery at Jimtown continues

BJ finished off the plaster shell and has started the colouring process on the shell. When the colour was applied the proposed "Buildings - Those built by Chris" - it just did not work. Looked like a shag on a rock or as BJ said "a cartoon scene!".

Alas we have a reserve area on the layout where the structures are still to be determined.

As for Jimtown, well we have some industries, a freight station and some silos there already.  So we will have a diary in lieu of the town and add a cattle loading area.

So watch out for the proposed changes which will include some green irrigated paddocks of pasture!


Freight station and Silos for starters.... The cattle yard will be transferred to Jimtown and those lovely buildings that Chris made will be moved to a location with much more area at Adamsville.

Picket Fences

BJ is building some - he is including some broken palings!

Thanks again BJ for all your efforts.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

18th September Update

Further Progress At Jimtown

BJ has been doing "his stuff" again while Chris is away and I'm doing control panel wiring.

Upper Level Control Panel

Well fun and games when testing out operation of tracks passing over Power District boundaries. Everything seemed to be sweet when first tested using DC until DCC was applied - but I'm not sure what happened maybe the first track used as a reference was not set up quite right and then all the others followed suit?

Well after reversing some track block wires and removing the initial specific problem I then was getting shorts at other Power District boundaries and some frogs (obviously some "A" rails were connected as "B" rails) it was back to basics to check every track feeder, each track interface between power districts and frog polarity wiring.

Three hours later things now work like they should.

A bi-product of the point indication LED's based on frog polarity is the "Block Watchers" are sensing the current and activating their occupancy function. My first impression was "Oh S...t" I have a flaw in my electrical design.

Out with the new digital Multimeter, which I just got for fathers day, to check the current flow and voltage in the block 24mA with 24.5v AC.

I started thinking about additional wires to power turnouts which could be independently powered outside the power through the "Block Watchers" - Oh no more wires...

However, "If all else fails - read the instructions" (heard that somewhere before...) The "Block Watcher" documentation told me that I could set them into "Learning Mode" and then the current drawn by the turnout frog LED's will be considered base load and detection will start when the block current was greater than "base load" plus 3mA.

Problem Solvered! - I was worrying over nothing.....

Friday, September 17, 2010


Cornerstone Plant No.4

You may remember a workmate of mine 'Ross' (as opposed to Ross or Rossco from the Monday night crew) previously built a kit for me. This time I gave him the Cornerstone Plant No.4 to build.

To my surprise Ross also built another building out of odds and sods see below.

Thanks Ross they came out looking great they will be put in an appropriate places on the layout.