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.