Sunday, March 20, 2011

Simple Things and More Tuning

On Saturday, Peter H came down from Caloundra to do a few jobs. One was to pick up his order from overseas that was delivered to me from our "local purchasing agent" so I could delivery it to him. We had an enjoyable coffee in the shed while he was waiting for his better half to have her hair done a couple of suburbs away.

While talking I discussed my 'el cheapo' UTP panels. At the end of some cab bus runs of standard UTP's, I put a RJ12 Splitter which you can get from Harvey Normal. These cost $6.95, a lot cheaper than the real ones from NCE. They work well.
Photo of RJ12 Splitter from Harvey Norman.

I also showed off the wooden cab holders that one of our Club members was starting to make for pocket money. Bob was selling them via our Club Shop for $5.00. We used to sell a plastic cab holder also via the Club shop, that was obtained from SuperCheap Auto for $5.00 as well. But these are no longer available. I have about 10 to 12 around my layout. The wooden ones are not hard to make.

Photo of my Radio Procab sitting in the plastic mobile phone holder which we use as a cab holder

These cab holders also have a small holder to the side which you can hang a pen from as well as install your uncoupling devide of choice from.  I also use kebab skewers.

This out of focus photo shows the Splitter installed the other way around, as the cab bus goes to the other side of the peninsular, a cab holder, a kebab skewer, my KD pliers and a few rulers hung on the facia

The Wooden Cab Holder and there is another RJ12 Splitter

Yesterday I also finished drawing up my proposed baseboard outline for the Club's HO Clubroom layout. I will photocopy both the top deck and bottom deck diagrams, and then try and insert a proposed layout design into the copies in pencil. This will include stations, sidings, industries and crossing loops. These will be presented at the April meeting of the Club for further discussion.

On Friday I had a request from Greg for a copy of my power supply schematic which converts DCC track power into a constant DC voltage output for LED's and bulbs etc. Do you think I could find the diagram on the Internet again? Well I think someone must have removed it, because I'm not smart enough to design my power supply by myself, and I know I copied it off the internet somewhere. I also can't find any diagrams at home that I had printed out over time. So I had to draw the circuit myself and I will give it to Greg at Work on Monday.

A sample of my power supply

I also receive daily emails at catalogs and specials from WOW Sight and Sound. Yesterday there was a 2GB pen with built in Camera in the catalog. I checked it out so see if I can use it on my train set. My local WOW does not get it until Tuesday.  However, Dick Smith Electroncis has it so I checked it out there.  Unfortunately the camera shoots out the side and will not fit into my loading gauge.  I was hoping it might shoot from the top, so I could lay the pen on a flat car and shoot away.  However, DSE also had another small camer, but it too was 58mm high and too high to also fit within my loading gauge.  I always wanted to install a camera to record train trips from the driver's point of view.  Maybe they also make an even smaller version?

Today I spent about 3 hours in the shed running trains.  I moved three trains from Murwillumbah back top Grafton.  One from Grafton back to Murwillumbah and one from Acacia Ridge to Grafton.  I also did a bit of tuning with bogie screws on a few wagons - just loosening them slightly, as well as fixing two geometry issues with the track.  I also replaced a Peco point on entry to Cassino.  This will be converted from manual control via wire in tube to Peco solenoid motor via DS64 via NCE Mini Panel and a control panel.

The top point was replaced today

Hopefully this tuning activity will help the trains to run better at the next running day.


  1. Hi Craig,

    With the pen camera, could the solution be as simple as laying the pen down with the camera facing upwards, and placing a small mirror at 45 degrees so you can see forward?


  2. Darren,
    I probably can, but then the picture will be reversed. I need to ensure that the camera is orientated the correct way.