Sunday, September 1, 2013

I'm Stumped!

Saturday this week I went down to the shed and decided to get stuck into fixing a few headset plug in points around Acacia Ridge and Grafton.  After taking the faceplates off the layout, it was obvious what the cause was.  Yes, some wires came off.  It was easy to re-attach and retest the socket, by plugging in set of headphones.  All good and it is now ready for the next Running Session. 
After a perusal of the layout and what trains were in what storage loops at Cassino, I then decided to turn the layout on, as I was about to move the various train consists into their correct sidings.  What is that noise!  One of by EB1’s was registering a short circuit.  It was the one currently wired in to Power District 3.  Well that is somewhere in 2/3 of the layout north of Cassino.  I have not yet split this into the three power districts that I have planned for the rest of the layout.  Damn!  I tried to figure out what it could be but eventually gave up and went out the front of the house and watched the kids kick a football.  I tried to think logically about it last night.  Nothing seems obvious.
So this morning I went back down to the shed and with a clear aim to divide and conquer the issue.  I decided to bite the bullet and move the Acacia Ridge to South Brisbane Interstate Section to power district 5 on a separate EB1.  So that was done.  I also traced back some of the main bus wires and then cut the section break between power district 3 and power district 4.  Power district 3 is now just south of Cassino Meatworks all the way up the helix, through Fairy Hill Loop and through Kyogle and past Kyogle Meatworks.  Power district 4 is from Cougal Spiral, through Border Loop, around the Running Creek tunnels, through The Risk, Glenapp and covers the whole of the Acacia Ridge Reversing Loops.
The down side is that I am still one EB1 short.  I will pick one up this weekend and install it straight away.  While I have wired up these power districts, and run the main power bus, I have not yet wired the main power bus to the track.  I have a couple of jumpers installed, but certainly no where near enough in power districts 3 and 4.  So I think that will take my time over the next couple of weekends. 
Now to my main problem.  After moving the Acacia Ridge to South Brisbane Interstate section to its own EB1, I still have a short within that power district.  I think I will just rip up the track that I have recently installed at the northern end of Clapham Yard.  This is the only thing I can think of that is causing a short.  It must be one of my dual gauge points.  It is very puzzling as I have had trains running through these points recently.  Two weeks ago I had the track working when I was testing out my Bridge.
That reminds me I need to visit Ray to see if he has the extra Central Valley girders that I ordered to finish the bridge.  I think on Tuesday Night I will break out my multimeter and check resistance between the various points near Clapham Yard and see if I can track this issue back.  It is really driving me nuts.  I am thinking that I will install a separate on-off switch to each power district, besides my master on-off switch.  That will allow me to isolate a particular section or sections and continue to run some trains even when there is a problem.  I still can do this but I just have to disconnect a wire out of an EB1 while under the layout.  Not a very quick process but still doable.
So plenty to do next weekend when I get down to the Shed.

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