Sunday, February 26, 2017

Powering Along in Clapham Yard

Yesterday I picked up some styrene as I was planning what I was doing to do this Friday at the modelling night organised by my local Hobby Shop at Simon Says Hobbies and Games.  Quite a few of our local group head over there for a night of modelling.  I’ll be making another 4 or maybe 5 of the 40’ container flats that I have been making.  That will bring me up to about 20 container flats.  I will then also make some gates for the container flats.  I hope to be able to get through a complete set of 10 gates for a single wagon.

Just after lunch, I decided to start working on building 6 of what I call my power supplies that I use on my layout.  These take DCC track power and rectify the voltage and with a capacitor, and a small resistor, will allow an LED or in some cases many LEDs to be illuminated.  In this case the LEDs area going into a few of my incinerators to be installed around my layout and those of a few mates.  I picked up 12 flickering LED candles over Christmas period and while the button battery in each LED candle is good for about 72 hours of burning, I’d have to have a stash of button batteries to go around to replace these when they go flat.  So my aim is to connect these up to the track bus and they will draw less than 0.01 Amps and can flicker away in all of my fettler camps.  The flickering candles along with my incinerators made from styrene painted rusty brown look really good on the layout.  I use this technique in a few areas around the layout - particularly the Staff machines in each section of track between crossing loops.

I have completed two power supplies today and given them a test by connecting them  to the track power on the layout and yes they do work.  I have 4 more power supplies completed ready to just solder an LED and resistor to.  I still have parts for another 5 power supplies and will probably build some more after that.  The limiting factor in these flickering devices is getting my hands on the LEDs that I need.  The ones in these candle sets just flicker at the correct rate to make them look like a fire is raging away inside my 44 gallon drums.  These seem to have a random flicker compared to a constant on/off in some LEDs.  I will give some of these to a few mates when I next catch up with them this week or next.

This afternoon I went down to the shed and was working on cutting and installing the extended baseboard at the southern end of Clapham Yard.  This will allow the proposed changes to the southern end of the Clapham Yard to be catered for.  So a few extra dead-end sidings will eventually be installed.  Now that the baseboard has been completed, the next phase in the plan turns to track acquisition.  I need a few lengths of flex track and a few more points.  The plan is that none of these points will be motorised.  They will be worked by hand only.  I’m thinking of scouring the next few Buy and Sells in Brisbane on the lookout for the required track items.  This baseboard work has meant that a few existing point motors need to be moved around and the staff machine for the Acacia Ridge to Clapham section and Clapham to Dutton Park section needs to be moved.  I have a bad feeling that I will need to extend all four wires for one of the staff sections (if not both) as the existing wires may not reach to the new location just a couple of inches further out from the wall.  But that is a job for next weekend.

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