Sunday, November 24, 2013

Busy Weekend Partying

This weekend was pretty busy as we had a number of parties to attend.  It all started with me attending a Work related Christmas Party on Thursday afternoon.  This was followed by Divisional Christmas Party on Friday lunchtime.  Saturday was a family get together for a surprise birthday party for my Great-niece.  It was a wonder I was not pickled by last night.  While at yesterday's party in the early evening, we could see a huge thunderstorm approaching.  As it turned out, it was lots of rain and not much else.   in our area.  Some party goers sat on the large outdoor deck and watched it pass, while I went inside.  Today was an early birthday party for Kyle at the local 10-pin bowling alley.  He got some very nice presents from his class mates and I think everyone had a ball.
So this weekend was not a total wipe out.  Before yesterday’s family outing, I did spend some time in the shed.  This was to connect up the new NCE mini panel into the cab bus.  I did get a small six-inch cable made up at work on Monday this week and that was added to the cab bus between a pair of RJ12 splitters that I get from Harvey Norman for $6.95 each.  That works out cheaper than a PCP for about $20.  That is a simple method of creating short branch in the cab bus.
Standing next to Cassino and looking toward the corner of the shed we can see the work area.  The DS64 on the left beneath the 44 class loco, the Mini panel and the two control panels Clapham Yard North control panel in the middle of the picture and Loco Pilly control panel on the right.  On the left of this control panel is the intermediate staff machine for Loco Pilly.  This staff machine services the section Clapham Yard to South Brisbane.  On the level below we see Glenapp Crossing Loop.  On the facia below that is a plug in point for the headphone system used by drivers to communicate back to North Coast Control when crossing trains in the timetable run.

Now a view from up above.  This view shows the point layout of the northern end of Clapham Yard.  Again we see Glenapp Loop on the level below and on the bottom level we see the southern entry into Cassino.

Next I fired up the NCE system and set the mini panel’s address to 60 on the cab bus.  This was followed by entering the commands for the 6 buttons on the Clapham North control panel.  Next I entered an address for the DS64, and logically entered the four addresses into it:- 1211, 1232, 1233 and 1234.  So I then undertake a test on the DS64 from the Clapham North Mini Panel.  I expected that when I hit a button that a point motor might throw in the opposite direction.  However, I did not expect the wrong points to throw.  Then I realised that while I numbered the four addresses correctly on the DS64, I wired then 4,3,2,1 instead of 1,2,3,4.  That came about as the DS64 was turned upside down under the top level baseboard.  That was easily fixed by swapping the four outputs into the correct order and then after another test from the control panel, swapping the various outputs so the points threw in the correct direction.  Silly mistake, but I always make them and it is easy to fix up.
A close up of Loco Pilly control panel.  There is a standard on/off switch on the bottom right hand corner to isolate the control panel from the mini panel.  The black push button controls the Main Line into the northern end of Clapham Yard.  The rest (red) are for the various tracks inside the loco staging area.

This is the Clapham Yard northern panel.

A photo of the Clapham Yard southern panel.

With a few minutes left before I had to get ready for our party on Saturday, I decided to connect up the 7 pushbuttons from the Loco Pilly control panel back to the local Mini Panel.  That also was easily accomplished.  I will eventually have to get around to moving all the various wires currently laying around under the various levels of the baseboard so they are tidy up under the baseboard and out of viewing range.
I still have lots more activities to undertaken before the next running session.  Apparently my next 2 lots of DS64 point controller are very close to being delivered.  Once they are installed under the layout, I have to run wires to the various point motors and give them a test.  The plan is to do that next weekend.  The next major task to complete is laying the third rail in track three within Clapham Yard.  Work will then turn to fixing the yet to be found back feed issue between power districts 3 and 4.  I might need to call in some assistance for this as generally a fresh set of eyes coupled with a walk through of my wiring logic will almost make the cause of the problem stand out like the proverbial dog’s appendages.

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