Favourite Photos...

Favourite Photos...
Reading Lines GP35 #3647

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Under Layout Lighting...

So last night I decided to spend an hour two building the housing for our under layout lighting.

Because the underneath portion of the layout will be used for storage and eventually some staging I wanted to install some LED's under it so that as I'm wiring and installing the signals & detections its already in and running.

My folks got me a 75W transformer and two 5 metre (16.5') strings of LED's.  Because the transformer has screw connections on the 240V active that could be touched I wanted to place it in an enclosure.


The case is a plastic electronics case from Jaycar, it hold the transformer with enough room to get the wiring in and allow for ventilation around the edges.

The case has a sealed lid but I actually cut out the opening to the same dimensions as the transformer making sure the wiring connections were covered.

Quick test to ensure everything is wired correctly and working...  These LED's are very bright.


Case lid cut out and installed and ready to be placed under the layout...


Jas...

Thursday, 24 December 2015

More Signal Mast work...

So last night I began installing the Bivar Tri-Coloured LED's into a Tomar - H-873 Double Head Searchlight Signal.

The Bivar LED's are easier to install in the searchlights as the have more room in the back of the searchlight housing.  I will be using the RR CirKits LED's on the Tomar Dwarf Signals and the Tomar - Triple Searchlight Masts.


The best part about the Double Head masts is that I can actually fit all eight LED wires (common, red, yellow, green) in the mast tube.  When I install them in a Triple Head Searchlight I will have to use 36AWG wire or magnet wire.


The existing Bivar 1/8" - 3mm Light Pipes are able to be used in the Tomar Searchlights too, they again in stopping the surface of LED being seen and help provide a constant even light from them.


The end result for the colour is pretty good, not quite as good as the RRCirKits colours especially the green & yellow.  But at least they are much better than using the old Bi-Coulured ones.


                

Next stage is to connect them to JMRI and adjust the output and resistor value and program them into the Panel Pro - Panel...


Merry Christmas & Safe and Happy New Year to all following our blog throughout the year.

Jas...

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Programming more signals today...

Well today started out a little interestingly, after our inaugural ops session the other night we noticed a small glitch occurring on one of the BDL's.  It was showing a phantom sense on several of the blocks.

After a fair bit of investigation I narrowed it down to the last block feed either getting some form of inductance from other feeds nearby and/or the BDL's being set to a High Threshold Sense mode.

The LocoNet is now stable again and performing as it should, hopefully no more issues.

After this it was time to install a few more signals onto the Centre Peninsula.  It's quite a process to put one double head mast onto the Panel:

Create a Signal Head (or two for dual head masts) which involves entering for SE8C addresses for head (so thats eight addresses for a two head mast).

Create a Mast using the Signal Heads.  This involves adding the two heads to the one mast, then setting the signal rules from JMRI.

Then we create the mast for the Panel Pro Panel and add it in edit mode.

These are the screens required to input the heads, masts and finished signals onto the panel and control the layout...


The process looks complicated but once shown, and when you have added a few JMRI really does make it quite easy to add them.

Jas...

Friday, 11 December 2015

JL&T Railroad's - First Ops Session...

Well a major milestone in the five year history to date of our layout was reached on Tuesday 8th of December...  

We had our first Ops Session!

Well you could call it an expression session, or test ops session actually because it was all free time for the four operators.  My good friends Noel, Brendan & Darren came over and together we gave the layout a proper workout.

The main aim for the night was to check for any immediate electrical problems, dead track or sidings including the now finished Tortoise Fascia Control Panels, block wiring, turnout operation, track alignment and the general feel of the layout.

The guys had several options to start with, there was several cars spotted and stored around the York Haven Pulp & Paper Mill with a MP15 Switcher on call.  A pair of RDG SD45's ready for a local or hot shot train.  And a two small locals that could be spotted anywhere around the layout.

Below (from right to left) Darren, Noel & Brendan start from the York Haven - Pulp & Paper Mill (YHPPM)...



The guys were quickly off into different areas of the layout and testing out various locos and rolling stock.  



One very quick issue arose with one of the crossover turnouts with the YHPPM area which was quickly identified as dirty point ends on the point rails.  This will be fixed once I add the remaining power feeds to the PECO turnouts.

Also one of the push buttons controlling one of the Harrisburg - Fascia Control Panels wasn't working but was changed out very quickly.

The layout sustained the four of operating for about 2.5 - 3 hours, and we estimated that once the industries are set up and the remainder of the track work is completed the layout could sustain 6 - 8 operators and a dispatcher easily.



The next evolution for the layout will be designing and testing a more formal and prototypical operating scheme for future Ops Sessions.  The design and development of a car card system, paper work, and the programming of the detected track, turnouts & signals into JMRI and our Panel Pro - Panel.

The guys have already began to supply some great feedback and ideas and a dedicated night (Tuesday night) has been locked in as our monthly Operating night.  The Christmas break period is going to be very busy beginning to implement all of the infrastructure for Ops Session along with finishing off the detection & signaling too.

Below Noel running the RDG SD45's 7602 & 7603 through Mannheim & Rutherford...



A special thanks must go out to Noel, Brendan & Darren for being the first to operate the layout, and for helping out with testing it and for being such great company for the night!

Onwards & Upwards now...

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Last of the Mainline Fascia Control Panels installed...

Today I managed to install the last of the mainline (main layout area) Fascia Control Panels for operating the Tortoise Switch Machines.

The amount of wiring to be able to control a switch machine from a fascia panel or from a computer panel (with software) is a monumental task, and one that takes a fair amount of time to complete.

The last Panel installed was the Lancaster Junction panel...



There are nine (9) fascia control panels in the main layout area, and another three in behind the centre peninsula.


Below is the last of the Digitrax SE8C's that had all the Tortoise Motors connected to it...


Next stage is to move onto the wiring of the power for all of the blocks connected to the other BDL168's.

Jas...