Sunday, March 8, 2015

Resuming and Progressing Some Stalled Projects

This weeks activities started out on Tuesday this week.  In the afternoon I did another vacuum of the shed before the guys came over for out fortnightly meeting.   I had eleven guys show up and chew the fat, initially in the shed, with most making a tea or coffee before we adjourned to the pergola when some supper came out.  I received some positive comments about the LED lighting that has been installed under the decks of the layout.
Yesterday afternoon I resumed my rewiring of the Austrains 81 class loco and fixed up the red marker lights at the end where they were not working correctly.  They were constantly on.  This was resolved by removing the wire from the red LED at that end and re-attaching it.  I think the wire was slightly astray on where it was soldered to the decoder.  So now this works - good progress. 
I then started working on the headlight and number box lights.  These were not working at all.  So I removed the wires from one end and commenced some investigations.  I used my LED tester (2 x 1.5V batteries and 1K resistor) and confirmed that these were wired with the positive side of both LED’s on separate wires and a common cathode.  The common wire needs to be attached to a function wire – white or yellow and the two separate wires need to be connected to the Blue wire on the decoder.  That is the opposite that I need to installation on my NCE decoder that is already installed into my 81 class loco.  Damn imbeciles! 
Overnight I wonder if it was possible to install a transistor switch in one of the LED’s positive (blue) wire connections and control that transistor switch with another function output (perhaps my green wire) on the decoder.  However, this will only work if the first function is turned on first.  Anyone electrical engineers out there or gurus who can design circuits got any ideas?  Anyone overcome this issue?
Today I went back down to the shed and put the TV on to watch the cricket and did some more work.  I replaced the wire structure that was holding the LED light above the section of track from Glenapp Loop to The Risk.  I used my recently built wooden brackets which hang off the Loco Pilly to Dutton Park track baseboard.  I am still waiting for a replacement power supply from my Chinese supplier.  I think it has been lost in the mail.  I was also thinking last night that if I had another four strings of 5m of bright white LED lights I could seriously consider the layout to have its lighting initially complete with at least a single string of LED lights across most modelled areas on the layout.
Going slightly off topic, I see that NCE have released their LED lighting components.  At $US199 for an initial 1.8m of lighting, it is slightly more expensive than what I have installed.  But this is multi colour.  I do want to investigate installing alternate colours around the layout and having them able to be blended together to form different day and night time scenes.  I can but wish and I think it will take well over another 10 years before I get to this point.
Back to modelling in the Shed this afternoon.  I resumed work on my fuel tanker inspection gantry.  I added plenty of bracing to the outer roof to make it look self supporting and added a railing around the raised inspection platform. 
Either during the week or perhaps next weekend I plan to try and spray paint this model and then install some rubber hoses made from black electrical wire.  I am planning on taking a day off this week.

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