Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rain Rain Go Away

This week there has been very minimal activity in the shed. The only time I was in there was on Monday night when young Keith from our Club visited in the evening. We call him young Keith as we have two Keiths. Old Keith doesn’t get around much any more – except to the Club on a Wednesday and Saturday so he can sneak in a cream biscuit or two into his diet. So back to Monday night, I did a tour of the layout and we spent many hours discussing the way I constructed my layout and we also spoke about the Clubroom HO layout which is being built in our 12m x 12m HO extension. Young Keith and Old Keith for that matter are two of the heavily involved builders. They are doing a pretty good job.
Tuesday Night had a great turn up for the scheduled Tuesday Nighters’ meeting at Peter’s place. We took the opportunity to check out the changes Peter had done on the layout. It looks like his revamped branch is operational. I see that he has also installed a series of termite mounds. Peter and I discussed this on our way back from the Armidale convention this year. There are many items in nature that you never see on a layout, which I would think would be reasonably simple to add, but by having them, they add lots of interest and create great discussion points. As usual, the scenery work that Peter has done just has to be seen to be believed. Just really great work. We then adjourned down stairs and the conversations flowed, the modelling items were passed around, and a great time was had as usual.  Peter also had some issues with his HUB set, but I provided him a copy of some of the ways other HUB set owners have addressed some of thissues thanks to the various online forums. Discussions also involved Geoff’s planned new home layout in his garage. I feel this will be a very nice layout to operate on, given his previous modelling efforts.
Friday Night was a visit to Geoff’s for a modelling night in his garage with the crew. I read my email on Friday morning at work, advising of a call to arms at Geoff’s from 7:00pm that night. Upon arriving home from work, the boss granted me a leave pass so I was one of the 5 visitors that attended Geoff’s. There is a good update with a few photos over on Brendan’s Blog – Gundagai Model Railway Layout. I think everyone was firing on all cylinders. It was quite wet, but given that Geoff is not that far away, I went along. I spent the night adding the last lot of stumps to my case store that I have been building on and off for about 18 months. I then started staining the stumps that I had not already stained. My case store will be installed at Old Cassino. There was plenty of productive activity occurring from those in attendance.  
Yesterday and today it has been raining, quite heavily at times, and it has prevented me from getting to the shed. Who knows, maybe tomorrow the rain will contract south and I will be able to spend some time doing a few tasks in the shed.
There seems to be a few people thinking along the same lines that I was about the Auscision 73 Class loco. There was much discussion at the Auscision faceplant page about DCC operation of the 73 class loco. That discussion prompted Auscision to provide the photo that shows the 73 Class undressed. I think I will be installing a decoder inside after gutting the light board. Actually, I think I will put two decoders in. The first will be an NCE N14SR decoder with 4 functions. I think I will connect up the front and rear headlights to the first two function outputs as standard, and then use the third for a cab light. I wire a cab light in all of my locos. I use it when a loco stops at a crossing loop on my layout, and the HO crew put the cab light on so the second person can exit the cab safely and undertake the safeworking procedures. I certainly don’t want any HO crew suing me for not providing a safe work environment. The second decoder will be 4 function only decoder, an FL4 from TCS. I will use it to wire up the marker lights. This will allow the front and rear marker lights (both red and white) to be controlled separately. That leaves me with a dilemma. How do I control the number board lights? Do I connect both front and rear to the 4th function of the NCE decoder, or wire them in parallel with the headlights. Ideally I actually need 9 functions, so I can control the front and rear number boards individually. But I’m not aware on any decoder (especially) a small one having more than 4 outputs. I’m not going to install three decoders in the 73 class. I could do away with my cab-light, but every one of my locos has a cab light installed.
So what are the other 73 class owners out there going to do when their 73 class arrives.

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