Progress on the wiring continues, though more slowly than I'd wish.
The three station signals were finished and duly installed. . Wiring has proved a rather lengthy and tedious process with 8 fine short wires and two resistors needing to be soldered under the boards for each one. Resistors have been fitted to scraps of veroboard and the various wires soldered to these small boards in situ: the job's done now , but it's taken an evening's work per signal. They are driven off the spare contacts on the Tortoise point motors , and while this isn't perfect it gets a reasonably prototypical set of aspects.
The only real anomaly is that if the roads are set out of platforms 1 and 3, you get a yellow out of platform 2, even though the next point is against you. To achieve a proper aspect here would have required a third set of contacts on the point at the entry to the back platform, 3 , to select between red and yellow. As it is. using the contacts I've got, BL 22 displays either green for route out via crossover /platform 1 or yellow/feather indicating route via the diverging road down the middle. It's almost certain that any route out via Platform 1 must be clear right through - hence the green , - but not certain that the middle road is clear right through - hence it gets the yellow . BL 20, the starter from Platform 1 does all the tricks, as in this case a second point motor on the same board is available for switching. Red shows the crossover is set against it, then switching by the next point gives either yellow ("main" roads in the fiddle yard via the slip on the second board) or green + feather- branch or fuelling point. Since the crossover on the second board is wired as such, there is no possibility of an incompletely set route in this case, hence the green.
And BL 23, the Platform 3 starter at the back, gives either red or yellow. The feather has been wired to two of the pins on the bulgin plug, so that it can be switched by the motor for half of the slip, which is on the other board.The said motor has not yet been installed
All should be a little clearer from the pictures and especially the signalling diagram in the thread I posted on how to wire the Hoffmann motor: Hoffmann point motor
The only catch is that to see the signal aspects you need to stand at the far end of the layout. Unfortunately I tend to operate from the other end - the NCE socket panel is on the fiddle yard board , since this has the fuelling point road / programming track. Thus the signals don't really help check whether I've set the road. At least I know they're there....
The Hoffmann motor is now in place: in fact it's the only new point motor I've installed. The 16V AC is taken directly off the auxilary power bus, with one side switched by the spare contacts on the Tortoise . It is not 100% reliable in throwing and cutting off - ithe motor's shown a tendency to stick and stall in one direction . though the point itself is fully thrown. A quick reach under the board sorts this , and since there isn't space for a Tortoise in this area I didn't really have much alternative. One complication is that there is only one set of switch contacts on the Hoffmann. With the spare contacts on the Tortoise at the other end of the crossover in use for switching the 16V AC supply to the Hoffmann , this leaves me with nothing to switch the ground signal at the exit from the fuelling point . However NCE suggest that a pair of opposed LEDs can be wired into the power supply between the decoder and Tortoise on one side and the Tortoise will act as a suitable current limiter so that no resister is necessary. As the direction of the current changes with the throwing of the motor, the current will flow via one or other LED. They envisage this as a panel indicator - I don't see why it can't work a ground signal instead
Other jobs finished include connecting up the Express Models lightting kit I installed in the Portakabin to the 12V DC stablised converter unit on this board. I found an old rocker switch in my electrical bag that came from I know not where and wired this in. In daylight you hardly notice that the Portakabin's lit : in poor light it's horribly apparent I didn't fit an interior...
I also wired up one of the Kadee electromagnets as an encore, having found a substantial push to make switch in the electrical bag. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to work - there's no buzzing noise when you push the button. I suspect I haven't scraped the protective coating sufficiently effectively off one of the wires on the electromagnet. Power supply for this is a variable transforfmer from Maplins , set to 15V (the max) to deliver up to 4A . I presume this is adequete.
I then gave the layout a test running session , which had mixed results. Slow speed running is good . But there were derailments , seemingly caused by the unrestrained slip and dead patches , allied to the board joint , which is not ideal. Coupling issues probably played a part too - the Bachmann GUV has it's NEM pockets set too high , and one Kadee on the PMV needs the spring replacing . And I think the 3link on the Hornby 31 may foul the Kadee slightly. Added to which 31 + GUV + 50 van just fouls crossover 1 at the end of the centre platform - replace the GUV with another 50' van and all would be well. Another reason to finish the Van B. The 101is a little suspect too - almost certainly where there wasapatched repair to the chassis unit after accident damage. I have a replacement chassis in stock, so this could be a priority
And an attempt to fit a replacement TCS decoder in the150 failed because I couldn't break inside - the two end screws just wouldn't shift