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gdaysydney
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http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=9917&forum_id=21     NotMutley  RIP

NotMutley 2 - the rebuilt commences.
As mentioned in the previous posts in the original NotMutley thread , the new layout will dispense with the two tiers as I was not happy with the step gradient or access to the fiddle yard which was on the lower level below the station area.

The fiddle yard will remain in the same location but has been modified and includes point work that permits any train to leave the fiddle yard on either the up or down line. In the old configuration the fiddle yard was split into an up and a down section.  The use of Y points in conjunction with double slips will give more flexibility.



This is a photo taken a few weeks ago - I was going to use it to show the pointwork but someone has left two Heljan boxes on the track


The next shot explains why its taking so long -  the wiring for the new track is in place but not connected. The electronics from the old layout has to be removed and recycled, programmed etc....



Most of my attention has gone on the window side of the layout where I have extended the width to allow for more room for what will be the station area. This picture shows the extra width ( old layout was to the cork tile).






This weekend I spent a bit of time working out how to make the best use of this area and how to stop the strong Aussie sunlight from fading anything that sits near a window..



This is my solution -  a removal MDF backboard that sits on the window ledge. It is kept in place at either ends by overlapping mdf and a removal cover that hides  a double track that bypasses the station.
This is the view from the other direction - the sun blinds can be drawn down to the backboard to allow some light to enter the room.

Well that's about it - tons of work to do  but at least I now feel that I have a workable plan and I finally feel motivated..

Last edited on Mon Jun 22nd, 2015 02:25 pm by gdaysydney

Gary
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Good to see the layout has been rekindled, although in another guise. Now i would have thought you would have named it 'Not NotMutley' ! ;-);-)  Looking forward to the ongoing posts.

Cheers, Gary.

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Hi Dave,

It's good to see someone with a plan and you seem to have a great starting point with all that work and experience under your belt. Good luck with the rewiring and electronics and I'm pleased to see some brown and cream on your layout!

All the best,

Bill :)  

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G`day Dave,

Early days but the potential is there for something really good. The Aussie sun is a killer and you`re right to get that sorted out. Your under board wiring reminds me of mine. I`ve just lifted my main board this afternoon to do some work under there and it needs a good tidy up before anything constructive can happen.
So good luck with it all and I look forward to the new version of your layout.

:cheers  Gormo

gdaysydney
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Thanks for the kind and encouraging comments.

I actually enjoy the electrical side of the hobby - its just that in this instance I have been lazy and not disassembled the old wiring before starting the new.  I have one area of the layout already correctly wired up and working by computer control  but there is a lot more to do.  Additionally I am running two DCC buses in tandem so that the computer can control signalling ( The NCE system can't handle signals yet although they have been promising signal decoders for many years)

gdaysydney
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Here's a photo of the West throat to the fiddle yard showing the point work that is obscured in the earlier.
It uses Y points and a double slip to allow access to both the up and down tracks in the fiddle yard.


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Impressive piece of track work. :thumbs Will the line on the far right besides the throat, become a run-around ??

Cheers, Gary.

gdaysydney
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Gary wrote: Impressive piece of track work. :thumbs Will the line on the far right besides the throat, become a run-around ??

Cheers, Gary.

Hi Gary,

yes that is the plan - although with me that could change :oops:

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gdaysydney wrote: Gary wrote: Impressive piece of track work. :thumbs Will the line on the far right besides the throat, become a run-around ??

Cheers, Gary.

Hi Gary,

yes that is the plan - although with me that could change :oops:

Have you met my friend Ron Solly Dave ? .............:mutley:mutley

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Petermac wrote: gdaysydney wrote: Gary wrote: Impressive piece of track work. :thumbs Will the line on the far right besides the throat, become a run-around ??

Cheers, Gary.

Hi Gary,

yes that is the plan - although with me that could change :oops:

Have you met my friend Ron Solly Dave ? .............:mutley:mutley

Do you mean me - doing changes ??   :cool wink

gdaysydney
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Petermac wrote: gdaysydney wrote: Gary wrote: Impressive piece of track work. :thumbs Will the line on the far right besides the throat, become a run-around ??

Cheers, Gary.

Hi Gary,

yes that is the plan - although with me that could change :oops:

Have you met my friend Ron Solly Dave ? .............:mutley:mutley

yes I have - and yes he taught me everything I know especially how to change me mind :mutley:mutley

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:mutley:mutley:mutley:mutley:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs

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Hi Dave

How about "NetherMutley"

Nice start, what system are you using for your second data bus ?

Paul

gdaysydney
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paul_l wrote: Hi Dave

How about "NetherMutley"

Nice start, what system are you using for your second data bus ?

Paul

Hi Paul ,  I am using RR-CirKit's Locobuffer USB.   A small box with one end plugging into the compter with a USB and the other end attaching to a Bus.

http://www.rr-cirkits.com/

Last edited on Mon Jun 29th, 2015 02:58 am by gdaysydney

gdaysydney
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I have two different decoders for controlling points on NotMutley.

My main Command controller is NCE so  the easiest and quickest way is to use NCE's "snap it " decoder in conjunction with a Peco turnout motor.
The picture below was taken to show how simple it is - 
The "snap it" does not require soldering as it has screws for the connection of the wires - three from the Peco Motor ( combined wire from the common side) and two wires that attach to the BUS.
If required the "snap it' can control two points at the same time by the addition of an additional capacitor - again no soldering required as it just screws in.
The decoder is programmed using the controller and is easily mounted under the layout near the points so no lengthy wiring required.



adding additional capacitor to control two points simultaneously is simple as adding another capacitor:

 

Last edited on Tue Jun 30th, 2015 02:31 pm by gdaysydney

gdaysydney
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Working part time allowed me to spend some time on the layout today.
The time was spent track laying and wiring the points for computer control this time at the south eastern end of the room.



 Since I am installing a double crossovers I prefer to use Tortoise point motors as they are not as savage on the point-work.
They are a little trickier to install especially if you do not have a volunteer handy to hold them in place under the layout while you get the alignment right.
To solve this problem I attach double sided tape to the top of the Tortoise so that it will stay in place until I can secure it with screws. I also replace the wire that is supplied with thicker piano wire. The photo below shows one ready to be mounted.



I use a Lenz decoder for these "slow motion" motors as the decoder for the "snap it" is not suitable (NCE do make a suitable decoder but I have not tried it)
To handle The Tortoise motors the  Lenz LS150 ( which can control up to 6 motors) requires diodes to ensure the points work correctly - instructions come with each unit but it is a bit of a pain - fortunately diodes are very very cheap.
The photo below shows part of my set up -  the orange and yellow wires are to a separate power supply and the black and red leads go to the track power supply, which  in DCC speak its called the BUS.



A bit more time consuming and more expensive than the " snap it "  approach but saves delicate point-work such as double slips from being pulverised.
The other point to mention is that the Lenz decoder works fine with the NCE digital system

gdaysydney
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Track has been laid at the south east end of the layout and unlike the track elsewhere has now been completely wired up with block detection and operating points.
This enables me to use the computer to control everything - its a funny thing but after approx 6 months with the layout not being operational its good to have the computer software set up albeit only as a control panel.

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It all looks well under control. The track work looks great. Seams to have a nice flow about it.

I also like your retaining walls. :thumbs

Cheers

Toto

gdaysydney
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Thanks Tom,
The retaining walls are Scalescene, which I have found to be great value for money especially if you need to replicate many times. They have been recycled from the old layout where they made up a wall of some 15 feet. As with all the scenery they are in situ just to give me a starting point for the final layout .  They currently hide  the loop that bypasses the station area and I am pondering whether to have a road  on top or another railway line with hidden ends that would run railcars back and forth - something that would be easy to do under computer control but may make access a tad problematic.:cry: 

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Hi Dave,

I'll be doing something similar to hide a gradient climb up to an upper level terminus station on the R & GLR. A mixture of retaining walls and landscape.

I'll look forward to see how you go with yours.

Cheers

Toto

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You must be pleased with progress Dave - it's starting to look the part. :thumbs:thumbs

Amazing how many of us like your retaining walls .............:roll::roll::roll:  The shops along the back wall I'd guess are Metcalfe, but what make are the houses ?

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Hi Pete,

The houses are old ones from my first layout  and are  Superquick's half relief houses (C6) - they look Ok from a distance but don't stand any close up scrutiny - I may use them somewhere on the layout where they are hidden form direct view but for now they are just " fill ins"

Last edited on Sun May 20th, 2018 11:32 am by gdaysydney

Petermac
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Thanks Dave. :thumbs

In the right setting, I wouldn't write off any of these "older" models.  I remember how effective some old "Bilt-ezee" terraced house backs looked on John Dew's Granby layout.

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The Lenz LS150 has proved to be almost useless on the new layout when used in conjunction with RR&Co which can set routes. In the fiddle yard a route can involve up to eight sets of points and the Lenz takes far too long to process all the commands.
Based on recommendations I have purchased a number of NCE Switch 8 MK2 s.
Unlike the Lenz decoder these are designed especially for stall motors such as the Tortoise and having just tested one I have to say they are a very smart piece of kit. Programing is very simple and the units have an LED readout that shows you which of up to eight turnouts you are programming and what accessory code it is programmed with.
10 out of ten NCE !!

Last edited on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 03:02 pm by gdaysydney

Marty
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Aha...technology... It doesn't matter how fast it is... You will invariably be waiting for it. Just think of printers!
Glad you've found a solution and that you're progressing along.

Cheers

Marty

Last edited on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 02:44 am by Marty

gdaysydney
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A major milestone was achieved on the weekend. All the wiring has been completed and tested to allow for computer control of the points and block detection. !!
Next step will be to start to programme basic schedules in RR&Co and get back to building the scenery and playing trains !!

gdaysydney
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Work on the layout has been, to say the least, slow.  I have upgraded one of the old platforms with a fresh platform surface and built a new island platform to match.  Photo of work in progress - the platform on the far left is just there for comparison :roll:

I have also started building yet more walls - this time retaining walls that will go where the junk is currently located and will join with a tunnel entrance where the track runs under the scenery.
As it has been a pleasant spring day in Sydney I have been constructing the wall outdoors using Scalescene downloads pasted onto thick cardboard. 
Photo shows the main wall - upper wall and joining to bridge to be completed

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The walls look good in stone. I must admit I've been tunnel visioned into brick but I'm looking to convert for a change. I looked at Metcalfes stone wall but they are out of stock. Maybe it's time to try the Scalescenes version.

Looking good.

Toto

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Hi Toto,
Scalescenes is not as convenient as Metcalfe but far more versatile and once you have paid for the pdf download you can print as many times as you wish so for big projects it works out a lot cheaper.
They are also available in different brick or stone types and there are a few "freebies" you can experiment with

Cheers

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Further progress...

photo showing the retaining walls and the new arch wall  which will eventually have the road form the upper level - still pondering what to make the road with - in the past I have not had a lot of luck getting the flow correct at the top or bottom of an incline - any suggestions?



This is the view form the other direction show the tunnel entrance - everything is just resting in situ at present so that I can make alterations etc - tunnel bases for example need amending.

gdaysydney
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Another update on my wall building.
The easy stuff has been completed and now I have been busy using the basics of the arched walls and retaining walls to create a roadway down to the lower level. the following photos show progress to date.







All just placed in situ as before -  changes to the station layout will result, as you can see from the last photo.

For those with a architect background I have already been advised by my daughter that the parapets are incorrectly located I can move the one on the ramp but not the one at the join on the top !

One minor issue is that I am reusing the arched walls from the previous layout and I have upgraded my printer since then so the walls are coming out a slighty different colour than before - those with eagle eyes will notice the difference in the arches in the second photo.

gdaysydney
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Hi guys

Its been been a while since my last post - health and life generally have taken priority but I am now back in the train room for the first time in 12 months.
It may take me a while to get back into the swing of things - I have just downloaded the latest version of RR&Co - I was 6 versions behind !!

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Hi Dave,

Welcome back and it's good to hear from you again and with better news for your railway. Seems as if you're some catch up to do, but have made a start, so enjoy that railway feeling again and keep in touch.

Good health and happiness to you,

Bill

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Good to see you back Dave. Looking forward to more on "Not Mutley"
PS.Pleased That i am not alone with the birds nest under the layout. :thumbs

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Ok so 2017 was a write off so its now over two years since any work has been undertaken on the layout  !  Maybe 2018 will be more productive. 

In the past 18 months the train room has become a storage room and every time I ventured into the mess I quickly became disillusioned and walked back out.
Apart from the mess in the train room I also have a stack of railway related "stuff" that is stored elsewhere that needs to be moved so there are in fact two challenges associated with the hobby not including finding the "mojo" and getting it to stay.

By posting the picture below I am relying on the forum to apply some peer pressure so that, my health permitting,  2018 will be a turning point for Not Mutley.
 





On that note  I wish all forum members a happy and successful 2018

Dave

Last edited on Fri Dec 29th, 2017 05:23 am by gdaysydney

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Happy New Year Dave, won't take long to tidy that lot up :thumbs

(Consider yourself 'peer pressured' :mutley)



Ed

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Dave said, "By posting the picture below I am relying on the forum to apply some peer pressure so that, my health permitting,  2018 will be a turning point for Not Mutley."


O.K. Dave, here is some peer pressure:


Get in that room and sort it! NOW!


 


Hope that helps.


All the best for 2018.


Terry



 

Last edited on Fri Dec 29th, 2017 06:37 pm by col.stephens

gdaysydney
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Thanks guys.

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Hi Dave

So good to hear from you........you have been missed!.

I am sorry that last year didnt lend itself to modelling. I do hope your health has improved so that hopefully you can get stuck into Not Mutley-2 again. It was such a promising layout and I used to enjoy your updates.

Apart from anything else I need someone to chat to about RR&Co! :roll:

Best wishes for 2018

John

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Hi John,

getting the layout running will be my highest priority so stand by for lots of banter regarding RR&Co  as I have forgotten more than I have remembered and will need some input to get up to speed - an then there is the new version :oops: :oops:

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Well its taken 3 months to finally make sufficient space in the train room that I am now able to get to the layout and it has been cleared of all the junk and train stuff and I can now run trains again.  A milestone achieved albeit taking a lot longer than anticipated.

After cleaning the track and relearning how to use the controls I decided that I needed to get more orderly in my approach to the layout and the computer programming.  For those of you that have joined the Club in the past two years I run the layout using DCC and computer control. I run either fully automated or by using the computer screens a switchboard.

As my natural bias is to things electrical I decided that the first task I would tackle was the detection of wagons that sit in sidings, or worst case, detach from a moving train.
Reading my NCE manual it said that this is easily achieved by placing a 4.7K ohm resistor across the axle and I found a video that showed how this could be achieved using surface mounted resistors and electrical paint .  Simple? well yes except even when I used up to an 80k resistor across the track my block detectors failed to detect them.  So project on hold while I seek input from the NCE users forum. 

Undeterred, I thought I would address another issue which is loco profiling. This is necessary so that all trains under computer control can run at the same scale speed for a designated speed - i.e if the computer says the train is running at 30mph then thel loco that being controlled by the computer will be moving at the 30mph scale speed - very important when running consists!
To save space I decided that I could do this on a rolling road rather than a purpose built length of track. However, having taken the plunge and ordered a speed cat from Germany after seeing it perform on a video from McKinley Railway I have now discovered that the new version of the railway computer software (RR&Co) handles it differently so its a wait and see. :shock:

Dave

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Hi Dave
Not sure if you want this here or should I ask Max to move it to the RR&co area?

Occupancy detection........I assume you are using BD20s hence the NCE Forum? 

                                         A very dumb question ......you have checked in more than one block? The blocks you have used do detect stationary locos? 

Will a bulb work across the tracks?

Silver paint only works as a conductor when the carrying medium has completely evapourated......Mine often fail when first tested but after leaving them a few hours they work fine.

I will write later about V9

Best wishes

John







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I wish you best of luck on sorting the DCC issues out.

As for a concern you brought up earlier in the thread, about the more recently printed stone being slightly different in color, I would say don't sweat it. If anything, a little variation like that is realistic (at least, to my knowledge).

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John Dew wrote: Hi Dave
Not sure if you want this here or should I ask Max to move it to the RR&co area?

Occupancy detection........I assume you are using BD20s hence the NCE Forum? 

                                         A very dumb question ......you have checked in more than one block? The blocks you have used do detect stationary locos? 

Will a bulb work across the tracks?

Silver paint only works as a conductor when the carrying medium has completely evapourated......Mine often fail when first tested but after leaving them a few hours they work fine.

I will write later about V9

Best wishes

John


Thanks John,
No such thing as a dumb question - the problem is across all the blocks on the layout - carriages with lighting will register with the DB20 but not wagons with a single LED tail light.
I have used conductive paint as recommended by Charlies in the first video rather than silver paint which I was not able to source . My testing however reverted to testing resistors across the track.
Dave

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ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote: I wish you best of luck on sorting the DCC issues out.

As for a concern you brought up earlier in the thread, about the more recently printed stone being slightly different in color, I would say don't sweat it. If anything, a little variation like that is realistic (at least, to my knowledge).

Hi Brendan,
Many thanks for your comment. At the time it seemed a major issue but as you suggest in the 12inch to the foot world there are variations sometimes considerable ones and the scenery has been "weathered" over the past few years by albeit limited exposure to sunlight .

Dave

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Hi Dave
Googled BD20s to try and find the manual.....no luck........but did find a couple of threads about the set up of the NCE AIU(??).

As I understand it the BD20.  detects occupancy but it has to be hooked up with a device that notifies the user of occupancy........are you using the NCE AIU?  Apparently you have to have loops of wire round the AIU for it to work properly withlow current draw occupancy

I apologise if you know this already.........but it did make me wonder if the issue is one of notification rather than detection?



Good luck


John

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Hi Everyone.

There's information on the NCE BD20 here including Led hook up.
Hope its helpful.


https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201254549-BD20-Block-Detector


Tony.

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Hi John and Tony

Many thanks for you welcome posts on my problem.
My BD20's are connected to AIUs as you have described. Each AIU can handle 14 BD20s and I have  4 AIUs around the layout. Each BD20 has an LED on the AIU that will light up when current is detected. The layout and the equipment work as required except that in attempting to have wagons registering I have discovered that the recommended 10K resistor is not triggering the BD20.
 
My problem is that the LED for any of  the BD20s will come on if a loco or carriage with lighting, is sitting in the corresponding block, ( i.e. working as expected) but not when I place a resistor of 10k to 80k across the track :???:
I am still waiting for the NCE forum to post my query - hopefully they will shed some light on the problem - I'm sure it will be something relatively simple
ps I have already ensured that my BD20s have two loops of the wire to ensure increased sensitivity

Best wishes

Dave

 

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Speed cat and rolling road arrived
A parcel from Germany arrived today - and the picture below shows the contents out of the box.
The rolling road with a central rail  that holds the rollers in place and allows the system to accommodate third rails systems such as marklin.
Also instructions in German and English, attachments to the rolling road to connect to the computer, a CD disc and a small extension for the USB.
Without reading anything I can see that this system was designed to connect to a laptop computer and I will need an extension USB lead to enable me to connect the device to my desktop. :roll:



This is the contents of the small packet that contains Speedcat

Not much to it - the rollers that have a rubber ring to prevent slippage that will need to inserted onto the rolling road, the USB connection and a spare wheel with rubber ring and two spare rubber rings.

I will need to have a good think about where and how I am going to locate the rolling road as it does not appear to have anything that will secure it in place and I regret that with my clumsiness I can see that I could accidentally get something caught in the USB wires and end up with the rolling road and loco on the floor :shock:

Let the games begin - next stage getting the equipment up and running on the computer and then possibly the biggest challenge- working out how it works with RR&Co

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Hi Dave

I'm late to the party as usual.  :oops:

How does that device fit into your plans?

Cheers

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MaxSouthOz wrote: Hi Dave

I'm late to the party as usual.  :oops:

How does that device fit into your plans?

Cheers
Good question Max,

Currently I speed-profile locos on the layout but that involves curves and points which result in less than optimal profiling.
There were two options - a length of track at a lower level that was divided  into three blocks  which would take up room and the room doesn't lend itself to a long straight piece of track so I would need to have plenty of "buffer" at each end  or option two use a RR&Co compatible rolling road.
I have gone for the latter - but have yet to find out whether it will do the job !  The rolling road would sit near where I sit on a shelf just below the layout.

Dave

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Interesting.  I was of the opinion that the loco was required to travel the length of a Block, entering new Blocks, etc.

Still; it's been a while since I played with TC.    :lol:

I'll be following with much interest.

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gdaysydney wrote: Speed cat and rolling road arrived
A parcel from Germany arrived today - and the picture below shows the contents out of the box.
The rolling road with a central rail  that holds the rollers in place and allows the system to accommodate third rails systems such as marklin.
Also instructions in German and English, attachments to the rolling road to connect to the computer, a CD disc and a small extension for the USB.
Without reading anything I can see that this system was designed to connect to a laptop computer and I will need an extension USB lead to enable me to connect the device to my desktop. :roll:



This is the contents of the small packet that contains Speedcat

Not much to it - the rollers that have a rubber ring to prevent slippage that will need to inserted onto the rolling road, the USB connection and a spare wheel with rubber ring and two spare rubber rings.

I will need to have a good think about where and how I am going to locate the rolling road as it does not appear to have anything that will secure it in place and I regret that with my clumsiness I can see that I could accidentally get something caught in the USB wires and end up with the rolling road and loco on the floor :shock:

Let the games begin - next stage getting the equipment up and running on the computer and then possibly the biggest challenge- working out how it works with RR&Co


Hi Dave.


I have that rolling road myself.
When I bought it I also bought 
http://marion-zeller.de/Fine-Scale-P4-S4-EM-0n3/Upside-down-System-KURT-finescale-P4-S4::60.html?MODsid=154hqt1h89ljkng0ndltotio13
It has stands on which the rolling road sits.


I'll be very interested in how you get on with the velocity measuring system ?


Tony.


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Hi Tony

:off topic  sort of..........how do you rate the Speed Cat performance as a rolling road?

Regards

John 

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Hi Dave

I am very interested to see how you get on with the Speed Cat interfacing directly with TC particularly if it retains accuracy and saves time

There is no question that profiling conventionally,  a long uninterrupted profile block results in more consistent loco performance..........the downside is that the increased length results in significantly increased time to complete the profile :sad:  I estimate it takes about 45 -60 minutes to profile one loco..........even with the required glass of wine and some decent jazz it is still a bit like watching paint dry.

There are some major enhancements in V9 including something called Limited Distance Moves which makes the Kadee Shuffle much more realistic (as seen on my video) . To take advantage of this and generally enhanced accuracy I am laboriously reprofiling all of my locos :roll: . ....... I am now an expert on Diana Krall tracks :lol: 



Not sure if you have seen this thread on the RR&Co forum?

http://www.freiwald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=29647

This was when V9 was first released which changed the way TC related to Speed Cat and required the Speed Cat manufacturer (Matt Zeller?) to modify his software........I believe this has now been done.

There was also this......hence my post to Tony

http://www.freiwald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=31182

I am inclined to think the OP in this thread is confused....his profile states V8 yet he is trying to run the latest (V9) software

Best wishes

John



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John Dew wrote: Hi Tony

:off topic  sort of..........how do you rate the Speed Cat performance as a rolling road?

Regards

John 

Hi John.
I don't have the speed cat.
It was the rolling road stands I was referring to.
The Speed Cat is a separate item to the rolling road.
Tony.

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Sorry Tony that was careless of me.....I meant to ask what you  thought of the rolling road in itself
Cheers

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John Dew wrote: Hi Dave

I am very interested to see how you get on with the Speed Cat interfacing directly with TC particularly if it retains accuracy and saves time

There is no question that profiling conventionally,  a long uninterrupted profile block results in more consistent loco performance..........the downside is that the increased length results in significantly increased time to complete the profile :sad:  I estimate it takes about 45 -60 minutes to profile one loco..........even with the required glass of wine and some decent jazz it is still a bit like watching paint dry.

There are some major enhancements in V9 including something called Limited Distance Moves which makes the Kadee Shuffle much more realistic (as seen on my video) . To take advantage of this and generally enhanced accuracy I am laboriously re profiling all of my locos :roll: . ....... I am now an expert on Diana Krall tracks :lol: 

Not sure if you have seen this thread on the RR&Co forum?

http://www.freiwald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=29647

This was when V9 was first released which changed the way TC related to Speed Cat and required the Speed Cat manufacturer (Matt Zeller?) to modify his software........I believe this has now been done.

There was also this......hence my post to Tony

http://www.freiwald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=31182

I am inclined to think the OP in this thread is confused....his profile states V8 yet he is trying to run the latest (V9) software

Best wishes

John

H John, I haven't installed the Speedcat software on the train PC as yet - I will post the outcomes as soon as I have done so.
I had seen the posts on the RR&Co forum but took some comfort from the fact that the posts were 6 months ago and that there had been no further posts. My fall back position ( other than ditching Speedcat) would be to revert to V8 or worst case, right of my Euro134 investment and continue to use track on the layout with its curves and pointwork.
 As for the time saved it will remain to be seen. I also have a glass of red ( or two) but I play my music via itunes on the PC and use the shuffle function - with over 600 cds loaded I am never sure what will be playing next but its a great way to listen to those obscure tracks without suffering from artist overload :lol:
.

Dave

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Hi Dave.

I have that rolling road myself.
When I bought it I also bought 
http://marion-zeller.de/Fine-Scale-P4-S4-EM-0n3/Upside-down-System-KURT-finescale-P4-S4::60.html?MODsid=154hqt1h89ljkng0ndltotio13
It has stands on which the rolling road sits.


I'll be very interested in how you get on with the velocity measuring system ?


Tony.



Thanks Tony,
I saw the "upside down" cradle on You tube and decided that for the moment at least it would be a diversion from my main game. It does look appealing though - how useful have you found it ?

Dave

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John Dew wrote: Sorry Tony that was careless of me.....I meant to ask what you  thought of the rolling road in itself
Cheers

Hi John.


No problem.
The rolling road is very well engineered & with it on the stands its easy to look under a loco as well so you get a good view of anything the might be happening under the loco or with the wheels on the other side of the loco.
I have the stands screwed to a length of wood so that I can move it where ever I want without any problem.


Tony.

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Thanks Tony,
I saw the "upside down" cradle on You tube and decided that for the moment at least it would be a diversion from my main game. It does look appealing though - how useful have you found it ?

Dave

Hi Dave.


I bought the "upside down" cradle mainly for the stands & haven't used the straps that came with it yet.


Tony.

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Speedcat update
Software loaded ok but noticed that the CD is just a plain off the shelf CD which will get lost/misplaced so I need to save the exe files down onto a usb and mark the CD with a laundry marker.

The software intefaces with RR&Co so thats a relief but I need to secure the rolling road before I go any further. There are no plugs /sockets on the rolling road so I need to sort out some robust wiring and make it Pearson proof so that I do not end up with it all on the floor!
 
D

Last edited on Wed Apr 11th, 2018 11:50 am by gdaysydney

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Speedcat up and working

This morning I made some changes so that the rolling road and wiring was secure enough to enable me undertake further testing
As a rolling road it works well - very stable so that box is ticked.
The big question was now would it work with RR&Co and I am relieved to say it does although I have only profiled one loco and that was done" on the fly"
I was half expecting the process to be fully automated but its not. At each decoder setting you have to manually stop the loco and enter the speed calculated by Speed cat - this I found aligned very closely to RRCo particularly so once the loco got to a scale speed of 15mph.
This is a screen shot from Speedcat -  it shows the current speed and the ten second average. I waited until the loco was up to speed and the distances were steady and the speeds closely aligned before stopping the running and entering the values in RR&CO


This next photo shows the Speedcat and RR&CO together during the process.
The top left corner shows part of the RR&CO screen where you enter the speed value - I'll take another screen shot when I am profiling the next loco.

This particular loco was programmed to run at a top speed of 30mph


 

Verdict
I had some initial issues with a conflict over the COM ports but I found that if I started RRCO first Speedcat was happy to load up and find its own ort - so not as fussy as RR&CO.
In terms of my objective it ticks the box - no need for a special long track for speed profiling and as an added bonus profiling takes a lot less time as the run time for each measure is determined by you - I guess it will be trial and error as to the maximum time needed. - One down side is that unlike speed profiling on the track it does need manual intervention but that is a plus form my perspective.

On a tangent issue I noticed that Version 9 has an additional box on the speed profiling window which I have underlined in red.  John, have you used this and does it make any difference? ( I ticked it and ran my test profile above)



Now to solve my wagon detection problem. My post has still not appeared in the NCE forum - Ill have to relodge it.

Dave
 

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Dave wrote  "Now to solve my wagon detection problem. My post has still not appeared in the NCE forum - Ill have to relodge it."


it is now there Dave

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Hi Dave
That looks very encouraging although I am a bit surprised that you have to make manual entries.

A few questions

I guess on a rolling road it doesnt matter whether it is HO or OO?

I realise its a test but will you be re profiling after adjusting cv 5 (and 6) to get 30 mph at speed step 28? Otherwise you lose a lot of speed steps.

I guess you still do brake compensation on track?

I hadnt appreciated, until recently, that to get the best stopping accuracy your schedules should reflect the speed and stopping distance used in the brake test. I used to have a standard 18" at 15 mph......now I do horses for courses......I do 4-6-0s at 30 mph 36 " forwards but 10 mph 12" backwards (ie coupling) and have similar speeds and distances in the schedule

My apologies .....I meant to tell you about that box...........yes it needs to be ticked to get the enhanced performance from V9.............I find that reprofiled locos stop more accurately and of course do limited distance moves....magic!

Regards

John







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Sol wrote: Dave wrote  "Now to solve my wagon detection problem. My post has still not appeared in the NCE forum - Ill have to relodge it."


it is now there Dave

Thanks Sol,  I see its my original post - there will be another soon  :lol: :lol:
There were  plenty of replies  and the answer appears is to reduce the value of the resistor not increase it as I have been doing :sad:  I will need to get out my old physics book and brush up on Ohms law :lol:
Good to hear from you

regards
Dave

Last edited on Thu Apr 12th, 2018 12:28 pm by gdaysydney

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John Dew wrote: Hi Dave
That looks very encouraging although I am a bit surprised that you have to make manual entries.

A few questions

I guess on a rolling road it doesnt matter whether it is HO or OO?

I realise its a test but will you be re profiling after adjusting cv 5 (and 6) to get 30 mph at speed step 28? Otherwise you lose a lot of speed steps.

I guess you still do brake compensation on track?

I hadnt appreciated, until recently, that to get the best stopping accuracy your schedules should reflect the speed and stopping distance used in the brake test. I used to have a standard 18" at 15 mph......now I do horses for courses......I do 4-6-0s at 30 mph 36 " forwards but 10 mph 12" backwards (ie coupling) and have similar speeds and distances in the schedule

My apologies .....I meant to tell you about that box...........yes it needs to be ticked to get the enhanced performance from V9.............I find that reprofiled locos stop more accurately and of course do limited distance moves....magic!

Regards

John

Hi John,

Early days yet - the loco was one I just grabbed to test and yes it does need to have the decoder reprogrammed,
I haven't  got around to adjusting the break compensation but yes I would expect to do that on the track.
Once I get more experienced with the rolling road and speedcat I post more detail - potentially a video showing how it works ( no promises but)

Dave

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Detection of wagons

The guys on the NCE forum were very helpful in pointing out that I was doing the wrong thing by increasing the value of the resistor across the wheelset and so today I commenced testing lower value resistance and values between 3k and 4k appear to do the trick.
I have some surface mounted resistors within that range so I am giving it ago as per the video in an earlier post and this video.
Both videos make it look easy but with my fat fingers and diminshing eyesight its taking me a while to end up with an axle that works :sad:.
The first attempt I glued the resistor - let it dry and then put the electic paint - waited for it to dry and tested the result with a meter and ..... nothing - close inspection ( or as close as I could see) revealed that maybe I had allowed paint across the top of the resistor( which are extremely tiny).
So now I test at each stage. I am using wheelsets with plastic axles to start off with as they should be easier than wheel sets with metal axles and plastic insulation at the wheel. I also have resorted to using wire rather than a toothpick which I found to hold too much paint.
I also took notice of the commentary in the video linked in this post and covered the paint with coloured varnish to protect the paint as it will scratch off and to make idenfication of wagons with resistors straight forward. ( Varnish couresty of "she who must be obeyed" ) Here it is
apology for the picture quality - but just to give you an idea of the size of the resistor which is the small lump indicated by the arrow. This wheel set has a plastic axle hence the location of the resistor.

 


My next attempt is with a metal axle with insulators in each wheel. Again apology for poor photo quality. This time the resistor is mounted diagonally across the insulator. Electric paint added to both wheels to complete the circuit. Varnish yet to applied.


Dave

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John Dew wrote: Hi Dave

I am very interested to see how you get on with the Speed Cat interfacing directly with TC particularly if it retains accuracy and saves time


This was feedback from McKinley Railway who are using TC version 8 -

I'm not familar with the "frig factor" in TC and I suspect it is no longer there in Version 9 :roll:

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Hi Dave
I checked the V9 railroad.ini file. There is no mention of either a zeller or a frig factor but in the section with profiling info there was something about rolling road

Cheers 

John




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Typical me !   No sooner have I started one project than I have found another one!! :roll:

I have now  been distracted again by NCE's final solution for signalling- having waited years for their Sig decoders they have finally released what looks like a much better and versatile solution call Light It - stationary decoders about the size of a five cent coin that can be used for a wide range of uses including signalling.
Light It

Now which should I do first ????
  • Finish tidying up the train room
  • Finish profiling my locos
  • Finish fitting resistors to my wagons
  • Start on applying ballast to the track
  • Finish the scenery on the layout
or buy some Light Its and experiment with the signalling which is currently out of action due to the remodelling of the layout ?



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While you are thinking, partake in a glass of red :cheers- it may help to clarify what is done first !!!   :mutley

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:thumbs     :cheers

Last edited on Mon Apr 23rd, 2018 07:08 am by John Dew

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Sol wrote: While you are thinking, partake in a glass of red :cheers- it may help to clarify what is done first !!!   :mutley
 
Thanks Sol,

I took your advice except that while I was drinking the first glass I just ran trains.
By the time of the second glass the computer was running the trains and by the third glass I tried running trains in conjunction with the computer which didn't work out well as I went through a red light'( well would have done if it had been working!) and caused a derailment. :roll: At that point (pardon the pun) I decided to switch everything off and tidy up in the morning :cry:

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Light It update
I mentioned before that these decoders are small - the plus side is that they can be located inside wagons and carriages and full advantage taken of the many lighting effects the decoder can mimic- these include crossing signals, slow fashing, flourescent flicker ( oh the irony !! I have flicker free installed in some of my carriages),  Random on/off - 4secs to 4 minutes  to name a few.

The downside is that for signals these decoders will be under the board and their small size means there is no room for mounting screws. I will need to give some thought as to how I will set them up as they can be diasy chained. I'm thinking that since double sided sticky tape is problemic over time, I will either use blue tac or mount them on a thin piece of mdf using the power wiring to hold them in place. Any suggestions always welcome

The picture below shows how they come if you elect for the 15 decoder packet - the coin is a 20 cent piece - same size as a 10p coin. The 15 decoders cost me A$140 so less than A$10 per decoder



They are powered off the track and the instructions cover programming using the NCE, Digitrax,and Lenz systems. I mention this as I know John uses the Lenz system and is looking for something to do (NOT) :twisted:


Last edited on Tue Apr 24th, 2018 09:48 am by gdaysydney

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gdaysydney wrote: Sol wrote: While you are thinking, partake in a glass of red :cheers- it may help to clarify what is done first !!!   :mutley
 
Thanks Sol,

I took your advice except that while I was drinking the first glass I just ran trains.
By the time of the second glass the computer was running the trains and by the third glass I tried running trains in conjunction with the computer which didn't work out well as I went through a red light'( well would have done if it had been working!) and caused a derailment. :roll: At that point (pardon the pun) I decided to switch everything off and tidy up in the morning :cry:

:mutley  :cheers  :cool wink

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gdaysydney wrote:



They are powered off the track and the instructions cover programming using the NCE, Digitrax,and Lenz systems. I mention this as I know John uses the Lenz system and is looking for something to do (NOT) :twisted:



Dont tempt me Dave..........my to do list is growing at a frightening rate......you are absolutely correct I do NOT need any more projects.......another glass of wine is another matter!:cheers




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Light It update   or lack of progress report

There are days when I wish I had just stuck to a simple layout with nothing fancy - such as signals that work !!!

Yep you know where this is going... Some of you may recall the frustration I had a few years ago when I set up my signals via a separate BUS using loconet.   Light It was supposed to overcome these frustrations and make it nice and simple to install.

So far my experience has not been 100% positive - the decoder is very flexible - which is more than likely my downfall- too many options!!.  It can work off loco functions, accessory functions and as a multi aspect signal.  No problem with getting it to work on the first two functions, which I currently don' t need, but can I get it to work my two aspect signal - currently NO :oops:

I have reverted to posting on the NCE group again - hopefully they will come to the rescue. Whilst I am confident that I can get RR&Co to run appropriate macros if I set up each signal as a loco ; it will be a pain in the a**e.

I then looked at the RR&Co forum and found this :




So thats the problem my train software does not handle extended signal addressing !! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Fortunately I am using the gold version so I will have to revert back to the manual on Extended accessories and program by signals as locos ( fortunately my system can handle thousands of diferent loco numbers :cool:
John - do you have any tips on have you Extended accessory programming ?? ;-) ;-)


Oh and one other trap - the aspect signals are made in England and the common wires are negative with the positive wires colour coded for ease of use.  The decoder is made in the USA and set up for common being positive. Not a major problem except I had to waste time working out which of the two white wires on the signal was for the red signal, the other being for the green - just something to be  aware of.




Last edited on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 08:39 am by gdaysydney

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Hi Dave
I am a bit confused...........if the plan is to use the decoders to power multi aspect signals why would you use the locos to control them.........I would have thought TC could operate them like the prototype linked to blocks and turnouts... I suspect I have missed something. Are the signals for cosmetic purposes or will they control the movement of trains?

I have dabbled with extended accessories.......happy to help when I am a little clearer about the overall plan.

Regards




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John Dew wrote: Hi Dave
I am a bit confused...........if the plan is to use the decoders to power multi aspect signals why would you use the locos to control them.........I would have thought TC could operate them like the prototype linked to blocks and turnouts... I suspect I have missed something. Are the signals for cosmetic purposes or will they control the movement of trains?

I have dabbled with extended accessories.......happy to help when I am a little clearer about the overall plan.

Regards
Hi John,
I thought they would operate as you suggest. Linking the signal to the decoder by a unique address, with logic in TC determining the status of the signal  ( using a combination of conditions of turnouts and block occupancy ) and the decoder automatically changing the physical signal.
But it turns out that the NCE decoder uses extended signal addressing which is not supported by TC.

My thought now is to have the signal driven by the logic  and hence changing the signal in TC . What I am not sure about is how to set up a "Loco" that is really a signal :???:   If I give the signal an address that is a loco I need to work out how to trigger the actual signal  as the signal will use functions that would normally be associated with train lights -  In this case it would be functions 0 and 2  so a light change would involve two commands function 0 off Function 2 on and visa versa
Any assistance on extended accessories, which I dabbled briefly in a few years ago , or any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

As you can see I have been "Railroaded" again :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
 

Last edited on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 10:35 am by gdaysydney

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This is the signal I am experimenting with. The logic for driving the green signal is listed - the default is red.
So the question now is how do I get a loco function into the equation I was thinking maybe a flagman may help but it doesnt reference specific locos


Last edited on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 11:20 am by gdaysydney

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I will do some experimenting with an EA. and get back to you
Max may be able to help I think he created an EA to handle lighting etc in his warehouse

Cheers


John


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Hi John

The lights in the engine shed were part of a Start List in Schedules for one of the locos.  I remember doing an EA for something, but I can't remember what it was for.  :oops:

I remember documenting it at the time, so I'll have to go looking for it.

We are on a trajectory towards going to market with our house in August (and Wendy bought me an RC model aircraft for my 70th), so my train modelling is on the back burner at the minute.  :lol:

I'll report back as soon as I find something.

Cheers

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Hi Dave

Here is the link to the Extended Accessories page.

http://www.modelrailcommand.com/view_topic.php?id=1064&forum_id=21

Cheers

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Thanks Max, John,

As usual the TC manuals are very light on and I find them as good as useless. I'll have a go at the step by step process Max has documented and report back.  I am sure it is possible - I suspect its like the Apollos first trip to the moon - lots of course changes on the way to the target :lol:


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Good Luck
I thought Max's step by step was great and I kind of got the hang of how it could work with a dummy loco.........look forward to seeing how you get on

Cheers

John

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:Happy
Success !! 
It took a bit of trial and error but it wasn't as difficult  as I thought it might be. Max's step by step guide was very helpful. :thumbs
It needed two functions per switch for a two aspect signal and it didn't work  first up until I remembered from the KD shuffle days that TC doesn't like two commands at the same time so I had to put in a delay. ( A three aspect signal would need three functions per switch)
I will put together a word document explaining exactly what to do so that anyone using  TC with the Light It decoder for signalling will be able to follow it

Thanks again gentlemen - There was a touch of deja vue having the three of us plus Wogga (Pete) working on a solution.
Talking of Pete has anyone heard from him- it must be 3 years since he said he was going to pull stumps on his layout?


Last edited on Sat Apr 28th, 2018 10:44 am by gdaysydney

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Glad to be of some help, Dave.

I'm getting further and further behind as I try to wrangle my RC aircraft.  :???:

I'm still only about 1/3rd the way into my pilot training. :roll:

I always was a slow learner - even slower, now I'm in my 70's. 

I think Pete has moved on.  His stuff is still on YouTube, though.

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Word document - TC - Light It for dummies attached


Whilst installing signals on my layout I have discovered that in the original document the function settings for the Light It are back to front ( compensated by a wiring error) as my UK manufactured signals use a negative rather than NCE's positive common.
Document has been updated to avoid confusion


Attachment: TC -Light It for dummies v2.pdf (Downloaded 2 times)

Last edited on Fri May 4th, 2018 07:20 am by gdaysydney

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I have downloaded it though it doesnt show:hmm
Thats an excellent summary Dave........I have filed it away for the future....I am sure I will eventually need to insert an EA into Granby

Cheers

John

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John Dew wrote: I have downloaded it though it doesnt show:hmm
Thats an excellent summary Dave........I have filed it away for the future....I am sure I will eventually need to insert an EA into Granby

Cheers

John

Thanks John, the credit should go to Max - I just piggy backed off his tutorial .

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Having solved the issues with the Light It I am now busy installing signals on the layout.

At the moment I have four home signals and have ordered 4 more but I guess I should also install some away signals as well. -  I expect to need about ten - twelve signals in total
I am not an expert on British signalling - or on any other for that matter - Green for go red for stop is about as far as I have got. So my questions to the club members -
  •  Is there a simple guide for the placement of signals that I can refer to? Which side of the track, how far away from points etc
  • How does the away signal interact with the home signal ? Am I correct in assuming that in a given direction of travel the train will encounter an away signal first.  If this is correct I'm thinking that I might only need two away signals on my layout.
  • I am not modelling a particular era but it is loosely based on the 1960-1980s when I was growing up ( reliving my childhood ? :roll:) The signals I have are two aspect - is this correct for this era or should I be also using three aspect signals and if this is the case where would they be located?.  I plan to have a few operational semaphore signals as well just for interest sake. Thank goodness for preserved lines !!

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Hi Dave
I imagine that there will be replies from members far more knowledgeable than I , particularly regarding lights as opposed to semaphores.

Signals were placed on the near ( ie LH ) side but if visibilty was an issue this was sometimes varied.

Regarding placement.....there is probably a very precise ruling somewhere......I take the common sense approach that the signal is placed sufficiently far in front of the junction to ensure no risk of contact with a train on the other line 

My bible is C J Freezers "Signalling".......if you havent got a copy I would strongly recomend trying to get one

I have only skimmed the light section but my understanding is that when lights were first generally installed they replicated semaphore practice. The line was divided into blocks (just like TC) eack block controlled by a signal box. A home signal controlled entry to the block and a starter ( your away?) controlled exit from the block..........the distant signal indicated the status of the next block........off all was well....on proceed but with caution

This is very very simplistic.....there were inner and outer home and starters or shunt ahead arms to control movements within station limits......., and naturally the GWR had some unique signals of their own which continued with BR Western region. 

If you could post a sketch of your track plan with the proposed signals I ( and others ) may be able to provide more specific help

I am very envious.......one of my major regrets is that Granby's signals are only cosmetic

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Thanks John,

Whats the convention for the default state of a signal. I have assumed that a signal will turn to red until a train approaches.
( In TC ths is achieved by making a condition that the current block is either occupied or reserved)


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The default would be on or red (amber for distant)......when the signalman accepted the train from the preceding box it would be moved to off or green.

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I decided to go with the screw connectors for securing the decoders to the underside of the layout.  The photo shows two programmed decoders ( with loco numbers on tickers attached to the underside of them ) ready to be installed.
The decoders can be piggy backed with the track power or a separate 12 v supply. For the moment I am going with track power.

 

Typical me, the first physical installation is a double signal. After  determining which wires belong to which signal I have used a piece of heat shrink tube to hold the wires of one signal (13) together for installation.
Since the decoder and the signals operate on different "common" ( decoder positive - signal negative) I have also marked with red nail varnish the white wires that are now the red signals.
This should make life easier when I get under the layout and guarantee that its correctly wired at the first attempt.
 



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I discovered, when I was under the layout, :sad: that the signal wires are single core and prone to breaking especially when screwed into the connectors. :shock:
After a lot of checking and discovering the problem I reverted to soldering!! :roll:

Last edited on Mon May 7th, 2018 01:26 am by gdaysydney

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With two signals successfully installed and operational I am waiting on delivery of four more that will go into the station area.

As I have not included a layout schematic for some time I thought it might help those following my posts to see one of this version of Notmutley.
The layout consists of a fiddle yard on the North side (top) and a station area on the south side. There is also a station by-pass which runs behind the station area under buildings.
The track in the NW corner ( top left) is removable to allow access to the train room and the available space dictated that there was only room for  3 tracks which has limited the options for trains going clockwise around the layout.  Trains traveling anti clockwise have numerous operational options.




The schematic is the switchboard screenshot from RR&Co and I have indicated two of the recently added Extended Accessory icons. These are only visible in edit mode. In run mode they disappear so that only the signals show.
For those wondering what the arrows are at the top of the page these are route indicators. When running the layout manually I can click on these to switch all points required for a designated route. It saves a lot of time and derailments. Eventually I will also have virtual signals in the fiddle yard to indicate which routes are clear and which are not.

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Hi Dave

Your switchboard is a lot neater than mine

Mine got so complicated that I split it into 4 sections :roll:   This has advantages and disadvantages.........I am still sorting out the aftermath of some of the disadvantages :shock:

Thats a really cool idea to set up route buttons......I hadnt thought of that....thank you. I am constantly shuffling stuff in and out of the storage yard manually.......and I invariably forget one turnout :oops:.  Your idea will solve that

Regards

John

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Guys

I must say that I am mightily impressed by this knowledge of technology, programming, and all - I thought it was all smoke, mirrors and hamster wheels.

This is certainly one area of railway modelling that (at my age) I will steer clear of and simply use DC control and old school control equipment.  My layout sounds like it is very much the poorer for not having your computer control, but at least I understand it when it doesn't work - its normally something I've pushed when I shouldn't have!!!

Dave - can you outline the raison d'etre for it all - interlocking, automatic control??  It might help us ludites put it all into perspective/realise what we are missing.

Barry

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Hi  Barry,

Maybe it would make it easier to follow and easier for me to explain if I start from the beginning and  explain why I made the move into DCC and then in to railway computer software.

When I was forty one  ( 1994) my dear old mum visited us from the UK and brought with her my train set that I had played with in the cellar of the family home right up to the time I discovered girls- when I was about 16.

My old train set, which was Marklin,  was the worst for wear and not how I remembered it. After putting the track together on the kitchen floor my children - eldest then 10 encouraged me to build a permanent layout which I did but this time in OO and a British outline.
Fortunately we had the room and I quickly built the first of four layouts - far too much track and sidings that required lots of isolation and manual switches which in turn required a switchboard.

I didn't know anyone else that had a model railway layout so everything was built using model railway magazines as a guide.  Then the internet made train forums accessible and overtime I stopped buying magazines and used the forums for reference, along with a growing number of reference sites.
 
By 1999 I was building my second railway and decided that although DCC would not replace my manual switchboard it would allow me to run multiple trains as it gave me control over the loco rather than rely just on the track.

For the next eight years I was happily "playing trains" but found that the complexity of my third layout, Not North Road (which was the first time I had given a layout a name) was creating problems and my switchboard building skills were being sorely tested. I had read on RMWeb about computer software and given that  I had always had an interest in computers although I never got as far as computer programming, I decided to fork out for the  best recommended software around at the time and bought Train Controller. (TC)
At first I used it only as a switchboard and manually controlled everything but over time and courtesy of the internet I "discovered" that I could "programme" TC to run locos automatically under certain conditions and my layout was big enough to allow the computer to control traffic on the mainline which I manually controlled locos in sidings etc - and the computer was clever enough that in the event that my loco ended up on the mainline the computer knew to stop locos running until the mainline was clear.

Since then I have slowly expanded the computers capabilities by putting in logic, such as the ones you have seen on this forum to enable the computer or me  to control multiple functions such as "routes" where a click of a button on the screen automatically sets all the points to enable a loco to run from point A to B without the need for me to manually check each point along the way - even though I am manually controlling the loco.  The computer is also able to identify if there any reasons why the route is not clear in which case it will not set the route no matter how many times I click the button.

Whilst I am "playing" in the fiddle yard the computer is capable of running trains totally automatically using its own logic - is the track clear, is the length of clear track long enough for this train ..etc or it can run pre- determined schedules which can be programmed by the user.  I made this video in 2013 that shows the type of thing that can be done with an engine with a sound decoder and with ROCO uncouplers Shunting.

The internet forums have meant that even though there is no one that I know of in Sydney that uses TC I have been able to call on people like John  and Max  to assist in solving problems and finding new ways of doing things.

Trust this helps I can go into more detail especially on the way TC operates - the fundamental  block occupancy, turnouts and signals if you would like.

best wishes


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Thanks for this Dave.

I really get the idea of being a spectator of your own layout or being a driver whilst the computer plays signalman/controller.  I regret that, at 60, and being a dyed-in-the-wool DC man, such fun will not be available to me so I will have to go on being driver, signalman, controller and the twit that fails to set the correct switch so that it either doesn't go or goes the wrong way. :oops:

We are perhaps blessed that the forums (more than the mags I believe) expose modellers to ALL of the options of control and offer support for those choosing to go down the less travelled paths.

Happy days

Sol
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Barry, just because you are a DC man doesn't mean you can't computerize your running. The late Rev Peter Denny with his Buckingham Great Central had the ability to use a computer created by his son Crispin using a drum and the piano paper roll concept and if my memory is still good, there were many USA layouts in the 1950's that developed DC automation.

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Barry Miltenburg wrote: Thanks for this Dave.

I really get the idea of being a spectator of your own layout or being a driver whilst the computer plays signalman/controller.  I regret that, at 60, and being a dyed-in-the-wool DC man, such fun will not be available to me so I will have to go on being driver, signalman, controller and the twit that fails to set the correct switch so that it either doesn't go or goes the wrong way. :oops:

We are perhaps blessed that the forums (more than the mags I believe) expose modellers to ALL of the options of control and offer support for those choosing to go down the less travelled paths.

Happy days


There is hope for you yet Barry.

I didnt convert to DCC and RR&Co until I was 70......an old dog can still learn new tricks:lol:

Best wishes

John


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Thanks for the encouragement guys.  I regret that the closest I get to technology is a wheelbarrow although I would claim a certain ability to navigate my way around Windows 10 so I must be good for something!!  With all its modern gizmo's, I'm afraid that my car is probably more intelligent than I am.

Nevertherless, what I said earlier still holds true - we are blessed to be able to share our own interests for the benefit of others without judgement.  Long may it continue.

Me?  I'm happy with DC, cab control and Classic FM instead of chuffs and whistles.

Keep up the (don't understand a word of it all) good work lads :thumbs :thumbs

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Barry Miltenburg wrote:

Me?  I'm happy with DC, cab control and Classic FM instead of chuffs and whistles.



I  too was DC man as well Barry until my late 60's when in building a new layout that had a double track crossover like this


and in trying to work out the simplest operating method for cab control so any cab could be switched to any track and switched by any operator, got a bit much and having operated on DCC layouts, I went to the dark side. It does make life far easier for multiple operator layouts. I use DCC for loco control only though & no bells & whistles.

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Sol wrote: I use DCC for loco control only, though & no bells & whistles.

You need a sound decoder for that, Sol.  :mutley

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MaxSouthOz wrote: Sol wrote: I use DCC for loco control only, though & no bells & whistles.

You need a sound decoder for that, Sol.  :mutley


I knew I should have written...

I use DCC for loco control only ( no bells or whistles needed) and for turnout/signal control, conventional DC.

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This past week I have put the screwdriver and soldering iron down and focused on tidying up the layout.
First target is the station area -

I am trying to recycle as much as the original NotMutley as possible and fortunately using Scalescenes makes this a relatively easy task ( emphasis on relatively) :roll:.

My platforms are cardboard covered timber and then covered in Scalescenes platform paper- one had to be heavily modified to fit the new curvature of the track on platform 3 whilst the other two platforms could be used as is.

First task was the rebuilt the footbridge. The available space for the platforms is less than on the original layout which means that there are curves at both ends of the station rather than straights so instead of placing the footbridge steps on the platform I extended the walls of the footbridge steps so that they could stand on their own at the end of the platforms.

The picture above shows how the footbridge steps being narrower than the platform can sit  where the platform would interfere with locos/carriages/wagons.
I had to do a similar modification to all three steps and then modify the overpass by putting in additional windows and extending it slightly


This photo shows the areas I have had to modify.  I have been lazy and not modified the existing window on the right so that it sits in the centre between the two footbridges but I'm sure there is a prototype somewhere in the UK that is not symmetrical ;-) I am happy to take advice from club members as it is only about an hours work  and the footbridge is not yet fixed in place.... this is because at the other end of the platforms I have a problem  with the trains hitting the platforms as they approach from the curve so I have to remove and shorten all three and build platform ramps which will be made from cardboard ( Scalescenes to the rescue)





This photo shows the problem- especially the platform in the background. The platform in the foreground needs to shortened  the least but needs to leave room for the operating signal - unless I replace it with a platform signal - again any thoughts ?




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Hi Dave

I meant to reply sooner.

Station looks very promising. I know what a pain it is to adapt buildings from previous layouts. You have made a super job of the bridge ......I was going to suggest moving the window but I see you have now done that.

I would put the signal on the platform........that happened quite frequently on the prototype.......I would add tapered ramps to all the platforms although in extreme cases you could just add some steps for the station staff. No need for a barrow crossing. The luggage would be from platform to platform by the lift you cleverly concealed in the footbridge!

Cheers

John 

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John Dew wrote:  The luggage would be from platform to platform by the lift you cleverly concealed in the footbridge!

How did you know ! :lol: :lol:

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Bridge windows moved .



Platform ends modified


Not bad for a mornings work - now for the wiring for the station lamps etc......

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Those Scalescene platforms look good Dave and relatively easy to work with I guess.   I read somewhere, and of course now cannot find, that the Board of Trade specify a gradient for the ramps - 1 in 8 I think so the Scalescenes ramps look a bit steep. 

There are plenty of examples of signals on platforms so I would be saving some space and go for it.  That leaves space for a lovely barrow crossing linking the ends of the ramps.

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Hi Barry,

Thank you for your post and comments.
I took a screen shot of the Scalescenes ramp and then imported into photoshop and cropped it down so that the picture was the same height and length as the ramp - your eyes did not deceive you - when I adjusted the height to one inch the length was 4.271 inches. Way steeper than the current requirements. However, by the time I have added ballast etc ,which will reduce the height of the platform by more than the length of the ramp , then based on my cropping experiments, we should get down to a more respectable incline of 1:7.4 ( thanks to good old Pythagoras).

I am now working on the barrow crossing using large matchsticks ( thank goodness for BBQs!)
Based on photos I found on the internet, there are normally 5 wooden planks between the rails and I have found matches that are almost made to measure in terms of scale width.

As my platform ends are off set do you know how the crossing between the tracks should look?  Should  they go diagonally between the tracks or straight and snf then run  parallel to the tracks?

Best wishes

Last edited on Thu May 31st, 2018 10:30 am by gdaysydney

Barry Miltenburg
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Dave

A very quick look through some of my references suggests that the crossing would go straight across level with the longest platform.  The ground at the end of the ramps for the shorter platforms would then be flattened to allow barrows etc to be wheeled.

 If you search t'internet for plans/photos of Arnside Station, this is probably an extreme case. 

The up platform sat in a triangular junction.  At the tip of the platform, a barrow crossing was placed across the Barrow-Carnforth main line although the down platform was staggered and ended about 100ft further along the down line.  At the end of the barrow crossing, there was a walkway about 100ft long running alongside the tracks until it met the bottom of the down platform ramp.

The same arrangement could be found at Birkenhead North although the walkway was only a few yards long.

I was going to add that the crossings were always put at the end of the platform most convenient for the station buildings but the more I looked at, the more that proved to be wrong.  I even found examples where the crossings were laid adjoining staggered platform ends whilst the platforms at the other end aligned perfectly!!  I guess each circumstance dictated its own solution - a perfect get-out for modellers.

Certainly on the LMS and LNER this appears to be how it was done - I don't have many pics/layout plans of GWR or SR stations.

Hope that helps

Barry

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cheers Barry,

just bought some extra matchsticks !

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Some progress during the week - some more signals and barrow crossing - centre platform still needs to be connected.
Plenty of work still to be done - Rome wasn't  built in a day !!




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for the other end of the station would in be in order to have signals attached to the footbridge or would this be a no no in the 12 inches to the foot world?
the picture below shows the footbridge -

?

John Dew
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How do the lines run Dave? Are there designated Up and Down lines?

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Hi John
The layout is designed so that trains can enter the four lines on the left from either end although the line on the far left will have the majority of trains entering from the bottom left

Trust that helps

Last edited on Mon Jun 11th, 2018 10:43 am by gdaysydney

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Two ratio kits combined with what was salvaged from the previous layout have been assembled and placed on the platforms to allow for wiring of station lights and buildings using a mixture of DCC Concepts station lights and LEDS. 
At this point all the station buildings are movable - the ratio kits held upright by the wiring for the LEDS

Some photos of progress -  ballasting still to be done... :roll:

( someone has thrown a luggage trolley on the track- fortunately platform 3 is not operational ;-) )



Newsagent lease has been renewed and he will soon be back in business :lol:


I'm now working under the bench to connect up the wiring to  ESU Switchpilot accessory decoders so that they can be controlled by via the computer

Last edited on Tue Jul 3rd, 2018 01:09 am by gdaysydney

John Dew
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Looking good Dave.....but please dont mention Ballast!

Is the plan to hook up the lights with the TC Clock?

Cheers

John

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Thanks John
At present I am using accessory on/off switches but yes eventually I will incorporate them into the clock 
I also have pedestrian crossings and shop lights that flash plus an assortment of lights for cars that will keep me busy.
I also have a bicycle with lights !!  
All the stuff I have accumulated over the past ten years!!  Finally enough time to incorporate into the layout

Best wishes

Last edited on Tue Jul 3rd, 2018 05:45 am by gdaysydney

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In post 63 I reviewed speedcat rolling road. Today I took a class 37 fitted with a Lenz silver decoder and ran the speed profiling of the loco on both Train Controller (TC) and Speedcat. The results where to say the least disappointing. :cry:

This is the profile from the rolling road - note how the speed flattens at the last three speed steps


This is the profile using the train on the track under control of TC


Whilst the profile is reasonable at the lower speeds, its the top speeds that cause me concern - the rolling road records a maximum of 54kph whilst on the track the loco is recording 77kph ( scale speeds of course).
Based on this test I will be using the old method for some time to come.. :sad: :sad:

John Dew
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That is really weird........I automatically assumed that speed cat would produce results that were almost identical to the conventional method but with improved accuracy and consistency.....and quicker.
Clearly not the case......any ideas what may have caused this? Have you tried some single speed tests to check against the graphs? The max speed variation is bizarre particularly when the speed cat thinks max speed is achieved at step 24:shock:

Perhaps a test with another loco?

Cheers

John

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Thanks for your comments John.
I have tried single speed tests at step 28 but the results were the same. Jury is now out for now.
Fortunately I had already decided to re-profile my locos and in some instances upgrade the decoders so I will find out shortly whether it was a one off or a major set back to my plans.

Last edited on Fri Jul 20th, 2018 07:49 am by gdaysydney

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Servicing Locos


Now that the layout is almost fully operational again, with the tracks cleaned after approximately 30 months without being used. I spent some time today retrieving locos from the "shed" ( storage boxes ) and discovered that most are in need of a good servicing. Whilst the wheels are mostly clean, the majority of them do not run as smoothly as I require - especially the "kettles"
What do club members recommend?  - apart from checking the contacts should I be giving them another run in on the rolling road ? 
How often should you service your locos?

John ,
I'm not sure if its the upgrade to Train Controller but I have also noticed that most of the fleet will need to be speed profiled again. Maybe I am getting fussier as I get older. Checking my records some of the locos were profiled ten years ago!!


Last edited on Tue Jul 31st, 2018 07:40 am by gdaysydney

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gdaysydney wrote: Servicing Locos


Now that the layout is almost fully operational again, with the tracks cleaned after approximately 30 months without being used. I spent some time today retrieving locos from the "shed" ( storage boxes ) and discovered that most are in need of a good servicing. Whilst the wheels are mostly clean, the majority of them do not run as smoothly as I require - especially the "kettles"
What do club members recommend?  - apart from checking the contacts should I be giving them another run in on the rolling road ? 
How often should you service your locos?

John ,
I'm not sure if its the upgrade to Train Controller but I have also noticed that most of the fleet will need to be speed profiled again. Maybe I am getting fussier as I get older. Checking my records some of the locos were profiled ten years ago!!



Hi Dave

In all honesty I rarely reprofiled locos unless they started playing up.......until the introduction of V9 which included enhancements to braking and speed control....but only if you reprofile!!!

Since V9 I have been progressively re profiling all my locos.....there is a little box you need to check in each locos profile screen before profiling to activate these enhancements

As far as general maintenance is concerned......When a previously reliable loco stutters I generally just clean the wheels and check the pick ups.....I dont have a schedule based on running hours although Iprobably should

Best wishes 

John








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Slow progress on the ballasting of trackwork :roll:.


Meanwhile.... two night shots of Notmutley Station
Passengers patiently waiting for the night train to Paddington  to arrive on platform 2.
The local trains that arrive and depart on platforms 5 and 4 have stopped for the night and the normally busy platforms are now empty. A lone pannier is waiting beside platform 4 for clearance to Laira




gdaysydney
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Having had my quota of ballasting for the day I decided to continue with the signalling on the layout.
As you may recall form earlier posts I am using NCE's Lite It decoders to contol the signals on the layout and that they cater for a  positive common and unlike other more complex decoders there is no CV to change this to accomodate a negative common.
So all my signals, which are British outline and are wired with a negative common, have to be modified by rewiring the LEDs.
The exception to this are my old double header Berko signals that have two common wires and hence do not need rewiring however with eight wires coming out of the base I was finding it difficult to sort out which wires belonged to each signal.
That was until I had a Eureka moment - by pulling the offset signal off its mounting and gently pulling the cables up from the post ( not too much though!!) it was easy to see that the shorter leads belonged to that signal - that just left the working out  which of the common wires, that are both white, was the red signal and putting a dob of nail varnish on the end to identify it. Then repeat the exercise for the other signal.






Last edited on Thu Aug 23rd, 2018 05:36 am by gdaysydney

John Dew
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Very ingenious:thumbs

I am envious of your signalling Dave......my cosmetic semaphores are a real let down.:oops:
Will yours be all hooked up to Train Controller?

Best wishes

John

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Thanks for your kind comments John.

All my lights will be controlled by RR&Co although they can be controlled via the digital command station directly using the short loco addresses. (You may recall my posts on the Lite It decoders). As I will have about 20 signals its easier to have them computer controlled and this provides the additional challenge of getting the logic correct for the signal triggers.
Lines that are one directional are a relative breeze but I am still working on the signalling for the lines where trains can enter from either direction.. :roll:
 I currently have one operational semaphore on the layout that is also controlled by RR&Co in the same wat as the light signals. Its a single home signal which has a wire running down into the board and connected to an ESU servo motor. The wire is highlighted below.  These servos are very flexible and you can program in the start and end of the movement and also the speed. I got the idea from Max who was looking at alternatives for point motors. ( He rejected these as they were not silent !)

The motor itself is driven by SwitchPilot - an ESU decoder which can drive up to 4 motors -currently I have only one attached as you will be able to make out form this under the bench photo. I am not the neatest on the wiring front so the wiring looks more complicated given the wiring mess !
The SwichPilot requires a seperate 12-15v power supply and connections to the BUS. I have attached mine to a thin hinged board which is secured in the up position when not being worked on by an old ice cream stick that rotates around on a screw with the help of two washers !!


The signal itself is an old Hornby model so no built in LEDs such as those found in the Dapol DCC ssemaphore signals.
It adds a bit of character to the layout and I intend to add three more on the "remote part " of the layout where time has not caught up with the signalling.

I had to design my own semaphore for RR&Co  as shown in the two screens shots below
   

Have I whetted your appetite enough for you to give it a go? 


Last edited on Sat Aug 25th, 2018 06:18 am by gdaysydney

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:Red Card:It's a no no  Stop tempting me Dave!
Actually thats a very helpful explanation and I am now about to add the idea to an increasingly long list of projects........any minute now Petermac will mention sound! :shock:

Seriously thanks for the post....its given me something to think about.

Cheers

John 

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The night scene photos are particularly effective. Looks great :lol:

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TeaselBay wrote: The night scene photos are particularly effective. Looks great :lol:Many thanks for your comments Chris.

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 S’mae Dave

Been out of action for a bit - yes, the night shots are really very good – I’m a big fan of operating a layout with just the lights of the layout – creates a completely different feel to things.

I’ve got to admit that I have no idea what you and John are doing with all this computery electronics stuff, but I had to smile when you referred to your wiring as 'the wiring mess'…. That’s not messy! … this, on the other hand….



.. IS!!


It is the first thing folk see as they enter the loft, the underside of Hooton station…. Now that is properly messy! – the only way I know, I’m afraid. To be fair I have attempted to bring some order to the chaos by using a colour coding system for the wires (which may have a few variations) – and I have tagged everything, at least once, at some point.

As to signals, for me they make a layout – just so long as they work – however that may be.

Cofion

Keith
 
 
 

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Many thanks for your post Keith - I feel more relaxed about my wiring now although I suspect that by the time I have completed wiring up the lighting and signals it will be a contender for the "messy wiring " award :lol:

I too set off with all the good intentions of having a colour coded system but found that I would be halfway through a job and run out of a certain colour but had reels of other colours sitting idle. _  So I feel foul of the " I'll use another colour for now and replace it later" approach :oops:


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Wow good work, I hate wiring but it’s a necessary evil

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Sorry Dave, I’ve got that award booked for at least the next ten years!

The beauty of having so many switches – I gave up counting after 250 – with so many different functions is that every colour available gets used. My problem was the time between doing the fiddle yard board and ramp, to the mid-level board and ramp and then the top level board was such that I confused a couple of the colours…. But I think I’ve got it sorted now….. well, I've noted the differences, it's on a piece of paper.... somewhere....

Keith

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MICRO LEDS


Micro LEDS  are relatively cheap and normally come in strips. The down side is that they are fiddly to solder.

For Australian members who are thinking of adding lighting to their layouts I found these at my local Bunnings Store

For $10 you get 100 warm white micro LEDS that, with stiff wire already attached, can be cut up and will be ideal for lighting railway station buildings  and houses. For you money you also get 3 batteries and a battery holder - although I will be using the 5 volts supply from stationary decoders on Notmutley.

Last edited on Fri Sep 21st, 2018 11:27 pm by gdaysydney

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MICRO LEDS contd


Following on from my last post I can tell you that each LED is wired, as you would expect, in series. I was unable to tell by looking at the LED which of the wires was the positive one so I had to do a little experimenting with low voltage DC to work that out. That done, and because I have a terrible memory, I then applied red nail varnish to the first 20 or so wires so that I wouldn't have to perform the test again. ( To assist my memory I used red nail varnish - kindly supplied by SWMBO on the positive wire).

This is one LED connected to a 5volt supply.


A few things I like about these LEDS - the wire is stiff which makes for easy manipulation and handling. The LED itself is also covered in a thin plastic making it more robust than some prewired  micro LEDS that come with very fine and flimsy wire.  There is a downside in that the wiring is harder to hide but for station and house lighting that should not be a problem. In fact so far I have found the stiff wire can be used to position the light and hold it in place - say on the ceiling of a waiting room,  whilst a drop of PVA is applied and allowed to dry.

Last edited on Fri Sep 21st, 2018 08:02 am by gdaysydney

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Now where is my mojo?   I know its here somewhere - I'm sure I put it down on the layout somewhere,,,,,,

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gdaysydney wrote: Now where is my mojo?   I know its here somewhere - I'm sure I put it down on the layout somewhere,,,,,,

Dave, go out & buy another one and the first one will turn up !!! :mutley

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Too right Sol - (sorry I didn't reply to your post earlier) - isn't that always the way ?  I was looking for a trowel to repair some brickwork and looked everywhere around the workshed and the garage - in the end I decided that since I had to go to Bunnings to buy something else I would outlay the extra $8 for a trowel.  And yes - no sooner had I got it home I moved the bag of mortar to get on with the job and there was my old trowel :oops: :oops:.

On things model railway I have found my mojo ( it was also under the bag of mortar :lol:) and have been busy on the layout although not a lot to show for it. 
I'll take some photos over the coming week and show you what has taken so long to visibly achieve so little...

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Isn't that always the way? XD
Well, at least you've got a spare now.

Congrats on making layout progress!

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Thanks Brendan.

Well as promised here is an update on what I have been upto over the past few months

I had a major setback in that I had installed working yardlights which I had purchased many moons ( years) ago and finally got around to installing them - only to accidentally connect them to the power supply without any resistor   - yes I can confirm that when you blow ten LEDs at the same time you can here the noise of them overheating. 
On investigation I discovered that the LEDs where set in painted plaster so i decided that I would replace the LED lamps rather than buy new ones - however trying to get an LED to set in the middle of plaster that replicates a lamp is easier said than done -  after much experimenting I found that Plasticine rolled flat and then imprinted with a lamp shaped button to create the appropriate mould then carefully centering the LED leads before carefully filling the mould with plaster of Paris did the trick - the end result was not as good as the original bit still looks the part.
I will post a daylight picture later ..


I have also been busy building a Scalescenes signal box - I lashed out and bought the brass signal lever kit and windows and added lights and a signalman.  I am very pleased with the result - its amazing what you can do with old breakfast cereal packets !



This is a close up shot looking through the left hand window
- just a tad light bleed from two micro LEDs off the $5 special mentioned in an earlier post above.


Apart from the ongoing job of ballasting I decided that the location of NotMutley would be moved further to the east and installed a third rail on the inner loop so I could run some southern region electric cars.

There were two components:

A relatively simple job but time consuming...
If you are interested I basically copied the idea from a modeller who posted under "Glebe Road Junction"

Last edited on Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 11:19 pm by gdaysydney

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Hi Dave,

Wow, all of your lighting looks wonderfully atmospheric, despite the setback with blowing the LEDs.

I also admire those brass signal levers which look so much better than the plastic offerings lurking in my to-do box!

Best,

Bill


                 

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