Sunday, October 26, 2014

Let There be Light!

I think someone great first said that line many, many years ago!
During the week I received a long awaited delivery of 4 strings of 5m of cool bright LED lights for the layout - 5 weeks.  I gave them a test and all seemed to work and all power supplied also seemed to work.  On Friday afternoon, I went down to the shed and started to install three strings of lights under the top deck of the layout starting near the entry door.  The first string starts around Grafton Loco, runs past Rocla Sleeper Siding and heads past Baker’s Farm and ends just at the beginning of the Rappville Loop area.  The second string starts at this point and runs the whole length of Rappville Loop.  The third string starts at the end of Rappville Loop, and enlightens the level crossing at the Bruxner Highway and runs past the Bonalbo Ballast Siding, across the Richmond River and ends at the location of the rail pedestrian crossing at Barker Street. 
I turned the first string on and it looks tremendous.  I then turned the third string on and it looks pretty good if I say so myself.  My issues are now two fold.  One of the power bricks popped within two minutes of turning it on.  Not what I wanted to occur considering that it took about 5 weeks to arrive from OS.  The second issue is not a really bad one to have.  How do I power all these bricks?  I was thinking of purchasing a set of those remote power switches so I can turn the strings of LEDs on one by one by remote control.  I will investigate those types of power switches.  I did see a set from Kambrook on ebay that seems to be expandable in the number of sets that can be remotely controlled.  I will keep a lookout and see if anyone has them on special.
On Saturday I went back down to the shed and installed the fourth string of LED lights, even though I cannot power them.  These run from the Barker Street crossing through Cassino Station and end near the Signal box.  I then used some wiring clips to allow me to feed the power brick lead around under the layout and keep them out of harms way and feed them down under the layout.
I then got an old string of "warm" lights out and used them to measure what will be needed to complete the lighting from Cassino to Murwillumbah.  The 5th string will go from just short of the signal box, around the Cassino Loco area and to the West Street level crossing at old Cassino.  The 6th set will go from the level crossing to the start of the Lismore Oil Siding.  The 7th set will go from the Oil Siding until just near the road underbridge just north of Lismore.  The 8th set will go from road underbridge to just short of the entry into Murwillumbah yard.  The 9th set set will go until the end of the platform at Murwillumbah and I will need a half set to go all the way to the end of the headshunt at Murwillumbah.
After that point in order to complete the mainline north, I will need at least two more strings to go from Cassino north towards Brisbane until the track enters the Helix just after the Cassino Meat Works Siding.  So that would complete the requirements for the bottom deck.  That will leave the top deck to be planned.  However after firing the 4th set up today to take some photos I can see that the light throw from the fouuth set through Cassino Station needs to be supplemented.  The reason for this is that the baseboard at Cassino extends significantly out past the width of the deck above it and the throw of light does not reach the full extent of the Cassino station baseboard.  I think I might have to run another set along here at the front of the top deck and angle this string outwards so it illuminates the full station area.  I will experiment with this when I get another set of lights.
I was luck the boss was going to the shop yesterday arvo, so I sent her on a mission to purchase some electrical extension cords to I can plug the LED transformers in to some of the numerous power points within the shed.  I plan to have at least two strings of LEDs wired to start from the same point and run off in different directions.  That way they can share the same electrical plug in points. 
Following that LED installation task, I turned my attention to painting a few sections of baseboard at Lismore and on the northern side of Old Cassino.  These areas are now ready for the installation of dirt and grass.  So today I finished off by planting some dirt and grass around Lismore Station.

The first string showing Grafton Yard bottom right and the track leading around the outside of the blob and reappearing on the top right.  This location is Rocla Sleeper Siding.
On the other side of the above blob.  The track goes under a wooden bridge and enters a tunnel.  It reappears on the top right at the end of Rocla Sleeper siding and goes past Baker's Farm before continuing into Rappville Loop.
At the far end of Rappville Loop is the Bruxner Highway that runs from Cassino to Tenterfield.

Further to the right is Bonalbo Ballast Siding.

Still further north we go past the entry to the ballast siding and travel across the Richmond River Bridge.
At Cassino we can see the shadow being cast by the lights under the deck above.
Still a further shot of the Cassino Station and still more shadow at the furthermost reach of the station.

The area in front of Lismore Station has been greenified.

On Friday afternoon I decided to do a bit of work on one of my dual gauge points that will be located at the northern most end of Fisherman Islands when I finally get around to laying some dual gauge track for that location.

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