Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Proof of the Pudding

Proof of the pudding with the Exhibition Layout and our little Raspberry Pi was at the Ipswich Workshops Rail Museum for the annual Queensland Model Railway Show held recently in October. We all assembled at the clubrooms on the Friday morning and hitched our trailers up to the tow vehicles and headed out to the old railway workshops in Ipswich.

Once out onsite, the crews quickly backed up the trailers and moved all layout components over to our allocated areas and began assembly. Whilst the HO’ers went at theirs, the N scalers setup theirs. Speed was of course not required as we had all day to setup and get ready for the weekend. But as usual and in no time flat, we had the N Scale layout up and ready.

This year of course we had two new additions to the layout – the new LED Lighting and of course our new Raspberry Pi and JMRI setup. The lighting once turned on was fantastic! The layout was magnificently illuminated if I do say so myself. There was only one minor glitch in the setup, and that was a mechanical joint failure of a single wire to one of the LED strings on the lighting. Easily fixed within a few minutes by re-soldering the join. We will of course over the next weeks, rectify this design fault by a little readjustment of where the wiring taps into the LED strings and the application of some non-acidic silicon sealant to hold the wires in place as well – nothing like a good mechanical joint to help out an electrical joint.

The Raspberry Pi fired up and we all whipped out our phones and began driving some test trains around as we cleaned the track ready for the next day. All was well, so after some train running, we headed over for a bite of lunch then not much after, headed home.

The N scale layout ran well over the whole weekend with no faults found to hold us up. There were lots of congrats on the lighting, as the layout was very visible (more o that next blog entry). So it looks like the work over the last months was worth it all.

Here is a quick photo of the Raspberry Pi setup we used. We have it sitting on the shelf under the fiddle yard at the back of the layout:

On the far left is the Belkin 4 port powered hub, next is a 4 way power board, then there is of course the actual Raspberry Pi just to right of centre. The NCE 5 amp DCC system are the two boxes at the back right.

As usual I think I can say for all, that we had a great time running trains at the show and will be back again next year with bells on!

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