Sunday, 6 June 2010

Another milestone - trains running

This week saw the completion of the track wiring, and the successful test running of trains all over the layout. There was just one missing link wire found. Wiring up the point operating servos is still to be done. From the photos you can see one Merg Servo4 board mounted under the baseboard. Two more of these will be fitted to control the remainder of the points, and the, as yet, non-existant uncoupler magnet devices.

One inovation I have added is to allow instant switchover from analogue DC operation to DCC operation. The rails are divided up into sections, as normal. Individual lengths of rail in a section are linked up by the copper tape runs beneath the layout. The point 'frog' sections are kept as short as posible, and are fed from microswitches operated by the point mechanisms, switching between the two adjacent stock rails. Each rail 'section' is kept separate on the layout, and are fed by wires from a single multipole connector (an old Centronics parallel printer socket with 36 pins.

I then added wire links inside a plug to connect the sections together. For analogue DC, siding sections are linked to 'frog' sections so that they are isolated by the points. Another plug, for DCC operation, would link together all the left-hand rails, and all the right-hand rails, and leave the 'frog' sections unconnected.

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