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Posts posted by rynd2it

  1. 5 hours ago, BR60103 said:

    On part of my layout I added microswitches operated by the bar that joins the point. You would have to add the wiring to the frog which would then run back to the points. This still  leaves the open point opposite polarity to the adjacent rail. (This assumes electrofrog points.)  



    I had thought of that as well, I assume they are double pole switches so contact is made which ever way the turnout is switched.



  2. We have a conundrum - the layout is already built and track laid with a mixture of electrofrog and insulfrog turnouts. The operation of the turnouts is completely manual (BHS) and therefore is relying on physical contact between blade and stock rails to provide electrical continuity. We know this is not ideal but is was built many years ago with little technical knowledge. The turnouts are quite old and therefore do not have the wires that can be cut to separate the blade rails from the frog rails so bonding blade to stock will not be possible.


    Given the existing situation, what can be done to provide a more reliable electrical connection of blade to stock? We have considered using wire-in-tube operated by slide switches so providing a switch to complete the circuit. Any other, possibly less complex, solutions?





  3. 2 hours ago, Siberian Snooper said:

    When I solder up multi pin connectors, I tin the end of the wire, using a cocktail stick, I put a drop of rosin flux in the hole, push the end of the wire in and a quick zap with the iron, job done.



    Interesting, I tin the hole by putting thin solder in and quickly heating, tin the wire and then heat the pin again and push in. The problem seems to be I am not using a hot enough tip and therefore holding it in contact for too long. I'll give your version a try next time, thanks

  4. 4 minutes ago, Torper said:

    I may not be as fussy as others, but I find that after soldering using Carrs Green label flux a quick wash of the model under the tap using a toothbrush and possibly some cream cleaner is quite adequate.  At the end of the day, and if the model fits, I also usually immerse it in an ultrasonic bath (one of the cheap ones from Lidl) to which I've added some specialist flux removing fluid and that ensures that all is perfectly clean for painting.  Incidentally, I find that provided I keep the soldering tip clean through use of sponge and/or brass wool, there's very seldom any need for tinning compound.



    Bit difficult washing control panels & track under the tap ;)

    So rosin it is for me



  5. I have done quite a bit of soldering in the past but I've never been really happy with the results. The last layout I worked on I was using some RS 5-core 22swg 60/40 lead solder and Fluxite paste; both of these date from the 1980's when I used to build computers.  I have a Duratool variable temperature soldering station with various bits.


    My main problems always seem to centre around the temperature which is either too high and melts the plastic in DB-25 multi-pin connectors or not high enough so I tend to leave iron on the work too long.  I'd like to address these issues with a little help.


    Firs off, I think I need to purchase new solder and flux (!) and maybe a smaller 25W soldering iron with smaller bit. I expect I'll need a no-clean flux as some areas will be impossible to wash out.  I'll mainly be soldering onto small switches and to nickel silver track; not likely to need the multi-pin connectors again as I'm going DCC.


    What would you all recommend to buy and for temperatures?


    Thanks in advance



  6. 9 minutes ago, JimFin said:

    One will do but as explained, two are better.

    Never found that necessary and cannot really understand the rational given the close proximity and lack of twist in Cat5 network cables which carry complex signals without problem.

    I run the bus to terminal blocks and take groups of droppers from those.

    Sorry - Cannot help with that.

    ESU Servo Pilots work very well and are simple to use if you go the servo route.


    Thanks for all that, I'll look at the ESU servo pilots although I have used Arduino before for signals.


    The DCC Concepts guys were absolutely adamant that twisting the bus wires would solve the Cobalt lost addresses problems - it's on their forum. But I'd never seen it anywhere else hence my raising it here


  7. 17 minutes ago, MartynJPearson said:


    Certainly with the size of my layout (round the wall in a 12' x 10' room) I've never had any issues with spurious signals; anything unexpected happening has always been down to user error! For longer runs, maybe a twisted pair for longer runs to link boards connecting to terminal blocks to which droppers can be routed? (Thinking out loud there, as I haven't done this in practice)


    There was a long discussion on the Cobalt forum about the point motors losing their dcc addressing as a result of spurious signals and the twisting of the power bus was recommended plus having other wires cross the power bus at 90 degrees.  Hence my questions above.



  8. 57 minutes ago, MartynJPearson said:

    My only accessories are points controlled by MERG boards, so for the accessory bus I just run wires between each of the boards - no twisting or anything.


    I was told the twisting helped eliminate spurious signals, nothing to do with shorting. I was concerned that if the bus wires are twisted, soldering droppers could get difficult.  And I have looked at the MERG boards and I do like the idea of an 'analog' panel controlling dcc signals and points.


  9. I'm planning a layout 4mm scale about 16 feet long, 2 feet wide, single branch line into a terminus and goods yard, fiddle yard at the other end. It has 8 turnouts and a couple of signals for which I am thinking servos/Arduino or Cobalt for the turnouts.


    1)  Do I need both a power bus and accessory bus, or will one bus do?

    2)  I have read the bus wires should be twisted or separated by a wide margin - if twisted how tight and if separate how far apart? Does this apply to both busses (if I have two)?

    3)  If the bus wires are twisted, how best to attach droppers?

    4)  I have an NCE power cab starter already so answers above should be compatible with this



    Thanks in advance




  10. The NCE Power Cab starter system, it seems to claim it can control DC-only locos. Is this true? I need to test both DC & DCC fitted locos on my test track and it would save me buying and wiring a separate DC controller/transformer.


    Thank in advance



  11. 10 hours ago, Foulounoux said:

    We are Chabanais  (Foulounoux to be precise on the Chirac road) also (albeit holidays only.



    suggest you talk to the team at Confolens  l'association Chemin de fer Charente Limousine who are restoring the line but also have English members . They may be able to provide details of anything more local 








    Thank you Colin, and good to know the line is being restored.

    We'll be there in September I think, maybe a meet up?



  12. I'm about to move to France, Chabanais 16150, and being an active modeller I'm looking for any clubs etc within a reasonable distance. Limoges and Angouleme are about equidistant at 1 hour driving and that would be fine.


    Any help or pointers would be much appreciated





    • Like 1
  13. 12 hours ago, Colin_McLeod said:

    If the loco is always coupled to the same coach then one option is to put a motor, with flywheel, in the coach where there is plenty of room.  This can power the coach wheels with the loco running with no motor at all. A sort of "tender drive" with a coach instead of a tender.

    Good idea but that doesn't fit the operational model - unless it was an Auto-train

    • Like 1
  14. DCC is not an option with this layout, it's wired with a 4-CAB DC system. How small? Joueff P10 tank loco is one of the bigger ones ! Believe me I have looked at adding chips and/or capacitors; about the only way would be with a permanently attached coach or wagon and that is not operationally an option.


    Trackside detectors and a control circuit is probably the way to go and something I will need to look into in detail. I'm familiar with Arduino programming as I use them for the semaphore signals and for point control on another layout. Integrating this into the existing controls for reverse loop polarity change might be interesting. There is another idea I'm playing with - a switchable series of resistors and diodes in the slow-down area which would gradually reduce the voltage over a few inches of track. This is the most attractive option as it is independent of rolling stock. Much research and thinking required :)





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