Sunday, November 10, 2013

Some Decisions Made

Well what occurred this weekend?  Saturday was Club day across the other side of Brisbane - a one hour drive each way - I must be a glutton for punishment.  So while at the Club I installed two NCE N14IP decoders into a 44 Class loco and a 42 Class loco for one of the club members.  That is a very easy job.  It takes longer to remove the shells than it takes to install the chip.  Both tested OK.  I was also given a small British Loco (0-4-0) to install a decoder into.  Over the next few weeks, I will obtain a Z scale chip from the loco hobby shop and install that for another club member.  I’ll have that done by next month’s meeting. 
Our Club HO layout continues to have track laid and progress.  Various suggestions are made via a Yahoo forum and constructive comments are made and final decisions are made by the members present each meeting day.  We made a few decisions on the Clubroom HO layout in regards to the point work design at either side of the main station.  I think as soon as that is done, we will have the bottom level of the track complete and we will theoretically be able to runs trains.  Attention now turns to the location of the various power districts and a numbering standard the various blocks for future point automation.  I think that will be ratified at the next meeting in December.  Others will be working on installing droppers over the next four weeks or so.
What about on the home front?  I had a school working bee this morning and came home and eventually mowed the grass after my temperamental mover finally started.  I finally got to the shed after the first storm from the south hit this arvo.  We were on the outer edge of that and it did not cause us any issues.  We also were on the outer edge for the second storm, that time to the north.  This was only about 5 minutes worth of light rain.
The first railway related task was to install a piece of bracing under the Loco Pilly baseboard area as this area has sagged a bit.  It certainly had the desired effect.
So the plan today was to work on the control panel at the northern end of Clapham Yard - actually I did not touch this at all.  I first installed my remaining Digitrax DS64 4-point controller under the baseboard.  I drilled a few holes in the various layout supports to run the various wires for the point motors.  This DS64 point motor controller will control one point at the southern end of Clapham Yard and three points at the northern end.  I ran wires to all the point motors and ran wires to connect the DS64 to the track bus.  The wires while attached to the DS64 have not been soldered to anything at the other end as yet.  I have two more DS64's on order and that will complete the point motor control for the layout.  While I was looking at the control panel for the northern end of Clapham yard, I was contemplating creating another separate control panel for the Loco Pilly area, instead of having everything on a single panel.  All the push buttons in this area 13 - need to be connected back to one of my Mini Panels located quite some distance away.  This mini panel has a number of free wire inputs.  I would have to run 14 wires (including the common) each about 12 meters back to the mini panel.  These wires have to follow the baseboard around a rather long 'U' around the second level of the baseboard as the Mini Panel is located beneath Border Loop.  Access to some of those areas was going to be a real pain - particularly when I needed to run so many wires in a repetitive process.  It was also going to cost me a small fortune in wire. 
I have now made a decision to purchase another Mini Panel and locate it at the northern end of Clapham Yard.  I can then wire all the pushbuttons located on the two control panels with only one reel of wire.  I wish I could have made this decision quite some time back as I would not have had to run 7 wires from the control panel located at the southern end of Clapham Yard back to the mini panel located at Acacia Ridge Yard.  I then would not have had the issue with the over writing of the Mini Panel commands for Clapham Yard and the required rewriting of the Acacia Ridge Yard commands.  Oh Well!
Sometimes it is easier to spend some money and not just take the cheapest solution.  Everything is better in hindsight.
Next week I hope to install the mini panel (if Ray has one) and I plan to solder all the wires from DS64 I installed today onto all the point motors.  This week (maybe even later tonight) I will be drilling out my northern Clapham Yard panel and the Loco Pilly panel to allow installation of the various push buttons that I already have.  I can then solder these up sometime through the week if there is nothing on TV to relax in front of.  We also have Tuesday Nighters this week at Geoff's.

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