Sunday, July 22, 2012

Two Power Districts Complete

This week had very little railway related activity. On Tuesday afternoon, Kyle had a play mate from school pop over. I had arranged to get home early from work, so just before Kyle's mate went home, I opened up the shed and showed off the train set.  Kyle and his mate had a great time running a few sound equipped steam trains (a 35 Class and a Garratt) on a wireless throttle around the layout for about 15 minutes just before he was picked up by his mum. That was until I lost all power on the Branch. I traced it back to the wires coming off the newly installed ammetre in the Murwillumbah Power district.
Later that night after dinner, I did venture down to the shed for about 30 minutes, to 1) fix the ammetre (I permanently screwed wires to the terminals and soldered these wires into the circuit) and 2) then to take a few measurements for where Park Road Sidings and South Brisbane Interstate locations would be positioned on the future layout extension. I then measured the lengths of a few trains, the paper train, the fruit train, and the Brisbane Limited. I needed to ensure that these trains can fit into the relevant sidings on the layout when they are designed. I was also contemplating that I might run a few trains from Clapham Yard to Park Road and to South Brisbane and back, shuffling wagons about twice a day. So I just need to ensure I have space to store the shuffling wagons. These types of movements will be conditional and used to give some of the drivers something to do if we end up with a large crew being present. The timetable is starting to get really cramped.
On Friday I got home from work about 4:50pm, so I hi-tailed it over to Jaycar to pick up a few items before it closed. I purchased some more wire to finish off the Murwillumbah Branch Line power bus, and also the components to build the bus terminators that I will install at each end of the four power district busses.  I have not built the terminators but will eventually.
So on Saturday I got around to installing the rest of the power bus for the Murwillumbah branch. I soldered the already installed droppers to the bus and after a test, everything worked well. I then spent a few minutes adjusting the trip current on the Grafton Yard auto-reverser. This was set too high now, as the NCE EB1 always tripped before the auto-reverser did. I had re-acquainted myself with the instruction manual one lunch time during the week so I knew how to do this task. It was an easy turning down of the trip current and a few tests by running the loco back and forwards. It also seems to be working OK now –  in lieu of shorting out the whole section.
This afternoon I ventured back down to the shed for an hour and spliced in the feeders from the various tracks in Cassino to the main power bus for that section. I also added another dropper from the track to the power bus near the Bonalbo Ballast Siding points and the layout was again tested. So next weekend I will investigate what is required to wire the power bus for the third power district. I did realise on Tuesday afternoon, that there is currently a large voltage drop for this section at the boundary of the Grafton Yard – Cassino power bus and the Cassino Meatworks – Border Loop power bus at Cassino Meatworks. While there is a rather long track power bus laid along some of this section, there are currently no droppers connected to it. I’d bet the track gets its power from the other end of the section and this will be the next item of attention.
This morning I went over to my mate David’s place to assist him in testing out his layout wiring. The first thing I noted were the changes to the track layout. The track work looked really good. We started out by just connecting an old CDA DC transformer/controller to the track. I didn't want to jeopardise his PowerPro System.  Well, wouldn’t you know it - there was a short! Do you think I could trace it down in the couple of hours I was there? No snow flakes chance in hell. I have left David with some suggestions to try and track down where the short could be coming from.
My AMRM mag turned up on Thursday arvo, so I have some good reading for the next week or two. Tuesday this week will be spent at Mike’s place, so it will be good to catch up with the boys again.

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