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mick

Worsley Dale Garden Railway

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Thank you for your comments Thomas. I totally agree, providing it works (which is our main priority) and doesn't look too bad, then we can say we're on the right track.

Anyway, no glossing over the rough edges today here's my latest bit of handiwork.

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Six lever switches secured in place, wire harnesses attached and passed through drilled holes in lever shelf base. Another offcut of wardrobe door hand cut and screwed to timber supports which will be used for collecting all the wiring and connectors together so they are easily accessible.

The levers should be painted in their respective colours depending on what their purpose is but maybe later. All mine are going to perform similar tasks and I'm hardly going to forget what that is. There's also detailing parts to add to the frames but again, lets try get something working first.

One thing I might do is add some form of protection at the sides of the levers. They're fine when in the normal position but when reversed (pulled forward) they are liable to damage if I'm not careful moving things about or even moving about myself.

I don't envisage ever needing any additional levers for the terminus boards so this should be all I need. There's no room for any more track at this side of the shed and I don't want any unnecessary complications.

The levers come with small PCB's to which the ends of the wire harness is meant to be soldered but I haven't decided whether or not to use them yet as my soldering skills are not good and the holes on the PCBs are small and close together. I have some choc block connectors just in case.

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I was sure I'd taken some photos at the close of play today but it appears not and so for now you'll have to make do with this earlier one which shows I chickened out of soldering wires to the PCBs and decided to go down the choc block or terminal strip route. It takes some time to insert all 54 wires but they're done now as you can see.

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The latest photos would have shown that they've been hot glued in position vertically and that I've added bus bars along the bottom for track feeds and down the sides for the solenoid power supplies so things are coming together. I've also made a start wiring up for the first point but by that time I'd had enough and it's probably the reason why I completely forgot the photos.

Once the wiring is complete I'll build a cover over the front to prevent any damage - it'll just be another offcut of wood!

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Looking at the photos you posted above Tony, unless I'm missing something it appears you've gone full circle back to how an electrofrog point is originally supplied. In the top photo, the brown and purple wires closest to the point blades, have you wired them back directly to the frog? It looks that way to me which means your frog is now switched and powered through the setting of the point blades. You must have cut the link wires that connect underneath across the gap in the rails seen just to the left of your wire connections to the point blades so you've just reconnected those with your wires.

If you look back at my photo, I add my dropper wire from the power bus so that it connects the outside 'stock' rail to the point blades so they're both always live and not relying on any point blade contact. I then cut the two small link wires underneath to totally isolate the live frog, breaking the inbuilt connection between it and the point blades. The wire from my live frog then goes to the switch that changes the point and its integral switch which changes power to the frog.

In addition, I have insulated rail joiners only on the frog 'V' section as there is no need to isolate the outer rail sections - it looks like you've isolated all the rails which isn't a problem but isn't necessary.

Hi Mick, I have being watching Harry Potter  marathon week 7 movies, last one the best , Leg have bought out  Hogwarts castle, be pretty dear to buy, look good on the layout at a distance .

With the electrfrog point , you are saying that the whole point now is live, I actually cut the frog before those wires, it worked when I wired the frog black wire common to the  accessory switch the only way I could get it to work . I  should of asked you first Mick not knowing you had electrofrog, most  modellers use them, be interesting how Mark wires his up, why do do you have to go that way having to modify the points and yes I cut those wires under the point as well.

A big ask could you send me a drawing and pics on how you wire the point to the switch, I notices too that Peco's point motor like the one I used is quite dear now $24 here. On a high I got those switches to work cutting off half of the block, driving the first loco past the isolated rail joiner and uncouple the loco drive it onto another block switch on and drive off the second loco with half of the Indian pacific carriages onto one side  of the platform  and other half get back in on the other side.   Have done the same with a second block, the trouble with DC all that wire, wont b changing to DCC out of the question.

WOW love those point leavers what brand are and looks like a bit of wiring needed, why so many wires and those terminal strips , I am using 20 terminal strips for the bus wires to connect to the main panel on my layout, will you be hooking up LED lights.

Keep the pics flowing, Tony from down under warming up 27 degrees today, first spring storm Saturday.

 

 

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21 hours ago, aussietmrail said:

A big ask could you send me a drawing and pics on how you wire the point to the switch...

I'll sort something out for you Tony although there are probably already better diagrams available online but in any case I'll show you how I do it.

Here's the photo I thought I had taken last night. As you can see, I didn't have the time to get the hoover out before calling it a night.

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I made a start routing wires to the first point before I realised it was one of the 2-wire central locking motors and not a standard SEEP or PECO motor. I'm in the process of Googling what I can do with that one. I would really like to have one lever operate it so that I have visual reminder of the route setting and also utilise the additional SPDT changeover switch to power either the route from Shieling Bridge through the rear of the shed to Moor Dyke Junction or from Cattle Leys to the same junction depending on which way the point is set. That will prevent me sending a train through an incorrectly laid point.

There are 9 wires from each lever to each terminal block. Top 3 wires are for momentary operation of solenoid motors while the other 6 are two sets of SPDT on-on changeover switches. I will be using one of those on each lever for changing live frog polarities.

The wires at the bottom are short bus bars taking DCC track power and those vertically at each side will connect to the + and - of the CDU to power the solenoid motors.

Let's hope it all works!

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Hi Mick, thanks when you get chance, gee that is a lot of wire for those leavers, yeah those terminal strips makes it nice neat and tidy, I am working on the module that will connect to the main control panel , all up three strips like yours and four to make 20 blocks.

The pics are on my Camdle post all wires have to match the way the control panel is wired, I am trying to work out what connectors to use , would like to use a 25 way computer plug or RCA plugs, I have the old stile car  connectors, will have to label each wire if I go that way.

Tony from down under 

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I finally worked out how to wire the 2-wire car central locking solenoid to the lever switch and thank goodness it works - what a relief!  I had visions of maybe having to change the solenoid.

After spending the biggest part of the day laying on my back with my head beneath the baseboards all I can say is that I've felt better. As I've wired the levers I've also changed some of the wiring and rerouted it where necessary to tidy things up a bit. I also changed my mind regarding the bus bars I'd fitted beneath the terminal strip connectors and instead added some more connectors to accept power bus feeds and connections to and from the CDU. I've linked the connectors together on these strips using the bare earth wire from household 1.5mm cable to form individual links along one edge so the strips are live throughout.

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The next photo shows the end of day play with a meagre three levers now fully wired and operational. The two terminal strips along the bottom are the + and - DCC feeds. The one on the left side is the negative(-) from the CDU and on the right is the positive(+) from the CDU. The feeds are temporarily fitted at the moment for testing purposes.

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Of the six vertical terminal strips, the first one is for the 2-wire car central locking solenoid. For each vertical strip the top three connections are for the momentary solenoid switches so maybe you can see the difference in wiring between the 2-wire and 3-wire solenoids? The yellow wire which can be seen exiting the hole immediately beneath the first terminal strip and connecting with the blue wire in the choc block at the bottom of the photo is the wire that goes to the common terminal on the CDU which is necessary for the 2-wire solenoid to operate.

There was a slight drawback to the day when I found that the third lever switch wasn't working correctly and it was a heck of a job to extract it from the middle of the bunch and replace it with another - hence the missing screws in the above photo. It will need sending back for replacement.

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I'm just taking a break after cleaning up inside the shed. It's so good to finally be rid of all those loose bits of wire and the sawdust left behind after making the lever frame housing. The six levers are now fully wired and all working as they should be. Now I need to decide where to locate the actual CDU power supply so I can finish the job. It needs to be close to a power socket but also leaving me the option to add lever switches to Shieling Bridge station too if I decide to do so later.

This morning I received what will possibly be my final 'new' class 37 locomotive. 37114 'Dunrobin Castle' is another Scottish based loco in BR large logo blue livery produced by Bachmann exclusively for Mickleover Model Railway Group. I'll add some photos when I get the chance but at just shy of £170 for an analogue DC loco I think it's time to draw the line, even if it is sold as 'Limited Edition'. At the time of ordering the anticipated cost was £149 and even that seemed a tad high considering the model class 37 has been around for some years now.  

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A photo of the completed lever frame wiring: -

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A mess of wires maybe but believe it or not it has enabled me to remove a lot of wiring from beneath the baseboards, especially those that took power from the main bus which now connect here on the lever panel. Not 100% colour coded but I did what I could with the wire I had available.

Now you might be surprised to learn that I've never had a dedicated programming track, or perhaps you know enough about me by now to know that's not so surprising at all. Anyway I decided it was time to address that and I thought about making the new headshunt on the terminus boards into my programming track but that meant having to run a couple of wires from the controller around the whole shed. So instead I decided the headshunt close to Shieling Bridge depot would be more convenient and easier to connect up as it's within touching distance of the controller. The drawback with this idea is that it's a short section that's been ballasted so I had to carefully prise the track from the ballast in order to add an insulating joiner in place of a metal rail joiner to completely isolate the section.

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The frog 'V' already had an insulated joiner but the outer rail was a normal metal one. It wasn't too difficult to extract the track from the ballast and I was able to do so without causing any damage. Once I had the section lifted I removed the dried ballast and hoovered it away.

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The metal rail joiner was replaced with an insulated joiner and the track placed back in position and secured with a few pins. The DCC dropper wires were cut beneath the baseboards and inserted into a choc block connector before two wires were routed from the programming outlet of the DCC controller and connected up. So now I am able to drive a loco onto the programming track to read or adjust CV's.

Now I really need to move forward with getting some of the other tasks done, such as backscenes on Shieling Bridge and some tunnel portals so that I don't need to use bits of plywood and two moulded plugs to cover the entrance holes to the shed!

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It was never my intention to take any videos today because there's still so much work that I need to do, but I'm completely out of ideas and inspiration for adding tunnel portals to the exits from the shed. When you feel like that I think it's best to leave it for another day so why not clean the rails and try out the new point levers.

Here are a couple of short clips of 26024 hauling the log wagons around

 

 

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Still trying to come to a decision regarding the tunnel portals over the shed entrance/exit holes so in the meantime I've decided to make a start on ballasting the track on the terminus boards. On the concrete sleeper track alongside the platforms I'm using Gaugemaster granite ballast, a mixture of N and OO gauge secured with Klear floor polish. On the two sidings which have wooden sleepers I'm using Woodland Scenics ballast and this is secured with the usual diluted PVA glue as I find that Klear has little effect with this type of granulated ballast.

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When it's all finished and had time to dry I will be doing some weathering to blend everything together. It just looks far too clean at the moment and I do especially like to see a sidings appear as if it's been in use for decades. The platforms and run round road have more recently been relaid.

I've also been thinking about the bay platform and trying to decide whether it would be worth moving the trap point. It's not something I would look forward to doing but I do wish I'd positioned the trap point about 6 inches further forward which would allow me to accommodate a six coach rake and a loco. I have a feeling it will remain as is.

So what do I do with the shed access holes? I've ordered a couple of tunnel portals to see if I can do anything with them so until they arrive I'll just get on with other things.

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Well, thanks to some off-the-shelf products I think I've finally found something suitable to place over the shed access holes. The moment I placed it in position I felt happy with it so I'm going to go with this.

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It's a Gaugemaster GM198 Single Track tunnel portal manufactured in a lightweight foam type material. I'm going to need to re-position the buffers slightly in order to make use of the included wing walls, especially as I would like the portal to stand slightly proud of the back of the shed, but I had a feeling I would have to which is why I didn't ballast right up to them yesterday. Gee, me and forward planning eh? Points within a tunnel? Well I'm not so sure about that but it's something I can personally overlook. Being designed for single track, I just need to make sure there's sufficient clearance to get stock safely through if the portal is brought forward a bit more.

Once I'm happy with the positioning I'll get some paints out and see if I can paint the stonework to make it more realistic. 

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If you plan to fix it further inside the shed, why not put a vertical lifting shutter behind it, which when dropped would keep wildlife out? You will definitely need some protection from invading mice and such like. Even if you have a door outside I think two levels of defence would be good.

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5 hours ago, Riddles said:

If you plan to fix it further inside the shed, why not put a vertical lifting shutter behind it, which when dropped would keep wildlife out?....

Here's a mock up of what I was thinking a few days ago before I ordered the tunnel portals.

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The centre strip of plywood slides up for access and down to keep the mice at bay. That's as far as I got with this but it sounds similar to what you suggest. Something like this will be implemented behind the Gaugemaster portals although at the rear of the shed both access holes have a rubber flap that folds back when I'm using the layout and folds down to cover the hole when I'm not. For added security there's a small chunk of aerated block that has been sanded to fit over the rails and sits against the rubber flap to prevent anything getting in.

Now speaking of the tunnel portals I'm not so sure that the single track portal is going to be wide enough for use on the terminus board.  It's a perfect size for single track but I'm placing it over a track and a half and it's very tight. I want to compare it with the double track version before deciding which to use and luckily I've found a used example at a decent price.

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