Favourite Photos...

Favourite Photos...
Reading Lines GP35 #3647

Middletown, Pa

Monday 31 August 2015

First signal programmed and placed onto the JL&T Panel...

Well last night as well as doing more track work I also programmed the first of the double head dwarf signals into JMRI and installed it on the Panel Pro - Panel.

First step is installing the signal heads into the "Signal Head Table" each head requires two of the turnout ports from the SE8C (not its not actually a physical turnout, just a port) so there are four consecutive ports for this on head, 577, 578, 579 & 580.

This is how the SE8C has the ability to drive all three appearances on each aspect including flashing too.

Next step is to create a signal mast in the Signal Mast Table, when you select a double head dwarf you add each of the signal heads as above and this then allows JMRI to drive both aspects (high & low) together to give the correct signal aspect.

And once completed I then loaded the signal mast which in this case has a user mane of RDG25W onto the Panel Pro - Panel and I was able to operate the signal from the panel by clicking on the icon.

JMRI is such a powerful tool, you can right click on the icon and bring up the list of aspects and change to any of them, or just left click on the icon and it will scroll through each on each mouse click.

More soon...


Sunday 30 August 2015

Work continues on the Interchange - Classification Yard...

So last night I began work on the yard lead to the Classification area for the Interchange.

Firstly I had a great win with the crossing at York Haven where the Chessie System and D&H crossover the RDG/CR main.  The old crossing was an Atlas crossing that had lots of plastic within the diamond section that caused a lot of stalling and bumpy crossings.

So whilst out picking up some more flextrack & turnouts for the classification yard I spotted a PECO Code 75 crossing diamond that just might work.

You can see the old alignment of the sub roadbed, the new angle makes the approach to the classification yard flow much better.

Below is the PECO #7 Curved turnout that leads into the classification yard lead (left diverging route) and it flows much better than the previous version that can be seen in the previous post.

The bare plaster area will be the interlocking tower for the Interchange - Classification Yard along with a small parking lot.  As mentioned above the yard lead flows much better into the Classification Yard now.

Next step will be to connect the yard lead to the arrival track, continue on the track work from the #5 RH turnout to form the runaround/caboose siding.


Thursday 27 August 2015

Laying the Cork Roadbed for the Classification Yard...

So today being a typical wet & rainy Melbourne day I decided to lay the cork road bed for the Interchange - Classification Yard.

First step is spreading the Max Seal - Coloured Caulk...

The cork sheet is around 4' long so this usually dictates the section widths.

First section in and secured with push pins until the caulk cures.

Second and third sections in and curing, next step will be to lay the track and turnouts and begin installing the track work.


Wednesday 26 August 2015

Interchange Classification Yard...

So for a little change of pace I have started installing the Interchange Classification Yard.  The yard allows me to interchange between the three railroads (well possible four if the D&H gets in too) that will be operating on the layout, The Reading, Conrail & Chessie System.

The yard is based loosely around the Shippensburg PA area, and would have seen these three/four railroads interchanging in the day.  The actual location on the layout is west of the York Haven Pulp & Paper Mill.

Yesterday & last night I spent most of the day/evening realigning the track work and installing the new turnouts.

The interchange will have three classification sidings that will allow singles or blocks of rolling stock to be dropped off on either of the two passing sidings south of the main.  The classification sidings also act as RIP Tracks and feed directly into the restoration/maintenance workshops to the west of the yard.

Next stage is to install a few more turnouts, more flex track for the sidings, then hook up the power, tortoise motors and block the sections of track back to the BDL's.


Sunday 23 August 2015

Tomar - Double Head Dwarf connected to the SE8C's...

So over the last couple of afternoons and evenings I have been playing around with JMRI and installing the Tomar - Double Head Dwarfs onto the layout and getting them connected to the Digitrax SE8C's and programming them into JMRI too.

First step was to mount the Digitrax TSMK under the layout and connect the double head dwarf wires and ribbon cable.

Next step involved programming the individual heads of each dwarf signal into JMRI.  So for the double head dwarf this means adding the the two heads individually for each mast, and each head requires two turnout positions from the SE8C boards.  So one double head dwarf requires four (4) turnout positions (not a physical turnout) from each SE8C board.

Once the heads have been added these can then be added to make a mast (JMRI term for the double head dwarf) and then JMRI can go about its thing and change the appearance of each aspect.

Presently I'm using the pre-loaded JMRI AAR-2 Signal aspect table as it's fairly close to the Conrail Signal Aspect Chart - 1988 that I eventually want to add to JMRI.

I've also made a short clip to show the different aspects loaded in JMRI and running through the double head dwarf.

I also managed to connect a single dwarf too, now the Reading area of the layout has its dispatcher controlled signals installed.


Friday 21 August 2015

Latest Fascia Panel...

Here is the latest Fascia Panel to be installed on the centre peninsula of the layout.  Lancaster Junction is an area on the layout that connects the centre peninsula with the hidden nook and the original module area.

It is also a major junction area for the main layout area where it runs onto the centre peninsula and run where it runs around the back hidden area behind the centre peninsula.

It also has a high concentration of Tortoise motors & signals too...


Friday 14 August 2015

The first operational signal on the JL&T...

So last night I decided to install the first double head dwarf signal onto the layout, this one is a Tomar H876bl and is fitted with RRCirKits Tri-Colored LED's.

The area on the layout is based around Reading PA, and feeds back into Lancaster Junction (through the backdrop) so the signal is dispatcher controlled only.

Above a slow clear is being shown leading to Lancaster Junction...

The RRCirKits LED's are being run through 2K ohm resistors and they will likely be increased as they are still extremely bright.

As can be seen they are quite bright even 2' away...

To test the brightness and color of the LED's I made up a small device so the each aspect (top & bottom) can be checked against the other.  To date the red & green are getting 2K resistors (likely to be increased) and the yellow is using a 820ohm resistor.

The black substance is liquid electrical tape so that I do not inadvertently short out one LED's while testing each one.

Next phase will be to place the signal in Panel Pro, connect it to the SE8C ribbon wire and board, and test out its functionality.


Monday 10 August 2015

Double Head Dwarf Signals - Using RRCirKits LED's...

So moving along with the install of the LED's into our dwarf signals I decided to try the RRCirKits LED's into a Tomar - Double Head Dwarf.
I've recently sourced some 30AWG wire wrapping wire in the primary signal colors.  This will make the connecting of the dwarfs much easier when hooking up to the SE8C ribbon wire.

The wiring of the tiny Tri-Colored LED's is getting much easier, pre tinning and using a good solder with flux has made it fairly easy.
When I installed the first set in a single head dwarf the LED is quite visible when looking into the light opening, when lit if you are facing the the opening you can also tell its an LED too.  I wanted to try and find a solution that would make the signal look like it had a searchlight in the housing.
So after a search online I found the perfect solution, a small light pipe that fits into the opening diameter that hides the LED and helps spread the light evenly too.
These light pipes need a little filing (height wise) to get them to a depth that allows the LED and wiring to fit into the Tomar housing.

These light pipes finish off the dwarf signals perfectly.

 Much better finish with the light pipes installed and the aspect color is better spread too.