Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March Update

This month has seen activities that included:  Updating my Website, Problems continue with the MTH PA/PB's, Rossco's Interlocking, Stanvac Chain Wire Fence and two Ops Sessions.


Speed matching turned out to be quite easy as the basic speed control Start-Mid-Top produced a speed curve that matched my passenger speed curve pretty well!

The dramas continued with two of the three locos as the sounds worked fine but there was NO drive.....

PB Drive Issues

I disassembled the loco looking for drive train issues but found nothing.  Then I discovered that the connector on the motor leads appeared to be intermittent in contact so the next task is to solder new motor wires and connect to the decoder without the connector.

TrainMasters TV Night

The Monday night group came around for another TrainMasters TV evening and we watched the following:

Rossco's Interlocking

Well it is finally installed and working!   Below is the final part in the story you may have been following.  All that remains now is the project write up for the website.

The Tracks

The single track crossing the double track main is the "RED LINE" on the panels and also know as the "E route" as opposed to the double track "BLACK LINES" also known as the "NOT E route".

Rossco had installed live frog crossovers and I was expecting insulated ones - just what I'm used to!   So we purchased two Tam Valley Depot DCC Dual Frog Juicer's to deal with the frog power issues.

Having seen Duncan's workshop in San Diego it is nice we are going to be using some of his gear.

There was a maze of wires to power the approaches, dead rail sections approaching the crossings, turnout power and turnout indications.  The final wire lengths may be adjusted or just "tidied up"....

The Panels

Red Line is the active route

Black Lines are active routes with the swing by Black to Red active

Black Lines are active routes

Black Lines are active routes with the alternate Black Line approach

Did you detect the troublesome green LED?  -  it is all fixed now!

Chain Wire Fence

Last year when we visited Seth Newman's (video link) I liked the operating gates and simulated derail at the Water Treatment Plant.  I want to do a version for the entrance to Stanvac - my Oil Refinery which is very loosely based on the demolished Port Stanvac refinery near home which had sidings that were accessed after the chain wire fence gates were opened.

Having seen Luke Towan's build guide for a chain link fence I decided to give it a go ( BTW Luke has updated his video from the earlier version I referenced which did not have the barbed wire simulation at the top).

The Gates

Using the NMRA Standards Gauge I determined where to position the gates and the derail.  Holes were drilled to insert brass tube through the scenery and baseboard to extend downwards towards the lower edge of the supporting framework.  These tubes will house the wires that move the gates and derail.

I cut some mdf to mount the servos on.  I fitted three "guides" to ensure proper location before tightening the fixings.  This is because it will be located in a "hard to get at"location so I wanted a "sub-assembly" I could install more easily.

Following the Australian Narrow Gauge Convention that I am attending with Rosslyn & Peter Rees (Peter R) I am going to Traralgon to spend a week with Peter doing "Arduino stuff" where I hope to get the servos attached and "Doing what I want" ready to install when I get home.

My Ops Session

Don, Barry, Chris, Rossco, Pierre, Wayne and Peter Saunders (Peter S) joined me for a pleasant three hour session on 6 March.  Peter S joined us for the first time and I was very happy with his operational capabilities and hope he will be able to join us at future sessions.

Everyone undertook something different during this op session and I received some positive constructive feedback.  Most have asked to "do it again" next time to cement the new activities.

The broad running schedule is below.

We had fun.

Ops Session at Wayne's

Don, Des, Barry, Rosslyn & I had another fun session at Wayne's and things tend to run smoother each time we attend.  There was a couple of "technical" power issues that Wayne & I will work on.  I think some modifications to the feeder methodology is required maybe move a booster and the addition of some "snubbers" at the end of some very long untwisted feeders.

Wayne giving me "instructions"

Des & Don at Lowood Crossing

Barry at Dunkley Towers

Des & Don shunt Hartley Vale

Rosslyn & Wayne at Forrest Gully

My mixed goods train ready to depart at Upsen Downe

Wayne, Don & Des discuss "congestion" at Lowwod Crossing

Barry "worn out" near the end of the session

Wine, tea, coffee & biscuits afterwards

We look forward to our next visit in April.

That's it for this month!

Till the end of April.....


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