This weekend it was hard to get motivated. Maybe it was the cold weather. On Friday afternoon I made a trip over to Austral Modelcraft to pick up a few more decoders for the Club Shop. On Saturday I sat down at the kitchen table and installed three plug and play decoders into three American Proto-2000 models for a prospective member at the Club. The first loco I did produced a puff of smoke when I think the underneath of the decoder touched the loco frame which was connected to one side of the locos pickups. It seemed to blow the front headlight circuit causing it to be permanently on. Luckily, I just remapped function 1 to be the front headlight and it now works just like a bought one. I also replaced the lights with LEDs. The second loco was slightly easier as someone had previously removed the lighting board from the loco. That made the loco hard to test run before the install. I installed the decoder and wired up the LED headlights and gave it a test. It ran like crap. I think there are split gears in the loco as the box the loco came in had four gears in the bottom. No doubt someone has a future job to replacing the existing split gears. At least it runs better in one direction. For the third loco, I had no idea how to disassemble it to get access to the lighting board and decoder plug. But as we all know “Google is your friend” and Mr Google told me about two screws hidden under the bogies. So I unscrewed these and Bob’s your old man and it came apart. But it had four light bulbs in it. I just installed two LEDs to replace the four bulbs. It seems to work well. That is one task just completed to return to the loco owner the next time I get back over to the Club.
Today I went down to the shed and collected some track to create two new lengths of dual gauge track that are for track 4 in Fisherman Islands. I soldered these up while watching the V8’s shootout. I then did some track planning to create two more lengths of dual gauge track to be installed between Dutton Park and the track into the beginning of Fisherman Islands. Between these two lengths of dual gauge I will insert a Tillig piece of track that takes the third raid from one side to the other – a sort of transition track. That allows the geometry of the track in Fisherman Islands yard throat to be correct.
I have one 12mm RH point to purchase and then I can lay the complete Fisherman Islands Yard. I will have to cut plenty of holes in the baseboard for the various point motors and then connect them up to a number of DS64 point controllers which will bankrupt me given the price they have gone up to.
On Monday I purchased some Light Dependant Resistors from evil bay (but from a NSW location) and they arrived on Friday. I will use these to make up the test track for the train detection circuit for my level crossing circuit. I have put a piece of track on a board, and over the next few weeks I will installed the detectors and the other electronics.