Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March Update

This post is a bit late as March has been a different time for me with ups and downs...  Dad's 100th Birthday was a high point but finding out my wife is up for surgery was a substantial low.

This month I attended Wayne's first running session I had a nice afternoon that lasted over two hours. I got a wayside freight and ended up with more than 20 cars and at the first station without a cross and with slack in the schedule I was able to block the cars. The rest was plain sailing. Nice to meet some new people and catch up with a modeler I had not seen for over two decades!

The new Prototype PCB's have arrived and I have assembled and tested them subsequently placing the bulk order to meet the needs of Wayne & I.  Wayne & I have decided that the top level of my layout will be the first installation to be completed.

Some of the crew came and helped to finish the sealing up the train room.

Pierre had another training session but with the other happenings he has missed out on any more - sorry mate!

Prototype PCB's 

The Standard Signal Control Modules (SSCM), Junction Modules (JCTM) and Input Isolator Modules have arrived and I got busy and added the components.

Standard Signal Control Module

The second production prototypes (Version 1.4) has arrived and I have modified the previous ones (Version 0.97). The new versions are considerably smaller than the previous ones.

Upon examination of Wayne's layout there are a number of situations where the passing siding has additional turnouts either leading to stub tracks or other yard tracks.  With Version 1.4 there are four additional configurable inputs on the east and west controllers that can be used to cater for these eventualities.  I have amended the C++ code for the micro controllers and they have tested OK.

The top two are Version 0.97 and the bottom one is Version 1.4

Testing the SSCM

Junction Control Module

The production prototypes have arrived and I have built four units.

Each of the units will be configured for its actual configuration on the layout. The basic configuration takes 5 turnouts in a junction as shown below.

Three additional configurable inputs have been included on the micro controller which assesses and determines the "allowable routes (A-G)" and based on its C++ coding the "Active route" is passed to the East and West Controllers that determine which signals require a "Red" condition.  These "Red" conditions are fed into the standard 3 Light Signal Modules which control each individual signal head.

Input Isolation Module

The design had a flaw so each block of 10 now does 9!

Two completed modules caters for 36 inputs

Sealing the Train Room

Thanks to Ross, Rossco (aka Ros from Oz) and Chris for completing the cladding.  Now I need to get some paint and finished it off.  I still need to put some expanding foam into the flutes in the Bondeck between the brickwork and the underside of the upper story floor.

I am not sure just how much "hobby time" I will get for the next month or two but I am sure there will be some....

That's it for this month.

Thanks again to those that continue to help me achieve my ambitions and hello once again to all my followers!

Till the end of April 2015.


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