I came home from work early on Friday and went straight out again to visit George at Aurora Trains. He was having issues with the NCE QSnap quad output point controller with the Z21 system. He had given me a ring earlier in the week and he could not get the NCE QSnap to talk. For that matter it also looked like the NCE SnapIt was also not working on the Z21 system. So I took the QSnap to my place and placed on my NCE system and sure enough it came online. So what does that tell you? It seems that the Z21 was putting out a considerable higher track voltage. It appears that it was about 17V AC as measured on an AC Voltmeter. I’m sure my NCE system is about 12V as measured on an AC voltmeter. And is about 13.8 Volts.
I asked the Australian NCE guru Marcus Ammann via an email
he pointed me into a notice on DCC Concepts website and it mentions that “… Its
(sic) not perfect (what is?) and we have noticed that it does some things (like
set accessory decoders) in a way that does not meet DCC standards, but they
still work well when used with Z21…”. Well that is not good!
Based on what I saw, I think that the makers of the Z21 need to issue a version of their code, to fix the issue. To me, nothing betters the NCE command station - any version!
I returned the QSnap to George on Saturday morning and then
made my way over to Barnacle Bob’s. The local NMRA (Div 1) meeting was at his
place and about 35 turned up. Bob’s layout is just magic. I think everyone was impressed
with his animations and scenic ability. I had a good time, with good
company and had a great feed put on by Bob and Mary and their helpers. We had
quite a number of people present some stuff at the Show and Tell part of the meeting. I was quite impressed by the weathering clinic by Duncan and Cloud painting presentation by Barnacle himself.
Today I made my way to the shed and did some more wiring
work on the Acacia Ridge Yard. I found a feeder not working, so
resoldered it and I shimmed the check rail on a Tillig dual gauge point on the divergent standard gauge track and now my
standard gauge loco runs through it without derailing. I added a 4cm
length of 0.010” x 0.060” styrene strip. I also found another feeder broken off
in Clapham Yard and fixed that. The staff machine for the Clapham Yard to
Dutton Park section had a dodgy LED indicator at Dutton Park. I
eventually tracked it down to a connection in the main signal bus for this
track section about 30cm down the track. That was were my previous 4 core
cable ran out and had to be spliced to another cable to connect to the LED
panel at Dutton Park. Well I resoldered that joint and all works perfectly now, but it did take some tracking down. But in reality it was quite logical. That is why it me so long to find it.
I also added jumpers to the new storage siding trackage at Grafton
Yard and gave it a test. What that showed was that my second Bachman Ballast Tamper needs some more weight over teh motor. That shoul dbe an easy task, but I just need to get around to it. I have Tuesday off this week, so maybe I can get onto
Fisherman Islands Yard’s jumper wiring. I will also try and do my tax. Whio knows I might get something back. Tuesday is also Tuesday Nighter’s
at Geoff’s. That will be good.
38 minutes ago