Wednesday, 21 February 2018

More Progress on Camford Junction

Following a short tuition session last week, the guys are now in full swing creating 500mm lengths of plain soldered track for the fiddle yards. Soldered track is more robust, and much cheaper, than EasiTrak although it does not look as good. It will be fine for the fiddle yard. The fiddle yard will gobble up over 70m of straight track, plus lots of curved track around the ends and 16 points. We may be some time.

Meanwhile, now the wiring on boards 1 and 2 is complete, I have powered them up and attached the laptop to the CBus with a plug-in CANUSB module. I used the Merg Flim Configuration Utility to update the firmware on all the CBus modules to the latest revision, and then started assigning separate event numbers for each point and each relay. Crossovers on the main line use a single event to operate both points. Main line track sections use pairs of the single pole relays to switch both rails between controllers, while the MPD area, which will only be associated with a single controller, uses a common return and just a single relay for each section. I documented the events, and the associated CBus module outputs in a spreadsheet as I progressed. Then I set up all the events in the turnout table in JMRI. Initially, JMRI only had two tables, 'Turnouts' for outputs and 'Sensors' for inputs. Over the years, extra tables have been added for 'Lights' and 'Signals', but there is not one for 'Relays' yet, so they will have to live in the 'Turnouts' table for now. Now I have all these captured in JMRI, I can proceed with setting up the layout schematic, with the turnouts, blocks and routes, and then work on route selection and setting the relays using 'buttons' on the layout screen.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Stroudley LBSCR 4 wheeler carriages

OK, I know they did not survive into the 1950's but a 4 car set was used on the Freshwater line, so that is good enough for me. The brass etch for the bodies is available from Etched Pixels. They suggest putting them on chopped up peco wagon chassis, but I thought they would look nicer on etched chassis. The GWR 4 wheeler chassis from David Eveleigh is almost perfect for length. I could not figure out how to fit the footsteps provided, and the Stroudley set only had a single footstep, except below the guard's doors, so I have decided to try to etch some new solebars, with queen post and trussing and some bolt head details, and new footsteps with brackets to add on. I am also adding some buffer beams, although I might 3D print them complete with the short buffers needed. I was working on drawing a set of etched window frames for the signal box and magazine stand, and have only used a very small area of the smallest standard panel that can be etched. Progress on the etch drawing has been pretty slow as I try to learn how to do what I want in DraftSight.

Meanwhile, here is construction progress so far. The carriages were drilled for hand rails and door handles before folding up.