Sunday, February 26, 2012

Benchwork to Fisherman's Island Complete

Another slow week this week. It started with Tuesday's meeting of the Tuesday Nighters. This meeting was anything but slow. There were 12 in attendance at Peter's Place. It was organised mayhem. There were about 4 or 5 conversations going on concurrently all night. A few samples of what people were working on were on display along with a few magazines available for perusal. Later on in the night, some went to check out Peter's layout and watch a some trains do a few laps. PK snapped off a few photos. Peter has done some track work changes and some new scenery near the loco depot. Absolutely brilliant. A really great night to inspire some enthusiasm for the rest of the week.

It was not until Saturday that I even thought about trains again. I set the drill on charge and then went to Bunnings and purchased some more 2.4m lengths of 42 x 18 pine. Some of this was installed under the incline from Clapham Yard to where the track ended at just about Dutton Park. This is above Glenapp and The Risk. This was to create an 'L Girder' to prevent sagging of this benchwork. The missing link from Dutton Park to Fisherman's Island was spliced together and the pine screwed underneath as a strengthening beam again just like an 'L Girder'. This missing link was spliced in at the Fisherman's Island end, and then at the Dutton Park end. I then added two braces attached back to the lower baseboard to help support the rather large spans on this benchwork. These braces are positioned behind mountains and hills on what was the previous top deck, located at the northern end of Fairy Hill Loop and at the southern end of The Risk.

Today I mounted my recently acquired DS64 point controller under the baseboard at Cassino. I then attached two wires to the track so it can receive its commands and extended the wires I had previously soldered onto the 4 points at Cassino so they can connect up to the DS64. I then tested them one by one from my radio Procab throttle - and they worked - pretty amazing that. Although they are currently coded up as point motors 1 to 4. I will have to consult my spreadsheet tomorrow to allocate the true accessory numbers. Each loop in my layout has a code. Each piece of electronics, being it a DS64, a mini panel, a Snap-it, etc., in each loop also has another unique code, and then the point accessories are numbered from that. Pretty simple really.

I also built a small schematic panel and soldered the 6 push buttons in, so that a local train driver can throw the points when required. I just need to mount the panel on the facia and then I will have to install 7 wires from the panel back to the nearest NCE Mini panel and then the operation of the points for loco crews will be able to be automated via the push buttons. There is then no need to remember the point motor accessory addresses.

This afternoon between innings in the cricket I nicked down to the shed to run a train. No sooner had I started and Kyle came down wanting to kick the football out the front. However, when he saw I was driving a train he said Can I drive the train and he then proceeded to take the train off me. At least the layout still runs after all the rain we've had over the last few weeks.

Maybe I will have the control panel wired up next weekend.

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