Saturday 13 February 2010

Wiring Woes

After the last (and first) outing of Mospick Halt I decided I should put a power LED visible somewhere along with the short LED. The controller has a short LED on it so all I needed to do was unsolder it and run wires up to the control panel area.

The power LED was equally easy, find an LED, use good old Ohms Law to determine a suitable resistor, wire them to the power feed, a quick test and put the layout away.

The completion of the next engine meant a quick run was in order. Unfortunately what I discovered was the power LED flashes when the engine is running in one direction and is completely off when the engine runs in the other direction. Not only does the LED flash but the engine slows down gently instead of suddenly when the controller was turned off. I had done something seriously wrong.

In the end it was quite simple. I had wired one side of the LED to the power bus on the layout but the other side got wired to one of the track output wires. I had used confusing terminology under the layout. All the wires go to tag strips that are labeled but my choice of names was not good!

I took the opportunity to separate out the lights on the layout onto their own switch. Previously they were on all the time but they will be hardly noticed at exhibitions so it made sense to be able to turn them off and save carbon emissions somewhere.

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