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Tricky Dicky

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Everything posted by Tricky Dicky

  1. I agree with you Andrew, I have used Antex irons and treated carefully tips will last almost indefinetly, but keeping the coating intact is essential. I have seen many an Antex tip destroyed mainly by the inexperienced abusing the tip and abrading the coating off. As a teenager I had an iron manufacturer unknown which which had an unplated copper tip which lasted me well into adulthood and the tip never needed replacing, unfortunetly some scroat relieved me of it. Richard
  2. Most modern soldering iron tips are made of low quality copper coated in iron carbide. Once you wear through the coating you will find for a while the iron will solder well but over time a cavity will appear and the tip will need replacing. To clean a badly oxidised tip you need to abrade it but you need to be careful not to scratch through the coating, so files, emery cloth and wet n dry are out. A brass brush is the answer, I had a technician who managed to revive some really badly oxidised tips using a small brass wire brush in a Dremel type tool. Once clean the tip needs to tinned as you h
  3. They are called Scotchlok connectors being an IDC (Insulation Displacement Connector). Therein lies the problem with them, they are really only designed to link two wires of similar diam. With a little leeway on the actual diameters. If you have widely different diameters in the two wires being linked then the following problems can occur. Get one to suit the thickest wire and the blade that makes the connection inside may not adequately displace the insulation on the thinner wire, whereas get one to suit the thin wire and you may find the blade almost severs the thicker wire. You will get get
  4. It cannot be done with a standard bi-colour LED as the two colours are connected in reverse to each other and therefore the current has to be reversed to display the other colour. To do what you want you need a tri-colour LED which either has a common anode or cathode. Richard
  5. Probably not is the answer. You can get flashing LEDs which are usually 12v. The only other way I can see you achieving it with a single LED is use the three pin types which have a common anode and use an astable circuit such as one based on a 555 timer. You would only need one astable to flash all your red LEDS. The two pin bi-colour LEDs are actually two LEDs wired in reverse to one another and the colour lit dends on the direction of the current. Richard
  6. I do not know where you get the 4V? White LEDs usually require a higher voltage compared to standard LEDs about 3V. Three in series require 9V then there is the current limiting resister wired in series which accounts for the remaining 3V (Ohm's Law). With regards reverse voltage it is commonly higher than forward voltage, therefore if the appropriate current limiting resistor is used your LEDs should not break down if polarity is reversed. I still think your main problem is your PSU is not supplying enough current. Having read the specs. 36W per 5m will require a 3A supply as Crosland said. E
  7. If you are trying to light all 300 then your power supply may not be delivering enough current. A white LED typically needs 30mA+ at its brightest. Depending on how the LEDs are wired that that could be as much as 30mA x 300 but it is my experience with these strings of LEDs they are usually wired in groups of three in series with a single resistor for each group of three but that is still 30mA x 100. Richard
  8. I have replied to the other post but just to add to it regards wiring. Terminals D & E should be connected to either your DCC bus or the rails and F to the frog. If you experience a short then swap over terminals D & E. Richard
  9. According to the specs. It should change the polarity. I would check your wiring, having said that they do have a reputation for problems with the switch which can be induced by poor installation. If that is the case you will not get it to power your latching relay either. So check wiring, check the installation particularly that the PCB is not flexed. If everything is OK then send back to your supplier for an exchange. Richard
  10. My only concern is the on board polarity switching and LED switching as the only sure fire way of knowing a point has moved is by linking a switch to the tie bar. If all the on board LED switching tells you that you have activated a switch to move the point then there could be problems. I may be wrong and admit I have not read the installation instructions but I cannot see how it detects actual movement of the point. Richard
  11. Hi Worzel I have not used a RLM but as far as I know they do not respond to command station commands rather they simply detect the change of polarity and switch accordingly. The only one I am vaguely familiar with is the Lenz LK200 which connects to the track before the loop for power take off and detection which rail is which and connects to the rails within the loop which need to be isolated at both exits of the turnout on both rails. The RLM detects any conflict of polarity and using rapid electronic switching changes the loop polarity before the command station cutout can trip. Ric
  12. With all due respect if you are asking how to wire an open frame transformer here then for safety's sake I suggest you opt for the cased version. Dealing with mains voltage is not for the inexperienced and if anything is done wrong then the consequences could be fatal. Richard
  13. Brilliant layout Jim, but can I suggest you desist from using Laco flux for electrical soldering. It is an acid based flux mainly used by plumbers because it has a cleaning effect it means they do not have to hand clean copper pipe joints. It may be doing a grand job with your soldering but long term you could find problems from residual acid. Any residual flux needs to be flushed away with water, easy to do in a pipe but not recommended for a PCB. Richard
  14. Probably the best book is Brian Lambert's Newcomers Guide to Model Railways or you can go to his website which has got all the information that is in the book. http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk Brian posts on this site and usually responds to queries like yours. Personally, I consider going back to DC as a retrograde step as it does not offer anything near the flexibility of DCC and as you already allude involves a lot of switching sections off and on hence the more complex wiring. As I duck below the parapet! Richard
  15. Should be OK according to the specs the LEDs will have a current draw of 2A and the PSU can provide up to 4A. The only additional item might be the LED strip to power supply adaptor mentioned in the "other items bought with this product", otherwise you will have to remove the plug on the output side of the PSU and make your own connection which probably void the warranty. Richard
  16. Ian You are correct about what a power bus is and that the droppers are the connections between the bus and the rail. Be aware the power bus needs to quite hefty wire as it carries the total current consumed by your layout but more importantly does not cause a voltage drop at the extremes. The droppers can be thinner wire as long as they are not long. Brian Lambert's site has a good graphical explanation of a typical power bus in the DCC section. http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/DCC.html#Comparison Richard
  17. Gm11 Please publish your guide as I am sure the vast majority on here would appreciate it. I cannot believe this argument has rumbled on for so long over the use of a component that can be bought for a fraction of a penny and ensures correct LED operation. Richard
  18. The only problem with resistor installed LEDs is that generally they are designed to give quite bright emissions usually a lot brighter than required for railway modelling. I prefer to add my own resistors and have better control of the LED brightness. If you need an easy resistor calculator the link below is useful. http://www.electronics2000.co.uk Richard
  19. Xpressnet is basically a command bus connecting input devices such as the LH100 handset and the PC interface to the controller. Lenz feedback modules connect as Suzie has pointed out via the RS feedback bus. If the Roco feedback modules do not have a suitable port to connect to this bus then I am afraid they will not be able to communicate with the controller. I believe Roco handsets can communicate with the Lenz controller as they too use Xpressnet. Richard
  20. Ian you have posted a DCC layout in what is essentially a DC section, your question might be better posted in DCC Questions. However, if your layout is as you say DCC, you have no return loops so as far as I can see all you really need to do is put insulated joiners on the ends of the Vee-rails of each of your points (also called the frog). Attach as many droppers to as many sections of rail as possible particularly after the points and connect all the droppers to a pair of heavy duty bus wires taking care to observe correct polarity. If your controller supports a programming track then you mi
  21. We had several of these and the usual suspect was the voltage regulator. Got to say it was an awkward job to do. Richard
  22. Kytes lights were at Warley and they have one of the most comprehensive ranges of LED lights http://www.kyteslights.com Richard
  23. Is it possible as a digital subscriber to get BRM subscribers discounted tickets? Richard
  24. When considering using accessory decoders I think the real issue is what controller you are using and how many button presses it takes to access the required decoder and effect whatever change you want be it a point or signal change. In automated or computer controlled layouts they are a must. As a fellow tyke TomJ I would say think carefully before handing out hard earned beer vouchers for something that could be done more conveniently and cheaper! Richard
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