Tuesday this week we were off to Geoff’s for our fortnightly get together. He had Splitter’s Swamp set up and powered up. I must say that the front of the layout is looking particularly good, especially when the model lights are all turned on. Geoff has a light inside and outside the station shed, inside the goods shed as well as on a pole in the yard. They are very nice indeed when lit.
On Wednesday I received my packets of On Track Banana wagons in the mail. Today I took them down to the shed and I replace a few older AR kits wagons in my banana train with the On Track models version. I then took some of those replaced wagons that I took from the banana train and swapped one of those with a wagon from the fruit train and another in the pick up goods. The excess wagons are now sitting in Park Road Siding ready to be disposed of or swapped with some 4 letter code wagons. All the ones I replaced today are 3 letter code wagons.
During the week I also updated the timetable for the next running session and moved that troublesome ballast train out of the way of the pickup goods. I adjusted the timetable graph, updated the two trains in question Nos. 36B and 38B and then adjusted the sequence numbers on a lot of other trains between when this ballast train is now run and when it did run. The sequence number is provided to allow me to sort the individual timetable cards in order from first train to last train very quickly.
On Friday a few of us set off down to Darren’s for a run. We got to see the finished product of the main station area and yard on Darren’s layout and then what will be a staging area to hold his trains. Everything ran well and looked good. While Darren’s layout looks like it is built to the flat earth policy, it definitely is not. There are just very subtle changes in scenery contours and it look very much like the outback NSW countryside with its basically flat terrain but there are slight hills there. Everyone grabbed a throttle and jumped on the layout running trains. We even had Arthur (our latest invitee to the Tuesday Nighters Team) running trains in DCC. His home layout is dual gauge DC. Darren’s layout will be certainly very interesting to operate once he is to that stage. He is very close now, he just needs to name all the locations and sidings and create some trains.
Yesterday was Club Meeting day so I went to the Train Club. While there I installed a decoder for one of the members in a pommy diesel. It had a really weird springy pickups which were not conducting too well. However it was running, but it only had two wheel pickup so beggars can’t be choosers. I also brought another pommy diesel home and installed a decoder in it today. It was pretty difficult and I had to do some magic to isolate the wheels from the motor at one end. I also had to check out someone’s DL class where the front headlight and associated marker lights (white front and red rear) were not working. When running in reverse the loco is fine – except the headlight bulb lights up but nothing is shown out the headlight in the loco. Anyone got a wiring diagram for the Austrains DL class loco?
So after spending some time on the DL and moving a few banana wagons around today, I started looking at my 73 Class again. This was the first one I wired up, but I somehow stuffed the front light board. So I took it apart and decided to try and wired it as per the description in the June AMRM and the Youtube video post that was on one of my blog comments a few weeks back. Bad move! Those damn surface mount LED’s are so small. My soldering iron is not that small. I might have to buy a special one during the week, so I can work with the surface mount components. As I was trying to turn around the front white marker lights on the light board, I unsoldered the red ones. I actually ended up losing both red LED’s when they went ‘Ping’ out of my tweezers while I was trying to put them back on the light board. Luckily I have a few spare red surface mounts LED’s in my collection. So I replaced them. I successfully turned around the first white LED, and unfortunately, the second white one wanted to visit its red brothers and also went ‘Ping’. I eventually found one red surface mount LED, but I am now down one white LED. I don’t have any spare white surface mount LED's.
I will put the call out to my modelling mates to see if they have any spare ones. I might get this finished next weekend if I'm lucky.