Sunday, April 28, 2013

Scenery and Stuff

After last week's diversion with the HUB set, I got back on the so called horse (or was it the train) and continued with some scenery.  Who would have guessed that?  On Thursday this week I went down to the shed, while watching the various ANZAC services on TV and continued doing the scenery behind Cassino Station.  Yesterday I went down again, and continued where I left off and continued up to the repair sidings at Cassino near Loco and also did an area over the other side of the tracks near the North Street Subway on the eastern side of the line and around towards the Old Cassino Shell Sidings.  It is starting to come together.

Yesterday Shelton came over and watched me doing a bit of scenery.  He took plenty of photos and even posted a photo diary of me working on a small area. Here is a link over to Shelton's Blog.
I usually do a small area maybe 30cm x 30cm at a time and then move along to the next section.  In the area behind the station at Cassino I plan to build all the houses and the various back yard structures as close as possible.  Aren't we blessed with Google Maps being able to zoom in without leaving the comform of our office.  I do however, have quite a few photos of various houses taken from the streets and from the Casino platform from previous trips down there.  There may be some modeller's license thrown in.  But I will try and recreate everthing as near as accurate as possible even the various fencing at the back of each house as it backs onto the railway rite-of-way.

Yesterday morning I popped into Austral Modelcraft on my way home from Kyle's Soccer (he scored the winning goal from a penalty after being brought down from behind as he was about to take a shot at goal after avaiding the fullback).  I picked up a few more colours of scenery scatter.  I'm running out of some colours.  Today I went to the Buy and Sell (table sales) at the All Gauge Model Railway Club and picked up a few more there as well.  You can never have too many colours and textures of scatter for the layout.

This afternoon I went over to Shelton's Layout and had a bit of a run.  I took my CPH and 620/720 for a run by request.  While they are not Victorian, these types of trains fitted into Shelton's Timetable run, or maybe more accurately, his "Time Sequence Run".  Our day was sort of limited as his second procab has developed a fault and can't be used as it just hangs.  I brought his procab home to my place tonight for a second oppinion and it does exactly the same on my layout - it is stuffed.  With only one cab, we had to share the running activities, with the other person doing the signaller and shunters job in setting the roads.  Of course I forgot to bring one of my cabs, didn't I - Doh!

Tuesday this week we head over to a new layout that I believe no one in our group has ever seen before.  It is still in our area, and as a consequence we may have another Tuesday Nighter in the group.  Must remember to pack the camera.

This coming weekend is the AMRA Qld's traditional May Exhibition.  However, this year, there is not long weekend to contend with, and the show is only two days long and will be held at the Doomben Racecourse for the first time.  I will be there with Jim Hutchsinson, doing Structure Building.  I will still be trying to learn from the old Master.  So please come along, say hi and introduce yourself.  I've started to pack my stuff up that I will be taking to the Show.  At this point in time I have no idea what I will be doing for the two days.  I could build lots of things for the layout.  With activity being concentrated around Cassino, I think I might work on the over head ticket office's support structure.  A tin shed that was beneath the bridge and various shed's in the back yard of the first house backing onto the Cassino Station off Canterbury Street.  I may even get back to working on the second house on the opposite side of Canterbury Street.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Installing Function Only Decoders into a Eureka HUB Set

Steps involved to install a function only decoder into a HUB terminal car are listed below.  You need to do it to each of the terminal cars.

- Remove the passenger car body from the chassis
- Remove the 8 pin plug from underneath the top circuit board.

- Unplug the SW connection (RED wire) into the top circuit board and bend it out of the way.  The switch is now not used.

- On the rear light board, drill a hole through the trace down the middle of the board to the bottom right hand side of the left hand LED labelled LED5. This allows for this LED to be controlled by a separate function in the decoder.

- Drill a whole in the middle of the light board about 4mm above the bottom of the board, all the way though the board. This will be where the control wire to come through from the decoder.

- Scrape the top of the protective layer off the trace down the middle of the light board just below where you severed the trace. This will expose the copper of the trace. This is where the new control wire will be attached.

- Take a TCS FL4 function only decoder.

- With the coach sitting in front of you and the rear of the coach on your right, solder the Red wire to the top left plug on the 8 pin plug on the circuit board.

- Solder the Black wire to the bottom right plug on the 8 pin plug on the circuit board.

- Solder the Blue wire to the plug directly above the Black wire. Note this is not where this wire is positioned on a standard 8 pin decoder deployment.

- Solder the Green wire to the plug directly above the Blue wire. Note this is not where this wire is positioned on a standard 8 pin decoder deployment.

- Solder the Purple wire to the bottom left side of the 4 position bridge rectifier (I think that is what it is) to the immediate right of the 8 pin plug. 

- Take the Brown wire to the right hand end of the coach and feed the wire through the whole you just drilled in the light board. Solder the Brown wire onto the trace you just exposed.

- Take the wagon to the programming track and make these changes to the decoder:-

- Change CV51 to 0 for the HFH wagon, 16 for the PFH wagon (with generator)

- Change CV53 to 0 for the HFH wagon, 16 for the PFH wagon (with generator)

- Change CV52 to 32

- Change CV21 to 3

- Set the decoder address to your sets number, or something you will remember. It could be 117 for a short address or 0117 for a long address, or even 9117 if you like. Remember there is no such animal as a 2 digit and 4 digit address in the DCC standard. They are called the short address and the long address, no matter what other “so called” self proclaimed experts say. Also remember that the short address is valid up to 127, not 99 as is also advised by these experts.  I think they only say this as their DCC system does not follow the standard and that is what they spruke.
So when you assemble your HUB set, the HFH wagon is at the Sydney end. This is what we will call the rear of the set. So the PFH is at the front of the set (Parramatta End). So call up your address and set it to forward. The rear lights will come on if you select option 1. The internal car lights will come on the front and rear terminal cars if you select option 2. To get the bottom red light to illuminate you need to select option 3. If you change the direction of travel of your decoder from forward to reverse, the red LED on the HFH will extinguish and the ones at the other end the PHF will illuminate.  It is as simple as that.
Not a bad couple of hours work for about $40 for two four-function only decoders.
I must offer my thanks to Marcus Ammann for his previous articles about the HUB Cars and to Ben O'Malley for his article on installing a TCS FL2 decoder into HUB cars
I'm off to the shed now to do some scenery.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Back in the Driver’s Seat

So after rediscovering my enthusiasm, I have just sceniced the area north of Richmond River on the layout, as well as installing the roadway on the western side of Barker Street. The scenicing reached just short of Simpsons Parade on the West side of the track. On the East side the scenicing has gone all the way to the end of the platform to reach the underpass at North Street.

Richmond River is at the bottom of this photo and left side is west of the track and the right side is east of the tracks.  The track is heading to Cassino station.
This photo shows Barker Street in the centre foreground.  The white pieces of paper are to mark the locations of various houses that are yet to be built.

This photo focus on the area closer to left of Simpsons Parade.  This shows the current extent of scenicing to the west of the railway line.

Another view around Simpsons Parade.  The small area to the right of the road was where I did my demonstration for Lefty and Son.

This view shows the east side of the station all the way up to North Street has been sceniced.

An alternate view showing Barker Street on both sides of the railway line and the white pieces of paper where houses will be built.  The unstained balsa on the far side of the track is the recently installed section of Barker Street.
Between the Richmond River and Barker Street I plan to install a small swamp area.  This will eventually contain water and various reeds and swampy like scenery.

Closer towards Cassino, a small drain takes water from one side of the tracks to the other and into a small ditch is also being installed.  This logically drains to the river.
The plan is to complete the scenery around Cassino on the west side of the layout from just south of Simpsons Parade to the extent of current plastering next weekend. Following that I plan to make the track runable again. That means clearing up the masking tape and paper towels and cleaning the tracks.
I stated this scenery work on Thursday arvo and did some more on Friday arvo and concluded what has so far been done today. This morning I sent out an invitation to Lefty and Son as well as Shelton to see if they wanted to come over today at about 1:30pm as I was planning to be doing some more scenicing. I thought they may have been interested in seeing how I do it. However, Shelton was busy, but Lefty and Son turned up soon after 1:30pm. So I did a section of track in front of Lefty and Son’s eyes and Lefty took some mental notes.
We also discussed Lefty’s benchwork for his central peninsular and his main scenic drawcard upon entry into the train room. However, I will leave it to him to talk about this on his blog.
Yesterday was Club meeting day so I travelled over to the far side of Brisbane in pouring rain. The guys working on the new HO clubroom layout have done some very nice work on the layout baseboard and have started suggesting ways to attach the top deck to the frame. 
Yesterday I also picked up a packet of 5 x 4 Function only decoders. This week I plan to start to install 4 of these into the terminal cars of 2 Eureka HUB sets. With these installed, two decoders can be set up as a consist with the first in the front car and second in the rear car. So when the consist is going forward, the rear red lights can be lit. When it is going in reverse, the front red lights can be lit. We can also use other functions to control the carriage lights, also the 3rd red light on the rear of each terminal car. Apparently I think I read somewhere either in AMRM or on the Aus_Model_Rail yahoo group that this light has an alternate purpose and was controlled independently of the normal rear lights.
I plan to pull one car apart tomorrow and see if we can fit the decoder and wire it up as planned.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Another Week of Nothing

A very short update this week. I’m still on holidays and having fun doing nothing, except today when we had visitors all day and did nothing except have a great time.  Tuesday last week was Tuesday Nighters, but I did not attend as I was down the coast. I had to take Kyle to Swimming on Wednesday, followed by Soccer Training. This was in between trips to the beach. I have only read about 3 pages in my AMRM in the last week. Coupled with my zero pages being read in the March Digest, and I have not even picked up April’s Digest from the newsagent as yet. I sought of am enjoying doing nothing. I think I’m also on Swimming and Soccer Roster this Wednesday as well as attending the first Soccer game this Saturday. But hopefully later this week, I will be back in the Shed and doing some work on painting some basic scenery colour around Cassino from the Richmond River working north.