Earlier in the week I received an email from All Aboard Modellbahn giving me some great information. The week before at the NMRA Convention on the Gold Coast, I picked up a Fleischmann Tacho wagon second hand and on the off chance that the Australian Agent would be able to get me a copy of the relevant instructions for the wagon, I sent them an email. Well they did. What great service! Thank you Vic! I reset the wagon according to the information and now know how to move from display to display so I can work out how far distances are on the layout and how far the wagon has travelled.
So one night early in the week after getting the information I commandeered a 44 Class loco and positioned it at Grafton Yard at Milepost 0.0 and sent it on its way to the end of the line at Murwillumbah. Well it works out that it is 60 metres in distance. I then ran the loco from Grafton Yard to South Brisbane Interstate Buffer Stops. At the location where the trains used to turn around at Acacia Ridge Yard, the distance is 109 metres. At South Brisbane, the odometer stops at 136 metres. I have not converted the coupling on the tacho wagon yet to KDs, so I am not sure if the different couplers played any part in the distances derived as I was pushing the wagon around the layout and if the different heights of the loco and the tacho wagon couplers caused any lock-ups or skidded wheels or the wheels to be lifted of the tracks. I will get around to replacing at least one coupling with KDs over the next few weeks, so I can then haul the wagon around the layout instead of pushing it. I'm not game to push it down the helix, as it might come off as it runs away from the loco. I will then be able to add the tacho wagon to any train during a running session so that the drivers will understand what speed they are actually running at and hopefully they can then keep up with the timetable.
This is the Tacho wagon sitting (actually it is rolling) in a siding at Lismore. The speedo shows it is doing 20km/hour. Just before this I did some calibration tests over a section of straight track of 5m in length. The wagon was pushed twice over that length and that gave 10m distance in total. In HO scale that is 870m. The wagon showed 0.880 km. So that was good enough for my test to ensure that the wagon seems to be measuring correctly for the distance display.
On Saturday arvo I got around to plastering around Cassino Loco. I covered the tracks, filled the holes in the baseboard and plastered away. Once I had completed that area, I decided to throw a bit more plaster around the wooden bridge I was installing on the Murwillumbah Branch between Lismore and Murwillumbah. I still have lots more to do in this area, but at least the polystyrene has been stuck down underneath the road. I still have to raise the height of the road up to the bridge height yet.
The Cassino Station side of the Loco area.
The Old Cassino end of the Loco area.
The Northern side of the road overbridge.
The southern side of the road overbridge.
On Saturday evening I went down to the shed and ran a 44 Class into the loco area t test it out. I can run the loco from the main line via the tracks to the coal stage that branch to between the future Loco Shed and the water tank and then onto the turntable. For all the other tracks I need to add track jumpers to them all and connect them to the DCC power bus, so I can get locos on and off the turntable and of course power the turntable itself. I will need to put an auto reversing DCC contraption onto the turntable input. Again another future project.
This afternoon I went back down to the shed and mixed up three bottles of diluted Burnt Sienna paint and painted the area around Cassino Loco and then worked my way towards Cassino Station and around to Old Cassino. So over time I will spread some basic dirt on the ground here and then hit it with some green grass. That will do until I get around to ballasting the loco area.
This morning I went to a local MERG group get together on the other side of town for about 3 hours. These sessions are most interesting and informative. This was followed by a trip over to the Club Rooms to drop off about 8 sets of points and some track joiners both metal and insulated. They were ordered last Wednesday I think and they were delivered for the work session the following Wednesday. While at the Club, I ran into 5 members over at the Club running trains on the HO layout. Four were N scalers. We might have to disinfect the HO layout if they keep this up – hey PK!
PK is doing a bulk order tonight of various Raspberry Pi related kit and upon delivery, I hope to have a working Pi wifi setup for my shed. That will allow drivers at an operating session to choose between a plug in Procab, a radio Procab's or a Withrottle or an Android version to drive a train.