Sunday, August 31, 2014

Yard Work

During the week I decided to register for the NMRA Convention to be held down on the Gold Coast on the weekend of the 20th and 21st of September.  Friday night this week was spent over at Geoff’s with a few blokes doing some modelling.  I assembled two HO scale Sheep races made from styrene.  On Saturday afternoon, I sprayed them with Grey etch primer and I have placed them on the layout at Nammoona Ballast Siding and Fairy Hill Loop.
Once that was out of the way I got around to unpacking my birthday presents from the previous weekend.  I received a new Aldi dremel tool, the Aldi 3” grinding stone with a dremel attachment, a small Aldi compressor with two spray guns and a small took set with tweezers, nippers and a magnifying glass.  I have put aside all the manuals and I will be reading them through the week and who knows, I might plug them in and give them a burl next weekend. 
Last weekend at our Model Train Exhibition I picked up a few extra sets of points.  On Saturday I installed two crossovers within Acacia Ridge Yard from Track 4 to track 3 and then about 40cm further up the line its complimentary crossover from track 3 back to track 4.  The first crossover allows trains to enter the yard in track 4 and still make their way through all the sets of crossovers on the other tracks and get to the dual gauge heading to South Brisbane Interstate.  These crossovers also help to stage one train in these tracks and still get through running trains around it. 
Once this work was complete on the top deck, my attention turned to the bottom deck.  I then started looking at replacing a few dodgy points in Grafton Yard.  Then I got stuck in and re-designed a few sidings.  I re-routed a number of single ended tracks (Grafton Yard tracks 8-10 and the XPT siding) to come off exit side of the return loops instead of the entry side.  I have added 3 new siding (Grafton Yard tracks 11 – 13) and lengthened about 2 others.  Today I completed this work by added a small amount of extra baseboard on the inside of the return loops, making the access hole in the middle of the loops about 6 inches narrower.  So all these tracks have now been laid and I have relocated a number of trains out of existing return loops and tracks 8-10 and relocated them to these new tracks that are of the appropriate length.  My running timetable used to have a number of trains stacked up behind each other in some of the return loops, but if a train was not to run it caused issues with trains staged behind it.  Now every train has its own originating track.  All I need to do now is update the running timetable’s timetable cards with the new starting and ending tracks.  I will also have to update the Motive Power Assignments sheet that says what track trains are supported to go to at each starting or terminating location.  I will also have to add a few steps to be used when the timetable wraps around from last train to first train for a new cycle, to turn some of these trains in the single ended tracks so they can leave again.  I also need to remarshall a couple of other trains so they are in the correct order for heading back out in the next session.
With all these points now installed, I still can’t run trains through these new sections of track as I still need to add lots of droppers around the various insulfrog and electrofrog points.  Again a job for the next few weeks.
I also lengthened the headshunt at Grafton Yard by about 60cm.  Not that it ever gets used, but it might in the future.
I’ve also cleared the baseboard around the turntable at Cassino.  My next major activity will be to install some pits into the baseboard on two entry tracks off the Murwillumbah Branch and then look at wiring up the turntable motor here.  I can then bring this area into operation.  I’m still not sure if I want to have it controlled by the little controller that came with the turntable, or I fit a decoder at a suitable DCC address and then have it able to be controlled forward or reverse by the NCE throttle.
I had to answer an SOS call to Lefty on Saturday afternoon to help him with his blog.  He was having some issues with IE V11 on his desktop.  He could not upload a photo.  I advised him to try Chrome which was installed on his laptop and see if that worked.  I’m not sure of the outcome, but I see he now has the photo on his blog.
Today after the boss came home from shopping I went over to my mate David’s place and did some work on his control panels.  Well really it was three mini panels.  I continued coding up the commands on the northern end of his main yard where I left off last time.  I then added the 12 wires from one of his new control panels (Upper Hammersmith) to another NCE mini panel and coded this one up.  I then went to another new control panel and added 24 wires to another NCE mini panel and coded the first few commands.  Now thinking about it, I may have coded the commands on the 8 buttons I entered into the wrong locations in the mini panel.  I will check that and fix that up next time I’m over there.  I’ve also got two more locos to decoder up.
See ya next week!

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