Friday, 4 January 2019

Turnout Panels

Major part of the turnout control complete
Over this Christmas holiday I managed to find to to complete the design, build and install of the turnout control panels for the layout.

There are 9 turnout control panels in total plus 1 block occupancy panel for the helix and a dwarf signal that I will use to indicate the end of the hidden branch line that is North of Whitehall.

In the past I had set the panels within the fascia. As there is not much space behind the fascia I opted to have the panels on the outside of the fascia and the lower panels set at a 45 degree angle.

Time will tell how successful this is as they do protrude into the isle way and may get damaged. The panels are made from 3mm MDF and are hot glued together.

The panels are drawn in Excel and then are printed on heavy white paper via a inkjet printer. Then are laminated and taped using double sided tape to the painted MDF.

Here are the progress pictures of the build and the final install of each of the panels.

All switches are momentary as they are connected to the various DCC driver boards under the layout that manage the turnouts.

The North and South staging panels include block occupancy stats LED's and also LED's to show the route that is set based on the location of the turnout machines.

The North Staging track route is set using the DPDT switches on the bottom of the MP5's turnout machines and work independently of JMRI. The South staging route LED's are managed via JMRI as the turnout machines that I used are MP1's and do not have a DPDT switch. They only have a SPDT switch that is used for the frog of the turnout.

All the block detection is taken directly from the Digitrax BDL168 outputs on the boards.














This is the panel that shows the block status in the 3 turn helix. There are 5 LED's / blocks in total. 3 are completely hidden and 2 are the tracks that enter the helix in either end.

The following picture is a dwarf signal that I have installed and connected to the block occupancy status output on the BDL168 as the track is a branch line that is a dead end. This will enable the engineer to enter into the hidden track and stop when the Red LED in the signal is shown as this indicates that the Loco has reached the last block on the hidden track.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Layout Cab ride

Layout Cab ride from North Staging around the layout to South staging



(If you are reading this in a email and cant see the video. The please go to the blog via the link for the video - Blog Page

Layout Shakedown

First layout Shakedown session

This week I invited the guys over to come and have a look at the progress of the build and to give the layout a run..

Overall the layout ran well. We had a few throttle issues where the throttle would pick up a different loco number randomly and render the loco that was being operated uncontrollable. This was unusual as it had not happened on the previous layout with all the same control systems and the same number of DCC components on the Loconet. Once the number of throttles (all DT400 or DT402D's) was reduced, as at one point I think we had 6 all running, then the issue seemed to go away. Odd...

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the session.
It is rather cozy in the railroad room with 7 of us. It will be a bit different when there is more switching happening and not just run through trains with no dispatcher.








John seemed to like to disappear into the staging / helix area. 


Here is a time lapse Video



(If you are reading this in a email and cant see the video. The please go to the blog via the link for the video - Blog page) Or YouTube - YouTube video



Looking Nice

Fascia install

The D&H carpentry crew have been hard at work and have installed the fascia on the lower and upper sections of the layout.
The upper sections have been roughed in for now in terms of the height of the fascia as the scenery in the locations is not yet decided.

Here are a few pictures of the finished product.









Now the fascia is installed, it is time to make turnout control panels for the turnouts. At present they are all connected to DCC turnout drivers so they can all be switched from the throttle.

Once the turnout controls are installed, then a few hutches will be created to be used by the operators to store card cards etc while switching trains in the towns.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Fairhaven Wiring Complete

D&H Electrical hard at work.

Today marked a major milestone in the build of the D&H Champlain Division (version 4.0).

The D&H electrician attended the town of Fairhaven and completed the install of the track feeders and turnout machines.

Before long the first train arrived in Fairhaven to drop of cars to the Glass Factory that is the major industry in town.

Here are a few pictures to mark the occasion.



Once the works in Fairhaven had been completed the maintenance team set about checking all automatic turnout machines to ensure that they work reliably.

After a few hours of work in adjusting turnout machines, changing throw rod's to thinner rods, all turnouts are now throwing reliably.

Now to add extra cork in the town of Whitehall between the yard tracks and print industry labels for each town industry.

Once completed then it will be time to invite the road crews over to have a layout shakedown.

Stay tuned..



Sunday, 12 August 2018

Fairhaven Trackwork

Track Gangs have been busy in Fairhaven

Last week I completed the Fairhaven track work for the Glass complex. Below are a few pictures of the completed works including the diamond crossing.










Next week I plan on completing the wiring and turnout management for the town.


Willsboro wiring and turnout control

D&H Electrical Dept been busy

Today 9 turnouts and 13 feeder wires were added to Willsboro. This completes the wiring to enable cars to be switched at the Paper Mill complex at Willsboro.

Once the deck was cleared the first train came into town to drop off a few box cars.

Here are a few pictures to mark the occasion.








Stay tuned for the next update that will see the electrical work completed in Fairhaven.