Sunday, July 18, 2010

Having a Run

Today I spent some time in the Shed and gave a few locos a run.  I concentrated on 5 of my sound locos, 3 x Tom's 44 Class, my Eureka Garratt, and Eureka 620/720 class (wouldn't it be nice to also run a sound CPH - I just need it to get here) before giving the non-sound ones a run.  The non-sound locos that were run ranged from good runners to absolutlely cr@p runners.  I exercised a few locos that rarely get run and gave some a bit of an oil so they would run slightly better.  These included an X200, a 73 Class (bring on the Auscision ones), a 45 Class, an 80 Class, a 442 Class and 3 x powerline 81 Class as well as a Lima 422 and 44 along with a Powerline 48.  The 44 and 48 had come from the loco area and I now know why.

The Lima and Powerline stuff just runs like cr@p when compared to the all wheel pickup and all wheel drive of the modern locos.  While the 81's run well enough, you almost need ear muffs when running as they are the noisiest locos on the planet.

I put a few trains back on the layout as I took three to the Club on Wednesday for a run and didn't do get them out of the car.  I spent the day adding a bit more styrene to my Kyogle Bridge, as I borrowed some styrene off PK.  I will pay him back when I can buy the replacement packets.  The bridge is coming along well, but I still need some more 3.2mm 'I' beam, and 0.060" angle to complete it.

This week I decided to do a bit of electrical work on the layout.  I finally installed a panel mounted voltmeter next to my existing panel mounted ammeter.  Both can be cut in/out.  I love the ammeter as it tells me how much load in on my 5 AMP NCE DCC system.  It normally hangs around 0.5 Amps with about 40 locos sitting on the layout, with me running a double or triple header  Most locos (bar one or two) have LED headlights installed and some locos just sit there in staging or siding with their headlights on all the time.  So 0.5 Amps I feel is pretty good for my power drain when nothing is running on my layout.  The Ammeter certainly tells me when there is a short somewhere on the layout as it goes almost off the scale when this occurs.  So as a precautionary step, I can power down the whole layout by a master kill switch, next to the meters if the person who caused the short, is slow in responding to the short.  I also turn this switch off when I shutdown the layout and don't turn this switch on after powerup until I know the NCE system has powered up properly.

I also finally installed an NCE switch it that has been sitting around for over 12 months.  This is powered off the track bus and can be switched in/out via a panel mounted switch.  Then from two panel mounted momentary operated push buttons, which I also installed, I was intending to turn on/off the first point motor output of the switch it.  This NCE switch it is designed for tortoise switch machines.  However, mine will control a small relay which will be in series with a diode so that it will only operate when power throws in one direction - or that was the theory.  The relay will power a PC fan that will allow air to be blown through a pipe to under the layout to make my Windmill at Baker's Farm turn.  However, the amount of air being moved by the PC fan is minimal and certainly not enough to move the windmill.  I might have to acquire a larger fan or a fish tank air pump.  We will see.

I also fitted bogies to the three NOCY's without doors that I painted last week.  While not 2CM's they are bogies and the wagons can now enter traffic until I get the proper 2CM's.  Today I fitted the doors to the last of my 3 scratchbuilt NOCY's.  On one of these I also fitted the tie down strip all the way around.  Two more to do this to (maybe during the week) and I can painted these also.  Again I will need another 3 pair of 2CM bogies, and these can also enter revenue traffic.

Tuesday this week was a Tuesday Nighter's get together.  We visited gentlemen Jim's house and had 10 in attendance.  That was our biggest turn out for quite some time and the attendance included Mad Mike.  Next meeting will be at Mad Mike's place.  Jim and Mike are both well into their 80's and don't get to travel around much especially in the cold, but they both enjoy our get togethers.  I know I had a great time.

See you next week with another update.

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