Today I made my way down to the shed just before midday convinced I was going to solve my short issue in section 5 of the layout – Acacia Ridge to South Brisbane Interstate. I checked and it was still there. I took all locos from the track in that section. There was a triple header 48+45+48, double Jumbos, a 73 and a CHP + CTH set. I had no idea how I was going to resolve this issue. Nothing was visible. So I started measuring resistance between the rails. There was some about 1700 Ohms. I split the track bus in half where is it fed from my EB1, disconnected it was the EB1 and split the track as well. I measured the southern half of the track from Acacia Ridge to Dutton Park and it had no resistance – an open circuit – Great. That means it is at the other end. Just because I hadn’t done it before, I decided to disconnect the four DS64’s from the track bus. Another measure and now there was no resistance on the section from Dutton Park to South Brisbane! So the short was related to powering the DS64’s. I reconnected the track and track bus to the EB1 and the section started properly. I connected the DS64 for the Park Road Sidings and tested again. Still OK. I connected one of the DS64’s at South Brisbane and still OK. It was now narrowed down to one of two DS64’s. I connected one and the short reappeared. Gotchya! I disconnect that one again and connect the other and there was no short. So now I knew where the short was – but I didn’t know what was causing it. I inspected the DS64 and nothing was obvious. It was upside down under the basebaord, in a dark location and my eyesight is not what it was like about 3 years ago. I disconnected one of the wires next to the point motor common connection and fired it up again. No Short. I think I found it. I think I had a small strand of wire bridging the common and one of the actuation wires. I tidied it up again, reattached and retested and it worked. Whooopppeeee!!!! Success!
After that success, I thought I would install the section isolation switches for each of my five EB1’s controlled Power Districts. I first needed to cut a whole in my facia to install the five slide switches. This was followed by taking the wire that went from the EB1 to the track bus for each of the five sections and connecting that to the centre of the slide switches. I then installed five wires, one from the top of each slide switch back to the where the previous wire came from the EB1’s. A quick test revealed that four of then worked as designed. My section from Cougal Spiral to Acacia Ridge does not have its staff machines shut down when I operate the slide switch for that section. There must be another sneak path bypassing the EB1. I will review that issue next week. I think I have had enough success for one week.
After a quick session watching the V8’s on TV and playing with the kids out the front with the soccer ball, I returned to the shed and started looking at the bridge over the Richmond River at Cassino. I have now removed my temporary wooden bridge and done some surgery to the scenery on the southern side of the bridge. The original opening that I had made for the base of the Richmond River is not wide enough as I have built the bridge to its scale 180’ or 630mm size. I added about 120mm of foam to the flat river bottom base. I have had to shape the wooden southern bank to a sharper angle after I cut off about 150mm from that. I will post some photos next weekend. I am still waiting for my order of Central Valley girders to arrive at my local hobby shop from the US. Apparently they are sitting in a shipment at a straight forwarder still in the US, awaiting more items to build up its weight. I don’t think they will be here next weekend either. Time is running out for me to finish this bridge for this year’s club Christmas Modelling Competition.
During the week my DS64 returned from its vacation at the Digitrax factory and apparently has been fixed under warranty by replacing the FETS. I also had a bit of a win in our work’s footing tipping competition. I came equal 8th with 8 other people and got approximately half my money back. Two more successes for the week.