Saturday, December 31, 2011

Little progress on the layout

It's been a month since my last post not much done as far as the layout goes. Life and moving my hobby workbench into the train room has been the main activity, but today.

I had a visit from my friend Richard for a little one-on-one clinic on ballasting and some scenery advice. I am pretty good at bench-work, track laying and electrical but went it comes to scenery, I suck. Richard has a great N scale layout and has offer some help. Here a couple of photos of my ballasting test today.

After Richard left, I check in with the CEO and got the rest of the day for working on the layout. I am going to starting scenery with the staging area and the end loop into staging.

Little sculptamold along one side of staging

For the end loop I need to build up the area outside the loop, here is a before shot

Added some more ceiling tiles and shaped the area

Got couple more areas to add ceiling tile and shape, then add more sculptamold.

More to come, thanks for following along.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back on Track

I had a good thanksgiving week and weekend, got the staging control working and finished installing all mainline track feeders, installed two reversing unit and two more control panel frames.

Now I am able to run a train for the complete layout. Sorry no video as this is something I need to learn how to do (make and post here).

An couple of hours of running show a few problems, but all were easy fixes.

Here is a photo of the working staging control panel

Next up, add mainline and industry turnout control to all installed panels. Clarksville above photo (lower half of panel) is mostly done, need wiring to switch machine and program one accessory decoder.

Staging Control - Finished (almost)

Following David K. Smith circuit (Thanks David), I was able to complete the staging control with one exception. His circuit work great for controlling switch machine and setting the routes, but I had a particular way I wanted the panel lights to work and with some experimenting I thought I had a solution. Upon installing everything and testing the unknown changes for LED's work for all track but one.

I have a solution but I will not be able to make these changes for awhile and will live with the current setup.

Here are the photos of the new power supply and diode matrix board with schematic (schematic shows planned changes)

First - David's power supply

New diode matrix board

Diode-matrix board schematic

Overall staging control Schematic (note track power relay control by a 12VDC wall wart supply)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Setback on Staging Control Circuit

I thought, I was heading in the right direction, but to my discovery went making the final connections to the tortoise switch machine. I develop a feed-back problem that lid up all the LED for a particular route into staging. On further study I determine my error, the diode-matrix board is wrong and how I wired the rotary selector switches are all wrong, so back to the start.

I have presently two path:

1) Re-wire selector switches, make a new diode-matrix board and build a proper power source.

2) I am investigate another approach, see David K. Smith clinic Matrix Control for Tortoise Switch Machines

More to come.................

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Control Panel - More Panel Progress

Since the last post I have spend little time on the Layout, but some progress has been made.

First, more wiring inside the first control panel

Second, wiring of the Diode-Matrix and Relay board

Third, Mount and started wiring of the CAT 5 Punch-Block blocks for Tortoise Switch Machine wiring termination

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Control Panel - Front Panel Progress Continue

Well it's been about a month since my last update. I have not spend much time on the layout, somewhere between a half to two hours a week, so progress has been slow. Here are some photo of were I am at today. (sorry for the lousy photos)

First - Diode-Matrix and Staging Track Power Relay board mounting back side of control panel.

Next two - Inside control panel

Next two - Front of Control Panel with power to staging selector switches.

Note above in the photo the screw heads and plug receptacle (lower right).

I am using low tech or old tech to control turnouts, using a wand to touch the screw heads to change the route of turnouts.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Control Panel - Front Panel Progress

So after a number of trial and errors.

I have fall in back to a technique I have used before 3M Striping Tape on Styrene. I the past I have used 1/8" this time 1/16" width.

Here is were I am so far.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Relay board for Staging Tracks

Completed the Relay Board that will control track power for the Staging Tracks. I made an error and followed a old diagram, by the time I realize it was to late. The diagram I follow will work the other design would have given me more options with the board.

This is the latest Design I did not follow

I am waiting on supplies to finish the front of the control panel. I am going back to an panel layout style I used on my HO Layout.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Diode-Matrix board for Staging Tracks

Update 11/22/11 - Due to some error on my part the Diode-matrix board shown here does not work will be either replace or most likely a difference path will be pursue for staging control.

Not a lot of progress since my last post.

Completed the Diode-Matrix Board for Staging Turnout Control

Monday, August 22, 2011

Diode-Matrix and Relay boards for Staging Tracks

Update 11/22/11 - Due to some error on my part the Diode-matrix board shown here does not work will be either replace or most likely a difference path will be pursue for staging control.

I have been working on the control panel for Clarksville and Staging (I will make another post for the progress so far on the front panel later).

I thought I post the PC Board layouts for (1) Diode-matrix board for staging turnout control and (2) Relay board for staging track power control.

Both boards will receive there control signals from the (2) two 2-pole Six position selector switches that will be on the control panel for each end of staging, as a track is selected the corresponding turnouts for that end of the staging will align for that track and turn on power to it.  Position 6 on the selectors will be a all off for now. I am using 12 VDC 1A rated PC board relays for track power on/off.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Control Panel and Wiring

Quick and Short update.

Been working more on the track bus and feeders. Track Buses are all in and 2/3 of the currently installed track feeder are solder to the track buses.

Pull out of storage the old control panels from my HO Layout and mounted the first one. Going to re-use the EasyDCC Accessory Decoders for Turnout Control, but I am not going to connect them to the DCC system, so they will function more like  556 flip-flop timer circuit others use for turnout control. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wiring and Control Panels

All boosters are in and working. Have moved on to working on the bus wiring for the mainline track these week.

I have also been working and thinking about the control panels. Here are the preliminary layouts

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Peco Turnout - Prep

A friend of mine ask for instructions on how I modified/prep my PECO Turnouts, most of what I did came from a on-line clinic reference by Rick Bell ( I presently do not remember were I downloaded it from most likely from one of the MRR Forums or Yahoo Groups. email me if you would like a copy it's little over 2mb in size.

A backside view of a unmodified PECO Turnout note the existing jumper for the frog

First thing I did was remove the spring that holds the points in-place against the rails as I am going to use tortoise switch machines. I discovered, I had two different ways PECO manufactured their turnouts as shown below. 

Once the spring was removed. I had to drill a hole in the throw bar for the switch machine.

Next is to isolate the frog and wing rails from the points, by cutting two gaps in the wing rails.

I used a Zona Jeweler saw recommend on Fast Track website with No 2 Saw Blades (.028 x .013 x 43TPI) for the gaps.

Added jumpers from outside rails before the rail gaps to the frog, so to provide addition connectivity for the points.

Add a wire for the frog polarity change from switch machine. There is a couple ways of do this I solder the wire at the junction point of the existing jumpers.

To complete the isolation of the frog. I install the PECO insulated rail joiners on the two frog rails or you can use the metal one's and gap the rail at your preferred location.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Golden Spike - Mainline Track Installation Completed

With the completion of installing the Bridge and associated track each side the Mainline is complete and the Golden Spike as been driven.

Other work today was installing the Boosters along with power wiring, also got net wiring from the command station to the first two booster and the wireless working. With a couple of jumpers I got to run a train for a short distance today.

Also had my first group to visit the layout today so Thanks to Gary, Jan and Richard (who's been here before) for coming and the encouraging words guy's.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Finished the Bridge

Well I finally finished the bridge (well at least the structure) I will need to paint thinking a lite gray color with rust weathering.

Then I proceeded with starting the placement of it on the layout. Not sure yet if the below is how it will end but it the direction I am heading for now.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Track Feeders

Today I work on the layout for the first time since Early April.

Spend about 1.5 hours prepping and installing 45 pair of track feeders. Feeder are in place just need to solder to track. Next is to get the bus wires installed under the layout, but I still need to determine how I am going to divide the layout into DCC booster sections. I have four booster presently to use.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Update and Back to Modeling

Alright all the new flooring is down and the room is back to normal, so modeling and layout work can continue

This is my new modeling area below. It still needs work but.............

Will be a big improvement over the old area below

Got back to my CV bridge, after fixing the damage it received this were I am.

I have seen other build this bridge and it look great and it a great kit with lots of detail, but my modeling skills lack a lot not sure I am going to do this kit credit. We will see.

I am traveling for work starting the 11th thru 21st not sure I will be posting anymore updates until I return.