There has been quite a lot of activities this month recommissioning the layout is substantially complete. In addition I did some maintenance on my MT4's, have been working on the grade crossing project for Dazzy Jay, attended three Ops Session at Wayne's and my Granddaughters run some trains.
Loco LeMaistre and Huntington have been cleaned in the same manner as the decks. Once agin thanks must go to Peter J who came to help.
There are a number of turnout issues mainly around solenoids to be addressed. I found the AWOL paperwork in a box packed by the insurance contractors. I forgot I asked the session operators to make notes on the failure 18 months ago so the paperwork has written notes on it!. I need to recreate it soon.
The following locos needed attention on the workbench as they failed to operate. Wheel and pickup cleaning and some rewriting of decoder settings from DecoderPro seems these measures have addressed the issues.
I have a new issue with the control system relating to my shunt locos in Huntington - they don't want to respond to the throttle - they are all small diesels however the mainline larger locos work fine - perplexing.
When I was cleaning the wheels ready to reprogram them I remembered an issue we encountered many times was the pony trucks not tracking properly and occaisionally derailing. Fellow modelers have weighted the pony trucks on their locos and solved the problem so I took the opportunity to wrap some thin rosin core soler around the pony truck axles to add a small amount of weight. We will see if it has made a difference in the next operating session where they are scheduled to run.
Dazzy's Grade Crossing
I indicated last month that I was building a grade crossing for Dazzy. I have completed the code for the cossing lights which works fine.
Well the circuit I proposed to use for detection failed as I could not get reliable detection with the required 30cm gap between the IR LED and Photo diode. I changed the circuit to use a photo transistor an cranked up the IR output of the high capacity IR LED's I sourced from RS Components - see circuit diagram below. This worked first time but in later trials I deemed it not to be reliable enough.
|Ruler Match for 30cm|
Well I went looking and read about modifying the standard robot IR avoidance module as described by Rob Paisley here. Now I owe Uncle Larry and apology - on MRR Show 202 I said my solution was better - wrong! I just didn't realise what Rob Paisley had documented as a solution using the same technology that Uncle Larry has suggested and I have on hand.
Normally the sensor is used to detect using reflected IR however in this instance we need to detect when the IR beam is broken.
|Benchtesting IR LED on LHS and Sensor on RHS.|
After a bit of tweaking of the sensor sensitivity resistor it worked like a charm using a remote IR LED.
I modified te code I had written and incorpoated Dr Geoff Bunza's "RR_Crossing_Bell_FreeRun_PB" published by MRH Magazine back in December 2016.
|Detector modules and sound modules added|
Placing the detector modules about 40cm from a normal capacity IR LED things work ok. See the circuit diagram & video of operation below.
This month I attended three sessions, one at Peter J's and te other two at Wayne's.
I attended along with Chris, Peter S, Rosslyn & Wayne
|Rosslyn at Marysville|
|Wayne at Cedar Junction with Rosslyn looking on|
|Peter S at Marysville|
|Chris & Peter J at Glenbrook|
|Chris and Me at Grass Valley|
|Wayne and Rosslyn at Cedar Junction with Peter S looking on|
|Wayne uncoupling at Reid river|
|Chris & Peter J in the crew room - Nevada City to the right|
|Peter S at Eureka|
Afterwards we enjoyed some of Mary's home made cake and other snacks along with a welcome drink.
I was lucky enough to attend two sessions this month and enjoyed both of them.
I attended along with Alan, Des, Don, Hugh and John at Wayne's and I was yardmaster at Dunkleigh Towers for the first half before getting to run some mainline trains.
|Alan and Hugh at Forrest Gully and John at Lowood Crossing|
|Wayne and Don in serious discussion|
|Me at Dunkleigh Towers|
|Des and Wayne at Red Rock|
|Don, John, Hugh and Alan all at Lowood Crossing|
|Des at Valley Junction|
|Alan at Lowood Crossing|
|Des, Hugh and John|
|Don, Alan & Wayne|
Barry, Chris, Des, Rosslyn and I joined Wayne for the session.
I had two Yardmaster jobs firstly Valley Junction followed by Lowood Crossing. The schedule was "easy going" so a non stressful great operating session for me.
Afterwards we enjoyed afternoon tea as usual.
|Barry at Mulga Ridge|
|Chris & Des at Red Rock with Wayne watching on|
|Rosslyn at Forrest Gully|
|Rosslyn, Des and Chris at Red Rock|
|Barry at Lowood Crossing|
|Wayne - "Supervising"|
Well after many requests to "run trains" in the last 18 months I was finally able to allow it due to the recommissioning work.
They had a great time and asked for more.....
That's it for now so until next time.....