Sunday, October 10, 2010


Well since the first run debugging has commenced.

Three issues have emerged to date and each requires rectification.

1. Jimtown Cutting
2. Grade behind Adamsville
3. Power section problem

Jimtown Cutting
There was a clearance problem in the cutting! Somehow the plaster ended up a lot closer than what was desired. Whilst the diesels and Cab Forward clearance was fine the handrails on the cab of the Big Boy were just touching the rock face in a couple of places on the curve.

BJ took drastic action trimming parts of the rock face back with a tenon saw!

It was re-plastered and re-coloured. It is hard to tell what happened by looking at the photos. I guess the quote "with scenery if it does work out - you can do it again!" Look below...




Grade behind Adamsville

I always had a concern that the transition of grade "wasn't quite right" and Murphy was at work! The couplers were moving vertically too much ( a high & Low would disconnect) meaning that everything that was not exactly to the NMRA gauge was at risk of disconnecting. Some steam engine Pilots whilst not hitting the rails were getting too close depleting any tolerance should anything "move" over the coming years.

The solution was to remove the track, chisel up the caneite (homosote) from the MDF, re-cut and join the MDF, cookie cut the "new" baseboard and adjust the surrounding supports before relaying the track. I now have a much better transition!

Power section problem

I have a mix of DCC Specialties - PSX's and Digitrax PM 42's for power sections within my 4 booster power districts. I use a Roco MultiMaus DCC system as the group I meet with uses the same system.

In describing the issue, I have three "traditional DC" power blocks each with a Block Watcher connected to one power section of one booster district on a PM42 where I am experiencing "some issues".

I can run single or double head Blueline SD40-2 (each with a ESU Lok Pilot DCC V3.0 decoders fitted), Athearn Genesis Big Boy or Blueline AC4 or AC5 (also with a ESU Lok Pilot DCC V3.0 decoders fitted) without fault, however, when I run a single or double head Athearn SD45T-2 (each with a ESU Lok Pilot DCC V3.0 decoders fitted) it causes the PM42 section to cycle between short / restart - erratically.

This does not happen on any other power section powered by either a PM42 section or a DCC Specialties PSX.

I am wondering if the PM42 has been set to something other than factory defaults. I do not have a Digitrax DTxxx throttle to check/reset the PM42.

I have checked with my local hobby shops and Digitrax is not sold in Adelaide here in Australia, so finding a local to borrow a throttle also does seem a good prospect.

I am thinking I may need to scrap the PM42 and purchase some more PSX's - an expensive solution - unless I can get a solution. If you have any ideas please feel free to pass comment.

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