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61656

Christleton Junction - 1986 - It’s back (or it will be)

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3 hours ago, 61656 said:

I had considered them, but their 3A current rating (as far as I could work out) was a little low. I think the Seep point motors probably pull 5A; I did start doing the calculations but decided it was more effort than it was worth. I use 5A as a sort of default value to ensure that everything has a decent life expectancy. 
 

That said, I may well change my mind when I’ve soldered up a few 15 way D-types!

 

Soldering was something I was trying to avoid, or at least compartmentalise onto small veroboards / stripboards. Once the veroboards are assembled, there is little or no more soldering to do, and certainly none of it upside down.

 

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Putting off wiring is one of my few genuine talents in the field of model railways and I’ve managed to put that skill to good use in recent weeks. Like a defender who inexplicably rounds two strikers and finds himself coolly slotting the ball past his own keeper, so I found myself tonight wielding the soldering iron. 
 

Having been short on modelling time of late, a few issues with the 400 year old homestead had put my passion for wiring lower down the list than checking the rodent traps. But with an unexpected evening to myself I poured a very agreeable beer and wandered in to the railway room determined to do something other than wiring. I should probably find a beer forum where I can relax and occasionally mention model trains. Anyway, I’d noticed an annoying track joint that needed sorting, and before I knew it a happy hour had passed and 28 wires had been soldered at both ends. 
 

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Previously I had soldered every rail to a central busbar under the board to provide a continuous power feed. That is probably a little over the top and resulted in a lot of wire and quite an untidy appearance. This time I’m just jumpering across rail joins. As the rails are soldered too, this should be reliable enough for a layout which won’t be moving very often. 
 

Hopefully another opportunity for an ale will appear shortly and I can press on. Potentially if I have a skin-full the layout will pretty much wire itself. 

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Another spare couple of hours sees all  the track feeds complete. So just 4 hours, on board 1 of 4 (currently built, probably 12 in total), to complete the simplicity that is DCC’s 2 wires. It’s undoubtedly good news for the UK’s brewing industry. 
 

451C76EC-22EF-4369-AF93-4F9A607756BA.jpeg.2a29a54b49e0edcc97e3307a56fda883.jpeg
 

Fans of my all black wiring colour code will be pleased to see the end feeds are all labelled. 
 

Next up is the point motor and frog wiring. I need to build a ‘local’ control panel for the points, to simulate the hand points of the depot. 
 

Once that’s done, in theory I can run a few trains up and down on that board alone. A good friend of mine observes that a part built model railway is a soul destroying thing and at this stage I’m inclined to agree. My father’s suggestion of build the layout a foot at a time seems to hold some water. At least until I feel inclined to wire the next board up!

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I managed to grab a spare hour over the weekend to start the point wiring. Each motor has been fitted with its own make up of diodes and capacitors, with connections to each solenoid and the common. I could then test each motor properly with a pair of flying leads. Pleasingly they all swing both ways without any issues. I’m using 2200uF caps which seems to provide just the right amount of umph for a single end of points. 
 

I’ve started making a very basic local panel for the 5 ends on this board, as they are all hand points. Potentially there could be something running on this board this year. 
 

3A73AD07-F5D5-43BD-B9A5-24AEC8DD05DA.jpeg.f72a760b3ff828f46f2f49c0452d0da5.jpeg

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20 hours ago, 61656 said:

I managed to grab a spare hour over the weekend to start the point wiring. Each motor has been fitted with its own make up of diodes and capacitors, with connections to each solenoid and the common. I could then test each motor properly with a pair of flying leads. Pleasingly they all swing both ways without any issues. I’m using 2200uF caps which seems to provide just the right amount of umph for a single end of points. 
 

I’ve started making a very basic local panel for the 5 ends on this board, as they are all hand points. Potentially there could be something running on this board this year. 
 

3A73AD07-F5D5-43BD-B9A5-24AEC8DD05DA.jpeg.f72a760b3ff828f46f2f49c0452d0da5.jpeg

Looking good. I remember reading a rule-of-thumb years ago, possibly in the RM article back in the 70s describing how to build a CD unit, saying that 1500uF per motor was about right.

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10 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

Looking good. I remember reading a rule-of-thumb years ago, possibly in the RM article back in the 70s describing how to build a CD unit, saying that 1500uF per motor was about right.

I can’t remember why I first used 2200uF. I have tried 1100, but that doesn’t provide enough force to be reliable. I suspect that hand built points probably require a bit more persuading to start moving. I’ll be using 4800uF for crossovers, possibly a little more if one end is a 4 blade double slip, due to the additional force to overcome (not least because the switch rails are shorter so do more bending than they do sliding).

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A little more progress on the wiring. The point motors have all been connected to a terminal block together with their respective frogs (colour coded green for obvious reasons).  
 

6AF238BE-0BD6-4E78-AC16-A956047C4934.jpeg.4499abe75b9d6106d49d64c4779dae17.jpeg

 

That pretty much concludes the underboard wiring; there are just a couple more connections to make. I then need to make up the 9 way and 15 way connectors that will link to the neighbouring boards and panels. 
 

There is also the connection to the local ‘shunt frame’ which controls the 5 hand points on this board, which will be connected directly to the 19 way terminal block. 
 

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The shunt frame has had the point motor power wires connected, using earth blocks each side as busbars. The 4 depot hand points have also had their frog feeds common-ed together. The yard point for the Brewery is in a different track section, so has a different feed for the frog. 

 

My goal of having a loco moving in the shed under its own power this year (without bodging) moves a step closer. 

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Board 2 has had its wiring completed. It is all tested, at least using a meter, but we all know that's not how you test a model railway! It was pleasing to flip the board the right way up and find that all the points move nicely from side to side and the all the frog polarities switched correctly. I did change one tie bar as the existing one had a soldered joint to the switch rail very close to the insulating gap.The shunt frame is fitted to the front of the board using some small hinges, to allow easier access to the wiring. The 3x3 3PDT solder connections were much easier than I expected, which is fortunate as the crossovers on other boards need a 4PDT switch.

 

IMG_1328.jpg.989265facd84254d163a368dbb35a52a.jpg

 

Overall I'm happy with the appearance of the wiring; it's much neater than the last effort. Even the 15 way D-types have proved quite straightforward to fit. 

IMG_1329.jpg.3382dd2dab3c3803e54c57d3330be197.jpg

 

IMG_1330.jpg.f633883d47ef2f945689b71a414abb89.jpg

 

Next job is to wire up a 15 way D type so that I can connect all the track section to the track bus temporarily and allow some trains to run up and down over the festive period.

 

I then plan to split my time, for the sake of my sanity, between wiring board 3 and beginning to build the loco depot and brewery. Both of which will require some very agreeable research!

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And just like that, a train was running again. Stalwart class 40 D211 (one day it will be D200) rolled the first wheels and proved both continuity and point switching. The class 33 then became the first to shunt in and out of the brewery yard. 


EA8E43AB-6C57-478B-82E5-0BDCEB7EB93D.jpeg.373c90518934f1afdfb990a67d2f9f3b.jpeg

 

Prior to that I’d needed to quickly wire up a 15 way D type connector. All the terminals are tinned with a bit of solder first. 
 

2072E4E6-BFA0-4471-9242-6A45496E4244.jpeg.8dbdff43b58dd3dd82ee5433502787f6.jpeg
 

Each wire is then soldered on. I tend to expose about 8mm of wire, quickly tin it and then cut it back to about 4mm. This allows the wire to neatly solder in with minimum exposed conductor. 
 

164E86C3-CF44-4D73-930B-A8F934D0D5CA.jpeg.3a0ff04392f3b74fa4f41c9d9a27f824.jpeg

 

Wire tends to naturally curl back to its coiled form, but briefly after being tinned it’s soft enough and can be neatly straightened, which avoids 15 wires all fighting with each other. 
 

C2246437-6E18-49D1-A08F-15E5303A0AB5.jpeg.8246f2a9aab71c6eebe70e4372a0d13d.jpeg

 

Once all the wires are on, I use a thin blade or similar to just check no stray solder is shorting the terminals. I then put a small amount of washing up liquid on which allows the coloured sleeves to easily slide home. 
 

47838966-935E-43F0-A362-F8B462E6D8DF.jpeg.6f5ad9bf248ee5fdd88f05cdc21cf0bc.jpeg

 

I’m not bothering with connector hoods, but I would if the layout was going to be regularly dismantled. 
 

With one board done, it feels like a major milestone has been passed. Once again I can hear the sounds of a cold Sulzer engine firing up and a warning horn sounding as a loco moves off. 
 

In theory I can now turn to a range of modelling activities, although I will have a reasonable guess I’ll choose wiring board 3!

 

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6 hours ago, 61656 said:

 It is all tested, at least using a meter, but we all know that's not how you test a model railway!

Principles testing is so much more fun than ‘strap and function’. :-)

Thanks for the washing up liquid trick  to getting sleeves on.

Paul.

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1 hour ago, 61656 said:

And just like that, a train was running again. Stalwart class 40 D211 (one day it will be D200) rolled the first wheels and proved both continuity and point switching. The class 33 then became the first to shunt in and out of the brewery yard. 


EA8E43AB-6C57-478B-82E5-0BDCEB7EB93D.jpeg.373c90518934f1afdfb990a67d2f9f3b.jpeg

 

Prior to that I’d needed to quickly wire up a 15 way D type connector. All the terminals are tinned with a bit of solder first. 
 

2072E4E6-BFA0-4471-9242-6A45496E4244.jpeg.8dbdff43b58dd3dd82ee5433502787f6.jpeg
 

Each wire is then soldered on. I tend to expose about 8mm of wire, quickly tin it and then cut it back to about 4mm. This allows the wire to neatly solder in with minimum exposed conductor. 
 

164E86C3-CF44-4D73-930B-A8F934D0D5CA.jpeg.3a0ff04392f3b74fa4f41c9d9a27f824.jpeg

 

Wire tends to naturally curl back to its coiled form, but briefly after being tinned it’s soft enough and can be neatly straightened, which avoids 15 wires all fighting with each other. 
 

C2246437-6E18-49D1-A08F-15E5303A0AB5.jpeg.8246f2a9aab71c6eebe70e4372a0d13d.jpeg

 

Once all the wires are on, I use a thin blade or similar to just check no stray solder is shorting the terminals. I then put a small amount of washing up liquid on which allows the coloured sleeves to easily slide home. 
 

47838966-935E-43F0-A362-F8B462E6D8DF.jpeg.6f5ad9bf248ee5fdd88f05cdc21cf0bc.jpeg

 

I’m not bothering with connector hoods, but I would if the layout was going to be regularly dismantled. 
 

With one board done, it feels like a major milestone has been passed. Once again I can hear the sounds of a cold Sulzer engine firing up and a warning horn sounding as a loco moves off. 
 

In theory I can now turn to a range of modelling activities, although I will have a reasonable guess I’ll choose wiring board 3!

 

I like the sleeves. Are they just scraps of insulation or heat-shrink or something else?

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11 hours ago, 5BarVT said:

Principles testing is so much more fun than ‘strap and function’. :-)

Thanks for the washing up liquid trick  to getting sleeves on.

Paul.

It's a handy trick, not least because the sleeves don't like sliding alongside each other, but also it will confirm beyond doubt that cheap washing up liquid is much lower quality.

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Some very tidy wiring, and good to see some loco's up and running. Your making some good progress.

 

Cheers Peter.

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A great layout in the making - very realistic track geometry.  I look forward to seeing further developments.

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8 hours ago, coronach said:

A great layout in the making - very realistic track geometry.  I look forward to seeing further developments.

 Time for the first update of the year, prompted by Coronach's post....

 

Having been full of enthusiasm for modelling in what is now referred to as Twixtmas, I was fortunate to have a few days away with Mrs 61656 in Chester. We spent a very enjoyable day drinking our way around the city, managing to drop in to Chester Model Centre along the way before finding the just as excellent Cavern of the Curious Gnome. I recommend both and I'm still not entirely sure which one took more money off me. Suffice it to say I managed to acquire both the least and most powerful locos running on the network in 1986 (I think, although I now wonder if an APT power car had more horses). I'm sure you can work them out / prove me very wrong.

 

When I returned home for a quick run on the 5 feet of available track, the wind was somewhat knocked out of my sails when both locos ran terribly. It was one of those moments of shear deflation.

 

I had been slowly building myself up for a return to action, when unexpectedly in a work meeting this week I noticed the "gentleman" next to me (gentleman is a broad term and only loosely associated with signal engineers) was pursuing RMweb. We'd hardly started the tentative "you too?" discussion when before we knew it about 6 people were all confessing to be signed up members. The closet door was well and truly off its hinges!

 

Suitably inspired by the ensuing conversation I had a great evening sorting both locos out and a handful of track issues with the end result that all works well and I'm ready to face up to putting off wiring the next board.

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8A1538CC-C4A6-44F1-8B76-A9AAB9C2898D.jpeg.46230e9cb4d9efd81999c45c98fcb4e8.jpeg

 

I’ve managed to find a few hours recently to get on with the wiring for board 3, which is obviously the second board to be wired! I’m a big believer in learning from mistakes and if you read this thread there’s a lot to learn; indeed the net savings you’re making just by following along almost certainly justifies that loco purchase you’ve been mulling over.

 

I decided that my revised point motor wiring would have sufficient oomph to move all 4 blades of a double slip with a single motor, but thought I best try it first. I should probably have tried it on a single end before fitting new single tie-bars to each slip. One failed trial later and I gained the opportunity to take out and refit double tie-bars at each end of 3 slips, 12 in total. That set back behind me though and the rest of the wiring has gone well so far. All 20 point ends (which make up 8 sets) on this board are now wired and tested. A few ends needed tweaking to get them to move nicely, but overall it was all straightforward.

 

Next up is the frog wiring and then all the track feeds. This is far and away the most complex board, so I’ll be glad to see the back of it. I need to start thinking about a temporary panel to control the points as it will interface directly to this board, I think it will be a simple (i.e. unnecessarily complicated) mimic panel, with just point controls for the moment.

 

It would be great to be sharing pictures of a no-heat peak on a coast-bound relief service formed of a scratch rake of mark 1’s, but you’ll just have to imagine that for yourself for now.

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Hi 61656. I hope you and your family are keeping well in these strange circumstances. Amongst other things, I hope you manage to find some quality time to further develop your layout and get that steam heat Peak going :)

 

R

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