Saturday this week I decided to install two control panels that will control either end of Park Road Sidings. I drew the track plan for each end of the yard with pencil onto the panel and cut the holes for three push buttons and one toggle switch on each panel. The toggle switch (SPDT) allows the panel to be isolated from the NCE Mini Panel which it has its three push buttons connected to. So I ran four wires from one panel to the mini panel and three wires from the other panel to the mini panel. I laid the fourth wire today as I had to go to Jaycar to pick up some more wire - again. I checked out the new Jaycar at Browns Plains. It is quite large and has lots of good stuff there. It is closer than the Underwood store that I used to visit.
Today, work continued on this setup. I thought it would be wise to finally give my Mini Panel a proper address. So I gave it 61 instead of the default number 2. Having address 2 causes issues with guests that come and install their procab without changing its address as it conflicts with the Mini panel and thus their procab will not work. It will be all OK now. I then connected a Digitrax DS64 up to the track bus. I then gave it an address of 163 and then set the four point addresses to 1631, 1632, 1633 and 1634. There is some logic in my ways - can you guess it?
Once this was complete I then laid five wires from the DS64 to the northern end of Park Road for the two point motors there. I then soldered the wires up and connected these to the DS64. I then worked on the other end, with another 5 wires to the two point motors. These are connected to the DS64 but yet to be connected to the point motors. All four Peco point motors have been connected to the Peco points.
I then connected the wires from the two control panels to the Mini panel. I then coded up the first three inputs of the mini panel to control the northern end of the Park Road Sidings. Input one sets the first point for the Main Line. Input two set the first point for the sidings and the second point for the first siding. Input three sets the first point for the sidings and the second point for the second siding. This is easy as! I then tested them from the mini panel and then I tested them from the control panel. I had to swap two wires on the control panel and all was good.
This stuff is so easy, it just takes time to lay all the wires and check that they run to the correct places. Then you need to do a bit of soldering here or there and occasionally screwing a wire into a term here or there. If I get motivated I will solder the wires to the southern panel one afternoon during the week. Then next weekend I might code inputs 4 through 6 on the mini panel up and then attention can then turn to some more panels. I will also code up the inputs from a large panel that will control South Brisbane Interstate. This won't take much wire as the control panel will be very near the mini panel and the two DS64 to control the points will be very near to all but one Peco point motor. These DS64's will be set to addresses 161 and 162. Thus the eight sets of points will be numbers 1611, 1612, 1613, 1614, 1621, 1622, 1623 and 1624.
Before my next running day I want to get three (maybe 4) more panels installed. This will include the South Brisbane Interstate panel (described above), another panel needs to go to each end of Clapham Yard, while another is destined for Dutton Park (although I can at least leave the point at this location set to the South Brisbane route instead of Fisherman Islands at this location).
The other thing I need to do before the next running day is to install the bridge across the Richmond River. I have basically completed both girder truss sides of the bridge and I am now joining the two truss sides together at the top of the bridge. However, I need to construct some more of the various components that join the sides at right angles. These are labelled "cross braces" in the model's plans. I built two additional ones of these last Monday and took them along to our Tuesday Nighters meeting to show them off. Feedback from the guys was very positive. Once painted and put on the model, using my three foot rule, visitors will not be able to distinguish what ones of the cross braces are bought ones and what ones I have scratch built. I also have four more "laced top-braces" to build, but I have not been motivated to work on these at all this last week or this weekend. Let's see what this week brings.
As I mentioned above, this week's Tuesday Nighters was at Bob’s place. It was a good meeting as usual and positive for Bob as I assisted him solve an issue with a short occurring at one of his sets of Peco large radius points.