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 Moderated by: Reg H Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  ...  Next Page Last Page  
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 Posted: Mon May 18th, 2015 03:16 pm
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Reg H
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Thanks, Dan.

Things are settling out and I hope to get back to the railroad shortly.

Reg



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 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2015 12:49 pm
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Reg H
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Hallelujah!!!

I got a little bit done over the weekend. I managed to get one more turnout control switch assembly done (four more to go), and final spiked a short length of mainline that somehow got overlooked.

Still lots of demands on my time, but I am encouraged that I made some small progress.

Reg



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 Posted: Fri Jul 17th, 2015 02:35 pm
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Reg H
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I haven't visited the site lately.

In fact, I haven't visited the railroad much, either.

Some family stuff going on that is keeping me out of the basement.

But I am still around and I will be getting back to the layout soon.

Meanwhile, I will have some fun paging through looking at what everybody else is up to.

Reg



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 Posted: Mon Jul 20th, 2015 12:15 pm
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Reg H
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Well, the heat got to me Sunday afternoon, so I retreated to the basement.

I finally, FINALLY, completed all of the turnout control switch assemblies. It has been picky, tedious work that is just no fun. It just has to be done.

For some reason, lost in the mists of time, I elected to use the small toggle switches. My switch machines are stall type motors (Switch Master). The toggle switches are wired as reversing switches. Very picky work on the small toggles. I should have gone with the full size toggles.

Now comes the fun of crawling around under the layout installing them and running the switch motor power bus to the terminal strips.

Once that is done the layout will be entirely ready for operation with the exception of the engine terminal, which will wait for more industries and scenery elsewhere on the layout. I think I work on completing the sawmill first. I started it some time ago and the parts for the saw are laid out on one of my assembly boards.

An assembly board? It is a 3/4" piece of plywood anywhere from 8" square to 24" square (depending on the project) with wood strips attached to two sides to form a 90 degree angle. The assembly board gives me a smooth, flat surface on which to work with the angle handy for assembling those things that contain right angles (window frames, doors, walls, etc.). By having a board for each project, I can have multiple projects in progress without tying up the work bench.

ANYWAY!! I hope to have some photo-worthy projects underway soon.

Reg



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 Posted: Mon Sep 28th, 2015 01:42 pm
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Reg H
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Nothing that is worthy of a photo, but progress is being made.

All of the switch machines are in and wired to their toggle switches. I am currently running the power bus for the switch machines at the east end. The west end has been done for a couple of years. So far, two down and six to go.

Once those are done I just need to run the cat-5 for the two DCC control stations on the east side. That will finish the under-the-layout work, though most of that work I can do from the front of the layout without having to crawl around underneath.

It is amazing how involved the wiring for even a simple layout can become. It would have been even more complex had I stuck with my plan of using cab control instead of DCC.

I am finding that, at 67, I can only spend about an hour working under the layout. It really slows down the progress.

If I ever build another layout (unlikely, I would prefer to just keep working on this one) I will plan out a cable trough along the front edge in order to minimize having to spend a lot of time under the layout.

Or maybe build false floors in the walkways far enough above actual floor level so under the layout work can be accomplished standing up?

Or...???

I still need to build the engine terminal. But there will be no turnouts on that part of the layout (things will be switched around using the turntable). I think I can arrange the DCC jumpers so that the bulk of the wiring can be done from the front edge and then hidden behind the fascia.

I am really looking forward to having the heavy construction finished so that I can get back to doing some actual modeling. I started this project in 2009 and it has taken way longer than anticipated to reach this stage.

Reg



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 Posted: Mon Sep 28th, 2015 04:03 pm
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Shoulders
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Hi Reg

Sounds like your making good progress, even though you started in 2009 you haven't quite and still going for it which I'm pleased to hear.

Keep at it and soon will be able to see some picture's of the modelling you have done which I am looking very forward to.

All the best

Cheers Dan



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 Posted: Mon Oct 5th, 2015 02:42 pm
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Reg H
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Three more turnouts are completely wired and operational!!!

I might have gotten more done before my tired old body let me know it was time to crawl out from under the layout, but I pulled an "idiot".

When I completed the hook up of the second one for the day, it didn't light off. Hmmmm. So I grabbed a bit of wire to serve as a jumper and started jumpering terminal contacts to try and isolate the problem.

When two particular contacts were connected, the circuit breaker on the power pack powering the switch motor bus tripped.

Whoa! I have a short some place. I couldn't track it down, but concluded it was in the toggle switch. So I made up a new wiring harness with a new switch.

Once installed, I got the same result! RATS!

As I was scratching my head trying to figure that one out, I noticed that one of the terminal strip screws seemed to be sticking out more than the others. Yep. It was loose.

Tightened it up. Everything worked fine.

Then I twigged to the fact (I can be slow) that by jumpering the two contacts that resulted in a short, in fact, I was creating a short around the toggle switch.

DUH!

Always carefully configure the question before going looking for an answer.

Three more to go.

Reg



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 Posted: Mon Oct 5th, 2015 02:54 pm
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Shoulders
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Ha you sound like me, now days I try and take a breath sit back and think over what I have just done before jumping in as it is always something silly with electrics.

Dan



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 Posted: Mon Oct 12th, 2015 02:44 pm
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Reg H
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A big step is finished. All of the layout wiring (except the un-built engine terminal) is complete. All the turnouts work and locomotives run just fine over all the track.

Also, the two additional control stations on the east side are installed and working, though not without some head scratching.

I got the stations all hooked up (I thought) and plugged in a throttle to one of the new ones. Nuthin.

Hm.

Went to pull out one of the Cat5 connectors. The cable pulled out of the connector. Hmmm, again. Turns out I wasn't as well versed in installing the connectors as I thought. I had experimented extensively with that, too.

Sooo, time to install new connectors. I had purchased 10. I only needed three. I used eight in my first attempt at figuring out the installation process. No. I didn't remember where I put the instructions. I found the instructions for the connector tool when I went to put the instruction sheet for the control stations in my notebook.

Organization is great. The question is, is one organized enough?

ANYWAY. I was short one connector. So off to the really great local hardware store we have in Shelton. They have the connectors...in packages of 10. So now I have 9 Cat5 connectors I will probably never use. At least I know where the instructions are. Question is, will I remember should I ever have to install another Cat5 connector?

Once all the connectors were installed, I plugged the throttle back into one of the new control stations and VOILA. It lit up. Plugged it into the second one, and more success.

Tried to get a locomotive to run. Nuthin'. Fussed around with the throttle controls. Still nuthin'. Used the Digitrax cable checker. All good. Went to the troubleshooting guide in the DCC instructions. Probably not enough feeders or I need a booster. Not good news.

Try the "create a short" test. I can't get the DCC unit to short even if I create the short right on top of the feeder closest to the DCC head end.

What the...!!!

Pulled open the control panel for the Henderson yard, behind which lurks all the power heads. There is a green wire hanging loose. Where does that go? It is the "B" rail bus wire (Digitrax owners will understand).

No idea how that came loose, but re-installed it and everything is good.

I had hoped to get the lengths of fascia installed that will support the turnout toggles and the two new control stations, but I ran out of time. Right now everything on the east side of the layout is hanging by its wires.

Maybe I can wangle another basement session this upcoming weekend.

We shall see...the band (checkout J5OM on FB) has a gig at the Monroe prison, and, our lead pastors are off on a missions trip for the next couple of weeks leaving me in charge of the evening services.

So you may have seen the last of me for a couple of weeks.

But I shall return..

Reg

Last edited on Mon Oct 12th, 2015 02:46 pm by Reg H



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 Posted: Tue Nov 3rd, 2015 01:33 pm
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Reg H
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I have had a little time to work.

But I have discovered that the kit turnouts I bought have a week point. The solder joints on the throw-bars, which are PC board, are not strong enough to withstand the pressure exerted by the SwitchMaster switch machines. On these kit turnouts, the PC board throw-bar doubles as the tie-bar between the points.

Sigh.

My handlaid turnouts have been working just fine since 2009. But I have had two of the kit switches fail since I installed the switch machines just a few weeks ago. I expect the other six will let go soon, as well.

If you go to my tutorial on hand-built/handlaid turnouts you will see that I usually use a brass tie bar between the points with a wood or plastic throw-bar.

Soooo, I expect I will be replacing the PC board throw-bars with brass tie bars and wood or plastic throw-bars. It will be a bit of a pain in the sit-downer with the turnouts installed on the layout.

Just when I thought this phase of the layout was pretty much wrapped up. Given the fussiness of making the modification to an installed turnout, I am estimating about two hours per.

Reg



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