Sunday, August 9, 2015

Layout Lighting and Trains Temporarily Running at Fisherman Islands

During the week I spend some time thinking about where the next few strings of LED lighting would be installed on the layout.  I wanted another string above Fairy Hill and another stretching around towards Kyogle from Fairy Hill.  I also wanted to install a run of LED above Border Loop (hanging from the roof of the shed) and also investigate installing a set above the Cougal Spiral.  That one will be interesting as it needs to be on a continuous curve.  I'm not sure what I will connect that to.

Darren delivered some wood to me on Wednesday that I will use to hang the Border Loop LED set.  As usual there is still quite a bit of other bits and pieces I need to install these next sets.  But with a bit of luck, I might get around to doing something this week.

While I had a couple of strings about, I decided to take two to the Club on Saturday as it was the Monthly Club meeting.  I ventured over to the Club with Barry as a passenger and on the way to the Club stopped off at Austral Modelcraft and picked up an NCE EB1 for installation in my Power District no.6 at Fisherman Islands on the layout.  Once at the club, I had some lunch and pottered around for most of the day.  At midday I started off with a quick presentation – more a group discussion on building model roads as part of our modelling series that we have been running since late last year.  I covered my techniques for road building and we talked about some things to make the roads look more realistic - like butters, drains and man hole covers.  There were about 4 or so members in attendance and I think we all learnt something.  After that I rolled out two lengths of my LED strings and put them up under the top deck on one of the peninsulars on the layout.  They were installed on the wharf section and looked pretty good once turned on.  They were meant to stimulate the members and give them an understanding as to what we want to eventually install around the whole lower deck of the layout.  I think it worked.

Today I ventured down to the shed after midday and spent some time thinking about what I would do.  First job was to install the EB1, that I purchased yesterday) under the layout and wire it into the power bus.  I still need a few slide switches and a panel metre to fully install this so I can monitor the current in this new section of track.  I have identified where there are two slide switches that I can use, and tonight I ordered a panel meter to go onto the layout facia. 

I then decided to drill the track power dropper holes in the Fisherman Islands baseboard and then soldered 15 pairs of droppers to the rails and then soldered them onto the power bus underneath.  I then decided to quickly add a temporary jumper from the Fisherman Islands power bus to another track bus and when I connected it, I had a short.  Damn!  Upon further investigation I found that one of my narrow gauge points in Fisherman Islands did not have the two insulated joiners installed.  This point had feeders installed on the tracks so it was the culprit.  So that was quickly rectified and Voila, no short!  So I grabbed a loco, put it on the track, gave the track a quick clean, and away we went with a 44 Class running all over the three standard gauge tracks, and the one dual gauge track at Fisherman Islands.  It was towing my ballast set.  I really must put some stop blocks on the ends of the tracks otherwise I might regret running trains in this yard, as it is long way to the ground.

I still have the track from Dutton Park to the entry of the Fisherman Islands Yard to have droppers installed on.  I also have to work out how to wire up my dual gauge point at the far end of Fisherman Islands Yard so that power gets thrown correctly.  I also found a section of track just next to the dual gauge point that was isolated from the track bus.  So I have already drilled dropper holes and installed droppers, but just need to solder the droppers to the track and power bus next week.  Possibly Wednesday as it is a public Holiday in Brisbane.

While I had the soldering iron out I soldered one jumper that I noticed had come adrift in the Grafton to Rocla Sleeper Siding section and, and a jumper in Acacia Ridge Yard that I identified the need for in the last running session.

I also spent some time fine tuning the dual gauge track in the Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard.  I ran a Eureka Model RSH wagon around the dual gauge track and it ran well, so I was pretty happy as this is the wagon with the smallest wheels.

Hopefully plenty more progress next week.


  1. Hi Craig. Installing a Panel Meter to monitor the District current, is simple using 6 Amp Bridge Rectifier and a 5 Amp Meter, digital or analogue. I'd only install one Meter at the output of the Booster and install on/off Switches at the EB1s. See my Meters web page at: Regards Marcus

  2. Marcus,
    That is exactly what I do. One meter on the booster output and an on/off switch in front of each of the meters on each EB1 (currently 5, soon to be 6 off).