Sunday, February 13, 2011

Odd Jobs - all add up for more progress

This week I spent Monday Night in the shed and programmed the Mini Panel with the commands to throw the points at each end of the Rappville Crossing Loop.  These are accessory numbers 213 and 214.  I think its magic that when you push a button on the control panel, the Mini Panel tells the DS64 what point to throw in what direction.

Tuesday was a trip to Geoff's for Tuesday Nighters.  Another very good night talking, eating biscuits, drinking coffee, and watching Geoff run his 49 Class branchliner up and down the few sidings he has on one side of the layout with about a half dozen super detailed 4-wheel wagons - very nice indeed.

On Friday I again had an early mark to pick the kids up from school as to make myself presentable for a family party on Saturday night.  So I eventually got down to the shed mid afternoon.  I decided to start assigning locos for my trains for the first timetable running night, although it appears that my list was missing some trains. I'll have to print a new list this week.  I also had to try and make up a Gold Coast Motor Rail consist.  Most of my coaches for that train are not yet assembled as they are in various stages of assembly and definitely not painted or fitted with couplers.  So my current version for this train is only three carriages - Oh well!

In an effort to increase the roster of available motive power, I got some of the poorer runners out as well as a 45 and 442 and did some tuning.  I changed the starting voltage (CV2) on a number of locos - 5 x 48's, a Lima 44, a Lima 422, and the AR-kits 45 and Austrains 442.  I now have these guys starting to move at speed step 1.  I still need to go back and change the finer details of these decoders with kick strength and other features so the locos will move at a slower speed when in speed step 1.  I can then potentially lower the current CV2 figure even more compared to the value that I have just it set.  But this is the first step in getting all of my locos to move at SS1.

I then ran one my jumbos which had low pilots from Acacia Ridge to Rocla. I had attacked both my 442's with a bastard file on Monday night. It seems the <1mm that I removed from the pilots has done the trick.  That coupled with removing a few rather steep gradient changes in the track seems to have worked well.

On Friday night I went back down to the shed and did some more work.  I replaced a troublesome point at Kyogle and while I had the track up, I drilled holes in the baseboard for the manual point actuation method that I am using.  I then replaced the track and installed three manual point throws for the points in the northern end of Kyogle yard.

While doing this work at one end of Kyogle, I was starting to think about how I would actuate the points at the other end of the yard.  There are 5 point in this area.  I think I will install 5 electric point motors at the far end of Kyogle that is not easily reached from the main part of kyogle and will save whomever is shunting in this location from walking around a peninsular to reach the points at the far end of the crossing loop. I might use the new Peco motors that fit on top of the board beside the point, but they are rather expensive.

After the manual point actuators where installed and tested, I installed a bit of Styrofoam (more Terra Forming) in Nammoona Ballast Siding.  I installed a large sheet of polystyrene around the back of the Nammoona Loop on which I will paint some trees, ballast piles, a cattle race, etc. these will all be in very low 3D relief.

Saturday this week, was Club Meeting day.  So I get a leave pass during the day to travel to the other side of Brisbane before having to be back for a party laster that night.  I made my way to the Club via Austral Modelcraft as I had to pick up another decoder for the Club Shop.  I also picked up some more wire at Jaycar for the last point that I finally installed this afternoon.  I also earned myself a job in installing decoders into 2 Austrains 80 Class locos for a club member.  I will do that sometime this weekas he wanted to come over next weekend and pick them up.  Today I drilled holes in the baseboard and installed the last two Peco point motors at Rocla Sleeper Siding.  I also tested these and they worked just like magic, after I actually programmed the Mini Panel with an accessory number and direction, the push buttons on Rocla's control panel now work.  Funny that!

I have also been thinking about planning the next lot of work on the layout.  This will include the new point upon the northern entry to Cassino and I will be changing it's method of actuation.  Currently it is wire in tube method and the throw via my current actuator is not sufficient to move the point blade hard up against the stock rails and it causes issues.  I am thinking of using a Peco point motor and the existing mini panel but with a very long wire from my local panel at Cassino back to where the mini panel is at Acacia Ridge. The point actuator will just get its signal from the track bus so that is not an issue.  I also have plans for next weekend  to install the signal panels for the staff machines installation on the branch.  These will go in at Lismore Shell oil siding, Lismore and at Murwillumbah.  I am thinking about a running session at my place on the 26th February.  I will try and test the new timetable on this date.  I think I will need about 5 drivers, as well as someone working the Grafton Yard and Acacia Ridge Yard - moving trains up etc., as well as a dispatcher.  I will probably have to work trouble shooting.  I'm not sure I can get enough people to come over.  Before PK posts a comment - Yes it is correct that I do not have that many friends.

Until next week!

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the article Craig - as always - Let me know if you need any members for the running night.