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Chelford, Oxsea and Battenham - OO Scale - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 10:21 pm
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BromsMods
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Well, I'm left with a frustrating problem to ponder this evening. Have installed two surface mount Peco points this afternoon on the top board in locations where it isn't possible to install below the board.  Connected up to a new Team Digital SMD84 which I then programmed for non-sequential accessory addresses.  One motor has switched intermittently in one direction and the other not at all.  Have checked that wires inserted properly into SMD84.......

Will have to try to resolve this tomorrow!



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 Posted: Sun Aug 3rd, 2014 04:37 pm
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Problem resolved!!

It took a little time but, as with most things I find, it was down to user error - or rather the user failing to understand the instructions in the manual correctly.  The SMD84 manual could have been more helpful but, as with many user manuals (especially from the US) they are written by technicians and not end users.

I rigged up a separate solenoid point motor and connected it into another output and reset the SMD84.  That worked, so I then tested the motors already connected up - they worked on the default settings.  So I then configured the SMD84 to start with the motor number I really wanted to use - it set up 8 sequential numbers from that point.  That worked. I moved on to configure 8 non-sequential numbers - that didn't work.......  back to the drawing board and re-reading the manual!

I went through the process outlined above for a second time.  When I came to non-sequential number configuration, though, I now realised that it was necessary to set both the number AND the motor type (previously expecting the default solenoid type to be set for each output).  This worked successfully, so now I can move on to install some more Traintronics motors later today.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 3rd, 2014 08:02 pm
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BromsMods
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Two more Traintronics point motors installed this afternoon, so this is the current state of the underside of the centre board of Oxsea (the upper level).



The recommendation from Traintronics is to cut the pin before installing the motor.  I'm not happy about doing this (I'm sure I would make an incorrect measurement and then cut it in the wrong place!) so I prefer to install the motor first and check that the pin is correctly located and the motor works correctly.



The photo above shows the pin on the motor poking through the point.



Next step is to cut most of the excess pin off using a metal cutting disc and Dremel.  I don't cut close to the plastic in which the pin is located.  This is to avoid damaging surrounding rails but also protects against generating too much heat on the pin itself which could melt the plastic.



Final step is to use a grinding wheel to get rid of the excess and take the top of the pin down to the top of the plastic.

Now for the four remaining point motors to be installed on this board.



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 Posted: Fri Aug 8th, 2014 06:54 pm
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BromsMods
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Unfortunately I can't find the new Traintronics point motors I thought I had, so I've had to order some more.

Whilst I await their arrival I have been doing some other little jobs, first of which was to paint two of the upper level boards in a grey undercoat.  This gets rid of the bright white of the foamboard and means I can add other scenic bits and pieces as required without having to worry about covering up the baseboard colour.



I have also uncovered a number of old items of rolling stock I've had for many a year, including the Wrenn box wagons shown below.......



A number of the very old items have plastic wheels and I would like to replace these at some time in the not too distant future with metal versions, when I have sourced the correct type.

I also found a couple of old Hornby Pullman coaches which also had plastic wheels and I have managed to replace those with some spare meteal wheels I had of the same type.  The photo below shows the new metal axled wheels on the right and the old plastic wheels on the left.



Sorry about the darkness of the photo - I tried several times to improve the contrast, and even used flash, but I guess the whole unit is very dark and it becomes difficult to differentiate different elements.



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 Posted: Fri Aug 8th, 2014 08:31 pm
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gastwo
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Following this build with interest John.

You mention using 'foam board' - is it actually Foamex, a type of expanded uPVC? I've been using 6mm thick off-cuts from our local sign-board company. Very similar to uPVC soffit material. With experience I found heat gun glue can give way after a while, so I've been using solvent gel that actually bonds the plastic (use in a well ventilated area!)

ATB
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 Posted: Sat Aug 9th, 2014 11:41 am
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Hi Shaun

To be honest I couldn't be specific about the product as it was all sourced by Dave Walton.  He has put the boards together, using a type of superglue intially and then reinforcing the joints with the glue gun.

I have found that even with all of the cross members under the boards and the 10mm edges it is starting to warp a little longways - this might be because I have a lot of locos on it and/or the extreme heat we have been experiencing recently.  The shed has consistently reached over 30 degrees C over the last 10 weeks or so - it is insulated and has a dehumidifier in it which is on over night.  I'll certainly have to look at where I can put more supports so that it doesn't become extreme warping!!



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 Posted: Thu Aug 14th, 2014 10:39 pm
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BromsMods
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Well new point motors arrived from Traintronics and are now installed so that's completed the motorisation of points on the middle board of Oxsea.  I had to go back and reprogram most of the motors, either to make sure point blades were consistently facing the right direction when in NORMAL position and/or to switch off non-DCC mode.  This involved resetting CV2 on each motor (the default being 3) to a value of 0 if the motor was operating in the right direction or 128 if the action of the motor had to be reversed in order to achieve a NORMAL position.  This process was made simpler by just rigging up a couple of wires as a harness which could be connected to each motor in turn on one end and to the programming track output of the PowerPro at the other end.

I also purchased some more TT301 DCC signal control boards whilst I was at it as I have a number of Traintronics signals which I want to install and these boards will link with the point motors in a number of instances to combine control of both points and signals.

Now on to the far end board of the top level - this will be more of a challenge as it is quite difficult to reach into the corner across workbench (or it will be when I've tidyied it and can see the top!) and other things - good job I haven't installed the turntable board yet!!



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 Posted: Sun Aug 24th, 2014 02:02 am
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First two point motors installed with no problems.

Next point has an issue as it isn't possible to install the motor because of a support which goes underneath exactly where the motor should be located. Solution is to replace the point with a medium radius which will enable a shift of motor location, but this will have to wait now until the end of next month.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 24th, 2014 04:45 am
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John, I had that problem on my now defunct layout.  I was using Tortoise motors and was able to solve my problem with a remote mount:

http://www.circuitron.com/index_files/Tortoise.htm... scroll down a bit.

Maybe your point motors can be adapted to use it or perhaps Traintronics have something similar.

FWIW

John

 



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 Posted: Sun Aug 24th, 2014 09:34 pm
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Thanks for the suggestion John, but I don't have much depth to play with under the board, hence my use of Traintronics motors. I think replacing the point with one slightly longer is the easiest solution - I do have enough space on top of the board for such an installation before I hit a curve.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2014 11:21 pm
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Replacement medium length electrofrog left-hand point purchased today from Footplate in Kidderminster. 

Was the first chance I have had to get there since returning from France earlier in the week and their new premises are a real improvement on their old shop (which was on the opposite side of the road to the new one).  Plenty of space and much easier to see the large array of items available.  The new glass cabinets are a great addition being both attractive and a great sales opportunity to promote a wide range of model locos.

Unfortunately I don't have time to fit the new point until next week.........



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 Posted: Wed Sep 24th, 2014 08:38 pm
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Well, I have at last found time to install the new point but it has been a little more difficult than anticipated.  The photo below shows the difference in size between the small and medium (on top) points.  It also shows an unexpected problem I had - the red wire is one of the two power feeds soldered to the track, but using Sods' Law, they are right where the tiebar goes, so I had to disconnect them.  I will get around to reinstalling them later this week when I also sort out the frog switching.



You might also observe that there is a change of gradient at the toe of the point and the slightly greater length of the new point meant that I had to make a small adjustment to the gradient by adding some packing to make sure that any gradient change wasn't where the point meets the existing trackwork.

The next problem I had is shown below.  Sods' Law operates well on this layout...... the position of the pin going through the tiebar is shown by the two small holes drilled through the board - still much too close to the support underneath but at least it wasn't directly over the crossmember!!  I had to cut away a small piece of the supporting material (you can just make out the position I had to cut through the foamboard).



Finally the point motor was positioned and screwed to the underside of the baseboard.



The green and yellow wires shown connected to the motor are actually a pair of wires I have set up to allow programming of the point motors.  I find this extremely useful and is quicker than any other method I could think of, the wires being permanently connected to the programming track output at present. When the permanent power wires are connected they will link to the terminals shown bottom right.  This is one of a pair of points on a crossover, so both point motors have been given the same accessory address.  This means that both switch together and seems to work well on the NCE system.

Next task is to connect up the bus wires (shown hanging loose) to the track, set up the frog switching and tidy up the wiring with cable ties.



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 Posted: Fri Sep 26th, 2014 03:37 pm
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Well, despite my best efforts, there is still unfortunately a slight "hump" where the new point joins the existing trackwork.  Most locos don't have a problem with this, but the Dapol Western is a particular problem. There isn't enough flexibility in the bogies either vertically (for this problem) or horizontally (for tightish curves) to allow it to run without derailing, so the task for this afternoon is to sort out the foam ballast used underneath this join.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2014 02:00 am
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This afternoon I spent an hour installing the last two Traintronics point motors on the end board of the upper level and eventually sorting out the gradients of the other two lines which join Oxsea to the lower level.  Dapol Western was again the problem - other locos, including steam didn't have a problem with negotiating the original tracwork.

Next step is to install the last two point motors on the upper level, but these will be Peco surface mounted motors as I can't access the points from below.  WIll have to think about how I can disguise these two motors which are within the loco shed storage roads area.



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 Posted: Tue Sep 30th, 2014 07:39 pm
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BromsMods
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Started to do the wiring for the two Peco motors mentioned above this afternoon but just too hot in the shed, added to which I've got the mother of all colds with an awful cough, so completion will have to wait until later in the week.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 2nd, 2014 01:57 pm
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BromsMods
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Moved on with the wiring of these two point motors late yesterday.



Connected up to SMD84 and tested.  The motors both threw correctly. 

However, I now have two problems which need resolving.

The first should be fairly simple - having got the wiring in place I thought I would tidy it up, first by using cable ties and then fix the cables in place by using some conduiting I had left over from years ago when I networked computers.  However, having got it into place and managed to get the wires to stay in whilst the capping was hammered on to it (the plastic seems to have become very brittle over time!!), the motors now don't work - dead as a Dodo!  So now I'll have to get the capping off to see what has come adrift - wires were soldered together and protected by heat shrink sleeving.



Problem 2 is more severe and difficult to resolve - the point on the left creates a short when switched to straight on.  All three points in this little complex are insulfrog; rails closest to the camera are powered by red wires, furthest away by black wires, and there are no insulated rail joiners used.  The only thing I can think of at the moment is that there is a problem with the point bottom right on the photo as this was an old point which was used on a previous layout and was rather dirty.  Will have to investigate further today.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 2nd, 2014 04:41 pm
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Well, both problems now resolved - well working as it should but not sure about an actual resolution.

Problem 1 wasn't actually a problem - more user disfunction.  I forgot that I had reassigned accessory addresses on my track diagram but hadn't actually changed the settings on the SMD84!!  I will do that when all point motors are installed and working.

Problem 2 isn't there today.......  I did nothing......  switched the power on and voila..... everything works as it should.  Another of life's mysteries............  If only everything was resolved as easily!!!!



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 Posted: Thu Oct 2nd, 2014 04:50 pm
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ooh err, that'll be them gremlins John.

Seem to get a lot on my layout........... and then they just disappear :mutley



Ed



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 Posted: Thu Oct 2nd, 2014 05:10 pm
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I'm beginning to think it might be aliens getting into the shed at night:lol::lol::lol:



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 Posted: Thu Oct 2nd, 2014 11:09 pm
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Thought a schematic of Oxsea might be useful.  Blue numbers are point motors and red are block numbers.

Point motors 58 and 59 are a double slip, 59 leading to the lower level (Battenham), which is why the line disappears!  57 and 58 lead to Chelford on the opposite side of the shed.  50/51, 48/49, 44/45 and 38/39 are also double slips.  41 leads to a goods shed to the left.  53 leads to a dairy on the left.  The top left area is a loco shed and loco storage sidings.



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