Archive for March, 2008

Tortoise installation completed!

March 13th, 2008

I’ve finally installed the last of my Tortoise motors on Intermodal module A. The last one involved a remote Tortoise mount…took longer than expected, and is more complicated than it looks! 40 steps on the instruction sheet…doesn’t seem like it would need so many steps, but there are a lot of little things to do that take a bit of time, most of it to do with alignment and wire bending…but at least I know how to do it now for next time!

Next to do is the installation of the Digitrax SE8C Signal Controller – that is a quick install – and the installation of the CML DAC10 turnout controller, including the connection of the Tortoise wiring.

In the meantime, here are the latest construction photos

Yet another update…

March 6th, 2008

I’ve done a bit more work on the layout this evening. I have been working on Intermodal module A – I’ve finished off the wiring, including wiring the turnout frogs, and have installed one Tortoise motor…unfortunately I have run out of those now, so another trip to the local model shop is imminent – I need 3 more Tortoises for module A.

I also managed to put together the first building for Rochelle Intermodal, an engine shed for the intermodal yard GP38 switchers…

Engine shed for GP38 Obviously I still need to fill all the gaps, then paint and weather it, but it is a start! 🙂 One thing I realised I have to do is to straighten the switcher track – I had originally curved it very slightly, but with the engine shed there a curved track is obviously going to cause problems…

Tomorrow I will sort that track out and install the Digitrax SE8C under the module. Apart from that there is nothing more to do on this module until I get hold of the Tortoise motors, so those will only be installed next week. Once I have done that I can put both modules back up and fully test the wiring and Tortoise motors.

I am contemplating installing local LED’s recessed in the side panel to show the status of the turnouts, along with a basic track diagram for the particular location. Another option is to also add a switch so the Tortoises can be switched from the side panel as well as from the throttle. But still need to think a bit about that one…

Right, that is enough for tonight!

Be sure to look at the Photos page for the latest construction photos. More updates to come soon!

Progress update and photos!

March 5th, 2008

Finally I have had the chance to upload some photos of the progress on Rochelle Intermodal! Click on the Photos link to view the latest photos.

Intermodal module B is now completely wired and is ready for scenery. Last night I finished off the soldering and installed the Tortoise motor (there is only one turnout on this module) . All the PowerPole connectors for power feeds between modules are wired up, along with the PowerPole connectors that carry the block detection wiring between intermodal module A and B (the block detector board, Digitrax BDL168, is on module A).

Tonight I will attempt to complete module A – at least I will get the wiring finished, but hopefully will be able to finish installing the turnout motors as well. I had to move the bus location slightly at the end of module B in order to install the Tortoise motor there, but that might not be possible on module A. I have a remote mounting kit for the Tortoise motor which I might have to use. At present I am not sure whether I will install motors on the yard tracks or find a method to switch them manually.

So, one board done and another almost done…the end modules (kindly donated by Jim Bainbridge – thanks Jim!!) need slight wiring alterations for the installation of block detection, but already have the PowerPole connectors in place for the power feeds.

I have successfully tested two signals on the main modules (intermodal modules A & B), and these work correctly, running off a JMRI PanelPro panel through the Digitrax BDL168 block detector and the Digitrax SE8C signal controller. Now all I need to do is finish installing the signals! I have been considering purchasing a few cantilever signal gantrys for the main tracks, as that will make signal installation a lot simpler, and will require less signals, as my main tracks are both bi-directional.

However, no rush for that as those can be installed at a later stage.

Right, back to work now…must earn some money to pay for all this!! 🙂