Viewers alerted by wiring nightmares should avert their eyes now... As per usual with my blog entries they are a mix of positive and negative experiences but it’s all about the process and how we get there, right?
This weekend I looked to test the turnout in situ before spraying and glueing in place. The loco ran smoothly up to the turnout and onto the frog area then kept shorting out...I swopped over wires and checked for gaps on the PCB...then it occurred to me that I had not gapped the tie bar made from a PCB sleepers turned on its side... Once this was sorted it ran through, but then shorted when the blades were switched the other way As you know, electrics are not my forte so I pondered whether to re-wire the layout from scratch. The main problem is the basic electrics were done 10 years ago as a DC layout and then modified more recently for DCC. So switched sections all add to the extra wires underneath.
Now the fascia has been removed it’s not so easy to flip the layout upside down anymore so a few temporary card sides were cut to give a good surface to review the base. It really is a mish mash and although has been reliable at shows (bar the intermittent turnout) it is too complicated and am not sure why I compounded this by using about 6 different coloured wires!
So I pondered over lunch and a few glasses of white wine what to do. Decision was made. Strip out and renew as much as I can, but simplifying in the process. I will leave the DC capability but permanently wire the sections together. I also drew one of those wiring diagrams with the two coloured pens as a I tend to use blue and red these days for + and - and yellow for turnout frogs. This was drawn reversed so I can compare when the layout is upside down.
I then took out the cutters to start snipping. It reminded me of that 70’s movie with Richard Harris (I think) where they had to defuse a bomb...”cut the blue wire...no, cut the red wire” ...So I cut most of them and then labelled as I went along with simple blue and red tags as to what I think they ought to be.
That’s pretty much where I left it as the light was fading and I think I need to start this with fresh eyes and a few hours run at it. Hopefully next weekend I can make a start. It means a slight step back in programme however in the long run it seems to be the right thing to do as I have quite a few shows lined up for 2019 and some in 2020.
Hopefully once it’s complete, the layout will run a lot smoother and the simplified underside can match the simplified top side!
As always, comments welcome...