Today I got down to the shed after lunch, just as the One Day Cricket was starting on TV – Australia vs India at the MCG. I spent the time replacing a kaput Digitrax DS64 quad point controller (DOA – actually DOA for a second time after sending it back to the US under warranty and getting it returned as fixed – only to find it was still stuffed – I think this is where most people just swear). A waste of $20+ in postage and a very bad taste in my mouth. Not sure I want to continue buying this brand of kit.
Anyway I purchased a second hand one off a mate to replace my bad one and as I connected up the Peco point motors one by one to the four outputs, they all tested OK. I then programmed the addresses into the new DS64 and then the various accessory throw commands into three different NCE Mini Panels that will control a new pair of points at Acacia Ridge Yard and the various points needed to operate Fisherman Islands dual gauge Yard. I then connected up the wires from the control panel at the entry to Fisherman Islands to the NCE Mini Panels at Border Loop and Loco Pilly and luckily they worked. I also wired up the wires from a new small control panel for the new crossover points at Acacia Ridge Yard to the mini panel there. When testing Fisherman Islands Yard entry control panel, some points in some of the routes threw the wrong way, so I had to swap the way these points were configured in the NCE Mini Panel from a ‘Normal position’ to a ‘Reverse position’ when certain buttons were pressed and all was OK.
So basically the entry to Fisherman Islands is for all intents and purposes complete and ready for the next Operating Session – another job crossed off my to do list. However, I have one dual gauge point that only throws for the straight through route and not for the diverging route. I just need to do a bit of packing under the motor that is mounted a couple of tracks away and throws via a linkage. So just a small amount of adjustment should get that working as well.
Yesterday I went to Anthony’s for the first Operating Session for the year on his layout. There were 6 of us in attendance and I got to run 12 trains and perform the job of Train Control as usual. It was pretty difficult and quite stressful at times shunting or driving my own train as well as setting points and signals for the other 3 drivers. Also one of the cheat sheets that I use to know what track trains are supposed to take at Nankiva when crossing was removed. So I was left to hang out to dry a little bit. There has been a few more changes to the layout and the way the operators locate their trains cards and these have all been for the better. The small changes that get made month after month all contribute to a better user experience. As usual it was a great day with great company.