Sunday, October 14, 2018

Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention 2018


Yesterday was the 2018 Modelling the Railways of QLD Convention, held at the Beenleigh Events Centre.  While this facility was not cheap to hire, I think it provided a nice dry location to bring together about 80 modellers together to listen, chat, learn, and hopefully buy some models or detail items from the various trade stands in attendance.

I rocked up pretty early as I was one of the organising committee and shared an exhibition table with PK.  We soon blew out to two tables.  PK had 6 dioramas to show off and I had two with a third under wraps until just before my presentation.  PK’s dioramas show how to create the layers of ply, foam or other items like chicken wire, fly screen or cardboard to then cover with plaster or other similar items.  These are then painted and completed with dirts and scatters to then be super detailed.  The dioramas are meant for the attendees to see on a small scale what they can do on their layouts  on a much larger scale.

I did a session later in the day about “Bringing a Layout to Life”.  I provided some of my tricks and techniques as well as to an insight into what I try to achieve on my layout to bring it to life.

Throughout the day, there were some very good presentations.  I went to Anthony and Mark’s session on “Adding Purpose to Your Layout”.  It basically covered making your feel you were back in the era that railway was designed for and you were doing that work.  It was great.  I also listened to the session by Anthony Veness on his Dagun layout.  Again a very nice session.  Of course Arthur Hayes did a great session on the O wagons of Queensland Rail.  The day was completed with Marty talking about Animations. This too was very interesting and has prompted me to do some more research into Arduinos and how I can use them for a couple of tasks on my layout.

The feedback so far has been extremely positive.
Here are a few photos of my detailed diorama.

A few sheep have wandered into this shot.  Maybe they are on the lookout for a mutton bird in one of the trees.

This photo shows the small rock filled creek.  There is water in it which is keeping the small weeping willows alive in a rather barren scene.

Today, all I have done is unpack the car and put everything away.  I spent some time working out what the next project is and it will be making some loads for a mixture of wagons on the layout.  This will include 12mm QR Coal wagons and a couple of NSW ballast wagons.  Of course these loads will be built on a styrene base with a couple of washers superglued underneath so that the loads can be removed with a magnet in ones hands.  However, I don’t think I have any coal dust to use for the coal wagon loads.

The next major project will be to start building the station building for the Cassino platform.  I think this will be a mammoth task and take me well into next year to complete.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Layout Tidy Up and Convention Preparation


With Monday being a public holiday, I spent most of the day in the Shed.  Most of that time was spent wiring jumpers to sections of the track and continuing the feeding of 10 wires from Clapham Yard to Acacia Ridge Yard.  These wires are for the Rocklea Sidings control panel and continue all the way back to an NCE Mini Panel underneath Loco Pilly.

The Mini Panel was coded up with the various commands to throw the particular points when the various switches on the panel were pushed, and it all works well.  I am still waiting for a Tillig LH Standard Gauge point to be brought into the country.  This piece of track is currently unavailable worldwide.  When this track segment arrives, I will then wire up a point motor to that set of points, and then also spend some time with one set of points where the point motor catches when it is thrown in one direction.  I think I have to replace the point motor base.  It only works in one direction at the moment.

The dual gauge sections of track in Clapham Yard that were added over the last weekend, had wire jumpers added around the Peco points and a few nails inserted into the track to align everything.  Both a standard gauge loco and narrow gauge loco run quite well over the new trackwork.  I also added two wire jumpers to Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard.  These two new sidings work well.  However, I have had a catastrophic failure of the rest of the dead end sidings.  I think I may have had a wire come loose under the layout.  But as yet, I have not stuck my head underneath to investigate.

This phot is of Clapham Yard.  This yard is a mixture of 16.5mm and 12mm track and includes a crossover of gauges and a section of dual gauge.

This scene shows the work done last weekend to provide a few more sidings in the narrow gauge yard at Acacia Ridge.  The 1720 is sitting on the loco siding, which will allow trains to move from the runaround sidings on the left to the deadend sidings on the right.

This photo shows the new standard gauge points between the 4th track from the left (the dual gauge) to the third track from the left.

This is Fisherman Islands Yard.  The baseboard has been extended at the rear to allow two more narrow gauge loops to be installed.  These will be short compared to the length of the sidings in the existing yard.

This weekend has been spent working on my notes for the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention next weekend.  These notes were started some time ago, and now they have finally been completed.  The last task was to supplement the notes with photographic examples from my layout to demonstrate my presentation.  My Powerpoint presentation was also sent off to the conference convenor yesterday although it has been basically completed for the last two weeks.   All that is left to do is to pack up my models for my presentation and have fun next weekend.  

I did find some time on Saturday to head over to Aurora Trains and picked up a three pack on SDS NPAX calcium wagons.  Two are for me and one for a mate, well it was PK.  I should be also paying for a 4 wagon set of Coal Wagons on Tuesday Night thanks to PK. The other thing that I did today was watch the Bathurst race.  Unfortunately Tricky Dickie’s team only came 3rd.  That was at least a podium finish.

I think over the next week I will try and make another half a dozen clotheslines so I will have some available next weekend in case some of the Convention attendees are after one. 

Tuesday night this week is at Dr. Peter’s place.  It has been a while since we have been there and I understand that he has done quite a bit of work lately.  So I’m looking forward to that.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Still Working on the Narrow Gauge


On Friday evening I went down to the shed and did some thinking.  Well actually I ran a train.  I progressed one train (the Brisbane Limited) two staff sections and it is now sitting in Acacia Ridge Yard.  I then checked the next 3 timetable cards to take, and they all started at 8:55am or 9:00am.  The three trains on the layout were all at their 9:00 or 9:05 location, so the timetable is ready to be restarted at 9:00am.

Then I returned to this thinking thing.  I was considering how I could incorporate a 12mm loco siding into Acacia Ridge Yard.  After a few minutes I thought I would extend the baseboard by a small piece of wood about 100mm x 350mm to fill in a section.  By doing this I could put a siding in.  I thought some more and then I came to the conclusion, if I put a double slip in where a set of points already exists, I’d have more flexibility and two tracks will have direct access to this new loco siding.  I then worked out that if I replaced another set of points at the dead end section of the yard at Acacia Ridge, with another set of Double slip points, then I could continue the trackage from the first double slip to this new one.  This also has the advantage that I can replace a rather dodgy 12mm set of points - unknown brand.  This points have no inbuilt spring like the Peco points.

So on Saturday I hit the loco hobby shops.  I picked up a set of double slip points from Ray's Austral Modelcraft and installed it when I got home.  I also cut the extra bit of baseboard for Acacia Ridge Yard.  I then cut off two strip of 100mm baseboard that were joined length wise and this has been added onto the back of Fisherman Islands Yard.  This will allow two small loops to be added at this location, increasing the number of 12mm tracks.  

So I think I now have my list of 12mm track that I need to procure to complete my track laying process on Cassino.  It is still about four hundred dollars worth but next year around the May exhibition in Brisbane will be when I buy the final purchase of the track.  The Monday of that weekend will be a long weekend, and as such that will be the day that it will all be laid.  I just need to save up.

During the week, I had a bit of success.  It turned out that PK was willing to part with 4 QR coal wagons, so this transaction will be the start of my narrow gauge coal train.  I just need another 4 wagons and this train will be complete.  I then need about 6-8 grain wagons for my grain train and then at least another 3 WHO wagons for open wagons.  Then I think my whole 12mm rollingstock collection will be complete except for two more 1720 locos that I want to buy and, yes, the soon to be delivered 2300/2400 locos.

Monday this week was a day off for me, as my layout was open for visiting as part of the 2018 NMRA convention on the Gold Coast.  I had about 10 people come through.  I was ably helped by Lefty on the day.  This same day I added three extra QLink Tautliners to my layout as I bought them off John.  So I think I have a nice number of wagons now.  Who knows what else will come onto the market that will mean that I need to buy some more, but I’m happy at the moment.

Today I hot the shed while I had the TV on for the Women's Grant Final and the InTrust Interstate match.  I decided to run two trains that were not run during the open days last weekend.  This was numbers 19 and 19A, a local train from Grafton Yard to Acacia Ridge Yard and then Clapham Yard and then onto South Brisbane Interstate Yard.  I then worked out that while the timetable had two shunt trains in it, my timetable cards were missing two shunt trains from Clapham Yard to Rocklea Siding.  I will fix that this week.  But while thinking about working this train Number 68 and Number 69, I worked out that I needed another set of points from my dual gauge track in Clapham Yard to the standard gauge track 3.  So I found two left hand small radius points and installed then.   One was bit-bashed into a dual gauge point, with the narrow gauge going straight through only.  I still have to make one more Dremel cut in one rail and then wire these up tracks back up, as I'm sure I have disruptive the various power circuits with the various insulated joiners I have installed.  I will get stuck into this tomorrow, as well as test powered locos through these newly modified sections of track.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

NMRA Gold Coast Convention


Friday 21st September was the first day of Layout tours associated with the NMRA Convention being staged at Helensvale on the Gold Coast on the 22nd and 23rd September.  I had arranged for four mates from my model railway Club and regular members of my operations roster to come over and help me operate the layout.  As well as being an open layout, I was also operating a timetable operations session from 10:00am until 1:00pm.  Basically the guys started rolling up from 9:00am.  I think by about 10:30am everyone was in attendance.  I had PK, Darryl, Darren and Greg.  Darryl assisted by bringing over quite a few of his 12mm locos, and about 3 dozen pieces of 12mm rollingstock.  His collection dwarfs mine.  So along with my meagre menagerie this made up the 12mm roster for the day.  Darryl set about inspecting the track and following a test run on the 12mm found quite a few blobs of solder that when attacked with a file, not only removed the blob, but also the wires providing power.  So out with the soldering iron and about 3 or 4 wires were replaced.  The 12mm gave us some trouble, with low cow catchers on some of the longer wheelbase 90 tonne QR locos seeming to hit every piece of track that transitioned from code 100 to code 75.  Hmmm.  I really need to taper these track joins.

Anyway the Operating Session eventually got under way and things settled down, after quite a few early hiccups.  However, if there was not an issue, the crew would feel strange as I think they need to be able to stir me about some fact or 20.  We did get one of our nominated visitors for the Ops Session arrive and it turned out that he had run into PK and Darryl at our Club on Wednesday and he remembered them from when our Club exhibits at his Club’s exhibition in Bundaberg in March each year.  So he was shown a throttle and helped complete the shunting of the Cement Train at Murwillumbah, and he then took the Brisbane Limited and ran it from Grafton Yard to Kyogle.  Apparently he had not used NCE before and was using it after about 10 seconds.

While this was happening, four more people turned up having previously been at Arthur’s place inspecting over there.  Arthur had rung to see if I could fit another four in the shed and of course the answer was always going to be yes.

So bit by bit issues were fixed up with the layout and trains continued to run the rails and next time we looked it was way after 1:00pm and it was time for me to temporarily shut down the layout so I could feed my crew.  Two of the visitors stayed and had their lunch at the same time my crew had their BBQ snags on a piece of bread.  Of course we also had cheese and onion and a variety of sauces to complement the snags.  We may have also had a beer or two or in my case four.  

So I did notice that we had a few runaways of wagons in sidings.  So on Saturday morning I added quite a few more tooth brush bristles to the Nammoona Ballast Siding and to Clapham Yard in the dual gauge and in one of the narrow gauge tracks, and two narrow gauge sidings.  So upon testing these tracks in the afternoon, I think I have now fixed the current issues, but I will lay quite a few more tooth brush bristles in other areas in the coming weeks.

On Saturday afternoon, I resumed my task of completing the second diorama module for the upcoming Modelling the Railways of QLD Convention in Beenleigh in 3 weeks time.  So I completed one small road bridge and substantially completed a second bridge built from scratch and also erected quite a few fences.  Today I completed the bridge laid some transoms and then laid the track and added a few trees, etc..  There is still some detail items yet to be added.   That just leaves me with next week to complete my notes for my session.  I have started that, but it still has a fair way to go.

Also on Saturday afternoon, I decided to revisit a dual gauge point that is in the dual gauge lead into Acacia Ridge Yard.  This allows a HO scale (16.5mm) shunt engine to be located here.  However, all the trains were stalling going throw this set of points.  So I identified that it was all the result of the point blade not making sufficient contact with the stock rail.  So that was fix and I have now successfully run a 12mm loco through this point in two directions very slowly and it no longer stalls.  I have also run the 16.5mm shunt loco through and it also no longer stalls.  I did also use my razor saw to smooth the narrow gauge wheel path where it crosses over the diverging point rail from the standard gauge.  So I must admit, that while all the rollingstock does rock and roll through the points, nothing derails.  So this work can be described as very successful.

Today I went down and reprogrammed my NCE Mini Panel located at Loco Pilly and added the throwing of a standard gauge set of points fitted with a relay to ensure that when my narrow gauge track 2 is set, the relay ensures that the frog has the correct polarity.  That has been tested and works well.  While I had the NCE Mini Panel accessible, I decided to connect up the 9 wires and a common wire that will eventually be connected to the new Rocklea Control Panel which has been built, but not wired up and installed as yet.  Maybe next weekend's task.

On Monday there is another open layout tour, which I am taking part in.  I have arranged my retired mate, Lefty, from up the road (next suburb) to come over, drink beer and run train while another at least four Convention attendees (and a few other mates) to pop over for a visit.

I also had a bit of a win on Saturday while at the local train shop.  I picked up a set of 3 Wuiske louvre vans as a birthday present and on Monday I should also be getting another three tautliner wagons off a mate.  So from those two transactions, my number of 12mm wagons had almost increased by 50%. Seven wagons will become 13 wagons.  By Christmas next year, I might have most of my roster completed, that is if I can get the various 12mm wagons that I'm after from the shops.  Maybe a rerun of the various coal and grain wagons may be needed.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Narrow Gauge Timetable Undergoes Fine Tuning


I spent quite a considerable amount of time this week working on the narrow gauge part of my  operating timetable.  So far there are 12 trains in this section of the timetable.  But with a very small amount of rolling stock on hand, 2 locos and 7 wagons, it is difficult planning what runs where and what gets picked up and returned by the various trains.  I have another loco on order (due soon) and 3 more wagons soon to be acquired when I catch up with a mate selling three curtain sided wagons.  But that is still not enough rollingstock.

I do have plans for another 2 locos and then two unit trains of 6 to 8 wagon consists of coal and grain wagons.  Luckily when I do run the narrow gauge section of the timetable, I usually have a mate who has plenty of narrow gauge wagons come along and populate the various sidings with more locos and trains.

As part of this mini solo ops session on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, I have found about 4 power jumper wires that needed to be soldered back up, and I also improved the running of trains through the Dutton Park dual gauge point.  There were two sections of dual gauge track where the third rail had come adrift and was under gauge, thus causing problems.  So I also soldered these back up and everything seems to be running better.  I also found a dual gauge set of splitter points where the standard gauge goes in one direction and the narrow gauge goes in the other direction, that I was powering the frog from a set of points, and when I threw a set of narrow gauge points, I did not throw another set of points that would have protected the narrow gauge movement, from a standard gauge train and also powered the frog of the splitter points for the narrow gauge movement.  I was wondering why a train was not moving across the points and just creating a short.  That was easily identified and I now have the solution, I just need to get access to the NCE mini panel located in Loco Pilly and plug my Procab controller into it to make a change to one input by adding another point to throw.  So the switch for the power routing will then work for the narrow gauge.

Another outcome of the two mini operations sessions I had with myself, is that I think I still need to make a couple more minor changes to the track plans for Fisherman Islands, Clapham Yard and also Acacia Ridge Yard.  Who knows it might be another 12 months, but I think the track laying will finally be complete.

So I have made quite a few changes to make for all of the narrow gauge timetable cards for the next operating session.  I will update them all tonight and print them out during the week, and put them into train sequence order.

This Friday and the following Monday my layout is available for attendees of the 2018 NMRA Convention to stop by for a layout visit.  I think there is about 17 or so layouts available for the attendees to check out and take a few photos or videos of.  I have a crew of regulars some retired and some not, coming over on the Friday to assist with the running of the layout.  We are also having an operating sessions on Monday and Friday, so it will be interesting as I will not have a full crew, so there will be many out of sequence trains in operation, and given the smallness of the crew, I will probably not run with North Coast Control.  I will perform that role while roaming around the shed, talking to operators, showing other visitors around and running my own trains.

So if you are attending the NMRA Convention, just give us a call and pop in.  You are all most welcome.  I will have tea and coffee available all day and also a cold drink in the fridge.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Updating the Timetable


All this week, I’ve been doing work on my Operating Session timetable.  I have added 4 railbus movements in preparation on receiving one of these models from Auscision.  I have also added 1 extra freight coming from Grafton to Cassino, and then another from Cassino to South Brisbane Interstate. Then of course this traffic needs to go back south, so that makes a total of 3 extra freights.  I have added shunt train from Acacia Ridge Yard to Rocklea Siding and then of course its return working.  This will be a steal shunt just like happens in early morning Brisbane now.  I then have a shunt train from Clapham Yard back to Rocklea Sidings and return.  This is for taking the Limestone wagons from the new freight.  I have also added an extra shunt on the narrow gauge from Clapham Yard to Rocklea Sidings and return to Clapham.  There is also an extra shunt train from Fisherman Islands Yard to Acacia Ridge Yard and return.  So last night, the timetable cards were finally created for all these extra movements.  I now just need to update the sequence numbers on all the timetable cards so they can be easily assembled into correct order before the session.  There are now over 100 possible movements in the timetable.  The next task is then to print a new timetable graph for the next Operations Session.  As I normally call my operations Sessions “Organised Chaos”, I’m sure the first time this timetable is operated, it will be just that.  I may have to split the timetable over 3 days now to ensure that I can get it completed.  I may even have to slightly slow down the fast clock especially if I do not get enough crew showing.  I would hate to think how many trains are now running at the busiest point in the timetable.  It used to be 13, I’m sure now it could be 15 or even 16.  North Coast Control really needs to ensure that crosses are going to occur at the correct locations, as there are now a number of three way crosses.  These can only occur at locations where there are three tracks, like Cassino, Fairy Hill and of course the main traffic generating points on the layout - Acacia Ridge Yard, Clapham Yard and Fisherman Islands Yard.

This weekend started with a trip over to the Clubrooms for our AGM.  Turn out was pretty good with quite a lot of members present.  Basically the same committee was re-elected.  At the end of June this year, our Treasurer of the last about 20 years retired due to personal circumstances, and the temporary Treasurer who filled in, was re-elected to continue in his job.  The main go forward theme this year is fiscal management, as we have many new layouts under construction and an ever reducing amount of money to spend on them.

Today I got stuck into building the two dioramas I require for the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention.  Basically the first one has been completed.  I just need to do a bit of ballasting and a bit more scenicing.  However, the second diorama requires a lot more details to be added.  This week will be spend building quite a lot of items required for this diorama.

We also have Tuesday Nighters at David place, so it will be good to see what he has done since last weekend.  He may even have one or two of his power district sections wired up and have trains able to run back and forth in those areas.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Layout All Reset for Operations Session.


Model railway activity this included a visit to Cliff’s place for our fortnightly meeting and we checked out his layout in his garage.  I was quite impressed with a few of Cliff's wagons.  I am also inspired by his layout plans that are hanging above his shunting layout.  Those future plans will make a very nice layout when he finally moves back home after finishing working in Brisbane.  We then adjourned to his lounge for a very nice supper and a great talk about all things trains.

On Saturday I resumed my train running activities on the layout.  I ended up running 16 trains to complete the reset of the timetable to put it back to the start for the next Operations Session to kick back off.  That night I changed a few of the timetable cards with more information that had been annotated from the last Operations Session, so an updated version will be available for the next session.  I am also looking at how I can add a few more trains into the mix.  I am about to embark on possibly adding a couple more narrow gauge trains as the first step.  Perhaps one from Clapham Yard into Rocklea Siding for some added shunting.  

I have some NSW paybus runs that I also want to add to the timetable, as the timetable is always set on a pay day.  While I had a paybus, I am waiting for the model from Auscision.  I also need an extra train from Grafton to South Brisbane Interstate, with car carriers, limestone wagons and oil/bitumen tankers, with its complementary return working also being added.  This working will allow another shunt working from Clapham Yard back into Rocklea Siding for the standard gauge, as well as a return to Clapham Yard.  I am also considering another shunt from Acacia Ridge Yard to Rocklea Siding with a few steel wagons.  Having both in that yard would be interesting for the two drivers, as they would have to fight to get over the dual gauge section as well as the mixed gauge crossover where narrow gauge crosses over standard gauge.  I am also looking at adding a water train from Cassino up the North Coast line to Glenapp or maybe The Risk to allow the topping up all the water tanks for the various fettler settlements alongside the railway line.  I am not sure I can add all these into the timetable.  It currently seems busier than Central Station in peak hour.  Additionally, it means that I need more operators to run more trains simultaneously.

Today I started off by picking up my mate David and we headed over to a local buy and sell.  I picked up the two things I was most after.  A Peco 3 way point to replace the one I moved out of Acacia Ridge Yard, and a couple of Peco point motors.  This arvo, I installed the point motor on a set of points in Rocklea Sidings.  I then transferred the crossover points from my Snap-It with my previously purchased NCE QSnap.  The QSnap was screwed to the fascia, and I wired up the last two points in Rocklea Yard to it.  These point outputs all work except for one standard gauge point that exhibits tendencies of sticking when being thrown.  I will eventually get around to looking at this.  I then noticed that one of the points of the crossover that I moved from the Snap-It to the QSnap was not working.  The point was getting power, but not enough to overcome the friction as it was not moving.  Again a job for another day.

I then did some more electrical work.  I also added some power jumpers to the relatively new tracks 14 and 15 in Grafton Yard and also a power jumper to one rail of the dual gauge track in Rocklea Sidings.  I also ran my narrow gauge trains through the dual gauge trackage and that all works well.  I have not yet run the standard gauge trains through dual gauge.  A job for another time.  I found a couple of power jumpers that have come adrift from the track and these were re-soldered as well.

So in the next few weeks, I will tidy up the shed a bit, before the Open Day for the Gold Coast NMRA Convention.  My layout is one of the open layouts on the Friday and Monday either side of the Convention.  So far I have no RSVPs from the exhibition attendees, but that will probably change over the next 3 weeks.

I have also come to the reality that I now need to get stuck into the preparing for my Presentation at the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention which I need to have completed by the end of the month.  I also have to complete two diorama modules by the end of the month as well.  No rest for the wicked.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Work on Rocklea Sidings Continues


Last Sunday night, I got the styrene out and tried to manufacture my missing end to an NOAF(?) wagon.  I was kind of happy with what was produced.  On Monday night I popped down to the shed and tried to fathom out what could be causing the lack of electrons in the Rocklea Yard.  I found the main jumper for the yard had a cold solder joint on its pickup.  This was as I had assumed last weekend.

So on Saturday afternoon this week, I resoldered that wire and low and behold, my 1720 class loco was now running along the narrow gauge track.  To get the rest of the sidings working, I still had to add jumpers to some other tracks in the yard, and I wired up 2 jumpers yesterday and completed the task with 3 more today.  The wiring has been successful on all the narrow gauge track.  

Last Monday night, I was checking out the wiring on the point control underneath South Brisbane Interstate.  I found a spare point motor on the layout and I installed it under the new point that splits the track which leads to tracks 6-8 to track 9-10.  This was wired back to a spare connection on one Digitrax DS64 point controller that I had at South Brisbane Interstate.  This was wired up, and I also had to add a new push button to the South Brisbane Intestate control panel and wire this wire back to the South Brisbane NCE Mini Panel.  I had to re-write 3 inputs, and add a link to set of common points as now I had 5 points in the diagram that needed to be thrown for three track routes.  By default you only can have 4 commands on each input on the Mini Panel.  So the new coding was done, and the changes also made.  It was tested and it worked first time.  Amazing!

Earlier on Saturday, I went via the local hobby shop and picked up another NCE QSnap point controller.  I will use this to control the two extra points I will connect up in Rocklea Yard, and I will also move a pair of points (currently controlled by a n NCESnap-It) that allow a standard gauge train to go from track 1 in Acacia Ridge Yard to the dual gauge track.  But by moving this function to my new QSnap, this gets more utilised and I then end up with a spare Snap-It, which I am sure I will eventually use somewhere else on the layout.

Today I wired up two point motors in Rocklea Yard back to my existing NCE QSnap, and started on pre-laying wires for the next two point motors (to the just purchased NCE QSnap) when I get some more point motors.   I then cut out the troublesome piece of track in The Risk loop on the mainline, and relayed it with a new piece.  A few trains have now gone through this area and it looks like it is now running well.  I then resumed running trains on the layout, to reset the trains back to the beginning of the timetable.

I ran about 13 trains day.  One container train with lots of 80 foot containers on it was giving me trouble entering Clapham Yard.  I checked one wagon to see if was bogie swing and realised that it had a huge scale build up on the wheels.  I then checked the rest of the wagons on that train and they were just as bad as the first.  So I spent quite a bit of time, cleaning each wheel of each carriage on this train with a track rubber.  I then reran this train back into Clapham Yard and it did not give me any more trouble.  I have done this before, but it has really been a long time between drinks for this wheel cleaning service.  This is the only train that I end up having to do this process to.  I don’t know if it something wrong with the wagons and the wheels on this train?

Next week I will move into writing my session notes for the upcoming Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention.  I’ve received an email tonight from the head guru advising that they need to be completed by the end of next month.  I also have to make two dioramas.  I better get my finger out.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Getting Stuck In - Trains and Trackwork


Tuesday this week, we went to Bob’s place and got a look at his layout progress.  The scenery that has already been completed is a credit to his abilities.  His bridge across an old almost dried up creek is fabulous.  Some attendees were absolutely raving about the bridge – hey Cliff?

Wednesday this week was a public holiday in Brisbane for the EKKA.  It also happened to be my son’s school sports day.  If the student attend the sports day, they get the next two days off school.  So early in the day I went to the sports day with my son and gate crashed my niece’s marquee.  The boss and daughter came out later.  After a great day watching the kids having fun in the various events spread around the oval, we made our way home.  I mowed the lawn when I got home and then decided to head down to the shed, and completed the ballasting around Kyogle, except for two points.  

I also took Thursday off and after doing a few things in the morning, I went back to the shed and ballasted around these two remaining points in Kyogle.
A photo of Kyogle from above.

Kyogle from the aisle looking at the newly laid ballast.

So that now leaves the following places left to Ballast.  All of Murwillumbah Yard, all of Rappville Loop, a few sidings around the rear of Lismore and a few inches around some of the level crossings on the layout in Old Cassino, Cassino and Rappville.

Later in the day, I went back down and hoped that the ballasting had now dried.  I decided that I was to have my own Operating Session.  I ended up running about 15 trains.  I found some issues, with ballast in between point blades.  These issues were remedied one by one.  I realised that I needed to install an additional uncoupling magnet in Murwillumbah.  I will work on this installation over the next few weeks.  I plan on using a push pull actuator to position the uncoupler under the track in which it is work under.  I am yet to see if the magnet will work through the thickness of the baseboard.  
The reason for the uncoupler is when the X200 shunts the motorail wagon out onto the main, it needs to be disconnected, before another loco puts the wagon on the end of the train.

On Friday after seeing off a mate into retirement after lunch, I came home and went down to the shed for an hour and a half.  I found a spring missing off a KD coupler and fixed this.  I also ran about 5 more trains in the timetable.  When doing so I realised that I needed to add some weight to one of my 80’ container wagons.  I also decided that I needed to rip up a section of track about 30cm long and replace it in The Risk.  This section has a small kink in the track and the rails are lifting from the sleepers.  I will action this next weekend.
The new section of track ready to be installed.  The track at the rear is the main and has the kink in it.

Saturday was the date of the local NMRA meeting, and it was at Darren’s place.  So I went over and said G’Day to a few friends and enjoyed the sight of three more mates running Darren’s layout for the visitors.  After a fantastic lunch put on by Darren and his family, I made my way home and slipped past the boss and made my way down to the shed.  Once there I decided to glue together three NOAF/NOEF/NOHF wagons kits – I think.  I was quite impressed by two BD wagons that Darren had on his layout.  I initially thought that the three wagons I had in kit form were BD’s, but that were the ones listed above.  My only issue was I missing one end.  I intend to manufacture one out of styrene tonight.  One had has wheels fitted and is sitting in the oil siding at South Brisbane Interstate.  The second will get wheels, as soon as I can find some screws for the bogies.  I also decided to add some weight to one end of a 80’ container wagon.  I placed a small amount of lead over the front bogie, underneath  a 40’ container.

I then decided to complete some track changes in Grafton Yard.  As I was short one 3-way point, I decided to bite the bullet and rob Peter to pay Paul.  I stole a 3 way point from the rarely used yard section at Acacia Ridge and moved it to Grafton Yard so I could install 2 more sidings.  So that is now laid.  I just need to add power jumpers to those two tracks.

Today I continued on the track work agenda.  A few weeks back I installed a new Oil siding in South Brisbane Interstate Yard.  But if you look at the original yard diagram, and then look at mine, you will realise that I have one track too few.  When not anymore!  I had room to add track number 9, so I did.  I had a curve point to allow track 9 to fit into the spare space.  Now I have moved the wagons that I was storing in track 8 out.  Some spare ones went to track 9.  Others which were a breakdown train and a few guards vans went to track 7.  This means that track 8 is now free and I can use this as the track for the container train to have its containers unloaded on.
South Brisbane Interstate showing the oil siding on the far right (now track 10) and the new track to its left - track 9.

After that I continued on the trackwork agenda.  I bit the bullet again and started laying the track for Rocklea Yard.  Bit by bit it was joined up and then I worked out that I really needed a left hand point to complete the standard gauge sidings for the Limestone wagons.  I had a right hand one instead.  Damn!  I then looked at Grafton Yard, right near where I installed the 3-way point yesterday.  There was a left hand point, and I could swap it over for a right hand point with little effort, and no consequences.  So I did that.  The sidings at Acacia Ridge were changed over.  But I did have a bit of a Doh moment.  I removed the left hand point, then got distracted and put a point back into where it came out of and I thought that was easy.  I then went install the point into Rocklea, and I realised that it was the wrong hand.  I had re-installed the left hand one back into Grafton Yard.  Shhhh!  Don’t tell anyone – I think I’m going senile.  So I removed left hand point again, this time installing the right hand point back into Grafton Yard where the left hand point was.  The left hand point was installed into Rocklea, so all the track work is now complete, except for the standard gauge point which will allow entry into the standard gauge tracks off the main line.  No shop has one of these Tillig points.  I just have to wait.  I then wired up the power to the tracks, with quite a few jumpers around the eletrofrog points.  I even installed a manual polarity (reversing) switch for the Tillig dual gauge crossover.
Rocklea Sidings.  With a few wagons already in there to assist with testing.

I then powered up the layout – and no shorts were observed.  However, when I ran a narrow gauge train into the sidings, it stopped.  I must have a dry solder joint in the jumper for one of the rails.  But given the time, I decided to call it a day and tackle that job next weekend, when I will also try and fix the kink in The Risk on the mainline.  I will get out by trusty multi-meter and try and work out what is going wrong with Rocklea.
A few wagons now reside in Clapham Yard, which makes it interesting for trains to do their things in an Operating Session.  More will eventually grace this yard.

Loco Pilly, has three locos _ a double header and single shunt loco, a CPH with its trailer and a breakdown van with stuff in it.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Ballasting at Kyogle Continues

Not much time was spent on railway related activities this weekend, as my daughter had tickets to see a boy band in the city on Saturday night.  As such we stayed in town for the night just 1 block away from the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre concert by 5SOS was held.  If you don’t know who or what 5SOS are, you are too old.  My son even had a swim in the hotel outdoor pool and apparently it was quite warm in there.

Anyway, I went to the Club for our monthly meeting on Saturday morning, before coming home very early after the meeting and then catching a bus back into town to meet up with the family at the hotel.  Back at the Club, we had a good Club Meeting.  There is plenty of activity occurring at the Club with work occurring on both the HO and N scale clubroom layout, and plenty of trains circulating.

Today after getting home from the city, following a free ferry ride round the city, and a walk through two markets in the city, I went down to the shed this arvo and continued ballasting Kyogle.  Kyogle is a bit of a pain as the trackwork at this location is probably the most inaccessible of the whole layout.  Last week I was ballasting from the northern end of the location, to as far I could reach from the front of the layout.  This weekend, I was doing the southern end of the Kyogle Loop, from an access point between the Running Creek blob and the Fairy Hill Loop.  I’m not looking forward to the next section (the middle of the Kyogle Loop) as I will have to do the really hard bit which is hard to reach from each end.  I have to jump through a few hoops (almost) to get into two access hatches so I can reach the yet to be ballasted section.  Today, as I didn’t feel like doing the limbo to get into those access hatches, I just delayed it, and put it off until next weekend.

To keep busy in the shed, I made up about 26 small wooden handles and installed them onto the actuation wires on the manual push-pull wires in Glenapp Loop, The Risk Loop, Border Loop, Kyogle Loop and Fairy Hill Loop.  I will eventually paint these so everyone can see them, and they will follow the same code, so everyone knows what they will be used for. So the up end may be one colour, the down end maybe another colour and cross overs another, and access to a siding another colour again.  I will think about this and maybe discuss with some of my Tuesday Night friends this week.

This week we head over to Bob’s place on Tuesday and I’m looking forward to see his track laying progress.  I will also pick up one of his excess HWO wagons, from the 1990 period, for a very fair price.  That wagon fits my layout timeline very well.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Relaxing Weekend

This weekend was the RMCQ organised Pine Rivers Model Train and Hobby Exhibition.  I went on Saturday and bought a few things from the various shops present.  I also spent most of day when not shopping sitting at a modelling desk doing a few modelling jobs and selling some simple items.  I was kept company by Darryl and Dave also doing or showing off models of various types.  I sold a few HO scale clothes lines made from styrene and rolled up tarpaulins.  There were a few very nice layouts on display and a good mix of shops.  One of the things that I did purchase was 2kg of ballast, 1kg of Allandale and 1kg of Martins Creek from the Matt's Ballast range.

I had a number of very interesting conversations at the show with various mates, fellow modellers and members of the general public.  One such conversation was a bit of a shock.  I was told the latest bridge that I installed on the Murwillumbah Branch that I had previously posted photos of on the blog, was of a type not used in NSW.  I was told that NSW Railways did not use the type of truss bridge that I had installed over the Leycester Creek.  Noooooo!  I felt very deflated.  Then upon getting home, when I got onto the PC that night, I saw on Facebook, a photo by Rev. Bob Richardson of a NSW location with a 73 class heading over a bridge of the exact same Truss type that I had installed for my bridge.  That cheered me up no end.  However I did know that it was not the same model of the one located at Lismore.  Oh Well!  I still felt a hell of a lot better.

Today I went down to the shed this arvo and completed the ballasting of the Cassino Yard.  I also did about a metre total of track distance across three main roads in Kyogle.  I still have about 5 metres to go on the Main, Loop and siding at that location, and then about another 2 metres over the two private sidings on the other side of the main line.

I also started to arrange the track for Rocklea.  I still have not been able to get one piece of Tillig track that I need, but I think I have everything else.  Well I think could use another left hand medium point to be installed within the siding area but I have a right hand curve for that location.  This was identified only after I laid out the track that I picked up yesterday at the show.  Oh well, another trip to the shops next week.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ballasting Underway


On Friday this week, I came home early and eventually went down to the shed after 4:00pm.  I spent some time, laying ballast from the northern end of Fairy Hill Loop to the southern entry into Kyogle Loop.  Saturday I got down there after lunch and glued the ballast down that I laid of Friday.  I then turned my attention to the main line from Hotham Street level crossing at the northern end of Cassino and started laying ballast into Cassino Down Yard.  This ended up being about 2m of ballast that was laid.

Today I went down to the Shed before lunch and ballasted the two sidings in the Cassino Down Yard and the headshunt for the two disabled wagon sidings just off the Up Yard.  All up this was about 4metres.  After lunch I continued the ballasting of the mainline up Cassino Signal Box for about another 1.5 metres.  I also extended the ballast in the Down sidings on by about a metre on each track.  I also spread a bit of ballast to tidy up the Cassino Up Yard to the point where all the tracks converge before they diverge again into the Down Yard.  I still need to ballast the track from the diverging point to where the sidings near the disabled wagons sidings are and the disabled wagons sidings themselves.  This small amount of ballasting will be done in an afternoon if I can get a short day at work this week.  That will exhaust my ballast supply for Cassino.  I also need to ballast the Down Siding in Cassino outside the Loco, and the whole Cassino loco area.  I do not have any ballast left for the Up Siding and the Loco area.  

I also have to ballast the southern end of Kyogle.  That is from a point half way down the crossing loop and I need to do the Main, the Loop, the Yard Siding, and the two private sidings.  I have a feeling that I will just have enough ballast to complete this area.

Hopefully I will pick up some much wanted 12mm track and some second hand HO points at our Club’s Model Train Exhibition next weekend.  I might be able to pick up another kilogram or two of ballast to allow completion of the Cassino loco area.  That will leave me with only the area through Rappville Loop to do, apart from a couple of sidings here and there.

At our Club's Model Train Exhibition, I will be doing some modelling at a table on the Saturday.  I will also have a few NSW and VR wagons and a couple of Lima and Powerline locos for sale.  Some even have chips.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Fixing a Few Issues


Last Tuesday was the visit by the Tuesday Night crew.  I had a few locos running up and down Acacia Ridge yard, but when I ran out onto the dual gauge towards Clapham, the locos stopped.  I knew that I did not connect two power connectors near where I put the narrow gauge point into Rocklea yard last week, but I didn’t think that was the reason.  

Anyway on Saturday I was intent on fixing all the issues in Acacia Ridge Yard and the track to Clapham Yard.  I turned the power on and there was an instantaneous short in the Acacia Ridge Yard power district.  I had just connected 4 or 5 droppers before hand in the narrow gauge yard.  So I disconnected them and still could not work out what the cause was.  I then decided to humour myself, and walked around to the section of track in track 3 of the concentric loops in Acacia Ridge Yard and looked at the two car carriers sitting in that location and looked at the wheels on one set of bogies.  It was sitting across the isolation joint of the reversing loop.  Hmmmm!  Now I had no idea why it was not switching the reversing loop instead of just causing a short on the NCE EB1.  So I moved the wagon 1cm, so the wheels were no longer on the join.  I turned the power back on and this time, the power district fired up.  So I re-connected the droppers that I just disconnected.  I then set about trying to track back why the mainline had no power.  I reconnected the two droppers that I lazily did not re-connect last week.  I also ran a dropper to the narrow gauge siding in Rocklea Sidings, as I found out that a section of track was fed by the track and there was a bad joint, so I now bypassed that section with a connection to the track bus.  I then touched a solder joint where the track bus starts at the southern end of Clapham Yard and everything came alive.  So I had a jumper that was just about to come adrift.  So after that, the layout was all back to working.  I didn't realise that when I laid the track last weekend, I never cleaned the new track I laid for standard gauge trains, so trains run rather badly through the new trackage on the mainline just outside Rocklea Sidings.  I then did a bit of testing for the far end of the dual gauge headshunt at the southern end of Acacia Ridge.  It revealed that I was missing a track jumper there, after a set of point, so the head shunt was dead.  So that was added and that section is now all good as well.

I then attached the new NCE QSnap to the layout fascia.  This was then attached to the track bus and it will be used to control the points in Rocklea Sidings.  I ran wires to the point motor controlling the points into the narrow gauge siding.  A quick test and everything is working fine.  I need to get my hands on a Tillig LH set of points for the standard gauge sidings to be started and a HO - HOm crossing so I can really get stuck into the real track work of the Rocklea Sidings.  I’m hoping to have this all complete before mid September, as my layout is one of the open layouts for the NMRA Convention on the Gold Coast this year.
The NCE QSnap on the left next to an NCE Snap-It.  At the top of the picture on the right is the narrow gauge point into Rocklea Sidings already connected and working
The entry into Rocklea Sidings.  On the right is the narrow gauge.  On the left of that is where the standard gauge will branch off.

The layout of Rocklea above.

I have also started to look at what else I need to do before September.  There is some ballasting of Old Cassino station and yard required and a small section of the mainline south of Cassino just short of the Bruxner Highway.  So these were done today.
The few feet either side of The Bruxner Highway were ballasted today.

The eastern end of Old Cassino how ballasted.

The Cassino or western end of Old Cassino.

I have also had some brain waves to do some small detail accessories for a couple of places for the layout.  I am going to install some safety bollards around a work site.  I made about 16 of these last night and painted then a very nice safety orange colour today.  I will also make up some safety tape to go between the bollards.  Now that will be interesting.

I will also try and make a couple of drones that will be flying over the layout in some places.  
The train above is the Cement Limestone train that will use Rocklea Sidings.  It is sitting on the dual gauge headshunt in Clapham Yard.  It is propelled back to the sidings.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mainline Track Changes for Rocklea Started


Yesterday I picked up most of the narrow gauge items that I need to start the install of Rocklea Siding.  I am still waiting for some dual gauge Tillig track to come into the local hobby shop.  

After visiting the hobby shops yesterday I went over to the Club for our monthly meeting day and did what I have not done for some time - run some trains on the layout.  This time, I took a couple of 12mm locos and half a dozen carriages (my whole collection) and did a few laps on the layout.  Since I had last run on the layout, the wifi system had changed at the Club, so I had to set up my phone again.  I really need to operate wirelessly, I cannot handle plugging in via my hand held throttle.  After a couple of laps on wifi I asked about what happened to the Club's radio base station.  Apparently that was a loaner from a member.  Luckily big Dazza had his NCE RB02 tucked away in his train box, so I plugged it in and then went radio via my ProCab-R.  I find this so much better to control a train on the layout than a phone via wifi.  I can set up my Procab to have 6 different locos and can scroll through them.  So much easier.

Today I ripped up about a meter of track between the southern entry to Clapham Yard around a bit of a curve to where the tracks to Rocklea Sidings are going to diverge.  I had to remove my transition track which takes the third rail from the left to right side and then end for end an existing length of Tillig dual gauge flex track as the third rail was now on the other side.  I then installed a narrow gauge left hand curve point and then ran a single rail of code 100 around the outside of the 12mm point, in the location of the outside standard gauge rail.  I then re-installed the transition track into the main line and then joined up to existing track work heading towards Acacia Ridge Yard.  The reason for the transition track is that Tillig only makes left hand standard gauge diverging track with the dual gauge going straight through with third rail on the left hand side in the direction of travel.  This diverging piece of Tillig track will allow the standard gauge to get access to Rocklea Sidings.  You know what they say, good things come to those that wait.  I just have to wait for a track delivery to the local hobby shop.

While the track work in Rocklea sidings in basically finalised, I am tossing up adding a small section of dual gauge track that used to go across a bridge over a creek inside the industrial complex that was Rocklea Sidings.  I have the various scratch built splitter tracks that I had made previously for various locations around the layout, ready for use in merging and diverging the length of dual gauge track.  I’m just thinking of doing it because I can.  But it means that I might need another point motor and a point accessory controller.  More Money!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

I Like the Sound of That


On Monday the postman tried to deliver my Auscision 48 Class locos.  Wouldn’t you know it, the wife was out with the kids at the shops.  Bummer!  That meant that I had to wait another day until I could get my hands on the locos and wife picked up my delivery from the Post Office.  I came home from work early on Tuesday and sitting on the bed was my package.  I went down to the shed and put them on the track.  I read the accompanying notes and the locos were off and running up and down the tracks of Acacia Ridge Yard.  I used 'program on the main' on my NCE DCC system to change the addresses one by one to match their individual loco number.  

The first thing I realised was that the sound coming from the locos was awfully loud.  Don't get me wrong, it sounded very good, but loud.  That night I went to our fortnightly Tuesday Nighters meeting and took a loco with me.  Everyone agreed that the sound was loud.  The loco did a few trips up and down a siding on Lefty and Son's On30 layout, driven by some of the attendees.  They were trying out all the sound functions.

So the next day I scanned the net and found a quick start manual for ESU decoders and CV63 was the master volume control.  This was changed to 50 in one loco and 60 in the other from the default value of 192 – which was full volume.  Apart from that, the locos run well, and sound very nice.  I just now need to work out what roster that will take in my timetable.  I think one will replace 4894 from Trainorama on a stock train from Grafton to Kyogle Stock Siding and return.  I think that 4894 will then end up double heading the other stock train with an 80 Class loco.  The other Auscision 48 Class loco will maybe end up replacing an 80 class on a ballast train.  I'm just trying to get the best value for money for the sound that these locos have.

On another matter, I have been thinking about my implementation of Rocklea Sidings.  You know that is a dangerous thing - me thinking.  Initially I was going to put in a dual gauge point and run a standard gauge siding into Rocklea and there would be two tracks here to allow the drop off and collecting of Limestone and Cement wagons.  The train will push the wagons from Clapham Yard into the siding and then return either light engine, or with the empties to Clapham Yard.  

Now we all know that Rocklea also had some narrow gauge tracks into it as well.  Well you guessed it.  Planning is underway and there might be a narrow gauge point to the same complex.  The trackwork may look very much like the actual trackwork at this location, with one narrow gauge track crossing over the standard gauge track at a location inside the complex just because I can.

I did spend some time on Friday afternoon trying to scratchbuild a set of dual gauge points for the entry into Rocklea Sidings.  They did not end up being too good an effort.  I did this in order to expedite the creation of the sidings while I await the delivery of a Tillig dual gauge Left hand point.

On Saturday afternoon I went to Bunnings and picked up a sheet of plywood for the baseboard for Rocklea.  So later this was cut up.  The method of holding the baseboard in place above Acacia Ridge Yard was perfected and it was all systems go.  Access to the loops at Acacia Ridge Yard will still be maintained.  I then laid out the track for the standard gauge sidings at Rocklea.  I found a left hand curve point that will be used to split the two standard gauge sidings at this location.  I then planned the track for the narrow gauge track at Rocklea.  My first problem is that the third rail was on the wrong side of the track to allow me to just insert a narrow gauge point to form the take off for the narrow gauge sidings.  While looking for some stuff on the Friday afternoon, I found a Tilling track to swap the third rail from one side to the other.  Hmmm.  I can use this.  Just 700mm up the road outside Clapham Yard, I had scratch built one of these tracks.  If I remove this track here, and run the third rail on the opposite side until the location of the narrow gauge point and then swap it back to the other side with the Tillig track or my scratch built version, all will fit together nicely.  I just need one length of dual gauge flex from Tillig, a left hand narrow gauge set of points and a couple of lengths of 12mm flex and the narrow gauge sidings can be started also.  I am waiting for a left hand Tillig dual gauge point to arrive and then I can actually install the whole siding complex.  I picked up a new NCE QSnap four output point controller yesterday and I have four spare Peco point motors to control the various points.  So everything is coming together.

Today I added the final pieces of the Rocklea baseboard and confirmed all the track purchases I need to finish this section off.  There will not be any photos posted of this for 2 weeks as that is just after the Tuesday Nighters are at my place.  I want to show them in person first.  I also tinkered with the troublesome dual gauge point in Fisherman Islands Yard and I now have it working reasonably well.  It still takes two pushes of the button on some occasions to fully throw the point, but I think it will get easier to activate through continued use.

The next major job is to run the wires from my control panel which will control Rocklea Sidings.  The panel is located against the Acacia Ridge baseboard and the wires need to go about 30 feet to the NCE Mini Panel at Loco Pilly.  But now with the few extra sets of points in this location, I need to run a few more wires from the control panel than originally planned.  I'm certain that I need to pick up another 25m roll of wire from Jaycar first.  Maybe a job for next weekend.

While still on the subject of thinking, while working on the baseboard at Rocklea, I kept looking down at Grafton Yard.  It appeared to me that I install a Peco 3-way point where I have a left hand set of point, and deploy that removed set of points, I will be able to add two more short sidings in Grafton Yard.  So I will keep my eyes out for a second hand set of Peco 3-way points.  One of the tracks will allow me to store my Railbus when it arrives.  I'm also thinking of storing a water train for all my fettler camps in one of those tracks as well.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Bit by Bit Solving the Issues

Yesterday I went down to the shed and tried to see what I could do get the points on a crossover in Fisherman Islands Yard working.  Both points would throw straight, but neither would throw to the crossover position.  So the first thing I did was work on this pair of points.  These points were fired of a single address in an NCE QSnap set to accessory address 1522.  This is the third address output from the QSnap.

I started by replacing one point and tested with a new set of points in place.  Still not working in the crossover position.  I replaced the point motor on the set of points I just replaced and tested again.  Still not working in the crossover position.  I removed the second point from the picture and tested again.  Still not working in the crossover position.  I then connected the first point I removed to the original point motor that I also removed from the picture while testing and then connected them to a new output from my second NCE QSnap located at Fisherman Islands.  I tested in both directions and they operated successfully.  

I then wired the second point from the crossover pair at the old accessory address of 1522, to another address output on the second NCE QSnap.  I tested that accessory address in both directions and that worked.  Can anyone see anything pattern forming here?  It seems that the output from the third accessory address (given address 1522) on the first NCE QSnap does not want to play the game.  So that address is now left free.  

I then had to go into the programming of my NCE Mini Panel and change the commands that previously referenced 1522 to now reference accessory addresses 1533 and 1534.  As I moved the points from operating on the same address to separate new accessory decoder addresses, I had to make these changes.  So the control panel works well except for one more output.

The point motor at accessory address 1523 (this is the fourth output from the same NCE QSnap above that has the third output address 1522 not working) which is also not working correctly.  This has been left for another day.  So at another time I will go back and remove this one and look at fixing this as well.  But if I need another working NCE QSnap accessory address I might be in luck.  I am thinking of removing a Snap-it from Acacia Ridge Yard and replace it with a new NCE QSnap at that location.  This will give me three more addresses at this location for use.

Today I was contemplating what I will do with my new siding at a new location Rocklea, between Acacia Ridge Yard and Clapham Yard.  I built a small push button control panel and installed the push buttons.  I still need to wire everything up and run the 4 wires back to the Mini Panel located at Loco Pilly.  That is the second closest Mini Panel but the only one with spare ports to connect up push buttons.  That will be wired up next weekend.  If I purchase a new NCE QSnap above, I can use two of the spare output for the two new point motors I need to operate Rocklea Sidings remotely.

I also was able to pull out some wiring today that I had previously positioned for the Fisherman Islands panel that was to go back to the Border Loop Mini Panel.  As I purchased a new Mini Panel last week and wired that up, all the pre-positioned wiring is now superfluous.  I will try and use this wiring for connecting the Loco Pilly Mini Panel up to the new control panel I started today that will go on the facia new the Rocklea Sidings.