Sunday, October 2, 2011

All Systems Go

I had a day off work last Thursday and with Lefty as my chaufer, we visited the local Lawrence and Hanson outlet and I purchased the needed 4-core alarm cable to finish off some wiring.  When we returned back to my place, I started to discuss with Lefty over coffee what was he going to use to control his single line train running and communication from the various crossing loops back to his dispatcher.  Being a narrow gauge system, Lefty was going to use train orders, but I suggested that he build a system similar to mine as it seems to be working.

I demo-ed my system to Lefty.  The plug-in-points and headsets were all working except for the ones I had yet to wire in.  I also showed him my calling system from North Coast Control to/from Grafton/Acacia Ridge yards.  However, NCC could not call the yards, but the yards could call NCC.  Must be a loose wire!  So after Lefty went home, I got down to wiring up the last few plug-in-point panels.  As I was laying out the cable and stripping the ends, my young apprentice came down to the shed and wanted to run some trains.  I said I had to finish this wiring first.  So he helped me by holding the panels steady while I soldered the 4-core cable to each panel.  So after helping me with 3 panels, he was bored and he found something else to do.  But it certainly allowed me to progress faster than if I did not have his help.

So after wiring all the cables in, my apprentice came back to the Shed.  So he helped me test each of the new panels.  So as a reward, I let him run my CPH rail motor up and down a siding, blowing a its horn.  I also let him run one of Tsunami equipped 44 class which I had turned momentum on in, and showed him how to use the brake function.

Today I got back down to the shed and did some work just before lunch time.  I found the loose wire that prevented NCC from calling the yards and that now works.  I had the boss come down at the same time and she helped me test the phone system from NCC to Grafton/Acacia Ridge yards.  I then showed her the headset system working.  I then re-tested every plug-in-point.  I found one that would not call, but you could hear other points from it.  Sure enough there was a loose wire in the panel and easily fixed.  There was another plug-in-point that I had previously broken the stereo plug on.  I had drilled the rebate on teh back of teh panel to far through and teh first time I pushed my green headset wire into the panel, the plug went straight through the back of the panel - whoops!  So I cut up another panel (and further 3 just in case) and drilled out the holes for the two stereo plugs and one push button.  I installed this new panel in place of the broken one and that is it -  All the communications systems are now go.

Future attention now turns to the display board for North Coast Control.  I will have a talk to the team on Tuesday night this week as to how I will construct this, since I have moved NCC out of the hole within my Helix, to over near my workbench.  I'd like the new panel in place for my next running session which could be later this month, if I can get Executive approval.  I have next Saturday up at Caloundra for their buy and sell, Lunch at Peter's place and then back to show the car load of travellers the Club before heading home to the south side of Brisbane.  I also have the Ipswich Model Rail Exhibition on the last weekend of this month and I will be working there on one day, so I'm stretching the friendship this month and will have to draw down on my brownie points.  This Tuesday is Tuesday Nighters and we will be having our second visit to Shelton's place.  This should be a good night.

Last Thursday my PC smoked itself.  It was starting to play up more than normal and finally did a recursive shift left of all its bits and Phhhhtttt.  No more workies.  It is probably the motherboard.  I did a backup on Wednesday night, so I just need to remove the two hard drives in it (one is a backup of the other) and with PK's help and with a piece of hardware he has, suck the data off the drives into my new laptop.  Until then I have no access to old email, old email addresses, all my photos, and my documents.
This afternoon, while the Rugby League Grand final was on, I decided to install the five point motors on the southern entry into Kyogle. 
The location before work began

I marked out where the point motors were to go, lifted the track and cut out the holes in the baseboard and installed the wired peco point motors one by one under the points and wired these back up to the Digitrax DS64 point controller. 
Photo showing two of the point motors installed

The next two point motors and the last one just out of picture to the right

I tested four of the point motors and they work perfectly.  The fifth point motor, needs its wires run to a different digitrax DS64 and I have not run these wires as yet.  That is tomorrow's job.

The photo of the trackage with the point motors all installed.

This week I'm on holidays so I plan to install the three remaining control panels to operate all the points at Kyogle and Murwillumbah - electromagically.  However, I will need a quick trip to jaycar for 4 more push buttons and if I remember I will check out their magnets as a method of uncoupling wagons.