It’s alive!

Well, I got what I hope was the final (short) bug out of the wiring and so trains can now run around the entire layout.  Lots of track cleaning is needed from glue spots and the like. My Class 09 at low speed is very adept at finding every one.

Tasks completed –

  • Modules assembled and levelledimg_1294
  • Wiring sorted out with correct polarities between boards
  • Couple of point motor holes enlarged with Dremel and steel ruler method where they were not working
  • 3 “oddly behaving” Cobalts replaced with spares – ready to be dispatched back to UK for analysis
  • Several extra droppers soldered in for dead spots that had somehow escaped
  • Four board crossing tracks reinforced and vertically aligned for smoother running (unsolder, adjust, resolder).
  • Programming track with 4 pole double throw (center off) switch and isolated leader track installed on MPD headshunt and commissioned
  • Many crossovers reprogrammed to have single switch address
  • Entrance to PLJ realigned to allow for bridge buttress for TYG line at board
  • Locobuffer USB commissioned – and got to work on OSX El Capitan with JMRI (need to set off one piece of Apple security to let the drivers work)
  • WiThrottle App installed on my iphone and successfully drove my two test locos (Class 09 and W22W Railcar) around

Note – The oddest short I had was very hard to find, but turned out to be a misaligned frog feeder set in one Cobalt. The three leads were “one over” and so were across two different switches. The clue was that with the accessory bus powered up and the main bus not, one rail of the track bus was powered if the switch was thrown but not otherwise.  This took the best part of 4 days to find and means I now have a lovely micro-Ohm multimeter!  (I actually found the issue while it was still lying in its delivery box on my porch).

Second note – working out the polarity was a bit of mental jujitsu – the upper and lower peninsulas are reversed to restrict the number of reversing sections needed to three (one on the wye, one on the branch to Tan Y Graig, one on the reversing loop).

Casualties of war

  • My track cutter gave up the ghost spectacularly on the final cut, so I had to Dremel instead!
  • The Railcar went for a dive after derailing – and broke its unpowered bogie – I super-glued it back – and it works – but it is not totally satisfactory so I have ordered a spare part from Peter’s Spares.

To Do

  • Track plan input into JMRI so I can program turnout/point routes for operators
  • Commissioning of all the BlocD8s onto the LocoNet Bus so I get occupancy indications
  • Installation of “Halfway to Hell” cf “Halfway to Hell Club” netting (screen door mesh with velcro) under the crucial boards where “diving” is most likely.
  • Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.



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