Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Update

This month has seen some activity after our holiday and included:  Ops Session at Chris's, Rossco's Interlocking, another Grandson visit, work at Wayne's and the outcome of the JMRI Technical Issues.

Chris's Ops Session

The first Ops session for the year was at Chris's and was attended by Don, Derek, Rossco, Pierre, myself & Chris.  Chris issued us hand written instructions on lined paper and we worked in pairs and ran two trains each during the 1 1/2 hour session.  This year will be a series of shakedowns to "tune" the work undertaken so far.  We will work to eliminate any technical and operational issues that will no doubnt arise - we have our first list!

Thanks Chris for a good night and pleasant supper with Adult beverages.

Rossco's Interlocking

I have been badgering Rossco to complete the track work on his upper level on the western wall for about three years. Well the trip last year reinvigorated his mojo and he again has "the bug" to get the layout working - YES!

He had a design issue and could not get away with out a junction requiring interlocking to avoid unwanted meet ups!  I said that's not a problem "I'll trick it up"....

Well it had a bit more work than I first expected as the interlocking needed to be operated from two operator positions one in an aisle and one in a "crawl in and pop up space" in the central island.

After some design work we settled on a panel layout which had to include the ability to set three turnouts along with the interlocking features.

I decided to use one of the spare TI Launchpads I had and a 5V 1Amp wall wart to power the controller and the indications on the panels.  I will use bi-colour LED's to indicate the Route selected. Apart from interlocking the tracks I needed to make sure that only "one" Panel could have control at a time.

Route "E" is the RED line

There are 19 Control and Indication connections and seven connections for turnout operation.  Panel A needs feeders 8.2 metres long and Panel B 4.5 metres long and the controller is near the power outlet!

Some panel construction photos follow...

And finally they look lie....

Now for the control board.

The control status LED's are driven by Optocouplers (at the top) which switch their supply voltage based on the micro-controller "pin state".  The relays switch the two sets of 7 LED's that show the current route and one the DCC track feed.

I think I have designed a solution that will meet the needs.  The proof will be in the testing to be done in February.

I will probably write it up for Terry Terrance's Launchpad for Model Railroading site later when I am happy with the outcome.

Grandson Visit

During the Christmas school holidays I had another visit for some more operating of the layout. So I set up for a local to arrive at Flinston and let the shunting begin.  I worked the control panel under direction and we had a good 2 1/2 hour session!



I had a request to build a board with connections and resistors for the new Lowood Crossing Control Panel terminations.  There are 50 LED's in the Panel.

Then Wayne decided that due to all the terminating that will be required for this panel a slide out shelf would make the task so much easier to we installed one under the relay shelf.

Plenty of terminating awaits....

JMRI Issues

Last month I reported loading JMRI Test version 4.5.7 I had an error appearing on both my installation and Chris's installation.  I had to ask the guru's on the yahoo group.

I am pleased to advice that Paul B from the support group has fixed the problem and after downloading from the "daily build' page and installing a pre-release version all is working fine.  Thanks Paul B.

Till the end of February.....


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