Saturday, October 24, 2009

All Seems Quiet and Slow Going

It might have seemed and looked on the surface as not much was going on through May, June, July and August of 2008. But underneath the layout I was getting mighty dirty and sometimes very frustrated, while up top some more track layout and cork laying was in progress.

Yep, I was doing wiring. I had three mainlines to put wiring in for and it had to cater for DC and DCC operations on any/all of the lines. So there was a lot of drilling holes through all the timber to draw the cables through and keeping it as tidy and logical as I could. I looked like I worked at a saw mill with all the sawdust over me every day.

Don't you just hate it when you get a section done and then realise you missed something? Hate it at times, but you keep going and it's all for a good purpose in the end.

We used some black and red coloured speaker wire the club had lying around. The HO'ers had purchased a hugh pile of the stuff and were not using it, so we N'ers appropriated it for our layout. I was wiring up the layout primarily so the outside mainline could be used as we'd gotten it's track down and wanted to be able to run a train while we continued working on the other two mainlines. But it took longer to wire as it was best to do the wiring for everything at the same time.

All our drop feeds were done using solid core bell wire which we bought by the roll from Bunnings. We decided to isolate all passing loops and station stops so that the DC operations would allow a lot of locos to be stored on the layout as well as the sections could be used as very simple speed controls so more than one train on a mainline could run at a time.

We have not setup block control on the layout as that would have confused us a bit too much in the wiring department. We figured that since we have three mainlines and can at least turn off sidings that that would be good enough for the DC operations.

For the DCC operations it is so simple. On each mainline there is a master switch that dictates either DC or DCC operation for that mainline. When in the DCC position, it connects the mainline to the DCC system the club was going to buy.

To get the river crossing ready, we made up some temporary bridges out of MDF and painted them grey. They will do as fillers until we get into making some real bridges.

So by the end of August we were able to run some trains on the outer mainline.

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