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I've made lots of progress this week. On Sunday I made some changes to the removable station section which meant that it could no longer be left out side. So it has spent the week in the conservatory, which is a very handy place to do a bit of work on it. The up shot is that it has come on leaps and bounds. All the track and points have been laid, and all the wiring has been completed. The amount of wiring that was required for a three platform station with 4 points and one turn back siding was quite surprising.

The points are all electofrog and until I get hold of some point motors, I've wired the frogs with DPDT switches.

I did solve the problem with my soldering. The tip on my new iron was faulty (probably user error). I replaced it with a spare I had from years ago and, as if my magic, the heat and more importantly, solder flowed.

If the weather holds I'll take the board out this evening and give it a test run.

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Any chance of some pictures of the removable station section Chris? Hopefully you will have it sorted out by now and have had a sucessful test run.

Good to hear that you've 'mastered' the technique of soldering. I've been working on my indoor layout for the past couple of weeks and have had a fair bit of practice with the soldering iron. It's a lot easier soldering when you have easy access to the pieces to be joined rather than working on an already fixed track located just a foot or so above ground level and in addition the advice offered by Martin in an earlier post was a big help.

I've used electrofrog points on the indoor layout and will be using the integral switch of the 'Tortoise' point motors for feeding the live frogs. Looking forward to getting these wired up so that I can see just how they work though I doubt they would be suitable for outdoor use!

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Popped into York first thing this morning and Monk Bar Model Shop still didn't have any PM1 point motors :roll:

Picked up a few Peco motors which will get mounted above the based board following Ian's examples. Also purchased another box of track, which was fun to bring home on my bike.

I gave myself the afternoon off work (I'm self employed and Tuesday's and Sunday's are my usual days off) and cracked on with track laying. First up were a couple of points on a curve. These will have PM1's under the baseboard so I had http://www.selbygardenrailway.co.uk/sgrforum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=84#p394 to drill the hole and pop in my aluminum tube, before laying each of them. With these in place I had to lay my first curved section of track, it was no great surprise that this took me considerably longer than the straight runs. I do like the flexibility that flexible track gives even if it does make constant radius curves rather tricky. Getting the 4 foot right was difficult because the curves were a little tighter than I'd have liked them, but still more gentle than set track. I must have spent half an hour with the two dummy cars from my DMUs testing and adjusting the curves to make sure there were no points of contact.

As the evening arrived I got my soldering iron out an bonded up the track I'd just laid, while it was still all shiny and new. I had a go with 15amp fuse wire which is very thin and my not be up to the job, but I plan to put in a good number of droppers to the power bus...

The work done today means that the track for phase one of Amblethorpe is almost complete, which is handy seen as the seasons are beginning to change. Phase two is in the shed, which won't be much fun in the cold, but I will still be able to work though rain and in the evenings.

If the weather holds this week, I'll try and get some photos taken with trains and everything ;)

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No need to apologise for the quality of the photos Chris, I made a right hash of taking some this afternoon. I used to be pretty good with a camera at one time.....

I understand that Monk Bar is your local model shop but haven't you considered ordering the PM1 point motors online? Even if you don't fancy the idea of ordering off ebay or the likes, the bigger and more reputable retailers such as Hattons have them in stock and orders are normally delivered pretty quickly. Hattons were also the cheapest when I had a quick look round earlier.

One thing that does stand out on your photos is your ability at getting the roofing felt stuck down nice and flat. You could almost play snooker on those baseboards! There are one or two places around my layout where it hasn't stuck that well and it has tended to bubble up slightly between the 2 running lines. It's not really noticeable unless you're up close.

The forecast isn't good for the coming days so today's sessions may be the last for a while but I remember last year running trains with snow on the ground so I'll be back out there when I can. In the meantime I'll concentrate on the indoor layout. Are you planning on running throughout the winter or will you be taking a break?

Mick

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I followed Ian's instructions for the roofing felt and when the felt did bubble up I placed battons of wood on top of it and then clamped them down with G-clamps and quick grips. I did the moveable section on a different day and once the felt was down I placed a similar sized board on top and then piled paving bricks on top.

There is one place where it bubbles up, but I'd rather not talk about that ;)

May be it's time to start a thread on baseboards and roofing felt, or may be one each, so our collective thoughts and techniques can be found in one place? And one for wiring, electrics soldering etc might also be useful.

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Chris

I've made a few changes to the forum layout so that we can have sections dedicated to specific subjects. I've included ones for baseboards and electrics/wiring as you suggested so let me know what else you would like to see added and if it's okay this way.

Mick

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Spent the weekend in Sheffield so didn't do any work on Amblethorpe. We did pop out to Rails of Sheffield, who had more Seep Point Motors than they knew what to do with> they were also 75p cheaper than the cheapest in York. I bought 4.

Just spent half an hour thinking through the wiring of the 4 points on moveable section. I'm going to wire them for probe control to start with and make my own simple probe system. Once I've looked in to DCC accessory decoders I'll switch the wires over to that system. I'm real horder of anything computer or electronic so finding a suitable power supply for the point motors was easy. I have at half a dozen laptop power supply "bricks" in the loft and one of the many has now had its connector snipped off the end and its 16 volts is going to be put to good use.

Had to stop because we are cycling to a pub for a meal, a sharp rain shower has delayed us enough to allow me to write this. Toodle pip.

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Scuppered.

Switched on my iron while I was boiling the kettle and quickly wired up a third PM1. But when I came to test it I found that it wouldn't throw. This was a little confusing until I noticed that another motor had also stopped performing. These two motors control a pair of points so I'd wired them in parallel, the plan being that a single touch of the probe would though them both. My guess is that the laptop power supply that I'm using can't produce enough amps to throw them both at the same time so I will have to wire them separately. This should only take a couple of minutes to sort out and won't even requie a soldering iron.

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Chris, Get yourself a capacitor discharge unit (CDU). Simple to wire and it will give enough power to throw the two points and stop you burning motors out.

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Yes, i've thought about a CDU, but this is only a temporary measure before I switch them over to DCC when the CDU won't be required.

I've rearranged the wiring and got things working.

The forecast is for rain all day today, so I think I'll be wrapping up warm and doing some work in the shed.

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Another Sunday, another day of work on the railway.

In the rush to get trains rolling before the weather took control I'd basically done only what was needed. Today was an opportunity to go back and fill in a lot of the gaps. A lot more sleepers are nailed down and there are now droppers to the power bus which aren't absolutely essential.

On the surface nothing has changed, but when I plugged in my PowerCab the units ran very smoothly. I could even run them through a pair of electro frog points which have yet to be wired up!

Today was the first day when I felt a pressing need for scenery. It's time to start planning some stations.

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chris said:

...when I plugged in my PowerCab the units ran very smoothly. I could even run them through a pair of electro frog points which have yet to be wired up!

This is an indication of my level of experience. On my indoor layout I thought I had wired my electrofrog points incorrectly when I discovered that I too could run locos through them even before I'd got the frogs wired up. I didn't fully understand what was going on until I started using a short wheelbase loco (class 08 shunter) and found that it did in fact stall on the frog. The longer wheelbase locos with additional pickups were unaffected by the non-powered frog section of the point and just continued on their way.

Perhaps that's just another reason why so few people ask for my advice? :oops:

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Two of my three multiple units have pick ups on two bogies (per car) so all 8 wheels are collecting power so they cruse through with no interruption. The Hornby (ex Lima) 156 only picks up from the one bogie so it needs some momentum (speed) to get it through the dead section of the pair of points. The points are about 6 coach lengths form the end of the track so it was a bit hairy passing though at speed and then hitting the brakes. The Emergency Stop button was used on more than one occasion. I think I'll wire frogs before I play again!

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It's mid October so any day when the weather is good has to be made use of and with Sunday's forecast looking favourable...

I was home from work on at 3 on Saturday and I was straight out into the conservatory to get to work on wiring up a guagemaster accessory decoder which was going to control the four points on the moveable baseboard. The controller comes set for slow action or latching motors rather than solenoid so it needed re programming. This turned out to be rather difficult. The instructions said that I could cut a wire to switch them over, but this is a bit of a thermo nuclear option and reprogramming was surely a better way. After much frustration and even the creation of a small test bed with light bulbs I finally twigged on to the problem. I was trying to program the accessory using the "Accessory Program" function, it needed to be programmed on the "Programming Track"! Silly me.

This wasn't problem solved. Yes my light bulbs plused on when I changed the decoder setting and a peco point motor functioned without problem, but Seep point motors caused a short and in DCC that's a system reboot. Eventually I reasoned that the problem must lie in a shortcut I had taken. The decoder gets it's signals from the track and requires a power supply of 16v ac, but the instructions say that it is fine to power the decoder from the track which is basically 16v ac, although it will add a bit of extra work to your system. I'd taken this shortcut as it was easier than digging out a 16v ac power supply. Now I needed to find said supply, but all my "power bricks" were dc and I was ready to take one appart and remove the rectifier (don't try this at home boys and girls :shock: ) when I remembered that I still had my Hornby "Zero1" digital controller from childhood and that had a (never used) 16v ac output. So out it came from the loft, a mains plug was added to the lead and a quick check with the multimeter confirmed that I now had the required voltage available. And sure enough, with a separate power supply everything worked fine.

Breaths huge sigh of relief and calls it a day.

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Sunday was a chilli to start with, but it was going to stay dry so I'd invited a couple of friends round to see Amblethorpe in action. They weren't due till after lunch so I had the time to wire up the accessory decoder and fit the forth point motor. Due to a lack of space this had to be a peco motor rather than a Seep and there was a bit of extra work required to fix it in place.

With the work complete by lunchtime I got some trains running when my mate Ian popped round. Controlling from the shed end of the garden (and setting points by hand) while being able to to control the points by the house on my DCC was great. We spent about an hour simply running my three units between the two station areas. When Ian had gone my wife came out to play.

I then got round to programming up some macros so I could route-set a lot easier. This also had the benefit of being able to set points using my slave controller which isn't set up for accessories but will run macros.

By the time my mate Jonathan came round it was getting chilli, but his couple of huge Ammerican steam freight loco's, both sound fitted, kept us out in the garden for another hour.

Lots of fun

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Sounds like you had an enjoyable weekend Chris. Have you managed to upload any new photos of the action or any video clips even? Would be interesting to see and hear the American steamers.

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chris said:

Our camera developed a fault on a recent trip to London, so no pics until I fix it, or buy a new one!

Sorry to hear that Chris. There doesn't appear to be a lot that you can do to a camera yourself in an attempt to fix it these days, depending of course on what the actual problem is. I have one that I paid a few hundred pounds for that has developed an intermittent fault but it's too expensive to get repaired as it is a bit dated now being 6 or 7 years old. New ones are often a much cheaper option and of course, they have even more electronic wizardry just waiting to go wrong on you!

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chris said:

...Just spent the time since my previous post in the shed. I've now got about half the based boards in place including the lift-out section across the door. The bend will have to be set track (hopefully 3rd and 4th) with part of it on the lift-out board, which will make things challenging!

Chris. I've added the quote above (from the post you made on my SGR thread) to your own thread for Amblethorpe so it doesn't get distracting.

I don't have any idea what you are doing inside your shed but I'm pleased to hear that you're making progress. Will there be a loop inside for continuous running or does it terminate in a series of sidings? You really need to get that camera sorted out so that you can put up a few photos. Do you have a track plan?

I can see from your online photo gallery where the track enters the shed area but not sure what happens after that. Also, I can see how the line runs in the opposite direction down towards the house but then I'm not sure what happens at that end either. Will it be loops at both ends?

Mick

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