Monday, 26 August 2013

Control Panel Built

I decided this layout would have a separate control panel as I wasn't sure whether I would operate from the front or rear. At home it will probably be the front but if it ever goes to an exhibition then I would expect to operate from the rear of the layout.

I've continued with DCC and used NCE components from Coastal DCC. In this case the control box consists of the standard connector panel with an EB1 short circuit protection board and a mini panel


I wanted to simplify the control of the points away from switches or buttons for each point and make use of what would traditionally be done by a diode matrix. In this case the mini panel takes up to 30 inputs and you program it to drive whatever accessories or macros you want. In this case it took me about 10 minutes to program the 7 switches.

I've still got a couple of  points that are not switching the frogs reliably. I've not had this problem before but for some reason I'm not getting enough throw on the seep point motors to allow the sliding switch to make reliable contact. I've even had a point motor collapse on me, something that has never happened before.

It's quite expensive to have this electronics, probably £100 as opposed to £10 for a diode matrix but this is re-programmable and so mistakes are easily rectified.

All in all this probably took around 4 hours of the bank holiday weekend, not a bad few hours work. However, now it's back to work, plus a holiday, plus trying to move house means blog posts are likely to be even less frequent than ususal.

For reference, all the documents for the NCE components are available as pdfs on their website so I keep copies of them in Evernote on my Nexus tablet. It's a great way to carry all your documents with you when out and about.


Saturday, 10 August 2013

First Train Running

That's not bad for 2 weeks. It hasn't taken that much time. I'm trying to get a move on so the heavy work is out the way. So far I have

  • removed all the scenery
  • upgraded the legs to a quick release system I devised
  • expanded the front of the layout to have a harbour
  • laid nearly all he track
  • wired up the track
  • run a train


The next stage is to wire the points in so I can confirm that all the trackwork is properly live and there are no dodgy places that will let me down in 2 years time. This is where the time needs to be spent to create a quality foundation.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

All change

Progress has ground to a halt. There are several factors involved but the space that could be used to have a railway permanently up to work on is just not realistically available. I have cast around for inspiration around how to make use of the Mospick Halt baseboard. It was a great little layout but my impatience meant there was a track join on a curve and there was a high tendency to derail at that point. I was wondering whether I could create a quay or harbour scene off the front. Using Google to look for different industries and harbours I came across pictures of Crackington Quay, a layout, now retired, which fits the bill perfectly. I'm not sure what industry I'll use but the key concepts I like are:
  • Harbour
  • Shops across the middle
  • Industry at the sides
  • Land rising to each side so buildings have to rise with it

I ordered some resin boats on eBay which arrived today so work has commenced!

Now it runs

Well it ran for a while, all of probably 10 minutes before the gremlins started appearing. On the right hand bend trains were slowing far mo...