Sunday, August 16, 2015

I Hate Technology (When it Does Not Work Properly)!

With Wednesday being a public holiday in Brisbane, I got to attend my son’s sports carnival at Runcorn.  He had a ball of a time, and with a thunderstorm approaching in the arvo, we were let off early with two rotations of events left to run.  Anyway, that gave me the opportunity to get down to the shed.  I added some more jumpers to the power bus for the Fisherman Islands district to complete that task.  I then added a few screws into the end of the tracks in Fisherman Islands to prevent trains running off the end.  I would like to add some clear Perspex sides to the baseboard to prevent things falling off that level.

Activity then turned to removing some slide switches from the first area of my layout that I laid - the Rocla Siding and Rappville Loop.  These switches were installed and allowed me to turn of track power in those sections.  I have never used them. I then had to re-wire the two tracks at Rocla Sleeper Siding (main and loop) and the three tracks at Rappville Loop (Main, Loop and Siding).  These tracks are now wired to the power bus but not via separate on-off isolation switches. I needed some slide switches to allow me to isolate the new power district #6 and also power district #6's ammeter.  So two of those switches have now been wired into the main panel. 

I then screwed my DS64 for the entry to Fisherman Islands onto the baseboard. 

On Thursday two packages of push buttons to be used on my two Fisherman Islands control panels showed up.  So on Friday afternoon I installed 14 buttons on my two control panels and soldered them up to the wires running back to my NCE mini panels.  I still have not connected the wires at the NCE mini panels end and I am still yet to code up the new commands in the mini panels.  That is a job for later.

Saturday Morning I went down to the shed in the morning for an hour.  I drilled a few holes and threaded all the wires from my DS64 to the cab bus and from the DS64 to the four point motors it will control in the entry to Fisherman Islands Yard.

That afternoon, I headed over to Anthony’s place for his monthly running session.  On the way over, I stopped in at Austral Modelcraft and picked up a packet of rail joiners.  I would love to work out how many I’ve used on my layout.  The running session at Anthony’s, was attended by Iain, Mark and Keith, as well as of course, myself and the host Anthony.  It was a great session.  I actually got to run trains, we had three single man crews, a shunter and the yard master for Tatiara Downs.  I quite enjoyed running about 8 or 9 trains out of the session.  A couple of times, I forgot to take my train cards with me for the run from staging to Tatiara Downs.  I was severely chastised on both occasions.  It is always good to see other layouts have issues not that these were in way severe.  One S class loco lost its coupler in the middle of the track and we had two sand wagons derail on their exit out of Nankiva heading towards staging.  I think everyone looked at me as I had just set the points and signals, but it was the coupler box working its way down a bit and a low hanging coupler tang which was the cause.  But apart from that the layout ran extremely well and we had great company.  Our post layout running session discussion turned to a photo in the 29th issue of Model Railways in Australia.  There is photo of a train on the Broadford layout (originally built by Keith) but now owned by a Club in Melbourne with a 422 class loco hauling a set of VR E cars on the broad gauge tracks.  Interesting as no 422’s were ever broad gauged.  Oh well I suppose it is either modeller’s license or someone just having no idea what they were doing.

Today I spent over 4 hours at my daughter’s school’s working bee this morning shifting 5 cubic metres of soil and then a few meters of bark.  Upon arriving home, I thought I would just tidy up a few jobs down the shed.  I thought I would solder up the wires from the DS64 at Fisherman Islands to the four point motors.  I then turned the DS64 on and gave it an address of 151 and gave it four point motor addresses - 1511, 1512, 1513 and 1514.  So I then tried to fire off the points at those addresses via my radio Procab-R.  Well none of them threw.  I could see that the DS64 was issuing commands as the light was illuminating as I know it must have accepted the 4 addresses.

This DS64 was one that had previous sent back to the US quite some time ago for fixing as it was getting hot and not working.  I purchased another DS64 to replace that one and when the repaired DS64 turned back up on my doorstep apparently fixed, it was put into a draw until needed.  Well it was needed and now when I try it, it does not work as the DS64 is getting very hot again.  It seems that the b@stards in the US never fixed it, after spending sh!t loads of money to send it back there.  Well that is the last straw!  I will never use one of those pieces of cr@p again.
 
Later tonight I will check out the relatively new NCE equivalent that did not exist when I started using DS64’s.  I might try and pick one up next weekend from Austral Modelcraft.  I think I’ll pen a nice email back to Digitrax about their rotten DS64.

By the way, I seem to have inherited a nice short in power district number 5 - somewhere between Acacia Ridge and South Brisbane Interstate.  I'm not looking forward to working out where this has occurred.

Next weekend is the RMCQ Model Railway Exhibition at the Strathpine Community Centre Hall on Saturday and Sunday.  I will be sitting on the door with a few other guys for most of the weekend, so please say high when you pop in!

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