Monday 27 July 2020

Signal install progress

Board builds and testing.

This weekend, as part of covid 2.0 lock down in Victoria, I spent building sub boards with resistors for my signal install. I also re tested the 28 signal masts that I had previously built. Fortunately they have stood the test of time with only a few minor repairs that had to be carried out.

I have a number of dwarf signals that I need to build for Whitehall and staging. The main 3 head masts are all built as taken from the old D&H V2 layout some years ago.

Here are the sub boards that I have built. There are different configurations for the boards depending on the main driver board that they connect to. Such as the TC64, SE8C, SRC16 and LocoHDL boards. As some signals are driven from the same 10 pin cable, and are not near each other for the wires to reach the 1 board, I was able to design the boards in a way that if I splice into the 10 pin cable with a male splice plug, then a female plug on the end of the main cable and the splice cable, I can then make wiring simpler.
The other main change is the use of the small screw terminals. On the old layout I simple soldered the enamel coated armature wire to pin headers and this was a real pain. Fortunately, I was able to source the small screw terminals from ebay for the job.

Here is a rather messy work bench. I have a few more to make for the SE8C''s once my parts arrive this week.

Hare are the sub boards that have been built thus far

Sub boards ready for install

Post signal testing and repair, the signals are laid out around the layout to make sure I have enough 

More to follow on the signal install process.

Tuesday 14 July 2020

New LED's for Signals

New 3 Colour pre wired LED's for Signals.

Some time ago Vic sent me some new LED's that he obtained from RR-Cirkits in the US. These LED's are 3 colour, pre wired LED's that are 1mm x 2mm. I am going to test fit them into my signals to see how they go.
Here is a close up of the LED's. This is the LED next to an N scale microtrains coupler and spring

Now for some testing.

Monday 6 July 2020

Life Like C-424 sub frame improvement

A bit H beam goes a long way

As the upper level of the layout is at eye height, the space between the body and the trucks on the LifeLike Alco C424 is larger than most other locos, I decided it was time to do something about it.
After some experimentation with various size Evergreen H beam, I found just the right size with some basic modifications.

Looking at pictures of the actual loco, the main sill is fairly high compared to the trucks. So the model is fairly accurate, the only think missing is the sub frame.

Here is a picture of what I was aiming for.

Here is a picture of one of my 4 Life Like C-424's with no work done on it from a frame point of view. Ie, out of the box.

Here is a modified loco with a sub frame to fill the gap. There is enough space for the trucks to rotate a pivot forward and back. Once installed, I simply painted them black and added a bit of mud brown to simulate a bit of weathering. I completed this modification on 3 of the 4 that I have and will now complete testing before I do the last one.

This is the great thing about this hobby. If I get  bored doing scenery, I can move to JMRI, building brass signals, to electronics to setting up car cards and schedules.. So different things we can do.

Saturday 4 July 2020

JMRI Panel videos

NX Routes and APB.

Here are a few short videos showing how the JMRI panel works in NX Route mode where a dispacther needs to set the route for each train for the signals to work. The second panel, is the same base file with the NX routes removed and the NX route icons removed so that the panel will operate automatically. The signals will auto set to the right colour depending on the occupancy infront of the train and the orientation of the turnout infornt of it.

Here is the NX route panel.
Note: The size and video quality is much better if you play the Video in Youtube rather than this small box. Click on play and then click on the Youtube icon in the box to open a new browser window in Youtube.

Here is the same panel with the NX routes removed so it effectively works in APB (Absolute Permissive Block) mode. This is so I can run the layout by my self and have the signals operate automatically.

Note: The size and video quality is much better if you play the Video in Youtube rather than this small box. Click on play and then click on the Youtube icon in the box to open a new browser window in Youtube.

Let me know of any feedback..