Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Update

This update is once again a bit shorter than usual as the month has again been somewhat abnormal - three parents initially in two hospitals then one in a nursing home with another bouncing between hospital and nursing home by ambulance and the last one coming home in the third week of the month. I spent a week away from home with my wife in Pt Augusta and again some members of the crew were down with winter ailments and that has caused the cancellation of some Monday, Tuesday & Thursday work sessions!

However we have seen work on: Bottom Level Mainline Commissioning, Bottom Level lighting, Double Slip Control Panel Indication Circuits, Retaining Walls, Ballasting on the mainline below Daveyston, structures work, placement of a couple of structures along with some ground cover at Hornertown, Signal Modules and Visiting Locomotive update.

Bottom Level Mainline Commissioning

This month Chris and I attempted to commission the approach to Fleets Loop (under the flour mill at Hornertown East) to find a dead short in the track work wiring.  Well Murphy was operating at top speed during the fault finding.  This power section had approximately twenty sets of feeders including seven live frog turnouts. We started disconnecting at the turnout end and when they were ALL disconnected and the short was still evident I called it quits and turned the lights out and closed the layout room door...

A day or two later I discovered that one set of feeders (the furthermost from the end we started) had been installed back to front so whilst all blacks went to striped wire the very last one was wrong.  It is worth noting these track feeders were installed at least two years ago even though the block wiring has only recently been installed.

Then came the track test...

BLI Paragon 2 GS-4 with three coaches - it went don the grade and around Fleets Loop no problems but would not look at going back up the grade.  We tried one coach off, two coaches off, then three coaches off and the light engine went up the grade!

Ros and I then spent a couple of hours releasing all risers and regrading to ensure the grade was even but the same results prevailed.



So we sent two Proto 2000 F7's down with seven Walthers Streamline coaches and the went don fine and came out fine! I think I'm glad I'm doing transition stuff so I can run an E7/8 with the GS-4.....  Must try a Bachmann GS-4 to see hoe it copes too....


Below is a picture of a Peco code 75 24 degree insulfrog crossing. I have one installed on the mainline at Picard Junction and all has been well until I rolled the Walthers Streamline coaches through it.  The tires on the wheels are maximum width but compliant with the NRMA gauge.  The gap between the stock rails at the frog is small ( I guesstimate 15-20 thou) and the wide wheel tires short out on the other track.  Pam donated some nail polish which is being allowed to harden well.  We'll have to see if that fixes the matter...



Bottom Level Lighting

The Warm White LED strip....


Mounted on 20mm x 12mm DAR


LED Dimmer and Remote


Power supplies and dimmers mounted.


Testing before final installation


Installed under the layout



The panoramic view....

video


Construction lighting Vs final lighting - see the difference in the two sets of photos below.








I am very happy with the results.

I am looking forward to my son helping me with the outstanding ceiling mounted halogen lighting.

Double Slip Control Panel Indication Circuits

Last month I indicated that I have 4 double slips 2 on the mainline and 2 in separate yards so four boards are required to be placed in three separate locations and "final installation and integration will happen during July".  Well all did not go to plan!  Some of my design work had errors and the A1B1, A1B2, A2B1, A2B2 - 2 logic connections were reversed!  All 4 boards were fixed and now I have another issue to debug - 3 out of 4 positions work lovely but the fourth shows "no indications at all".  I hope to fix this during August.......

Control Panel Bi-colour LEDs terminated on the flat 8 conductor wire prior to placement in the panel.



Retaining Walls, Ballasting on the mainline below Daveyston

A joint effort between Barry and BJ.  Barry fitted the retaining wall printed card and tunnel portal and BJ is responsible for the ballast and ground cover work.





Structures

Daveyston


Crew Quarters (note the Motrak Models MOW Shed -in white box -in the background which is still to be constructed).



Relay Equipment Building



Flinston


Bigland Engineering





Hornertown


Icing Plant in foreground and Meat works in background.


Icing Plant




Center track is the lead past icing plat for string of reefers.


Meatworks




Signal Modules

Whilst away from home I constructed some more signal module boards.  Eight modules per board I think I still need another three boards.Below shows the work table setup in the lounge of my wife's unit at Pt Augusta (she is based in an office 350 kilometres from our home).




Four and a half boards done


Five boards done!



Visiting Locomotives

Last month I indicated that Ros (Roz from Oz) has brought a few of her brass locomotives over which are "known to be picky" as they seem to find "all the track faults" in order to assist in commissioning the lower level which has the most complicated track work on the layout.  Well it did not happen! sickness and family issues precluded it happening.

Hopefully there will be more on this next month.

Pam's Blog

We managed to get her first post up this month.  Have a look at the "Benmoor & Waitaki River Railroad" Blog.



With the additional family duties and with some of my helpers away may see another lean month in August.

Thanks to all that continue to hep me achieve my ambitions..

Till next month.


-ooOOOoo-

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Progress


This update is a bit shorter than usual as the month has been somewhat abnormal - three parents initially in three different hospitals all within 2 days and they all still remain in hospital as I do this post but only in two hospitals. Couple this with some members of the Monday night crew down with winter ailments (including me) has caused the cancellation of most Monday nights and half the Tuesday & Thursday daytime work sessions!

However we have seen some more work on Bottom Level mainline commissioning, LeMaistre Loco Control Panel Turnout Indications, Double Slip Control Panel Indication Circuits and Ballasting on the Bottom Level mainline.


Bottom Level mainline commissioning

UP 4-8-8-4 4001 and stramliner coaches on the Huntington Branch - this will not happen during normal ops but a good test of track work and clearances!


Chris doing some final wiring adjustments and turnout motor testing at Picard Junction.





LeMaistre Loco Control Panel Turnout Indications

Despite this being the first panel made ( prior to establishing standards :( ) indications were an afterthought!  The pic shows all but two turnouts indications operational - these have been completed now.




Double Slip Control Panel Indication Circuits

I have 4 double slips on the mainline and 2 in separate yards so four boards are required to be placed in three separate locations.

The circuit - uses 2N3906 transistors, 1N148 signal diodes,1k0 &10k0 resistors, common cathode Red/Green LED's.  The circuit uses 12v regulated DC and switches A & B are turn out contacts.
Thanks to Rob Paisley for the concepts see here.



The workbench


Top view of board under construction


Bottom view of board under construction



Two boards and the regulated 12v power supply mounted before external connections.



Final installation and integration will happen during July.


Ballasting on the Bottom Level mainline 

BJ has been practicing the mixture of colours and textures for the mainlines that will be different to yard tracks.

Mainline adjacent to yard.








Mainline external to the yard




Visiting Locomotives

Ros (Roz from Oz) has brought a few of her brass locomotives over which are "known to be picky" as they seem to find "all the track faults" in order to assist in commissioning the lower level which has the most complicated track work on the layout.




More on this next month.

With school holidays upon us the additional family duties for a lot of my helpers may see a lean month in uly as well - I cannot forget the commencement of operations due for this time next year - a lot of work still remains....

Thanks to all that continue to hep me achieve my ambitions..

Till next month.


-ooOOOoo-