Thursday 24 July 2014

Turnout problems fixed!

Finally a Solution..

After much thinking and testing a solution has been found..

Apparently the flux I am using is a metallic salt derived from dissolving zinc in hydrochloric acid. Therefore it is going to be conductive, although minimally. (thanks to C855B on the railwire)

I have now procured some rubbing Alcohol and have cleaned and dried 3 turnouts and the problem is resolved.. No more resistance across the rails on any of the parts of the turnout!.. YEY!..

I have also cleaned the 12 that I had built while away in QLD and am letting them dry over night..

Then the next step is to go and clean ALL the installed hand laid turnouts and clean all solder joints on the layout as the flux I have used, will, over time be corrosive!.. (darn it).

So, thanks for playing along.. The problem is fixed and I can now continue the build.

Goes to show, the old saying of.. Put it down and have another look tomorrow and you will find the solution does work..

Oh and also, place a question on a well run well known forum and the solution will be provided (over time)!..

Thanks for checking in!

Turnout problem continues

Its all about resistance or is it capacitance

Per my earlier post, Im still having issues with the hand built turnouts and block detection.

I also posted a question on the RailWire Forum to seek help there also.

I changed the detection threashold on the BDL's to high / 10K with little change to the issue.

I then did some testing and I think I have found the problem.. But the solution eludes me for the moment.

I tested 4 newly cut copper ties and found the gaps to be all open circuit.
I then just placed the tie in the Fast Tracks jig as I would normally do and added a dab of flux..

BINGO.. The tie now is no longer open circuit and now has resistance across the gap. I think the flux is wiking into the fiberglass tie and is causing it to conduct.. All be it with a high resistance.

Here is the flux I am using..

Here is an example of a meter reading.. It is important to note that each join gives a different reading.

I have not tried to clean the tie as yet.. I have just applied the flux and let it dry..

Now to find the bext way to clean the flux off and then find a way to apply it to the built turnouts..

Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

High resistance on turnouts causing false detection

Problem Turnouts.

Before installing the next batch of turnouts I decided I would test them before the install. Unfortunately I found a large number (75%) all seem to have high resistance on them that is causing false detection..

I have enlisted the help of the folk on the Rail Wire forum to see if we can figure our why..

Here is a picture of one of the problem turnouts..

As you can see from the picture, the gaps in the ties are large.. So it is a bit odd I'm having these issues.

Lets see what I can find out the the help of the global railroading fraternity!..

Thanks.. I will keep this post updated with what we find!

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Engineering does not stop - Even when on Holidays

More turnouts completed.

Per my last post, the family and I have taken a road trip holiday to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland for 2 weeks. As there is down time needed when on holidays for the kids (and Michelle), I figured I would fill the down time with turnout construction for the layout.

Over the last 2 weeks I have managed to complete 15 turnouts for the layout.
With the 15 completed I now have 6 to go (of the 40 needed in total) before the requirements for the layout is fulfilled.

Building turnouts is most satisfying!...

Here is a pic of 14 of the 15 completed (the last one still has the glue for the wood ties drying.)..

Sunday 6 July 2014

Turnout construction continues

Not stopping the construction - Even when on holidays

Now that Plattsburgh is complete in terms of track work and electrical work, it is time to build more turnouts for Ft Edward and Saratoga Springs.

As it is July school holidays time, the family decided a 2 week holiday was needed and warmer weather is always better for a holiday. So we packaged up and headed and Queensland for a 2 week break.

Not wanting the layout build to slow down, I decided that it would be easy enough to pack a small workshop into a box and take it with me to enable the turnout contruction to continue. (As I cant sing like Rod Stewart, I figured I would emulate his thinking and continue the layout build while on the road - at a significantly lower cost than Rod I'm sure).

Here is a pic of the workbench laid out on the kitchen table.

2 days on holiday and 1 turnout built.. 14 to go while on holidays and only because I am running out of copper ties and need to order more!...

Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

D&H Electrical Department hard at work in Plattsburgh

Electrics completed in Plattsburgh.

After a busy weekend of work, just a short update to advise that all electrical work in Plattsburgh is now completed and ready for switching this very busy town with 8 industries.

Tonight, I installed and powered up 7 Tortoise machines and applied track power (non detection blocks as it is the industry spurs) to all track work in town.

A few minor tweaks are needed to adjust 1 home grown turnout, but all in all a successful working session.

This is the section that was completed tonight along with 2 turnouts down the other end.

Thanks for checking in.

Track Gang found hard at work in Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh track work complete

Since the very successful open day on the D&H I have been hard at work building turnouts for the layout. As there are approx 40 turnouts needed, I figured I had better get stuck into building them as no more towns can be built with out them.

So over the last week or so I have built approximately 10 turnouts ready for the layout. I now have a well honed process and they are coming together nicely. I'm now almost 1/2 way through building the turnouts for the layout with 18 being completed.

Once I had built enough to complete the town of Plattsburgh I decided it was time to head back into the shed to get some track laying done. As the key main line and passing sidings were already in place it was just a matter of building on top of the basics. Before long, the track work in Plattsburgh was completed.

Below are a number of pictures showing the work that has been completed.

I have installed the turnouts on the back "house track" and powered up the house track. Hopefully the rest of the yard will be powered up in the next few days.

Here are the progress pictures.

The track plan on a few spurs has changed slightly from the plan, but only slightly.

Plattsburgh will have 8 industries to be services during an opps session and there are some complex switching moves in there also to make it a bit more challenging.

Thanks for checking in..