Archive for January, 2009

Tortoises installed on first industry board

January 15th, 2009

I have installed all the Tortoise motors on board C, the first industrial switching module, apart from one as I am short of a few parts for the last motor (actuating wire & slide) – I think these must be at the club…I’ll check tomorrow night.

This is the current state of the underside of Board C. This is just to show you the wiring and Tortoise motors at the moment…this will look dramatically different next week! I have worked out how many detection blocks I need and also that I need two DAC10’s to control the points. I will be getting these in the next few weeks. In the meantime I will get all the wiring ready, soldered to the tag strips and all the Tortoise motors wired up ready to hook up to the DAC10’s.

Work started on industrial switching modules

January 14th, 2009

I have started work on the two industrial switching modules. These I took over from my friend Jim who has moved over to San Francisco. Luckily for me, he did all the tracklaying before he left, so I just need to make final adjustments and do the wiring. I also have to install the point motors. Hopefully I will be able to use Tortoise motors, but I will have to see how much space I have to fit these in, as some of the points are quite close together.  Amazingly, there are 16 points on these two boards!!

This is a composite view of the two industrial switching modules – click on the photo for a closer view:

There are going to be four industries on these boards: A grain elevator, an oil depot & merchant, a lumber yard and a factory. Finally I will have a use for the many freight cars I have!

Time permitting, I am hoping to get most of the wiring done by the end of next week. I will then have to wait a bit to get hold of the block detectors and point controllers, as well as extra point motors. Once I have those I will be able to get the installation all done about two weeks after that.

I can then get started on my favourite bit…the scenery!

I survived!

January 11th, 2009

Well, the show is over! An early start on Saturday morning, leaving home at 7am to be at the NMRA British Region’s Winter Meet at Benson in Oxfordshire by 8am. All the fields and trees were white from the frost, and there was a thick mist in the air – the poor car heater was working overtime, and just about managing to keep the cold out!

With help from fellow Seaboard Southern members, we got the layout up and running in time for show start at 10am. A good start to the day, everything worked as it should have. Well, apart from one block detector, but I found out it actually helped if the controlling DS64 was actually plugged into the power! Doh!! Thanks to the careful adjustments I had done earlier in the week, all the track joints between the boards behaved themselves and we had no derailments. The only problem we had was with two tortoise motors that were not throwing all the way across – these were the cause of a few derailments, but we made sure the points were fully across before sending a train across. Later in the afternoon we had a strange problem of two dips appearing on the crossover on end board B (the farm board is end board A). I will have to have a look at that sometime, possibly ripping out the points and re-laying them.

The computer system (Railroad & Co.) behaved itself, and the demo ran nicely for those who wanted to see it, apart from one time when I ran the DC Amtrak (still need to get controller for that) during the demo. This seemed to confuse the system and it ended up throwing the points for the Amtrak loco, not the computer-controlled one…! But you have to learn somehow 🙂

So, apart from those few problems, I am very happy with the way the layout ran, considering this was its maiden showing at an exhibition. It seemed to go down well and I received very positive feedback, with a lot of people interested in the Railroad & Co. system.

At the moment the layout is still boxed up in the conservatory, and will remain so for a while as I am going to be starting work on the two industrial switching boards inherited from my friend Jim Bainbridge who is now living in San Francisco…thanks for doing the hard work (ie. tracklaying), Jim! Much appreciated! :-) Now just to wire it all up and get started on the scenery!

The next outing for Rochelle Intermodal is in September at the annual Seaboard Southern exhibition. More details can be found on the Seaboard Southern website.

So, here are some photos from the show – as usual, just click on the photo for a larger image and a description:

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