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"Three bowls of Spaghetti" and "The Blue Whale"




'What on earth?' I hear you ask!

Just a couple quotes which arose today which made me laugh that seemed relevant.

Allow me to explain...


JohnDMJ kindly volunteered to help do the wiring for the layout. (He's good at this kind of thing you see). Now, let's be honest here - before today I had very little knowledge about wiring so having someone else do it and teach me how to do it was fantastic!


Watching out for 'Two-ton-tin-openers' (i.e. cattle) around the New Forest roads, John promptly arrived at 10am and set about teaching me the tricks of the trade. First job was to check the position of the holes for the point motors and shuffle the track around a bit to give the right 6 foot gap between the tracks.


Then we had to employ some insulated fishplates which I had omitted and set to work fitting feeds to the layout. Not only was I taught about wiring, but also how to solder. Although the first go was better than the second!





John's First Tip: You can see in the photo above that the rail joint has been soldered. This has been done because of the fragile nature of the track being near the baseboard join. This will also be done where there are joins on curves.


John's Second Tip: For joints where curved track is involved, solder the track in a straight joint before flexing it to the curve. Doing this will help the track form its own natural transition curve.





John's Third Tip: When wiring SEEP point motors, consider using connector blocks like the one shown in the above photo straight next to the circuit board to save time and fiddling around in restricted spaces.


John's Fourth Tip: You can see the feeds coming from the baseboard straight into the connector blocks - this means it is much easier to adjust should something fail. All you have to do is unscrew the wire from the blocks.





Here's the three bowls of spaghetti! That's only half of the wiring needed. It may seem a lot, but don't let that put you off!


John's Fifth Tip: Wire naturally curves - this protects the insulation from damage. When you have large strands of wire awaiting attachment coil it up and stick a couple cable ties to hold it all together. (Don't forget to label it with some tape!)





John's Sixth Tip: Most of the standard gauge wiring on show. They are held in place by cable ties and cable tie adhesive bases. In awkward places hot glue from a glue gun is used.





The completed wiring for one point motor and feeds. Feeds are easily identified by the red and black wires - each correspond to one rail. Mark on the baseboard R and B to make sure you get them round the right way!


Well, thanks once again John - I've learnt a lot and I hope your tips give other people food for thought.


Next job: Doing exactly the same for the narrow gauge and working out what I want from the control panel.

If anyone has any questions feel free to reply to this blog entry and I'll see if I can answer them!


Almost forgot! As for "The Blue Whale" - that's the shape of the board with the NG drawn on biggrin.gif



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Guest 009matt


Is John still there? Are you doing the NG bits or is he?

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  • RMweb Gold

John headed home at about 5pm which means I'll be laying the track and fitting point motors to the NG. He'll be visiting within the next couple of weeks for a couple hours to finish off the wiring. I'll need to build the control panel when I know what I want and have checked it with him. smile.gif

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Guest 009matt


Better build that 009 loco for you then!

Going to be a french decauville miltary based one, should be in keeping with layout?

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  • RMweb Gold

Oh yes - wondered if you'd remembered about that.

I like the sound of a French military Decauville!

Let me know how much I owe you smile.gif

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  • RMweb Gold

Thank John - I'm just writing them down and passing them on. To someone with little experience like me they are really useful! smile.gif

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Well done for blogging something that I expect many RMWebbers are dab hands at, but something that others (like myself) who are still at the oh now what stage need to learn - or is that just me:huh:. Very informative. Thanks!

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  • RMweb Gold

No problem at all.

I know how hard it is to get started and how easy it is to keep putting off something or stalling a project because you don't know how to do something and are unsure of who to ask help from!

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Very interesting drive it was too:


At Godshill on a single track road, two horses feeding from opposite sides of the road; had to wait for the equine 'gate' to open.


Between Gosdhill and Brook: four more instances of horses just wandering out into the road. I could see the London-plate cars behind me getting frustrated each time I slowed down to a crawl on the approach (but at least they didn't try to overtake!)


M27: three patches of driving rain (couldn't see the bonnet, let alone the stupid assh**es twits who don't know what vehicle lights are for!) (rant over!)


Yes, the NG section needs to be progressed a bit further before wiring is an option but at least this is now possible!


Three platefuls of spaghetti: my defence: We used SEEP PM-1 point motors with the built-in switch; OK the switch is not presently needed but rather than tear the baseboard to bits to rewire if it is at a later stage, the wiring's already there!! (Future proofing?) Also, the nature of the control panel is not yet finalised so more wire than seems needed keeps several options open!


Pleased you've learned something from today's visit, Jam, and will be able to put it into practice with the NG section.


BTW: not quite right with Tip 2! For joints where curved track is involved, solder the track in a straight joint before flexing it to the curve. Doing this will help the track form its own natural transition curve.


Thanks to you and your Dad for your hospitality; we need to organise Round 2!!

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  • RMweb Gold

Sorry to hear of your driving woes!

The three platefuls of spaghetti was entirely TIC, but your explanation would probably help to reassure other members of the need for such wiring. Tip 2 now corrected - I was trying to remember them off the top of my head (surprised I remembered that many!).


We will keep in contact to arrange another visit!

Many thanks biggrin.gif

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