Sunday, December 9, 2012

For the first time in I don’t know how long I actually went down to the shed during the week at night - last Tuesday. I cut up the boards for my 6 plug in panels for the headsets to be plugged into on the top deck extension. I still need to buy the stereo plugs to complete teh plug in points, which will probably be a job for next weekend. While in the shed, I found another set of peco points and started to construct another dual gauge point from these. Well it is only dual gauge on one direction, while it is standard on both. I had previously realised that the Tillig point I had allocated for Dutton Park, to split the dual gauge to Fisherman Islands with the standard gauge for South Brisbane, had the third rail on the wrong side of the track compared to the track running up the other side of the shed towards Dutton Park and it actually was the wrong type. Whoops! It was a left hand point, and I would have preferred a right hand point for better geometry in this location. So I put one together except for super gluing the rails in place where they cut over the standard gauge rail. I eventually did that while at the Club on Saturday afternoon before our meeting and subsequent Christmas BBQ and modelling competition.
When I came up from the shed on Tuesday I sat down and desk checked my timetable graph for the next operating session to determine how many trains were to cross in Clapham Yard in the timetable. To my amazement, there are none. However, there is one train that sits in the yard for a lot of the day, and some other wagons which will also be shunted around between trains eventually will also be based there. So really I only need to lay Clapham Yard with two tracks to get things operable for December. I then started to check out how big I needed to make Loco Pilly. I think I might have underestimated how much space I need here. I need storage space for locos for 6 trains. Actually one will be a CPH with a trailer, the others will be a mixture of single, double and triple headers. I might have to trim down some of my light engine movements from Destination to Loco and back to the train again.
Saturday morning started off with a trip to Ray’s Shop and I picked up 14 lengths of track and 4 lengths of code 83 rail for my scratch building points effort over Christmas. I showed off my kitbashed dual gauge points to a few guys at the Club and got some good feedback. At least it seems to work. One of our Club members asked me if I wanted to buy his 442 class that I had previously offered to buy from him. I said yep. So we worked out a price and paid him. It was the price he paid for it about 12 months ago when he bought it second hand from a local shop. I was very happy with the price, so was he. Have you seen how much they are going for on Ebay? So I’m now the proud owner of a new second hand candy 44238. Today I put it on my test track and turned on DC. Nothing! I thought I might have been sold a dud. I took it apart and realised that it had an NCE D14SR decoder in it. So I turned on my Powercab and checked out what address it was configured as. Well it had 4238 as its long address. So I entered that and it still did not run. So I zeroed out CV19, the consist address and away she went. What a bargain!
Candy 44238 sitting in the Loco Road at South Brisbane 
When I returned from the Club – The family was out at a dance concert for Paige, so I took out 8 lengths of track and cut away 9 sleepers on one side of the point. This was in preparation for today when I stripped the rails off three lengths of track and cut up some PC board and soldered the rails onto 6 of the lengthsas the third rail that I had prepared the night before. Five of the lengths have been soldered straight, while the sixth has been left floating as this needed to join up with the dual gauge point that I finished yesterday at the Club. It takes me about 15 minutes to add the third rail to each length. I then went down to the shed and joined the 5 straight lengths together on the baseboard shelf along the wall and then added the floating end piece. I then joined the dual gauge point up to the lead from Park Road, and added the floating length. This will be soldered up at a later date – no rush yet.
The track up the narrow shelf to the Dutton Park point
Testing a train through the point
 I then went down to the other end of the track coming up from Acacia Ridge yard and temporarily installed a point here to form the start of Clapham Yard. I then laid the track through the first road in the yard to the other end and that is when I ran out of steam. I have positioned the track and points at the far end and for the second road through the yard to where it forms the curve from the end of the Yard to where the point for Loco Pilly will be installed maybe one night this week. 
This track at the Northern End of Clapham yard is temporary.
Where Loco Pilly will branch off.
I have realised that I need to control the point at Dutton Park as I can’t reach it. I will have to secure the track at this point to the basebaord and the point motor as well.  I will then run some wires from a panel (which I made this afternoon) with two push buttons on it, to a nearby Mini Panel. This will then send commands to one of my new DS64 point controllers and operate the point motor. Simple stuff really, but it takes a while to wire all this up. Again maybe a job for either this week or next weekend. 
The paper train was pushed back and forward through the point and it ran well.

This photo shows that there are no flat areas on my layout.  There is a grade (ever so slight) everywhere.

So work it progressing and I think I’m still on track for my running day. I might even have some track runable next weekend.
While running the paper train back and forth on top top deck. I realised that I needed some sort of indicator for being clear of a set of points. I already have a method of indicating where the uncouplers are located.  Maybe a different colour on the side of the track - yellow maybe?
This photo shows how I indicate where an uncoupling magnet is located in the track.  These are located at Murwillumbah underneath the top deck and difficult to get to for those with back problems.

A photo looking across Fairy Hill Farm from upon the hill on the far side of the track.  A great train spotter's location.  I expect to see Shelton there one day!

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